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Sep 27, 2018 9:28 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1868
Threads with too many embedded YouTube videos can cause issues for some users,
so if you have a lot to share, please use text links or spoiler tags.

Please give a descriptive label to all video links/embeds for future-proofing, in case the video eventually goes down.

If you have a favorite anime composer, you are welcome to start a thread with their name as the title. I will make a banner image (you can specify a picture if you want) and add it to your post. I plan to start more composer threads over time, so I picture this thread eventually being mainly used for relatively unknown composers who don't have threads yet.

For this thread, what soundtracks have you been listening to lately? What are you watching (or playing) that has impressed you with its music? Have you made any obscure discoveries that deserve a listen?

And a couple of questions musician/composer @_NTx asked me:

Is it OK for you to spoil the soundtrack before watching someting, or do you prefer to listen to it after watching it?

How do you rank the albums you listen to? Do you rank them by the overall feel to it, maybe uniqueness, number of tracks you liked...?
Modified by nDroae, Dec 27, 2018 4:18 PM
Sep 27, 2018 9:30 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1868
Last two questions first, here's that conversation:

_NTx | Mar 5, 2016 11:14 PM
I'll get the soundtrack album as soon as I'm finished watching the anime. What about you? Is it OK for you to spoil the soundtrack before watching someting, or do you prefer to listen to it after watching it?

nDroae | Mar 5, 2016 11:36 PM
Depends - normally I will wait until after, but sometimes I'll get the soundtrack when I'm partway through, at which point I may or may not listen to it through the end (they tend to be fairly chronological). I haven't really had bad experiences with "music spoilers," but I like to hear it for the first time in the show/film, especially if there's, say, a new take on a familiar leitmotif. When I become a fan of a composer, I'll often plow through everything I can find, only with the possible exception of anything I definitely intend to watch. So I haven't listened to more than the main title of Sawano's Gundam Unicorn.

I got The Return of the King CD and listened to it some 20 times before the movie came out. I think in that case it was fine, especially since that was only a third of the music in the film anyway. :D It may have even enhanced my enjoyment, since it got me really into the Gondor theme.

_NTx | Mar 7, 2016 11:30 PM
I like to hear soundtracks for the first time in the shows too. Remixes and arrangements of songs or pieces are a powerful boost of enjoyment. I really feel lucky to be one of the people who appreciates incidental music and sees it as an important part of the whole product.

_NTx | Oct 21, 2017 1:22 AM
How do you rank the albums you listen to? Do you rank them by the overall feel to it, maybe uniqueness, number of tracks you liked...?

nDroae | Oct 22, 2017 12:35 AM
Generally it's just number of tracks I liked, but if an album flows well, that's good too. My "favorite albums" that are soundtracks are the ones I like to listen to as a whole - LotR, the first Narnia, Batman Begins/The Dark Knight, King Arthur, Pirates At World's End, Star Trek 2009. I haven't listened like that to any Hollywood score from the last five years or so, mostly because I've been paying less attention, or my listening is more distracted these days. I've never felt that way about an anime score album; if I did I'd probably have bought a physical copy. :D I hate how Sawano puts two or three cues together into one track.

What soundtracks have you been listening to lately?

Well, this is skewed because I've been listening and re-listening to a lot of stuff in preparation for current and future composer threads, but independent of that, I made my first CDJapan purchase this summer:

The soundtracks at the bottom are Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou / Girls' Last Tour by Kenichiro Suehiro, and Kado: The Right Answer by Taro Iwashiro.

I didn't listen to either before buying it - didn't have (or need) the option in the case of Kado, but with SSR I simply wanted the good old experience of listening to an album for the first time after buying a physical copy and playing it. The main intent was to support my favorite anime of the last three years, so I didn't need it to be worth it for the music alone. I love the vocal tracks and the heartbreaking piano renditions of the OP and ED. Aside from that, I need to rewatch the show to give meaning to the music; most of it doesn't stand out much on its own.

Kado is a bizarre case where I was never a fan of the show, but became obsessed with its music. The OP is my #2 anime song of all time (see the anime songs thread). I posted in the recap movie thread just before MAL went down:

nDroae said:
Saraka Tsukai and the romance were the only major part of the show I found worth watching.

I also would have liked a copy of the unreleased soundtrack, I just love the main motif - both the bombastic version in the grand spectacle scenes, and the soft piano rendition that played during the romance scene on the bench.

