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!
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

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)
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

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.
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

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.
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

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!

VIDEO RELEASE: “Smile Bomb”

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Yoshihiro Togashi and Studio Pierrot’s anime series Yu Yu Hakusho! As one of the classic hits of 90s anime invasion, it has a special place in our hearts and is one of the first anime for some American viewers.

To celebrate, we’ve arranged a special jazzy version of the opening theme “Smile Bomb” featuring the lovely singer Katherine Wright and a string sextet.

Follow announcements of “Yuhaku” 25th anniversary celebration on its official webpage.

VIDEO RELEASE: “Kanashii Ureshii”

Season IV has begun! And we’re proud to be serving our online followers with new videos and a brand-new series. Every month, we’ll be adding to our OP/ED series – our takes on various animated openings and endings arranged for chamber ensembles. The first – “Kanashii Ureshii” – is from the Summer 2017 anime Koi to Uso (“Love and Lies”) and features our Artistic Director, International Relations Director, clarinet, and guitar!

Next week is the 25th anniversary of Yu Yu Hakusho, so we might do something special to celebrate!

New videos every month. Keep us going with a donation to our Patreon.

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

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View more info, visit the SeraSymphony Official Website