Cast In The Name of God, Gundam F91 Ye Guilty (Now Apologize To John Williams Already)

Normally I have nothing but good things to say about the Gundam franchise, be it about it’s music, it’s mecha, it’s animation or it’s vision of the future, but today I’m going to hit it up a bit about something I’ve always found extremely irksome about one of it’s entries…namely Gundam F91.  This might actually be something that most people aren’t aware of or perhaps not, but the nerve it has in labelling it’s music as an Original Soundtrack when it’s clearly not visited me again last night while I was playing a G Generation game with my friend.  

He had chosen the F91 scenario, and so naturally the music is from F91 and immediately the two tracks that come up are the two most blatant ripoff tracks from the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back sountrack by John Williams.  I pointed this out to my friend and he was all “Guhey” and didn’t seem to really believe me even though he’s seen the Star Wars movies more than I have, but the fact is you see that I have the power of soundtrack collections, time and the internet on my side and can afford to show exhibits A-D and how shameful the Gundam F91 soundtrack and it’s unsurprisingly short lived career composer  Satoshi Kadokura are.  I’ll let people add their own commentary from here on out:

1. Gundam F91- Crossbone Gunno Sinkoto by Satoshi Kadokura
2. The Empire Strikes Back – The Imperial March by John Williams
3. Gundam F91- Sentou by Satoshi Kadokura
4. The Empire Strikes Back – Hyperspace Theme by John Williams


10 Responses to “Cast In The Name of God, Gundam F91 Ye Guilty (Now Apologize To John Williams Already)”

  1. 1 Lugo Snitski October 31, 2009 at 9:43 am

    It isn’t too noticeable at first, but once you’re about 30-45 seconds in… Holy crap! O_O

    How did Sunrise NOT get a Cease-and-Desist letter from Lucasfilms over the first track?!

  2. 2 ghostlightning October 31, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Yeah this was the first thing mechafetish warned me about when I told him I was watching F91.

    It doesn’t bother me so much to listen to it, especially since F91 itself is rather forgettable (if not for it’s high production values I’d have hardly anything really to say about it).

    But as for passing this off as original music… yikes.

  3. 3 BeInvoked October 31, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    To be fair, John Williams is not exactly innocent of this either. For example; the piece ‘The dune sea of Tatooine’ is almost note for note the same melody and the Introduction to Part 2 from Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’.

  4. 4 zzeroparticle October 31, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Eeeyeah, that’s pretty bad.

    To answer Lugo Snitski’s comment though, thething with music though is that there’s a lot of leeway regarding what is actually stealing and what isn’t. I’ve seen a lot of original artists listen to some works in which an argument can be made for it ripping off of their work and then declare that it’s not plagiarism. Since I’m not really in the music industry, I can’t really give a more definite answer of what constitutes plagiarism and what doesn’t.

    Given that someone did make the youtube video, was there any official fallout to come from it?

  5. 5 Kaioshin Sama November 1, 2009 at 4:47 am

    @Lugo Snitski: I believe that Lantis or another big music producter owns the rights to reproduction and sale of the Gundam F91 music, but it is kind of strange that when F91 came out in the U.S and fell under the dominion of Bandai USA that somebody didn’t notice and that a case wasn’t made by Lucasfilm. Perhaps it wasn’t seen as having the potential to cut into Lucasfilm’s prophets since the music has never really been sold in the U.S market, or perhaps nobody decided to go to court over it. Basically it could be any number of reasons.

    @ghostlightning: Hmmm….well at least F91 still has Eternal Wind which is still one of my all time favourite ending ballads.

    @BeInvoked: That is pretty interesting indeed and maybe makes the situation into a bit of a karmic one. I guess what goes around comes around and vice versa.

    @zzeroparticle: Actually I made the youtube video and uploaded it to my channel and was kind of surprised that it even let me upload it without forcing an audioswap, but as far as I know nobody has ever really talked about it in the music industry. It’s just sort of a knowing nod sort of thing between Gundam fans.

  6. 6 Nick November 9, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Luckily nobody has the rights to the slight roll of a beat.

    I think it is possibly that they may have had permission if nothing else.

  7. 7 fool January 11, 2010 at 4:47 am

    ghostlighting’s dislike of F91 is disappointing. Honestly I thought it was a step in the right direction for Gundam. I think people just don’t like the mechs, and the fact that it was turned into a movie instead of a series.

    I just watched Zeta, and all the fanboys claiming it contains a “deep, dark, and mature” storyline are laughable. It’s got great mobile suits, and not much else. Well I guess you can laugh at the bizarre social interactions, or the totally “unique” storytelling.

  8. 8 Cobrafire January 24, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I haven’t seen F91 in a while, but I didn’t notice that until just now. Just…wow.

  9. 9 Matt Wells April 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Though this sort of thing crops up form time to time in anime, I wonder when it is that this subtle sort of plagirism can be condoned or even endorsed. Take Masimachi Amano’s score for Giant Robo: The Animation. The piece “Rush! Issei and Youshi!” is correctly labelled as an erzatz version of the title theme to “How the West was Won”.

    A few pieces in Evangelion take a similar approach to two themes found in the soundtrack to the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. And perhaps most famously, The Big O is famed for appropriating the Godzilla march, the opening to Gerry Anderson’s U.F.O and Queen’s Flash!

    The difference here though is that both Giant Robo and Big O have incredible soundtracks, even if they lack any shame in borrowing from such classics. Look at it as the fine line between a rip off and a homage; if a work pays tribute to the legend it steals from, its an homage. If its a piss poor imitation, its a rip off.

  1. 1 Anime Instrumentality Blog » Blog Archive » Prelude to a Review: Ryo Kunihiko, News Jingles, and Musical Quoting Trackback on May 27, 2010 at 5:09 am

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