Review: GMK Soundtrack from Perfect Box

Movie: GMK
Composer: Ko Otani
Record Label: Toho Music
Running time: 75:48Discs: 1
Released: 2010
Reviewed By: Matti K.

Review: ****/*****
The second disc in the sixth Godzilla soundtrack box contains the soundtrack of GMK, composed by Ko Otani, who previously worked with Shusuke Kaneko on the Heisei Gamera trilogy. This score is not quite as good as his work on the aforementioned trilogy, but it is really entertaining nonetheless.
The fact that Otani utilizes a lot of synthesizer effects in his music may turn some people off. However, a lot of fans have shown appreciation for this score. Otani has created a number of memorable themes for the movie, and that does lead to some repetition, although not to an irritating amount of it. The new theme for Godzilla is really foreboding. The tracks "Main Title", "The God of Destruction Appear", and "A Desperate Crisis" are among the ones where the theme gets the most effective use. The second primary theme is the one of King Ghidorah, which is usually accompanied by an eerie male chorus, especially in "The Sleeping Three Headed Dragon". Mothra also gets her own short theme motif, which is actually a new variation of her original song, as you often hear, "Mosura ya, Mosura ya" being sung. Otani has composed a new military march too, which seems to be a tradition for him as he created a different military march for each of the Heisei Gamera movies. The final new theme is usually referred to as the track it’s used the most in: "Determined to Protect the Future". This theme is really beautiful, and the track itself is one of the highlights of the score. Other brilliant cues are "Confrontation of the Two Giant Monsters", "God of Sky: King Ghidorah" and "Godzilla’s Rage", which are among my favorites. Akira Ifukube’s classic Godzilla theme and "Great Monster War March" are used in the "End Roll".
Now, the disc is quite a big improvement over the previous release of this soundtrack. The entire score is finally available for the first time on CD. All the cues that weren’t previously included are here. The bonus tracks are also brand new. Most of them are edits of certain cues as they’re usually heard in the final movie. The first edited version of "God of Sky" King Ghidorah" (track 46) is perhaps the most significant of these, as the middle section uses the Godzilla theme instead of the Ghidorah theme, like the original version does. Unfortunately, the quality of these tracks isn’t the best, as the volume level goes up and down constantly in most of them, when is most likely because the tracks were pulled from a 5.1 channel film source according to the booklet. The last three bonus tracks are demos from Otani. They’re all interesting to listen to. Two of them contain early versions of Otani’s themes for Godzilla and Ghidorah, and he even uses a bit of Ifukube’s Godzilla march in the third demo.
The booklet as a pretty "frightening" picture of Godzilla’s face on the front cover, if I may say so myself, and pictures of Chiharyu Niyama, Kaho Minami, and Ai and Aki Maeda. Aside from the usual track notes and other stuff, there’s also a profile of Ko Otani and an interview with him.
In the end, the GMK disc is one of the primary reasons to get the sixth box. It doesn’t contain the separate Ifukube tracks and the sound effects that were included on the previous CD release, those can be found on other discs. The complete score and new bonus tracks really make this one a winner.
Further pictures of the GMK CD can be viewed by:

MM9 (2010)

Shinji Higuchi - after a year of a hiatus (unless you count him being the executive producer and part camera man on GEHARHA) from making his Kurosawa remake THE LAST PRINCESS - is coming back to the science fiction genre in a big way with a new television series entitled MM9 (Monster Magnitude 9). This will mark the man marked "The Second Tsuburaya" and the "Heisei special effects king"’s first divulgence into television drama.
The basis for the television series would be the MM9 stories by science fiction writer Hiroshi Yamamoto. The stories were originally published like manga in separate issues of Tokyo Sogensha’s magazine "Mysteries!", published in a circuit of 2005-2006. A year later, the stories were compiled into one complete book. The story that the book series tells is one of Ultraman-like style - kaiju are part of everyday Japanese life, usually shrugged off as a usual natural disaster. To combat the kaiju are the Science Patrol-like Kitokutai section of the Japan Meteorological Agency use their smarts to do battle with the daikaiju threat.

Clues of this television series’ production were hinted at back on April first when a picture which was said to be part of a production called XX9, which was later said to be a joke. However, it was a hint at this series. Now, the series has been officially said to be premiering on July 7, 2010 on MBS and will start releasing episodes on a weekly basis.

Writing for the show is Kazunori Ito, who at 56 is not only a veteran science fiction writer himself, but also was one of Higuchi’s colleges on the Heisei Gamera series. Doing directorial duties is Kiyotaka Taguchi, another past college of Higuchi on GEHARHA and also directed the popular independent film G. Another director will be Tomoyuki Furumaya, a 3 time award winning director who’s most current work was writing and directing the 2010 film BUSHIDO 16. Another director mentioned was Ataru Oikawa, known for works such as "Tomie" which was given a nod to in the two recent Ju-On films, showing his status in Japanese cinematic culture.

The cast will consist of 17 year old award winning actress Anna Ishibashi and 28 year old Machiko Ono, playing the characters Sakura Fujisawa (the rookie) and Mochizuki (person responsible for Sakura’s training) respectively. Also in with the cast is Issei Takahashi (KILL BILL VOL. 1, ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, DETROIT METAL CITY), Yasuhi Nakamura (JU-ON 2, ONE MISSED CALL), Satoru Matsuo, Sarutoki Minagawa (KAMEN RIDER 555, OTAKUS IN LOVE), Takako Kato, and Yutaka Matsushige (GODZILLA 2000: MILLENIUM, RINGU, RASEN, PRINCESS BLADE, ONE MISSED CALL, K20: FIEND WITH 20 FACES).

Seems to be a good production with some good talent. Can’t wait!