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Wind - Inuyasha Koukyourenga - Symphonic Theme Collection
by Patches
"Wind - Inuyasha Koukyourenga - Symphonic Theme Collection"
["Wind - Inuyasha Symphonic Poetry - Symphonic Theme Collection"]

Description of Item: A collection of orchestrated instrumental versions of the Inuyasha opening and ending themes, arranged by a variety of composers.

02. Every Heart
03. Owarinai Yume [Endless Dream]
04. Dearest
05. Fukai Mori [Deep Forest]
06. Shinjitsu no Uta [Song of Truth]
07. I am
08. Grip!
09. My Will
10. Inuyasha Gensou [Inuyasha Illusions]

For a normal soundtrack, I won't bother commenting on each track individually, given that they can run 25+ tracks and that would just be masochistic on my part. But, given this one's relative tameness at 10 tracks, I think I can put in my two cents about each of them.

Arranged by our resident Kaoru Wada, the composer for the series' background music, this one opens with a riff right from the movies. It continues into a fanfare of the chorus, then quiets down for the remainder of the verses. The overall style screames "Overture!", which is probably why this is the first track on the CD (or maybe because it's the first opening :P). The tempo is a tad slower than the actual song, but on the whole, I liked this arrangement.

"Every Heart"
For not being much of a fan of the original song, I certainly like this rendition of it. Props to Akira Senju, this track's arranger. He samples every section of the orchestra, giving them a rendition of the theme until it builds to the end, where everyone comes in for the finale. At the end, everyone falls out aside from the strings, as the song ends on the quiet note it began on. Awesome, awesome arrangement.

"Owarinai Yume"
Can somebody say "70's spy show"? Heh, this is certainly an... interesting arrangement of the third opening, courtesy of Toshihiko Sahashi. Not that I don't like it, it's just that a strumming base and constant backbeat were the last things I would associate with this song. But it manages to work rather well. I despised the original song, but this rendition is too fun to not like. Hooray for retro!

Being a wind player myself, it's in my nature to say "nyah" to the string section. Unfortunately, that's all Tomoyuki Asakawa gives us in this arrangement. And, of course, having the bias that I do, I proclaim that there's only so much you can do with strings only ("so much" being Samuel Barber, but let's not get into that). Whereas all the songs prior to this one passed emphasis around the orchestra, this one's violin, violin, violin, violin, occasional harp, violin, violin, violin... yeah. Not that it's a bad arrangement or anything, it's just that after five minutes of listening to it, I start wanting, I dunno, a flute or a trumpet, or, I dunno, SOMETHING else to change the flavor of the song a little. But it's constant all the way through. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to personal tastes.

"Fukai Mori"
Kazuki Kuriyama, our arranger for the track, has made me want to track down more stuff that he's done. I absolutely LOVE this arrangement, but maybe that's because I'm a stickler for accuracy. It sounds VERY similar, stylistically, to the original song. Being a fan of the original song, that makes me say "Yay!". He breaks into a trumpet fanfare each time the chorus repeats. He also adds an electric guitar to the instrumental interlude, which I actually like BETTER than the original. Then more fanfare, happy drumbeat, c'mon let's all bob our heads. My only gripe is the ending, where it just seems like he ran out of ideas and tacked an end on the song. But other than that... luuuuv.

"Shinjitsu no Uta"
Kaoru Wada's back with the orchestral arrangement of my personal favorite ending theme. Or, rather, the piano arrangement, mostly. It starts out with a VERY slow violin solo playing the first verse, building up to the chorus, where the melody suddenly switches to piano. The first time I listened to this song, I didn't even realize the piano had picked up the melody and was still listening to the violin, wondering what the heck it was playing ^_^*. It's definitely a very pretty piece, aside from the rather awkward instrumentation transition in the middle.

"I Am"
This sounds like... the opening to a Disney movie. But, no, it's "I Am", the second opening, arranged by Michiru Oshima. There's something just very... Broadway or cartoon overture about the style of this arrangement. Granted, it IS an opening, where the syle very well should be "Whee, let's go on an adventure!", but this style might be a tad over the top for that. ^_^*

Ooo-kay. This is "Grip!"? For a song title ending in an exclamation point, you'd think we'd get something more upbeat than this, but nope, Takayuki Hattori decided to go the slow route on this one. So slow that the melody is hardly recognizeable. The only part I can really catch is the chorus, while the rest of the song just sounds kinda like slow little "la la la"s. So... yeah. Kinda... weird, slow, and unrecognizeable. ^_^*

"My Will"
Hello again, Kaoru Wada. This arrangement takes almost a minute and a half to get to the actual melody of the song. But, once it gets there, all is good. This piece is sylisticly similar to his "Change the World" arrangement, minus the big fanfares. The builds into the chorus are very nice, though. Verses are generally quiet and add instruments up until the build to the chorus, where it doesn't really get any louder, but a running backbeat is added, provided by the low strings. The piece is mostly strings, but that itty bit of wind makes all the difference (::cough::bias::cough::).

"Inuyasha Gensou"
Considering this is actually an arrangement of the main "Inuyasha" BGM theme, the fact that it's done by Kaoru Wada is a given. So, how much do you like the Inuyasha theme? Enough to listen to about ten different renditions of it, played as a medley? Thankfully, since they're DIFFERENT renditions, the fact that it's the same theme over and over becomes much more bearable. The first couple sound Shichinintai-esque. After that, it runs into a couple of slower, quieter versions. Then it ends with the familiar version of the theme that we hear on every episode preview. I like the track, though, despite its repetativeness.

General Thoughts:
First off, curse you copy protection! Raaarrrggghhhh ::bites the CD::. Being at school, my computer is my main CD player. However, the protection on this disk forbids it from playing on a computer unless it's through a special player on the CD itself, which downsamples all the songs to 64Kbps MP3s. At that rate, the volume differences at fanfares is much less apparent, and the percussion sounds very muted. I ended up downloading someone else's rip of the CD so I could listen to it on my computer in its full glory (but at least I still have the original for the car. Plus the booklet's pretty :P).
Another small gripe is the playing time of the CD, which totals to about 49 minutes. I guess you could call it "compact goodness", but with a full orchestra, it seems like you could do more than 49 minutes worth of stuff. Granted, I'm used to classical CD's cramming as much as they can onto a disk, so I guess it's all relative. I mean, singles are even shorter than that, so maybe I shouldn't complain.
All in all "Wind" = LUV. But, I'm an instrumental music buff myself, and I absolutely ADORE the kind of "symphonic pop" style of music. Therefore, if you're a fan of the themes and want to listen to them without wondering what the lyrics are (since there are obviously none here), I'd suggest giving this CD a listen.