Right afterward I found out the score was finally out. In this case I didn't really care about supporting the show (though I certainly would like to see another sci-fi take on Ah, My Goddess!) but the music meant enough to me, independent of the show, to make it worthwhile. As an album it's an enjoyable listen with many good tracks. (It's probably like My Hero Academia 2, where I liked a lot of tracks but musically literate _NTx only liked a few.) I'll put my thoughts together when I have time, and post a Taro Iwashiro thread.

Today (September 27) I listened to his work on the FMAB movie I haven't seen, The Sacred Star of Milos, and thought it was great. Too bad the movie is reputedly disappointing. As I write this I'm re-listening to his score for Gargantia, a show I liked immensely. That was a case where I listened to the score once, liked it, wanted to come back to it, but never did - it happens a lot when you have huge amounts of music to deal with. Some parts of Gargantia sound very similar to some of my favorites from Kado, and there's a lot of stuff I didn't pick up on and tag with a star rating the first time. I'm definitely a fan now.

Update two hours later: Gargantia has to be another all-time favorite anime score, so much good stuff. It's perfect that he used a pan flute, just like Joel McNeely's Flipper (a childhood favorite starring Elijah Wood) and some ocean nature documentaries. I guess pan flutes are associated with the ocean. Hadn't really thought about it before.

What are you watching that has impressed you with its music?

Akira Senju's Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, ha! Watching it for the first time now. Though it's been on hold for a few weeks as I've been pouring time into putting everything together for this club. :D

General consensus is that the summer season has been lackluster overall. In the music department, among the new shows I've watched there was no must-have soundtrack. There's been great stuff alongside the usual reused material in Attack on Titan 3 - see the Sawano thread. I honestly can't remember the music of Steins;Gate, but I really liked the music in Steins;Gate 0. Both by Takeshi Abo (who also did the VNs), I'll have to listen to both and compare.

In general I've enjoyed the music in Hanebado, which ANN mentioned amusingly here:

Micchy: For all its warts, Hanebado! still keeps me engaged during every match, even if its soundtrack does belong in a Hollywood thriller from the '90s.

Steve: God I kind of love the soundtrack. There are some pillow shots in the most recent episode featuring side characters stretching to the sound of dissonant strings, which is over-the-top and amazing to the point of almost being avant-garde. You certainly can't say that Hanebado! isn't trying!

Micchy: You know what, that's absolutely fair. It's good music that I think belongs in a totally different show, but hey, points for trying.

Then there's Revue Starlight, which is... a bit much to take in. I will have to give that soundtrack a listen, but mostly the dramatic parts get songs rather than score.

Harukana Receive had a fun score by Swedish composer Rasmus Faber. There's a memorable track used in matches (example: 12 minutes into episode 11) with a beat that reminds me a little of Maurice Ravel's Boléro. Crunchyroll user fartymarty commented on episode 10, "Hearing Geinoh Yamashirogumi's AKIRA score." I don't know which part he meant, and I can't comment, since I saw Akira in 2007 and haven't rewatched it - wanted to read the manga first.

Have you made any obscure discoveries that deserve a listen?

Does Yoko Kanno's Arjuna count as obscure? :D See the Yoko Kanno thread.

Conversation with _NTx (this also goes into Your Favorite Soundtracks territory but I'll post it here rather than spliting it up):

nDroae | Mar 2, 2016 6:07 PM
Have you ever written up a list of favorite or underexposed anime scores? I don't often explore far beyond what I watch, but I'd like to find more of what I'm missing.

_NTx | Mar 2, 2016 6:54 PM
Welp, anything with Go Sakabe and Tatsuya Kato (specially Seikon no Qwaser, Fate/kaleid, Buddy Complex and Shokugeki no Souma) is a must have. When it comes to big names, I loved Kenji Kawai's works for Fate/stay night (both series and movie). I can see Yoshihira Hirano joining my favorite list of composers soon, you will love his music if you are into 18th Century Classical Music.

Underexposed names... I would recommend you:
Ryosuke Nakanishi: High School DxD was excellent and Kenzen Robo Daimidaler is great too, unfortunately his SoL scores are not that great.
Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund (if you want something different from usual, Trinity Seven and Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru are proof of their unique and unconventional style, they are not only capable of doing catchy tunes like Osomatsu-san ED or MAGUS MODE, but beautiful romantic piano pieces like sonatina or Ab Imo Pectore.

