Jouki Chikuonkan (Steam Gramophone) is the second Sakura Taisen related CD ever released, and the soundtrack of the original Saturn game. For those not familiar with Sakura Taisen, it is a series set in a fictional neo-retro 1920s Japan, therefore the music offers pretty good examples of Tanaka’s traditional Japanese style music.
Overall, the tracks are varied, with the (numerous) catchy battle tunes, the peaceful theater themes and the poignant crisis themes. Although not all the tracks are actually orchestral, the sound quality isn’t lacking. One problem this CD has, though, is the poor organization of the tracks on the two CDs, making it somewhat repetitive and unbalanced. The short themes tend to be all stuck on the first CD, and the succession of similar sounding themes makes it a little boring.
The first CD is also a CD-ROM and some extra material and pictures can be accessed by putting in your computer – which also explains the shortness of CD 1. Note that the Taiwanese bootleg release of this CD doesn’t have these extras.
The main flaw of this CD is that, despite its rich content and good music, the fans will find it somewhat lacking. The opening and ending song are missing, and so are the character themes and other lesser-known tracks, which is what, I’m sure, many people were expecting to find on the soundtrack. While the full op & ed songs are available on the vocal CD, it would have been nice to have at least the short versions. And where are the character themes? A lack all the more hard to forgive since the soundtrack has been released after the vocal album.
With over 50 tracks of various styles, this soundtrack is a solid buy, despite the missing tracks and the poor organization of the tracks. Note that the music contained in this CD have been re-orchestrated for the Dreamcast re-release, although as of today there has not been any CD released for the new versions.