JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure O.S.T Phantom Blood [Destiny] – Review

JoJos Bizarre Adventure Soundtrack

Album Title: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure O.S.T Phantom Blood [Destiny]
Anime Title: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Artist: Hayato Matsuo
Catalog Number: 1000361842
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: January 30, 2013
Purchase at: CDJapan


Tracklist

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
01. Stone Mask ~Prologue~ Hayato Matsuo 2:17
02. Destinies Brought Together Hayato Matsuo 4:29
03. Joestar Family Hayato Matsuo 1:17
04. Two Boys Hayato Matsuo 1:46
05. Intertwined Destinies Hayato Matsuo 1:28
06. Lively Love Hayato Matsuo 0:45
07. From The Dark Abyss Hayato Matsuo 1:59
08. Parting Regrets Hayato Matsuo 2:09
09. Hidden Feelings Hayato Matsuo 1:38
10. Lightning Speed Hayato Matsuo 1:54
11. Suspicion Hayato Matsuo 2:25
12. Gaps Of The Heart Hayato Matsuo 1:52
13. Stone Mask ~The Secret~ Hayato Matsuo 2:07
14. Results Of The Plot Hayato Matsuo 2:31
15. Strutting The Ogre Street Hayato Matsuo 2:30
16. A Fine Fellow Shows Up Hayato Matsuo 1:20
17. Father’s Love Hayato Matsuo 1:37
18. A Sudden Turn Hayato Matsuo 1:06
19. A Superhuman Reborn Hayato Matsuo 1:32
20. Transcend Hayato Matsuo 1:09
21. Determination Hayato Matsuo 2:13
22. Heart Of Darkness Hayato Matsuo 2:02
23. A Duo Of Courage Hayato Matsuo 2:36
24. Persistence ~Innocent Scream~ Hayato Matsuo 3:47

Review: The ferocity of fisticuffs flailing forth from forces fair and foul fill this fixating feature. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure encompasses all of that as it takes great delight in detailing the conflict between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando, all done with the subtlety and earnestness of a berserk warrior with a sledgehammer. The presentation is over-the-top, but it remains entertaining all the while. In contrast, Hayato Matsuo’s music for Phantom Blood, the first arc of JoJo, while as brash as the action and drama it accompanies, does not entertain. Sure, the music accentuates Jonathan Joestar’s nobility and brings out Dio Brando’s grim, twisted ambitions in an arena where their destinies collide, but it’s overmuch in its execution, sacrificing subtlety for a grandiosity that’s ironically plain.

The subtlety that I prefer is illustrated in “Stone Mask ~Prologue~,” which features an ominous motive borne by the cello to instill a sense of fear and dread within you. The melody progresses slowly, amplifying the creepy aura with every passing measure and lacing it with an imminent tragedy that never gets in your face. And when the crescendo comes, things take a grimmer turn as the cello thunders forth before letting the creepy motive resume. There is a light moment when the violins lay off a whiff of hope, but even that is ephemeral as the stark situation stands forth and in listening to this, you find yourself drawn into this grand tale.

Stone Mask ~Prologue~

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


The next track, “Destinies Brought Together,” is by far my favorite. Its introduction is exuberant as the violins unleash a bright and bouncy air that’s a marked contrast to the dark tone in the first track; in doing so it captures the life of privilege that Jonathan Joestar was blessed with. But then, Dio’s wretched beginnings come in, as the strings shift to a melancholy sound that is more empathetic than ominous. The piece grows quieter and colder in this transition, painting an image of someone biding his time as he methodically calculates the next step. This back and forth continues with the carefree, upbeat parts and the grim, scheming segments swapping in and out, and this dynamic is very engaging as one sees how different Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando are and how their conflict materializes, as the second half of the track brings a tittering suspense as it builds into a tragic hero’s theme.

Destinies Brought Together

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


With that, the tension rises significantly as Matsuo’s compositions reflect the state of the conflict. “Intertwined Destinies’” rhythm is heavy as the strings weave a compelling melody to reflect an epic journey. But given what the story has in mind, the mood becomes more sobering, and the soundtrack offers such fare in “Parting Regrets” which features a downcast track that signals impending misfortunes, especially when the violins play out a sorrowful, melancholy air that is effective in conveying that sense of loss.

Intertwined Destinies

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Up to this point, JoJo’s soundtrack still remains enjoyable as it draws you into the story. Once you approach the middle of the album, the music takes a turn for the worse with a pair of annoying tracks. “Strutting The Ogre Street” tosses a foreboding synth introduction which segues into a scraping segment that is as irritating as someone scratching a chalkboard. Granted, the track was trying to weave a disjointed, chaotic aura with its dissonance and eerie piano melody, but its use of synth is annoying as it removes you from the suspenseful atmosphere. “A Fine Fellow Shows Up” is even worse as a bland grinding synth makes way for a wailing blare that’s only interrupted by dreary piano measures that go nowhere.

