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  #1  
Old May 29, 2012, 07:10 AM
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layzee layzee is offline
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So, what's the general consensus on Takeharu Ishimoto?

This guy basically just came out of nowhere. Not just out of nowhere, but earlier than expected. I'm talking about that single Vagrant Story opening arrange from the soundtrack. I heard his music before he became known and before I even knew what his name was. Actually, obviously I knew, but I naturally quickly forgot his name because I didn't think it would be worth remembering.

He first engraved his name into the public seven years later with, of course, Subarashiki Kono Sekai (What a Wonderful World/The World Ends With You) in 2007. The music is modern and hip, and suitable for the game it is heard on. Most people had nothing particularly bad to say about his compositions.

Then in the same year and the next, and in quick succession, Square Enix gave him their main titles: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, FFVII: Before Crisis and Dissidia: FF. Feedback seemed to be quite mixed and in the case of Dissidia, perhaps even leaning towards negative. His music for these games is grungy and raw-sounding rock, which for the first two games, is decidedly appropriate. However, some people were not entirely impressed by his arranges of classic Final Fantasy tunes in Dissidia. For these particular works, some people might even go as far as to describe it as "shit".

Finally in 2011, we come to the still-yet-to-be-announced-in-Western-countries-even-though-it-has-been-more-than-6-months Final Fantasy Type-0. His rock flair is still here but he has also incorporated the use of orchestras. I would say his music has finally matured here.

I would say that his first stand-out track was in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. It was the first track to really grab my attention and made me loop it 50 times in order to analyse the song's intricacies. That track was "The Price of Freedom". I haven't played the game yet but when I listen to this song, I imagine someone being forced to fight his best friend, even though he doesn't want to. Just like Rockman, who doesn't really want to fight but feels it is his duty to do so. Some people might call this "emo" behaviour but eh. Emotional situations call for emotional songs.

The second stand-out track was in Final Fantasy Type-0 and usually goes by the name "We Have Arrived/Come". Like Final Fantasy VII and IX, this can be considered Type-0's main theme which carries over across the soundtrack. This track also happens to be what I think, is the best Square Enix orchestral song since FFVII's "One-Winged Angel", FFVIII's "Liberi Fatali", and FFXI's Opening Theme. I also haven't played the game yet nor watched anything related to it, but I do know that the theme of the game or one of the themes is war. Therefore, during the first minute or two. I can imagine an army marching towards battle. During the halfway point of the song, both sides does last minute preparations and after a tense stare, meets head-on. As we reach the climax of the song three quarters in, so does the battle itself. As one side gains momentum and is in the process of overcoming the enemy, the song also seems to take on a very slightly more positive and hopeful tone. In the dying seconds of the song, victory is achieved despite the losses for both sides (remembering that the song is hopeful, but not too hopeful), and finally the "Suzaku Flag" is planted. Actually, I'm going to check the FMV where the song is played now.

Anyway, my point is that Square Enix is doing themselves a great disservice (and Ishimoto) if they don't play this song in one of their future concerts.

So what do those two stand-out songs have in common? They seem to be background songs for a serious and emotional situation and they feel me with all sorts of feelings. And that is a direction I think Takeharu Ishimoto should continue to take. He should be composing music for epic-scale games with mature themes. Not the fake mature as in games like Call of Duty or some other random FPS where the war setting is just an excuse to shoot people in the head, but proper mature as in games like FF:Type-0 where the horrors of war are actually examined. Again, I haven't played the game so this is just mere conjecture and I might be completely wrong, but I'd be surprised if I was proven wrong regardless.

As for the Dissidia series, I wouldn't say that there is anything objectively bad about his arranges but when I think of really effective rock arranges, I think of S.S.H., I think of Daisuke Ishiwatari's heavy rock arrange of Contra's stage 1 theme (in Contra: Hard Corps), and I think of the 20th Anniversary Rockman Rock Arranges and the "We Are Rock-Men!" album. And probably others I'm forgetting. They're not just straight heavy rock adaptations,

Type-0 is his magnum opus so far but if tracks like "The Price of Freedom" and "We Have Arrived/Come" are of any indication, then he has potential for something even greater.
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Old Dec 1, 2017, 01:57 PM
VGMLover VGMLover is offline
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Default Takeharu Ishimoto's Official Square Enix Page

Have you seen Takeharu Ishimoto's Official Square Enix Page? Here's the link: http://www.square-enix.co.jp/music/sem/page/ishimoto/.

I found the link while browsing Square Enix Music's website: http://soundtrack.jp.square-enix.com/.

You can see a picture of him holding a guitar. That explains his preference for rock music. His discography is impressive, too.
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Old Dec 7, 2017, 09:42 AM
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layzee layzee is offline
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I haven't but always cool to see musicians in their natural habitat (him appearing in his videos).
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Old Dec 29, 2017, 05:04 AM
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Ishimoto announced yesterday that he has left Square Enix: https://twitter.com/ishimoto_music/s...18610464571392

Next year he will start working as a freelancer.
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Old Jan 2, 2018, 08:07 PM
VGMLover VGMLover is offline
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I didn't know about this.

Thanks for sharing the link.
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