A low point in the series, but still with merit.
Editor's review by Adam Corn (2009-07-25)
The first two soundtracks for Giant Robo instantly catapulted it to the level of the great soundtrack series. To expect composer Masamichi Amano to keep the music at such a high level for its seven-episode duration is perhaps asking too much, and indeed this third episode marks a temporary drop in quality. Giant Robo III Original Soundtrack doesn't match the greatness of its predecessors, but it's still a well-crafted orchestral score with moments that belong at the pinnacle of the series.
The opening segment of the score begins in a tone akin to the Golden Age of Hollywood, with sweeping strings, piano, and a melodramatic chorus. It works well enough as a temporary cooling off period from the high drama of episodes 1 and 2, and "The Return to Peking Base" in particular boasts some very pretty passages. Less easy to rationalize is the closing segment of the score, which except for a harsh, splendidly perturbed-sounding intro in "Gods Collide!! (GR vs Uranus)", consists mostly of string-heavy classical pieces that lack the driving narrative quality pervasive to the series.
Fortunately the middle section demonstrates that characteristic narrative drive and dramatic potency, and provides a couple of the series' best pieces to boot. "Paris in Ruins ~Alberto and Ivan~" is the simplest but most memorable, a peaceful and dignified troubadour-like piece performed by guitar and flute, intriguing considering it accompanies the episode's two primary villains. "The Announcement! The Magnetic Web Strategy" is the eminent pre-battle set piece - a rolling snare drum and rhythmic, steadily building brass give the impression of a crucial, monumental task at hand, while a quiet trumpet interlude adds a humanistic touch. Though not at the same level, "Vogler's Landing" marks another effective set piece for the battle itself, while "Daisaku's Theme" does its best to elicit empathy for a hard-to-like character.
Giant Robo soundtracks make excellent use of theme and repetition from the opening episode onward, but the themes chosen for reprisal in episode 3 are not among the best of the series. "Vogler's Fury" worked as a foreboding, mood-setting piece in the thematically packed second OST (as "Darkness Covering the Beijing Sky"), but it doesn't really bear repetition here. And though the somber reprise for "Giant Robo's Theme" is nice, it pales in comparison to the almost gut-wrenching Bashtarlle theme from earlier episodes and other truly poignant themes that come later. Another uncharacteristically weak area is the chorus, which though utilized to perfection in other episodes is a bit excessive here. The mood of perseverance and valor in "The Sortie Order" would have been stronger with more focus on the orchestra, and though the heavy use of the chorus in "Ending" keeps with the tone of classic Hollywood cinema established at the beginning, combined with Daisaku's already gushy theme the melodrama is a bit much.
Though disappointing when compared to its spectacular predecessors and successors, by any other standard Giant Robo III Original Soundtrack is quite the quality orchestral soundtrack. Giant Robo fans will need it for a couple of significant contributions it makes to the series canon, while lovers of classical music or classic Hollywood cinema should get the most out of this episode's slight departure in style from its counterparts. In all cases it should be understood that the score provides a glimpse but not the full picture of the excellence of the series.