Although anime vocalists get much of the attention, we’re most interested in the anime composer. These are the people who provide an anime series with its own unique musical identity. Their melodies help shape the mood and atmosphere of a series, elevating what may be mundane to something that’s extraordinary.
Because of that, we pay a great amount of tribute to these anime composers. We’ve talked about their background, the soundtracks they’ve written for various anime, and we’ll continue to share our opinions about them. And if you’re interested in learning more about your favorite anime composers, you can do so here.
|Composer: Joe Hisaishi
|Composer: Taku Iwasaki
|Composer: Yuki Kajiura
|Composer: Yoko Kanno
|Composer: Jun Maeda
Anime Composer Concerts
Naturally, our interest in anime music means we’ll hit up concerts. While the bulk of our concerts focus on vocalists, we’ve had the opportunity to attend a few concerts that focus on anime composers.
The first one that really caught our attention was hearing Yuki Kajiura in concert along with her group of vocalists in FictionJunction. Given when the concert was held, there were selections from Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica which got audiences excited. But as longtime fans, we were pretty happy to see that .hack//SIGN and oldies like My-HiME and Noir get a chance to shine.
But better still was when we were able to catch Joe Hisaishi in concert. Being able to hear his Studio Ghibli music was a real treat. We reveled at the chance to hear him play from evergreen anime titles like Totoro to Princess Mononoke to even The Wind Rises.
Finally, we also talk a lot about anime composers because we’re pretty passionate about them. There was a time when we ran an online poll, just to see which composers anime fans liked best. Not surprisingly, Yoko Kanno, Yuki Kajiura, and Hiroyuki Sawano were the top 3 finishes. All of them have a characteristic sound that endears them to many anime fans. When it comes to crafting memorable scores, these 3 succeed at that task with flying colors.
But we also get a chance to talk about some of the anime composers that we personally love. Because we’ve made listening to anime music a pretty significant part of our lives, our lists are bound to be different. Names that usually would escape notice, but that we loved in bunches include Joe Hisaishi, Michiru Ooshima, and Yoshihisa Hirano. There’s definitely a good amount of bias that goes into our picks, but we know what we like and enjoy. And sometimes we’ll even get a chance to talk to a composer like we did when we interviewed Kaoru Wada at Anime Boston.
Now, if you were to look at picks in Japan, it’s kind of interesting the names that pop up. Katsuo Ono and Yuji Ohno were both able to make the cut. The former wrote music for Case Closed/Detective Conan while the latter is very prominent with the Lupin franchise. Maybe we’ll revisit those composers at some later date and see what the fuss is all about.