Isekai de Mofumofu Nadenade suru Tame ni Ganbattemasu

Satoshi Hono and Ryunosuke Kasai

" It comes highly recommended. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

Isekai de Mofumofu Nadenade suru Tame ni Ganbattemasu (Fluffy Paradise) is the 2024 TV series adaptation of a light novel series written by Himawari. The Japanese series is available on streaming services coinciding with the 92:35 minute CD release of the original score by Satoshi Hono and Ryunosuke Kasai.

The series is best described as a slice of life anime set in an alternate universe, including a lot of fluffy ingredients; it can be charming, realistic or not, sad, funny, lurching in storytelling, but above all emphasizes this everyday life charm and warmth slowly. In the series, a woman dies, reincarnates as a little girl called Nema, and on meeting her maker, is granted the gift to be loved by animals and fantasy creatures, inhabiting a world alongside humans, in whom the force of magic necessities are among the common habits. In her new presence, she is now part of a noble human family. While, through her gift, she engages in many fluffy interactions, in return, she must help decide the fate of humans. I struggled to 'survive' the available episodes on a streaming service, but I gradually grew fond of it, despite not being its target audience.

Hono and Kasai, like in many previous outstanding works, opted for an orchestral and life instruments approach, aided by electronics, which is sublime, yet also predictable.

There is a delicate, noteworthy main theme, evocative strings, cello, solo (light) piano, a multitude of rhythmic percussion instruments, outstanding brass elements, a 'glittering' star effect to enhance the magical feel of it all, an enchanting, adolescent and mature solo woodwind, the tremolo in some instruments, Celtic influences based on the middle-age/magic reign theme, plucked, bouncy tongue-in-cheek instruments, rural ingredients performed by several instruments including a banjo, marimba, accordion, unobtrusive musical clichés (temp track sentiments and long-lived ideas) and more to aid this slice of life fluffiness of the series. It is surprisingly diverse, melodic, enchanting, well written and performed. Yes, it takes some time to interweave the charming main theme, and many of the adolescent ingredients, such as the infantile woodwind, as it progresses into dramatic territories, in which a lot of the trademarks become more introverted, or not at all. Yet, the schmaltzy cues are still revisited throughout the series, often in shortened edits of the cues as presented on the official release. The composers tap strongly into that almost childish feeling of wonder and cuteness. They have written music of incredible charm, even though disavowing myself as the target audience, I can see strong appeal in context. Compared to other scoring 'genres', it also has romantic comedy touches, optimistic video game cuteness (think Zelda upon listening to the cue Midori) and a considerable amount of rather quirky, hugely attractive comedy material.

As time passes, Nema's mission becomes more apparent. Thus, (light) adventurous, mysterious, ethereal, melancholy, heroism, and action material - all extremely well - are introduced, well, some earlier into the series, but they gradually take shape halfway through the series in which many instruments, sounds and a toned-down versions of everything that once was woolly is integrated throughout these pieces. As said, there are many reprises of the fluffy material throughout the entire series. For instance, the more eerie strings and electronics, displaying the quarrel between man and animals, or the developed tension in Nema's first 'adventure' in the forest, can so easily be interrupted by Nema burping out of hunger, aided by a short reprise of a quirky musical cue, followed by something more serious. Whereas a lot of adolescent series aim for a hyperkinetic approach, this isn't so in this series given the slice of life approach, which, despite the many gear changes, is more rural, slower and more digestible.

There is the exceptional suspense and ethereal dissonance in Nema...Kore wa Yabaitte and the excellent action writing in cues such Iya na Yokan, including intense live instruments, electronic beats, with a touch of magic through the use of chimes and a dramatic feel by a cello take on the main theme. Ongoing, various forms of electronic beats/percussion pass by, some more likable than others, but they remain exquisite on the whole. Nema,Gambaru! is a good example of bolder heroism by the use of strings and brass fanfare. All these pieces have different purposes throughout the series; they can allude to a conflict between characters in conversing, exist in a battle sequence between creatures, while accommodating Nema's inner struggle with her teacher, to people and creatures showing their (magical) abilities.

To appeal to the world of Nema, linked to the theme of her maker (God), her given gift, the overall fantasy and magical ingredients, are exceptionally well transcribed for the understated choir and electronics, and reaches great momentum in the spacious Misterioso. It is divine, spine tingling in a resonating performance and recording of bright instruments, such as the piano, muted brass swelling, the glittering star synth, light choir, even the marimba. In particular, I love the spacious recording because of how the piano evokes a fantasy, ethereal and sci-fi tone, something many excellent scores have done before; the title screen overture of Super Mario Galaxy by Mahito Yokota is a point of reference. In context, like almost all material on the official release, fragments appear scattered throughout the series, as in the middle of the season, underscoring the distanced interactions of Nema with a dragon, seeking help as goblins capture her.

