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Top Anime Music Composer: Yoko Kanno

Updated on October 2, 2014

Yoko Kanno

If you're an anime fan, you've probably heard her music without even knowing it. Kanno has composed some of the most famous music from anime and video games. She also worked on movie,TV, pop albums and commercial works. So what classic anime music has she worked on? Let's find out!

Yoko Kanno
Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno's Biography

Yoko Kanno was born on March 19, 1964 in the Miyagi prefecture Japan. Kanno began composing at an early age. . Kanno is also a keyboardist. Kanno cites Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy as her primary influences. She was married to fellow composer Hajime Mizoguchi, with whom she collaborated on the soundtracks for Please Save My Earth and The Vision of Escaflowne. The couple divorced in 2007.

Gabriela Robin is a pseudonym that Kanno occasionally uses when she performs vocals. For a long time, the fact that Robin and Kanno were the same person was an unproven rumor. But, on July 7, 2009, Yoko Kanno performed as Gabriela Robin on her stage, proving the rumor to be true.

She is the keyboardist and frontwoman for the band The Seatbelts.

Besides music, Kanno also enjoys photography and writing. She has written a number of journals for Newtype magazine of which photos for illustrations are done by Kanno herself as well.

She can speak some English and some French.

Stand Alone Complex O.S.T.
Stand Alone Complex O.S.T.

Most Popular Songs

Some of Yoko Kanno's most famous works include;

- "Kiseki no Umi" (Lodoss War),

- "Voices" (Macross Plus),

- "Tank!" (Cowboy Bebop), "

- "Yakusoku wa Iranai" (Escaflowne),

- "Gravity" (Wolf's Rain),

- "Inner Universe" (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)

- Stand Alone Complex O.S.T.

Yoko Kanno on the Stand Alone Complex Soundtrack

"I had this image of a formal and rigid 'manly' world for the original comic. So I tried to think of ways to destroy that world. The theme I had in mind was, 'be human.' It represented the sentiment of 'why don't we take it easy and be more like a human being?'—instead of being a workaholic salaried man working for his company. Or be it Tachikoma wishing to become human. I wanted to express these 'tangible fuzziness,' sort of. For the opening theme song called 'inner universe,' I had an image of

Yoko Kanno
Yoko Kanno

Discography (in alphabetical order)

- 23-ji No Ongaku OST

- Ashurajo No Hitomi OST

- Brain Powerd - Field Of Love (Single)

- Brain Powerd OST 1

- Brain Powerd OST 2

- Clamp Gakuen Tanteidan - Gift (Single)

- Clamp Gakuen Tanteidan - Mini Soundtrack

- Cowboy Bebop - Ask DNA (Single)

- Cowboy Bebop - CD-Box - Limited Ed.

- Cowboy Bebop - Cowgirl Ed OST

- Cowboy Bebop - Knockin' On Heaven's Door OST - Future Blues

- Cowboy Bebop - Tank! The! BEST!

- Cowboy Bebop - Tsuitou No Yakyoku (Original Game Music) (Single)

- Cowboy Bebop OST - Vitaminless

- Cowboy Bebop OST 1

- Cowboy Bebop OST 2 - No Disc

- Cowboy Bebop OST 3 - Blue

- Cowboy Bebop Remixes - Music For Freelance

- Creation OST, The

- Darker Than Black - Kuro No Keiyakusha OST - Gekihan

- Earth Girl Arjuna OST 1 - Into The Another World

- Earth Girl Arjuna OST 2 - Onna No Minato

- Earth Girl Arjuna OST 3 - Lost Tracks (Unreleased Songs)

- El-Hazard - The Alternative World OST

- Genghis Khan - Blue Wolves And White Does OST

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - GET9 (Single)

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society OST

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST - be Human

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST - Tachikoma USB Drive

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST - Unofficial Collection 1

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST 1

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST 2

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST 3

- Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex OST 4 - Smooth In The Shell (No Break Disk)

- Happy Go Lucky - I'm Sorry (Single) - Mitsuteru Kimura

- Happy Go Lucky OST

- Ishin No Arashi - It's For My Ego (Single) - SAMPLY RED

- Ishin No Arashi OST

- Jack In The Box - Tetsu 100%

- Jin-Roh OST

- Kamikaze Girls OST

- KOEI Game Music Works - Yoko Kanno Collections

- Maaya Sakamoto - Dive

- Maaya Sakamoto - Easy Listening

- Maaya Sakamoto - El-Hazard - The Alternative World OST

- Maaya Sakamoto - Grapefruit

- Maaya Sakamoto - Hashiru (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Hemisphere (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Hotchpotch (Single Collection)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Kazemachi Jet (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Kiseki No Umi (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Loop (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Lucy

- Maaya Sakamoto - Mameshiba (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Nikopachi (Single Collection +)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Platinum (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Shounen Alice

- Maaya Sakamoto - Tune The Rainbow (Single)

- Maaya Sakamoto - Yuunagi Loop

- Macross 7 - Fire Bomber - Ultra Fire !!

