Watch episode 2 of ANiMATO tribute to Revolutionary Girl Utena featuring “Shoujo Kakumei Overture”
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)
Today is mega-successful composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz’s. The New York native is best known for his musical theatre works, the Wicked composer has had a part in creating fantastic music for animation.
Here are our favorite tracks (in no particular order):
“Deliver Us” (The Prince of Egypt, 1998)
The very theatrical opening to DreamWorks animated classic is as powerful as it sounds. Even if you’re not religious, you’ll enjoy Schwartz’s blend of Israeli folk style with modern musical theatre writing of the time.
“Colors of the Wind” (Pochahontas, 1995)
“Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?” – ‘Nuff said. Schwartz has an unbelievably delicate touch with his lyrics in Disney’s mature cartoon from the 90s renaissance.
That’s How You Know (Enchanted, 2007)
Simplicity is very effective in this clever tune from Disney’s self-aware “princess fairy tale.” Schwartz with composer Alan Menken poke fun at their own works within the genre and the combination is “enchanting!”
God Help the Outcasts (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996)
Esmeralda’s somber and haunting tune in one of Disney’s darkest features still brings us to tears. The lyrics smartly question the power of prayer from the viewpoint of a nonbeliever – love it!
Defying Gravity (Wicked, 2003)
Quite possibly his most popular tune! The amazing Act I closer to the very popular musical lives up to its namesake. If you were part of the MT crowd, you know this was the “Let it Go” of its day.
Happy Birthday, Stephen!
(Photo Credit: Michael A. Mariant)
Check-out the music-related events in the Northeast during March and April!
03-05 – Genericon @ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
05 – Love Live! Sunshine Concert – Live From Japan @ Village East Cinema
18 – Fubuki Con @ Daemen College, Wick Student Center
24-26 – Conbust @ Smith College, Seelye Hall
31 – Anime Boston @ Hynes Convention Center
31 – Albacon @ Best Western Albany Airport Inn
01-02 – Anime Boston @ Hynes Convention Center
01-02 – Albacon @ Best Western Albany Airport Inn
22 – UTAU! Anime Karaoke & Trivia @ The West End Lounge
22-23 – Anime Fan Fest New Jersey @ Garden State Exhibit Center
22-23 – VOCAMERICA Concert (Tora-Con) @ Rochester Institute of Technology
28-30 – UBCon @ University at Buffalo North Campus, Student Union
29-30 – Castle Point Anime Convention @ Stevens Institute of Technology
29-30 – Sakura Matsuri 2017 @ Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Have news of an upcoming concert or performance in the future? Send us a tip!
This year’s ANiMATO tribute will be the poetic and beautiful Revolutionary Girl Utena by Chiho Saito! We decided to transform the lush score into work for an intimate sextet of piano, harp, and string quartet. Shinkichi Mitsumune and J.A. Seazer have written some elegant music, and we’re very excited to pay tribute to its legacy!
Premieres Tues. 03/07 on our Youtube page.
Happy 2017 Everyone! Hope you had a great celebration. We start the year off with our top 10 anime OSTs from 2016. The anime may not be best/most-popular of the year, but the music certainly is:
#10 Twin-Star Exorcists / Mikio Endō
WATCH The hit action show of the summer starts of our list! Mikio Endō (K, Coppelion) is a newbie to the anime scene and at times it shows. But this action-packed score is so powerful that we couldn’t help but put it on the list. Looking forward to the OST release!
#9 SERVAMP / Kenji Kawai
WATCHBUY Veteran composer Kenji Kawai (Fate/stay night, Ranma 1/2) brings his decades of experience to this fun, supernatural show. “Smooth” best describes his dynamic score which moves effortlessly from sweet “elevator music” to pumping action under a synthetic melody. Kawai has certainly embraced the electronic-synth age as he continues his craft.
