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Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno is the closest person to being the international face of the anime music industry, thanks to her involvement with high-profile projects such as Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. She also wrote scores for TV series, movies, and video games, and songs for pop artists, and the list of ad jingles commissioned to her reads like a "who's who" list of the contemporary economic system. The demand for her services should be attributed to her ultimate versatility: Kanno can compose in any given style, from ambient and neoclassical music to techno and hard rock, never sounding strained or forced.

Kanno was born in 1964 in Miyagi Prefecture. She was taught music early on, and at 10 she became the youngest winner of the Yamaha piano competition. Later, she studied in the Parisian Conservatory for Music and Dance and then joined the prestigious Waseda University, where her fondness for jazz flourished, leading her to debut on the musical scene as the keyboardist and the occasional songwriter for the band Testu 100%, with which Kanno collaborated between 1986-1989. Along with that, she began her career as a professional composer, composing her first score for the Japanese video game Romance of the Three Kingdoms in 1985. She continued writing music for games by Koei up until 1994, and branched out into pop field in 1988, when she first collaborated with Chiyono Yoshino (Keiko Nakajima and Kyoko Endo followed suit).

Kanno's career really got a kickstart in 1994, when she collaborated with her husband, the cellist and composer Hajime Mizoguchi, on her first anime series score for Please Save My Earth, and wrote music for her first film Yamato Takeru. By 1996, the floodgates were opened, largely due to her score for the massively successful series Vision of Escaflowne (done with Mizoguchi). Kanno quit writing for video games in 1994 and movies in 1997, concentrating on anime series and, to a lesser extent, on working with pop artists. In the decade between 1998 and 2008 she wrote themes and/or scores to almost 30 anime projects, including Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (1998), Turn a Gundam (1999), and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002) (for which she's rumored to have sung vocals herself under the alias of Gabriela Robin), Wolf's Rain (2003), and Macross Frontier (2008). Her involvement with the pop industry peaked in late ‘90s and early 2000s when she contributed to albums by Kyoko Koizumi, Maaya Sakamoto, and Crystal Kay. In 1998 she also released her debut solo album Song to Fly.

Kanno returned to video games in 2000, doing a score for a Dreamcast game, followed by two games of the Cowboy Bebop franchise in 2001 and 2005. She also started writing scores for live action films again in 2002, when she composed the soundtrack for Tokyo. Sora and Mizu no Onna. Other notable films of the 2000s featuring her music are Kamikaze Girls (2004) and Honey and Clover (2006). She paid less attention to pop music at the time, but still wrote the entire album Nagashime Play by Kei Kobayashi (2003), some tracks for teen pop darlings SMAP, and the album Lost in Time by Akino of Bless4, out in 2007, when Kanno divorced Mizoguchi. In 2002, Kanno also released her second solo album 23-Ji no Ongaku, and in 2008 gathered some of the music she did for TV ads on the CD titled CM Yoko, which represented another huge chunk of her body of work, considering that she wrote jingles for more than 70 companies, including IBM, Japan Railways, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nissan, Sony, Toyota, and Vodafone. ~ Alexey Eremenko, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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sariyuku_yuu b e
Origa is a she and why are you guys saying rip to her on yoko kanno's page....
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This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out, if you break this chain you will see a little dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry
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This song reminds me of Seal's song "kissed by a rose"
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Wtf lmao this kid, please go outside. Or learn how to spell at least. Aaaaaanyway great artist. Wouldn't be wrong in stating that every anime she's composed a soundtrack for is awesome, largely in part of her role in the soundtrack itself.
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i need help to protect the wolves i ask every one that is willing to help me do that somebody anybody because the wolves are part of my coulter and if they are a part of yours you wouldn't stand by and let people kill them of one by one you would probable stand up for the wolves and we shall take back what is rightfully ours and take our land back that was promised to us as a part of the Indian society we shall taking back our land our home. sand up with me or let them keep what is not thiers
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I did not know know D: , he shall be missed.
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I didn't even know origa died until I read all these comments and then looked it up. Rest in peace Origa you shall be missed.
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RIP Origami we'll miss your voice.
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mariagomez11 2 0 2
Amazing voice and amazing instrumental this song has.. Sadly origa you can't give us more but these songs live on so we can remember your amazing talent <3
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Rip we lov u b**ch
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RIP girl we love u
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RIP Origa.
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slickchik112
RIP Origa :'(
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slickchik112
RIP Origa :'(
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sakuracabbit 6
Yoko Kanno an absolute genius. All her music alone have a great story to tell. I feel in love with ghost in the Shell and her music in cowboy bepop and am a huge fan. I wish she would come to Anime expo 2015 or he'll whenever I'd love to met her ��
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Loved this anime and song!!
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Yoko Kanno and Yuki Kajiura are my all-time favorite composers
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vm.porras
She also did the music for 1994 Macross Plus. Also an excellent sound track. Her music is the essence of Sharon Apple.
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Love it
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wow nice vocals and a great beat that i can dance to
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Rise is one of my absolute favorite songs :D Go Yokoooooo! :)
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I love Yoko! :D
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charlesramey i i
She's absolutely amazing
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I couldnt choose a favorite song or album out of Yoko Kanno's works. They are all just captivating and for the most part soothing. Some are sad. I'm glad I was introduced to her and not through an anime either!
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Like number 5,700 ;)
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Oh yeah, Wolfs Rain rules and totally rocks!! :)
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I'm a Otaku add me :) :)
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かわいい
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musicwolf3
Wolfs Rain :3
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I love Ghost In The Shell ♡
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wolfs rain brought me here
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demonic emo why do you feel horrible
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I feel horible
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Never seen it
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Go and find ALL of her work. It is fantastic. Her work on Cowboy Bebop and GitS are mind blowing.
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I love the inner u..... I dont know how to spell it but that s my fav.
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The ghost album is so cool!!! Love the cover!!
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I NEVER SEEN WOLFS RAIN BUT I WANNA SEE IT SO BAD!
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@CielPhantom h i v e , i have replied to amny ppl and helped em out and so here: Yes i listen to them, in fact they are pretty good, and thry even did the TEEN TITANS! opening so yes.
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I have mad love for Yoko Kanno and I recommend her to people who love instrumental music.
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Ummmm love this album
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kushina337
<3 it!! ^__^
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1458091023
This song is..... Can't find any words to describe!:)
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do any of you like Puffy AmiYummi too?
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Right? I cried so much at the end :(
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Omg Wolf's Rain oh god so good and I love the music but so many feelings. I cried so much in that anime.
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Awesome!!!
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On cyberbird, that drum beat tho...
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dplcianci
I have a huge artistic crush on Yoko Kanno
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Long live toonami
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