Unsung Heroes: Q & A and BGM Composers – Part 2
I look at the comments posted in my debut column and it amazed me how much effect Kajiura Yuki has on people. The demand for Kajiura’s work to be placed in the top ranking has been petitioned to the point that maybe I should re-review my choices. Maybe I made a mistake or just maybe…just maybe, I might have gone over the line. I should give into the public opinion and just do what they consider is right.
Or not. :P
However, that does not mean I should do whatever I please. The readers of RC have brought up some issues that intrigued me. I feel that I am obligated to answer it. Before I list my ‘Starting Lineup’, I would like to take this moment for a little Q & A session.
Q: Is this ranking based on bias?
A: Isn’t everything we decide based on preference? Isn’t preference basically a sophisticated word for bias? Of course, it’s going to be bias. Nonetheless, you can minimize it as much as possible by offering quality reasons as to why you feel this way. The word, bias, would not exist if we all liked the same things, which is humanly impossible.
Q: Are you commending the composer with the pieces he/she has created that are listed next to their names?
A: Unless it is mentioned in the paragraph below, then no. Generally, I am talking about their whole body of work.
Q: Will we see Kajiura Yuki in “The Starting Lineup”?
A: Scroll down to the bottom for an answer.
Onward to the next group of composers…
(Notice: After conducting more research for this and upcoming posts, I realized that I restricted myself too much with the whole ‘Excluding composers in joint collaboration’. If I excluded them, I would be literally excluding almost everybody. Therefore, I am abolishing that rule in order to expand my choices and help you readers enjoy reading future postings as well.)
|Nakagawa Kotaro (Scryed, Gun X Sword, Code Geass)
His fondness for the guitar and trumpet is portrayed beautifully. Although Nakagawa’s tracks have a western feeling, he manages to add a twist in order to call it his own. If you listen very carefully, this composer loves to focus on exploiting the feeling of cockiness, stubbornness and restlessness. It makes me wonder how far he can go with his potential.
|Mitsumune Shinkichi (Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar, Asatte no Houkou, Zero no Tsukaima)
Mitsumune reminds you of a pairing between bread & butter, peanut butter & jelly, macaroni & cheese, or even iPod & MP3. How does he fit in with this? Fairy tale. He is so synchronized with that genre that it almost makes you feel that he was solely born to compose for it. People will question if he can expand his work to other themes. Only time will tell. For now, let’s just enjoy the contribution he made that can reach both kids and adults.
|Sahashi Toshihiko (Full metal Panic(s), Hunter X Hunter, Gundam SEED, Gundam SEED Destiny, Black Blood Brothers)
As a composer who shows his passion for the orchestra , Sahashi is very formal. Is that a bad thing? Not really. In the technological age (present) , people have trouble understanding the value of an orchestra especially with teens and young adults. The music of Gundam SEED(s) and Full Metal Panic(s) has caught their attention. What’s the brilliance of his work? Sahashi is a rare talent who can make something ordinary into extraordinary without having to change a thing. You can say that he’s the ‘Azuma Kazuma’ of music.
|Masuda Toshio (Jubei-Chan 1 & 2, Ai Yori Aoshi, Mahoromatic, Otogi-Jushi Akazukin, Naruto)
Okay, before people come after me with pitchforks and torches, I want to get this out of the way. I don’t want to hear any comments about how you can dismiss him just because he worked on Naruto. I know there are lots…and I mean…LOTS of people who hate Naruto. Despite that, just deal with it and suck it up. It is not his fault that the anime failed due to crappy fillers. If you want to blame someone, blame the writers NOT the composer.
Scrolling through the tracks of his previous works, he has a typical pattern known as balance. In his musical score, Masuda likes to set the scale in emotions equally. Too much sadness can really bring you down while too much happiness can make you naïve. The only problem I have with him is that his transition to these emotions (sad to happy) is not always at its best. Although, it is nice to see someone taking on a unique challenge.
|Kajiura Yuki (Noir, Madlax, El Cazador, Tsubasa, Erementar Gerad)
Surprise, Surprise. Guess who finally showed up. It’s your goddess, Kajiura Yuki. I guess you’re all wondering why I think she belongs here instead of ‘The All Stars’. Prepare yourself. :)
The phrase ‘one-style’ to describe Kajiura Yuki is absolutely positively preposterous. Those who say she has ‘one-style’ are ignorant. Have you forgotten about Kajiura’s work on Erementar Gerad? Sure, fans can argue how the anime blew but the OST was not at fault. It was magnificent. That accomplishment shredded the ‘one-style’ label anti-Kajiura fanatics have slapped on her. So if you readers were expecting that, sorry to disappoint you but I’m not deaf.
The main reason as to why I believe she belongs here is because I respect her vocal compositions more than her BGM. She has contributed to so many outstanding vocals (i.e. Shounen Onmyouji OP, Chrno Crusade ED, Gundam SEED(s) inserts). Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t she have her own solo project called FictionJunction (YUUKA, ASUKA, KAORI, KEIKO and WAKANA)? Some of my favorite songs are ‘Everlasting Song (Erementar Gerad insert)’ by FictionJunction ASUKA and ‘Akatsuki no Kuruma (Gundam SEED insert)’ by FictionJunction YUUKA. ‘Hitomi no Kakera (MADLAX OP)’ was not so shabby either. If that’s not enough, have supporters neglected her partnership with Ishikawa Chiaki to form the group known as See-Saw? This duo has contributed to big titles which includes Gundam SEED(s) and .hack//(s).
Is she a great BGM composer? Yes. Do I think it’s better than her vocal arrangements? Sadly, no. I’m not taking anything away from her. There are people that surpass her when it comes to BGM, whom are listed in ‘The All Stars’.
Whew, that was a load off. I hope the comments posted here will now be less frequent about Kajiura Yuki (highly doubtful, but a man can dream). That being said, people will now ask ‘Where in the world is Joe Hisaishi in your list?’ That will be answered in another day.
On the 3rd posting, the Bench Players. :)
(Notice: Check back often. I do respond to comments.)