Anime has been booming ever since its origin. With the rise of Crunchyroll and other streaming services, even more fans now have access to the vast amount of anime that is around. Next to that, we see lots of brands jumping to collaborate. Think of the Sailor Moon x Jimmy Choo or the Jujutsu Kaisen collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana. One of the pillars of anime is music. Decades ago artists such as Geinoh Yamashirogumi and Kenji Kawai were pushing the boundaries of mixing electronic music with traditional Japanese instruments in the now iconic AKIRA and Ghost In The Shell. Animation is where innovation in music scoring is happening. It is a fertile ground for melodic electronic music. Today a new generation of composers are pushing the envelope further by creating unique sounds and melodies.
In this panel, attendees will have the chance to meet acclaimed composer and electronic artist kensuke ushio – known for his superb work on A Silent Voice, Ping Pong, Devilman Crybaby and Chainsaw Man. He will speak about the unique process of scoring music for anime series and how he incorporates his background as an electronic music artist to create some of the most exciting scores of the moment. Ellie Harrison from Crunchyroll can tell us how important music is in this genre and what the role of Crunchyroll is in anime becoming more mainstream. Naho Saito brings in the unique perspective of Aniplex, a Japanese animation studio and music production company.
(© picture: Go Nagai – Devilman Crybaby Project)
kensuke ushiocomposer, JP
Pioneering and acclaimed Japanese composer kensuke ushio comes straight from Tokyo’s underground electronic scene. He is an electronic music producer and composes for internationally popular anime, including Chainsaw Man, A Silent Voice and Devilman Crybaby.
As a child, he learned to play the piano and studied music at university. When he came into contact with electronic music at the age of 20, his artistic career took a turning point. After living in Berlin, the then capital of underground techno, he started his career in 2007 under the nickname ‘agraph’.
His passion for electronic music led him to compose music for anime series and movies. He is now doing so well that some call him the Hans Zimmer of anime. He used his musical skills at legendary anime houses such as MAPPA, Kyoto Studio, Aniplex and Science Saru, among others. With the spectacular growth of anime all over the world, his fan base is growing day by day.
In 2024, kensuke ushio will celebrate his tenth anniversary as a film composer. He is currently working relentlessly on new scores for some of the most hyped anime series of the future. He also puts together a live show in which he combines his love for anime and electronic music.
Ellie HarrisonMusic Brand Manager, Crunchyroll, US
Ellie is the Music Brand Manager at Crunchyroll, the global leader in bringing fans the ultimate anime experience.Having previously worked at Sony Music Masterworks on anime OSTs, Ellie now leads all marketing initiatives for music at Crunchyroll.
Naho SaitoInternational Business Development, Aniplex, JP
Naho moved from Sony Music Entertainment Japan to Aniplex where she works on the international marketing for the Aniplex music repertoire. Aniplex, Inc. is a global entertainment company in Japan with focus on the planning and production of anime and music content owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Aniplex has been involved in the production and distribution of anime, such as the anime series Devilman Crybaby, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach, Sword Art Online, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fate, the Monogatari series, Angel Beats!, The Promised Neverland, Rurouni Kenshin and more.
Jon Weigell (moderator)Music Journalist, Video Producer, Rolling Stone, US
Jon Weigell is a music journalist and video producer based in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked for Rolling Stone and Amazon Music, among others, and interviewed countless artists in the rock, metal, electronic and soundtrack scene. What he enjoys most about working in the music industry is meeting all those talented international artists and learning everything about their craft.