Yuki Kajiura (梶浦由記 Kajiura Yuki?), born August 6, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan, is a Japanese composer and music producer. She has provided the music for several popular anime series, such as Madlax, Noir, .hack//SIGN, .hack//Roots, Aquarian Age, My-HiME, Pandora Hearts, My-Otome, Tsubasa Chronicle, and one of the Kimagure Orange Road movies (amongst others). She also assisted Toshihiko Sahashi with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Kajiura has also composed for the Xenosaga video game series, namely the cutscene music for Xenosaga II and the entire Xenosaga III game soundtrack. She currently resides in Tokyo.
Due to her father's work, Kajiura lived in West Germany since 1972 and until her middle school years. Her first music piece, which she had written at the age of 7, was a farewell song for her grandmother. After graduating from college (back in Tokyo), she began working as a systems engineering programmer, but in 1992, she turned her career around to focus on her activities on music. She admits that it was her father who greatly influenced this decision, for he was a great opera and classical music admirer.
In July 1992, she made her debut in an all-female trio See-Saw, then consisting of Chiaki Ishikawa (lead vocals), herself (back-up vocals, keyboards), and Yukiko Nishioka. In the following two years, the group released six singles and two albums but in 1995 they temporarily broke up. Nishioka decided to become a writer while Kajiura carried on with her solo musician career, composing music for other artists as well as sound producing for TV, commercials, films, anime and games.
In 2001, she and Chiaki Ishikawa reunited as See-Saw. Around the same time she became involved with Koichi Mashimo's anime studio Bee Train and their first widely popular project, Noir. Despite the series' controversial status among the reviewers, all critics generally praised its OST as a breakthrough in the anime music scene for its risky but highly successful mix of synth, opera, and French-flaired sound.
Kajiura greatly enjoyed the degree of artistic freedom that Mashimo as the series' director offered her while collaborating on Noir, therefore their collaboration extended to many of his later projects, with the latest (as of 2007) being El Cazador de la Bruja. For example, Mashimo would never set any distinctive limitations or goals before her, allowing her to compose whatever she pleases. Afterwards, he would just take the samples he thought appropriate and insert it to whenever he wanted them to play.
In 2002, See-Saw participated in another Mashimo's project, .hack//SIGN, which became widely known for its TV and game combined development, and its soundtrack sold over 300,000 copies. During the production of the series, Kajiura met Emily Bindiger and impressed by her vocals, offered her to perform over 10 of the series' insert songs. She has also jokingly called Bindiger "her English teacher" on Anime Expo 2003.
One of See-Saw's further major hits was the ending theme song for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED ("Anna ni Issho Datta no ni"), which sold over 200,000 copies causing a sensation in the anime world. Dream Field, See-Saw's first original album release in nine years, became a hit, as well, in 2003, selling over 100,000 copies. In the same year, Kajiura released her first solo album, Fiction, which she performed and promoted at Anime Expo 2003 in Anaheim, California.
One of Kajiura's solo projects include FictionJunction, which contrary to common belief is not an alias but the name of the project itself. The project involves collaboration with artists such as Yuuka Nanri, Asuka Kato, and Kaori Oda. FictionJunction Yuuka, with Nanri as the vocalist, is the most prolific of these collaborations. In 2004, the duo produced the opening and ending songs for Koichi Mashimo's MADLAX and in the next year, published their first collaborative album, Destination.
In October 2007, it was announced that Yuki Kajiura would be attending the performances of the Eminence Orchestra's concert, 'A Night In Fantasia 2007 - Symphonic Anime Edition', as a special guest.
Her latest project, Kalafina is composed of Keiko Kubota (FictionJunction KEIKO), Wakana Ootaki (FictionJunction WAKANA) and two other vocalists named Hikaru and Maya. They performed the ending themes of the Kara no Kyoukai movies.
