Game: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Title: Main Theme (E3 2018 Version)
Composer: Hideki Sakamoto
so part of why I broke the topic right here and didn't make a few more posts in the other topic is because this specific song was up next and seemed like a GOOD FIRST SONG FOR NEXT TOPIC song because it is a MAIN THEME
So I think I hinted at this before in some conversations with people on board 8, without being too clear on what I meant, but this is perhaps THE biggest misplacement in the entire list (it would be somewhere in blue tier, if not low purple tier, if I redid this ranking now). but I promised myself I wouldn't change the rankings once I started posting them because I could reorder them infinitely and have opinions change every single time. so they're locked into what they are now.
I think part of why it needed to grow on me was because I knew it was Hideki Sakamoto/noisycroak, and I have high expectations for him/them because I'm a pretty big fan of their work I guess. Especially pokemon mystery dungeon (of which Sakamoto only did some portion of pmd2, but based on style I imagine it's a number of my favorite tracks in the game), but other things too. Since this didn't meet those "high expectations" I was like "aaaa it's a DISSAPOINTMENT" and all that, because it had the potential to be easily my favorite main theme of smash and whatever.
but when I distance myself from that high-expectation distortion of opinion, I actually do think it...is maybe my favorite main theme of a smash now. Very closely contended with melee main theme though...which isn't surprising because it's hirokazu ando and I've already expressed liking his style (and well I like smash 64 opening/credits/etc more than even that for the same reason because that is also him... not sure that even counts as a "main theme" or if that game could be considered to have one anyway)
I think what makes this stand out to me is that it does the thing that's most likely to be emotionally gripping to me...normalize abrupt jarringly different chord changes to the point that every other chord is using many notes that would make the melody sound wrong in the previous chord at some parts. it's subtle in presentation here compared to other examples like modern fire emblem or zan-zan-zawa-veia or whatever though. That might sound like an arbitrary technical thing to be excited about, but it's the thing that emotionally moves me the most. Chord changes like these in many parts can make me FALL OVER. on top of that, tons of sus chords and 7th chords which I always love the big full 'spacious' sounding nature of. The melodic line weaves its way around this intricacy in a smooth way, but it almost never feels predictable to me.
I guess the melody on its own for the most part is just normal diatonic e minor, but the CHORDS around it play with big cool \;56\][ygsd96866. one example is whenever there's an Fmaj7 (or similar) chord at the parts where the melody holds out the e like at :16. I think this is more pronounced in the non-e3 versions, and for that reason I like those versions more. still though the stuff I like IS here, and makes this theme effectively dramatic and emotionally INTENSE to me.
another easier-to-notice and more concrete example is right at the beginning honestly, the second chord enforces the scale to be e dorian at the start rather than e minor, so you get that C# rather than C, and everything is based around that, even though there's these immediate shifts to clear e minor right after. the chord changes themselves are a pretty abrupt jump from that i to the IV in terms of how I perceive it. I rarely expect to hear that immediately after a minor i I guess and the melody highlighting that feels COOL