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Toki to Towa ~Tokitowa~ OST
Catalog Number: SRIN-1112
Released On: May 24, 2013
Composed By: Yuzo Koshiro, Takeshi Yanagawa
Arranged By: Yuzo Koshiro, Takeshi Yanagawa
Published By: SuperSweep
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 2 CD
Buy this album from CDJapan
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Marriage
02 - Tea Party
03 - Wheel of Fortune
04 - Palais de kamza
05 - Juvenile
06 - Wind of Hope
07 - Canyon's Theme
08 - Cursed Forest's Theme
09 - Hanging Garden's Theme
10 - Sunlight Filtering Through the Trees
11 - Attack
12 - Attack Once More
13 - Persistently Attack
14 - Bout! -Theme of Toki
Total Time:
54'46"

Disc Two
01 - Bout! -Theme of Towa
02 - Threat
03 - Dragon of Ancient Times
04 - Memory Disorder
05 - Overcoming Fate
06 - Overcoming Fate (Bikodo ver)
07 - Precious Feelings
08 - A Heart That Can't Be Broken
09 - Unfolded Map
10 - There Is Such a Thing
11 - Determination
12 - If
13 - Remember
14 - Happy End
15 - Memories
Total Time:
31'45"

I have a semi-morbid fascination with bad gaming. If a game is deemed bad, I'm curious enough to want to try it for myself just to see how bad it really is. However, after the utter spanking Time and Eternity has garnered from people who've played it, I'm actually willing to let that sleeping dog lie. Yet here I am, semi-hypocritically, reviewing its soundtrack. Why? Because the music (save for a handful of tracks) is by beloved composer Yuzo Koshiro. "Moon Beach" from Streets of Rage is still one of my all-time favorite pieces of VGM so I figured, "even though Time and Eternity is a bad game, how bad can a Koshiro soundtrack be?" Well... the soundtrack itself isn't bad per se, but it definitely feels phoned-in.

The music presented here is paint-by-numbers orchestral JRPG music. Heroic themes sound appropriately heroic. Castle themes sound appropriately regal. Location themes seem to fit their locations. Even "Memory Disorder" on disk 2, with its choir vocals, sounds like a lazy imitation of the classic Final Fantasy VIII piece "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec." In short, there is little originality in this soundtrack. It was not even until I consciously looked at the data that I realized that Takeshi Yanagawa, a composer I've never heard of, composed a few of the tracks; namely location themes. Nothing of his stood out, so while the style throughout the OST is consistent, it's mostly consistently bland, and there's no sense of identity in Yanagawa's compositions.

I honestly can't remember anything about the first disk of music, despite having listened to it multiple times in various different ways. I listened to it intensely with headphones in a comfortable and quiet room. I listened to it in the car during my commute. I listened to the tracks in order and even listened to them in random order. All I really remember is that I remember nothing. Considering how memorable many of Koshiro's pieces are (e.g. the aforementioned "Moon Beach" from Streets of Rage), this disappointed me.

Then I heard the opening song of disk 2. "Bout! –Theme of Towa" is not only the best piece of music on the soundtrack, but it's one of the best pieces of video game music I've heard all year. I've listened to this song at least 10 times and have not tired of it. It reminds me of classic mecha anime, especially at the 1:03 mark. I was instantly transported back to my childhood watching Robotech (as the US dub of Macross was known back in ye olden days) on TV. This is the Koshiro I know, and I would gladly put this track on a "Best of Yuzo Koshiro" CD.

The only other piece in the entire soundtrack that stood out to me was "A Heart That Can't Be Broken," also on disk 2. This track made me laugh out loud because it was such a cheesy piece of "porno funk." For those who aren't great with inferences, "porno funk" is that smooth jazz/"slow jamz" type music that plays during the boudoir scenes in porno films. I can't quite decide whether I like or dislike the track, but it stood out for sure.

I cannot be alone in my disappointment regarding Time and Eternity's soundtrack. When I see the name Yuzo Koshiro, I have high expectations, and my expectations were not met. Sure there was one super awesome piece of music, but one stellar track does not save 28 also-rans. Then again, a game as reportedly slapdash as Tokitowa doesn't deserve much more than a token effort, even from a top-notch composer, but tracks like "Bout! –Theme of Towa" still appeal to that little sense of hope shining in all our JRPG hearts.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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