True Love Story ~Remember My Heart~ Original Soundtrack

True Love Story ~Remember My Heart~ Original Soundtrack. Booklet Front. Click to zoom.
True Love Story ~Remember My Heart~ Original Soundtrack
Booklet Front
Composed by Kenichi Okuma / Maki Tanimoto / Noriyuki Iwadare / Sanae Kasahara
Arranged by Shigeto Suzuki
Published by ONE-DER ENTERTAINMENT
Catalog number WDCD-25112
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 38 tracks
Release date February 7, 1998
Duration 01:00:09
Genres
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Overview

True Love Story is the first in a line of popular male-targeted dating simulators by Enterbrain. Famed RPG composer was given the honours of Noriyuki Iwadare leading the composition for this title, having previously had some involvement in the Doukyuusei, Tanjou, and Sotsugyou series. He was nevertheless assisted by several other employees at Two Five Records, namely Maki Tanimoto, Kenichi Okuma, and Sanae Kasahara, before going solo on subsequent additions to the series. The soundtrack inspires plenty of emotions in the game with a range of sentimental instrumental ballads and light-hearted jazz tunes. However, the album release also features a number of elegant string quartet arrangements and nostalgic character messages. Most of the offerings were also compiled into the first disc of the True Love Story Special Song Box some years later. Let's take a closer look on what is offered...

Body

True Love Story is a relatively strong soundtrack thematically. The "Main Theme" features one of Iwadare's most memorable and elegant melodies, perhaps inspired by one of his jazz improvisations one day. It gets the balance right when reflecting the spirited, relaxed, thoughtful, and naive nature of the main character. The theme receives several arrangements across the soundtrack, most notably in the dance-like piano tune "Confession", the opening string quartet arrangement, and finally the emotional ending theme. Unlike similar soundtracks, the themes to represent Aozora Senior High across the four seasons are not thematically continuous, though are nicely characterised nonetheless. Iwadare particularly shines creating a hopeful synthpop theme for the spring and a reflective improvisation for autumn. Assistant composer Kenichi Okuma appropriately adopts a tropical tone for the summer piece and takes a denser string-based approach for the winter. Though everything is synthesized, the samples are sufficient to bring out the original intentions.

True Love Story's soundtrack disperses a number of character themes across the soundtrack. They mostly feature crisp jazz melodies adapted for a variety of moods. For example, the themes for Midori Amano, Ikumi Goto, and Tomoko Honda are very similar in construction, but the fact they respectively use alto saxophone, electric guitar and flute to present the melody clearly distinguishes their personalities. The saxophone-led approach is most common, though sometimes a problem given the often derivative writing and unconvincing synthesis. Fortunately, the theme for major love interest Ayane Katsuragi succeeds since it features a very smooth and dreamy soprano saxophone line and decent accompaniment. Shuichi Yanagisawa's theme is also pretty enjoyable since the saxophone use is quite raw and driving. Though the character themes are a little similar and underdeveloped, they each have enough melodic charm and girly character for them to suffice as background music in context and on a stand-alone basis.

Aside the aforementioned themes, there are a few short event tracks that aren't worth listening to on their own. Nevertheless, the soundtrack offers some highlights with string quartet arrangements of four themes. Whether the interweaving forces on the main theme arrangement, the Baroque-influenced counterpoint of Ayane Katsuragi's theme, or the elegant blend of arco and pizzicato strings on Yayoi Minami's theme, Shigeto Suzuki demonstrates his prowess over the ensemble and brings out a lot of depth from often sparing original material. Each arrangement develops comprehensively too through sections with contrasting textures and emotions, so prove more than respectable musical achievements. There are also a series of short spoken character messages exclusively across the stand-alone version; it will depend very much on one's affinity for the game and ability with Japanese as to how welcome these drama tracks are. It is finally worth noting that this one does not feature the numerous vocal themes for the game, which are reserved for three vocal collections instead.

Summary

The True Love Story ~Remember My Heart~ Original Soundtrack is a modest and likeable accompaniment to the game. Iwadare nicely defined the direction for his future dating simulation soundtracks with his blend of peppy jazz-based character themes and a sentimental main theme. The co-composers bring relatively little innovation or individuality to the table, but at least bulk up the soundtrack and create a few memorable tunes each. The main problem with this soundtrack is that the character themes grow a bit samey, there are relatively few highlights, and the drama tracks can be potentially disruptive. Nonetheless, the main theme and string quartet arrangements provide some defining moments, so what is offered should be enough for fans of this genre. Not Iwadare's best dating simulation soundtrack, but nonetheless a decent purchase.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Composer breakdown:

Noriyuki Iwadare (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11~13, 15, 21~24, 27, 31, 35, 37, 38)
Kenichi Okuma (3, 14, 17, 30, 36)
Sanae Kasahara (10, 19, 20, 29)
Maki Tanimoto (26, 28, 33)
Album was composed by Kenichi Okuma / Maki Tanimoto / Noriyuki Iwadare / Sanae Kasahara and was released on February 7, 1998. Soundtrack consists of 38 tracks tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by ONE-DER ENTERTAINMENT.

CD 1

1
Main Theme (Strings Arrange)
02:19
2
Aozora High School ~Spring~
01:43
3
Conversation on the Way Home from School
01:17
4
Ayane Katsuragi's Theme
01:26
5
Letter from Ayane Katsuragi
00:29
6
Yayoi Minami's Theme
01:20
7
Letter from Yayoi Minami
00:38
8
Chiharu Shunjitsu's Theme
01:28
9
Letter from Chiharu Shunjitsu
00:52
10
Oosuka's Theme
01:29
11
Event ~Gently~
01:16
12
Ayane Katsuragi's Theme (Strings Arrange)
02:40
13
Confession
02:19
14
Aozora High School ~Summer~
01:30
15
Ikumi Goto's Theme
01:16
16
Letter from Ikumi Goto
00:40
17
Midori Amano's Theme
02:22
18
Letter from Midori Amano
00:40
19
Yanagisawa's Theme
01:43
20
Event ~Comical~
01:12
21
Yayoi Minami's Theme (Strings Arrange)
02:28
22
Letter
01:54
23
Aozora High School ~Fall~
01:30
24
Nozomi Hirose's Theme
01:56
25
Letter from Nozomi Hirose
00:39
26
Shinobu Kusanagi's Theme
01:42
27
Letter from Shinobu Kusunagi
00:42
28
Saeko-Sensei's Theme
02:07
29
Event ~Glittering~
00:52
30
Aozora High School ~Winter~
01:58
31
Toshiko Honda's Theme
01:34
32
Letter from Toshiko Honda
00:40
33
Yurika Mizutani's Theme
02:39
34
Letter from Yurika Mizutani
00:52
35
Misaki's Theme
01:28
36
Conversation on the Way Home from School (Strings Arrange)
02:34
37
Main Theme
02:40
38
Ending Theme
03:15
30.04.12
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