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True Love Story Vocal Collection Vol.1
Catalog Number: WDCD-28017
Released On: November 21, 1997
Composed By: Yuko Yamaguchi, Tsutomu Morishita, Masatoshi Sakashita
Arranged By: Nobuhito "UNA" Tanahashi, Hiroshi Uesugi
Published By: One-Der Entertainment
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Ayane Katsuragi Monologue 1
02 - Tomorrow, Show Courage
03 - Midori Amano Monologue 1
04 - Siblings? Close Friends? Lovers?
05 - Ayane Katsuragi Monologue 2
06 - A Spring Day
07 - Midori Amano Monologue 2
08 - Dash
09 - Ayane Katsuragi Monologue 3
10 - Red Umbrella
11 - Ayane Katsuragi & Midori Amano Monologue 1
12 - Somebody's in Love
13 - Midori Amano Monologue 3
14 - Coin's Wish
15 - Ayane Katsuragi Monologue 4
16 - Grand Blue
17 - Midori Amano Monologue 4
18 - Lu Lu Lun GIRL
19 - Ayane Katsuragi & Midori Amano Monologue 2
20 - Simulation of Love
Total Time:
54'31"

The first in a three-part series of vocal collections for True Love Story ~Remember My Heart~ (the first game in the prolific series) features the seiyuu for two key characters: Ayane Katsuragi and Midori Amano (played by Shiho Kikuchi and Haruna Ikezawa). There are ten vocal tracks on this album, each one separated by a quick spoken-word track from one or both of these two ladies.

The quality of the vocal tracks do not vary, but there's no question that I have my favorites, and that some of the tracks just don't seem worthwhile to me. For example, the vocal performance on track 12, "Somebody's In Love," is incredibly strong and emotional. At first, with just the instruments, you think you're in for a cheesy country song. But the Japanese vocalist turns the piece on its head during the chorus, and it's more like a power-ballad. A really, really good one.

Then there are a few tracks with great instrumental solos. Track 18, "Lu-Lu-Lun Girl," has a great acoustic guitar solo in it, and I love it (check out the audio sample).

Only one track stood out to me as offensive. And it wasn't offensive to the ears, no no no. Check out the title for track four. Looking at that track title, I cannot help but think "there are dating sims in Japan where all three of those relationships could exist between the same two people." I don't think True Love Story is one of them. But I cannot shake the feeling that the lyrics to this song are more disturbing than they are humorous.

After the final track, if you wait through the silence, there is a bonus track (still part of track 20) where the seiyuu talk to one another about making the album. It's rare for VGM to do bonus tracks in a "post-silence on the same track" fashion. Normally they tack on a separate track. But there you have it.

I really did enjoy these vocal tracks, but I'm also quite convinced that this doesn't represent the best of True Love Story vocals. If you're lucky enough to find this album in stores, and you're interested in the series, why not give it a shot? It's high-quality music, particularly for a vocal album.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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