Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince Original Soundtrack is Mecha Anime Music Done Right

Majestic Prince

Album Title: Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
Artist: Toshiyuki Watanabe, Chiaki Ishikawa, Noriyuki Kamikura,
Natsumi Kon
Catalog Number: THCA-60022
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: December 18, 2013
Purchase at: CDJapan


Tracklist

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Track Title Artist Time
01. Wulgaru Army Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:57
02. Initial Flight Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:49
03. AHSMB Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:32
04. Activation of Fate Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:26
05. Sortie Preparation Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:31
06. Wulgaru Army Invasion Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:54
07. Enemy Aircraft Approaching Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:25
08. A Lost Battle Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:30
09. GDF Headquarters Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:28
10. Daily Life Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:32
11. Consultation Toshiyuki Watanabe 2:12
12. Graduation Toshiyuki Watanabe 2:57
13. Council of War Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:21
14. Reconnaissance Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:46
15. Scramble Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:25
16. Do-or-Die Spirit Toshiyuki Watanabe 2:07
17. Damage Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:47
18. Reinforcements Toshiyuki Watanabe 0:59
19. Counterattack Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:47
20. Victory Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:36
21. Hope Toshiyuki Watanabe 3:26
22. Recollection Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:51
23. Gratitude Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:43
24. Vacation Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:15
25. Bewilderment Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:23
26. Anxiety Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:38
27. Relief Toshiyuki Watanabe 1:46
28. Heart Natsumi Kon 4:58
29. There Isn’t Just One Heart Natsumi Kon 4:22
30. Oppositely Chiaki Ishikawa 4:51
31. Respect Me Chiaki Ishikawa 5:02

Review: When Majestic Prince splashed down in the summer of 2013, barely a peep was heard from the broader anime fanbase. As a result, few people who weren’t already into mecha gave it a shot. Furthermore, Toshiyuki Watanabe, though notable for his work on Space Brothers, doesn’t galvanize an anime music fan to watch the anime in the same way someone with the pedigree of a Yoko Kanno, Toshihiko Sahashi, or an Akira Senju would. But to miss out entirely on Majestic Prince’s soundtrack would be a mistake; Watanabe solidifies his reputation, releasing a consistent, even exemplary score that succeeds in balancing the intensity of the action tracks typical of the mecha genre with the multitude of quieter fare suitable for the myriad of emotions the anime evokes.

On first glance, Majestic Prince sounds like yet another in-your-face action soundtrack. The first few pieces carry that heavy-handed approach, starting with “Wulgaru Army’s” moody introduction that leads a distraught chorus and accompaniment to weave a ponderous atmosphere evoking widespread death and destruction. With its harsh, dissonant accents, “Wulgaru Army” lacks nuance, and as a result, offers little wiggle room for interpretation as it firmly spells out the extent of the carnage. The music continues to intensify in “Initial Flight,” where the brass fanfare and strings move at such a hurried pace that it feels altogether too eager and excitable to be enjoyable. Although they may succeed at drawing listeners’ attention into the middle of the action, their execution borders on being exhausting, especially if their impetuous energy had turned out to be more ubiquitous.

Wulgaru Army

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Initial Flight

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Thankfully, that’s not the case. Further in, the helter-skelter nature of what’s come previously subsides, and more enjoyable fare like “AHSMB” materialize. In “AHSMB,” the tempo takes on a slower, more measured tack, carrying with it an aura of dignity that morphs into a lofty, hopeful air more pleasing to the ear. And when that performance is followed by “Activation of Fate,” you can hear the atmosphere slowly stirring and coming into its own, building its magnificence little by little. The theme it refines gets a short nudge, then becomes truly majestic in “Sortie Preparation” as the swelling strings radiate confidence, imbuing it all with a sense of purpose. The only other piece to top it in terms of gloriousness is “Reinforcements,” which unleashes a trumpet delivering a paean, celebrating heroism in a grand, no-holds barred bombastic manner.

