Maybe Tsubasamaru's Theme Isn't a Problem After All--A CCLemon99 Follow-up

There is nothing more irritating than getting ripped off. On a smaller scale, you get some asshole re-uploading a video of yours for small profit. Sometimes, however, a career can ascend through somewhat murky circumstances.

I used to do a video series on my back-up channel called "Blue SWAT To The Future". It all stemmed from a piece of music from the Blue SWAT Music Collection that has an uncanny resemblance to the memorable tune from Back To The Future. You can still check out the video here. I did a few more videos based on whatever sound-a-likes that I had come across...and who knows, I might revisit the series someday.

By the second episode of the series I had covered a more subtle copy, but a pretty blatant one nonetheless. Tsubasamaru's theme music, from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, has an eerie resemblance to the equally eerie Blade Runner end title music by Vangelis. I slapped the video together, posted it to Youtube, and called it a day. It turned out to be the least popular video in the series, but no matter...it was out there.

I probably should have been a little more thorough, however. For starters, I actually have a theory as to why this happened when it did.

You see...the timing is almost too perfect. Tsubasamaru's first appearance was in episode twenty-three of Kakuranger, which aired on the 22nd of July, 1994. The new theme music was used and was the first piece in the second wave of music to be used in the series. The Blade Runner soundtrack was having a bit of a renaissance at the time as it remained unreleased in any official capacity. In early 1994 your only options to hear the acclaimed soundtrack was A) Watch the movie B) Listen to 1982 Disco-cover soundtrack no thanks C) Get your hands on the 1993 bootleg. Option C is really what forced an official release to come into fruition. On the 25th of July, 1994, the first official Blade Runner soundtrack was released in Japan with other countries having similar release dates.

Doesn't the timing seem...a little more than coincidental? How is it that Tsubasamaru hid an Easter Egg like this? I mean, I remember preordering CDs in the 90s, so it's entirely possible that Kakuranger's composer, Eiji Kawamura, was aware of the Blade Runner's soundtrack months in advance and somehow managed to show his support through his wink/nod facsimile days ahead of it's release.

OR. It's a coincidence. The timing, the music itself, the fact that Blade Runner also feature origami. All of it. Well, the last one definitely...

Origami...Tsubasamaru...Blade Runner???


So why am I revisiting this topic? Well, there is a new Blade Runner movie coming out this month and I'm pretty stoked about it. I spent a lot of time on the road recently, so I found myself listening to, naturally, Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack. I'll be perfectly honest, outside of Blade Runner I only know of two other Vangelis songs. The first being a track called Horizon that I heard through this really creepy car commercial. The second being one the one that everyone has heard...Chariots Of Fire.

Chariots Of Fire is, honestly, pretty irritating in retrospect. Cliché blah blah slow motion blah blah cliché. Whatever. It was an odd electronic tune from the 1981 movie of the same name set in the 1924 Olympic games. It also launched Vangelis' career to a mainstream level and likely got him the gig working on the Blade Runner soundtrack.

I ended up getting bored one night and started reading about the several different versions of the Blade Runner soundtrack when an interesting tidbit snuck out and bit me. Vangelis was once sued for copyright infringement over his most memorable work...Chariots Of Fire.

The story goes like this... Fellow Greek composer Stavros Logaridis released a song in 1977 called City Of Violets. And well...just have a listen. And now Chariots Of Fire again.

After years of this case being kicked around court in Europe, Vangelis...actually won. ......how?

Whether the Judge just wasn't hearing the similarity or Logaridis had a horrible legal team representing him, in the eyes of the law these two songs are merely a coincidence.

So this is where I feel the need to step in.

All that hooey about the Tsubasamaru theme song being a copy of the Blade Runner end title music? Coincidence. How are we even sure Eiji Kawamura has seen Blade Runner...or even heard of it for that matter? The fact that he is a Sci-Fi composer with electronic tendencies? Coincidence. I mean, sure the Tsubasamaru music sounds nothing like any of the other Kakuranger music...but maybe the man just wanted to try something new. As far as I know, there is no court case against Kawamura and Toei by Vangelis. No need to make a fuss since they're nothing alike.

I almost feel the need to retract the video I made. I mean, sure, all the other videos in the series are carbon copies, but this one...I don't think it belongs there any more.


I obviously had a little bit too much free time on my hands while I was on the road. When I heard about the court case the very first thing I thought of, well, the second thing I thought of was the Tsubasamaru music. The first thing was how much I don't really care for Chariots Of Fire. Vangelis is a very talented musician, but I don't know about this one. Legally it's his own creation...we can't argue with that.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this unusual post. If you want some more music topics, check out my CD Collection page for some related articles.

See ya!


No comments:

Post a Comment