KimiKiss Original Soundtracks
KimiKiss Original Soundtracks
Two Five Records
May 26, 2006
Buy Used Copy
KimiKiss is a male-targeted dating simulator developed by Enterbrain, the same people behind the True Love Story franchise. It has since become a franchise encompassing a manga, novel, and anime series, though the game remains a stand-alone creation. Once again, Noriyuki Iwadare returned to create the score, creating a range of sentimental ballads and upbeat jazz tunes to represent the characters, settings, and events of the game. The KimiKiss Original Soundtracks is a one disc release featuring all the background music from the game as well as the theme song “First Kiss”. Though a decent effort, there is relatively little that differentiates this one from average dating simulation soundtracks overall. Let’s find out why.
The “Opening” theme is pretty much the exact type of cheesy jazz tune one might expect from Iwadare’s love soundtracks. It definitely exposes the youthful spirit of the soundtrack and even includes a few intricate flute-led interludes. However, the majority of the piece features a poorly synthesized saxophone playing a very cheesy and somewhat sloppy melody. It’s fine in context, but not particularly enjoyable on its own. There are a lot of similarly styled tracks, such as “Summer Vacation” and “Happy & Lucky”, that are enjoyable at first but irritating with repeated listens. “School Life” is somehow instantly likeable with its retro pop vibes and mild flavour while “Game Center Music” is a fantastic tribute to old-school rockin’ game music. Iwadare also usually appeals when he creates jazz music in a laidback rather than hyperactive manner, for example “In My Room” and “A Pleasant Amusement Park”. These pieces just feel a lot more natural and don’t urge one to skip them.
Like Iwadare’s other dating simulation soundtracks, the character themes are presented in succession. The main character’s love interest, Yuumi Hoshino, is effectively portrayed with a dreamy and youthful theme for chimes and woodwinds. Though written in the style of a mild pop ballad, few sections are particularly memorable and the instrumentation sometimes lacks balance with its chime focus. Surprisingly, the better character themes tend to be those that feature Iwadare’s upbeat jazz style, such as for Narumi Satonaka, Mao Mizusawa, and Asuka Sakino; though arguably overkill in succession, the composer manages to bring a lot of personality to these pieces and gets to know the characters. Shijyo Mituki’s theme is charming albeit derivative since it is a chamber music piece written in the style of the Mozart; Iwadare’s classical training and elegant phrasing are sufficient here and the short piano arrangement is also well done. There are also a couple that employ electronic effects quite well such as for Eriko Futami and the Fuki Patrol.
Like Iwadare’s other love soundtracks, KimiKiss has its fair share of sentimental compositions. “Distant Memories” is a piano-based reflection embellished by harpsichord and soft strings; though the piano work is poignant, the overall timbre sounds far too artificial for it to be a satisfying composition overall. Fortunately, “A Wounded Heart” makes up for this with some soft wanderings on a more than tolerable electric piano, while “Reverie” inspires sad emotions with its flute and piano interplay. After so many depressing pieces, “Confession” and “Second Kiss” are certainly comforting with their little raises, although they still reflect the hesitation of the main character who has never had a girlfriend. There are also two vocal pieces. “Glorious Nichinan Marching Song” is a silly, arguably annoying, anthem featuring the vocals of an out-of-tune girl. However, the theme song “First Kiss” is a relatively accessible effort featuring upbeat female vocals from Ami Koshimizu. The melody and instrumentation are too unremarkable to separate the composition from generic pop songs, but it’s refreshing within the game and album at least.
Overall, the KimiKiss Original Soundtracks is an enjoyable stand-alone listen and presumably a fitting accompanimemt to the game. However, the compositions were all treated in a somewhat functional way and it seems that Iwadare didn’t take as much time as he could to relate with the game and refine his musical ideas. Furthermore, the synth for the soundtrack is quite primitive for a PlayStation 2 game and the cheap samples, particularly from the saxophone and percussion, add to the superficial feel. As a result, the KimiKiss soundtrack falls short of being in the same league as Iwadare’s best love soundtracks such as True Fortune and True Love Story Summer Days, and yet… Although I’d recommend many of Iwadare’s love soundtracks above this one, it’s still worth picking up if you like Iwadare’s upbeat and sentimental sounds and can’t get enough.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.