Beyond Studio Ghibli: 7 Scores By Miyazaki's Top Composer - Electronic Beats

Beyond Studio Ghibli: 7 Scores By Miyazaki’s Top Composer

Explore another side of Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi with iconic soundtracks from his years working with legendary Japanese director Takeshi Kitano.

There’s something comforting and familiar about Hayao Miyazaki films. From fantastical slice-of-life classics like My Neighbor Totoro to the mythic action of Princess Mononoke, his animated works create worlds so immersive that his production house, Studio Ghibli, is currently working on making a theme park for its worldwide fanbase. One of the most powerful and recognizable aspects of his films are their phenomenal soundtracks, many of which were composed by one man: Joe Hisaishi.

A veteran of Japan’s anime industry, Hisaishi’s work runs through many of the most well-known series of the ’80s, such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Voltron. The sound he developed for Studio Ghibli manages to evoke a sense of sweeping nostalgia from surprisingly minimal melodic arrangements. This particular characteristic also manifests in much of Hisaishi’s work outside of his more famous Studio Ghibli scores. That’s certainly true of his long and fruitful collaboration with Japanese auteur actor and director Takeshi Kitano, who appeared in the recent live action revamp of the anime classic Ghost In The Shell. These scores branch out from the fantasy of Studio Ghibli to provide a lush backdrop for stories about brutal police officers, violent Yakuza gangsters and the people who get caught between them. We’ve gathered a number of these non-Ghibli pieces to showcase an entirely different—but equally important—side of Joe Hisaishi’s catalog.

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