Post by ShinGaoKaiser on Dec 12, 2019 20:29:21 GMT
Now, let me preface this by saying that this applies only to the original Dragon Ball and the Z series as well. It also will not be using the American soundtrack for the show as a standard for comparison since it failed to do the show proper justice 100% and as such will also come under scrutiny here. Instead, I'll be using other Japanese composers, the theme of the show, and even composition standards set and met by the likes of, say, John Williams to judge Kikuchi's soundtracks.
This whole problem seems to stem from Toei's directors just being cheap and not involved in general. Few instrumental themes if any (that aren't just re-arrangements of the OP or any such song) stick with the viewer or strike you as being uniquely DB the way it does for other anime such as Naruto (more on that as I go through this OP), or that it may echo throughout the franchise like the themes of Star Wars that aren't the Opening theme (which in its own case lacks vocals to begin with but is still iconic).
In fact, Kikuchi literally just copied the OST's of his previous 70's works like Grendizer for example:
And he never composed or arranged a single OP, ED, or insert theme for the show.
Meanwhile, Kenji Yamamoto's contributions to insert themes and such were literally plagiarized like a lot of the man's work would later be revealed to have been.
So, if you got a composer like Kōichi Sugiyama, Kōhei Tanaka, Michiaki Watanabe, or Yasunori Iwasaki (who did Solid State Scouter), coupled with a director who cared about the origins of the show, you'd have a much better composed soundtrack that fit the show's origins while still embracing more modern elements for the alien direction it would begin to take in Z.
Tanaka for one made an excellent Chinese theme for two Chinese robots in GGG:
And compare the Grendizer tracks to this one from 1980's Ideon, composed by Sugiyama:
Judge for yourselves which ones are objectively inspired and superior. Kikuchi's action tracks are by far mostly in F Minor/Ab Major, which is the reason they all tend to sound the same, beyond just the instruments.
And this is not to mention, say, the Naruto soundtracks all being true to the traditional Japanese origins of the show as that was the thematic basis of it, even as it took on modern elements and had no OP or ED that it could truly call its own (meaning it may as well have none at all), not to mention insert themes for which there's none either way. They made their OST cover every shade and situation that the show went into, and had instrumental themes that stick with you throughout like the main theme. Can anyone say the same for Kikuchi's Dragon Ball score? Even the DB video games accomplish the Chinese root aspect.
This alone has more staying power than anything he composed or ripped from his past works:
And one more thing is that fans of the sub never once compare this OST to anything else produced in that time period or before from Japan, the only bar they place it to is the rather overdone English dub score. That one may have tried to fill in certain blanks by making signature themes but it was too much techno that would have been put to better use elsewhere or subdued and with more variety to better reflect the roots of Dragon Ball.
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