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Mushihimesama Futari Original Soundtrack :: Review by Bryan

Mushihimesama Futari Original Soundtrack Album Title: Mushihimesama Futari Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Cave
Catalog No.: CVST-0006
Release Date: May 7, 2007
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Manabu Namiki is quickly rising to the top as one of my favorite composers. This album is what started it all. I had never listened to a soundtrack for a shmup before, but once I heard this, I was hooked. The Mushihimesama series has quite an odd theme. It takes place in an insect kingdom. I'm not sure of the actual story behind this addition to the series though. What I can say, though, is that Manabu Namiki and Kimihiro Abe have created what I believe to be a shmup masterpiece here, and I'm going to pull it apart for you! Sounds exciting, right? Tracks 15-17 are part of a voice collection and contain no music so they will not be reviewed.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) The Prince, Age 9

Here we have the menu / character select screen. There isn't a whole lot to this piece. It's effective in its purpose though. The techno beat is actually nice to listen to. Just don't listen for too long or it will make your head throb. (8/10)

2) Setting Off Together

This first stage theme is one of my favorites from Namiki. While it does borrow the intro from the first stage in the first game, that doesn't take from its originality at all. A very heavy, electronic beat carries us through this track, with more electronica on the melody. With the setting of this game in an insect's world, this piece really brings that out. A wonderful beginning to this album! (10/10)

3) Beastial Beat

OK, it's about to get fun now. The boss theme of this game features no real melodic direction, but fits in the game perfectly. The rave style beat mixed with the random electronic sounds does an outstanding job keeping your blood pumping! It needs to be too with all those bullets on the screen! I couldn't have asked for a better boss theme. (10/10)

4) We Did It!

YAY! We beat the boss! This is the stage complete theme. Nothing too exciting, but it does its job very well, as always. (8/10)

5) Sea of Frozen Crystals

Here we get introduced to Kimihiro Abe and what an intro for him. The track has somewhat of an Asian flair in the harmony, but slips right in to the electronic standard Namiki has already set the stage for. Overall, I believe the pairing of these two composers was an excellent idea! This track fits in with the rest perfectly. Honestly, this is the most melodic piece on the album so far. A wonderful start for Abe! (10/10)

6) Is Shinju in the Forest Rebel Army?

You are in for a different treat here. This track begins with a solo drum beat, and strides forward into a much smoother melody than the previous pieces. A bit dry compared to the other stage themes, but still a wonderful addition to the stage lineup! (8/10)

7) The Beast King Clad in Black Armor

I was not expecting this. It's another smooth piece, but this one is different. It somehow pulls the melody, as faint as it is, to the forefront. This allows the flute and other lead instruments to shine without being overbearing as in other electronic pieces. The title doesn't do this one justice at all. It's a must listen! (10/10)

8) On the Verge of Madness

Alright! The final stage! This one has somewhat of a eurobeat feel to it, at least in the intro. I can't tell what instrument is playing the melody here, but it is of Asian influence (the one stringed instrument featured in all Twelve Girls Band pieces, that's it!). Towards the middle of the piece, the serenity that was felt in the beginning fades away, and the chord progression takes a turn in the minor direction, letting you know you are close to something big (hint hint). Get ready, its time. (10/10)

9) Cry! Roar!!

The final boss is here! What is considered the hardest boss in shmup history also sports one of the greatest final boss themes in shmup history. Namiki steals the intro from the first game, just like in the first stage theme. After that, though, the piece goes insane. Distorted vocals and a techno beat take us into yet another intro, which is then followed by a mish-mash of choir ahhs, the techno beat, and what seems to be a synth electric guitar. The section after this is what really gets me though. The rhythm of the piece changes and the electronic beat takes the forefront. The feeling this track gives off is one of sinister urgency, something that isn't in the norm for a shooter. A must listen for all game music enthusiasts. (10/10)

10) Sky of Scented Souls

Oh wow, this was unexpected. What we have here is a very serene piece led by a violin. A piano takes the harmonic role here, leading to something that I wouldn't have thought to hear on this album. While it has a beautiful sound, and really sets the mood for what could be happening here, I just feel like it's out of place. Still, it's worthy of a listen or two. (8/10)

11) Cast Aside

A very short game over theme. Effective again for its cause. (6/10)

12) I want to Protect You

The name entry theme on these games are usually repetitive, and this one is no exception. It really accentuates the feel of this game, however, and for that, I commend it. (8/10)

13) Something Unseen and Warm

Abe impresses me yet again. The ending theme boasts one of the most beautiful piano melodies I have heard in a long time. Take that and top it off with an epic orchestral harmony and you have one of the finest pieces on this album. Anyone unsure of Abe's talent needs to give this track a listen. It should assure your faith in his ability to write a touching theme. (10/10)

14) On the Night of the Poem about the Golden Falling Star - Image Song

I haven't been one to like Cave's vocal bonus tracks. This one has some nice instrumentation, but the vocalist is just annoying. Let's get back to the part I actually like though. The music playing in this song does a splendid job of painting a picture of the insect world that is the setting of this game. I do have to give it props for that. (7/10)


While I have been thoroughly impressed with Namiki thus far, this album has risen the bar for me. Until just a few days ago from this writing, this would have been considered my favorite album of his. Let's not derail this though. Namiki is an incredible composer with a unique and diverse palette of sounds that I haven't found in another shmup composer yet. Oh, we can't forget about Abe either! His works on this album have shown me he needs to compose for more games in this genre. Between him and Namiki, they could rule the world (well, musically at least)! Yes, anyone a fan of Namiki or shmup albums in general should have a great time listening to this album. I know I did.

Overall Score: 9/10