01 - Title
02 - Prologue
03 - School Life
04 - School Life ~The End of the Second Semester~
05 - Jun Hoshimiya (Man of Aspiration ~The Star~) Tune
06 - Yu Yaguchi (Underclassmen ~The Fool~) Tune
07 - Yousuke Himukai (Childhood Friend ~The Sun~) Tune
08 - Shinya Kisaragi (Badness ~The Moon~) Tune
09 - Taisei Kido (Student Council President ~The Emperor~) Tune
10 - Takuto Noma (Otaku ~The Hermit~) Tune
11 - True Man (Older Brother ~The World~) Tune
12 - Shoushi Komura (Committee Chairman ~Justice~) Tune
13 - Rie Shinokami (Rival ~Death~) Tune
14 - Mikaru Kamijo (Rascal ~The Devil~) Tune
15 - Tsuriki-Sensei (Chemistry Lesson ~The Hanged Man~) Tune
16 - Good Night
17 - Confession (Orgel Ver.)
01 - Fortune Telling Music
02 - Hoshimiya's Guitar
03 - Hoshimiya's Piano ~A Song My Father Sent to My Dead Mother~
04 - Nodoka Tune
05 - A Song Done Gracefully
06 - Sepia Memories
07 - Coffee Lounge
08 - Totally Enjoyable Tune
09 - Terrible Failure
10 - Bruised Heart
11 - Roaring and Rumbling Music
12 - Test Tune
13 - Coming Home from School Matching Conversation
14 - In My Room
15 - Confession
16 - Epilogue
17 - Truest Love
18 - Truest Love (Karaoke)
When fans think of Noriyuki Iwadare, the first games that come to mind are the Lunar and Grandia series. Some of my favorite battle themes come from these series, so I tend to associate Iwadare with killer battle themes. Imagine my surprise when I heard that he scored a series of love adventures such as True Fortune (the girl's-side gaiden to the "True Love Story" series), whose soundtrack I am reviewing. So the million dollar question is whether or not Iwadare's love adventure music is any good, or should listeners stick with listening to the Grandia II soundtrack again. Although the music in True Fortune is excellent for the love adventure genre, many fans used to his more majestic RPG compositions may gag on this.
Love adventures generally have saccharine music and there was plenty of that here. However, it didn't feel vapid like a lot of cotton candy music I've heard in other love adventures. Part of this is because the pieces generally had multiple layers of instrumentation and some complexity in the compositions, so they were not sonically one-dimensional and actually took a couple of listens to grow on me. In addition none of the compositions sounded repetitive and I liked that every track had a definitive ending rather than fading out. This is good since these compositions need to last through the loads of expository, text-heavy, and leisurely paced cutscenes inherent to the genre.
The first disc consists mostly of character themes where each character is associated with one of the major arcana of the tarot, such as Fool, Star, or Justice. The character themes here were generally bright and poppy. Upon first listen, I thought some of the pieces were too bouncy for their own good, but still fit the intended arcana and character. For example, The Fool piece sounded quite foolish. My personal favorite character themes included the ones based around the Star, Moon, and Justice characters.
Disc 2 contains the music reserved for important events in the game. I preferred the music here over the character themes in disc 1. There were some bright sounding pieces, but also great emotional pieces which used piano or acoustic guitar to great effect. my favorites were those more emotional pieces such as Hoshimiya's Guitar and Hoshimiya's Piano. The vocal song that capped off disc 2 was pretty cool. I liked how the instrumental started out sparse and became more forceful halfway through the song. Unlike many love adventure vocal songs, this one featured a male vocalist rather than a female one. I was not 100% sold on his voice, though. The karaoke version of the song was excellent, though.
This soundtrack was quite a departure from what I or any RPG fan would expect from Noriyuki Iwadare. This was an outstanding adventure soundtrack and a great taste of Iwadare's versatility as a composer. The soundtrack took a little time to grow on me, partially due to my initial reaction of it not being the Iwadare I was used to, but it did grow on me and I liked it.
Reviewed by: Neal Chandran