Cho Aniki -The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy-

Cho Aniki -The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy- Album Title:
Cho Aniki -The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy-
Record Label:
Toshiba EMI
Catalog No.:
TYCY-5487
Release Date:
March 27, 1996
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

My discovery of Cho Aniki started when I viewed Koji Hayama’s English page created by CocoeBiz. A quick google search mostly brought up Ai Cho Aniki reviews, one of them featured music samples, which was happy but also sickeningly catchy music (which I later discovered to be by Taku Iwasaki). Later in January 2005, I received a video tape featuring a live concert of Koji Hayama. It contained some excellent rock pieces and some addictive electronic music too. This made me search for more of Koji Hayama, which eventually led me to eBay. There there was a small collection of Cho Aniki soundtracks, such as Aniki Bangaichi, Aniki no Subete, and Ai Cho Aniki. There was also another one on sight, but it was only described as the soundtrack for the Saturn / PlayStation game of the series. For so long, I had wondered what this would be… Eventually, I got the chance to listen to this mystery disc. I was surprised to find out about a collaboration of four composers. Koji Hayama was indeed present, but instead of creating the majority of the music, Hayama only had two tracks out of 17. The other 15 tracks were split evenly between the three other composers. The other composers were: Don McCow (later discovered to be an alias for Isao Mizoguchi), Taku Iwasaki, and Sanae Kasahara.

All four composers have some interesting backgrounds. Koji Hayama had of course started the famous series with some unique music featuring synthesized choirs and a bit of rock in between. Isao Mizoguchi was the sound director for Ai Cho Aniki, so Iwasaki composed under his guidance. Isao Mizoguchi also co-composed the second Langrisser soundtrack along with Noriyuki Iwadare, plus he was the sound director for Lunar. Taku Iwasaki is well-known in the anime music world for Witch Hunter Robin, Read or Die, and Ruroni Kenshin. Sanae Kasahara, on the other hand, collaborated on Resident Evil Code Veronica and produced sound effects for Lunar. Anyway, I don’t know how they all ended up composing for this crazy game, but I’m glad it turned out like this.

Body

Mizoguchi has the honor to start off the soundtrack with “The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy”. While the first 18 seconds are just airy ambience, the first part of Hayama’s “German Jammin'” from Aniki no Subete makes a surprise appearance, but instead of being done in a crazy fashion, it’s orchestrated, complete with strings, brass, and fine drumworks. Choirs join in by the end of the piece, and it gives the wrong impression with this soundtrack, as it is the only orchestrated track aside its reprise. Mizoguchi’s “Sea Man” is an interesting mix of bass, synth, and a hand-clap instrument. At a point he actually sings a bunch of random wordings which aren’t really intelligible, but gives the track a bit of charm. Another noteworthy track by Mizoguchi is “The God Wei-To and the Goddess Benten”, with starts off with drum & bass, while Mizoguchi mentions the “players” of the game “Idaten” and “Benten” once in a while. At a certain point, Mizoguchi adds a quick electric guitar solo, which is certainly welcome. The synth solo is also quite pleasing as it goes through a more mellow passage, which definitely gives this track variety.

Iwasaki has some interesting contributions as well. “Dancing Kannon” is fast-paced piece. A bass and Asian flute play above a series of continuous vocal samplings; later on, a female voice joins in shortly to accompany the bass and flute, which makes it stand out. “Asian Shuffle” contains tribal drums, some bass, and the Asian flute. The beats come in pretty fast, which would represent a jungle or maybe a temple of some sort, and, by the end of the piece, we hear a quick xylophone solo, which isn’t all that common in game music. Iwasaki had the opportunity to compose the theme for the final battle, and he delivers in style. “Last Battle (AHH!!)” starts off with some metallic clanking effects, then a distorted voice makes a quick appearance, only to be swallowed in one of the most addictive melodies ever. Drums, an electric guitar, the shamisen, and the funniest vocal samples get the piece going. It’s certainly an oddball, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Iwasaki even takes to time to display some quality guitar solos here and there during the piece. The man has class, no matter how you look at his musical style.

Kasahara did the most fun-packed tracks in the bunch, ranging from happy circus-like music to some catchy music peppered with the most hilarious vocal samples on the soundtrack. “Teacher and Pupil’s Triangular Form” is filled to the brim with happy pills, whistles, trumpets, synth, and some wacky vocal effects; it’s bound to make anyone smile. The funny part is one voice saying something while another responds which sounds like “Hhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiii”. “Gods of the Ancient Age” gives the impression of being a new-age piece with the slow movement and bells, but that impression doesn’t last; a voice cries out accompanied with a gong, steel drums, and bass. Synth makes the meat of the melody until we hear some really silly vocal samples, as if someone is forces himself and you hear the guy go “Uuurrghhhh!!!”. It’s another track that would make anyone smile. Kasahara certainly had a lot of freedom in his pieces as they portray the odd sense of humor the Cho Aniki series is known for the best way possible.

Koji Hayama’s two tracks are taken from his Kinzoku Bat album, which was an original album, so it’s not the usual type of VGM he creates. “Find the News” is a happy pop/rock song which has its share of guitar, synth, and of course his unique vocal samples. It tends to be a bit repetitive, but the samples make up for the repetitiveness in spades.

Summary

Since Cho Aniki isn’t actually in huge demand, getting this soundtrack may be a bit difficult since I’ve never seen it on Yahoo Japan Auctions and this copy which I’m reviewing right now is the only one that I’ve seen on eBay. Try these two sites and you may just bump into it. The disc is fairly varied, and has over 50 minutes of quality music. Just get over the false fact that Cho Aniki is simply “gay”, and you’ll be fine.

Cho Aniki -The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy- Luc Nadeau

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

4.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Luc Nadeau. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


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