Note: an "official" translation of the game (and soundtrack's) full title does not yet exist. If one were to try, the soundtrack title would come out something like this: "Tokyo Spirit Exorcist: The Crow's Sacred Forest High School Mystery - Musical Idea."
Here's a soundtrack that's both good at being consistent and consistent at being good. A double whammy of quality, if you will. Within specification and within control. I love it.
This is the two disc soundtrack for the latest entry in the "Tokyo Demon School" (Tokyo Majin Gakuen) series, which has been handled by a number of development studios and composers, though often published in Japan by Atlus (nothing in the series has come to America... yet).
This soundtrack is, in my mind, the best soundtrack to date in the long-running series. Though the Kowloon Treasure soundtracks (by Takashi Nitta) are quite memorable as well, I think Kenichi Tsuchiya (Persona 1 and 2 OSTs, other Atlus titles) out-classed his previous works here. Atsushi Kitajoh, the other composer, also has experience with Atlus (Growlanser VI, assistant composer on Persona 4). Anyone can, theoretically, merge musical genres by ethnicity or by modern style. But to do it well is another thing entirely. You want rock mixed with East Asian traditional music? You won't find it done much better than what you'll find here. It's like Chikayo Fukuda's work on .hack, but without the electronic influence that comes with a game set in an MMO.
I'm also pleased to report that the soundtrack is about as high a sound quality as you can expect from this generation. Sometimes, PSP titles will have audio compression that hurts the final track, or they'll write sequenced music because it runs smoother in the grand scheme. But here? It's perfect, crisp clear sound. Absolutely beautiful.
If the game itself is even close to matching the quality of the soundtrack, Atlus USA needs to bring this game to the US. It holds a great centralized theme in the form of East Asian ethnic music (shakuhachis and traditional percussion galore). It's real simple from there: if the audio samples tickle your fancy, know the whole two disc album will do the same. Good at consistency. Consistently good.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann