Hiroyuki Sawano

Hiroyuki Sawano

Hiroyuki Sawano is a Japanese composer who really entered people’s consciousness with his thrilling score to Attack on Titan. It was through this work that Sawano showed off his skill at evoking the epic fights and drama that ensued in the anime. He was also able to showcase his skills as an arranger, lyricist, and pianist. Since then, he has gone on to compose music for many anime series, video games, live-action dramas, and movies.

In addition to his work on Attack on Titan, Hiroyuki Sawano has written the soundtracks to anime series like Blue Exorcist, Guilty Crown, Kill la Kill, Gundam Unicorn, and the currently-airing Solo Leveling. He has also collaborated with many vocalists like Mika Kobayashi, Cyua, Aimee Blackschleger, and Aimer. His vocal project “SawanoHiroyuki [nZk]”, also has him collaborating with other singers. Through this project, he’s worked with prominent singers like LiSA, Hata Motohito, and Laco (Sakurako Morizane).

Hiroyuki Sawano was born in 1980 in Tokyo, Japan. His music education started with him learning piano in elementary school. He then shifted to keyboard in junior high school when he started a band. At this stage, he was influenced by the singer-songwriter Aska who served as an inspiration for him pursuing a music career. This prompted him to study composition, arrangement, and orchestration under Nobuchika Tsuboi. He also started listening to more soundtrack music, particularly the music of composer Joe Hisaishi who influenced him. Other influences include Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yoko Kanno, Hans Zimmer, and Danny Elfman.

After graduating, Sawano began his professional career in 2004 where he started with smaller, less-known titles. The anime soundtrack that really hinted of what he was capable of was for Gigantic Formula, released in 2007. This led to work on projects that would elevate his stature further, particularly with Blue Exorcist and Guilty Crown in 2011. And of course, we can’t ignore his score for 2013’s Attack on Titan which cemented his profile as one of the best-known anime composers of all time.

Hiroyuki Sawano’s music is characterized by his fusion of electronic, classical, and rock. His style has been described as bombastically epic and draws favorable comparison to Western composers like Hans Zimmer. He is also praised for his originality, creativity, and diversity for his ability to compose in many styles.

His work has resulted in several awards and honors. He won the Newtype Anime Awards three times for his soundtracks for Attack on Titan, Aldnoah.Zero, and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. He’s also won the Tokyo Anime Awards on three separate occasions and the Anime Trending Awards twice (one for his score for 86 Eighty Six).

Hiroyuki Sawano’s Notable Works:

  • Attack on Titan: A dark fantasy anime series that follows the story of humanity’s struggle against the giant humanoid creatures called Titans. Sawano’s music is epic, powerful, and intense, capturing the high-stakes scenarios and the action-packed scenes of the anime. He also composed many songs, including “Call your name” for the series and “YAMANAIAME” which is the ending theme for the Attack on Titan movie.
  • Guilty Crown: A sci-fi drama anime series that follows the story of a boy who gains the power to extract weapons from people’s hearts and joins a resistance group. Sawano’s music is futuristic, elegant, and expressive, reflecting the romance, tragedy, and revolution of the anime. He also composed many of the vocal songs, such as the rap song “Ready to go”, “Bios”, and “Release My Soul”.
  • Kill la Kill: A comedy action anime series that follows the story of a girl who transfers to a school ruled by a student council that uses special uniforms that grant superpowers. He also composed some of the vocal songs, such as “Before My Body Is Dry”, “Blumenkranz”, and “Till I Die”.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn: A sci-fi mecha anime series that follows the story of a boy who pilots a powerful mobile suit and gets involved in a conflict between the Earth Federation and Neo Zeon. Sawano’s music is grand, majestic, and epic, capturing the scale, history, and themes of the anime and the Gundam franchise on the whole. He also composed some of the vocal songs, such as “RE:I AM” and “StarRingChild”.

Hiroyuki Sawano Music Sampler

Hiroyuki Sawano’s Recent Works