Fruits Basket: Four Seasons - (Mania.com)

By:Lauren Goodnight
Date: Friday, May 13, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2005



What They Say
The warmth and emotional angst of the popular anime series Fruits Basket will always hold a place in the hearts of anime fans, as will composer-lyricist-vocalist Ritsuko Okazaki, who headlines the image soundtrack, "Fruits Basket - Four Seasons" with her indelible, soft vocals on the full length versions of the opening song, "For Fruits Basket" and the ending theme, "A Small Prayer." This 11-track CD also features three new Fruits Basket image songs all written and performed by Ms. Okazaki (Stratos 4, Princess Tutu), as well as six tracks of sweet, dream-like symphonic melodies that soothes into the listener's heart and mind with an uplifting charm.

The Review!
Four Seasons is a disc compiled in memory of the singer Ritsuko Okazaki, who sang the OP and ED for the Fruits Basket as well as Princess Tutu. She was also a composer of the OPs and EDs for other TV shows such as Love Hina and Sister Princess: Re Pure. She died in early May of 2004 of septic shock and the anime world mourned. This tribute album is more like a retrospective and compilation. There are six instrumental tracks, all of which are easily recognizable if one has watched Furuba in its entirety (which, if you have not, I highly recommend it), and five vocal tracks, all composed and sung by Okazaki. This album is lovely and very relaxing, but it is very short, and if you already own Fruits Basket: Memory of You, owning this may seem redundant, but the orchestration on the instrumental tracks is impeccable and the vocal tracks all sound remastered to perfection. If you love Okazaki's soft, inherently Japanese voice, you will enjoy this mix of calm and more calm.

Where I took it: After getting home from Anime Boston, I needed some deflation time, and Four Seasons afforded it.
Where it took me: I went to a softer place, where everyone is polite and actually cares about you just because you exist in your own skin. This is like having a portable Tohru Honda on your side.
Standout track: Serenade - I don't remember this track in Furuba, but it could be one of the many drama CD tracks, or possibly on another Furuba CD than was released stateside. Still, whether I recognize it our not, the way it moves from simple piano and violin into trumpets while still keeping the purity of the vocals is genius. Sunlight Sifting Down Through the Trees is an amazing track also.
Skip-it track: Sky-blue - With so few tracks on this, it was hard to pick a track to skip, but the very subtle use of a drum machine rather than a real drum kit in this song gets under my skin, and I just can't listen to it for very long.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Features
Overture ,A Small Prayer ,It Makes Me Want to Cry without Reason (Orchestra Version) ,Serenade ,For Fruits Basket (Orchestra Version) ,Lovable Tomorrow (Fruits Basket Version) ,Sunlight Sifting Down Through the Trees (Interlude) ,Sky-blue ,A Small Prayer (Orchestra Version) ,For Fruits Basket ,Epilogue

Review Equipment
STAFF

Performed by: “Emai Music Orchestra” [M-1,3,5,7,9,11]

Recording Producer: Masaki Iwamoto [M-1,3,5,7,9,11] /

Tatsuya Murayama (mega stone) [M-2,4,6,8,10] /

Toshimichi Tai (mega stone) [M-2,4,6,8,10]

Recording Engineer: Gen-ichi Kitami [M-1,3,5,7,9,11] /

Ryoji Hachiya [M-4,8] / Richard Moakes [M-2,6,8,10]

Mastering Engineer: Seiji Kaneko (King Sekiguchidai Studio)

Illustration: Akemi Hayashi

Design: Takefumi Kitsuda (King Records)

Design Coordinate: Enji Nakamura (King Records)

Producer: Toshimichi Ootsuki (King Records)



US STAFF

Executive Producer

Henry Goto [GENEON ENTERTAINMENT (USA) INC.]

Producer

Nobu Yamamoto [GENEON ENTERTAINMENT (USA) INC.]

Associate Producer

Michiko Powers [GENEON ENTERTAINMENT (USA) INC.]

Mastering: mediaHYPERIUM studios

English Packaging: KGI • Koyo Graphic



Age Rating: All
Released By: Geneon Anime Music
MSRP: 14.98
Aspect Ratio: 5276-2
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fruits Basket