Yasuke is an original anime based on the historical figure, combining realistic choreography and mystical elements to create the anime’s unique premise. The anime also has an impressive soundtrack, enhancing the show’s themes to create a musical identity. In my opinion, music is an integral aspect of Yasuke’s atmosphere because it changes and adapts like a character in the show.
In my opinion, ‘Black Gold‘ is a fantastic opening because it focuses on both Yasuke and how he sees the world.
“Brought in a world. A world so brand new, endless possibilities. A whole new identity” reflects Yasuke places within Japanese culture. This is because Yasuke is a foreigner in feudal Japan who becomes a legendary and mighty samurai.
The lyrics also represent Yasuke’s new identity outside of his samurai past. He has the opportunity to create a new future for himself if he lets go of his past.
Following this, “Open up your eyes, open up your heart. Can you feel the sunshine? Let love in,” illustrates Yasuke’s character growth across the show, as he slowly opens up by protecting the young girl Saki. The song focuses on redemption as the main theme.
The rest of Black Gold starts to illustrate Yasuke’s kindness, as he’ll fight for his friends until the end.
The music of the anime combines Japanese melodies with atmospheric hip-hop beats to create a rhythm. Flying Lotus and his colleagues hoped to create a soundtrack that would fit the show. The music uses heavy synthesizers to create a tone that can feel personal to the audience lingering deep into the main cast’s personal demons.
When the hip-hop beats are present, it illustrates the journey ahead or establishes the show’s setting. An example of a track like this is the song Crust.
When a conflict or battle is unfolding, the music becomes intense. The best example of this is the song ‘Fighting Without Honor.’
In an interview with Vulture, Flying Locus related to the character of Yasuke because of the shared feeling of being an outsider. This helped with the storytelling of the anime, but that feeling also helped with the composition of the music.
The work put into the anime by other core members helped motivate Flying Locus to create the best music. One of the elements that helped with the music was seeing the anime in motion, getting a feel of what would be best for the scene.
As a result, Flying Locus explains that the process is organic to the show’s overall tone. Because of this, Flying Locus felt that the music became more fun to make once he got the flow of the soundtrack. One of the major influences behind the anime’s soundtrack is Vangelis, thanks to the heavy use of synthesizers. The Vangelis song that influenced the anime the most is ‘Blade Runner Blues.’
The music is an integral aspect of the themes of Yasuke because it helps define the characters through the depth of the songs. This allows the anime to tell its tone without dialogue.
Flying Lotus’s music helps to establish Yasuke by connecting to his experiences as an outsider. As a result, he creates a soundtrack that builds the foundational musical identity that allows the anime to become unique.