In 2009, Fiction Junction returned to perform the opening themesong to Pandora Hearts, Parallel Hearts, with the majority of the show's music composed by Yuki Kajiura.
|Anime Title||Year of Release||Director|
|Kimagure Orange Road||1996||Osamu Kobayashi|
|Aquarian Age||2002||Yoshimitsu Ohashi|
|Le Portrait de Petit Cossette||2004||Akiyuki Shinbo|
|Tsubasa Chronicle||2005||Koichi Mashimo|
|Elemental Gelade||2005||Shigeru Ueda|
|My-Otome Zwei||2006||Masakazu Obara|
|Fist of the North Star True Saviour Legend||2007||Toyoo Ashida|
|El Cazador de la Bruja||2007||Koichi Mashimo|
|Tsubasa TOKYO REVELATIONS||2007-2008||Shunsuke Tada|
|Tsubasa Shunraiki||2009||Shunsuke Tada|
|Pandora Hearts||2009||Takao Kato|
|Puella Magi Madoka Magica||2011||Akiyuki Shibo|
|Game Title||Game Platform||Year of Release||Company|
|PlayStation||1998||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Blood: The Last Vampire||PlayStation 2||2000||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Movie scenes)||PlayStation 2||2004||Namco|
|Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra||PlayStation 2||2006||Namco|
|Movie Title||Year of Release||Director|
|RUBY FRUIT||1995||Takumi Kimiduka|
|Boogiepop and others||2000||Ryu Kaneda|
|Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Movie: Princess in Birdcage Kingdom||2005||Itsuro Kawasaki|
|Kara no Kyoukai movies||2007-2009||Ei Aoki, Takuya Nonaka & Mitsuru Oburai|
|Achilles and the Tortoise||2008||Takeshi Kitano|
|Musical Title||Year of Release|
|Love's Labour's Lost/SET||2002|
|Album Title||Year of Release|
|Album Title||Artist||Year of Release|
|I have a dream||See-Saw||1993|
|Anime||Jura Tripper||Ending Theme||1995|
|Anime||Mobile Suit Gundam Seed||Closing Theme & Insert Songs||2002|
|Anime||Chrono Crusade||Closing Theme Song (Sayonara Solitaire)||2003|
|Game||.hack//QUARANTINE||Song Yasashii Yoake(also used in .hack//SIGN)||2003|
|Anime||The World of Narue||Closing Theme||2003|
|Anime||Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny||Closing Theme & Insert Songs||2004|
|Anime||.hack//Legend of the Twilight||Closing Theme||2004|
|Anime||Shōnen Onmyōji||Opening Theme Song||2006|
|Anime||Simoun||Closing Theme Song||2006|
|Anime||.hack//Roots||Opening Theme Song||2006|
|Anime||Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto||Opening Theme Song||2006|
|Anime||My-Otome Zwei||Ending Themes Songs 2-3||2007|
|Anime||Baccano!||Ending Theme Song||2007|
|Anime||Amatsuki||Ending Theme Song||2008|
|TV Drama||Negima (Live Action)||Ending Theme Song||2008|
|Anime||Kuroshitsuji||Ending Theme Song||2008|
|Documentary||Unknown Episodes of History - Historia||Soundtrack||2009|
|Anime||So Ra No Wo To||Opening Theme Song||2010|
|Anime||Ōkami Kakushi||Theme Song||2010|
|Anime||Eve no Jikan||Ending Theme Song||2010|
|Game||Nobunaga's Ambition||Theme Song||2010|
|Anime||Kuroshitsuji II||Insert Theme Song||2010|
|TV Drama||15 Sai no Shiganhei||Music||2010|
|Game||.hack//Link||Previously written songs contributed: Edge, (from .hack//Liminality Volume 1: In the Case of Mai Minase) Obsession from .hack//SIGN and Silly-Go-Round. (from .hack//Roots)||2010|
- Aa (ああ?) of savage genius
- Arai Akino (新居昭乃?)
- Arisaka Mika (有坂美香?)
- Emily Bindiger
- Chiba Saeko (千葉紗子?)
- Emily Curtis
- Margaret Dorn
- Nicolette Grogoroff
- Hayashibara Megumi (林原めぐみ?)
- Hikita Kaori (引田香織?)
- Hisakawa Aya (久川 綾?)
- Inoue Marina (井上麻里奈?)
- Ishikawa Chiaki (石川智晶?) of See-Saw
- Ishizuka Mami (石塚まみ?)
- Ishida Yoko (石田 燿子?)
- Itō Eri (伊東恵里?)
- Kaida Yuriko (貝田 由里子?) of FictionJunction
- Kasahara Yuri (笠原 ゆり?)
