Anime Instrumentality to Become J-Drama Instrumentality

After nearly four years of writing about anime soundtracks, we at Anime Instrumentality have collectively come to a realization that in order for us to continue our evolution as J-music fans and hone our insights and analysis, it is necessary for us to explore other media. The only criteria is that it would have to be Japan-specific, so after combing through the gamut of J-music from bunraku scores to visual-kei to Ainu music, we’ve ultimately settled upon J-drama soundtracks.

Part of our goal is to fight back against the rising tide of moe (which is a cancer) and “2D > 3D pig disgusting” sentiments. The most meaningful way to counteract these phenomena is by focusing on a medium that features real people in real-world situations. Thankfully, in analyzing the music, J-drama scores aren’t too wide a leap from anime soundtracks. With so much cross-pollination in the composer department, we feel that exploring J-dramas provides us with a “similar, yet different” feel that we seek.

It also helps that many J-dramas tend to stick to romantic polyhedrons or comedies, giving plenty of opportunities for composers to show off their ability to write soft, tinkly piano music or ratchet up the emotional flow with sustained, harmonious strings that are beautiful and dynamic, with a complexity that rivals Bach’s counterpoint. In fact, we’re confident that these works will be able to withstand the test of time; it’s just that people haven’t had the exposure to them and we’re looking to change that.

After all, when this site started, the goal was to spread the love for an under-appreciated medium. Nearly four years in, we’re pleased with the progress; a recent study shows that anime forum discussions of anime music have increased 218% year over year for the past four years. A 10-year forecast of that trend shows no signs of slowing either, as we’re looking at a 673% compounded annual growth rate and will encapsulate 1000% of all online anime discussions at the forecast’s terminal year. In short, we have done our job there.

Furthermore, we’re not content to relax and we’ll continue to seek new challenges. J-drama OSTs are a logical next challenge. As is our modus operandi, we like to delve into stuff people might not know about. Like the hipsters we are, we are looking for great music from little-known composers from a medium that people probably don’t think a whole lot about. Are you excited like the people in the picture up top? We sure are!

With that in mind, our dedication and goal of providing people with great music to check out has not changed. Only the medium that we’re focusing upon has as we explore new dimensions in our transition from 2D to 3D. On the administrative side, we’ll keep this domain for now, but you can expect that to change sometime in the near-term.


Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

15 thoughts on “Anime Instrumentality to Become J-Drama Instrumentality

  • April 1, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I’ve been expecting a change like this for some time now. After all, Anime has become too popular and we all know you guys are poseurs, who are only happy when you are discussing something that “regular people” don’t care about.

    I will admit I am disappointed you didn’t go the Bunraku route, as your talents are best suited to describing the subtle complexities of the shamisen. Nevertheless, I wish you well on the continued evolution of X Instrumentality.

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

      I’m extremely excited to be diving into this new medium in part because of how little people know about it. After all, the biggest joy I have is from exposing people to stuff that they wouldn’t normally listen to on their own, so opening up their doors to new music is a service I’m really looking forward to.

      Bunraku was a difficulty mostly from the financial standpoint since there are few places that feature complete Bunraku plays and the discs are hard to come by on. It’s all a logistical issue really.

  • April 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
    Feel your breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze
    Anytime, anywhere, in my heeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaart

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Only V6… onnnnnly V6… I actually haven’t listened to them since Inu Yasha. Despite putting Gokusen as the post picture. Heh.

  • April 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    That can’t be… *check the date of the post*

    Sure, but nice prank… I would have go a bit further by going all out and change the banner to reflect the change.

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Oh, just give us time to redo the layouts. I am a bit busy with classes to do a perfect mockup at the moment :p

  • April 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Konaaaaa Yukiiii Neeeee…..

    *insert violin wails*

    I approve the change and look forward to much synth violins in the future!

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Synth? J-drama budgets (at least, some of them) allow us to hire orchestras! Majestic instrumentation to be had for all!

  • April 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I for one and excited for this change. I had a feeling that as anime became more and more popular, we were becoming more mainstream as well. I would write about some soundtrack, and people would have heard the work would actually post about how they disagree with me. Once in a while they would actaully catch on that I’ve never even listened to the song and I was just making things up. Commentors forming their own informed opinions? Not on my watch!

    My review of the Engine (2005) theme song will be done by Friday.

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:58 am

      The thing that frightens me more is being able to talk about the show in question with complete authority just based on listening to the soundtrack and no one will ever call me out for this. The details may be off sometimes, but the general trend is spot-on.

      Looking forward to it!

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