|Album Title:||Kantai Collection -KanColle- original soundtrack Kankyou|
|Anime Title:||Kantai Collection -KanColle-|
|Release Date:||March 25, 2015|
|01. Sea||Natsumi Kameoka||2:08|
|02. Dawn||Natsumi Kameoka||1:59|
|03. Morning Fleet||Natsumi Kameoka||2:07|
|04. Taking Up a New Post||Natsumi Kameoka||1:45|
|05. Afternoon Classroom||Natsumi Kameoka||2:06|
|06. Roommate||Natsumi Kameoka||1:50|
|07. Torpedo Soul||Natsumi Kameoka||1:50|
|08. Loving Night Battles?||Natsumi Kameoka||1:09|
|09. Fleet Center||Natsumi Kameoka||1:11|
|10. Precious Friends||Natsumi Kameoka||1:39|
|11. Senior||Natsumi Kameoka||1:56|
|12. Poi?||Natsumi Kameoka||1:30|
|13. Comrade||Natsumi Kameoka||1:37|
|14. Destroyer Girl||Natsumi Kameoka||1:30|
|15. Docking||Natsumi Kameoka||3:13|
|16. Café||Natsumi Kameoka||1:59|
|17. Training||Natsumi Kameoka||1:36|
|18. Consort Ship Assistance||Natsumi Kameoka||2:15|
|19. First Carrier Division||Natsumi Kameoka||1:39|
|20. Determination||Natsumi Kameoka||1:45|
|21. Combat||Natsumi Kameoka||1:54|
|22. Anxiety||Natsumi Kameoka||1:46|
|23. Enemy Fleet Movements||Natsumi Kameoka||1:31|
|24. Victory on the Dawn’s Horizon!||Natsumi Kameoka||1:31|
|25. Sortie Preparations||Natsumi Kameoka||1:19|
|26. Sortie||Natsumi Kameoka||1:36|
|01. Counterattack Started!||Natsumi Kameoka||2:10|
|02. Recon Operation||Natsumi Kameoka||1:36|
|03. Rushing||Natsumi Kameoka||1:52|
|04. Enemy Fleet Sighted||Natsumi Kameoka||2:09|
|05. Abyssals||Natsumi Kameoka||1:46|
|06. Attack Squad, Ready to Launch||Natsumi Kameoka||1:59|
|07. Attack Squad, Launch!||Natsumi Kameoka||2:33|
|08. Enemy Forces||Natsumi Kameoka||1:54|
|09. Bombardment||Natsumi Kameoka||1:59|
|10. Enemy Main Fleet||Natsumi Kameoka||1:50|
|11. Crumbling Battlefront||Natsumi Kameoka||3:02|
|12. Sea of Maneuvering||Natsumi Kameoka||1:45|
|13. Bottom of the Sea||Natsumi Kameoka||1:31|
|14. Sea of Sorrow||Natsumi Kameoka||2:08|
|15. Parting||Natsumi Kameoka||2:43|
|16. Loss||Natsumi Kameoka||2:52|
|17. Bonds||Natsumi Kameoka||1:52|
|18. Repose of the Soul||Natsumi Kameoka||1:57|
|19. Both Sides, Full Speed||Natsumi Kameoka||1:28|
|20. Combined Fleet Sortie||Natsumi Kameoka||1:42|
|21. Combined Fleet Glory||Natsumi Kameoka||1:35|
|22. Support Fleet Arrival||Natsumi Kameoka||2:03|
|23. With a Single Blow||Natsumi Kameoka||1:57|
|24. Success||Natsumi Kameoka||1:56|
|25. Naval Base||Natsumi Kameoka||2:05|
|26. Torpedo Squadron’s Radiance||Natsumi Kameoka||1:50|
Review: Coming into the Kantai Collection anime without having played the game brought me few preconceptions other than copious amounts of ship fanservice and in-jokes. However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear vibrant orchestral melodies painting the scenes accompanying the characters. While the direction and writing of the show leaves much to be desired, it’s Natsumi Kameoka’s superb work on the Kantai Collection soundtrack that brings this maritime fantasy to life. The radiant opening track, “Sea”, speaks for itself:
Kameoka’s involvement in anime has been relatively sparse; she’s more prolific in video games, with orchestrations and arrangements for many well-known titles including Chrono Trigger and Kingdom Hearts, and compositions for visual novels, such as Black Wolves Saga and Ken ga Kimi. With this extensive experience in tow, Kameoka deftly shapes the world of Kantai Collection with succinct yet vivid writing that is truly a treat to listen to.
