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Attouteki Yuugi Mugen Souls Z Soundtrack
Catalog Number: KDSD-00629~31
Released On: May 01, 2013
Composed By: Tenpei Sato, Kenji Kaneko
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: TEAM Entertainment
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 3 CDs
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Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Infinite Field
02 - Spring Step
03 - Lost Violin
04 - Brown Leaf Garden
05 - Mugen Field Z
06 - Dark Legend
07 - Space Diving
08 - Happy Carnival
09 - Cold Age Blues
10 - Great Castle Z
11 - Popn' Clover
12 - Violence Emotion Z
13 - Mistic Chorus
14 - Extreme Moment
15 - A to Z
16 - Chase Game
17 - Screming Wave
18 - Black Attack
19 - A Kiss that Looks Like You
Total Time:
54'27"

Disc Two
01 - Mugen Souls Z
02 - Gray Seikai ~Aquarius~
03 - Broken Glass of Platinum ~Z~
04 - Ruins of Light ~A Angel's Stairway~
05 - Morning Tea Time
06 - Military of Intrigue
07 - Requiem From Hell
08 - Happy Sleepyhead
09 - Red Seikai ~Scorpio~
10 - Stand Up And Fight
11 - 80°C
12 - Blue Seikai ~Gemini~
13 - Silver Seikai ~Libra~
14 - Ultra Determination
15 - Vodka
16 - The Angel's Bell
17 - Memory of Despair
Total Time:
50'19"

Disc Three
01 - Party Night♪
02 - Purple Seikai ~Pisces~
03 - We Will Rise Again
04 - White Seikai ~Cancer~
05 - Warm Evening
06 - Troublesome Shop♥
07 - Reality Like A Nightmare
08 - Fluffy☆Dream
09 - Fake Battle
10 - Ruins of Darkness ~Under Dark Shadow~
11 - Tricky Priest
12 - The Cave Of Babylon
13 - Will to Succeed
14 - Light a Signal Fire
15 - Green Seikai ~Taurus~
16 - Dancing Castle
17 - Future☆Ambitious
18 - Mistake
Total Time:
53'06"

Mugen Souls Z is a game filled with contradictions. It's whimsical and deep, fun and complex, delightful and sadistic. These contradictions fall in line with various archetypes protagonist Syrma can morph into (e.g. ditzy, tsundere, hyper). Of course, dealing with a bundle of contradictions can be both fun at times and also an absolute chore. I felt this way about the game, and I feel the same about the soundtrack. The myriad contradictions of Mugen Souls Z are skillfully captured in the soundtrack, which is the game's strongest suit.

This is why reviewing this OST has been a herculean task. I listened to the soundtrack in its entirety at least five times over, both at home and in my car while driving. The music is quite good, and I did not object at all to listening to it so many times, but I simply couldn't find the right words to talk about or describe it. Then it hit me. This soundtrack is one of those soundtracks that is very context-dependent, meaning that it's more powerful when paired with the game's bright colors, exuberant artwork, and comedic voice acting.

All that being said, when held on its own merits, the music is often surprisingly complex with somewhat unconventional harmonies and melodies, so it is clear that a lot of effort was put into these compositions. The music presented is all quite good, but there were only a select few tracks that really stuck in my head.

The men behind the music are Kenji Kaneko and Tempe Sato. Kaneko wrote two thirds of the music, and Sato wrote the rest. Sato's compositions often employ his use of bold string instruments, both classical (e.g. cello) and modern (e.g. electric guitar). Stylistically, he shows his range with pieces that would not be out of place in more serious RPGs and others where he cuts loose and goes gleefully wacko, as well as those middle ground pieces that are majestic, but where that majesty is seen through the eyes of a heckler laughing at the king.

Kaneko's compositions offer lighter and airier textures than Sato's pieces, but are no less evocative or complex. Even the most whimsical compositions have a lot going on in them without becoming inaccessible to listeners. Several pieces even have interesting sound textures to them, like that characteristic shimmer I hear often in Kaneko's pieces. The game is far from subtle and nuanced, so the compositions need to reflect that without being ham-handed. Mugen Souls Z takes its wackiness seriously, and that sentiment is present in the music.

I always like when RPGs offer multiple battle themes, because players are constantly in battle and hear those pieces of music often. The battle themes presented throughout the game do what they're supposed to do, but there is one in particular that rose above the rest. "We Will Rise Again" (disk 3, track 3) was a standout piece of music both during my time playing the game and while listening to the soundtrack. I could listen to that track for hours. Another such track is the opening vocal theme "Infinite Field." It's an artfully composed piece that is melodic and catchy, yet still has a relatively complex arrangement that sidesteps the various J-Pop clichés I often hear in video game vocal themes. Unfortunately, the other vocal theme, "A Kiss that Looks Like You," is a paint-by-numbers vocal theme that sounds like something I've heard a thousand times before. It's a fine sounding piece, but not as creative as the other material on this soundtrack.

And that is the best way I can describe the Mugen Souls Z soundtrack: creative. A game that's as out there as Mugen Souls Z invites its composers to go nuts and get really creative. Tempe Sato and Kenji Kaneko certainly got creative here. The compositions and arrangements are surprisingly complex, meaning that genuine love and effort was put into the music. And when the songs go cuckoo, they really go cuckoo. It's easy to dismiss Mugen Souls Z as a stupid little game, but it's surprisingly deep, layered, complex, and good; and that's exactly what I would say about its soundtrack.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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