Yet, the definitive highlight of the entire score is, once again, an imminently sad and introverted piano solo, as heard in the cue Zetsubo no Fuchi. It is often reprised, but its strongest moment appears in the first piece of music in the entire series, as you see an overworked character die and reincarnate as the character that you continue to follow further on. Another noteworthy cue is Grave, combining the sadness of the piano with an impressive cello performance, which comes out the best halfway through the series as she connects with a spider, just being killed by a master goblin, regretting she could not save the spider, as she accesses his emotions in a morbid state, discovering the spider leaves behind a child. Arguably, most cello performances depict her doubts and evolving thoughts about the fate of humans, and whether she should pursue the idea of humans and all creatures/animals living in harmony, which she does eventually. But they are also often employ.ed to underscore the deeper emotions of not only the main character, but the thoughts and emotions of all these different animals and creatures in the series.

In reality, there's so much more top-notch material throughout this score, from the 5-minute take on the main theme to an innumerable number of other cues. I especially love how well edited versions of all the music of the release are well-placed throughout the entire series. Upon seeing the first episode, it's an almost 'best of' compilation of short edits of every bit of the fluffy content. It is unknown if the composers 'simply' wrote music, allowed freely edited use of their music, or if they were deeply involved in this process. Without knowing this, I could appraise their musical input as much as any editorial person involved. Another important factor in appreciating and experiencing how the music works in the series is looking at the drowned appearances of the music, often favouring the ever present voice acting and other sounds. In a sense, it would be a good way to masquerade inferior (which aren't there) qualities of the score, but there is still quite an instinctive, well-balanced approach to it all.

The composers deploy a classical music repertoire, including a waltz and polka, further enhanced by obvious (film) score influences, besides a semi-embarrassing take on Morricone in Katsyaku. Like all other material, the polka is given the purpose of aiding the frenetic speed of a wild bird, ridden by Nema, and reoccurs in a few other quirky moments. The classical dance, a bit like the Celtic influences applies to the overall reign of this world, to noble people and - from a far distance - to magic, underscoring the decorum within Nema's new family and other humans she interacts with.

Overall, there is a lot of excellent music, and even though the fluffiness is very present, there is so much more that shows the composers excellence in writing. The more I think about it, the more I conclude it's an absolute jewel, yet not without default and things worthy of criticism.

It comes highly recommended.

01 - Fluffy Paradise-Main Theme- 5:18
02 - Mabataki2:07
03 - Odayaka na Nichijo 2:03
04 - Midori 1:36
05 - Wakuwaku de Kirakira 2:03
06 - Twilight 2:57
07 - Mofumofu 2:07
08 - Fushigi na Chikara 2:03
09 - Yasashisa 2:17
10 - Hashiru,Hashiru,Hashiru 1:37
11 - Shuppatsu! 2:11
12 - Kakki aru Machi 2:02
13 - Andante 1:56
14 - Elegante 1:51
15 - Ottotto.. 1:58
16 - Okorareta... 1:35
17 - Fuwafuwa 2:01
18 - Mofunade Polka Schnell 1:40
19 - Taihenda! 1:53
20 - Misterioso 2:57
21 - Fuon 1:58
22 - Tojo 1:48
23 - Iya na Yokan 1:52
24 - Nema...Kore wa Yabaitte... 1:57
25 - Zunosen 2:35
26 - Kikko 2:17
27 - Iza Shobu! 2:13
28 - Ressei 1:46
29 - Katto 2:25
30 - Zetsubo no Fuchi 3:07
31 - Sennyu 1:56
32 - Nema,Gambaru! 2:12
33 - Jiseki no Nen 2:26
34 - Yakudo 2:23
35 - Katsuyaku 1:34
36 - Oinaru Ketsui 3:41
37 - Shiana Keikaku 2:43
38 - Grave 2:29
39 - Mori no Nushi 3:11
40 - Sakerarenu Tatakai 2:05
41 - Basha ni Yurarete 2:08

Total duration: 92:35

Cues by:
Satoshi Hono (01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41)
Ryunosuke Kasai (02, 04, 06, 08, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38)

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 4/5)

Released by

Pony Canyon (regular release 2024)