Celebrating 25 Years of Sailor Moon

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sailor Moon, we returned to Los Angeles and reunited members of the DiC music team for a special live concert starring Jennifer Cihi, Annelle K. Gregory, and Sandy Howell.

Photos by BLC3Music Services

Held at the stellar Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural Community Center, the symphonic-pop concert featured songs from the 90s anime, DiC dub, live-action TV show, Sailor Moon Crystal, and musicals performed by a trim 15-piece ensemble of strings, winds, percussion.

A special meet-and-greet session was held pre-concert with select songwriters and singers from the 1995 DiC English-language dub – composer Michael Benghiat (“My Only Love”), composer John Miyagi Author (“The Power of Love”), singer-songwriter Lois Blaisch (“Rainy Day Man”), singer Jennifer Cihi (“It’s A New Day”), and singer-songwriter Sandy Howell (“Oh Starry Night”). It has been more than 20 years since these fine musicians had seen each other, so the reunion was at times nostalgic, informative, playful, and comedic. Thank you to these wonderful guests for joining us and creating memorable songs for our favorite show!

(Highlights from the panel discussion will be available for viewing on the SeraSymphony youtube page.

Music performed at the concert included “Maboroshi no Ginzuishou~SILVER CRYSTAL,” “La Soldier,” “Kirari Sailor Dream!,” first-ever live performance of “Oh Starry Night” with Sandy Howell, “My Only Love” with Jennifer Cihi, “Sailor Star Song,” and “Uranus and Neptune” featuring Annelle K. Gregory, among others.

SERASYMPHONY II: Half Moon is now available for digital download

View more images on our Flickr Page
View more info, visit the SeraSymphony Official Website

Takayuki Negishi, composer

Best Music from Takayuki Negishi

It’s his birthday! Composer and synthesizer operator Takayuki Negishi is comfortable working with magical girls, action-adventure boys, and card games all around! Best known for his Cardcaptor Sakura and Cardfight!! Vanguard OSTs, Negishi’s combination of pop styles, jazz chords, and classical orchestration have created memorable musical moments in anime history! Check-out our top 5 tracks from his discography:

“Sakura Theme II” (Cardcaptor Sakura, 1998)


We LOVE this pop-disco theme for the ever-so-energetic Sakura. Equal parts beautiful and inspiring, the uptempo rhythm section backs the sweet string melody as the titular character learns to control her newfound powers. Hope Negishi returns for the new anime!

“Power of Psyqualia” (Cardfight!! Vanguard, 2011)


Final Turn! You know when this them begins, you’re in deep doo-doo. The powerful pulsating opening rhythm opens up the gates of Hell to unleash the demonic strength of the blaring horns and high intensity strings. Perhaps the best moments in Cardfight history!

“Aoyama-kun daisuki!” (Tokyo Mew Mew, 2002)


At 2:00, Ichigo’s young love theme is rich and dynamic, passing through several moments of lush string harmonies, cello and viola riffs, and unexpected by inspiring chord changes. Negishi borrows the “gentle ending” affect from his work on Cardcaptor Sakura.

Shukusei no monotachi (Tokyo Majin, 2007)


Negishi’s re-working of Vivaldi’s “Winter” with added harpsichord solo and Aeolian orchestra break creates the hellish atmosphere for Animax’s supernaturally super-powered teen action-drama. And what a great budget to have live instruments interpreting the classically sinister score!

“Which will win? Lupin vs. The General” (Lupin III: Dead or Alive, 1996)


Right at home in the famous Lupin universe, Negishi’s jazz training shines through in this high 70’s battle/chase music paying homage to Yuji Ohno. Listen to his masterful juggling of harmonized saxophone passages, sweeping strings, and full band powerful octaves!

Happy Birthday, Takayuki!

VIDEO RELEASE: V. La révolution (final)

We reach the end of our tribute to Revolutionary Girl Utena! Thank you helping us celebrate 20 years of this powerful anime and its gorgeous score. Please enjoy the final movement, aptly titled “La révolution!”

ANiMATO will soon be getting it’s own page so you re-watch all of our long-form tributes thus far.

UTAU!

UTAU! Set List for 4/22 Concert

It’s here! We’ve narrowed down our favorite anime openings and endings for our upcoming UTAU! Anime Karaoke and Trivia concert on April 22. Songs include:

“BLUE BIRD” from Naruto Shippuden
“Crossing Fields” from
Sword Art Online
“Dearest” from InuYasha
“MY SOUL YOUR BEATS” from Angel Beats
“Purachina” from Cardcaptor Sakura
“Smile Bomb” from Yu Yu Hakusho

We’ve included links to videos of the songs and lyrics so you can brush up before your big number (lyrics will be provided at the show).

Download the Set List

** Due to the small space size, our ensemble will consist of only 5 instrumentalists including piano and percussion.

If you have a request not on our list, you can bring sheet music with the following requirements:
– 5 copies
– piano/guitar music with lyrics and chords on the top

We will do our best to play it, but no promises!

Hope to see you there on Sat. 4/22!
Reserve Seats

Michiru Oshima

Top 5 Music from Michiru Oshima

So many great composers celebrate their birthday’s this week, and we’re starting off with one of our favorites Michiru Oshima. Best known to the anime community for her soundtrack to the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime, Oshima’s classical sensibilities and carefully-crafted melodies can be heard in commercials, theater, TV dramas, films, and video games.

Check-out our top 5 tracks from her discography:

“Chariot’s Theme” (Little Witch Academia, 2013)


Powerful, magical, and “flashy” perfectly sum up the character Chariot and her miraculous theme music. Majestic brass lines and soaring strings fit so well in this new magical girl tale!

“Nostalgia” (Blast of Tempest, 2012)


Oshima’s melancholy OST to this overlooked gem reminds us a little of FMA; but, the classical references within this cue in particular really keep us interested and hungry for more.

“Watashi” no Theme (Tatami Galaxy, 2010)


Oshima certainly knows her way around a violin (she wrote for international soloist Hilary Hahn)! Her jazzy theme for solo violin and orchestra is both heartwarming, mournful, playful, and mature – we love how quick she develops the melody from start to finish.

Sailor Venus ni Make Up (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, 2003)


In a style complementary to Takanori Arisawa’s, Oshima’s OST for the live-action version of Sailor Moon is deep, fun, and exciting. Her “Sailor Venus” theme is that old Hollywood sound – classic pop groove played by orchestral instruments. C’est Magnifique!

Братья “Brothers” (Fullmetal Alchemist, 2003)


You probably already know this one! The image song from the classic anime is a beautiful summation of the story and the feelings of the two main characters. You’ll cry, you’ll smile, but mostly you’ll cry.

Happy Birthday, Michiru!

(Photo Credit: Michael A. Mariant)