#8 Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Season 3 / Yasuharu Takanashi
WATCHBUY Season 1 & 2 weren’t the best in terms of music (or animation, for that matter). But season 3 is differently moving in the right direction. Yasuharu Takanashi’s (Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tail) familiar magical girl score may still pale in comparison to the original – save for a few stand-out tracks. Arisawa certainly expanded his music language with each new season and we’re hopeful Takanashi will do the same.
#7 AJIN / Yugo Kanno
WATCHBUY Psycho-Pass composer Yugo Kanno brings a complex score to the sleeper hit of the winter season. Combining acoustic orchestral writing á la God of War with the Japanese new-age electronica, Kanno’s suspenseful tunes accurately reflect the traumatic and desperate lives of the Ajin such as the perfectly demonic “Main Theme.”
#6 Bungō Stray Dogs / Taku Iwasaki
WATCHBUY The music chameleon Taku Iwasaki (Kekkaishi, Soul Eater) is back with a solid soundtrack for a solid anime. Bungo’s score’s strength lies in Iwasaki’s unique approach to electro-acoustic music, blending genres and unusual timbres with pulsating EDM beats and guest rappers. Fun fact: season 2 is his favorite score to date!
#5 D.Gray-man HALLOW / Kaoru Wada
WATCHBUY Kaoru Wada (InuYasha, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) is a master of manipulation! He creates unforgettable themes and transforms them throughout all his scores – and HALLOW is no exception! Listen to Allen’s theme as a battle tune, romantic interlude, suspenseful moment, or creepy encounter – it’s genius! So happy to hear throwbacks to his original music from the 2006 anime as well!
#4 Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju / Kana Shibue
WATCH A newcomer to the anime scene, gifted pianist-composer Shibue offers a nostaglic score imbued with jazz idioms and improvisational musical dialogue that fits perfectly with the show’s time period. We’re very excited to hear what she has coming next!
#3 Erased / Yuki Kajiura
WATCH If you weren’t expecting to cry this year, tough luck! Aniplex’s tearjerking thriller had some of the best storylines and OSTs of the season! Yuki Kaijura (Sword Art Online, Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle) is really at her best here; her score piano-driven score is sensitive, emotional, nuanced and will ALWAYS MAKE YOU CRY.
#2 Natsume Yūjinchō Go / Makoto Yoshimori
WATCH Yes, yes, YES!! It’s BAAACCCKKK!! Makoto Yoshimori (Baccano! Durarara!!) creates a fitting warmth and gentle soundtrack for this very sweet and humbling anime. Certainly a pianist at heart, he has a delicate touch in orchestrating for his small chamber group of strings, clarinet, harp, piano, and traditional Japanese instruments. Would love to do a concert of all his beautiful music from the Natsume series.
#1 My Hero Academia / Yuki Hayashi
WATCHBUYThe most popular anime of the year? Probably. The most epic shounen score of the year? Definitely! Yuki Hayashi has been creating strong OSTs recently (Haikyuu!!, Death Parade, One Piece Film: Gold) and this one is no exception; he’s becoming a powerhouse in the shounen genre. So, get pumped, get inspired, and rock out with your … superpower out to this powerful soundtrack! Check out our version of the thrilling “you say run.” Highly recommended.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know on social media!
Happy Birthday to our very first original character: Shoumi, the magical conductor! Originally a flautist, the New York native dreams of becoming the conductor of a professional symphony orchestra. Check out her stats:
Name: Shoumi (笑美 / しょうみ)
Birthday: November 30
Birthplace: New York City
Height: 5’2″ / 158cm
Blood Type: B
Favorite Japanese Food: Sukiyaki
Favorite American Food: Tacos
Profession: Symphony Conductor
Magical Power: Manipulation
Favorite Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Shoumi can manipulate the space and people around her using the power of music – a perfect skill for a conductor! This character was drawn by the very talented Joko JMC!
Join her and iTSO in our end-of-season concert JUST MAGIC: Music of the Magical Girls coming to New York and San José, CA in May 2017!