Far be it from the Japanese game developers of the world to discriminate. Stereotype, yes. Definitely. But not discriminate. That's why "girl" versions of popular dating sims exist. Most dating sims have a target market of males (either young males or creepy old males!). And the objections of affection will be female (unless it's a Yaoi title).
Tokimeki Memorial may have been one of the first truly popular console-based dating sim. But it took them a bit to hop on the "Girl's Side" movement. These games have girls as the target market, with young men being the objects of affection in-game. Of course, a guy could play it too. I have no interest in doing so, even if it were localized (and I think the chances of that are 1% of the chances of a regular Tokimeki coming to the US - In other words, about as close to zero as I know how to get).
But even if I'll never ever play Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side, I'm sure I can enjoy the music. It's Konami's sound team. They usually have good stuff, and the Tokimemo music is always cheerful and catchy. What do I have to lose?
Technically, about two hours. But I think it was time well spent.
Studying the tracklist, one might think "oh gosh, this is going to be awful." Variation on a theme for 75% of your album? It's the same basic melody applied to different tempos and musical genres. Much to my surprise, the character themes are radically changed from one track to the next. If they were not labeled as themes for the same character in different emotional states, I would have not recognized their cohesion through the music alone. At least, not always.
Generally, the "main" themes and the Love Confession BGM are where you'll find the most meat for these hunky guys' lietmotifs. The other versions are typically shorter (under a minute), though main character Kei Hazuki gets special treatment: all versions of his songs are well above the minute mark.
My inclination regarding this soundtrack is that it was all done on a pretty run-of-the-mill standard keyboard with MIDI output. The sound quality is nothing impressive, nothing near realistic. Some of the music feels like the "demo" or "sample" music you'd find on a full-sized keyboard. That's not to knock those lovely, license-free pieces of music one can find programmed into a keyboard at Wal-Mart. But I have come to expect more from Konami.
The few exceptions to the rule are found on disc 2. There are some vocal tracks (the "BGM" tracks35 through 39), and the Weekday tracks "with MIDI" sound even more high quality than the rest of this MIDI-based soundtrack.
Though it is probably the least inspirational of all the Tokimeki OSTs I've heard, it may appeal to two groups of people. First, gamers who have actually played this game and built connections with the male love interests may enjoy hearing their character themes again. Second, die-hard Konami (or Tokimeki) music fans may want the music as a sort of artifact. Me? I don't really want this album in my collection anymore. It has nothing to do with any kind of security (or insecurity) with my masculinity. Despite having decent composition, the anemic sound quality killed the experience for me.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann