Music: Hiroyuki Sawano
Hiroyuki Sawano is a relatively new arrival on the Japanese entertainment scene. Born in 1980, he first became famous for the soundtrack of the Live-Action Adaptation of Team Medical Dragon. Since then, he has composed for movies and TV series both live-action and animated, fusing electronic and orchestral music in a sweeping, bombastic style that imbues anything he works on with as much Hollywood-esque grandeur as it can support.Has an Awesome Music page.
Sawano has composed music for:
- Attack on Titan (anime)
- Blue Exorcist (anime and movie)
- Gigantic Formula
- Guilty Crown
- Kill la Kill
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
- My Girl (Live-Action Adaptation)
- The Seven Deadly Sins (anime)
- Project Blue Earth SOS
- Sengoku Basara (anime and movie)
- Seraph of the End (anime)
- Soul Link (anime)
- Team Medical Dragon (Live-Action Adaptation)
- Xenoblade Chronicles X
- Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na (anime)
- Zombie Loan (anime)
Tropes associated with his works:
- Autobots, Rock Out!: Often combined with Orchestral Bombing. Examples include "Before my body is dry", "The Reluctant Heroes" and "BLAZE Crimson Lotus".
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Used frequently in both lyrics and track titles; Gratuitous German and English are particular favourites.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: His pieces tend to have exceedingly strange titles, featuring a jumble of symbols and letters from various different alphabets. To wit:
- The title theme for Attack on Titan is "ətˈæk 0N tάɪtn", whilst another track, "Titan's Attack", is transcribed as "凸】♀】♂】←巨人". In fact, the entire second soundtrack one ups the first by being filled with these.
- Ditto for Kill la Kill, which is mostly consisting of different variations of the anime's title (save for the vocal themes like Ragyo's Leitmotif "Blumenkranz" and Ryuko's "Before my body is dry"). The second soundtrack, while mostly in Japanese, adds a number convention to tracks 1 through 12, with an added "boshi" (i.e. star, referring to the show's Goku uniforms).
- One of the tracks from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn also has a dose of this: the light-hearted track named "H@R0".
- Meanwhile, a lot of his tracks from Guilty Crown have Greek names, such as "βίος" (Bios) and "Βασιλευζ" (Basileus).
- Aldnoah.Zero continues the trend with titles like "Bre@th//less" and "[aLIEz]".
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Usually not in Latin, but certainly ominous. This crops up a lot in his villain motifs, like "Devil King of the Sixth Heaven" and "This Is A Fight To Change The World" from Sengoku Basara, and "XL-TT" from Attack on Titan.
- One-Woman Wail: There's always at least one in every musical score he composed, courtesy of Mika Kobayashi's powerful singing voice.
- Orchestral Bombing: Action scenes will either be heavy on the electronics or dive straight into this - there's not much of a middle ground.
- Psycho Strings: Uses jarring electronics to achieve the same effect, as in "Banshee" from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
- Punny Name: Many of his bizarre track titles are actually complicated puns making use of wingding fonts and wordplay based on kanji or Goroawase Numbers. Some examples include AL°C-@ (Allusia), 2chi城 (Nichijou/Daily Life), and 美♂-K+$タすpAd (Bios feat. Kobayashi Mika with Strings and Synthpad).
- Surprisingly Good English: Several songs have perfect English grammar, like "DOA" for Attack on Titan, performed by Aimee Blackshleger (an American singer living in Japan), who also sung for Guilty Crown, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Kill la Kill and the Devil May Cry anime. David Whitaker, a rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who moved to Japan in 2005, has also provided music for Blue Exorcist, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, and Xenoblade Chronicles X.
- He also has a good number of the Japanese singers he works with sing English & German songs. Depending on which singer he collaborates with, the pronunciation can be anywhere from passable to total gibberish.
- Victorious Chorus: Regularly used to give a Triumphant Reprise some extra zing. An example would be "Zero Gravity", a reworking of the main theme from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.