Sortie Preparation

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Though these exultant tracks are highlights, Majestic Prince’s villainous themes and martial tones do enough to evoke a sense of danger competently without overstaying their welcome. In villainy, we have “Wulgaru Army Invasion,” which, though cliched with its ominous atmosphere sculpted by dramatic choruses, strings, and brass, is still bearable. In terms of martial tones, we have “GDF Headquarters” to amp the tension, followed by “Do-or-Die Spirit” which takes one of the recurring motifs and sets it to a grim, deliberate rhythm to evoke a sense of danger and hopelessness. But while these and other tracks like “Damage” carry the requisite energy, chaos, and urgency that one would expect out of an action track, they are, relatively speaking, some of the less interesting pieces that Watanabe serves up.

GDF Headquarters

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No, Watanabe’s strength, as it was in Space Brothers, lies in the soulful, heartwarming fare. Of those, “Consultation” is brilliant in its heartfelt transition from slight uncertainty to restrained starry-eyed optimism, fusing much warmth and love into the piece, then channeling them wonderfully. The mood stays its course in the next track, “Graduation” where the woodwinds propel the piece with a yearning, nostalgic tone that nevertheless packs a hopeful outlook. Not to be outdone, “Hope” echoes that optimism, conveying those feelings most passionately during the string swells which are so uplifting that the weight of any troubles or concerns simply evaporate, allowing that better future to take hold.

Consultation

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Hope

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As Majestic Prince closes out, it does so with pieces like “Gratitude” and “Anxiety” which quietly radiate their charm (the latter of which even carries a hint of Chihayafuru’s soundtrack through the woodwinds) while providing a definite sense of closure that feels most satisfying. For a soundtrack that doesn’t initially impress by being uncomfortably in-your-face in the opening tracks, I was pleased not only by the transition from the brash, intense tracks to the more nuanced pieces, but also by how seamless it all was. As little recognition as Majestic Prince may garner from the broader anime fanbase, the score is a treat, standing strongly on its own as its sheer consistency sets a very good baseline by which mecha anime scores are to be judged.

Gratitude

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Rating: Very Good

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.

6 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. random says:

    It was bothering me so I translated the tracklist.

    In the article:
    ウルガル軍: Wulgaru Army
    初期飛行: Initial Flight
    アッシュ: AHSMB
    運命の始動: Activation of Fate
    出撃準備: Sortie Preparation
    援軍: Reinforcements
    ウルガル軍襲来: Wulgaru Army Invasion
    GDF本部: GDF Headquarters
    決死: Do-or-Die Spirit
    ダメージ: Damage
    相談: Consultation
    卒業: Graduation
    希望: Hope
    感謝: Gratitude
    不安: Anxiety

    Full:
    01 Wulgaru Army 1:57
    02 Initial Flight 1:49
    03 AHSMB 1:32
    04 Activation of Fate 1:26
    05 Sortie Preparation 1:31
    06 Wulgaru Army Invasion 1:54
    07 Enemy Aircraft Approaching 1:25
    08 A Lost Battle 1:30
    09 GDF Headquarters 1:28
    10 Daily Life 1:32
    11 Consultation 2:12
    12 Graduation 2:57
    13 Council of War 1:21
    14 Reconnaissance 1:46
    15 Scramble 1:25
    16 Do-or-Die Spirit 2:07
    17 Damage 1:47
    18 Reinforcements 0:59
    19 Counterattack 1:47
    20 Victory 1:36
    21 Hope 3:26
    22 Recollection 1:51
    23 Gratitude 1:43
    24 Vacation 1:15
    25 Bewilderment 1:23
    26 Anxiety 1:38
    27 Relief 1:46
    28 Heart 4:58
    29 There Isn’t Just One Heart 4:22
    30 Oppositely 4:51
    31 Respect Me 5:02

  2. Arthur Marsh says:

    I pre-ordered the soundtrack to get hold of “Respect Me” by Chiaki Ishikawa, and enjoyed the whole soundtrack album. I’d also bought the CD singles of the first OP and ED of the Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince anime by Natsumi Kon and Chiaki Ishikawa.

    PS, my previous not-quite-soundtrack of anime purchase was “Another Sound of 009 Re:Cyborg” (tracks not used in the actual movie).

  3. Sentai-anon says:

    Do you intend on reviewing the Gundam Build Fighters OST by Yuki Hayashi?

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