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Magic School Lunar! Magical Island Vol.2
Catalog Number: TYCY-5557, KACN-1057
Released On: September 26, 1997
Composed By: Noriyuki Iwadare
Arranged By: Noriyuki Iwadare, Mari Konishi
Published By: Toshiba-EMI
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Wonderful Fantasy (Original Theme Second Version)
02 - Chapter 4: "Struggling Freshmen!"
03 - Labyrinth
04 - Chapter 5: "Training is Really Hard"
05 - In Class
06 - Chapter 6: "The Magic of Make-up"
07 - Vane Town
08 - Wonderful Fantasy (Karaoke Version)
09 - Extra (A Talk with Anchi, Rick and Professor Emma. Moderated by Don McCow)
Total Time:
46'18"

The second (and last) volume of "Magic School Lunar! Magical Island" is also the last Lunar CD to be printed in Japan (at least, at the time of this review; hopefully there will be new Lunar games with new Lunar music in the years to come!). If you wish to know the history and relevant facts regarding this soundtrack, please read the review for Volume 1. Otherwise, I'm going to move straight into reviewing this collection of music and drama!

Starting with the drama tracks: they have a slightly more serious tone than the last three. Chapter 4 starts out with some moody music and two girls discussing something that brings a tone of surprise to both voices. At the end of chapter 4, there is some serious talk happening between Elly and Sorceress Balua (which has the battle music in the background). What exactly is going on? I have no idea! Chapters 5 and 6 feature a lot of voices that I have been unable to recognize, despite the character introduction pages in the booklet that comes along with this digipack case. To get a feel for these tracks, take a listen to the audio sample of track 4.

Now on to the important stuff: the music! On this volume, we are treated two *another* two versions of "Wonderful Fantasy." The "Second Version" is just a slightly altered version (different background music to some small extent) of the "First Version." The "Karaoke Version" is full length, and of course, features no lead vocals. After listening through the same song twice in Volume 1, I tend to be a little tired of these songs and I feel free to skip them.

"Labyrinth" is essentially a piano piece, though a bass and some woodwinds are added the second time through to build the song up properly. This is a beautiful and expressive piece; one listen to the sample track should give the reader an idea of what I'm trying to say. I like this song! It's my favorite track on this album, which means it's all downhill from here...

"In Class" is a bouncy piece with some honky-tonk piano and other ragtime-style early-20s-big-band crap thrown in. It's a good attempt at the style, but I've always hated this style. It showcases Iwadare's genius, but I'm still not a big fan of the song itself.

Unless I'm mistaken, "Vane Town" is a remake of the same song from Silver Star Story. However, this version adds some catchy auxiliary percussion and runs at a slightly faster tempo than the original. It makes for a great arranged piece, and is certainly enjoyable for any Lunar fan to have. This is typical Iwadare "town" music, which is to say that it's some of the happiest (but not cheesy!) music out there.

Of course, my same conclusion to Volume 1 goes with this second CD: if you can find this CD, it'll cost you $30...for about 12 minutes of music and then a bunch of drama tracks. These "half-drama" albums may work well in Japan, but for importers, they are certainly a waste of money (unless you're trying to learn conversational Japanese through children's-anime-style voice acting). I for one was glad to purchase this very obscure item, but I know most people wouldn't be. I'm glad you took the time to read this review though, so at the very least, you're slightly more knowledgeable about this obscure title in the Lunar series and the music that accompanies it.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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