Sound Decision

by Jonathan Mays,
Hey, it's opening week in the National Football League. So let's talk a little hockey. We're a little less than a month away from the first regular season game, but I'm already bummed about something: Paul Kariya ditched his old team, and I don't know how I'll ever recover.

As a starry-eyed kid who worshipped the Mighty Ducks—though that was more because of the movies and their coach who I wanted to be when I grew up—the loss of the original Duck opens a gaping wound in my heart. The addition of Sergei Federov might retain some of those fair-weather Anaheim fans, but it does nothing to make up for the emptiness that accompanies scanning down the Ducks roster and finding no Number Nine. The Ducks just aren't the Ducks without Kariya. Even if they win the Stanley Cup this coming year, it won't be the same. Heck, it wouldn't even be the franchise's most memorable moment. Kariya claimed that for himself in game six of last year's Finals when he got up from what should've been a season-ending Scott Stevens hit to score the kind of slapshot goal that only happens in movies. (Kariya did appear in D3: The Mighty Ducks.)

I guess it'll be fun to see Kariya reunited with longtime linemate Teemu Selanne, and Colorado's a pretty cool place to see it happen. But it'll be a long time before I watch another Ducks game with the same excitement that filled me for as long as I can remember.

This week's a sparse one, but let's get it on:

Sakura Wars The Movie Music Collection —Pioneer

I'm seriously torn about this one. Part of the time, the Sakura Wars Music Collection floored me with its creativity and fortitude, and other times I was bored out of my mind. Pulling together his best performance yet, Kohei Tanaka's music is about as hardcore classical as you can get in anime. I wish other film composers had half the imagination Tanaka expresses in Sakura Wars. With a concert hall recording in front of a thousand people, Tanaka spared nothing to immerse us in the magic of live performance. But with background music on 28 of the 31 tracks, why anyone would want to listen start-to-finish is beyond me.

Sakura Wars, Star Wars—similar name, similar music. Both bring a grandiose, almost pompous tone by relying heavily a strings/trumpet mix, but they're sorely lacking outside of one or two catchy themes. If John Williams' movie music turns you on, then by all means, pick up this one immediately. For the fanboy who worships the video games and the live-action musicals and the image songs and the radio dramas and everything else Sakura Wars, this OST will not disappoint. The rest of us have better alternatives.

Best used as: sleeping pill.

Next week I'll make another journey into the deep, dark, dank archives of anime music soundtracks. Until then, see ya.

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