Music composer Yoshihiro Ike took attendees of AX through a musical journey through some of his works at his concert on Day Four.

Ike was on the conductor podium as he directed his orchestra with talent from Nashville, TN, Canada and Japan. Muted scenes from the selected anime series played on the backdrop as they played their respective songs.

Two tracks from the 2011 Sunrise show “Tiger & Bunny” started the concert with deep warm tones from the horn line. The feature from the brass matched the anime’s focus on the superheroes. 

The next pair of songs came from the Production I.G. 2018 series “B: The Beginning” that recently got renewed for a second season by Netflix. It was a shift in the mood as the stringed instruments were the prominent ones. Dissonance gave a haunting vibe while the increase of the tempo built tension. The audience could tell without the dialogue that the characters were getting into dark troubles in the mystery anime.

The orchestra then played five pieces from Toei Animation’s CG movie “Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary” from 2014. It seemed like there was a choral accompaniment as the audience saw scenes speeding through the galaxy. The tenor horn line feature was a good way to bring out the grandeur of space and the Saints, which might remind one of Gustav Holst and his suite “The Planets”. During part of the performance, the stage lights changed colors to match the main characters. As a special treat to concert goers, Ike played a song from a new CG “Saint Seiya” anime that will premiere on July 19. Compared to “Legend of Sanctuary”, the character closely resembled more of Masami Kurumada’s original style.

The concert moved on to Ike’s work from the 2016 digital card game “Shadowverse” which according to the introduction was Japan’s first esport. 10 songs comprised this portion of the performance and showed more of Ike’s versatility as each trailer for expansions featured a different archetype of a character compared to the previous. The final piece featured a clip of the 2018 World Final.

The next featured series was the 2019 adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s “Dororo” that recently concluded. Shakuhachi floutist So Tanomura and Koto player Mana Yoshinaga joined the orchestra for those six songs. It was a special chance for fans to experience a live performance of these two traditional instruments of Japan. It was especially interesting to see how Tanomura created vibrato by moving his head.

For the finale of the concert, Canadian singer Kathleen Boucher went on stage to sing Risa Shimizu’s part of “Promised Land”, the ending theme song of 2014 MAPPA anime “Rage of Bahamut: Genesis”. The introduction mentioned that the soundtrack was made for 5.1 surround sound and this ballad really did fill the hall. Boucher did a wonderful job matching Shimizu’s voice and the high soprano part blended well with the orchestra. It was a fitting piece to conclude the event as some did not leave the place with dry eyes.

“To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts” is the latest anime series with Yoshihiro Ike’s work. It is another project he joined with Studio MAPPA and we have coverage of their AX panel with him. For photos of the concert, you can check out the posts from his Twitter account.

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