Sakura Taisen 2 Kayou Zenshuu (Songs Collection) is the first vocal CD based on Sakura Taisen 2. Each of the eight heroines has her own vocal song, based off her character theme you’ve been hearing during the game. The game gave you a little taste of these songs in each girl’s ending, and here’s the CD you’ll need to buy if you want to hear more. If you can get over the somewhat commercial aspect, this CD is a must have for the Sakura Taisen fan. Note that the first (and apparently only) print of this CD is a digipack, only made in the manner of Japanese books (unlike other VGM digipacks), so it “reads” from right to left, with the cover being on a left-side page.
Starting off with the new revision of Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan, the ever-so popular opening theme, in a more dynamic version, the CD then goes on with the 8 character songs, the ending theme Yume no tsuzuki, and four more secondary characters songs, adding up to 62 minutes and 14 vocal songs.
A great achievement of this CD is to make new character songs different enough from the previous ones, yet somewhat in the same style. Maria’s song has very majestic style to it, suiting Urara Takano’s voice quite well, and her song isn’t as melancholic as the first one; Kanna’s song is mildly irritating but memorable, Iris’ song is touching and cute, and better than her first song; and what could suit better Sumire than this remarkable Tango?
The songs of the two new heroines introduced in ST2, Orihime and Leni, are particularly good. Orihime’s song, Maybe… is the one used in the Sakura Taisen 2 Segata Sanshirou TV commercial, if anyone has seen it; it’s a very classic song but very well performed by Maya Okamoto, showing she can sing very well (and thankfully, without that Italian accent).
One of the non-ending songs is supposedly the “opening song for Shounen Red”, sung by Kohran, a parody song in the pure style of the 60s anime songs. Kaede, another new character in ST2, also has her own vocal song, “Flowers of the capital (bloom in Eternity)”, with a very nice mix of Japanese and orchestral music.
Another notable piece of this CD is Kiseki no Kane (Miracle Bells), the song heard partly during the Christmas episode in the game. This is a beautiful choir-style song the fans will love. And finally, the ending theme, Yume no Tsuzuki (Continuation of the Dream), with each of the characters singing her part. A song with very strong “hope” feeling to it, that will bring back good memories to whoever’s played the game.
So is this CD worth buying? It certainly is. Admittedly one of the best Sakura Taisen CDs, it will please the fan of the series as well as the anime vocal song lover. It’s an improvement over the first vocal collection, although if you didn’t like the first one, you probably won’t like this one either.