"Excel Saga" Soundtrack 1: Get Wacky!
The comedy anime series Excel Saga is one of my all-time favorites. It has an uncontrolled comic energy that I hadn’t previously seen in anime and has more in common with an American cartoon like Animaniacs, Looney Tunes, or The Simpsons than, say, something like Evangelion, Sailor Moon, or heck, even other anime comedies. It doesn’t intend to be the deepest series on the block; its goal is to make you laugh, and nine times out of ten it succeeds.
One of the best things about the show is its catchy music. Victor Entertainment and Toshio Masuda did an excellent job at giving each character and situation a hummable and addictive melody that will get stuck in your head long after watching an episode. And they repeat these melodies throughout the entire run of the show, which helps us get attached to the character’s personalities. After all, their character types really come across in the music.
The series’ first soundtrack release, dubbed “Excel Saga Great Soundtrack: Experiment 1,” a reference to the tagline at the end of every episode, contains thirty songs, running a little over sixty minutes. The style runs from Latin-flavored, uptempo songs like Excel’s theme, to piano-heavy, slower-paced songs like Hyatt’s. From Pedro’s twangy guitar theme to Nabeshin’s energized hard rock/beach tune to Ilpalazzo’s pompous orchestral chords, we get a lot of varied song styles, and any fan of the series will thoroughly enjoy hearing them again.
I have one minor complaint about this release, though it also doubles as a compliment: The track names are unorthodox. Instead of something simple like “Mizaki’s Theme”, we’re given “It became a cool song. Yeah.” Instead of “Menchi’s Comical Theme”, we get “I was told it should be a comical Menchi. Is that the reason why I am treated indolently?” So yes, many of the track names are quite long. A bit too long. This is probably because when they anglicized the titles they didn’t shorten the Japanese sentences but instead left them all intact. While the unusual track names go along with the unusual nature of Excel Saga, it’s hard to keep track of which track is which track, and I sometimes found myself getting off track.
Regardless of that tiny flaw, the Excel Saga OST is a worthy addition to your CD collection. You can find it in any store that sells anime soundtracks, like Suncoast or Sam Goody, so you won’t have to search high and low for it either. Highly recommended.
Excel Saga Great Soundtrack Experiment 1 is available now. The show’s second soundtrack is due out November 1.