Anime Soundtracks: Best & Favu Composers... desu?

GIant Robo music, eh? You may yet make a friend of the Ataru/Mendou avatar poster you encountered in the AL thread.

I intended to reply to a few posts, adding some tunes. For now, I'm just going to put these two recent Netflix interviews here: interviews with Sawano and Kanno before I'm banned once more. Thought you musically inclined folk might be interested.

I'd deleted a 2nd post on the first page as I didn't want two long link-filled posts on one page. TLTR was, Mark Mancina composed and Hans Zimmer produced Blood+'s OST.Diva / Saya's Courage
I see we also went on a Hans Zimmer tangent, and The Last Samurai was not mentioned. One of the most powerful soundtracks.
Whilst mentioned non-anime soundtracks, The Raid. The composer behind Linkin Parks songs back in the day.Putting a Mad Dog Down

Few other tidbits: recently revisited Welcome to the NHK. The guitar and vocal inserts get me, deep inside, every time. There's one track that's been on YT for 10years, Hitori Bocchi. The comments on the video are a fascinating nosedive into depression. It resonates strongly with anyone that can relate. Never looked up the lyrics in English yet it's so powerful. Knock, knock, knock~

Oh, and came across this on YT, and Beyond the Time via its remixed OrIgin TV OP theme. Never watched Char Kunta but the instrumental track reminded me of so many other things, even Godfather 2, with its grand scope. And the vocal track, for all its Engrish, had me looking for all the versions of it. In Unicorn Sawano's female vocalist sang it.
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Ulysses 31 was one of the first anime I saw back in the 80s, and the first one to traumatise me. Whenever this music played, you knew someone was royally screwed for all time.
Sisyphus: "Ulysses, my friend, I'm sorry. Forgive me."
Zeus: "Too late, Sisyphus. Tooooooooo late!"

Also, for the Shiro Sagisu fans out there, if you haven't seen Shin Godzilla then you haven't heard some of his best work.
The Macross Frontier stuff was also Yoko Kanno, if I recall correctly, though it was a mixed bag for me with May'n's songs easily the best part. I'm not as fond of Kanno's overall output as many but Macross Plus, as mentioned above, was a standout. It was one of the rare OSTs to be readily available in music shops in the UK back in the old days, along with - strangely - the Lodoss soundtracks and a couple of other experiments.

Kenji Kawai's best work, for me, was the music he did for Seirei No Moribito. One of the OSTs went out of print by the time I watched the show and realised I liked it so I had a devil of a time tracking it down across Japan. It was worth the wait.
Gah, I always forget Kawai did Moribito. I hear him in it now as I listen in my head. His best work, perhaps. The part where Balsa remembers her spear wielding step-father fight. 'Tis a fantastic action track. The series also has a lot of more tender instrumental pieces that throw me off the Kawai scent.

Another Kawai work worth mentioning is Tylor, given it's a comedy as opposed to epic/action thing more typically associated with his name. The Lament of Lieutenant Yamamoto

About Macross Frontier, that was another soundtrack I really liked, way back then. What ever happened to Macross after Frontier? Always been interested in its mechaXidol song hybrid. 'Tis the May'n' songs/Sheryl that stayed with me. Especially the songs in the first movie version, which was an altered - and better - version of the TV series with Sheryl more heavily involved. Universal Bunny really gave me the feel of a futuristic concert.

Oh hey a music thread.

Hiroyuki Sawano I've also been big on, as you can't really beat a Sawano drop. Got some of his stuff from AoT, Gundam, Promare and 86. As much as Narrative is a terrible movie, the theme song is great
Only watched Narrative because, knowing it a Sawano OST, I'd listened to it many times before. Mainly that vigilante track. Didn't help me overlook those CG robots and whatever the mess of a plot was. In Hathaway, there's a track with an almighty beat drop around a min in that probably gave me the most chills of all his stuff, watching. Tracer

Promare I barely enjoyed more than NT. But, like with that, I'd already heard the OST before watching, and it had some of his best. Seems it has been taken down on YT but Ashes is quite powerful, rather than the AoT variety of epic action fare.

Will do my bit and pimp out Masaru Yokoyama, my personal favourite and some examples of his beautiful work on
Scum's Wish

I'd forgotten all about Scummy Wishes OST, but that was what made me get into that. Really enjoyed revisiting via your video. It has an intimate, sensual sound to it that matches what seeing on screen, whilst also adding a classiness to it that prevents is from coming across trashy at times.

Unfortunately Yokoyama has mostly done a lot of b-tier anime I've little interest in but will put him on my musical radar, now.

Hajime Mizoguchi
Both Mizoguchi and Yoko Kanno worked on the soundtrack for Escaflowne, and I'm not certain who composed which tracks, but this one sounds very Mizoguchi, and I expect that's probably him playing the cello.
Jin Roh I'd forgot had Kanno involved. It's the main theme and end credits/not sure who vocalist but sounds like Macross Plus vocals to my ears. A beautiful song for the credits, whilst the intro set the tone.

Mizoguchi I'm unfamiliar with, perhaps not helped by him working with Kanno on few things of note. That Escaflowne track certainly doesn't sound like Kanno.


Whilst typing end credits, I'd be remiss to not link to Urusei Yatsura Beautiful Dreamer's:
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For anyone interested, Hitori Bocchi / Welcome to Loneliness with lyrics: Pearl Kyoudai - Hitori Bocchi with Lyrics | English Subbed
Another song from NHK. Turns out a band called Pearl Kyouuuudai did the soundtrack for it, and no other anime. Would explain why it's so distinctive with its vocals and guitar usage in particular stand out. Yamazaki, cuuuum back~

To mix it up a lil', 'The Falling Angel with Torn Wings'. Atmospheric, with some nice guitar riffs. 'Damn It... Another Sunset' with a harmonica. There are also upbeat songs, such as the ironically titled 'Welcome to the Darkside' with distintive female vocals. (from the Misaki date ep).

Also been revisiting School Rumble recently. Soundtrack has more range than recalled. Surprising given it's such a crazy comedy.

Also whilst 'ere, Spice & Wolf. Another anime long since forgotten, but one with a unique sound to it. Heavy on upbeat flute tracks that goes perfectly with Holo's teasing, and violin tracks for tense-action.
Best for me is 'Hashiru/RUN', which I always recall when remembering the series.

Claymore is another series not yet mentioned, and its composer has done a few lesser known anime soundtracks that impressed me: Witchblade and... Peach Girl. Claymore's though is something special. It has action tunes, of course, but what wowed me was how he created this dark ambience musically that captured the tone of the medievalxmonster world.
This still gives me chills: Kakusei no Kodou

Also, when mentioning Kanno, I forgot alllll about one of the pieces of music that stayed with me (also added 'Cyberbird to OP'}, as it encompassed Togusa's emotions during a long scene at the end of SAC S1 where he thinks he's the last surviving member of his team, culmiating in him deciding to go out in style. Starting around 2mins, you really get a feel for his psychological descent. Most composers, like Sawano, do beat drops and transition into other songs, and even this track does with the first 2mins. But she then build-up, slowburn, and it becomes one of the greatest pieces of music she's created.
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Speaking of Yohko Kanno I ran into Cyber Bicci earlier this year and I like the album a lot. It's quite a bit different than what she usually does.