Masaru Yokoyama, composer

Composer’s Corner: Masaru Yokoyama

Happy Birthday to the new king of romantic anime OST, Masaru Yokoyama. Best-known for his heart-wrenching scores to Your Lie in April and Love & Logic, the modern pianist-composer has amassed an invigorating body of work worthy of today’s spotlight. Check-out our top 5 tracks from his discography:

Watashi no Uso (Your Lie in April, 2014)


Perhaps is most-defining work, Masaru’s score to the deeply moving Your Lie in April is equal parts delicate and (emotionally) heavy-handed. The piano-based forlorn theme captures the essence of the beautiful tale about 2 virtuosi who discover love, loss, and frienship through the power of music. We dare you not to cry!
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Suite of the Seven Stars (Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, 2015)


What Yokoyama calls his “classical” music, this piece from the epic Gundam series embodies the self-superiority and European aesthestic of the ruling “Seven Stars” family clans. But, the entire OST pays homage to the western-style film/battle music heavily associated with the Gundam series and is a bit of a departure from what we usually hear from Yokoyama.
Read an interview with Yokoyama by Kakaku.com (Japanese only)
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AGAIN & AGAIN (Plastic Memories, 2015)


Plastic Memories is truly tragic – and a perfect fit for our birthday boy! Yokoyama wrote the music for Melody Chubak’s soft English ballad with lyrics by Luna Goami. Solo piano is, of course, the composer’s forté – expertly expressingly the sorrowful romance with step-wise melodies, slight pauses, and an undulating tempo. Most certainly an OST to be remembered.
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Kaze no you ni… kumo no you ni (Arakawa Under the Bridge, 2010)


Yokoyama’s first anime song is “comfortable” – not a word you’d associate with the source material in Arakawa. The J-POP-influenced, and often comedic, score is light and airy with some promising melodies. You could tell he was going to go far in his career. Perhaps the only drawback is the usage of obvious electronic string sounds, but that could link to the premused “other-worldly-ness” of the titular character and her gang of misfits. Yokoyama’s hiring was a natural progression considering his work on the hilarious talk show/drama Ijin no kuru heya.
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For the Quest (Fate/Apocrypha, 2017)


This year, Yokoyama joined the forces of fate, expanding his repertoire to score for a music large “fantasy” symphony orchestra. Brass and woodwinds dominate the score, but strings often have Celtic melodies reminiscient of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of Fate/zero and Unlimited Blade Works, you’ll definitely be inspired by his newest epic OST!

Happy Birthday, Masaru-san!

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!