One of the best H-strategy games of all time deserves a PK Rockin’ soundtrack.
|2. Sengoku Rance||Shade||2:51|
|3. Turn Top||Shade||0:40|
|4. Sengoku World||Shade||2:31|
|5. Burtal man’s daily life||Shade||2:00|
|6. In the piazza||Shade||2:50|
|7. Gyorui Banzai!!||Shade||2:26|
|9. My Glourious Days||Shade||2:41|
|10. My Glourious Days (v2)||Shade||1:44|
|11. Advance On||Shade||2:45|
|12. Drive back the enemy!||Shade||2:16|
|13. Slapping Fight||Shade||1:30|
|16. Delayed Silence||Shade||0:45|
|20. Soul Binder||Shade||0:57|
|21. Sensitive atmosphere||Shade||1:55|
|22. A calmly wind||Shade||2:46|
|25. Sengoku World (v2)||Shade||2:59|
|26. Advance on (v2)||Shade||2:40|
|28. Drivin’ to the dead||Shade||2:32|
|29. Rebirth the edge||Shade||2:40|
|30. The terribler||Shade||2:07|
|32. Theme of Sill -orgole-||Shade||1:18|
Title: Alicesoft Sound Album Vol. 10 – Sengoku Rance
Title of series (anime, video game, etc): Rance
Catalogue No.: ASS-015
Release Date: December 15, 2006
Most normal human beings have never heard of Rance so I’m going to write a bit about him for the sake of context.
There are two types of men: everyday men like you and me writing and reading blog posts, doing everyday stuff in our daily lives. And then, there are men whose sex anthem is based on East Germany’s national anthem.
Clearly, Rance is one of the best heroes of all time.
Sengoku Rance, the 7th game in the Rance canon verse and the tenth in release, is an Alicesoft eroge where you control Rance and his sex slave, Sill, in a land called JAPAN. Oda Nobunaga has fallen ill and gives Rance control of the Oda House. Your job is to defeat everybody, conquer JAPAN, and have sex with 300 women. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. Such people will be picky without a great soundtrack blasting the airwaves; that’s why this soundtrack is one of my favorite video game OSTs of all time.
Of course, I assume there will be people dismayed by my choice. Some will question the sanity of a music reviewer called “Trollkastel” and the fact he likes to read eroges; some may even find his blog title, “Going Commando on Anime”, slightly disturbing; to top it off, I also bet a lone wolf will daringly ask, “Who the hell reads music reviews in an aniblog?” To these Santorum supporters and ignorant people, please watch the opening animation to this eroge, “Sengoku Rance”:
Starting with low, soothing synths and gusts of wind, the song rises slowly and strikes the listener with guitars. Trumpets play as the opening credits roll through, showing the historical figures portrayed in the work. Because this is set in JAPAN (not Japan of the real world), oriental instruments like the distinctive Japanese flute play in the bridge to mark a period of rest. Yet, it comes back into the roaring of electric guitars to mark the inner conflicts found in the Sengoku period. Vibrato and bending on the guitar strings are apparent, a trademark seen in the whole of the album; they emphasize the valiant struggles of wars in the visual novel. But the song ends back with the gust of winds and low synths. It isn’t all war and games, the song seems to say. The eroge, while carefree from beginning to middle, has its dark turns and twists.
For those who have watched the opening, may I remind you this is an eroge? This work wants to combine the epic warfare found in the Sengoku period and sex. And the soundtrack shows in just that small clip.
“Burtal man’s daily life” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) is a carefree song used in most of the visual novel aspects of the work. The song, with its quirky twangs of guitars and bass, shows Rance’s attitude in life: make love and war. You could picture Rance skipping around the beat of the rhythmic drums. The blues guitar solo at the end shows his quirky take on life. This is a perfect theme song for Rance to use in his daily life.
Used for the more romantic scenes (yes, they exist), this song calms the listener down for its scenes. The string instrument introduces a calming, soothing melody that shows Rance’s other side: the “good guy” side. This song is also often used in Oda Kou’s scenes. Sometimes referred to as Kouhime, she is a twelve year old girl whose brother is the esteemed Oda Nobunaga. But as Nobunaga grows sick, she finds herself lonelier than ever. Yet, that seems to be cured at the end, which seems to say there is a bond between Rance and Kou in the making. This delicate theme fits well with their scenes together, making these two characters very likable.
“My Glourious Days” is a sentimental song in every regards possible. This is a recurring theme in the series and in fact, its origin lies not from the creative imagination of the Alicesoft staff but from East Germany’s anthem. Provoking romantic thoughts with sharp strums and picking of the electric guitar, organs accompany to tone down the risque content found in many sex scenes. It is a humble theme — in fact, I think it’s too humble of a theme. I am personally in love with this track. Such a visceral, passionate song can only be employed in the most romantic sex scenes and Sengoku Rance doesn’t fail in that regard. I am sobbing every time this is played.
