Interview: Yasuharu Takanashi, composer of the Naruto series



For the first time since the first episode of the Naruto anime broadcast in Japan in 2002, music for the three episodes of the very popular animated series (Naruto, Naruto Shippuden and Boruto) along with their respective films have been officially made available for streaming / download outside of Japan. In light of this momentous occasion, ANN was able to speak with one of the main composers of the series, Yasuharu Takanashi, about the creative processes and inspirations behind some of shounen lively.

Naruto is a legendary anime, but without a doubt, the music helped catapult it to success! What was your reaction when you saw how much fans around the world love your music?

First of all, it is a great honor for me to be asked this question.

At first I didn’t really feel that my music could be enjoyed by people all over the world, but as I worked I started getting comments and messages from people, and when I went to various places and experienced the reactions in person for the first time, I felt a sense of gratitude and happiness that I had made the music.

When you were composing this music, did you think this anime and your creations would become so famous and deeply loved?

To be honest, I didn’t expect this during the production process.

So that was really good … A good miscalculation. I mean, I’m glad it turned out to be more than I imagined.

What are your favorite compositions from Naruto Shippuden which you worked on and why?

There are so many that it is very difficult to limit yourself to just one.

First, the Itachi and Sasuke parting scene was awesome, then the scene where Kushina and Minato sealed the nine tails inside Naruto for the last time. This scene was so awesome!

The scene where Naruto meet Kushina and Minato at the end of the anime and they go their separate ways again, I cried even though I was watching TV and my music playing.

Oh, the Obito part was good too. I can’t even start to count them.

Fans love Narutomusic because it’s a combination of traditional Japanese music and rock – it features and mixes many genres! When you were approached to work on this project, what influences did you draw from and why did you decide to tweak genres together like that?

First of all, my parents’ house was a Geisha House, and I was surrounded by many geishas as a child (I grew up in an environment of traditional Japanese culture.)

So I grew up listening to the sound of the shamisen and other Japanese instruments …

Also, I think joining the Musashi group, which used Japanese instruments, during the Naruto series awakened my dormant “Japanese instincts”.

You created songs that made fans cry, made them scream with joy and also scared them to the core. When you do a song for a villain … what are you channeling or what goes into that creative process?

First, I read the original story carefully and developed a strong attachment to each character, and then I thought, “Would that kind of music make the character stand out more?” Or, would this scene stand out more? ” And so on. I try to turn everything into something that can be expressed with the music. The other important thing is to talk to the director and the sound director, and compare your own image with theirs.

When you were creating a song for a heroic moment, what did you want that song to sum up and describe?

As for the heroic and fight scenes, well … the most important is whether or not it turns me on when I do them! This is the most important part. Another thing is that it’s rock based so I put a lot of emphasis on passion, power, weight, etc.

And there are so many soulful songs in Naruto that bring you tears even just hearing them at random. How do you think you effectively shoot the hearts of people like that?

I think it’s because the melody is so simple. “Melody is king! »Don’t overthink it, just make a good melody! I always try to make good melodies without thinking too much, so I think that’s what I’m trying to do, and I also try to honestly express what comes out of my heart.

How did you create the music for this anime? Did they tell you about the scenes and then you do the song afterwards? Or how did this process unfold?

For the cinema (film) version, I watched each scene beforehand because it is “film music”, but for the television series, the production process is different: first I carefully read the film. ‘original story then creates the image for each scene from there.

What is your best memory of working on this anime? Do you remember ever having a time where you were like, wow … that’s amazing !?

I think the fact that I have been able to connect with many people around the world through my work!

I have started receiving various messages directly from people in different countries around the world, and the feeling that so many people enjoy my music together is the driving force behind my musical endeavors, so being able to connect with people all over the world across the world. Naruto the series is the most important thing for me.

What do you want to say to all the fans who absolutely adore your musical creations !?

Hi all! The fact that you all enjoy my music is the driving force behind my music career. I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I love you all!

It’s also my dream to go to your place one day and play live. It would make me very happy to play, while seeing your faces in person.


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