What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

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What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:02 pm

Since I’m not really a fan of the original OST, even after watching numerous other anime shows from the same time period as DB (many of them only in Japanese and from the 80’s-90’s), what could it have been like if any one of these other Japanese composers handled soundtrack work for each DB series?

Original series: Chūmei Watanabe, Seiji Yokoyama, Kōichi Sugiyama, Kōji Makaino, Nozomi Aoki
Z: Kōhei Tanaka, Kenji Kawai, Yasunori Iwasaki, Toshiyuki Watanabe, Kō Ōtani, Tomoki Hasegawa, Toshihiko Sahashi
Kai (if they were still going to replace the BGM from the original show): Yasuharu Takanashi, Taku Iwasaki, Hayato Matsuo, Hiroyuki Sawano

Choose between the ones you’re most familiar with for each show and based on their resumé we can discuss how they could have captured various aspects of the DB series with a wider variety to their work (since unlike Kikuchi they don’t exactly paint everything with the same brush by using the same 1 or 2 minor keys all the time, which was acceptable in the 70’s but no longer the standard after that).
If you’re not familiar with them however I can list a few works from them and such.

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by kei17 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:49 am

I'm not familiar with the composers you mentioned except for Kōichi Sugiyama, Nozomi Aoki, and Kenji Kawai, but anyway, if it had not been Kikuchi, the score could have been some cheap-ass synth music that sounds heavily '80s-ish. Kikcuhi's music does sound dated in a way, but as a result, its conservativeness prevented obsolescence. It could have sounded almost hilarious if Kai's replacement score had been something like Aoki's score for Hokuto no Ken 2. The Kikuchi score could at least fulfill its role in Kai thanks to its classical composition style.

By the way, you said Kikuchi's music sounded almost the same all the time, but his music somewhat changed in the '80s. Though I can't explain it logically because I'm neither a musician or a musical theorist, when I listen to his music from various periods of his career, I can tell the difference between his pre-'80s works and those from the '80s onward. Some people point out that his participation in Doraemon in '79 brought a change in his music style. Kikuchi himself said it was a refreshing job because it's not a super hero show and he had little opportunity to compose happy-sounding music until that. Since then, his music seems to have stopped sounding monotonously heroic, and became more situation-centered.
Anyway, I don't see any problem even if he's just been the same and repetitive throughout in his career, though. Akira Ifukube was a great composer and is still loved by many people around the world though he recycled the same melodies and rhythms again and again for half a century.
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by JulieYBM » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:02 am

Kikuchi's Kamen Rider stuff definitely lacks the variety of his work on Dragon Ball. You get these happy, warm and sentimental pieces in Dragon Ball I can't recall in his Rider work, like the last piece of Movie #4 as they leave Garlic Junior's castle.
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:26 pm

JulieYBM wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:02 am
Kikuchi's Kamen Rider stuff definitely lacks the variety of his work on Dragon Ball. You get these happy, warm and sentimental pieces in Dragon Ball I can't recall in his Rider work, like the last piece of Movie #4 as they leave Garlic Junior's castle.
But his work from Grendizer and Getter Robo sounds mostly the same.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siAj9FCCwNQ

Also the fact that a majority of the OST's he did were for non-canon movies then reused in the show just makes the handling even worse.

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:58 pm

kei17 wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:49 am
I'm not familiar with the composers you mentioned except for Kōichi Sugiyama, Nozomi Aoki, and Kenji Kawai, but anyway, if it had not been Kikuchi, the score could have been some cheap-ass synth music that sounds heavily '80s-ish. Kikcuhi's music does sound dated in a way, but as a result, its conservativeness prevented obsolescence. It could have sounded almost hilarious if Kai's replacement score had been something like Aoki's score for Hokuto no Ken 2. The Kikuchi score could at least fulfill its role in Kai thanks to its classical composition style.
All of these are from the 80's and they're nothing like what you described:
Why do you people always act like Kikuchi is the only one who did orchestral music in either acceptable quantity or quality when there were tons of other people doing it back then but better and not in an outdated style? For example, Sunrise studios never once hired Kikuchi for just about any of their productions in the 80's and 90's, and they have orchestral soundtracks which are far superior to anything DB has to offer (a good example would be literally every Gundam series made in either decade before 2000). Among orchestral OST's, his literally drops down to the bottom of the barrel because it's outclassed by almost everything else produced by the likes of those I mentioned. Since it's far too reminiscent of the 70's work he did, and that was a decade in which BGM's that weren't the OP/ED, vocal insert themes, or some instrumental variation of either, were just not valued as much, and that changed during the 80's and 90's when the quality of BGM's began to improve.
But I guess you really aren't familiar with all these guys as you said, so that really does limit your scope of the BGM scene in anime of the 80's-90's. Not even Chūmei Watanabe who's also much older and is a contemporary of Kikuchi who's still active to this day.
By the way, you said Kikuchi's music sounded almost the same all the time, but his music somewhat changed in the '80s. Though I can't explain it logically because I'm neither a musician or a musical theorist, when I listen to his music from various periods of his career, I can tell the difference between his pre-'80s works and those from the '80s onward. Some people point out that his participation in Doraemon in '79 brought a change in his music style. Kikuchi himself said it was a refreshing job because it's not a super hero show and he had little opportunity to compose happy-sounding music until that. Since then, his music seems to have stopped sounding monotonously heroic, and became more situation-centered.
Anyway, I don't see any problem even if he's just been the same and repetitive throughout in his career, though. Akira Ifukube was a great composer and is still loved by many people around the world though he recycled the same melodies and rhythms again and again for half a century.
Once you listen to his 70's super robot OST's you'll find that there's little difference between that and Dragon Ball's. So that change didn't quite show up, and he'd been composing OST's since the 60's. Those also feature him overusing the F minor scale for the "hype" pieces (either that or C minor which is only different by one sharpened note). Even the recording quality sounds like it's from the 70's.
The problem here is when you can reuse one of his works from a completely different 70's show and put it in his work one or two decades later and there would be little to no difference. Meanwhile you can’t do that with the likes of Kōhei Tanaka however whose compositions for different series in less than one decade are easily distinguishable and can’t be mixed without a massive difference (see G Gundam and GaoGaiGar, or even Gunbuster or Exkaiser, or One Piece and w/e BGM's he's done that you're familiar with).

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by kei17 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:39 am

GhostEmperorX wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:58 pm
Why do you people always act like Kikuchi is the only one who did orchestral music in either acceptable quantity or quality when there were tons of other people doing it back then but better and not in an outdated style?
No, I've never claimed that. I said it could have been worse and become less usable today if it had been something heavily relying on the trend at the time, and it's at least fortunate that it did not turn out like that. I am not saying that no one else could avoid that. In fact, Kôichi Sugiyama's music for "The Ideon: Be Invoked" is one of the most timeless anime scores from the era. I doubt that his grand, space-opera-esque style would fit the Dragon Ball series, though.

But I guess you really aren't familiar with all these guys as you said, so that really does limit your scope of the BGM scene in anime of the 80's-90's. Not even Chūmei Watanabe who's also much older and is a contemporary of Kikuchi who's still active to this day.
By being "not familiar," I mean I've just never dug deeply into their works, but I do know their music through their shows and movies because I grew up watching them in Japan. I know nearly nothing about Micihiaki Watanabe (I prefer to call him by his real name) though, since I have very little interest in robot anime and tokusatsu TV series in general.

Once you listen to his 70's super robot OST's you'll find that there's little difference between that and Dragon Ball's.
I suppose that's because you are not very familiar with his music. Like I said in the last post, I do hear the difference. Also, Kikuchi conciously went back to his style from the '70s in some tracks of the score for "Tenchi in Tokyo" as some sort of self-parody, which sounds nothing like his other music from the '80s onward.

The problem here is when you can reuse one of his works from a completely different 70's show and put it in his work one or two decades later and there would be little to no difference.
Yeah, take some pieces of music from Superman and throw them in John William's most recent works. There would be no problem. (You'll probably say it's because his music is truly timeless because of the classical orchestra style, though.)
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by kei17 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:08 am

Sorry for a double post, but I looked through the last ten posts or so by you in here, and what I read was basically a repetition of "Kikuchi's music is old-fashioned and not actually that great. I wish someone else like Kōhei Tanaka had been the composer for Dragon Ball" and that's all. Tanaka is the arranger of Makafushigi adventure! and Romantic Ageruyo, by the way. Maybe you are trying to deny Kikuchi's authority and popularity in this community, but I don't think we need your kindly "enlightenment." This topic won't be any constructive unless you withhold your personal dislike for Kikuchi and love for some other specific anime music composers, I suppose. It's not an opinion really worth posting again and again.

