This column makes its return after being on hiatus for so long!
It should also be noted that I really meant to write a Summer 2010 post, but I never got around to checking out many shows. Of the ones I did check out, Shiki proved to be very engaging because it nails the atmosphere right complete with Yasuharu Takanashi’s eerie vocal tracks. As for Occult Academy, that featured some pretty nifty piano work including some arrangements of classical pieces. Most of the composing for that show is done by Elements Garden, which has had their share of hits and misses, but so far, I’m digging the music. Ookami-san’s music was also supposed to be good (so says lelangir), but since I haven’t been following it, I can’t really comment. Yeah, I’ve been pretty detached from Summer 2010’s offerings. Maybe Fall can restore that spark.
With that in mind, here are my music-related thoughts for Fall 2010 with shows whose composers have caught my interest in some way, shape, or form. Obviously, using composers as a criteria for choosing which shows to watch is silly, but it might help knowing who is working on which shows to see just how much attention to pay to the music. More after the jump!
Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto
I was alerted to this show by the guys at Mechapot and the trailer features some exciting action sequences complete with an orchestral soundtrack that’s carries a grandiose atmosphere common to many mecha anime. Here’s the kicker though: this series is going to be composed by Satoru Kousaki. As in the guy who’s capable of composing solid standalone music (he wrote the music to the Bakemonogatari openings!), but more often than not writes minimalist stuff that usually derives more power in context than out (as seen in his soundtrack to Bakemonogatari). Mecha might not be my preferred genre, but I’ll certainly keep an ear on this one. Kousaki’s got talent, so the prospect of him writing music that can be appreciated out of context is too good to pass up. And who knows. This show might be pretty solid.
(As a note, Kousaki will also be composing the music to My Sister Can’t Be This Cute aka “OreImouto.” I expect his usual minimalist fare to pop up here.)
So yeah, you know that I like Yoshimori Makoto, right? With the steady improvements he’s made from Baccano! to Natsume Yuujinchou to the wonderful Durarara!! soundtrack, he’s done nothing but improve upon his previous works. In Kuragehime, we’ll be able to see if that trend continues. And even if it doesn’t, we can be assured that it’ll be an interesting listen. Makoto’s stuff might be weird, might be eclectic, but is never boring!
Shinryaku! Ika Musume
I also like Tomoki Kikuya a lot. The premise of this show looks to offer some pleasantness mixed in with silly moments and Kikuya’s compositions are well-suited to the task if the work he’s done for Hidamari Sketch is of any indication. I’d characterize most of his pieces as being on the whimsical side of things. Since he’s not in a position where he has to utilize existing themes (like he did with Hidamari Sketch x★★★’s OST, which was the least gripping of the lot) I’m hoping that he can deliver some fresh melodies that capture the lightness of it all.
The World God Only Knows
The World God Only Knows has gotten a lot of attention because of its manga, and I’m curious enough to see what it has to offer in addition to Hayato Matsuo’s compositions. Matsuo’s got a long history, and of his works, I’m most familiar with the music from the Ogre Battle franchise and Final Fantasy XII, which as far as I can tell, have been enjoyable mostly because of Hitoshi Sakimoto. His anime work that I’ve even touched is the arranging he’s done for the String Concert of Haruhi Suzumiya album as well as the soundtrack to the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. So no, that doesn’t say much about my level of knowledge of his works, but I won’t pass up a chance to listen to someone who’s done work with both anime and VGM.
There really shouldn’t be any surprises with Arakawa Under the Bridge since I fully expect the sequel to use Masaru Yokoyama’s compositions once more. I do hope that with this second installment, we hear a soundtrack announcement since I think Yokohama’s work has been solid after being drawn in as I watched the first season. That there’s no word of a soundtrack yet is a tragedy since I do believe that it deserves a release for being as good as it is.
Yes, I also know Yukari Hashimoto hasn’t been mentioned until now with regard to MM!’s soundtrack. I don’t have anything to say about her beyond me not being too impressed with Toradora!’s soundtrack but I’ve also heard that she’s improved since then, especially with Kanamemo. I’ll have to wait until someone more knowledgeable than I comes in with their thoughts on her work. For that matter, feel free to share any thoughts you may have about this upcoming season and the music contained therein.