Now my favorite masterpieces of all time: Pokemon, Digimon and Cardcaptor Sakura (yeah, the classics will always have the best music :=))

Sep 29, 2018 9:44 PM

Joined: May 2014
Posts: 909
What are you watching that has impressed you with its music?
Well, Free! 3rd Season and Hanebado! had amazing soundtrack scores (specially Free!). SK Revue Starlight had some great pieces from both, Fujisawa and Kato, but overall isn't at the level of the previous two I mentioned. Shingeki no Kayojin S3, I'm still waiting for some sick drops and I'm sure Sawano will deliver (so far only 2 tracks had caught my attention, so it's decent for now).

Have you made any obscure discoveries that deserve a listen?
If by "obscure discoveries" you mean dark-tone tracks...
Strange Visage
Ougon no Fuukaku
Sep 30, 2018 3:58 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1868
Oh, by obscure I meant definition #2 and #4 here: Definition #1 is rarely used in conversational English these days, I assume it's placed #1 because that was the word's original meaning. That meaning is useful too though, we could do "best cues of X category" lists like I did in the anime songs thread :) I seem to have picked out and rated both of those Kakegurui tracks as standouts when I listened to the score, I feel validated now.

I'll listen to that Free score, looks like it comes out October 10.

It occurred to me recently that one of the most popular recent soundtracks I haven't heard outside the anime is Your Name, I need to fix that. I tend to like the music in Shinkai stuff more than the anime itself, starting (belatedly) in 2010 with Tenmon's theme from Voices of a Distant Star, then later his 空と海の詩 / Sora to Umi no Shi from 5cm/s and Kashiwa Daisuke's Garden of Words, my favorite Shinkai anime until Your Name. Pretty dumb that I didn't get around to listening to the Your Name score considering how much I liked the movie. Not as dumb as how I delayed getting started seriously exploring anime until I was 27, though. :P
Oct 3, 2018 9:10 PM

Joined: May 2014
Posts: 909
If you are into EDM you might like this Free OST (it's a perfect mix of EDM and strings).

I liked Tenmon's instrumental versions of One More Time, One More Chance (and of course the original song). I liked Your Name, but its soundtrack didn't catch my attention that much. I need to watch more Shinkai movies :P
Oct 4, 2018 3:13 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1868
That sounds good :)

I listened to it, it had some nice tracks but overall not really my kind of soundtrack. The effect of most of Shinkai's other work was that I was antagonistic going into Your Name, but it won me over... it's the closest to a Hollywood happy ending he's ever come.
Oct 6, 2018 8:03 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1868
I started (listed as "Iroduku: The World in Colors" on Amazon Prime Video) today and liked the music, there was a brief bit of playful woodwind (clarinet or oboe?) around 6:45 and some pretty slice-of-life BGM later.

It bears saying that having excessively engaging music isn't necessarily a good idea - it can start to distract from the scene, especially if the music is the most interesting thing happening. I don't always remember to keep in mind that, like special effects in live action or sakuga in anime, score should serve the story, rather than showing off on its own. Hollywood tends to only put the most listenable cues out on an OST that sells for US $10-15, while Japan seems happy to dump every single cue onto a 2-disc release whether it's listenable or not - perhaps to make it seem more worth the US $30-45 equivalent price tag? (Though of course, there are many anime soundtracks that are actually good from start to end. It should be easier to get two discs of good stuff from 4-9 hours of show than from one 90-150 minute Hollywood movie. Depends on how much gets reused, though.)

I see the Release the Spyce score getting positive reactions in the episode 1 thread. It seems to be the first credit on MAL for composer and DJ Ryohei Sataka 佐高陵平 / y0c1e:

But he has a lot of credits on VGMDB:

Nice diversity of sounds in this episode alone. The opening mission brought to mind the track "Morpheus Is Fighting Neo!" by Don Davis from The Matrix (Complete Score). Then he switched to more contemporary beats for the dockyards fight, and ended with standard feels-strings.

Here's some of his older output as a DJ:

"Heiju-Do [Japanese Glitchstep]"
"Blogger [Japanese D & B]"

No Buts!

A couple of chill tracks:

Remix of the intro to the Non Non Biyori ED:

Remix of "Lost My Pieces" from Toradora:

Remix of Chobits OP:

Remix of Anohana ED:
Dec 2, 2018 11:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 53
Well, my first post here (besides the presentation). The last thing I've seen is White Album 2, and I really liked its music. I couldn't find the soundtrack, but curiously I've found the visual novels soundtrack in Spotify, which have the same pieces but in differents versions, also the same singer for Setsuna. The songs played by the characters are specially emotional because of its role in the story. I'm currently trying to play at the piano one of those (I don't have very experience, but it's an easy one to play), maybe I'll show it here if the result is satisfactory.
A great example:
I don't know how obscure it is, but I really like the Gungrave soundtrack (of which I would have to write about in the favorite ost's trhead), wrote by Tsuneo Imahori, who also made the great Trigun ost and collaborated in Cowbow Bebop as you should know. It sounds really nostalgic, very much in line with the anime.
Regarding the third question, listening to the soundtrack before watching the actual material can distract you from what is happening and make you focus on how they use the music, which is sometimes good and sometimes a little annoying. I've only done it whith Whispers of the heart, and besides the piece from the intro piece (one of my favorites in all soundtracks) having heard the ost earlier made me enjoy it more. It's really well written stuff, with great orchestration, baroque instruments (my fetish) and even counterpoint, for example a true canon for violin, cello, recorder and accompaniment, truly amazing.
And I do not bother much to score the music, what makes me enjoy it is pretty relative. For example, White Album 2 has very good music, but as I said the use of some songs in the actual plot makes them much more emotional. Sometimes I like them for purely musical reasons, sometimes is for it's use in the work (as with many other things, our taste for music is often associative). I guess I like some kinds of music more for its writing, and other more for its "color".
Dec 3, 2018 8:07 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1868
@Pyschoneurosis Cool. Originally when I listened to the Clannad soundtracks, I didn't even realize some were from the VN and some were from the anime. :D I like that track, perhaps I'll spoil myself on the score before seeing the anime. There aren't a lot of people active here yet, but I'd like to see that if you decide to post it :)

I guess anyone who actively watched anime during the 2000's would be likely to know Gungrave, but I didn't do that, and I'm only dimly aware of it. These days, some people won't watch anything older than 2010, so it's relative... nostalgia is subjective too; I get a nostalgic feeling from the sound of 2000's synths, mainly because they remind me of Clannad. That feels like a long-ago lost era, even though I was a teenager and active on the internet at the time. :P

Michiru Oshima talk from the Kenji Kawai thread:

nDroae said:
@velego Non-anime music is very welcome, perhaps even more than anime music because it's less likely to be on MALers' radar. :) For example I stumbled upon a Hisaishi score to the live action film Otoko-tachi no Yamato, but I want to listen to it a second time before I post about it in that thread. If you do start the Michiru Oshima thread, maybe you could cover some of her work on video games and/or Godzilla movies? Which I'm not familiar with (though I want to be). :D
velego said:
[Offtopic incoming] Of her videogame work, I only *know* about ICO and this mobile game she wrote the music for last year. (best mobile game score ever, amirite?). Covering her scores for live action media is a daunting task I'd like to do someday; mainly because she's extremely prolific in that field, even more than in anime, and the quality is always consistently excellent (I consider her one of the greatest living composers for a reason). In any case, if I end up writing the thing, it won't be very soon.

I'm much, much more knowledgeable about Yoko Kanno ;).

Wow, incredibly good music for a mobile game. I guess it makes sense to invest in that considering how popular and profitable mobage are.

Oh, I know - writing the threads I've posted basically took all of my free time for several weeks, it was ridiculous. But there's no obligation to list all the highlights right off the bat - I didn't really do that in the threads I posted, because I haven't truly thoroughly heard anyone's music. Maybe you could start with one soundtrack (FMA 2003 seems to be her most well-known) and come back sporadically, to gradually cover her works one at a time?
Dec 4, 2018 10:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 53
I'm having some troubles with the pedal,but I guess that in some days it'll be ready. I hope the club grows! I guess that it's only a matter of time before it becomes active. I love exploring "alternative" animes so Gungrave was one of the first ones I found. It has many silly things and a weaker second part but it's pretty good. The writer is the Trigun guy.