Actually, there already have been arguments like this and criticisms toward Kikuchi's music for countless times among the Japanese anime/tokusatsu music fandom, mostly by some sort of "elitist" type of music lovers, saying like "Kikuchi's music is uninteresting and worthless technically because of its repetitiveness and technical simpleness," and I'm tired of hearing that kind of stuff. I heard that there even had been a DB fan persistently insisting in the letter-to-the-editor column of an anime magazine then that they should replace Kikuchi with Kenji Yamamoto whose music is "more modern and technically interesting." As you know, ironically, it become a reality and the truth of his modern music was brought to light.
I do know his music is simple and old-school and does nothing avant-garde, but that fact doesn't stop me loving his music. I often compare his music to instant noodles; They're simple and worthless from a gastronomic point of view, but still tasty and fulfill the role, and they're widely loved by the consumer public.
Last edited by kei17 on Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by JulieYBM » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:17 am

I like repetitive. For example: Evangelion really taught me how powerful it could be the guide how a viewer viewers a piece. Sagisu Shirou basically retooling his work so often to use older themes in how modern work is really nice.

I don't think Kikuchi is very repetitive. Then again, I think his work has a very concrete distinctiveness that is synonymous with Dragon Ball.
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:21 pm

kei17 wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:39 am
GhostEmperorX wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:58 pm
Why do you people always act like Kikuchi is the only one who did orchestral music in either acceptable quantity or quality when there were tons of other people doing it back then but better and not in an outdated style?
No, I've never claimed that. I said it could have been worse and become less usable today if it had been something heavily relying on the trend at the time, and it's at least fortunate that it did not turn out like that. I am not saying that no one else could avoid that. In fact, Kôichi Sugiyama's music for "The Ideon: Be Invoked" is one of the most timeless anime scores from the era. I doubt that his grand, space-opera-esque style would fit the Dragon Ball series, though.
Could have been, yes, but if Toei made that decision then that would simply be them being incompetent even though they could certainly have avoided that 100% being as they hired good ones even at that time period (Saint Seiya).
Do you think that’s the only style Sugiyama (or most of these others) can do? Or do you think there isn’t at least one scene or the other in DBZ where it would have worked? You underestimate these people, they can change their style to fit just about w/e setting it is they’re doing.
Glad you know of Ideon, that’s from 1980 and has more unique melodies as well as varied key usage. It also doesn’t sound like a bad quality recording either (because Sunrise).
When they change their style or genres of use (which they most definitely can do) they won’t even be recognized so easily. And when I say they should work on DB, I’m not saying they should just do what they do for everything else they come across but rather to conform to the series instead.
But I guess you really aren't familiar with all these guys as you said, so that really does limit your scope of the BGM scene in anime of the 80's-90's. Not even Chūmei Watanabe who's also much older and is a contemporary of Kikuchi who's still active to this day.
By being "not familiar," I mean I've just never dug deeply into their works, but I do know their music through their shows and movies because I grew up watching them in Japan. I know nearly nothing about Micihiaki Watanabe (I prefer to call him by his real name) though, since I have very little interest in robot anime and tokusatsu TV series in general.
He doesn’t just make toku and robot anime material though does he? Wait you watched them in Japan?
Anyway those are two genres that ruled Japan in the 70’s but underwent a transformation in the 80’s which led to a mixed era in the 90’s (particularly mecha though).
Once you listen to his 70's super robot OST's you'll find that there's little difference between that and Dragon Ball's.
I suppose that's because you are not very familiar with his music. Like I said in the last post, I do hear the difference. Also, Kikuchi conciously went back to his style from the '70s in some tracks of the score for "Tenchi in Tokyo" as some sort of self-parody, which sounds nothing like his other music from the '80s onward.
How many 70’s shows with his score do I have to watch to be as “familiar” with his music as you are? Even in 2 post-70’s works of his (Sakigake! Otokojuku and Shōtarō Ishinomori’s last work), while the quality is certainly improved it still features that old sound as well as key overuse (but C minor instead of F minor both times). Even in the DB movies which were new compositions he still heavily relied on just one or two minor scales. Besides, where are you getting all this info on Kikuchi anyway? I can barely find an interview of him even searching in Japanese.
The problem here is when you can reuse one of his works from a completely different 70's show and put it in his work one or two decades later and there would be little to no difference.
Yeah, take some pieces of music from Superman and throw them in John William's most recent works. There would be no problem. (You'll probably say it's because his music is truly timeless because of the classical orchestra style, though.)
