That’s my new theme song for Kenji Kaneko, lead composer at Idea Factory. Some of his more recent works are the soundtracks to the two “Neptune” titles (and, I assume, he’ll be on for “Neptune V” as well). The second Neptune title got its soundtrack published with the LE box in both JP and NA regions. But the first game, it was a Japanese exclusive. Hence, it took me awhile to hunt down the soundtrack. But I finally have it, and now I can talk about it.
Basically, Kenji Kaneko is a “chameleon” because he’s able to mimic the styles of so many peer composers in the industry, it’s like he’s built for crossovers. And considering Neptune is this insane meta-crossover that turns whole game companies into cute anime girls, he’s even more suited for the role of chameleon in this game.
Who does Kaneko-san emulate? In my opinion, I can detect flavors of Tenpei Sato (NIS), Gust Sound Team, Yoshitaka Hirota (Shadow Hearts) — particularly for songs with heavy bass parts, and others. For a good example of a Sato-esque song, check out “Keeps Me Alive,” track 15.
But this isn’t to say Kaneko can’t just be his own man. One of the final tracks on the album, “Planeptune Rising” is very much its own song, putting a capstone on the game, making it feel like a complete adventure.
Though I think Neptune 2 has a stronger soundtrack, this one is also good. Good enough, in fact, that it really ought to have had a retail release. Maybe it’s time for Idea Factory and Compile Heart to start looking into selling digital soundtracks on iTunes!