Ao no Okesutora

Akira Kosemura

" the score features an endlessly inspiring cliché; the solo piano "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

Ao no Ōkesutora (Blue Orchestra) is a 2023 Japanese animated coming-of-age television series. It follows, a once established prizewinning violinist called Aono, who for personal reasons, stopped playing altogether. Now, in his last year of middle school, he meets aspired violinist Akine. They gradually become partners, and he teaches her to develop her skills, resulting in a desire to attend and compete in school competitions.

Established composer Akira Kosemura, known for his many capital solo albums, a mix of classical, minimal, and melodic electroacoustics, wrote the original score. Apparently, Yuhki Kurihara and Koichi Kuriyama wrote additional music for the series as well, which is not on this inspiring 30-minute digital release presentation.

Literally, innumerable Japanese animated series have gone before, but indeed the score features an endlessly inspiring cliché; the solo piano. Kosemura's solo piano theme,ordinarily alludes to the growing bond between Aono and Akine, and is full of melancholy, enchantment and embodies an instantly recognizable Japanese touch. Eventually, it becomes the red-wired musical idea to illustrate the memory of the past, and the transition both characters go through in reaching a different stage of their lives.

Among the highlights for solo piano are the cues Distant Memory, Aono & Akine, Moonlight nocturne, Epilogue, Sinking and Sorrow, and Fate; basically almost all of them. However, the instrument is joined by irresistible woodwind and string instruments in the cue Sparkle.

Abreast, the merge of solo piano and school band elements, there are several, alike, very rewarding, lyrical cues such as Beyond the Fears or Innocent Blues, in which everything sends out such a positive feel, anthem-like, including fine string, snare drum and woodwind elements of a band orchestra, and a bit for the acquired taste such as the electric guitars. Shadows in Between is more contemporary and revisits the minimal electroacoustics evident in Kosemura's solo albums, as Think/Consider and Into the sounds are a bit mawkish, but they do not encapsulate Ao no Ōkesutora.

Overall, given all its forte - the adept melancholy and lyrically inspiring school band ingredients against the acquired taste elements - the result is good as a listening.

01 Bright Days Ahead 2:07
02 Ordinary Days 1:34
03 Distant Memory 2:25
04 Into The Sounds 2:18
05 Aono & Akine 2:37
07 Epilogue 1:44
08 Innocent Blue 2:06
09 Moonlight Nocturne 2:05
10 The Shadows in Between 2:16
11 Sinking in Sorrow 2:33
12 Moonlight Nocturne (Orgel Version) 1:09
13 Fate 1:54
14 Think/Consider 2:05
15 Beyond The Fears 2:08

Disc length 31:18

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(total of 1 votes - average 3.5/5)

Released by

Universal (download only release 2023)