Difference being that while John Williams has his own definitive style, he doesn’t overuse keys (so it doesn’t all sound the same)and he’s come up with many a unique melody which is more than I can say for post-70’s Kikuchi when he isn’t composing OP’s and ED’s (which he’s best at due to the many classic ones he composed and even a few recent ones but he never did that for DB). Williams also does classic orchestra but far better. You can’t use the Imperial March in the Superman movie he did, or Cantina Band in Harry Potter without something feeling out of place. Hedwig’s theme also can’t be used in just about any other series Williams has done. However the two just aren’t comparable, there’s a wide gap in their skill level with Williams being far above most of the time (due to not working with incompetent directors).
kei17 wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:08 am
Sorry for a double post, but I looked through the last ten posts or so by you in here, and what I read was basically a repetition of "Kikuchi's music is old-fashioned and not actually that great. I wish someone else like Kōhei Tanaka had been the composer for Dragon Ball" and that's all. Tanaka is the arranger of Makafushigi adventure! and Romantic Ageruyo, by the way. Maybe you are trying to deny Kikuchi's authority and popularity in this community, but I don't think we need your kindly "enlightenment." This topic won't be any constructive unless you withhold your personal dislike for Kikuchi and love for some other specific anime music composers, I suppose. It's not an opinion really worth posting again and again.
I don’t dislike the man himself due to the fact that there was quite a lot of merit to his work during his prime, but DB is a goldmine of possible signature themes and melodies for characters, events, items, etc that deserve better than overusing the same 3-4 keys for nearly everything. The reason I came and also asked this was to try and understand why people are satisfied with his own work for the series to the point where they even attack people for saying otherwise or hold it up as some gold standard of anime in general when nothing could be further from the truth. I respect many of his works in the 70’s because I watched a lot of 60’s-70’s cartoons growing up and recently some 70’s anime. It’s just that I think that since it was a decade in which BGM’s weren’t given much attention back then that it should be something that’s not a part of that standard that would work for DB or any other show made in the 80’s-90’s.
Yeah and the fact that Tanaka arranged the first DB OP and other tracks in DB then went on to make far superior, unique, and more varied compositions (special melodies, using most different keys, applying musical techniques excellently overall) for other works that change depending on the series he’s working on. A lot of times he can even be reminiscent of film music.
Look, as a person who’s not only interested in the concept of music beyond any passing trends and who’s found out a lot of mechanisms within it, but also listens to BGM’s as much as or even more than stand alone music, I just can’t be as satisfied with this as you can, especially since I’ve heard better and DB could easily have gotten that (and when Toei tried to actually do it in Kai they chose a plagiarist). DB is an iconic franchise, shouldn’t it have a just as iconic soundtrack to go with it? Is it so wrong to expect such?
Everyone can remember Naruto’s main theme but I haven’t found an equivalent in DB that isn’t an OP/ED.

Plus I gave objective reasons as to why I came to my conclusion which are rooted in a functional knowledge and general enthusiasm for music, so you can’t really dispute those aspects.
Actually, there already have been arguments like this and criticisms toward Kikuchi's music for countless times among the Japanese anime/tokusatsu music fandom, mostly by some sort of "elitist" type of music lovers, saying like "Kikuchi's music is uninteresting and worthless technically because of its repetitiveness and technical simpleness," and I'm tired of hearing that kind of stuff. I heard that there even had been a DB fan persistently insisting in the letter-to-the-editor column of an anime magazine then that they should replace Kikuchi with Kenji Yamamoto whose music is "more modern and technically interesting." As you know, ironically, it become a reality and the truth of his modern music was brought to light.
I do know his music is simple and old-school and does nothing avant-garde, but that fact doesn't stop me loving his music. I often compare his music to instant noodles; They're simple and worthless from a gastronomic point of view, but still tasty and fulfill the role, and they're widely loved by the consumer public.
Why would I want a plagiarist like Kenji Yamamoto when there’s many others out there that don’t plagiarize to the extent like he does? None of his major work across DB media is really his own and it’s a good thing he got banned from composing. None of my mentions have been though. Toei was foolish for putting him in charge of composition to begin with.
They just serve their purpose, nothing more, no going beyond either. It’s one of the reasons why people look down on BGM work when it can be so much more. You don’t need to stick with one genre either, depending on the situation multiple different genres fit.
That’s the problem, the consumer public isn’t as into music either way. Though it’s a good thing you confirmed my main reason for not actually liking the OST, so you ought to understand where it is I’m coming from when I give it such a low rating. I didn’t even use any replacement scores to make my point.

