By Timothy Georgi
When I got my hands on all the Real Bout items for this issue, I was being my typical impatient self. The second I got into my car as I was leaving Tokyopop's Los Angeles office, I popped the Real Bout soundtrack CD into the CD player. Now, when you think of a soundtrack to an anime series of this nature, you typically have a pre-conceived notion of what you'll hear on it. You expect fast-paced fighting music. Music to kick butt to...
And I was partially right. But after hearing the entire CD, I'd have to say that this has to be one of the most unique soundtracks for an anime series that I've ever heard. In addition to all the fight music, there's a vast variety of styles that help make Real Bout the anime the big pile of fun that it is.
The CD starts off with some typical video game style fighting music which transitions into the series' opening theme, "Aoi Shuumatsu" or Blue Weekend. The OP gets you into the happy, genki, pop-ish feeling that is so expertly portrayed in the anime opening title sequence.
Of course, there has to be the typical fighting music. Several tracks on the disc lend itself to the feeling of playing a round of Toshinden or Tekken. "Champ" is the big fighting action theme. It's very fast paced and keeps the action moving. "Do It Again" is what you'd typically hear in a video game. The track gives off a very computer generated, almost MIDI file-ish sound with the fast pace of the drums and guitars. Then you have "Be a Victor," which take you to the climax of the battles to their ultimate result!
But then, you get taken into all sorts of side trips with musical styles that you wouldn't expect to hear in an anime soundtrack.
The soft, soothing sounds of light techno with a hint of Legend of Zelda-ish ocarina can be found in the track appropriately titled "Atmosphere".
An air of mystery and eerie forboding overcome you with Track 5, "GAEA," complete with a marching band lurking in the background.
Pop rock is the name of the game with "Morning Light". 80s pop action with a good mix of guitars, drums, keyboards and an interesting use of some bells.
Looking for something with a little more spice to it? "La Fiesta" takes us south of the border to Mexico. Here we're treated with a subtile Latino track which morphs into a silly samba complete with a horns section and a set of steel drums.
Next it's off to another international destination. "Loch NESS" hits you with some Scottish flare. Bagpipes! This track features a Scottish march of bagpipes, flutes and drums. Remember, if it's not Scottish, it's crap! :)
Surf's up! It's a trip to the beach, 50s style with "Beach Paradise". You'll think you're watching Beach Blanket Bingo with this track. Saxophone, pop beat, light use of electric guitars, just what you need for hangin' ten or soakin' some rays.
"Sunny side up." No, it's not eggs. It's a trip to the country! Yeehaw! Banjos, clapping... it's a square dance in an anime? Yeah, scary. :) Watch out of the slide whistle.
And of course, no anime is complete without a really silly track. "Pui Pui Pui" is a potpourri of instruments, triangle, drums, silly whistles, and bizarre noises.
Whew! And that's just a few of the highlights. There's a lot more variety to discover, from backstreet hip-hop to the soft sounds of the love theme, there's something for everyone to smile at on this soundtrack. Even if you're not into the anime or the manga, the surprises and the various styles make Real Bout the CD a fun one.