Winter 2016 Best OSTs

Winter 2016 has finally come to a close (tell THAT to the weather!), so Bobbie lists his favorite OSTs and ones to look forward to next season:

1. 昭和元禄落語心中 (Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū)
English Title: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Composer: Kana Shibue

This is hands-down the BEST series of this season. And who IS this woman making the music?! It’s amazing! Young newbie anime composer Kana Shibue brings a 20th-century “old-school” flair to an old-school show with a Yuji Ohno-like (Lupin III) score. Love the use of Japanese instruments for the rakugo moments, but she shines in her hard-bop big band underscoring the historical period and attitude of the main character. Shibue is definitely a composer I’ll be following!

WATCH: Crunchyroll Logo

2. 僕だけがいない街 (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)
English Title: ERASED
Composer: Yuki Kajiura (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online)
Favorite Track: I Have to Save Her / Yuki Kajiura

She’s back! Yuki Kajiura does it again with a heart-wrenching score to a heart-wrenching anime. Soft piano melodies reflect the simply-sounding, yet internally complex, emotions felt by the young main characters. It’s a haunting instrumental-only score with strings, glockenspiel, celesta, and flute. Kajiura’s strings have always been exciting: rich counterpoint, interlaced dissonant harmonies, and tons of counter-melodies over a pulsating bass drum. It’s perfect for the mystery of this anime and its delicate topics.

WATCH: Aniplex, Crunchyroll LogoFunimation Logo Hulu Logo
BUY: Box Set I with Original Soundtrack

3. 亜人 (Ajin)
English Title: Ajin: Demi-Human
Composer: Yūgo Kanno (Birdy the Mighty, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Psycho-Pass)

Wow – amazing orchestral themes in this very popular anime! Kanno knows how to combine an odd collection of instruments (i.e. organ, rock band, and brass) for a demonic, frightening theme! There’s something to be said about writing full orchestra in octaves with little harmony: it’s amazingly effective for this anime about new races, discrimination, and self-identity. I wasn’t a huge fan of Psycho-Pass, but this has made me a convert!

WATCH: Netflix
BUY: Ajin Original Soundtrack

4. 灰と幻想のグリムガル (Hai to Gensō no Grimgar)
English Title: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Composer: R.O.N ([K]NoW_NAME)/Ryuta Iida (Aquarion Logos, Psychic Detective Yakumo)
Favorite Track: seeds / [K]NoW_NAME

A bad-ass soundtrack of mostly guitar-heavy tunes (and English(!!) rap) and a few soft piano/string moments. R.O.N is a combination of Shiro Sagisu’s chording and phrasing and Taku Iwasaki’s American pop manipulation. This OST would kill any live concert, but I truly wish there was more of it and it was louder during the actual show (though I can understand that having lyrics over dialogue can be confusing).

WATCH: Funimation Logo Hulu Logo

5. Dimension W
Composers: Gō Shiina (The Idolmaster, God Eater), Yoshiaki Fujisawa (GATE)

With probably the best opening this season, Dimension W has a strong sci-fi/adventure score. Shiina is definitely a game composer – using minimalism and reverb in his music for atmosphere and a futuristic vibe. Fujisawa most likely brought in a few more instruments, melodic structures, and rhythmic variations to punctuate the action. But that OP is OG, for realz!!

WATCH: Funimation LogoHulu Logo

Honorable Mentions:
Active Raid
BBK/BRNK
Dagashi Kashi

Stay-tuned next week for my Spring 2016 preview edition!

SakuraSymphony

Happy New Year 2016!

2015 was an amazing year for us here at iTSO – we had the biggest concert of SeraSymphony yet, a wonderful opening to our 2015-16 season, and new tributes to old favorites! But this year promises to be our most eclectic. Just a preview of what’s to come:

  • SakuraSymphony: Tribute to Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Return of LOVEOrchestra chamber concert series
  • New Board of Directors
  • Special fundraising event in New York
  • Re-designed website
  • OST reviews and features

You’re gonna love what we have in store for this new year! Thank you for your support and we’ll see you this Tuesday during Director’s Podium!

VIDEO RELEASE: Director’s Podium #3 – Anime Soundtrack Review. No.3

No music video this week, but we present an early edition of Anime Soundtrack Review No.3! Our AD Bobbie goes through his 10 top favorite anime soundtracks from Winter 2015, with links to purchase released official albums and where to watch anime streaming online!

Part I

10. 夜ノヤッターマン (Yatterman Night)
Composer: Tatsuya Katou

9. 美男高校地球防衛部Love! (Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!)
Composer: yamazo

8. 神様はじめました (Kamisama Kiss)
Composer: Toshio Masuda

7. ジョジョの奇妙な冒険スターダストクルセイダース エジプト編 (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Battle in Egypt)
Composer: Yuugo Kanno

6. DEATH PARADE
Composer: Yuuki Hayashi

Part II

5. 幸腹グラフィティ (Gourmet Girl Graffiti)
composer: kotringo

4. デュラララ(Durarara)!!×2
Composer: Makoto Yoshimori

3. 純潔のマリア (Maria the Virgin Witch)
Composer: Masato Kōda

2. 東京喰種 (Tokyo Ghoul) √A
Composer: Yutaka Yamada

1. 暗殺教室 (Assassination Classroom)
Composer: Naoki Sato

VIDEO RELEASE: Director’s Podium #2 – Anime Soundtrack Review No. 2

This week features a two-part special edition of Director’s Podium – Anime Soundtrack Review No.2! Our AD Bobbie goes through his 10 top favorite anime soundtracks from Fall 2014, with links to purchase released official albums and where to watch anime streaming online!

10. Tribe Cool Crew
Composers: avex proworks (Dance Side), A-bee (Drama Side)

9. まじっく快斗1412 (Magic Kaito 1412)
Composer: Taku Iwasaki

8. 牙狼〈GARO〉-炎の刻印 (GARO THE ANIMATION)
Composer: MONACA

7. 怪盗ジョーカー (Kaitou Joker “Mysterious Joker”); JOKER
Composer: Yūsaku Tsuchiya

6. 憑物語 Tsukimonogatari (“Possesstory”)
Composer: Kei Haneoka

5. 棺姫のチャイカ AVENGING BATTLE (Hitsugi no Chaika); Chaika The Coffin Princess
Composer: Seikou Nagaoka

4. 暁のヨナ (Akatsuki no Yona) “Yona of the Dawn”
Composer: Ryo Kunihiko

3. 四月は君の嘘 (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) “Your Lie in April”
Composer: Various, Masaru Yokoyama

2. Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
Composer: Hideyuki Fukasawa

1. 神撃のバハムート (Shingeki no Bahamut) “Rage of Bahamut”: GENESIS
Composer: Yoshihiro Ike