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:47 pm

JulieYBM wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:17 am
I like repetitive. For example: Evangelion really taught me how powerful it could be the guide how a viewer viewers a piece. Sagisu Shirou basically retooling his work so often to use older themes in how modern work is really nice.

I don't think Kikuchi is very repetitive. Then again, I think his work has a very concrete distinctiveness that is synonymous with Dragon Ball.
Not the kind of repetitive where it’s the same melody but on different keys in different tracks and speeds. It’s the kind where many different melodies are on the same key. There’s 12 tones, at least use 3 or 5 of them depending on the situation or character, then you can reuse melodies all you want.

Distinct? From my analysis of this and previous material he’s done as well as the keys and techniques he uses it doesn’t sound that way. It’s more of just another Kikuchi score than it is the kind that’s unique to a series.

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by kei17 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:17 am

Honestly, what's the point of persistently keeping expressing your hatred toward Kikuchi's music by repeatedly saying the same thing in every thread in the music section? You seem to be doing the same on Twitter, too, and it's kinda getting morbid. Your opinion isn't really unique and not worth repeating like a broken record, and you are contributing nearly nothing to the discussions. If you are trying to create a stir in the "ignorant" fanbase, I'm afraid but that's obviously misplaced kindness, sir.
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:49 pm

kei17 wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:17 am
Honestly, what's the point of persistently keeping expressing your hatred toward Kikuchi's music by repeatedly saying the same thing in every thread in the music section? You seem to be doing the same on Twitter, too, and it's kinda getting morbid.
I mean I agree with you, but tbh the same could be said about people constantly shitting on the other scores as well. (Not saying you do this, I mean generally speaking.

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:04 am

kei17 wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:17 am
Honestly, what's the point of persistently keeping expressing your hatred toward Kikuchi's music by repeatedly saying the same thing in every thread in the music section? You seem to be doing the same on Twitter, too, and it's kinda getting morbid. Your opinion isn't really unique and not worth repeating like a broken record, and you are contributing nearly nothing to the discussions. If you are trying to create a stir in the "ignorant" fanbase, I'm afraid but that's obviously misplaced kindness, sir.
Don't confuse disappointment for hatred, had it been the 70's I wouldn't say a word. Because the BGM of that time is just like the animation quality: inferior to the standard of what came after it.
And another thing, I recommend you leave the affairs of users on other sites out of this forum, whether that's me or anyone else. And it seems the mods would say as much.
And what you charge me of is also the same thing people who pan all the other scores do, but with considerably less ground to stand on.
How is a discussion even supposed to take place once literally any point I try to make, no matter how reasoned it may be, is disregarded or straw-manned? That's not how to hold discourse. If actual knowledge of music mechanics and theory isn't contribution to a discussion about a BGM and whether or not it works or could be improved, then idk what is. I'm not throwing out any ad hominems or anything towards any of you or the composer himself, so I'm not sure why you're acting like I am. It's simply putting the actual material under scrutiny.

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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by kei17 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:02 am

GhostEmperorX wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:04 am
Don't confuse disappointment for hatred, had it been the 70's I wouldn't say a word. Because the BGM of that time is just like the animation quality: inferior to the standard of what came after it.
And another thing, I recommend you leave the affairs of users on other sites out of this forum, whether that's me or anyone else. And it seems the mods would say as much.
And what you charge me of is also the same thing people who pan all the other scores do, but with considerably less ground to stand on.
How is a discussion even supposed to take place once literally any point I try to make, no matter how reasoned it may be, is disregarded or straw-manned? That's not how to hold discourse. If actual knowledge of music mechanics and theory isn't contribution to a discussion about a BGM and whether or not it works or could be improved, then idk what is. I'm not throwing out any ad hominems or anything towards any of you or the composer himself, so I'm not sure why you're acting like I am. It's simply putting the actual material under scrutiny.
The biggest problem with your attitude is that you treat your personal opinion as a fact, which is backed by your unoriginal "finding."

