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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Doujin Music: Highlighting the AnimeRemix Community

Good doujin music is hard to find. That’s the message I’ve gotten when I was unfortunate enough to have to listen to either of the Anime House albums or TAMUSIC’s godawful Haruhi arrange album. Hell, if it weren’t for kevo’s post celebrating the better Japanese doujin electronica works, I’d probably be giving up on the endeavor altogether.

My chief complaint with doujin music lies in its lack of creativity; most groups seem content with taking a well-known melody, be it an OP, ED, insert song, or, even more rarely, BGM, and slapping some UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ on top of it. Such a method feels so half-assed that I just become disenchanted by what passes for effort, and head off to better anime music pastures. I realize that such pastures are thin indeed, but the one that has stood out has been the works at AnimeRemix.org.

Back when videogame music dominated my listening charts, OCRemix.org was a site that I’d check out a lot. Not only did it (and still does) offer a whole lot of video game remixes, the ones that were posted there were generally pretty good. You didn’t have lazy techno beats draped on top of an anime melody, straight up transcriptions of game scores, or anything that simple. The people whose submissions were put on the site demonstrated a good amount of effort and creativity in their works, which made listening to their compositions a very fulfilling experience.

AnimeRemix is pretty much an offshoot of OCRemix and their goals are the same, except their focus is on music from animated works (be it Western or Japanese). The scale to which they’re operating isn’t quite as large as OCR because anime music is still an underdeveloped area within the anime fandom, but that it even has more than 100 remixes housed on the site is something to celebrate.

After going through their cache of remixes, I figured I’d showcase some of my favorites in no particular order. If you want to download the track in question, I’ve linked to the track’s downloads page for your convenience. [Read more…]

Reminiscing over the Decade’s Anime Music – 2001


Artist: if anyone knows, please tell me

Why yes, I have been quite busy as of late.

Anyhow, it was nice getting that chance to look really deep into the shows that aired in 2000 since delving to those lengths is a luxury from here on out, mostly because of how my interest in the medium grew somewhat around this time period. I say somewhat because there was a bit of a lull from 2001 and 2002, but that is a story for another day.

But with the focus on 2001, I can say that I saw a lot of enjoyable shows surface and some not-so enjoyable shows that nevertheless had some pretty awesome music.

Disclaimer: I unfortunately have not been able to solve the problem on how to turn myself into a being who no longer requires sustenance or sleep, both of which cut into my being able to watch copious amounts of anime and listen to all of their soundtracks. As such, it will be a given that I will not be able to touch upon all of them in this series. If a particular show that came out during the year highlighted did not receive a mention and you believe that it merits one because of its soundtrack, feel free to note that in the comments section. Being the soundtrack freak I am, I will add it to the list of stuff I should listen to. After all, if I can sit through Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose’s soundtrack, I figure I can stomach anything you can throw my way.

Youtube videos are spoilered, clips contain the entire track, and with that, let’s go! [Read more…]

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