The new Berserk TV series aired its first season last year to mixed reviews due to its use of a cell shaded 3D animation technique. In all of the reviews I came across, none had much to say about the music in the series. I have seen the original low budget Berserk anime TV series, the three Golden Age Arc films, played the Dreamcast game and read the manga up to volume 36. I am very familiar with the musical history of the series and actually passed on buying the scores to the trilogy of films by Shiro Sagisu.
However after watching Berserk last year, and listening to the music as it played in the series made this an album I could not pass up. Read on for my thoughts on the latest Berserk musical experience.
SERASYMPHONY who performed several live concerts of both the Japanese and North American Sailor Moon music released SERASYMPHONY II: HALF MOON on March 7, 2017. The 23 minute album features a symphony orchestra performing re-orchestrated music and songs from the DiC North American version of Sailor Moon. Featuring the Kacey Cardin and iconiQ The Soundtrack Orchestra.
The composers featured on the album include John Miyagi Author, Michael Benghiat, Bobbie Lee Crow III, Andy Heyward, Tetsuya Komoro, Monroe Michaels, Kanako Oda, Evan Roberts, and Bob Summers.
The Track List Includes:
1. In the Name of the Moon (includes “Moon Crystal Power” and “Moon Prism Power”)
2. Moonlight Legend
3. The Power of Love
4. Tuxedo Knight (includes “Silver Millennium” and “Tuxedo Mask Theme”)
6. Fight! Sailor Scouts (includes “Sailor Jupiter” and “Outer Scouts Theme”)
7. My Only Love
If you watched the Sailor Moon show in the 90’s this is an album for you. The album is available on Amazon Music, Google Play, and Spotify or can be purchased on iTunes for $6.99. You can find all of those links at SERASYMPHONY’s store.
Were you a fan of the music in the North American version of Sailor Moon?
Ulysses 31 was a cartoon before my time. It aired in 1981 and combined space adventure with Ancient Greek Myth in the 31st Century. Most importantly though, it had an incredible soundtrack composed by Haim Saban, Shuki Levy, Denny Crockett and Ike Egan. The latest edition of the soundtrack is an incredible accomplishment. The producers located all of the original recording masters and had them mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London. Even cooler is the album has it’s own trailer.
The series was a huge hit in France, and the album opens with the French theme song. However at 119 tracks spread across two CDs, all of the English songs have been included as well. If you’re a fan of 80’s cartoon music this is must own. You can read the full track details on the video game music database, or in French at the producer’s website.
You can order the album directly from Amazon France for 25 Euro plus shipping.
Were you a fan of Ulysses 31 when it aired in North America?
Following up the Splatoon soundtrack album from 2015 comes a new official collection of live performances from the in-game idol group, the Squid Sisters. The tracks come from two shows that the duo put on earlier this year in Japan which the majority of the world was only able to see over livestream archives.
Along with recordings from the Niconico Tokaigi and Choongakusai music festival venues, SPLATOON LIVE IN MAKUHARI will include in-game music not included on the original soundtrack as well as a demo version of “City of Color” and two bonus songs: “Tokimeki * Bomb Rush” from Callie and “Sumisoae no Yoru” from Marie.
Play-Asia has the CD up for pre-order now for $29.99 and it’s expected to ship on July 13th. If you can’t wait for more jammin’ Splatoon music you can always fall back on GameChops’ fan arrangement album, Splatunes, from last June.
OSV originally brought news of Wilbert Roget II’s kickstarter campaign to fund the mastering and release of his anime inspired Beyond Libra back in November of last year. The Kickstarter campaign was a success slightly doubling its modest goal of $1500. So what is Beyond Libra? Simply described by the composer Beyond Libra is a massive collaboration album inspired by Japanese anime composers such as Yoko Kanno and Joe Hisaishi. Pop, orchestral, and world influence. The album which was 8 years in the making featuring a stunning amount of talent and songs in over 5 different languages.
So come hear my thoughts on Beyond Libra in my full review of the physical album 13 track album which was released on March 4, 2016.
It’s been a banner month for soundtracks to games that never existed. First we had Saori Kobayashi’s original album, Terra Magica, that envisions a new Panzer Dragoon and just last weekend Mitch Murder brought us MECH HUNTER OST which he describes simply as “another fictional Sega game soundtrack.”
The Swedish composer, who provided the soundtrack for the deeply 80’s short film Kung Fury, has imagined us an anime inspired, cyberpunk Sega CD game that never happened. From the album art and track titles alone it’s easy to picture something similar to Snatcher or Bubblegum Crisis. Sexy ladies in cyber gear fighting blue-gray robot monsters and all that.
The 6-track album is painfully short, giving you just enough of an 80’s electro/Sega/funk hit to leave you wanting more. From “Fighters” that thumps along in the bassy range of the Genesis to “Runners” with its delightful 80’s synth melody and echoing electric bass refrain. Short as it may be we’re even treated to a plucky “Bonus Stage” tune and a soulful, minimal finale that surely accompanies a graphic of our battle-worn cybergirls standing haggard and triumphant over an evil computer.
~ Thanks for your playing
I’m surprised to find myself a little hurt over this mini album. It’s so perfectly evocative of the era and the games that I love, it feels like I suddenly discovered a game from my childhood that I can never play. Don’t let that surprise reaction put you off of MECH HUNTER OST, though, because it’s a great listen and it’s also free (or pay-what-you-want) over on Bandcamp.