From my understanding, this is what you are continuously trying to claim; "Hey ignorant DB fans, you guys worship your favorite Kikuchi score as the absolute, but I've found out that it's actually inferior to other anime scores at the time because it was not following the trends. With my superior knowledge, here I enlighten you to more sophisticated, trendy, and better anime music, and you'll no more admire the outdated Kikuchi score once you get to know the truth!"

We do know that his score followed a relatively classic style even at the time, and that fact alone does not spoil its worth. The Japanese fans including me love his score even though they had been exposed to the anime music by other composers including your favorite Watanabe and Tanaka, and people in other countries like France had been familiar with Kikuchi's music and other anime music in general since the '70s and still love his DB music nonetheless. It's not that they are uninformed about any other anime music from the same era and ignorant enough to believe his music was fashionable and the best. Don't exaggerate your own find and treat your personal preference as if it's a truth backed by absolute technical factors.

By the way, your opinion reminds me of the "elitist" type of fans of Watanabe that existed in Japan decades ago. They liked to dispraise Kikuchi for his conservativeness and technical simpleness, and claim that Watanabe is a better musician because of his progressiveness and musical complexity. You sound like a zombie of such old fans.
I'm still 30 years old and don't know such people directly, but I've heard this kind of episodes from several Japanese Kikuchi fans. Also, ironically, such older Kikuchi fans tend to ignore his post-'70s works including Dragon Ball because according to them, he had changed a lot and they no more sound like his music until the '70s.
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GhostEmperorX
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:25 am

kei17 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:02 am
GhostEmperorX wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:04 am
Don't confuse disappointment for hatred, had it been the 70's I wouldn't say a word. Because the BGM of that time is just like the animation quality: inferior to the standard of what came after it.
And another thing, I recommend you leave the affairs of users on other sites out of this forum, whether that's me or anyone else. And it seems the mods would say as much.
And what you charge me of is also the same thing people who pan all the other scores do, but with considerably less ground to stand on.
How is a discussion even supposed to take place once literally any point I try to make, no matter how reasoned it may be, is disregarded or straw-manned? That's not how to hold discourse. If actual knowledge of music mechanics and theory isn't contribution to a discussion about a BGM and whether or not it works or could be improved, then idk what is. I'm not throwing out any ad hominems or anything towards any of you or the composer himself, so I'm not sure why you're acting like I am. It's simply putting the actual material under scrutiny.
The biggest problem with your attitude is that you treat your personal opinion as a fact, which is backed by your unoriginal "finding."
Any my biggest problem with yours is, regardless of anything else, an extremely dismissive attitude towards this out of boredom. And that post was in every sense of the word bait in order to see who out there I could hold a discussion in good faith with. It’s not like my reasons are ignorant like some of the dub fans who go “guitars are cooler than orchestral instruments like trumpets” or some other shallow logic like that.
Also, how is it not a fact that, as you conceded yourself, the score for DB didn’t push any boundaries? On that basis at least it certainly can be called mediocre. Taking it in isolation this may not be the case. But I’m evaluating the score based on uniqueness, properly made leitmotifs, variation in scale and tone, and its general substance (like, the style of which you wouldn’t easily hear in or even associate with another show), and it’s lacking in those aspects which, again, is something you conceded and the main reason I can’t get behind it as an overall package.
From my understanding, this is what you are continuously trying to claim; "Hey ignorant DB fans, you guys worship your favorite Kikuchi score as the absolute, but I've found out that it's actually inferior to other anime scores at the time because it was not following the trends. With my superior knowledge, here I enlighten you to more sophisticated, trendy, and better anime music, and you'll no more admire the outdated Kikuchi score once you get to know the truth!"
Again with dismissing the objective improvement in quality going forward as “trendy” when it was simply getting closer and closer to what was being used in high tier film music, as well as even the main classical genre itself. It’s like calling the improved animation of those same periods more “trendy” and still using the old standard can be fine. The thing is, I don’t understand how fans of the score can act so high and mighty when discussing it even though the only things they ever compare it to are the replacement scores from “Faulconer” and “Yamamoto” meanwhile the show could have definitely gotten a superior standard in respect to themes and capturing the diverse elements of the DB universe which have potential for some killer tracks. And I don’t throw these superlative terms around lightly either, I genuinely wonder if most of them aren’t aware and how they can even bash others for having an opinion to the contrary.
We do know that his score followed a relatively classic style even at the time, and that fact alone does not spoil its worth. The Japanese fans including me love his score even though they had been exposed to the anime music by other composers including your favorite Watanabe and Tanaka, and people in other countries like France had been familiar with Kikuchi's music and other anime music in general since the '70s and still love his DB music nonetheless. It's not that they are uninformed about any other anime music from the same era and ignorant enough to believe his music was fashionable and the best. Don't exaggerate your own find and treat your personal preference as if it's a truth backed by absolute technical factors.

