Tokimeki Memorial is probably one of the most beloved of the dating sims today. With cute and loveable characters, and some fantastic gameplay elements, it pulls in all those in who dare to play it. As for the music, it’s nothing short of fantastic; the melodies are happy, bouncy, full of energy and excitement, and wonderfully composed. Konami’s Kukeiha Club reinvented themselves when they wrote the score to this game. Unlike the gothic Castlevania tunes, or hard rock of the Gradius scores, they gave us something fresh and invigorating with Tokimeki’s soundtrack. Not long after the game’s release, Konami took those compositions and created four arranged albums featuring the game’s best songs. The Tokimeki Memorial Sound Collections are some of the best arrangements of the music out there. With longer track times (between 4 and 5 minutes long), and much better instrumentation, we get a glimpse of what the original soundtrack could have sounded like.
Tokimeki Memorial Sound Collections 2 is my second favorite of the four albums. Unlike the poppy Sound Collections 1 (which remains one of my favorite Tokimeki albums ever), the samples are slightly better, and the musical style is a little more subdued. The selection of pieces presented here is of various BGM’s from within the game, and many of the arrangements were given a soft jazzy sound. Of note is Say I’m Cute!, the Fancy Shop theme. I thought I was listening to the “soft jazz” station on the radio with this piece. There are quite a few tracks that stand out from the rest. Waiting for You at the Intersection has a great beat and melody that’s fun to listen to. The tropical sounding Summer I Met a Mermaid is also really fun; you can’t mistake this for anything other than the Ocean/Beach theme. Probably the most interesting, and my favorite of the arrangements, is Koala Parade. I love how the arrangers used the old-western musical style to create a playful, cowgirl-ish version of the Zoo’s BGM.
As one of the few Tokimemo fans, I must say one thing; don’t pass up the music on this CD because of the type of game it’s from. Dating sim or not, Tokimeki Memorial has some of the most enjoyable and uplifting melodies around, and it won’t let you down if you give it a chance. To date, I’d count Sound Collections 2 as one of the better arranged Tokimeki albums out there. Unfortunately, this CD is out of print, but it periodically shows up on eBay and sells for between $20 and $25.