- Macross Dynamite Seven (OVA) OST - Radio Fire !!

- Macross Plus - Cream PEUEF, The - Sharon Apple (Single)

- Macross Plus OST - For Fans Only

- Macross Plus OST 1

- Macross Plus OST 2

- Memories OST

- Mizu No Onna OST

- Napple Tale OST - Shippo No Uta (Single)

- Napple Tale OST - Vol. 1 - Yosei Zukan

- Napple Tale OST - Vol. 2 - Kaiju Zukan

- Napple Tale OST (Unreleased Tracks)

- NHK Special - China - The Inspired Dragon - Where To Now OST

- Nobunaga's Ambition - Bushoufuunroku OST

- Nobunaga's Ambition - Haouden OST

- Nobunaga's Ambition - Sengokugunyuden OST

- Nobunaga's Ambition - Sound History

- Nobunaga's Ambition - Tenshouki OST

- Nobunaga's Ambition - True Legend Of Nobunaga 2

- Nobunaga's Ambition - Zenkokuban / Sangokushi OST

- Origa - Aria

- Origa - Aurora

- Origa - Best Of Origa, The

- Origa - Crystal Winter

- Origa - Eien

- Origa - Era Of Queens

- Origa - Illusia

- Origa - Lyre

- Origa - Mizu No Madoromi (Single)

- Origa - Origa

- Per L'eternita - Yoko Kanno Vs. Roman Police Department (feat. Ken Nishikiori)

- Please Save My Earth (OVA) - Drama CD - Vol. 1

- Please Save My Earth (OVA) - Drama CD - Vol. 2

- Please Save My Earth (OVA) OST - Vol. 1

- Please Save My Earth (OVA) OST - Vol. 2

- Please Save My Earth (OVA) OST - Vol. 3

- Ragnarok Online 2 - Seeds Of Life (Single)

- Ragnarok Online 2 OST

- Sousei No Aquarion (Single)

- Sousei No Aquarion OST 1

- Sousei No Aquarion OST 2

- tokyo.sora OST

- Turn A Gundam - Aura (Single)

- Turn A Gundam - Century Color (Single)

- Turn A Gundam - The Concert

- Turn A Gundam - The Movie OSTs

- Turn A Gundam - Tsuki No Mayu (Single)

- Turn A Gundam OST 1

- Turn A Gundam OST 2 - Dianna & Kihel

- Turn A Gundam OST 3 - Cocoa

- Uncharted Waters 2 OST (Special Ed.)

- Uncharted Waters OST

- UNDER:COVER (Limited Ed.) - T.M.Revolution

- Vision of Escaflowne - A Girl In Gaea OST

- Vision of Escaflowne - A Girl In Gaea OST (Unreleased Tracks)

- Vision of Escaflowne - Mystic Eyes (Single)

- Vision of Escaflowne - Prologue 1 - Earth (Drama CD)

- Vision of Escaflowne - Yakusoku Wa Iranai (Single)

- Vision of Escaflowne - Yubiwa (Single)

- Vision Of Escaflowne OST - Lovers Only, The

- Vision Of Escaflowne OST 1 - Over The Sky, The

- Vision Of Escaflowne OST 2, The

- Vision Of Escaflowne OST 3, The

- Wolffs Rain OST (Unreleased Music)

- Wolf's Rain - Gravity (Single)

- Wolf's Rain OST 1

- Wolf's Rain OST 2

- X - Character File OST

- Yoko Kanno - Say Hello!

- Yoko Kanno - Song To Fly

My Personal 5 favorite songs by Yoko Kanno

My 5 favorite song she has composed, in no particualar order

  • "Toki no Kioku" the Ending song from Please save my Earth performed by Seika
  • "Dance of Curse" from The Vision of Escaflowne
  • "Tank" from Cowboy Bebop performed by The Seatbelts
  • "inner Universe" From Cowboy Bebop performed by Origa
  • "Kiseki no Umi" from the Record of Lodoss War performed by Maaya Sakamoto


Dance of Curse

Memory Of Time

What's your favorite piece of music by Yoko Kanno? - I'd love to know

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      tower of babel from the creation

    • Musicalcroc LM profile image

      Musicalcroc LM 

      6 years ago

      "Inner Universe" from Ghost in the Shell: SAC

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Einstein Groovin' from Tank! The! Best!


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