Half-Minute Hero Original Soundtrack
Half-Minute Hero Original Soundtrack
July 22, 2009
Buy Used Copy
Developed by Marvelous Entertainment, the concept behind the PSP’s Yuusha 30 was a unique one. the gaming experience is based on 30 second intervals, although there are ways to extend this time. The project also required a unique musical collaboration of sorts. Combining relative unknowns with more high-profile composers, the Yuusha 30 Original Soundtrack features a variety of styles, but does it succeed in creating a good soundtrack?
The majority of the score is composed by Minako Adachi and Megumi Komagata. Minako Adachi has a very diverse palette in terms of styles and manages to create some beautiful melodies. Themes like “Ceremony of Peace, “The Hero’s Aspiration,” and “Torrent” display some of very nice orchestral work. Meanwhile others such as “Passion ~Scorching Wind,” and “Lost Forest” manage to show off the composer’s taste for ethnic flavors and some beautiful harmonies. Lastly, themes like “Slash! Spirit” and “Animal Trail” show off more energetic themes that fuse elements electronica and rock. For someone I have never heard of, I think they did a fantastic job. Megumi Komagata also follows in this style. “Melody of Happiness” is a beautiful theme with a clear Celtic vibe while “Scatter the Enemy” and “Fighter” are rock based themes with a pretty energetic atmosphere. Most of Komagata’s themes, however, are of the orchestral nature. “Believe in Victory,” “Peaceful World,” and “Progression to Glory” are some of the highlights.
The rest of the soundtrack, though, is composed by various guest contributors. Motoi Sakuraba, all of whose contributions to this soundtrack are orchestral in nature, opens up the soundtrack with “Will This War Ever End?,” an orchestral theme featuring choir and heroic brass. It sets a nice tone, but it doesn’t really impress. “Lady’s Last Road” is very much focused on choir. It’s probably my favorite of his contributions with its very ominous and epic sound and I love the string accompaniment. His final contribution, “The Last 300 Seconds,” probably serves as the final battle theme for the entire game and features a very chaotic sound, full of choir, ominous strings, and some piano accompaniment.
Toshihiko Takamizawa is another person I had never heard of before, but I’m glad I discovered him. His contributions are-rock based and quite awesome. “Yuusha 30 Main Theme” is easily one of my favorites on the soundtrack. It’s a fantastic rock theme with a strong melody and some beautiful piano accompaniment at times. “Last Battle” is hard rock focused with some cheesy, but hilariously pleasing, vocals. It’s got this whole 80’s vibes going on and, despite its brevity, manages to throw some awesome passages in. “The Demon Lord” is another fantastic addition. Heavy guitar riffs, some excellent electric guitar passages, and a great atmosphere make for an excellent mix. The appropriately titled “Grand Finale” mixes some militaristic percussion and some heroic rock for a great way to close the soundtrack.
Yuzo Koshiro contributes two themes to the soundtrack. “The Hero’s Departure” is a heroic and regal orchestral theme with a fantastic melody. Koshiro really has an ear for orchestral themes. His other contribution, “The Demon Lord’s March,” has a very sinister sound to it and again features some beautiful orchestral passages. It’s easily my favorite of his two. Speaking of more prominent composers, Norihiko Hibino also contributes two themes to the soundtrack. Both “I Won’t Give Up!” and “Have Faith in a Triumphant Return” have a very interesting style to it. In fact, it reminds me a bit of his Ninja Blade work. They both have a very smoky Asian vibe and the instrumentation is beautifully done.
A group called The Engines contributed two themes and one arrangement to the soundtrack. “To the High Heavens” is an epic orchestral theme with both action based passages and melancholy choral passages. It’s pretty good. The other theme is “Casablanca” and features a rock based theme with some awesome bass and acoustic guitar lines. The remix, “Casablanca (The ENGINES Mix),” is pretty similar to the original except with the addition of some unnecessary engine sound effects.
Two more composers I’m unfamiliar with are Toru Nakagawa and Hiromi Mizutani, who both contribute two themes to the soundtrack. “Optimistic Way,” by Nakagawa, is a pretty jazzy theme with some strong emphasis on brass and bass guitar. It’s pretty catchy and features some pretty sweet keyboard passages. Also by Nakagawa, “Returning Good for Evil” is an intense rock based theme with a great melody and some awesome choral and synth sections as well. I’m quite impressed! Hiromi Mizutani offers “A Brief Rest,” a crystalline synth piece that is very atmospheric and beautiful. It doesn’t offer much in terms of development, but it is soothing. “Departure,” on the other hand, seems to be an arrangement of Koshiro’s “A Hero’s Departure,” and retains the heroic atmosphere of the original.
Koji Hayama, the man who uses crazy vocals, contributes two themes as well. Can you guess the style? Of course! “ROAR!!” is an intense rock theme that features vocal yelling. It’s pretty interesting, but one of his weaker themes. “Run! Run!” is a rock based theme with some synth violin samples. Overall, it features an Asian vibe. It’s much stronger melodically than his other sample for sure. Yoshino Aoki, composer of Breath of Fire IV, also contributes a theme to the soundtrack. Her “Triumphant Return” is a beautiful celebratory orchestral theme. It’s quite moving, but way too short! Hiroyuki Iwatsuki, composer of Omega Five, also contributes a theme. “The Princess Running Through the Grasslands” is a beautiful theme and one of the strongest on the soundtrack. It’s got a lovely synth violin lead with a nice rock accompaniment and a clear electronica influence, even though it isn’t really present. Fantastic addition and I’m glad to see him getting more published work.
The rest of the soundtrack is composed by people I’m not familiar with either. Kenji Fujisawa contributes “Desperate Strike,” an engaging rock based battle theme. Vistlip contributes “Public GAME,” another rock based theme with some awesome guitar work. Sho Ishihama’s “Hero Great War” is a playful militaristic theme with a heavy focus on xylophone and brass. It’s not particularly impressive. The first of a quartet of SNK contributors, YAMAPY-1 contributes “SpheroSymphony,” which is an interesting electronica based theme that has a bit of sinisterness thrown into the mix. It’s almost tribal in a way. TATE_NORIO contributes “Passion – Ancient Heartbeat,” a beautiful Japanese inspired theme, with shakuhachi and shamisen galore. It’s got a fantastic ethnic vibe and is a great addition to the soundtrack. HIYA! contributes “Schlachtfeld,” a driving orchestral theme that features a great melody, but I found the instrumentation to be a bit on the weak side. Lastly, SHA-V contributes “Ein Soldat”. This theme features piano, choir, and violin that mesh well with a rock/electronica accompaniment. It’s another one of my favorites on the soundtrack.
The Yuusha 30 Original Soundtrack is quite a blend of styles. You’ll hear ethnic themes, rock themes, electronica themes, and orchestral themes from a variety of composers. Each artist offers something interesting to the table, but not always necessarily succeeding. Regardless the album is definitely worth looking at. Some of the themes are short, which is a detriment to their development, but all in all, it’s not a bad soundtrack.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.