Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Original Soundtrack

 

Review by · May 5, 2008

Instead or releasing an album on the “Rosenqueen” store, NIS America decided to go back to the tried and true “bonus soundtrack with order” policy. So, this one disc soundtrack went to everyone who bought the game through NIS America (heck, you didn’t even need to get the absurdly-large LE box to get this CD!). I’m generally not in favor of cutting a two disc OST int one disc. It’s not easy to pick which songs belong and which don’t.

But given the task, I think NISA did a pretty good job with track selection.

What did irk me about NIS America’s release, however, was the tracklist translation. Allow me to point out a few that are just plain wrong. Roxis’ theme song is worded on this list as “My Glasses are Addicted.” What, exactly, are the glasses (an inanimate object, mind you) addicted to? Granted it’s a difficult name to translate (we rendered it “Absorbed by the Glasses”), but this translation doesn’t suit. Even more insulting is the translation “Block Pulse of Love.” This is a theme for Muppy, and it uses FM-synths typical of the 8-bit (Nintendo) era. The technical term for these old synths are known to many MIDI and keyboard enthusiasts. The correct translation for this song is “Rectangular Wave of Love,” which is quite relevant, considering the synth used here is a RECTANGULAR WAVE.

My apologies for the tangential rant. Back on focus: this album has all five vocal tracks from the two disc OST represented. “Run for Your Life,” “Sirius,” “Hey,” “Stigmata,” and “Toggle” are all vocal tracks from Mana Khemia. These are great songs, and I was happy to see them make the cut. Most of the battle themes are also represented, which is a plus. Listening to them again, I have to ask myself, what happened to those awesome SSH arranged albums? We saw them for Atelier Iris 1 and 2, but they have since stopped. I sincerely hope SSH comes back to do some work with Mana Khemia.

I am pleased with this release, minus the tracklist errors (please note that my list of rebuke was not exhaustive). Again, if you want this CD, you’ll need to pick up the game itself, which I highly recommend.

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and cats.