A Fine Fellow Shows Up

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


The tension-filled tracks are much more bearable in comparison, but even then, Matsuo’s execution makes them tedious listening as they rain doom and gloom into your ears repeatedly. “A Superhuman Reborn” exemplifies this as the lower brass and percussion let fly with every bit of dissonance for what it’s worth. After that, the track as a whole, with the strings’ skittering sound to back up the frenetic, menacing brass lines, gives you the sense that Matsuo went overboard in depicting Dio’s evil ways, erasing the subtlety that would effectively express the horror of what Dio has done to himself in his mad grab for power. Then there’s “Determination,” which initially impresses with its morose atmosphere, but falls apart as the despair floods in, carried by the strings and lower brass to heighten the tension but done in a way that leaves little to the imagination. Even with the scattershot of heroic struggles amidst the ominous overtones, its overall execution feels heavy-handed. Perhaps the track that squanders its introduction most is “A Duo of Courage” which belts out a heroic theme, but quickly leaves it in favor of a rhythm-heavy section with a static, ominous theme that captures the suspense of battle without the dynamic structure that would vividly evoke its ebb and flow.

A Superhuman Reborn

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A Duo of Courage

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Matsuo’s multitude of music mixes the melancholy amidst misfortunes; mundane it isn’t, but the way some tracks ram its emotions into our ears robs us of the ability to imagine the scenes for ourselves. While soundtracks functionally serve as a backing for a visual medium, it ought to also stir emotions from deep within that allows us to empathize with a character or imagine a majestic or beautiful scene without the need for words. So given the scope of Phantom Blood, Matsuo’s compositions are appropriate as dignity and grace meets with doom and dread. But in terms of remembering and cherishing the melodies that Matsuo serves up? Well, let’s just say I’d sooner lock myself in a bomb-proof coffin to hide out until something better comes along.

Rating: Decent

About the author

zzeroparticle Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

8 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. coral422 says:

    To it’s credit, the soundtrack for the first arc is way better than the second arc’s. I did not know why they changed the person. And you know it’s bad because it has dubstep in it. It ruined the whole historical tone of the show.

    • @coral422
      Interesting reaction to the second part! I thought that since Taku Iwasaki was behind the second half, that people would be all over it. Guess not, or you disagree with the wider set of opinions!

      • coral422 says:

        Yeah, I guess the Iwasaki magic just wasn’t in there. I realized his scores tend to be hit-or-miss (thanks also to this blog’s coverage of his past stuff), but usually when it hits, its right on the mark. But I have to be honest and say I’m totally not digging the 2nd part’s soundtrack (Sorry I talked about the 2nd part so much when this article is only about the 1st part).

      • @coral422
        It might interest you to know that Iwasaki has publicly (insofar as twitter is public anyhow) complained about the way his music was used in the second story arc for JoJo. Something along the lines that he doesn’t remember composing such “unforgettable music.” Pretty harsh, but that line, plus what you’ve mentioned thus far lends credence to your thought that yeah, things aren’t looking good here.

        No problems with sliding into the 2nd part’s OST. What can we discuss here if not anime music? :3

  2. random says:

    I think it’s nice, at least, that we’re still getting new music with every episode. Nearly 100 tracks composed for this series. I didn’t think think as harshly of this soundtrack as you did but now that I look at it “Destines Brought Together” is the only track that I’ve listened to multiple times.

    I can’t really comment about Iwasaki’s music just yet. It might be a bit more varied than his usual, at least. It’s a bit hard for me to tell.

    • @random
      When I heard that fact, I was pretty astounded they managed to create so much. As far as my ratings go, well, this probably isn’t one I’ll be revisiting anytime soon and does make me wonder how Matsuo will catch my attention next time. I tried giving his OST to The World God Only Knows a shot, but that didn’t catch my attention either. Oh well, at least we agree on the best track in the album.

      I’ve heard Iwasaki complain about the show’s implementation of his music. For now, this is a wait and see…

      • random says:

        Well I say it’s a bit hard to tell because it seems like a bunch of the tracks are used once briefly and you never hear them again after that. That’s probably what he is referring to.

      • Its weird because the soundtrack to Part 2 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, really stuck to me as I watched the series, most specifically “Welcome to the World” whose “Owner of a Lonely Heart”-like intro which was used a couple of times I believe and then there’s “Il mare eterno nella mia anima” which just craved itself right into my heart when it was used for Ceasar’s death.

        But there were tracks, where I said to myself “Wait, this was used in the TV show?!” and would try to remember where it was used in PART 2.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: