In my dark and depressing pre-20 anime per week days, I would usually scoff at those who listened to anime and game OSTs – why listen to some pew pew soundtrack when you could be listening to… oh, Puff Daddy or DMX or uhh Ayumi Hamasaki. Y’know – cool people music.

Ah, those were the days. Since then my music collection has slowly been overtaken by an abundance of [nipponsei], and I’ve even uploaded some Youtube videos of me playing those same songs I used to scoff at.

Times have changed, and I’ve really started to appreciate the amount of talent that goes into this kind of composing. Still, I believe there’s a difference between the music that goes into the likes of K-ON and that of Gundam, specifically it how well it translates to classical orchestra music.

Which is why I was thoroughly surprised with Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou, the concert by the Tokyo Philharmonic on April 29 that was just released on CD. The music from Haruhi was largely… teenybopper and/or rock, both of which I wouldn’t imagine translating well into classical.

Surprisingly enough, the adaptation is quite good! Some tracks remind me of Hisaishi’s work in Totoro, others sound like it could’ve come out of some classic Disney movie. Well, the instrumental tracks, at least. Several tracks have Hirano Aya and Chihara Minori blaring away, and while some of you will probably love these alternate versions, their inability to hit or hold the right notes is a bit hard on my ears.

Check out orchestral Mikurun-run and a Hiranofied God Knows!


  1. As someone who used to play in a school band when he was young, I can tell you that all you need is a good arranger to re-arrange the song to suit the instruments in a band/orchestra and you can play literally any piece with with a band/orchestra.

    Anime Junkie
  2. Sometimes it’s not about listening to good quality music, but just reviving nice / happy moments. That’s why many people, including myselg, often listen to anime OPs / EDs. It reminds you of an anime you enjoyed and the good moments you had with it 🙂
    Another factor is that when you listen to a song several times (like OPs / EDs), it gets into your head, so you want to hear it more, when you are on the bus, or after you finish watching a series… it can help you get into a state of concentration / calmness.
    Just trying to give a normal person’s, not necessarily melomaniac like you, point of view 🙂

  3. I agree with kannagifan, it’s more for the emotional evocation than anything else. Sometimes this process happens to me backwards; I listen to something and get the feeling associated with the show but can’t remeber exactly what show it was from. This promts me to do a ‘just where did that come from’ hunt, usually followed by an ‘oh yeah, that’s right’ epithany.

    Back on topic, pretty good pieces, thanks for sharing.

  4. The “Mikurun-run” arrangement was really quite nice! Hirano Aya’s voice in “God Knows”,on the other hand, was a little jarring; it seemed out of place and I felt it didn’t with the music at some parts. Yuki looks awesomely cute here though~

  5. Yeah, Nipponsei’s files tend to have a lot of MBs, so I only download LonE files, plus use BonkEnc to get the best quality music with much lower bytes.

    Orchestral is not much of my taste, but i like it.

  6. As surprising at it may be, really, who cares? When Yuki’s on the cover, does it matter what’s inside? *Holds CD with Yuki cover and goes into Fuuko space-out mode*

  7. Well, this was a mixed bag for me. I liked the orchestral adaptations, but I honestly felt that Aya’s voice is more suited to pop, and less to classical. Singers with classical training can sustain cleaner notes, and Aya’s voice wavered a bit too much, she was overpowered by the orchestra, and at times she went flat.

    Yuri Rocks
  8. Anime & Game OSTs may just be background music in the show or game they were made for, but sometimes when you listen closely to them by themselves, you would be amazed at how well some of the pieces were arranged or composed. I especially enjoy orchestrated versions of pieces, such as Hikari & Passion from Kingdom Hearts, and the whole orchestrated collection of pieces for Phoenix Wright. The Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou was beautiful! Thanks for sharing~ I was so surprised at how different yet how well Mikuru-run was composed hehe XDD And Hirano Aya sounded awesome in God Knows <3

  9. I just listened to these today, and I share the sentiment many have about the vocals. I wished they had went with instrumentals for the melodies or classically trained singers. The pure orchestral tracks were great.

    I remember a somewhat renown video game music composer saying music made 60-70% of the gaming experience (pretty hilarious bias there), but the point remains that music is eternally linked to our memories and trigger instant emotional responses.

  10. As someone who have played the violin since 4th grade (and still continuing), I’ve always listened to OST tracks. To me, it’s how all these individual instruments who are playing their own thing come together and create something that can make your heart beat faster, make you relate more to the character, or just leave a particular feeling in your mind. I dunno, the relationship between melody and harmony is something I’ve always found interesting.

    I have to admit though, orchestral music has been dying over the years and it’s been relegated to BGM for the most part now. Nonetheless, there are outstanding composers that make even BGM tracks sound amazing as a standalone piece (i.e. Yoko Shimomura, Nobuo Uemetsu, Kow Otani, koji Kondo,John Williams, Hans Zimmer, etc.)

  11. Lost my music was probably the most horrible on my ears there XD But I thought Minorin’s singing was fine. She’s obviously not a top notch artist, but her voice kinda suited the whole orchestral feel =3

    Oh, and the instrumentals were decent *nods*

  12. All those Yuki fanboys here not caring about the topic at all >_>

    I for my part don’t listen much to j-pop-like anime OSTs, so I probably would have missed out on this. I really like this one, since I’m into orchestral music. So thanks for the hint. ^^

    And yes, Aya’s voice at times really seemed out of place. I just think her voice would have needed more strength for this, and some parts could have been handled better.
    On another not, just because it’s live it doesn’t have to be bad, but sadly only few (popular) musicians can perfom live as well as their Mixers can handle their sounds on recordings.

  13. The Mikuru tune sounds great! it’s always great to hear a clash of my career and my hobby together. Of course, it’s no Mahler Symphony, but it still sounds beautiful, and it gets a different crowd excited about orchestra music, which is totally awesome and makes me happy. =)

  14. The Koi no Mikuru Densetsu music gave me the same vibe as Star Wars (at the begining) and Jurrasic Park (half way through).

    However, God Knows sounded really off with the vocals. Almost sounds like Aya sang that without any accompanying bg music, and her vocals were just slapped onto the awesome bg music.

  15. Ah, i’ve seen/heard the conductor and main violinist perform here in sydney a few times. No wonder i haven’t heard from them in awhile, they were busy recording this album. Love my orchestral music =]

  16. Two words my friend:


    She’s a brilliant composer. I’ve always appreciated and loved anime music, from rock and Jazz to piano pieces, it’s a majestic creativity that’s very hard to find anywhere else.

  17. Hands down, so damn awesome. I especially loved the Orchestra version of God Knows. So damn great in so many levels. I’m being sure to get the CD. It looks like it’s worth the buy or download (if you know where to look).


  18. Wow, this is a great discovery. Thanks for posting about this. As a fan and as a lover of classical, it’s stunning to see an attempt at something like this even if the final product isn’t perfect. I’m going to have to find this…

  19. I agree with you. The orchestral adaptations are not bad at all. I was surprise when I was listening Beach Vacances in classical. But, it wasn’t bad. Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra did a great job!

  20. Just finished downloading this album 2.5 hours ago and when I listen all the songs..this is my opinions:

    Whoa, there’s a different feeling when I heard Koi no Mikuru Densetsu..from cute voice turns into an EPIC ones. I love it. ^_^ (Good. There’s no Mikuru’s voice..I’ll die of laughing if Yuuko-san sings in this song. XD)

    The BGM’s remake is OK, better than in the anime.

    Lost my music? I must say..err..Haruhi’s voice (whoops, I mean Aya-sensei :P) is not suitable for classical tones. Original version is MUCH BETTER. Same for God knows.

    Hare Hare Yukai hell yeah EPIC too (2nd EPIC, eh?). Nothing bad from Hare Hare classical remake like this. I relieved there’s no vocal here. (just imagine if there’s vocal in this song! mwahahaha..maybe I’ll imagine about the dance too XD )

    Last..Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite. I never heard the original version before, but when I heard to this classical remake..OMG..I don’t know Minori-san voice is quite compatible with classical tones! Yes, this is the 3rd EPIC..My heart was really moved by this song. ^_^


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