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Awesome Music: Yoko Kanno
Let's just stop here and agree that the entire musical oeuvre of Yoko Kanno is Awesome Music. Sort of like how every chapter of the Summa Theologica is a miracle. This era's Mozart or Beethoven. God of Music. You get the picture.

The following series have their own pages:


  • Macross Plus has a lot of awesome music, but "Information High" is one of the best, especially when seen in context.
    • "Voices" can make a person cry with its sheer awesomeness. It's won its share of "Best Anime Song of X period" awards, and it's easy to see why.
    • "National Anthem of Macross". Listen and feel patriotic fervor for a country that doesn't even exist!
    • "After, in the dark" is a rocking '80s-style open-air concert performance that plays over the first episode fadeout, and at the beginning of the Sharon Apple concert. As an in-story product of the virtual idol Sharon Apple, it really makes me buy how an AI could have become a mega-popular performer in the Macross universe. This is crucial to the plot, you see.
    • "Fly Up In The Air".
  • Macross7's OVA sequel Dynamite 7 has "Angel Voice", even Basara haters have to admit that this song is pretty awesome. Think about it, "Angel Voice" is basically JAM Project and Yoko Kanno together in one song! You can't get any more awesome than that.
    • Becomes even better when you consider that Mari Iijima (Lynn Minmay) did her own version. That was awesome enough on its own, then the fans mixed it with the original, the result is sheer musical awesomeness as well as a Moment Of Awesome for fan mixes.
  • Often looked over is her work for ∀ Gundam. Quite a few of the songs are very well done, especially Black History and Moon.
    • "Felicity / Back to the River" from Turn-A Gundam: The Concert is pure auditory bliss.
  • Vision of Escaflowne's "Dance of Curse." Repetitive, but awesome.
    • The movie had an up-tempo reprise "Dance of Curse II", and then took it to the next level with "Black Escaflowne". Neither track would have been out of place in an apocalyptic Hollywood movie preview.
    • Also, "Epistle" and "Chain" from the same series.
    • Gotta toss in "Shadow of a Doubt". Dat Cello. Such wonderful political intrigue music.
    • "White Dove", the opening recap for the series for the first few episodes, awesome enough from just that until you listen to the soundtrack version and you realize that, Hey there are words in this song!
    • The amazingly beautiful "Story of Escaflowne" that's played during the finale. If the ending doesn't make you misty eyed, this will.
      • Here, watch the last 4 minutes of the TV series and see for yourself!
    • "Arcadia", which accompanies Hitomi's vision of the Atlanteans' ancient doomed utopia, and her final epiphany about who she truly loves at the end of the series. Exquisitely poignant dissonances in the strings form the introduction to a literally operatic piece (it's an honest-to-god aria). Transcendentally beautiful.
    • "Sora" is a truly beautiful song.
    • Heck, ANY track from the Escaflowne soundtrack is epicly gorgeous! "Revenge", "Farewell", "Murder", "Angel", "Wings", "Gloria", etc...
    • From the Escaflowne Movie OST, "Take My Hands" is an emotionally powerful interlude in the soundtrack when Van's wings are revealed while rescuing Hitomi. Seriously. The last stanza is used in the opening of the Escaflowne Movie DVD.
  • One absolutely magnificent piece is "Grace Omega" from Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, which ushers in the end credits in the most spine-tingling way imaginable.
  • The Wolfs Rain soundtrack. "Stray", the theme song, definitely deserves a mention. The song is reminiscent of all the most epic 80s power ballads, with Steve Conte's voice making it even better. And then there's the frankly brilliant moment where the guitar makes a howling sound, just as a wolf is shown howling...
    • "Gravity" is just such a wonderfully, beautifully melancholy song, that it deserves to be included here.
    • "Heaven's Not Enough", also sung by Steve Conte, for more power ballad goodness.
    • "Tell Me What The Rain Knows", for its sheer beauty and goosebumps-inducing factor. Although it does fall under the 'collabs with Maaya Sakamoto' category, it is special enough to get a separate mention.
    • The final track, "Go To Rakuen", with its gentle piano and heavenly strings, is really indescribable. Also the heartbreaking "Shiro, Long Tails" that played during some of the most emotional battles.
    • "Strangers", sung by Raj Ramayya. The haunting trumpet, the soft vocals, the lyrics filled with desire and hope that let you believe the wolves really could make it to Paradise... in retrospect it's very sad, but still no less gorgeous.
    • "Face On". Ho-ly shit.
    • "Run Wolf Warrior, Run" is a very poetic and beautiful song.
    • "Cloud 9", uplifting enough to fully deserve its title.
  • The soundtrack for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is really, really good. There isn't really a single track that isn't marvelous, they always blend perfectly with the visuals and context of the scenes they're matched with, and they play a huge part in making the show so amazing. It's possibly one of the greatest soundtracks ever made.
    • The opening song for Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig. You can find the anime altered full version here.
    • As amazing as the second opening "Rise" was, one can never forget the jaw-droppingly amazing first opening, "Inner Universe".
    • Not to mention the opening theme for the terrestrial broadcast of the first season, "Get9". Hip-hopadelic delight, indeed...
    • It would be easy to go, "The whole soundtrack is made from PURE AWESOME" without really lying. Especially for making a piece of music played primarily on the kazoo into the most malevolent piece of music in anime history.
      • If you don't absolutely HATE everything that this song is, then it's not doing what it was supposed to do. "Go DA DA" is just as it's described: The most malevolent and ominously evil sounding song you'll ever hear. It's supposed to instil scorn from the listener.
    • It's hard to find any song that's better than "Stamina Rose" to kick off any anime, let alone TV series in general.
    • "Torukia" could also easily be the best track in the OST.
      • It's also kickass in a capella Gregorian-like slow choir-only version in episode "Poker Face", when there's a sniper duel on a hospital roof.
    • "Date of Rebirth".
    • Also from Solid State Society, "Take a Little Hand","Human Step" and ""From The Roof Top/Somewhere in the Silence".
    • Also, "Ride From Technology". Sounds like a lost masterpiece from Cowboy Bebop, definitely great. And Fish/Silent Cruise. Such a dramatic song with such a power,purely awesome. And what about the great Jam Rock masterpiece which is called Yakitori?
    • The song "beauty is within us" (lyrics), specifically written for the episode that features it, "Runaway Evidence TESTATION", perfectly conveys the anguish and enigmatic motives of Kago Takeshi.
    • "Run Rabbit Junk". Every time this plays, Section Nine is doing something awesome.
    • How about "I Do", the beautiful Italian song that plays throughout most of the tear jerker scenes in 2nd Gig.
      • If you didn't start crying when this song was used in context with the episode "Affection", then you truly have no soul.
    • "From the Rooftops ~ Somewhere in the Silence (Sniper's Theme)" is just one of those songs you can listen to whenever you just need to relax. The song itself gives off a relaxing atmosphere that you can't help but immerse yourself in.
    • "Psychedelic Soul". It's a bittersweet tale, but absolutely beautiful.
    • "Know Your Enemy" is a beautiful piece of music which can change moods so many times and still be gorgeous.
    • The fight against the Jigabachi AV helicopter in "Natural Enemy" was pretty awesome by itself, but wouldn't have been anywhere near as awesome as it is without THIS playing in the background.
    • There's also the desperate, melancholy "Christmas in the Silent Forest".
    • The calm and quiet melancholy of Emily Curtis' voice on "What's it for?" just perfectly encapsulates a sadness that's almost gone bittersweet with age and exhaustion.
    • To sum up, the soundtrack is really, REALLY good!
  • Several tracks from ∀ Gundam: "Moon" (especially the live version), "Tsuki no Mayu", and "Back to the River - Original Vocal Version".
  • Brain Powerd is also worthy of note as sort of a precursor to ∀ Gundam, this was the first collaboration between Kanno and Yoshiyuki Tomino and gave us such great songs as "Light of Love", "Sonne" and "Flow".
  • The Genesis of Aquarion soundtrack, especially the theme song "Sousei no Aquarion", composed by her.
  • With a new Aquarion series, we get an awesome new opening, in the form of "Kimi no Shinwa ~Aquarion Dai Ni Shou".
  • The Please Save My Earth OVA episode ending song, "Toki no Kioku" ("The Moment's Memory"), set the nostalgic mood of the anime. The rest of the soundtrack contributes as well, of course....
  • The entire Darker than Black soundtrack. "GO Dark" and "Highheel Runaway" in particular. When those songs start, you know some crazy shit is about to go down.
  • Her collaborations with Maaya Sakamoto. Unsurprisingly, there isn't a bad song on any of her Kanno-produced albums, and many AWESOME ones. For a sample, there's "Kiseki no Umi", "Hemisphere", "Triangler", "Platinum" the above-mentioned "Gravity" and, the one that started it all, "Yakusoku wa Iranai".
  • This song called "O Bento O Tabenagara" is sung by Kiyoura Natsumi.
  • "Cloe" from Earth Maiden Arjuna.
    • The battle theme "Earth Resonance" mixes wordless chorus and orchestra into a uniquely energizing piece with its strong rhythms. It's in 13/16 time for half of it!
    • "Enka" is strange and beautiful music made with saxophones, making for unique atmosphere.
  • Her work on Ōban Star-Racers may mostly consist of collaborations, but still:
  • Kids On The Slope. A series that is essentially a 12-episode-long love ballad to jazz. From the first song on the OST, to the last note in the closing theme, each piece of music is just beautiful. However, what really stands out is the "Medley" from Episode 7. It will leave you in tears.
    • "Moanin'".
    • "Bag's Groove." This was the song Sentaro, Junichi, and Ritsuku's dad played in the music shop's basement to welcome Junichi home, and include Kaoru in the fun, which helps him loosen up. It's a smooth, even song that gets the listener in a relaxed mood. As one Youtube comment put it:
    "Yeaaaah... Sit back and take it alllll in, and feel the day roll on by and not even give a damn."
  • It's not featured in any anime, but "The Man In The Desert" is a hauntingly beautiful piece that can be found on her album, Song to Fly.


Nana MizukiAwesomeMusic/AnimeYuki Kajiura

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