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Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Raspberyl Chapter Original Soundtrack :: Review by Don

Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Raspberyl Chapter Original Soundtrack Album Title: Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Raspberyl Chapter Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Team Entertanment
Catalog No.: KDSD-00279
Release Date: April 15, 2009
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Tenpei Sato has always been known for his work for Nippon Ichi Software. However, his most popular series, in terms of games, is easily the Disgaea series, which has spawned three games, a PSP spinoff featuring the ever lovable Prinnies, and now an expansion in the form of downloadable content on the PlayStation 3. While most people enjoyed the first two Disgaea soundtracks, many, including myself, found the third Disgaea soundtrack to be one of his weakest soundtracks to date. It seemed to be put together rather quickly and lacked much of the emotion found in most of Sato's other works. There were a few good themes amidst a sea of trash, but for the most part it left me wanting more. Then, I found out about the Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? soundtrack. Upon listening to that, I was definitely impressed at the marked improvement in the themes featured on that soundtrack, considering it was a spinoff. That gave me hope for the expansion's soundtrack, which features 15 new themes and 16 themes reprised from the Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Original Soundtrack. Was the quality of compositions carried over or is Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice doomed to be the worst in Sato's discography for NIS? You'll just have to read to find out.


Before moving onto the new themes, I'll mention a bit about the old themes that made it onto the soundtrack. While some of my favorites were lacking from the new soundtrack, such as "Rock Crystal" or "Chinese Sword," quite a few of my favorites made it onto this soundtrack. Themes like "Wanderer's Poem," which seem inspired by the whistling themes in the Wild Arms series, provide engaging melodies that cater to Tenpei's melodic strength. In addition, themes like "Tales of Innocent Youth," provide some of Sato's more playful and engaging battle themes. There are also themes that retain the Disgaea universe theme, such as "Fugue of the Netherworld" and "Blue Concerto," giving some of the soundtrack that sinister sound. For the most part, the themes selected from the original soundtrack were some of the stronger ones.

As for the new themes, many have a very Spaghetti western sound to them. "Raspberyl's Dream" features a very jazzy yet Wild West sound with some rock elements thrown in. It features an engaging melody that sets the standard for many of the other themes. "Brilliant Blue," assumed to be one of the battle themes, infuses a standard rock theme with hints of Western sound like those heard in the Wild Arms series. It all makes for a very delicious treat. "Tales of Sorrowful Youth" adds a nice Western twist to a sad theme, "Tales of Innocent Youth", making what could be a very sappy theme into something that has some nice flair. In addition to some Western influenced themes, there is also a Spanish influenced theme, "RED Carpet". Featuring Tenpei Sato's standard sound, with some beautiful brass and acoustic guitar passages, it manages to create a playful theme with lots of color. "Burning Drive" takes a bit of the influence from the battle themes heard in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? and creates a nice rock and orchestral fusion theme with a pretty engaging melody!

Those who know Tenpei Sato know that it wouldn't be a Tenpei Sato soundtrack with at least one vocal theme. While I'm not the biggest fan of his Disgaea vocal themes, mainly due to the singers, I usually enjoy at least one theme and the music in them all. For those who do enjoy the Disgaea vocal themes, I will say that the ones featured on this soundtrack are much better than the ones featured on Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Original Soundtrack. The three themes on this soundtrack are all new, and as suspected, are each sung by a different vocalist. The opening theme, "Love Combination," is sung by HAH. It has a very interesting sound to it. While the vocalist should burn in hell for all eternity, the music behind it is very jazzy, yet at the same time, manages to convey a sense of a detective agency as it has that smoky sound to it at times. So far, things are right on schedule!

The last theme on the album, "Hot-Blooded Teacher Raspberyl," sung by Salah Soujo, is actually pretty damn good! The vocalist is pretty awesome and, considering the first theme, the music features some jazzy influence and it reminds me a bit of the style heard in Wangan Midnight's "Sinking Opening Theme". It also features some beautiful bridges with some keyboard work. However, the true star of the vocal themes has to be "A Song For My Old Enemy". Now, when I first saw the title, my mind went racing back to the horrors of Disgaea 3's "A Song For You," but man did the expectations get destroyed. Sung by Natsuko, the theme has a very melancholy sound that reminded me a bit of "Pray" from Resident Evil 5 soundtrack at times. The string led composition features some beautiful brass and choral accents and some stunning instrumental sections. This is probably my favorite vocal theme from Tenpei Sato since his vocal themes on Phantom Brave, which I consider his best, and the vocalist is easily in the top echelon. I really hope he uses her again, but the odds of that are extremely low as he likes to find new vocalists for each album.


For those who haven't picked up the original soundtrack yet, I definitely recommend passing on that one and picking this one up. If you've played the original and enjoyed the music then by all means, pick up that one too, but for those who are just into casual listening, I think this album offers a more accurate depiction of the Tenpei Sato's work for Disgaea 3. It features many good themes from the original soundtrack and features a fair number of excellent themes from the new expansion. While the vocal themes are still acquired taste, at least in this series, I found these too be the best in the Disgaea series on the whole. Fans of Tenpei Sato might want to consider picking this up.

Overall Score: 7/10