To Heart OST Booklet Comments

The Original Soundtrack of To Heart, which I am fortunate enough to own, comes with a booklet with short statements from the composer, director, and sound director for the show. I found them extremely interesting, especially the ones by the director (“wants to make it feel personal” is a good way of summarizing the approach of the series) and composer (who based the romantic soundtrack on his imagination and his time at an all-boy’s high school).

Included rough scans of the relevant pages as well, for people interested in a look at the original.

Translator’s Note: The first paragraph of the statement by Watanabe Jun was extremely messy in the original Japanese, essentially a one-sentence paragraph with hella commas separating stuttery speech. I tried to strike the best balance I could between preserving the original statement and making the meaning clear. Apologies for any difficulties encountered in reading that part.

<Page 1-2>

Cut-in: With that adored girl and the time with her beloved one, if this music of To Heart always stays by your side, it would be the ultimate happiness for me as a composer.

Main Text: In this case, there was something that troubled me immensely regarding being in charge of To Heart’s music. I’m not trying to hide it; I was a graduate of a boys’ high school, so I spent that nostalgic high school life of mine in an environment without any women. So of course, I had no sense of this sort of dramatic experience, and I distinctly remember the meeting where I confessed this to director Takahashi, but he said, “Let’s express the high school life we imagine (and adore?)” and thus gave me courage. I thought, “I see, so I just have to write my own ideal?”… Music that plays when a loving couple goes on a date. Music that plays when they have a fight. Music that plays when you want to meet with that person. Of course, there’s also music that plays whe you’re with friends and during school life… In that sense, I was able to take the high school life I hadn’t experienced, and enjoy it to my heart’s content within this project.

The music of the game that the anime is based on is synthesizer-type, what you call DTM {Desktop Music} was the focus of it, but for the anime, in order to place emotional expression in a central role, I wrote the whole score as acoustic music (using live instruments). Only the music for the bundled special episodes is synth-type, written so as to distinguish from the character of the main work. With that adored girl and the time with her beloved one, if this music of To Heart always stays by your side, it would be the ultimate happiness for me as a composer.

Composer / Wada Kaoru

<Page 3-4>

Cut-in (a): An unfamiliar world, and meetings with unfamiliar people…
I think that becoming an adult little by little within the seasons that reflect these is quite wonderful.

Cut-in (b): In order to achieve a sense of forward-looking nostalgia.

Main Text: The photographs I take on my travels are, as a memento of those travels, a very precious thing. What I’ve seen, where I’ve been, and what I’ve experienced there are wonderful things which allow me to remember those moments – that is, to <myself>.

To <others> who haven’t been on that trip, they are nothing more than impressions of “Hmmmm, that’s a nice place.” or “You did something neat.” And why? Because photographs are the definition of a “record of personal memories”.

In regards to adapting To Heart into a visual medium, what I was most mindful of was having those who watched the animation feel the “records of personal memories” as “records of personal memories”.

That is, regardless of gender or age, I wanted them to feel what was to them “that precious period, that time”.

When I met with Wada Kaoru-san to discuss the music, I asked, “Write the music of the time in high school you yourself experienced, Wada-san.” And also, not to pump up the story, but to envelop the story all the more-

-The wonderful finished score is precisely music which makes <me> recall my time in high school. And it’s become music where those who listen to this soundtrack also will feel what is “that precious period, that time” to <them> – that’s how it is.

Wada-san, thank you very much. I’m very pleased with the results.

Director / Takahashi Naohito

<Page 5-6>

Cut-in: An everyday-ish life with nothing going on…
Within that life, an expansive dream world begins to spread.

Main Text: Call it a slight change of heart in the name of the creation of a slight world, one page of spring (wow, that’s lame) that, by now, everyone had long been on the verge of forgetting (no, even forgot already), but will now remember. That is this To Heart; within a natural world, this mysterious and delicate feeling of romance is exquisitely expressed by music. When anyone, including the director, hears this upon their ears, they will perhaps begin to worry over their emotions, I think.

I was extremely thankful to Wada-sensei, who wrote the BGM, and the rest was a matter of me doing my darndest and worrying my head over just how to bring the work together.

If you listen to that music, and feelings like, “It felt this way back then” or “I should have done this more”, come rushing back, I would be extremely happy.

An everyday-ish life with nothing going on… Within that life, an expansive dream world begins to spread, is what I think it will evoke.

It might be nice to listen to this CD, and immerse yourself in a nostalgic feeling…

Sound Director / Watanabe Jun

<Page 11>

Title: Playstation To Heart Music Staff Interview

-Regarding music production on the Playstation version of To Heart:

The game was with a light, poppy atmosphere to it, and we tried to express that with music as well.

Also, when we were working on character theme music, we were careful to match up the character and their music.

-Their impressions on hearing the music in the animation:

Honestly, at the beginning we on the music side of things weren’t told what sort of atmosphere the anime was going to be aiming for. Because of that, we couldn’t predict what sort of music they were going to be mixing. But we did hear in the middle of the development phase that the anime soundtrack was to be performed by an orchestra, so we wondered, “Maybe they’ll show us a different To Heart from that shown by the game’s poppy atmosphere?” Of course, this sentiment applied the music parts, but we also became quite curious about the anime in general.

When we saw it for real, it was obvious that the anime and the music had a very solid image and were matched up well together. One reaction to the BGM was “Orchestras sure are nice…” (laughs)

Also, we were happy that the tracks cutting in and out of commercials were orchestral arrangements of game music.

-Regarding the differences expressed through the music of the game and the animation:

Regarding the soundtracks, we think that in the anime’s case the BGM tends to add elements of a “secret ingredient”, while for the game BGM, like game music, we were careful to place a bit more of a strong emphasis at points. Also, the existence of character theme music, and the method of preparation could be called game-like.

However, the anime and drama style of “making a song through BGM” is something we’ve had interest in for some time,and we actually are planning to try and mix a bit of that in to our future games.

Aquaplus – Shimokawa Naoya, Ishikawa Shinya, Nakagami Kazuhide

Source Pictures:

p1-2 p3-4 p5-6 p11-12

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