R.O.D. Original Soundtrack - Mania.com

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  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Geneon Anime Music
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Aspect Ratio: 52132
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Read Or Die / R.O.D.

R.O.D. Original Soundtrack

By Lauren Goodnight     July 24, 2004
Release Date: July 06, 2004

R.O.D. Original Soundtrack
© Geneon Anime Music

What They Say
It's do or die time in R.O.D. (Read or Die), an explosive, superpowered spy-tech action adventure and composer Taku Iwasaki (Witch Hunter Robin, Rurouni Kenshin) carries out his mission of delivering a tailor-made soundtrack perfectly suited to this lights-out anime spy thriller. Included on the 14-track 'R.O.D Original Soundtrack' are definitive nods to the era of spy movies with the opening and long versions of the 'Theme of R.O.D.' along with an outstanding selection of instrumentals, ranging from light tones todramatic intensity, with subterfuge-inducing ambiance snuck in for good measure.

The Review!
Content: B
Audio: A
Packaging: B
Extras: n/a

The packaging for this release is pretty standard, but the colors and layout are attractive enough to merit a very high score. The front of the booklet cover is a picture of all of the main cast members, shaded various colors, and Yomiko Readman, the main character, illuminated by a strip of red, as well as the ROD logo. The back of the case is a very busy affair, with several screenshots in red/black/white as well as the letters "ROD" in transparent white over the screenshots. A tracklisting is also included there.

Inside the booklet, there are a few screenshots, also dichromatically printed with reds, as well as lots of white and red text on the black and gray backgrounds of each page. There is a small blurb about Taku Iwasaki's education and career, as well as his production notes on each track. A listing of soundtrack staff and animation staff in Japan and production staff in the US is provided, printed in white over a red silhouette of Miss Deep, the show's other main character. There is an attractive red and black picture of Yomiko on the inside over of the booklet, and on the facing page, the tracklisting is featured over a red silhouette of Yomiko. The back of the booklet is a red and black casting on the cover image.

Music Review:

Taku Iwasaki is an up-and-coming name in anime music composition. He has some heavyweight titles to his name, such as Ruroni Kenshin and Now and Then, Here and There, as well as a small involvement in the smash hit Witch Hunter Robin. I went into this disc ready to love it, just from my experience with the WHR soundtrack. Strangely, I did not love this disc, but I did like it a whole lot.

Iwasaki himself performs on the disc, providing all of the piano synth a music lover could ever want.

The Best!

1.Theme of R.O.D. ~ opening version ~
This might be the cutest spy-music track ever. The Jun Takeuchi Group's strings work their magic in this VERY fun and bubbly opening theme. The thing that caught me is that, among all of the derivative action film music out there, this manages to be as unique as the ubiquitous James Bond theme, which I'd suspect it was modeled after. One listen and you know what you're getting into.

4. At a bookstore - run silent, run deep
Edging on both "lounge" and "chill" genres, this wee track is tasty enough to stand out. It opens modestly and then hangs in the air until it winds down. The fade on this song is very like the way a record sounds when someone pulls the plug on the player as it plays. Its a gradual drag that compliments the song nicely.

12. Bring all the wisdom to Great Britain!
A feeling of triumph bursts forth from the outset here. Being one of the longer tracks on the disc, 'Bring all wisdom to Great Britain' is essentially Read or Die's ending theme. While it is repetitive, it builds on itself and remains interesting as layer upon layer of string and drum and trumpet fall together to produce a joyful track. Not quite the end of the disc, but a lovely way to begin the end.

The Rest

7. Theme of Stardust hidden in the interval of time R
This is glorified elevator music. I find myself tapping my foot not in time with the music, but with impatience. When you don't want to talk with your significant other, put him or her on hold with this track.

9. Unequaled boisterous dance, the sky is too small
This is the amalgamation of several of this work's themes. The reason it makes "The Rest" list is that by now, the listener has heard these themes over and over again, making this track feel stale. It offers nothing new to the listener, which is a shame. A soundtrack this short can be diverse, and this track is a prime example of where the disc fails.

13. Theme of R.O.D. ~ long version ~
Too much of a good thing CAN happen and does in 'Theme of R.O.D. ~ long version ~". While this song packs a punch in its bite-size form, the long version drags on and on, with very few saving graces. Hitoshi Hamada's run on the vibraphone provides some variety through the middle of the track, but unless you are a hardcore fan of spy-film music, this track will not hold too much appeal. In its defense, there's a fun 7 seconds right at the end, where the melody changes completely.

In summary, I did enjoy this disc a great deal. It was not as spectacular without the lush animation it accompanied. It's a simple opinion on a simple disc, really. Sometimes soundtracks can stand on their own as works of art, Read or Die does not fall into that category. What this disc does, however, is offer up sometimes brilliant flashes of beautiful music within the context of what can be truly called a soundtrack. The music neither stood out or clashed with the anime itself, instead complementing it gracefully and delightfully. In this form, the music complements the memories of Read or Die rather than stand as a solid work on its own. I recommend this for anyone who likes spy-film music as well as any ROD fan.

In the beginning roars the electric genius,Theme of R.O.D ~ opening version ~,Those who insanely love books say "Paper is always with us",At a bookstore - run silent run deep,Shudder! Shudder! More shudder!,Gentleman-like all too gentlemanly,Theme of Stardust hidden in the interval of time,The evil wing of gale that no one can catch,Unequaled boisterous dance the sky is too small,A man playing in the west raises a pole at will,Suite for an I-Jin: part I Talent beyond ogre Gennai / part II That man is witty / part III Adagio for geniuses without glory,Bring all the wisdom to Great Britain!,Theme of R.O.D ~ long version ~,Souls of the women rest for a moment and thereafter?

Review Equipment
Runtime: 46 minutes

Piano Synthesizerl:Taku Iwasaki
Strings: Jun Takeuchi Group
Trumpet: Kouji Nishimura
Flute Saxophone: Hiroaki Yamamoto
Vibraphone:Hitoshi Hamada
Guitar: Junjiro Seki


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