Legend of Heroes VI FC: Where the Stars Are - u-mi, The
The Legend of Heroes VI: Sora no Kiseki First Chapter was the least mainstream-oriented of the trilogy. Nevertheless, it did feature one theme song, entitled "Where the Stars Are", featured at the end of the soundtrack. A bonus with the game was a two track single containing the vocal and karaoke versions of the theme. The single is not very long, but does the song itself make it worthwhile?
"Where the Stars Are" is an adaptation of one of the central motifs from the soundtrack, initially used to represent the character of Joshua on harmonica. Though the motif is rather simple, it fits the vocal adaptation given its beautiful shape and melancholy qualities. Fortunately, u-mi proves a suitable vocalist for the theme and is able to emphasise the shape of the melody, while personally adapting the lyrics. Her voice is a rather youthful one, which is fitting given the nature of the game's characters, yet is still highly accessible.
Kohei Wada's arrangement is mostly effective. The vocals remain the focus throughout and the instrumentals mainly just support them. However, there are some interesting intricacies, such as the elegant piano work or the choice of relatively exotic backing beats. These help to emphasise the worldly and spiritual undertones of the song. There are also some instrumental highlights, such as passionate guitar solo from the 3:09. Nevertheless, there perhaps isn't enough timbral contrast to sustain the continual repetition of what is ultimately a rather simple melody, meaning the song potentially grows tiresome during its five minute playtime.
In the tradition of vocal singles, there is also a karaoke version of the song lacking u-mi's vocals. However, keep in mind that this single features just one song and the vocal interpretations of "Amber Love" and "Sora no Kiseki" featured in The Legend of Heroes VI Sora no Kiseki Super Arrange Version are not included here.
Overall, "Where the Stars Are" is an enjoyable vocal theme. It offers a gorgeous melody, an emotional performance, and elegant instruments. In context, it helps to wrap up the game while still capturing the romantic and spiritual elements of the trilogy. Out of context, it mostly sustains interest too, but can tire due to the slightly repetitive focus. I wouldn't recommend hunted down the single, though, since it offers no unique material and is rather short. It's best to listen to the soundtrack in full and hear the vocal theme at the end of it.
Where the Stars AreHayato Sonoda, Wataru Ishibashi, Takahide Murayama
Where the Stars Are ~ Less VocalHayato Sonoda, Wataru Ishibashi, Takahide Murayama