Game Music, Reviews

It Will Leave You Naked: Gachitora! Original Soundtrack (Review)

September 19, 2011 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook It Will Leave You Naked: Gachitora! Original Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

Yes, this is a strange one. I honestly had no idea what Gachitora! was until after listening to the soundtrack for this review. Beforehand, looking at the ‘hip’ main character on the cover and hearing the groovy electronic and rock tracks found on this CD, I was thinking something along the lines of No More Heroes. I guess this is a pretty valid comparison given just how strange the game is.

Apparently the main character, a teacher, can turn into a tiger and punch the clothes off his female students as he attempts to defeat their inner demons. Regardless of what the game is about, however, Yasushi Asada from noisycroak (who you may recall from his work on Castlevania Judgment) handles the score and dose a pretty good job of it.

Find out if it’s worth picking up in our review after the jump.

The album contains 44 tracks, so they tend to be on the rather short side, and are pretty eclectic in terms of the musical territory they cover. The album sports everything from a fantasy style march with the first track (“Teacher”) to electronic music to rock to jazz to even some emotional cues.

The game’s theme song, “Core,” which is featured at the end of the album, is probably the most noteworthy. It sports some grungy guitar work, jazzy elements, and powerful female rock vocals. This is a great theme that has been stuck in my head for days, making me wish it had been used elsewhere in the soundtrack.

Continuing with my No More Heroes comparison, there are a lot more rock and electronic hybrid tracks here. “Respite” features a heavy chugging electro-rock sound with a pop-oriented melody, while “Bloodthirstiness” gets grungier and approaches Dynasty Warriors in style. “Nudeness” is a tad on the dancey side, while “Fighting” is super-fast paced like something out of F-Zero. “Struggle” stands out for its industrial elements as well as its wailing guitar work.

But I did say the music selection was eclectic. “Shopping” is actually rather intense with its repetitive, hard-hitting synth bass paired up with a bass drum. It sounds like you’re shopping on a time limit, and the dreamy bells and pads are a bit of a trip. “Chivalry” could have come straight out of an old western film with its brass melody paired to elegant string stabs acting as a backing waltz. There’re even happy hardcore tracks here with the sticky-sweet “Attractiveness” and “Prize” as well as the poppy “Competition.” “Prize” actually sounds like it could be a stage theme from a Sonic game. Finally, “Crisis” visits heavy metal territory, “Unrest” gets creepy with its distant gurgling and sound effects, and “Affair” goes classy and R&B, and is one of my favorites.

There are a number of gentler, more emotional cues as well. “Everyday” introduces acoustic guitar and organ as a sort of jazzy pop interlude. It sounds as though it was made for vocals, but without them, is rather relaxing. This is proof that Asada could probably make a name for himself as a mainstream music producer if he really wanted to. Next, “Mildness” takes this even further, featuring gentle electric piano and a whimsical woodwind melody that sounds like a fantasy RPG town theme by the ocean. “Wailing” could also fit in an RPG with its heart-breaking melody and orchestral instrumentation.

The two final tracks are alternate versions of “Fighting” and “Bloodthirstiness,” neither of which sound anything like their original takes. The first sports a grungy rock sound while the second is distinctly Japanese in influence with shakahauchi and shamisen used to give it a sort of ninja vibe.

Overall, I wasn’t expecting much from this album not having known much about the game, but it turned out to be pretty enjoyable. The main theme is an instant classic, while several other tracks stand out in my mind. I just wish they were longer and more developed, as I feel like Asada was able to display some simple ideas but never really tied them together. Some familiar, overarching theme would have been great (similar to what was done with No More Heroes), but the individual tracks here are fine on their own.

The packaging is simple and straightforward, containing artwork of the game’s characters, credits for “Core,” and some brief commentary from Asada on each track. The album is available from Amazon in Japan from noisycroak Records (distributed by SuperSweep), and the asking price is 2,675 Yen. It’s not a must-have by any means, but again, the theme song rocks, and if anything I said earlier piques your interest, you may want to check it out.

What do you think of Asada’s work, and of Gachitora!’s battle system? Am I the only one who’s reminded of No More Heroes by this one?

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