2001 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title The Last War
Japanese Title Sekai daisenso
Movie also known as: The Great World War
CD Label Victor
CD Number VICL-5082
Composed and Arranged by: Ikuma Dan
Number of tracks 42
Running time 64:38
Number of discs 1
Year of release/manufacture 1991
Year of movie release 1961 (Japan)

REVIEW

June 16, 2001

This is a great sounding CD from composer Ikuma Dan. It's a good mix of slow, sweet tunes and action oriented pieces. The whole CD was a pleasant listening experience. Some of the slower tunes remind you of pastoral settings, young love, etc. The action tunes will have you on the edge of your seat. Track 17 reminded me in parts of music heard in "RAN" with it's haunting music.

July 1, 2001 Additional info on the movie courtesy of Jim Walsh

"The Last War" was released by Brenco in the US (the company that released GORATH here), according to JAPANESE FANTASY FILM JOURNAL. I had seen "The Last War" on tv, and it was available for video rental to cash in on "THE DAY AFTER". I found "The Last War" to be more moving than "THE DAY AFTER" - even the US version which had some awkward dubbing and shuffled scenes.

Two comments about "The Last War":
1.) Frankie Sakai, who normally plays a humorous character, turns in a great dramatic performance just as the bombs are about to start falling.
2.) Also, there are many scenes of conventional military craft, missiles, planes, etc., and Toho could have easily used military stock footage like many US studios would have used. But instead, almost EVERYTHING was done by miniature. It really is proof of Tsuburaya's love of his craft!

IN the US release, they substituted the shmaltzy Disney song "It's a Small World" for the Japanese kid's song... But in my opinion - this works VERY well. I'm not very big on Disney, but the kids singing "It's a Small World" is both a plea for peace - and an ominous warning... "The Last War" shows the cold war tensions from the point of view of an innocent, helpless nation (Japan) caught in the middle of two superpowers. The ending is very draining and sad, without a shred of hope.

"The Last War" can often be found on eBay. Usually the video cover is silver and shows a nicely painted eagle and bear snarling at each other, while a missile is shown launching in the background.

English Title: The Last War (aka THE GREAT WORLD WAR)
Japanese Title: Sekai daisenso
Track translations courtesy of John Cassidy (Daijirou Ryuusei)

  1. Overture
  2. Main Title
  3. 16 Years After the War
  4. Car Radio
  5. Allied Nation - North Atlantic Coordination Excercise
  6. The Tamura Household
  7. The Sodium Bomb
  8. Takano's Return to the Country
  9. Takano and Saeko
  10. Commonwealth Nation - Far East Missile Base
  11. Allied Nation - Mainland Missile Base
  12. Mokichi Tamura is Happy
  13. The Dream of Two People
  14. The War Breakout Command
  15. A Hair's Breadth!
  16. Bulb of the Tulip
  17. Blow Fire!! Thirty-Eighth Parallel
  18. Yakov's Writing - Chapter No. 4
  19. Oharu and Suzue
  20. Remove the Detonator!
  21. The Thirty-Eighth Parallel's Armistice
  22. World Peace ~ Sunset of Yokohama
  23. The Sparking, Scattering Bering Sea
  24. The Evening of Yokohama
  25. Crisis of the World War
  26. Panic
  27. Allied Nation - The Missile Firing Preparation
  28. Two Goats
  29. If We Surrender . . . . . .
  30. The Final Cries
  31. The Third World War
  32. The World's Last Day
  33. Ending 1
  34. Ending 2
  35. Nursery School (New Year's Day)
  36. The Closing Prayer
  37. Ending (Final Product)
  38. Main Title (Unused)
  39. Allied Nation - The Missile Firing Preparation (Unused)
  40. New Year's Day (Unused)
  41. Ending 2 (Unused 1)
  42. Ending 2 (Unused 2)