The JUJUTSU KAISEN The TV animated series may be over, but the full soundtrack is on its way later this month. We had the special opportunity to interview the musical team behind the JUJUTSU KAISEN soundtrack including music producer Yoshiki Kobayashi (Dr STONE, Haikyu !!, My Hero Academia and The high school god), composer Hiroaki Tsutsumi (Dr PIERRE and Ahiru no Sora), composer Yoshimasa Terui (Houseki no kuni) and Arisa Okehazama (The high school god).
What was it like working with the rest of the music team? How is it similar or different to working alone?
Tsutsumi: I think there is an advantage to having three people working together on a project because it allows for a wider range of musicality and interpretation, and it adds more color to the work. As we spend the production period drawing inspiration from each other’s music, we can also grow and improve the quality of our work. One of the differences from working alone is how a pattern is scattered and distributed in each room.
Terui: It was my very first experience creating soundtracks, so I was relieved to have a team of three. Working with experienced music creators and producers was a great learning experience for me, and the three of us were able to create a wider range of music, which I think was the effect the director wanted. in JUJUTSU KAISEN.
Okéhazama: It was a great learning experience for me to work on a single production with three people. I was able to learn a lot about how other artists create music for different demands, their production methods, their tips and the instruments they use etc. I had a lot of ideas from them.
How did you become a member of JUJUTSU KAISEN?
Kobayashi: I’ve been the music producer for most of the films Toho has produced, and I’ve been invited to work on that production as well.
Tsutsumi: Mr. Kobayashi, the music producer, asked me to join him.
Terui: I had worked with Mr. Kobayashi, the music producer of this project, before on the opening song of Land of shine (The waves on YURiKA’s mirror surface), and that’s why he asked me to work with him this time.
Okéhazama: I met producer Kobayashi on another production, and I asked him to listen to the demo I had made. This is what led me to land this job.
How would you describe the musical styles of each of the three composers and how are they unique?
Kobayashi: Having been in a rock band himself before, Mr. Tsutsumi is good with rock music. He is also experienced in producing soundtracks, so he has a wide range of skills that can be applied to any type of scene. He’s good at composing for movies, so I trust him. Mr. Terui’s music is characterized by rock sound with minimal music and elements of jazz. Ms. Okehazama is good at creating sounds using synthesizers and can write beautiful melodies. His music is ideal for scenes full of emotion.
Tsutsumi: Mr. Terui’s music has a very high density of individual notes, and the tone and ensemble are very unique. If you only listen to it once, you will let yourself be drawn into the world of its music. Every time I hear his guitar sound, it makes me jealous. I find Ms. Okehazama’s music to be very appealing due to the precise combination of live instruments and synth sounds as well as her ability to create excitement when combined with the stage. She has a lot of ideas and is able to respond to various emotions and situations with grace, which I want to learn from her. I think my music has the particularity of expressing a big world by creating each part and using many types of sounds. I think my style is ‘picture first’, where detailed tone and patterns are created first.
Terui: Mr. Tsutsumi has a lot of background in soundtracks, and he’s very good at creating sounds that blend well with visuals. He is also good at producing the right effect and the flow of time in music. I also think his experience in creating his progressive rock sound came to life in JUJUTSU KAISEN. I know Ms. Okehazama is quite young and hasn’t had a long career as a soundtrack musician, but I was impressed with her fresh, memorable sound and addictive melodies. I particularly like the use of staccato with stringed instruments in his works for this production. As I have mainly worked as an artist, I think I am good at presenting impact and originality as well as coming up with unique interpretations of the scenes. However, through this production, I discovered a lot of things that I miss that I want to try in the future, and I strongly feel that I can grow more and more.
Okéhazama: Everything Mr. Tsutsumi works on is presented with great quality, and I felt he was very good at adding expressions. His production is also very fast and responsive, and I always want to learn from him. I think Mr. Terui’s music has a strong originality. Honestly, I envy him because he has the ability and the sensitivity to express himself, and you will easily recognize his music as soon as you hear it.
Special thanks to Crunchyroll and the staff for their time and opportunity. JUJUTSU KAISEN is now streaming on Crunchyroll.