By the way, your opinion reminds me of the "elitist" type of fans of Watanabe that existed in Japan decades ago. They liked to dispraise Kikuchi for his conservativeness and technical simpleness, and claim that Watanabe is a better musician because of his progressiveness and musical complexity. You sound like a zombie of such old fans.
I'm still 30 years old and don't know such people directly, but I've heard this kind of episodes from several Japanese Kikuchi fans. Also, ironically, such older Kikuchi fans tend to ignore his post-'70s works including Dragon Ball because according to them, he had changed a lot and they no more sound like his music until the '70s.
Classical purists will pan BGM’s no matter which ones they are (even if it’s John Williams), and they’d do so for DB even worse than I am presently (also agreeing that it’s probably one of the most watered down versions out there). And this is anime BGM’s we’re talking about, you don’t have to use either simply classical or strictly one other genre for it because soundtracks depending on the show are a place where anything from any genre can live and be incorporated and not be “out of place”. But even if you do it’s fine as long as they don’t mostly have the same tone.
And the reason I mentioned proper leitmotifs is because even the theme handling by Toei was screwed up. They just reused tracks from the (non-canon) movies to fit the actual content of the main show, which is something I can’t get behind either.
You say that but I’ve seen otherwise plenty of times, and they pretty much never hold it up to anything else from that time, which makes me wonder “what if they did?”, it’s always to the other scores within the franchise that came after (Toei hiring a complete plagiarist to succeed Kikuchi in composition when far more suitable choices like Sahashi or Yokoyama were within reach is one of their dumbest decisions ever).

You’re not exactly proving them wrong now are you? When said factors are the metrics one chooses to use, can you actually say the opposite? Like agreed in this thread, Kikuchi’s score didn’t try to go beyond fulfilling its purpose as a BGM. And that’s a fact that brings it down in my opinion regarding DB and its popular/iconic stature, and I see no fans of the score until now ever try to address that as being the reason why others may dislike it.
But anyways I’m even younger than you are (22) yet watched a lot of productions from the 60’s until at least the 2000s (I barely even care for most new productions so I’m anything but a “trend hopper” like it seems you’re trying to insinuate). And I like Orchestral music once it’s done 100% properly and in a magnificent manner, so if it’s not something like that then I don’t care all that much for it. I understand people have preferences but I barely see people being civil towards others in discussions of this nature throughout the net, which I’m trying to break away from.
And I don’t know if maybe viewing all this in hindsight is the reason for the difference in views between those older fans that you mentioned and mine as well as others now with regards to considering him to have changed past the 70’s, but I just can’t see so much of a huge difference.

EDIT: You’ve also yet to answer the main question of this thread, which is how would any of these names (that you know) could handle DB.

GhostEmperorX
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Re: What if one of these composers handled the music for the original series, Z, and Kai?

Post by GhostEmperorX » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:31 pm

kei17 wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:08 am
I do know his music is simple and old-school and does nothing avant-garde, but that fact doesn't stop me loving his music. I often compare his music to instant noodles; They're simple and worthless from a gastronomic point of view, but still tasty and fulfill the role, and they're widely loved by the consumer public.
On second thought, one of the fans of the original score who stopped to discuss it with me on YT put it in an interesting way: That DB relies a lot on silence, and Kikuchi’s score makes it so that the show is always on the edge and never too silly or happy. And to that end he was only there to give it some direction, not to, as he put it, steal the spotlight and sell CD’s with “in your face”-kind of music. And apparently most of the score is meant to portray a tragedy and keep a consistent mood, according to him.
Maybe this being the original intention was lost on me because I was expecting a lot more from watching the show (which I mainly do in Japanese now if I want to see clips of it) as well as the kind of show it is, but that does make a lot of sense, it didn’t try and fail to stand out, it just wasn’t intended to in the first place.
However I still believe it could at least have done without the excessive monotony as far as scales go.

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