Sakura Wars OVA Soundtrack
I love Sakura Wars. I played the first game and every one after that. I've watched all the shows and listened to all the music. That is a lot of music to go through by the way; think fifty-odd music and drama albums.
One of my favourites is the Sakura Wars OVA soundtrack, which contains of the most wonderfully composed and orchestrated musical score. Listening to Kohei Tanaka's genius is like reliving a proud era, sending me to a time of patriotism and excitement. The fifty-two track CD appeals even more to fans of the game, featuring familiar tunes from the game in full orchestral glory.
Just as the show is set in Industrial Japan, the music is heavily layered with a Japanese flair. Tracks like "Cherry Blossoms" and "New Year's Theme" lets me soak in the tranquility of traditional Japanese culture. This is not to say the rest of the soundtrack is as quiet; in fact, most of the songs have strong Industrial power to capture anybody's attention. Sakura Wars' theme song "Go! Imperial Flower Attack Team" comes out with guns ablazing, showcasing trumpets that herald the introduction just before Yokoyama Chisa's voice cuts in. The tune is extremely catchy, and I found myself screaming along with the best that I could do.
"Sakura" is another vocal song, but this time, it is calm and flowing, whereas "Festival Dance" reminds me of a dance scene in a Samba club. My favourite vocal song is the final track, "My Blue Sky," which is a slow, lazy foxtrot of the early days. I can't help but smile everytime the tune hits the air. Perhaps the best aspect of the soundtrack is its faithfulness to the Sakura Wars in-game music. Like me, fans of the game will certainly find many wonderful tidbits littered throughout the tracklist.
Short pieces like the "Joy Theme" and "Evening Theme" are there just like in the game, just much more beautiful and touching to the ears. A fun tune for the fans would be "The Imperial Theatre's Busy Day," which features, subtly I might add, all of the theme songs of the female characters. Very cheeky and definitely nostalgic.
And what about the battle themes? I could go on and on about these fantastically arranged and orchestrated fighting themes. The best one, and I'm sure you'll agree with me too, is "Persevere, Go! Imperial Floral Assault Unit," a song arranged from a regular battle theme in the game. It starts off slow, with strong violin accompaniment before the brass comes punching in, signaling the beginning of this great piece. It continues layer by layer before reaching a superb climax at the end. I still get shivers every time that it plays. My only gripe with the soundtrack is its short tracks at times. Many of these songs do not reach two minutes, some even less than thirty seconds, which is a shame as these short pieces are also well-crafted. If only they were longer, they would have been much more enjoyable. This still remains one of my favourite soundtracks in my collection and I heartily recommend it.
Though fans would love this more, newcomers will no doubt soon start humming along as well.