Cartagra OST Manie
Catalog Number: DLRD-1008
Released On: August 19, 2005
Composed By: Little Wing
Arranged By: Little Wing
Published By: Dandelion
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD

01 - "Love Prison"
02 - Cool Breeze
03 - Eccentric Girl
04 - White Darkness
05 - Snow Over Grass
06 - Glaze
07 - Permanence
08 - Pursuit
09 - Corrosion
10 - Profound
11 - Demise
12 - Tears of the Moon
13 - Lamentation
14 - Truth
15 - Sunny Spot
16 - Red Mist
17 - Warmth
18 - Blooming Out of Season
19 - Sasameki
20 - Snow White
21 - Senrikyou
22 - Rengoku ("Love Prison" Piano Arrange Version)
23 - Eternity...
24 - "Love Prison" Instrumental Version
25 - "Moon of Glass"
26 - "Moon of Glass" Instrumental Version
Total Time:

Cartagra was released in 2005 on PC and 2006 on PlayStation 2 in Japan. The latter version, as per console standards, removed the "fan-service" sexual scenes but maintained much of the violent content, as it was integral to the game's plot. The soundtrack, composed by the somewhat well-known pseudonymous entity "Little Wing," was published after the release of the PC version, but includes all the tunes used in the PS2 version as well.

The opening theme, "Love Prison," has quickly risen to the top of the ranks in the "opening vocal" category. I've fallen head over heels for this song, and I don't quite know why. The instruments and the vocals blend in a way that is strongly similar to Gust's Atelier series. The ending vocal, on the other hand, was a lot less glamorous, and the fourth/fifth harmonies on the vocals were a bit of an aural turn-off in this case.

The music itself is really well-written, with varying styles: from pop, jazz, and rock to ambient, trance, techno, and some minimalist songs as well (usually featuring marimba and xylophone). For a piece of musical work to truly be great, it ought to excel in a variety of criteria, and the Cartagra soundtrack just barely misses the bar by being a little too repetitive (lots of melodies are reused in different songs) and in failing to write any really "inspirational" or "epic" pieces. The music is great for relaxation, and even the faster songs are "cool" and fun; but really, by the time the album's over, it feels like your time has breezed by. You won't be "hooked," you'll have just simply enjoyed some decent music.

Japanese graphic adventures are a dime a dozen these days, so it's exciting when one comes along with outstanding characteristics. I can't speak for the rest of the game, but I do know that the soundtrack is quite a treat. It's a hard find, but it's more worthy than plenty of other "digital novel" soundtracks.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann