Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

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Morgil
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Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Morgil » Mon May 28, 2018 11:47 pm

So a week ago i bought a bluray of all the old Gamera movies. I just now got up to the 5th one, and in the opening credits, I see it say "Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi". Wait, wut?! I rewound it by a few seconds to make sure i read that correctly. That really is neat. I wonder what other non-Dragon Ball things he's done.
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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by IHaveNoUserName » Tue May 29, 2018 6:26 pm

Morgil wrote:So a week ago i bought a bluray of all the old Gamera movies. I just now got up to the 5th one, and in the opening credits, I see it say "Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi". Wait, wut?! I rewound it by a few seconds to make sure i read that correctly. That really is neat. I wonder what other non-Dragon Ball things he's done.
Wow that is really surprising, I guess he did more composing than I thought he did
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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by coola » Wed May 30, 2018 8:23 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunsuke_Kikuchi He composed music for lots of anime that aired in Poland in early 90's :) And also Kamen Rider
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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed May 30, 2018 8:54 am

Kunzait, as always, had an AWESOME post that I have not been able to find again that explained and elaborated on the talents, works and range of Shunsuke Kikuchi. I hope he sees this thread and elaborates like only he can!

EDIT: F O U N D I T!

Kunzait_83 wrote:
KBABZ wrote:Not what I meant at all! I was more praising that, for a guy that came from the stylings of Dr. Slump and the Pilaf arc, it's pretty incredible that he was also able to compose for thinks like Vegeta, Frieza and Cell, and compose them well. Was there anything he had done prior to Slump that was like Z? I don't really know what his full discography is because it's never been brought up!
If anything, Kikuchi's work in Dr. Slump and Pilaf-era Dragon Ball are somewhat closer to the odd examples out in his previous resume. A vast chunk of his pre-Slump and DB work is fairly non-comedic. Anime-wise, there's a lot of Shonen Henshin hero and Super Robot stuff (Casshan, Babel II, Hurricane Polymer, Getter Robo, Gaiking, Danguard Ace, etc) most of which is on the relatively more dramatic side of things, though he also did Sakigate!! Otokojuku, a martial arts series that has far more in common with Fist of the North Star and various Bosozoku/Delinquent series than it does DB, as well as Tiger Mask (an iconic wrestling/martial arts series that's as influential a Shonen property as they get).

Live action-wise, he's done a fair amount of legendary Tokusatsu work, including most of the original Gamera films and the classic run of Kamen Rider, as well as decidedly non-child aimed films like Goke: Body Snatcher From Hell, the rape/revenge classic Female Prisoner Scorpion 701 (which is as far a cry away from anything most people will ever talk about on this forum as it gets), and one of the latter Sonny Chiba Street Fighter films (more martial arts).

The closest comparisons to Slump/early-DB in his earlier CV are Sinbad's Adventures (an very vague anime take on some Arabian Nights stories aimed more at toddlers) as well as none other than Doraemon, which is one of the rare few Japanese mass merchandising juggernauts for tots that can probably stand up to Pokemon in terms of cultural ubiquity and impact over there. Though he's done his share of similar fare after Slump and DB as well.

All in all... the dude A) has utterly INSANE range and has covered everything from superheroes, to cheesy monster movies, martial arts epics, hardcore grindhouse sleaze, and culturally iconic touchstones almost universally known and regarded in their homeland, and B) is easily and without the slightest question the single most accomplished composer who's ever worked on Dragon Ball, with a back catelogue consisting of some of the most significant titles in 70s and 80s anime and Japanese film.

It cannot be stressed that between the production and vocal talent that went into the Dragon Ball anime that Toei at that point in time really spared no expense in what craft was poured into the series (meaning they really believed in Toriyama at that point, which considering the level of success that Slump had is completely understandable). Ironic in that the voices and music are some of the most divisive, scrutinized, and heavily derided aspects of the original series among North American fans despite consisting of talent whose collective bodies of work soundly speak for themselves, as opposed to their FUNimation equivalents to many of whom by way of direct comparison... the less said of which the better, particularly with regards to Faulconer.
KBABZ wrote:For me Kikuche's score is intrinsic to Kid Goku's adventures especially.
Again, there's nothing really that's Kid Goku-centric about the score in particular. The score is reflective of Dragon Ball's whole genre, and by extension all of its core narrative themes. A lot of people with no experience with Wuxia tend to think "kinda odd and whimsical sound, plus FUNi didn't replace it, hence its reflective of child Goku's quirky, upbeat nature" when reality is, its just a traditional martial arts film score (done remarkably, remarkably well granted) and the cultural roots that come with that go much, much deeper (classical Chinese arrangements to compliment the Peking Opera roots of so many 18th and 19th century Wuxia stage plays that all of the earliest decades worth of Wuxia films took much of their influence from).
KBABZ wrote:On that subject, isn't it pretty remarkable that Kikuche was able to score something like Z, considering that he was brought on originally to score Dr. Slump? If the transition was from Slump to Raditz, I don't think he would have been kept, but instead he was able to grow along with Dragon Ball and step up to the plate for the later action-oriented arcs.
There's somewhat less of DB's tone that is inherently Toriyama-centric than even a lot of people on this site tend to assume: the weird tonal dissonance (goofball comedy, high stakes drama, goofball comedy, high stakes drama, all on a dime) that a lot of people associate with Dragon Ball (original Japanese DB in particular) is just as much a crucial, defining aspect of Wuxia as it is with what Toriyama's specific style of humor itself brings to the table, and the classic style of scores most often used throughout the genre tend to be reflective of that.

By that same token, I'm gonna delve back a page to an earlier post and add to this:
KBABZ wrote:[Agreed, particularly due to the fact that (as far as I can tell) Shonen doesn't work based on logical math in the grander scheme of things and prefers to ignore that in service of simply showing "Ohhh look how strong he is how're they gonna win??!?", but of course most people in the dub fandom has no idea what Shonen even is, let alone what its tropes are. They see DBZ as a US product that comes from Japan, if that makes sense. Kid Goku Dragon Ball is by far and away my favourite portion of the series because it's more focused on adventure and fun and occasional humour than it is with the next big arc villain and how they'll defeat him.
I've said this a bunch of times here, but will reiterate it again: Shonen doesn't have any "tropes" because Shonen isn't a genre. Shonen is little more or less than a demographic group (little boys age 5 to 13 or so). Virtually ANY genre can be Shonen, provided its targeted as such. Everything from Dragon Ball (wuxia) to Doraemon (toddler's animal mascot) to Area 88 (war drama) to Barefoot Gen (historical fiction) to Rokudenashi Blues (coming of age with street gangs) to One Piece (pirate adventures) to Devilman (horror/vague Henshin hero-ish hybrid) to City Hunter (detective noir/romantic comedy) to Kenshin (Chanbara) to Naruto (ninjas) to Dr. Slump (nonsense humor) to fucking Fist of the North Star (Mad Max post-apocalypse + wuxia) and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (a thoroughly random concoction of pure "WTF?!") are all uniformly Shonen, many of which above were serialized alongside DB at the exact same readership.

What people on sites like this classify as "Shonen" or "Battle Shonen" (which is a made-up genre that doesn't actually exist) are most often little else other than a select handful of Shonen titles made in the wake of Dragon Ball that took varying degrees of influence from it (Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Toriko, etc) and thus share only the most shallow of similarities to it (namely copying a bunch of its skeletal narrative beats and patterns, as well as shamelessly apeing - no pun intended - Goku's character type for their main characters, particularly Goku as a kid).

They mimic aspects of Dragon Ball, namely its "formula", and try to replicate vague aspects of its themes, but share none of the context that gives those themes any weight or make much sense or resonate strongly. They're rendered as less "themes" in those works than they are hazy scraps of emotions that they know you're supposed to feel when you get to the appropriate segments in Dragon Ball, but don't understand WHY it is that you're made to feel them there (challenge, train, overcome, etc). That's not a genre, that's what most would generally term less charitably as a "knockoff".

Shonen is a target demographic, and thus what it dictates most often is the tone and intellectual level that its usually written to: which in Japan is culturally a helluva a lot broader ranging for their children than it often is in America, which leads a lot of American fans under the mistaken belief that Shonen is aimed at a much higher age group than it actually is. Again, Shonen is literally translated as "Young Boys", not "Teenagers" or "Young Adults" or whatever. Stuff for elementary school children below 13.

A genre is something that actually DOES contain tropes and dictates what KIND of story you're reading/watching. Dragon Ball's genre thusly is Wuxia, which is FAR more specific than just a vague and non-descript "action/adventure" classification that so many will often tag it as. Wuxia does of course contain equal doses of action and adventure, but again embodies something much more specific: namely supernatural martial arts/kung fu fantasy culled from ancient Chinese myths and folklore (yet is popular all across Asia and throughout the world beyond just China where it originated).

Wuxia is characterized by dedicated kung fu warriors with their own code of honor/ethics engaging in fantastical martial arts battles and rivalries, most often with competitive self-improvement for their personal strength and fighting arts acting as their core motivation, as well as soap operatic vendettas and revenge against other rival martial arts warriors and clans/schools. They reside most often in a fantasy world setting that is depicted as an idealized vision of ancient China (with modern and even futuristic sci fi trappings thrown in in later works) and ancient Chinese myths and is thus home to mythical demons and creatures and heavenly gods as well as men, and features kingdoms, royalty, villages, thieves, and peasants similar to Western fantasy (Wuxia as a whole is basically the direct Chinese martial arts equivalent to European Arthurian/Tolkien-esque medieval fantasy), with martial arts masters acting as the roguish knight errants. The martial arts themselves are depicted via supernatural feats of Taoist Chi/Ki mastery, which can most often include flight/levitation, radiating body auras, superhuman feats of speed and strength, and the ability to project one's own inner spiritual power as bolts of explosive light fired from the palms, the mouth, etc.

As Wuxia is a genre that is popular and well loved worldwide but particularly in Asian territories, any number of classic and well known Japanese manga and anime have partaken in it, and include titles like Yu Yu Hakusho, Fist of the North Star, The Peacock King, Saiyuki, virtually anything ever written or drawn by Takeshi Maekawa, and Dragon Ball of course. Even Western works ranging from Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra to Mortal Kombat to The Matrix owe their existences to the genre.

Most Dragon Ball fans of the last 17 some-odd years tend to be folks who have virtually no experience with the broader genre itself nor even know or understand that it is a thing that even exits. One of the biggest derailments of modern Dragon Ball fandom (spurred on by the FUNimation dub and its changes/marketing) is that it has so often confused Dragon Ball's target demographic with its genre. I've made this comparison a lot, but this would be akin to a group of die-hard Dungeons & Dragons fans who had somehow never heard of medieval fantasy as a genre nor have ever explored the works of Tolkien, Arthurian myths, or any other example of European high fantasy outside of just D&D and other pen & paper RPGs (and that's not to say that creators don't get heavy doses of inspiration and influence from genres outside of the ones their working in all the damn time, but you get the idea).

So rather than look to other examples of high flying kung fu fantasy like the works of luminaries like Jin Yong, King Hu, or more contemporary stuff more closely tied to DB's era like Tsui Hark's films and the more off the wall entries in the Shaw Brothers' oeuvre (though we've at the very least given Journey to the West its proper due), fandom has instead averted its gaze towards stuff like Soul Eater, Hunter x Hunter, and Fullmetal Alchemist; stuff who's sole real concrete connection to Dragon Ball in any way is that they're aimed at Japanese 4th grade kids.

One of the biggest underlying fallacies of modern Dragon Ball fandom's understanding of the series, beyond even the dub/sub divide and FUNimation's tinkering, is the notion that "any manga targeted at 8 year old Japanese boys" are all somehow lumped within the same exact genre and thus creative DNA ladder as Dragon Ball because they all somehow universally share the same rough set of tropes (I dare anyone to paint an artistic connection between Dragon Ball and something like Drifting Classroom: go ahead, I mean they're both Shonen, so its all the same "genre" right?). And this fallacy stems from the fact that most Dragon Ball fandom explores very little of anime and manga outside of heavily mainstream Weekly Shonen Jump properties or stuff aired on Cartoon Network within the last couple decades, and moreover that it explores very little of any creative media whatsoever outside of stuff aimed solely at children in general.
[spoiler]
Lord Beerus wrote:
Gog wrote:The cell saga/android saga is the worst thing Akira Toriyama ever made. And nothing has ever actually managed to come close to it, after it. Even the terrible asspulls in the FT saga, weren't as bad as that. But of course this is all my opinion. :D
You've just made a new best friend. :mrgreen:
[/spoiler]
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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Hellspawn28 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:31 pm

Gamera was my intro to Kikuchi. I was a monster movie fan long before I was into Dragon Ball and I saw these movies on VHS or on TV. Not to mention, Toriyama even give Roshi is his own Gamera. So the connection has been linked together :lol: .
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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by ManuGem » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:52 pm

On youtube you can watch some old japanese movies - other than « Gamera »- that give an idea of what Kikuchi composed in the 60’s :

Ogon Batto (1966) : the subtitles are in spanish… But looking at the first 20 / 22 minutes we already have an essential idea of the music (Note the « hissing « pattern accompanying Ogon Batto's appearances on bats)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H71gUhMFYlU&t=1388s


Terror Beneath The Sea / Kaitei daisensô (1966) :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQj9NrwlPSU&t=1s

So, with those sounds typical of the horror movies of that time ... In the comments, someone said "it's the same music from Dark Shadows" :D There is a link for the music alone :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlU2agnDkNI


Genocide : War of the Insects (1968):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ1nvR_4xB4&t=1s

There is also a link for music alone, with these 15 pieces grouped together
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX4umyVFWZE
(What strikes me in this excerpt are these harmonic sounds a little unstable but a little "uniform" too, with this omnipresence of the augmented fifth chord, when we find in some tracks of the score of Dragon Ball, like this one: : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvC91KQ ... k&index=12
Or more well-knowed, in « Children of Daimao » (at 1’57 on this link) :
https://youtu.be/M3nRVOaGkUc?t=117 )

And finally, if I'm not mistaken, Kikuchi's very first work for an animation series was Tiger Mask (1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JVTg2Vb_8I

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:08 pm

Shunsuke Kikuchi composed a huge pile of music for Japanese series and movies. I'd not have minded if TOEI had uses non-DB Kikuchi music for Kai TFC (so we'd get more variety of Kikuchi BGMs) but what's done is done.

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by nato25 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:35 am

I know this is dumb but I thought Kikuchi was a women until now... It just sounds like a feminine Japanese name

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by ManuGem » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:40 am

JohnnyCashKami wrote:Shunsuke Kikuchi composed a huge pile of music for Japanese series and movies. I'd not have minded if TOEI had uses non-DB Kikuchi music for Kai TFC (so we'd get more variety of Kikuchi BGMs) but what's done is done.
It seems to me that "Shunsuke" is a fairly common masculine given name in Japan (like "Daisuke"), but it's true that we can be confused when we are not a little familiar with that. There are also a lot of female names that end in "o", more precisely "ko" or "to" (ex: Misato), and likewise, people who are unfamiliar with that can go wrong :)

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:48 pm

nato25 wrote:I know this is dumb but I thought Kikuchi was a women until now... It just sounds like a feminine Japanese name

But Kikuchi is a last name...oh I give up.
[spoiler]
Lord Beerus wrote:
Gog wrote:The cell saga/android saga is the worst thing Akira Toriyama ever made. And nothing has ever actually managed to come close to it, after it. Even the terrible asspulls in the FT saga, weren't as bad as that. But of course this is all my opinion. :D
You've just made a new best friend. :mrgreen:
[/spoiler]
Jinzoningen MULE wrote:I will not be satisfied until my pessimism crushes your spirit.
Pirina_Fusee wrote:Man that line is trying too hard. "We is Vizzle, we down with da kidzzle dizzle! Emoji!"

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:51 pm

nato25 wrote:I know this is dumb but I thought Kikuchi was a women until now... It just sounds like a feminine Japanese name

But Kikuchi is a last name...oh I give up.
[spoiler]
Lord Beerus wrote:
Gog wrote:The cell saga/android saga is the worst thing Akira Toriyama ever made. And nothing has ever actually managed to come close to it, after it. Even the terrible asspulls in the FT saga, weren't as bad as that. But of course this is all my opinion. :D
You've just made a new best friend. :mrgreen:
[/spoiler]
Jinzoningen MULE wrote:I will not be satisfied until my pessimism crushes your spirit.
Pirina_Fusee wrote:Man that line is trying too hard. "We is Vizzle, we down with da kidzzle dizzle! Emoji!"

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by nato25 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:57 pm

Yeah I know it is dumb haha, I'm glad I now know. I've always respected the work just never cared to go into the person and no one ever seemed to talk about him with a gender identifying pronoun

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Majin Buu » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:50 am

I've recently gone back to the four Gamera films that Kikuchi scored and noticed that his scores for Guiron, Jiger, and Zigra don't really sound like him at all, and at best contain only vague elements of his typical style; while strangely (since it's by far the worst of the Showa era Gamera films), once we get to Super Monster Gamera the score starts sounding like a Kikuchi score.

I suspect that this happened because Kikuchi, for whatever reason, was limited to the style and motifs established by the Gamera composers that came before him, while Super Monster Gamera was nine years removed from the last Gamera film so I guess enough time had passed that he no longer felt beholden to that previous style, and so did the score in his own style the way he normally would.

Plus, Gamera vs. Zigra (the film that came before Super Monster Gamera) came out the same year the original Kamen Rider debuted on TV (1971). Kikuchi did the score for that show and it sounds very much like him. So I think (again, for whatever reason) that he was prevented from scoring those first three Gamera films the way he normally would have.

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by ManuGem » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:57 pm

This is an interesting remark. As for the other examples of "old" Kikuchi I mentioned, such as Ogon Batto, Genocide-War of the Insects, Terror Beneath the Sea, I thought we could find elements of his style, including melodic ones. and harmonics, but not others yet typical, like percussions and various "gadgets" (vibraslap, jew's harp, etc.)
It is possible that the very typical Kikuchi style we know, with all its ingredients, was not fully established until the 1970s.
(and then changed very little)

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Majin Buu » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:34 am

ManuGem wrote:This is an interesting remark. As for the other examples of "old" Kikuchi I mentioned, such as Ogon Batto, Genocide-War of the Insects, Terror Beneath the Sea, I thought we could find elements of his style, including melodic ones. and harmonics, but not others yet typical, like percussions and various "gadgets" (vibraslap, jew's harp, etc.)
It is possible that the very typical Kikuchi style we know, with all its ingredients, was not fully established until the 1970s.
(and then changed very little)
That's very possible too. His first credited work according to IMDB was in 1961, perhaps it simply took him that long to develop his signature style and it all came together with Kamen Rider. The 60s may have been his formative years as a composer.

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Majin Buu » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:47 pm

ManuGem wrote:(and then changed very little)
Interestingly, I listened to some of his score for Sakigate!! Otokojuku a few days ago and it sounds very different from his usual style as well. The electric guitar and synthesizer are far more prominent than they usually are in his music (to the point where they're arguably the main instruments rather than the usual horns and strings) and at times the score almost sounds like rock music (80s hair metal to be precise). Considering this score was made in 1988 long after his signature style had been established, I wonder if it was Kikuchi experimenting with a new sound late in his career.

(Sorry for the double post)

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by TheRed259 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:25 pm

Majin Buu wrote:Interestingly, I listened to some of his score for Sakigate!! Otokojuku a few days ago and it sounds very different from his usual style as well.
This anime is so good and Kikuchi's music goes so well with it.
Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlKNz_1yEfI :P
ManuGem wrote:And finally, if I'm not mistaken, Kikuchi's very first work for an animation series was Tiger Mask (1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JVTg2Vb_8I
And one of his soundtracks from Tiger Mask was in DragonBall Z - Movie 11.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giM-yhJNM6Y

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:29 am

Majin Buu wrote:Interestingly, I listened to some of his score for Sakigate!! Otokojuku a few days ago and it sounds very different from his usual style as well.
Listen to M13's score and you'll notice how similar they are, there's even a BGM nearly identical that plays on M13.
TheRed259 wrote:
Majin Buu wrote:Interestingly, I listened to some of his score for Sakigate!! Otokojuku a few days ago and it sounds very different from his usual style as well.
This anime is so good and Kikuchi's music goes so well with it.
Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlKNz_1yEfI :P
ManuGem wrote:And finally, if I'm not mistaken, Kikuchi's very first work for an animation series was Tiger Mask (1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JVTg2Vb_8I
And one of his soundtracks from Tiger Mask was in DragonBall Z - Movie 11.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giM-yhJNM6Y
Kikuchi's music from other series could have easily been re-used on the Dragon Ball series, and specifically in Kai if TOEI wanted to because they all sound very familiar as they were done by the master himself. For more modernized tunes, there's a decent chunk they could have picked.

I love the synthesized version of Z's score that was made for Tenkaichi, Raging Blast and Ultimate Blast. Can't remember if Battle of Z used those synthesized BGMs.

Xenoverse and FighterZ have "Anime Music Pack" bundles which are sort of samples of DBZ music but not as complete as past games had (JPN versions).

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by Captain-Sora » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:52 am

JohnnyCashKami wrote:Listen to M13's score and you'll notice how similar they are, there's even a BGM nearly identical that plays on M13.
Yeah, Goku's leitmotif from M8 up to M13 is derived from an earlier theme heard in that series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlKNz_1yEfI

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Re: Just saw Kikuchi in Gamera

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:05 am

Captain-Sora wrote:
JohnnyCashKami wrote:Listen to M13's score and you'll notice how similar they are, there's even a BGM nearly identical that plays on M13.
Yeah, Goku's leitmotif from M8 up to M13 is derived from an earlier theme heard in that series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlKNz_1yEfI
Sakigake's version always sounds so buttery smooth and as if it's from paradise, just love it! Goku's on the other hand doesn't differ too much from the rest of the Z tunes.

I wish Kikuchi had composed a cinematic score for the Z series like he did with Sakigake.

Although, most of Kikuchi's work is akin to the music he composed for Dragon Ball. I adore it but hate to admit he could've been even better than he already was.

I wish I could get a photo with him and an autograph. It would be such an honor.

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