I love Tokimeki Memorial! I’ve never played the game, nor seen the anime, yet I have this inexplicable love for the game. I think a lot of it is due to the wonderful music the series has produced. With over 100 game music and drama albums, you’d think I’d be sick of it by now, but it continues to enchant me. The Tokimeki Memorial Sound Collections are some of the best of these CD’s. With much better sound quality, longer pieces (the original tracks were rarely longer than a minute and a half each), and truly talented arrangers, in my opinion, they prove to be four of the best arranged albums period.
I must admit, Sound Collection 4 is my least favorite of the four albums. Most tracks aren’t as memorable or catchy as the others, and it feels like Konami just threw together a handful of pieces to finish the fourth CD in the set. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t good. After three albums of full-blown arrangements, it seems the arrangers became more accustomed to working with this style of music. The sound quality improves with each installment; in this case, real instruments were used more often on this disc than any of the others, and it really makes a difference. Combine that with the best synth of the bunch, and you’ve got quite an enjoyable little CD.
The more I listened to this CD the more it grew on me. There are some really good tracks here; not as many as the other collections, but enough to keep me happy. An Orange at the Kotatsu with its sweet and simple melody has always been one of my favorite Tokimeki themes. High Class Pedigree is a bombastic, royal-styled piece that actually sounds more like an RPG castle theme than a character’s theme, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. You Are Perfect is my favorite piece on the album. The guitar and sax performances are awesome, and it’s so upbeat and fun.
All in all, I still enjoyed this CD a lot. It may not have the best selection of pieces compared to the other Sound Collections, but the excellent sound quality makes up for it. If you’re not familiar with Tokimeki Memorial, I’d suggest starting off with the first three albums. If you enjoy them, then by all means pick this one up as well. Although it is out of print, if you keep your eyes open you might be able to find a copy on eBay. It normally sells for between $20 and $25.