What I love most about the songs in this soundtrack is how, even with relatively short pieces, Kameoka develops strong melodic lines with varying instrumentation which keeps each track interesting. Plus, as a violinist, much of the music sounds as fun to play as it is to listen to — something that can’t often be said about soundtrack or environmental music.
In looking at how the soundtrack is organized, the first disc of the soundtrack primarily contains pleasant pieces, establishing Kantai Collection‘s nautical setting, along with sparser character-centric themes to accompany the slice-of-life elements in the show. It’s in the second disc where you’ll find explosive battle music and dissonant atmospheric pieces used to depict the “unknown enemy.” Across these two discs, the soundtrack’s ability to tell the story stands as a great testament to Kameoka’s creativity (and perhaps the weakness in the lack of plot, but let’s focus on the music here).
So as we explore further into the first disc, “Morning Fleet” is a standout. The dotted rhythm of lower strings rock back and forth, evoking a seaside canvas upon which a soaring violin melody floats, later answered by similar woodwind passages. When paired with the opening tracks, “Sea” and “Dawn,” the listener is invited to explore this strange new world, starting with the naval district in which it takes place.
Of course, a show about re-imagined naval history wouldn’t be complete without militant marches, which Kameoka brings out in spades through “Torpedo Soul.” A bold clarinet’s call conjures a brass-bolstered reprise, before building up and combining with the irresistible energy of the entire orchestra. It’s also worth noting this theme is also used with a more leisurely pace in the track, “Taking Up a New Post.”
While Kantai Collection revolves around naval warfare, that doesn’t preclude the silly slice-of-life antics peppered throughout the series.
Poi! Here, Kameoka employs a lighter, dynamic composition to set the tone. We have a perky pizzicato and percussive backdrop, mimicked by a playful piano, before the rest of the ensemble begins to run amok. After the energy winds down, we are treated to the relaxing, reflective “Café.”
A traditional shakuhachi flute plays a short, but heartfelt melody atop the waves of the slow, sustained strings. My only qualm is that this calming moment doesn’t last longer, since I enjoy relaxing to mellower pieces such as this.
At the end of the first disc, we are shown the “Sortie” theme, reminding us that amidst the pleasantries, the vague Kantai Collection story actually includes battles.
Kameoka uses the swung rhythms of sea shanties to reinforce the setting, mixing heroic brass fanfare with sweeping strings in this dramatic call to arms. The piece briefly softens as if to give one last wistful look towards simpler times, but quickly surges forth back into action.
Beckoned by “Sortie,” the second disc of the soundtrack shifts gears to bring us into battle! In “Enemy Fleet Sighted,” creeping bass instruments accompany a relentless string cadence to kindle a sinister urgency, before the upper strings burst forth to construct the foundational motif that Kameoka uses in other battle pieces. As the strings take over the melody, the winds weave in to provide the rhythm and together, the ensemble pours in the tension. Let the battles begin!
Enemy Fleet Sighted
The intensity increases with “Crumbling Battlefront,” where a brisker tempo beckons forth a foreboding motif similar to that of “Enemy Fleet Sighted.” However, the action is more palpable in this piece, as delicious syncopation readily interrupts the steady pulse of the string ostinato and the driving snare drum rhythm.
Once the smoke clears, only sorrow remains in the battle’s wake, as war inevitably brings tragedy. Kameoka captures this contrast beautifully in the eulogistic piece, “Loss.” A somber horn song is mirrored by the string section, after which the winds follow to offer their parting salute. Despite the lighthearted angle that Kantai Collection maintains throughout, the heaviness evoked in “Loss” demands an air of gravitas. Furthermore, “Loss’s” melody materializes as a beautiful trumpet dirge in “Repose of the Soul.”
Finally, against the hardships of battle, one remains hopeful for the fruits of victory. Kameoka crafts these uplifting sentiments in the closing song of the soundtrack, “Torpedo Squadron’s Radiance.” The piece opens with a portly string cadence paving the way for a stately horn melody. This enthusiasm builds up as the two sections switch roles, with strings soaring above the orchestra, and even rock drums jumping into the celebration.
Torpedo Squadron’s Radiance
Throughout all this, Natsumi Kameoka’s masterful command of orchestral instrumentation yields a colorful, evocative soundtrack. Rarely am I able to listen through an anime soundtrack without growing tired of the music style or having to filter out a large part of the staler tracks. While I may not be an avid KanColle player, I may be swayed to start if the game’s music is comparable to the anime’s! Kameoka’s work in Kantai Collection left me clamoring for more, and I look forward to any series she’ll be involved with in the future.