- Katō Asuka (加藤あすか?) of FictionJunction ASUKA
- Kikuchi Mika (菊地美香?)
- Koshimizu Ami (小清水 亜美?)
- Kubota Keiko (窪田啓子?) of FictionJunction KEIKO and Kalafina
- Kuwashima Hōko (桑島法子?)
- Deb Lyons
- Makino Yui (牧野由依?)
- Masai Hikaru (政井光?) of Kalafina
- Minami Omi (南 央美?)
- Miyamura Yūko (宮村優子?)
- Nanri Yūka (南里侑香?) of FictionJunction YUUKA
- Nishikawa Kaori
- Nishina Kaori (仁科かおり?)
- Oda Kaori (織田かおり?) of FictionJunction KAORI
- Ogawa Noriko (小川範子?)
- Okina Reika (翁 鈴佳?)
- Ōtaki Wakana (大滝若菜?) of FictionJunction WAKANA and Kalafina
- Saitō Kaoru (斉藤かおる?)
- Seki Tomokazu (関 智一?)
- Tanaka Rie (田中理恵?)
- TARAKO (鱈子?)
- Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus (東京混声合唱団?)
- Tomaru Hanae (戸丸華江?)
- Toyoshima Maya (豊島摩耶?) of Kalafina (formerly)
- Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch
- Wakatsuki Sara (若月さら?)
- Yukana (ゆかな?)
- Genre mixes: It is not uncommon to hear operatic style with a pop beat to it. Kajiura's greatest inspiration, her father, was a classical fan; therefore her soundtracks have both pop and classic motifs. An example of this genre mix pop beat is the song Oblivious used in Kara no Kyoukai ending 1.
- Piano: Elaborate self-performed piano solos.
- European themes: Some of her music has European style. Some of her songs are written in German, Spanish or Italian.
- Chants: It is not uncommon for Kajiura's songs to have a choir performing ominous chants (either as a supporting role or as the main driving force of the song) and some have dubbed this style 'Kajiuran'. The Yamanii chants in the song nowhere that is featured in MADLAX is a good example of this. Other examples of Kajiuran are from the songs A Song of Storm and Fire (from Tsubasa Chronicle) and MATERIALISE (from My-Otome).
- Bee Train: Frequently composes for Bee Train Productions, and works with Koichi Mashimo
- Violin Solos: Very elaborate violin solos are heard often in the middle of her songs
- Kajiura does not have the pleasure of seeing the rough cut of the show she writes for. She is usually handed sketches of the characters, and what she and Koichi Mashimo have dubbed Music Menues, so she is often confused when she writes.
- Kajiura speaks limited English. This fact was demonstrated at the Anime Expo event when she was invited to perform her music. She was able to address the audience with simple but clear English. However on one occasion she called on her interpreter to explain some ideas that she could not express at will. She also briefly addressed the crowd at Anime Boston 2009 when introducing Kalafina to their first American audience.
- Kajiura is also a huge fan of Radiohead and Bjork.
- RocketBaby's interview with Yuki Kajiura
- Yuki Kajiura's biography at the Internet Movie Database
- Report of Yuki Kajiura's concert at Anime Expo 2003
- IGN AU announces the date of ANIF 07 Symphonic Anime Edition concert
- Katoh, Hidekazu; Ban, Yukiko; Kojima, Makiko; Kamo, Ayumi. "TSUBASA – RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE". Newtype USA. 6 (5) pp. 26–33. May 2007. ISSN 1541-4817.
- Labyrinthos.org's description of the Xenosaga II Movie Scene Soundtrack
- Wong, Amos (March 2005). "Inside Bee Train". Newtype USA: 8–15. Check date values in:
|date=(help) Archive copy at the Wayback Machine (archived May 17, 2006).
- Yuki Kajiura's Home Page
- Yuki Kajiura's Home Page (Japanese)
- See-Saw Home Page (Japanese)
- FictionJunction Yuuka Home Page (Japanese)
- Victor Entertainment (Yuki Kajiura) (Japanese)
- Yuki Kajiura at the Internet Movie Database
- Yuki Kajiura convention appearances on AnimeCons.com
- canta-per-me.net: Unofficial Fan Site
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