Joe Hisaishi’s Piano Stories Best ’88-’08 – Review

Joe Hisaishi Piano Best

Album Title: Piano Stories Best ’88-’08
Anime Title: Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Porco Rosso
My Neighbor Totoro
Howl’s Moving Castle
Artist: Joe Hisaishi, Masahiro Sayama
Catalog Number: UPCI-1080
Release Type: Arrangement
Release Date: April 16, 2008
Purchase at: CDJapan, iTunes

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KOKIA: Pieces – Review

KOKIA - pieces

Album Title: Pieces
Anime Title: Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
Broken Blade
Bungaku Shoujo
Artist: KOKIA, Masumi Itou/Hikaru Nanase
Catalog Number: LACA-15141
Release Type: Album
Release Date: August 24, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

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Wolf’s Rain Original Soundtrack 2 – Review

Wolf's Rain

Album Title: Wolf’s Rain Original Soundtrack 2
Anime Title: Wolf’s Rain
Artist: Yoko Kanno, Maaya Sakamoto, Ilaria Graziano, Franco Sansalone, Steve Conte
Catalog Number: VICL-61280
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: April 21, 2004
Purchase at: CDJapan

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Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen Original Soundtrack – Review

Kenshin Seisouhen OST

Album Title: Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan ~Seisouhen~ Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen
Artist: Taku Iwasaki
Catalog Number: SVWC-1010
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: Jan 23, 2002
Purchase at: CDJapan

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Anime Instrumentality’s 6th Year – Kicking Off with Some Masterpieces

Anime Piano
There’s nothing like a blog anniversary to give me a shot in the arm, a kick in the rear, and a punch in the nose, sending a jolt to my system that’ll have me increasing my output. I say this because last year was a down year when it came to reviews; we succeeded in writing just 16 reviews, most of which came during the month of May. We made up for that with a wider variety of content where we struck a chord talking about Asia’s Chord Progressions, filled people in on what composer Jun Maeda has done through the years, and went the N-list articles route by talking about some of our favorite waltzes.

Most of those articles and reviews came out in May, which suggests that blog anniversaries are indeed good for output! That said, May did coincide with my stint of NEETness, so you can pencil that in as a possible confounding variable. In terms of other disruptions, around late summer, the Animusic Tourney went into full swing, taking a good chunk of time away from reviewing and general musical musings.

So to be honest, I’m not sure what this year will hold. I can guarantee you that I’ll still be around, pecking away on my keyboard as I attempt to make a dent in the mountain of anime music that seems to come out every single year. Sometimes, the album will be such that inspiration comes easy and I can whip it out without sparing too much brain power. At other times, I’ll be grinding it out for 6 weeks before a review goes to print. Within the releases for this coming year, most will go untouched, but the ones that are on top of my radar will get a much-deserved treatment. Such is my work rate.

But in the pursuit of good music, we at Anime Instrumentality have this bad tendency to go after all the new crap, most of which is, admittedly, crap. So it’s worth taking the time to look back upon past works that are truly great and now’s a good time to do it as any. If there are albums we’re sure you readers would like to read more about, it would be those albums that transcend mere excellence so as to be masterpieces.

For this next month, my team and I would like to go unearth soundtracks from anime long gone and revel in the musical moments that have turned us into a gaggle of schoolgirls swooning and squealing over awesome music. After all, finding good anime music in an idol-poppin’, ambience-saturated arena is already difficult; finding masterpieces that move you in a way that stands the test of time is nigh impossible unless you’ve built up an internal database of OSTs that leave you in breathless wonder. So I hope you all look forward to Anime Instrumentality’s Masterpiece Month and can find some new avenues in which to explore in your musical journey.

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