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!
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.
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!
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).
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!!
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!
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!
After celebrating St. Patty’s Day and our director’s birthday, we’re previewing another Anime Soundtrack Review #2 in this month’s Director’s Podium – covering Fall 2014 anime season background music! The spring season is already here so we gotta catch up!