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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Joe Hisaishi in Budokan – Concert DVD Review

Title: Joe Hisaishi in Budokan
Anime Title: Various Ghibli movies
Artist: Joe Hisaishi
Catalog Number: VWBS-1078 (Blu-ray), VWDZ-8130 (R2 DVD)
Release Type: Visual Media
Release Date: July 3, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan: Blu-ray, DVD, Play-Asia: Blu-ray, DVD

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Composer of the Month – Joe Hisaishi

Overview: When Joe Hisaishi’s name is mentioned, the first thing that may come to mind is his work with Studio Ghibli, and, more specifically, with Hayao Miyazaki. Hisaishi’s music has an immersive quality, one that draws the viewer into Ghibli’s gorgeous visuals and Miyazaki’s spellbinding stories, bringing the films to life. While his collaborations with Miyazaki make up the list of his better-known works, it unfortunately ignores a huge chunk of his anime compositions that much of today’s fandom may never encounter. We are, of course, referring to titles like Galactic Whirlwind Sasuraiger and Genesis Climber Mospeada (though they may be familiar to fans who got into anime during the 1980s).

The other dichotomy to consider when dealing with Hisaishi is his stylistic transition from synth, rock, and electronica to scoring anime using an orchestra. We will go a bit into that shift in the main article, but for the purpose of this synopsis, we can say that regardless of the medium in which he chooses to work, Hisaishi has done an excellent job, thereby forging a strong reputation that stretches across the past three decades. And there are still no signs of him slowing down!

In case you’re here to only listen to the soundclips and not read any of the text, below is the master list of all the pieces featured in this profile entry in order. It’ll save time if you don’t want to have to click through each and every track.

Master List

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Composer of the Month – Yoko Kanno


Overview: Among the most prolific of anime composers, Yoko Kanno stands as one of the most loved and sought-after songwriters in the industry. Her works are particularly notable for covering a huge swath of genres; from the pumping synth-techno of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex to the sweeping spiritual chanting of Earth Girl Arjuna, Kanno dabs her compositional brush into many styles. Arguably the most famous of her scores is that of the jazzy Cowboy Bebop, likely many peoples’ first encounter with Kanno and the soundtrack with which she is most frequently associated. In addition to her anime works, she’s composed music for commercials, live-action movies, and several video games. Lastly, she’s also an excellent J-pop composer, whose works have been performed by such high-profile artists as Maaya Sakamoto, Crystal Kay, Aki Okui, and more recently, May’n and Megumi Nakajima in the latest installment of the Macross franchise.

In case you’re here to only listen to the soundclips and not read any of the text, below is the master list of all the pieces featured in this profile entry in order. It’ll save time if you don’t want to have to click through each and every track.

Master List

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