Love him, loathe him, or laugh at him, Cho Aniki is one of the zaniest game characters. Often called ‘that gay Japanese game’ for its excessively grinning, almost-naked body builders, the game takes a special perspective to look at. But worth looking at (or in this case, listening to), it certainly is. The series is best-known for the faux-macho ditties of Koji Hayama, that egotistical persona whose trademarks of cheesy samples defined both the games and his musical style. Though not composed by him (a couple tracks excepted), the Sega Saturn and PS1 outing, Cho Aniki: The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Galactically Powerful Man (1996) follows the same style with the ever-impressive complex melodic layerings and textures of Taku Iwasaki, Sanae Kasahara, and Don McCow. While this may seem fairly heavy-handed praise for what is essentially a ‘crap game’ (or kuso-ge), while the rest of the game looks unabashedly awful, the soundtrack really is deserving, as the final stage track “Last Battle (Ahh!)” demonstrates (and after all, one of the soundtracks did sell more than the game).
“Last Battle (Ahh!)” raises imagery of a martial arts dojo high in the mountains where masters of muscle-building and kung fu fight a spectacular battle while the acolytes train intensely or gaze on from the background. That’s the sort of thing you would expect, given the Buddhist tantras, heavy drums, and tribal chanting. Actually, that imagery is probably more fitting of a Capcom or SNK fighting game, as Cho Aniki instead is a fly-over of a vast metropolitan core with muscle-men spaceships flying and exploding overhead, as seen in the video below. Read the rest of this entry ?