It’s not often that soundtrack fans get something like the Sword Art Online Music Collection. The fact alone that it exists is something I am very thankful for. With the popularity of online streaming nowadays with sites like Crunchyroll and Netflix – we now have anime content available to us in record numbers. What I’m trying to say is that with this availability our need to purchase physical releases of the series themselves is decreasing.
However when it comes to getting our hands on the music for Sword Art Online in the past you had to buy it bundled with expensive import or domestic Blu-Ray sets. What you get in the Sword Art Online Music Collection is all of that exclusive musical content in one solid package. Read on to find out what I thought of this release, and my thoughts on the Blu-ray bonus disc included in the limited edition.
I was a huge anime fan in my teen years and very much still am. Some of my favorite gaming memories are having the opportunity to play video games related to an anime series.
In this edition of Game Soundtracks For Your Soul I am looking back at some of the Anime related video games that had memorable video game scores. The games I’m looking back at include a fighting game, and two action games where you could play as a tank, or transformable fighter jet. Come on in to hear some of the best music from some of my favorite anime related game titles I’ve enjoyed.
A new crowdfunding campaign has been debuted by the composer of of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Star Wars: The Old Republic and others. Wilbert Roget has taken to Kickstarter to help fund his original album, Beyond Libra, which is inspired by anime composers and features several cultural influences.
As a composer for games, I’ve always been influenced by classic Japanese anime and video game scores, with musicians like Yoko Kanno and Jo Hisaishi being some of my biggest inspirations. I’ve always wanted to write music for animation, and so 8 years ago, I embarked on an ambitious album project: I’d write an entire soundtrack for a show that existed only in my imagination, with commissioned artwork to accompany the music and an interplanetary adventure story to bind it all together.
Beyond Libra is a very diverse soundtrack, with songs ranging from j-pop to orchestral, dulcet small ensemble works, and uplifting afrobeat. There is no single “sound” for the album as a whole, but instead, a great variety of genres support the characters’ adventure across several planets and civilizations. – Wil Roget
The album will feature several additional musicians, including Jillian Aversa (Halo, Soul Calibur 5, VideoGamesLive), Offiong Bassey (featured on NPR Radio and The Boston Globe), Raj Ramayya (Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain) and others. It will also include the Yale Women’s Slavic Chorus and several other cultural ensembles. The current goal is $1,500 for the 45-minute album and some stretch goals to help improve mixing and increase tracks and more.
Beyond Libra – Kickstarter
If you’re a fan of Sword Art Online and have always wanted to own the soundtracks to the series on CD you’re in luck! Right now that only way to buy the soundtrack was in very expensive bundles of the North American or Japanese Blu-rays of the TV series. That will change on January 27, 2016.
I noticed that an album titled Sword Art Online Music Collection was just recently added to the Video Game Music Database. The collection is a 4 CD set containing all of the music from both of the Sword Art Online TV series.
The collection was announced on the Sword Art Online website on October 4 confirmed that the set will contain all of the previous music released in the bundled Blu-Ray sets, with an additional 15 tracks of music bringing the track list to a whopping 131 tracks. There will also be a Limited Edition release of the album which contains an extra Blu-ray disc of the concert held in February 2015 Sword Art Online: Sing All the Overtures performed by Yuki Kajiura, Fiction Junction, and other artists.
The regular edition is priced at 3800 yen, and the limited edition is priced at 4500yen. Both albums are available for pre-order from various Japanese retailers including CD Japan. I will getting my pre-order in soon, are you a fan of the music in Sword Art Online?
The two North American version anime series that generated interest in the genre for a lot of us were Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. One of the things that stood out about the series were their fantastic theme songs. Sailor Moon‘s theme was written by composer Bob Summers and wrote a series of memorable English lyrics for the Japanese theme song “Moonlight Densetsu”. For Dragon Ball Z, Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahehi (Haim Saban) delivered an entirely new theme song titled “Rock The Dragon” which in my opinion is the Dragon Ball Z theme to rule them all.
Often I search for covers of these great songs, and last week I stumbled onto two fantastic covers on the same album! The album is a stellar work by the hilariously named band Piss Lizard; Pizard? The album totals 11 tracks and is available as a Free Download on bandcamp.
What I love about their version of “Moonlight Densetsu” is that they use their passionate male vocals to give the theme an old timey sound in English, and Japanese .
As for the Dragon Ball Z cover “Pump Up The Draygen” the band has produced the best cover version to date adding their own matched sound effects of fighting from the original theme.
Check out the Free Album by the Piss Lizard; Pizard? on bandcamp for a good time. The rest of the album is just as good. Let me know what you think.
One of the panels I would have attended at Anime Expo 2015 this year was titled: The Music of Yoko Kanno Fan Panel.
Anime Expo July 2, 2015 – The Music of Yoko Kanno Fan Panel 1:00pm to 2:30pm.
Do you love the music of “Ghost in the Shell: SAC,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “Terror in Resonance,” and “Space Dandy?” Then you have heard the music of Yoko Kanno! Yoko Kanno is one of the most fascinating composers of anime music working today. From her orchestral works, to her jazz works, to theme songs and background music, her works are always riveting, moving, and invigorating. Join professors David F. Lopez, Elliott Jones, and John Marr as they explore her diverse, fascinating, yet always engaging music!
The great news is that YouTube user Brent Rolland recorded the panel and you can watch it for yourself! Let us know what you thought of the panel and anything you would have liked to have been discussed.