One of my favourite anime series ever is Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, or as it was called here in Norway: Silver Fang. I remember renting the four Norwegian-dubbed VHS volumes several times when I was a kid, and it left quite the impression on me. It was epic, action filled, and dramatic, with blood and character deaths and an overarching story line, quite unlike most of the children’s shows I’d seen.
I may write a lengthier feature on this anime some day, but to briefly summarise the show: Silver is a young akita inu pup who seeks to avenge the death of his father and to keep the nearby human settlements safe by defeating the bear Akakabuto, who has gone mad from a lack of hibernation. An epic journey ensues.
This, like most anime, was based on a manga, which started its publication back in 1983. In 1999, the manga’s author, Yoshihiro Takahashi, started on a sequel entitled Ginga Densetsu Weed, about Silver’s son Weed, which was also turned into an anime.
I haven’t yet seen the sequel – in part due to wanting to have the series on DVD and my dissatisfaction with the DVD releases I’ve seen so far – but I’ve been drooling after the show’s soundtrack for a couple of years. Why? Simply because I’m a big fan of the original, and owning anything related to the “Ginga franchise” would be awesome, particularly anything that’s pretty to look at as the cover for this soundtrack seems to be. But, I wanted to see if I stumbled over it for a reasonable price somewhere rather than having to buy it as a full-price import; I generally don’t like to pay more than 100 NOK for a CD, and this would’ve been more like 200 NOK, maybe more with shipping charges. I hadn’t heard it either, so paying that much for a product you may not get that much enjoyment out of doesn’t seem like a good deal.
But now, it appears to be out of production. So now I’m again suffering from non-buyer’s remorse, and I have one more case file to add to the evidence folder for my conclusion that you ought to “buy what you want now as it might be out of production […] tomorrow.”
So seeing as the soundtrack was no longer purchasable, I found a download for it and listened through it, to find out whether I’d truly missed out on a great CD or if I was better off without it. My feelings are a bit mixed. The soundtrack has several unmemorable tracks, at times coming off as a generic, uninspired, low-production anime soundtrack with heavy synthesizer usage, definitely not living up to the excellent soundtrack of the original. But, it does have a handful of good tracks, which are mostly instrumental renditions of the show’s opening and ending themes. The best of which is this week’s track pick.
Am I sorry I missed out on the CD? I still am, yes; as mentioned, I pretty much want anything that’s related to the Ginga franchise, and this looks to have a pretty decent looking front cover. But I’m still not comfortable with the price 200 NOK plus for it, especially considering that the actual tracks aren’t all that good. Perhaps I instead should save up some money to commission a professional artist to make a big-ass Silver Fang painting for me.