Anime OST/Soundtrack

…Saiunkoku Monogatari is/was scored by Ryou Kunihiko, not surprisingly the same composer for the Twelve Kingdoms.

Ryuuki and Shuurei

I didn’t think they’d be that cautious. Sure, Kunihiko knows his er hu from his pi pa, but I couldn’t help being a bit disappointed that they’d stuck to the winning formula…a new composer would have been interesting. Especially since I personally think Kunihiko did a better job with the Twelve Kingdoms OST; for that more serious anime, he scored a more serious and impressive soundtrack, more authentic, more ambient, more passionate and more soaring (check out the Full Version of the main theme Juuni Genmukyoku; or the sub-theme Junikokugenei). For Saiunkoku Monogatari OST, which you can get here by direct download, Kunihiko translated the shoujo and comedic aspect of the anime into his music – there is this tendency toward tender tinkles, sweet melodies, nostalgic and wistful piano themes, like Ryuuki, Nukumori (which actually is a really good piano theme, one of my favourites on the OST).

Less classical Chinese instrumentation, despite the anime revolving around the miko, or the er hu, quite a bit. Theme of Shuurei, Saiunkoku Monogatari main theme Full Version, and Ame no Kyuutei, Teien are about the only trad-Chinese tracks worth listening to. The piano themes work well though; I had Ryuuki, Nukumori and Oka no Ue, Ichirin no Yuri on repeat a while back. The latter is sweetfully wistful, the former is sadly wistful. Think Ryuuki staring out his study window into the snow-laden barren plum trees, and you get what I mean by ‘wistful’. Hmm…Actually, come to think of it, Ryuuki’s pretty face, the fact that I like Seki Tomokazu, and Kunihiko’s score were about the only things that kept me from condemning Ryuuki as just another spoilt rich kid stealing the limelight.

Saiunkoku Monogatari characters

Other tracks I liked were Gensou, for its wondering, questing mood, Kibou because it somehow reminded me of Yasunori Mitsuda (perhaps the Chrono Cross soundtrack) and Saiunkoku Monogatari Main Theme Piano Version, because uh, it was the main theme, and it was in piano, and it’s nice? Tsuchita Usuba Ashi Ethnic Version was the only version I really liked, mainly because of the transition to the rapid, violin-like, and something-European running notes at 1:40.

The OP theme, Hajimari no Kaze (A New Breeze) was a fantastic choice, though don’t thank Kunihiko, thank Hirahara Ayaka. It’s rare you get an opening theme that manages to be both a good pop tune, and a soaring, good introductory piece of music. I prefer the TV version over the actual, full version though. The TV version begins with sole, unaccompanied vocals, but the full version has some background instrumentals which I thought were, well, distracting. The TV version is what you’ll get on this soundtrack. I liked the anime’s ED theme, Sachi Tainaka’s Saikou no Kataomoi (The Greatest Unrequited Love), even better than Hajimari no Kaze, but unfortunately that’s not available on this OST. Instead, we get Hanasaki Kyouni, sung by Kuwashima Houko (Shuurei), a fairly pretty, if static, song.

So the conclusion: get Saiunkoku Monogatari OST 1 only if you liked Saiunkoku Monogatari the anime…I hear tell OST 2 is nicer, but I have to wait until my torrent list gets cleared, or until the OST does show up in a nearby store as they say they do. *rolls eyes*

Oh and while you’re on that OST list linked above, check out Yoko Kanno’s Wolf’s Rain and Cowboy Bebop OSTs.


…manga, anime, OSTs, dramas, doujinshi…sate all those desires!

Another quick linkdropper. This time for The Evil Empire, a primarily manga download site that hosts even the more obscure manga, along with other items of value: a good trove of ebooks, lots of anime and drama episodes, nice stash of OSTs and doujinshi and artbooks. Most are in great condition, i.e. good scans/subs quality, but a few of the download links may either not work, or be inconvenient (multipart files that need reassembling). The really fantastic thing is that if you’re looking for licensed or old lost things, you might well find them here.

Often there’ll be a little review or comments that allow you get a little knowledge about the download items, but on the whole, The Evil Empire works best for those who know what they want, and just go there to search the hallways of the Dark Castle, aka download section.

All you need to get unlimited downloads is to post in the forums 10 times, and that can be done within half an hour, less if you’re not really reading the posts and just adding thoughts :p though please do participate more actively. It’s always fun to debate whether Kikyo should die or not. *cackle*

I got my Saiunkoku Monogatari OST from there. Now I’m searching up other Sumomo Yumeka material, and getting their ebooks…George R. R. Martin’s books for one, because the library’s always out of his books. His books are just that good. Anyway, get going to the empire, and have fun! 🙂