A week ago, my brother handed me a piece of paper, only accompanied by a meaningful look: on it, there was a list of songs he (I presumed) wanted downloaded. (Why a seventeen-year-old boy makes her sister do that for him is easy to answer - he's beyond lazy.)
It was mostly soundtracks, from anime, which made me realize how much I love some of those soundtracks. Usually serious anime have music much better composed than a simple cartoon. Usually, they have CDs published, one for an average of 25 episodes. I watch lots of series and well, and it's completely different, as those tend to have 'proper songs' by lesser or more well known bands as background music, and a few characteristic, but not too creative tunes. Anime music is usually over-the-top and really epic, more similar with film soundtracks than the music from various television shows.
These composers are famous among anime geeks. When there is an upcoming anime, to-be critics not only look at the director and the screenwriter, but usually the composer as well. A fitting soundtrack can really elevate the viewing experience, and for me, it matters a lot. So here are my (current) favourite composers, and a few examples of their work, in no particular order. (It's listenable for even those who don't like Japanese music in general - these are instrumentals, of course!)
TAKANASHI YASUHARUThe music composer of my favourite anime, Toward the Terra, he also contributed to Naruto: Shippuden, Fairy Tail, Hell Girl and Mononoke.
,(Fairy Tail, duh)
The first was my ringtone for years, that's how good it is. Perfectly fits the atmosphere of the anime, and it's damn catching. The second one is basically a variation, with a faster rhythm, a few extras and a lot more power. It's awesome.
,(Terra e.../Toward the Terra)
For me, this show will always be pure perfection, and the soundtrack is just as perfect: it's beautiful, serene but powerful, and haunting, really haunting. That first one still almost makes me cry. The anime still would. I really like Yoru no Kodomo as well, but I couldn't find it on youtube or the first three(!) pages of Google search, so yeah, laziness wins. (Also, just how is it not famous enough to be on there?)
Probably my first real favourite music composer (beside Bleach's Sagisu Shiro, but I really didn't know him for anything else, and that music is just a bit too specific), I find he's best with crazy, over-the-top animes.
Not my favourite work of his, but this remix has everything in it from the show, and it's kind of nice. A bit electronic, a bit fake Indian, and a bit of that Iwasaki Taku weirdness.
What did I say about crazy? This is the definition. It's addictive, and it's like a double espresso with rainbow-coloured sugar. Sorry, but I've never taken drugs, so I can't come up with a better simile.
(Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann/no point in translating this one)
Soul Eater may claim to be a crazy anime, but it has nothing on TTGL. More is more is the motto, everything is seriously overblown and it's the definition of epic.
My current, most recent obsession. I call him the three Es - epic, experimental, electronic. He uses that in any setting, be it apocalyptic Middle Ages or the good, traditional Japanese fantasy with Japanese priests, various beasts, western angels and of course demons.
(Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist)
Pure electronic goodness with some traditional instruments (as banjo), weird Sawano-ish cutting-the-track-in -half and unsuspecting build-ups. This is prominent in the next ones as well.
, , (Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan)
I guess everyone's most recent favourite, but it's seriously amazing. It's been long since I've read a manga or seen an anime which fascinated me this much. (Last time was when I read 7 Seeds I guess.) And the OST is perfect for the anime and it's perfect on its own. The whole thing bloody flawless and I'm a terrible fangirl.