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Hatsukoi Valentine

[back cover]
Catalog Number: PCCB-00266
Released On: June 18, 1997
Composed By: TOYO Kusanagi, Michiko Tomita, Kentaro Oishi
Arranged By: TOYO Kusanagi, Michiko Tomita
Published By: Pony Canyon
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Opening "Ringed Sake Cup"
02 - Kasumi's Theme
03 - Yukie's Theme
04 - CD Drama "Heroine - Meeting"
05 - Chiaki's Theme
06 - Haruna's Theme
07 - CD Drama "Heroine - Intense White"
08 - Aya's Theme
09 - Yoko's Theme
10 - CD Drama "Selfish Heroine"
11 - Sakura's Theme
12 - Reika's Theme
13 - CD Drama "Heroine's Counterattack"
14 - Asami's Theme
15 - Eri's Theme
16 - Ending "Projection"
Total Time:
69'36"

Graphic adventures, digital novels, dating sims from Japan, huzzah!

"Hatsukoi Valentine" jumped aboard just about the time that this genre, popularized by Tokimeki Memorial, really started to take off. Other games, like True Love Story and Sentimental Graffiti, were starting to pick up around this time as well. They had plenty of things in common: gameplay, art style, concept, and certainly, music.

This album is a half-music, half-drama album that provides listeners with each of the characters' main themes, as well as the opening and ending vocal tracks. Unless you know Japanese, the drama tracks are worth skipping. And if you do know Japanese, you're still in for a super-sugar-coated listening experience.

The opening vocal track sets the mood, but it is a little misleading. The vocalist puts on a super-cute front, but there is some maturity to the instrumental tracks, and the ending vocal theme is far less bouncy and juvenile than the opening. The music quality is great, and all of the character themes are memorable and catchy. I was really taken by surprise: a lot of this album's contemporaries don't live up to this high standard of music production.

I'm glad to have had some exposure to this CD. It always warms my heart when games I'd never really heard of before have decent music on them. There's plenty of junk out there, but this album is fairly enjoyable. It doesn't do anything big, or anything new, but for its time, it was a good album.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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