As the main battle theme, “Advance On” is no “Reach Out to the Truth”. Yet, to compare these two songs is absurd; introducing itself with a guitar riff, Sengoku Rance‘s battle theme employs deep electronic drum beats to pump players up. Strings rise from the low pitch, working its way with the melody. Its chorus reminds me more of a dance-off between two superstars. I wouldn’t say this is the best battle theme I’ve ever heard, but “Advance On” is an enjoyable song to listen to.
Gotta love those electronic drum beats.
This is another battle theme played only when the enemy attacks you. Power chords are strummed alongside drums, an electric guitar, and the Japanese string instrument. It’s slower than “Advance On”, but the song gives a stronger vibe of horror. In a battle like this, I find myself getting excited defending territory. It’s a fitting song that I like to listen from time to time.
Not all of the songs fit easily in a genre like the previous songs. In a strange move by the composer, “Slapping Fight” sounds more techno than rock; it is the odd one out from the album. However, this doesn’t stop the song from rocking. Along with the fast-paced techno beats, a guitar solo plays. I think this is more like a dance-off theme than an actual battle theme, just like “Advance On”. I love how the techno beats accompanies with the guitar solo, making it ridiculously catchy.
Another odd song is “Dungeon” which fuses oriental and jazz elements. The song emphasizes the bass and I dig the bassline. However, as a song, it doesn’t feel nice to listen. There’s not much going on, despite the numerous instruments. It’s a stale song for a dungeon theme. Thank goodness you don’t really have to go to dungeons in this game. Thus, me no likey this song.
“Sensitive atmosphere” is a soothing acoustic song. It reminds me of the soothing Tamayura’s OST. Its acoustic pickings gives feelings of motherly love and caring. “A calmly wind” goes for a similar but sweet melancholic mood with its piano track. When the acoustic guitar plays, it makes you think of sympathy. A tender song like this is always likable in an album.
But as Sengoku Rance’s plot turns darker, the composer has to convey a serious mood in the soundtrack. What he gives us is “Lamentation”. It starts off with a piano track and builds itself up with guitar tracks and drum beats. A subtle heroic anthem, it gives an impression of a last stand against evil.
I love this song. And the female character it is often associated with: Uesugi Kenshin. She is JAPAN’s strongest swordsman and every time she appears, I drool over her beauty. Sometimes, my army gets obliterated by her. But that’s okay: she’s kawaiiiiiiiiiii~
As her unofficial theme for badassery, it surprisingly has acoustic guitars taking the lead. Electronic drum beats return for a badass rhythm, creating an image of a fantastic duel between two female warriors. When the bridge is played, violins are played to rise the tension and it leads to us to a wonderful chorus: a lovely duet of strings and acoustic guitars. Strangely enough, this song expresses feminist themes with its violins. I am always mesmerized by this song because it’s so likable.
This is one of my favorite battle themes of all time: there’s nothing more exciting than exploding bass drums, synths, and electric guitars. Used in important battles, it makes its mark in my memory with its rhythm which resembles the midst of a thrilling war. In the middle of the song, the guitar solo rallies the troops for a final push into enemy territory. It’s a great battle theme to take over the world.
This metal track, on the other hand, reminds me of my middle school Chinese teacher getting pissed that I forgot to do my homework. She gets in this angry, Super Saiyan mode, which I find pretty awesome. Like the reddening of her face, the intro immediately screams for attention with an outbreak of electric guitars tapping. This is a metal remake of an old song from Kichikou Rance, an older game from the series. Both are used in the same context: when the real villain of the work appears and attacks you with a ridiculously strong army. The guitars and organ strike panic and fear into the hearts of many. It’s a fantastic song to listen to if you’re a music reviewer by the name of Trollkastel and have to finish a Sengoku Rance OST review that’s long overdue before Justin unleashes his godly fury within him.
Final boss themes are always disappointing for some reason: they seem shallow and boring. I remembered fighting a Final Fantasy final boss and thought, “Wow, this is pretty lame.” However, “Rebirth the edge” steps on a pile of their dead bodies and proclaims it’s the greatest thing in the world.
And oh god, it definitely is~
As a rearranged version of ”Rough Edge” in Kichikou Rance, “Rebirth” is a crowd-pleaser with the guitarist’s masterful bending of strings. Pullups and hammer-ons are done with deliberation, creating a sensation of triumph over evil. This is what a final boss theme song should be: a mashup of the composer’s skills in making the most badass song possible.
To end a great H-strategy game, one must fuse the bittersweet sentimentalism and the masculinity of the protagonist. This song does it all: with a pleasing flute intro that depicts cherry blossoms blooming, it leads to a parade of electric guitars symbolizing the end of Rance’s adventures in JAPAN. I can see him marching into the sunset like a hero, leaving his companions behind to save a dear loved one.
The credits roll with this song and we are supposed to tear up, but instead memories are forged and we smile. Not at the fact we played an eroge, but as a life-changing experience. For me, Sengoku Rance is the VN that made me start exploring other eroges. I lost the elitist disgust and looking down on H-scenes and nukiges (eroges that incline to more sex than the story). If you follow my tweets, I often orgasm about every update on the translation of VNs. It’s all thanks to this work.
Rance is my hero~