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Tengai Makyou II Manjimaru OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SSCX-10109/10
Released On: October 22, 2003
Composed By: Joe Hisaishi, Hirohiko Fukuda
Arranged By: Shigeku Hayashi
Published By: DigiCube
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from Game Music Online
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Title
02 - Opening (Space)
03 - Manjimaru's Theme
04 - Taro's Theme
05 - Kabuki's Theme
06 - Kinu's Theme
07 - L Map (General)
08 - Walking Towards Ruin
09 - The Attack of the Root
10 - Steel Castle Theme
11 - Murderous Intention
12 - Boss Battle
13 - L Map (Those Who Possess the Saintly Sword)
14 - Machine Brute DEBEBE
15 - Demon Animal
16 - The Challenge Towards God
17 - Ending
Total Time:
29'15"

Disc Two
01 - A Peaceful Village
02 - Vigorous Castle Town
03 - Requiem to a Family Killed By Eden
04 - Tray's Theme and New Year's Day
05 - A Hermit's Theme
06 - Eden
07 - Intellectual Calm
08 - Miracle-working
09 - Sacred Space
10 - Fierce Battle
11 - Desperate Struggle
12 - There is no End to Battle
13 - Advance During the Calm
14 - Demon Lurking in the Darkness
15 - Wicked Heart Worship
16 - Into the Stomach of an Animal
17 - The Premonition of a Desperate Struggle
18 - Paradise of Evil
19 - Me, an Easy Going Missionary
20 - Gold, That's Life
21 - Narcissist's Theme
22 - Narcissist's Sword Dance
23 - Great Foolishness
24 - Highspeed Flight Vehicle
25 - Lightweight Ground Vehicle
26 - Midweight Ground Vehicle
27 - Heavyweight Ground Vehicle
28 - Submarine
29 - A Stupid Vehicle
30 - Saintly Sword is in My Hand
31 - Dark History
32 - Severe Women
33 - Shopping Center
34 - A Huge Ally Appears
35 - Exceed a Friends Death
36 - Separation With God
37 - Armaments
38 - Demon Lies Hidden in the Cave
39 - Kill the Nunchaku Rogue
40 - Manjimaru's Theme (Narration)
41 - EXTRA 1
42 - EXTRA 2
43 - Jingle Collection
Total Time:
57'46"

Released over a decade after its original counterpart, this two disc reprint of the old one-disc Manjimaru OST takes things a step further: well, at least half of it.

The first disc is the orchestrated section, and it is ported entirely from NEC Avenue's original release and stuck here. As you can see, the disc doesn't even break 30 minutes, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for tenfold in quality. Hisaishi's score is enchanting, which is something any anime fan should already know, considering his tireless efforts to produce fantastic scores for Hayao Miyazaki's classic films.

The real treat of this reprint was the second disc. The album was actually released because the game itself was remade and hence needed updated synth music. Shigeki Hayashi, who has also upgraded synth for the Riviera Full Arranged Album since this project, took on the task of taking very simple and even irritating sounds and making them much more appealing to the average listener.

The jump in quality is truly huge: much bigger than what we saw from Final Fantasy I and II to the PlayStation remake OST. A quick listen to any one of the tracks from disc two will make my point abundantly clear, and I believe the samples I have chosen will speak volumes more than any of my writing could. Start from the beginning with track 8, "Miracle-working," a soft and sensible piece. I promise, this song hardly even resembles its original counterpart at this point, and I also promise that this is a very good thing.

The real shame about this album was its being disregarded by the public. Published by DigiCube, who soon after went bankrupt, one would expect this album to become a quick rarity, as several other DigiCube albums have (especially those that aren't under Square Enix's domain). However, this album is still for sale at Gamemusic.com, almost four years after its release. This seems to say that the album didn't even make a splash among VGM collectors, and I have to say that this is the biggest tragedy of all.

I suspect the problem here is a lack of exposure; many RPG fans know little about the Tengai Makyou series, particularly because none of the games have come to America (yet). Even so, Red's other well-known series "Sakura Taisen" is a moderately popular import, particularly in comparison to the Tengai Makyou series. Whatever the case, all VGM fans are doing themselves a disservice if they have chosen to remain ignorant of the Tengai Makyou series, specifically its music, and more specifically the music from TM2: Manjimaru. This reprint presents an excellent opportunity for self-education, so get to it!

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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