While players focused on gameplay and storyline when they play JRPG, music or soundtrack is an element they can’t put aside. Music in JRPG often plays important roles, even as far as escalating mediocre series into something more interesting. And behind those awesome soundtracks, are these 5 JRPG music composers you should know, especially if you put your interest more into Japanese games.
1. Rei Kondoh
Fire Emblem Awakening was the game that revived the withering Fire Emblem series, and the game’s soundtrack is impeccable. Closer inspection into the game revealed three names behind the music – Yuka Tsujiyoko, Hiroki Morishita, and Rei Kondoh. A tune from the game that stood out to us was the moving piece “Don’t Speak Her Name” by Kondoh.
2. Kazumi Totaka
Totaka is the man behind many of Nintendo’s signature games’ music – Yoshi’s Story, Luigi’s Mansion, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Animal Crossing. Totaka is also known for his “Kazumi Totaka’s Song” which is a tune hidden in many of the games he had composed for. His latest composition is the main theme of Yoshi’s Woolly World.
3. Nobuo Uematsu
Uematsu is one of the most well known JRPG music composers and he is famous for his works in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series. The soundtrack “To Zanarkand” from Final Fantasy X has more than four million hits on YouTube. His tunes are known to be melancholic and poignant, and when you couple that with the stories of trial and loss in the Final Fantasy games, be prepared to have some tears welling up.
4. Hiroyuki Sawano
Anime fans will probably recognize Sawano for his compositions in popular anime series Attack on Titan, Guilty Crown, and Blue Exorcist. Aside from that, Sawano is the sole composer of the 2015 release Xenoblade Chronicles X for Wii U. Sawano has a signature style of coupling grand instrumental tunes with vocals, and also a penchant for using foreign languages in lyrics.
5. Shoji Meguro
Since the beginning of his career, Meguro has been composing mainly for Shin Megami Tensei series. Meguro’s addictive beats will get you bobbing your head while you maneuver the protagonist in the Persona 3 and Persona 4. Meguro is also the composer for 2016 release of Persona 5. His music style is a mix of rock with jazz, orchestral and electronica.
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If you don’t grow with those games mentioned above, maybe you are not too familiar with some of their names. But even as commoner, you can value their creation easily as a masterpiece in JRPG world. I like Shoji Meguro’s musics in Persona series as he always bring surprises into each of the game, but I can’t put aside Nobue Uematsu’s creation since I grew up together with Final Fantasy series.
So which one are your favorite JRPG music composers? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.