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Hanjuku Hero VS 3D - Fight! Hanjuku Hero / Without Yolk :: Review by Dave

Hanjuku Hero VS 3D - Fight! Hanjuku Hero / Without Yolk... Album Title: Hanjuku Hero VS 3D - Fight! Hanjuku Hero / Without Yolk...
Record Label: DigiCube
Catalog No.: SSCX-10089
Release Date: February 23, 2003
Purchase: Buy at eBay


An album dedicated to the two major vocal tracks from the Hanjuku Hero VS 3D Original Soundtrack, it features just two major additions, "Fight! Hanjuku Hero" and "Without Yolk...," though both are interesting for one reason or another. Both featured in the Hanjuku Hero VS 3D Original Soundtrack, but as the overall experience was lighter than some people could bare, some might seriously consider this single as an alternative...


1) Fight! Hanjuku Hero

The single unforgettably begins with "Fight! Hanjuku Hero," an extremely light-hearted vocal track featuring Isao Sasaki and a children's choir. Sasaki's voice really fits this track well, as he manages to express every note perfectly with a whimsical yet firm tone, giving the track all the energy he can. The undeniably cheesy accompaniment from Nobuo Uematsu and Michio Okamiya provides a wonderful contrast to Sasaki's voice and this effect is only exacerbated by the roughly timed and poorly intonated children's choir, a very cute or annoying addition depending on who you are. Though sung in Japanese, this is certainly not a disappointment, since tracks being sung in their original language are almost always more better than English versions that feature half-hearted lyrics. However, given the intriguing egg-related theme of the single, I can't help but be intrigued by what Sasaki is singing about. Though this track will not win any Mercury Awards, it fits the fun feel of Hanjuku Hero VS 3D well and will delight those who can cope with inane but hilarious music. Some will find it annoying, but it'll definitely appeal to a certain audience. (8/10)

2) Without Yolk...

Nobuo Uematsu returns to the reliable format of the good ol' pop ballad with the sentimental "Without Yolk..." Though still quite light thanks to the light piano introduction and eventual cheesy backing vocals from Kazuko Hamano, it has a pseudo-romantic aura to it too, as if Sasaki is contemplating suicide over the loss of an egg. Sasaki's voice is so much more warmer here than in "Fight! Hanjuku Hero" and he brings out the very best of the warm melodic line he has to sing. Though it's a shame once more that we do not have any English lyrics to understand what this track is about, the Japanese lyrics give it a pure touch; with a title like "Without Yolk...," this track must have some interesting lyrics! The piano part is the principle accompaniment and, though musically lame, that was the intention. The whole track manages to be a parody of themes like "Eyes on Me" that will endear even if interpreted as a serious creation. Some will hate it, but some really ought to lighten up. Few tracks manage to be hilarious and beautiful at the same time and this is one of them. It's really well-developed too. Thumbs up! (10/10)

3) Fight! Hanjuku Hero (Instrumental Version)

This is just "Fight! Hanjuku Hero" without Sasaki's vocals. It emphasises underlying components of the original theme, but sounds odd without the vocals. Who'd want to do karaoke to this? *shrugs* (6/10)

4) Without Yolk... (Instrumental Version)

Like the instrumental version of "Fight! Hanjuku Hero," the unique quality of the singing is missing here, so it sounds empty and a little wooden in places. Another addition to the single that most won't want to revisit... (6/10)


As long as the single isn't taken too seriously, it should be an enjoyable addition to most people's game music collection, though for only those who don't wish to purchase the Hanjuku Hero VS 3D Original Soundtrack. It doesn't have anything original in it, though many might wish to skip all the infantile old-school parodies of the main soundtrack to hear its main fruit. Nobuo Uematsu did a good job showing his sense of humour and Isao Sasaki proved a worthy vocalist; this single is the best thing that has happened to Hanjuku Hero music since Koichi Sugiyama.

Overall Score: 6/10