Ao no mamade...... / Tenku Danzai Skelter Heaven OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00050
Released On: November 17, 2004
Composed By: Kenji Kaneko
Arranged By: Kenji Kaneko
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Triumph Studio, Sound Inn, Memory Tech
Format: 1 CD
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Ao no mamade......
01 - Certainly, Someday...From a Distant Place (Game Version)
02 - Ao no mamade......~Stay Blue~
03 - Theme Of Natsuki
04 - Theme Of Maina
05 - Theme Of Chiharu
06 - Theme Of Kaya
07 - Theme Of Azusa
08 - Theme Of Yuzu
09 - Ordinary
10 - Silence
11 - The Closed Door
12 - God of Death ~Death Scythes~
13 - Memory of a Lie
14 - Causality
15 - The Infection's Source
16 - Deep Blue Forest's Cafe Part 1
17 - Deep Blue Forest's Cafe Part 2
18 - Certainly, Someday...From a Distant Place (Long Version)
19 - Certainly, Someday...From a Distant Place (Instrumental)
Tenku Danzai Skelter Heaven
21 - Theme Of "RIN"
22 - Theme Of "MISAKI"
23 - Theme Of "KONOMI"
24 - Theme Of "MIDORI"
25 - Theme Of "AYAKA"
26 - Theme Of "MAKOTO"
27 - Peaceful Heart
28 - Naked Eye
29 - Voice In The Sallow
30 - Shine On Full Moon
31 - Forever ~Echoes from various times~
32 - Never Give up the battle
33 - Emergency Level SH
34 - The Appearance Of ICA
35 - Dreamcather
36 - March or Tales
Total Time:

Two notes before beginning the review:

1) Ao no mamade roughly translates to "Stay Blue," which is shown in track 2 as an English subtitle. The "Tenku Danzai" section of Skelter Heaven can be translated roughly as "Sky Conviction," or perhaps, "Conviction of (regarding) the Sky."

2) Track 35, "Dreamcather" is a typo not on our part, but on the part of the publisher.

Alright, now to the review.

Idea Factory, a company known for their many strategy RPGs, took a quick dive into the world of graphic adventure dating sims. I!F's in-house composer, Kenji Kaneko, scored music to two such games: Ao no mamade and Tenku Danzai Skelter Heaven (the title that always makes me think of Helter Skelter). The two games each had small-scale soundtracks, such that the two of them could easily have their entire list of songs fit on one disc. Team Entertainment made this possibility a reality, and thus we have the album in question.

The two games have varying styles. Though both games have peppy female character themes opening the album, there is a sharp difference in the rest of the songs. Ao no mamade's music is distinctively orchestral in nature. Piano, flute, and other synthesized equivalents to traditional instruments help to paint the soundscape. It also has a vocal theme, one which I didn't find myself particularly enjoying. Skelter Heaven, on the other hand, has straight rock tracks dominating the second half of the album: in particular, tracks 31 and 32 are excellent, rivaling some of Falcom's better tracks. Both sides of the album are great, and it all clearly demonstrates Kaneko's ability to write different forms of music for this genre of gaming. Among Kaneko's various works, I might say that these are some of my favorite songs from him. This album is definitely a hidden treasure.

It's funny, though, because the album is still easily available for purchase. Though it may become hard to find those other Idea Factory albums (Generation of Chaos, Spectral Force, Spectral Souls), this one will probably be difficult for online stores to unload their stock, probably because of the obscurity to these adventure games from this unlikely source (Idea Factory). Seriously, it's a decent soundtrack for two obscure adventure titles. I'm glad I gave it a chance, and you might be glad if you were to do the same.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann