01 - Let's Play! Soccer
02 - Unmotivated Members
03 - Raimon High School
04 - Soccer Battle
05 - Evening Pylon
06 - Friends
07 - Theme of the Imperial Academy ~The Imperial Academy Has Arrived!~
08 - Formal Game
09 - Mystery
10 - Wind and Youth
11 - Inabikari Training Grounds
12 - Inabikari Fighter
13 - After-School Paradise
14 - Contest of Skill
15 - Soccer Empire
16 - Decisive Battleground
17 - Mortal Battle With the Imperial Academy
18 - Desperate Situation
19 - Activate! Burning Phase
20 - Black Shadow ~Kageyama's Theme~
21 - Sorrowful Past
22 - Zeus Stadium in Sight
23 - Holy Ground
24 - Gathering Circle
25 - Crusade of the Gods
26 - The Legendary Inazuma Eleven
01 - Riyo ~The Youthful Inazuma Eleven~
02 - Pure Love of Youth
03 - Begin
04 - VS
05 - Brave Warriors (Unreleased Track)
06 - Our Victory
07 - Our Defeat
08 - Gooooal!
09 - See You Tomorrow
10 - Topic
11 - Soccer Battle Victory
12 - Soccer Battle Defeat
13 - Match Result
14 - Come! Raimon High Soccer Club
15 - Item Get!
16 - Lock Released
17 - Let's Go!
Bonus Track (Game Unused Tracks And MIDI Sound Source)
18 - Burning Phase Special (Level5 Vision 2007 Version)
19 - Raimon High School (Extra Version)
20 - Mortal Battle With the Imperial Academy (Extra Version)
21 - Activate! Burning Phase (Extra Version)
22 - Wind and Youth (Extra Version)
Mitsuda's musical career has been up and down for the last five years (though most people would say far more "down" than "up"). A recent achievement of his was the Soma Bringer OST, three discs of classic-style Mitsuda for the Nintendo DS RPG. Now, Mitsuda is at it again on the DS, this time it's for a unique experiment: Level 5's "Soccer RPG" Inazuma Eleven.
If you've heard Mitsuda's "Hako no Niwa" (the soundtrack for Rakugaki Oukoku 2), you will already have a good sense of what this soundtrack sounds like. No, it's not a bunch of recordings of wacky children's instruments (it's all synth, of course). But the instrumental selections made by Mitsuda for this fun, wacky RPG have some similarities to Hako no Niwa. For example, there are a lot of glockenspiels, marimbas, xylophones, and other "pitched percussion" instruments. Being a Soccer RPG, whistles are used as musical instruments as well. There are some tracks on this album that might be well-suited to the Mario Kart series, in fact, for using whistles, horns, and claps (emulated to be "pitched" on a keyboard) in the most unexpected places.
Mitsuda's areas of expertise on the Inazuma Eleven OST are the following: 1) incredible rhythm and percussion (some of the hand drum parts are the best Mitsuda's done since his arrangement on Dark Chronicle); 2) interesting battle themes that are reminiscent of the SNES era (i.e. Chrono Trigger) in synth selection and style. Listen to "Soccer Battle," one of the first tracks on disc one. If that doesn't, in any way, remind you of the glory days of Chrono Trigger, I dare say you haven't been paying attention.
There are a few "filler" tracks on the first disc, unfortunately. Not every song is a winner, but even the ones worth skipping aren't bad...just bland. Another problem I had with the album is that it is deceptively short. You buy the album thinking "oh boy, two discs! Should be plenty of content!" Not really. Just pull one single track from the set, and the album would've fit on one disc, as the total time for both discs is 81 minutes. Your OST proper is found on disc one. Disc two has the game's two vocal themes, a whole array of jingles, and some bonus arranged tracks (which, sadly, didn't stand out as very impressive over the originals).
To date, we still haven't seen that "epic" album from Mitsuda that would follow up to the glory days of Xenogears/saga and Chrono Trigger/Cross. Some have declared Soma Bringer to be the masterpiece we've been waiting for, but I'm not convinced. One thing's for sure, though, regarding Inazuma Eleven: this ain't it either. But I don't think anyone expected it to be. And frankly, I'm tired of trying to hold Mitsuda to the impossible standard of recreating his first big work (this is a problem that haunts thousands of contemporary artists, film makers, and musicians). I would recommend enjoying the album for what it is, and I would also recommend anyone who enjoys the audio samples to consider purchasing the soundtrack.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann