"You have got to hear this shit. It's like she's hitting you over the head with a sock full of Jonny Quest!"Yoko Kanno (born March 18, 1963) is a famous Japanese composer and musician, known primarily for her work on anime soundtracks. Her name being attached to a project has caused much rejoicing moments for many fans.Born in Japan in 1964 and having began her career composing video game soundtracks in the late 1980's, she has written or otherwise contributed to the soundtracks of a large number of anime, including (but not limited to:)
—Alternate John Williams, John and Yoko.
- Macross: (Plus, Dynamite 7, and Frontier).
- The Vision of Escaflowne (along with Hajime Mizoguchi, her former husband).
- Cowboy Bebop (with her backing band The Seatbelts, probably her most famous and critically acclaimed soundtrack).
- RahXephon (she composed the opening song "Hemisphere" and the movie theme Tune the Rainbow, both performed by Maaya Sakamoto).
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG, and Solid State Society)
- Earth Maiden Arjuna.
- Wolf's Rain.
- Genesis of Aquarion (as well as its sequel, Aquarion Evol).
- Darker Than Black.
- Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (she composed the opening, Kiseki no Umi, performed by Maaya Sakamoto)
- Brain Powerd.
- ∀ Gundam.
- Kids on the Slope
- Terror in Resonance.
Tropes associated with Yoko Kanno:
- Genre Roulette: Cowboy Bebop's soundtracks are a perfect example of this. While the series' music is anchored around bebop and blues, Kanno spun the wheel and added Hard Rock, drum and bass, chiptune, and Hip-Hop to the score (not to mention several forms of jazz other than bebop.)
- Gratuitous English: Her titles sometimes slip into Word Salad Title territory.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The Seatbelts has 37 Japanese members, 19 American members, 7 French members, and featured 18 guest vocalists. On the Seatbelts Live 2001@Shibuya AX disc included in the CD box set, 15 musicians and 6 vocalists are credited.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Expect even her most cohesive works to cross pollinate genres at some point.
- Secret Identity: Gabriela Robin. This was pretty much an Open Secret for years, though Kanno has not explicitly confirmed nor denied this. In 2009, she announced that Robin would perform in front of a live audience for the first time. During said concert, after conducting the orchestra, Kanno turned around and sung Robin's song "Moon" from ∀ Gundam. This was her only public acknowledgement of her secret identity.
- Sampling: When she does sample, it's usually something intensely obscure, such as opera or underground techno.
- Macross Plus' "Idol Talk", probably her most sample-heavy song, takes the beat from Prince's Associates Wendy & Lisa's "Lolly Lolly"; turntable scratches from a 1980's hip hop group Beside's "Change the Beat"; as well as a phone sex operator's very explicit dialogue, as it appeared on industrial artist Scanner's debut album (with the most graphic words edited out.)
- Some choices are more overt: "Pop Goes the Weasel" and Pink Floyd's "On the Run" made it into two separate Cowboy Bebop songs.
- Speaking Simlish: Kanno has written gibberish lyrics for several of her soundtracks and most of these are sung by herself (credited as Gabriela Robin.) Her use of it in Macross Plus is credited to the Zentraedi race present in that work. Examples include "Green Bird" from Cowboy Bebop, "Sora" from Vision Of Escaflowne, "Moon" from Turn A Gundam, and "Torkia" from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. They all have made-up languages.