Ranking of composer Kings Music MAYUKO
Ranking of kings continues to sweep the anime community with its amazing animation, storytelling, and stunning soundtrack. Milan Records released the anime series’ soundtrack digitally. Anime Trending had the opportunity to speak to music composer MAYUKO and her creative process behind Ranking of kings‘ soundtrack.
Could you tell us how you were approached to work on the soundtrack of Ranking of kings? Did you know the manga before working on the music?
I read the original story in one sitting once it became a hot topic on social media. About two years later, I was very surprised when my manager informed me that I had been offered the position of Ranking of kings.
What was the music creation process and the working relationship with WIT Studio and the other members of the creative team?
Everyone’s love for the original work is incredible. I felt their commitment to making the show good and conveying the excellence of the original work at every turn. I was very impressed with the completeness of the storyboards I saw early on, and when it came to the music, I could clearly see what they were aiming to do through their sharp detailing and instructions like ” That kind of music for that scene, “etc.
The soundtrack features a variety of bold orchestral sounds and peaceful tones for moving moments. How did you choose these moods? Did you know what anime scenes the soundtracks would be used for?
At the first meeting, I was given a spreadsheet showing which song to use in which scene. Some of the compositions have been specified to some degree. For example, for the scene in which Bojji appears, I was told that the composition would be short, but that I would have to use certain instruments. There are also songs for which I decided the rules myself, for example with Miranjo, using a female choir, a triple time and the bell sound. And then as Daida has a “cool” image, I used synthesizer sounds to bring it all together.
The album that is now available with a ton of stunning soundtracks. Could you tell us about the creative process behind “Ranking of Kings -Main Theme-” and “Bojji Daiboken”?
“Ranking of Kings -Main Theme-” took three days after I started working on it. The intro and chorus were done first, and after two days of simmering, I sang it out loud and the middle part was connected and finished. The sopranino recorder, which is the main instrument of “Bojji Daiboken,” only appears in the second half of the song, which is one of my favorite parts. In “Bojji Daiboken,“I used low strings and a fast tempo to show him the fast march, and the marimba and sopranino recorder to express this speed. When I write a song, I put on headphones and hone my senses to create it all at once, so I don’t remember a lot of details. LOL!
Composing music and live recordings has been difficult during the pandemic. How did you navigate for Ranking of kings?
Since my usual style of songwriting is at home, there really isn’t much that has changed. Instead, every time concerts and live performances were canceled and I saw the sadness and frustration of other musicians, I quietly said to myself, “I want to write good songs and help, even a little, to drive the entertainment industry.
Funny or memorable stories while working on the soundtrack?
The producers gave us the okay for the songs after I gave them the first dozen to listen to, and I said, “I guess we’re going in that direction!” I felt confident that I could do it. Director Hatta’s commentary, “It’s fun to listen to,” was very reassuring. Since I spent more than six months on the production of the series, I had to buy new sounds for the battle scenes along the way, and at night I spent hours thinking about Ouken and listening , which was a very valuable experience.
All final comments to fans as they listen to the Ranking of kings soundtrack?
The soundtrack is the result of everything I put into it, so I hope you find your favorite!
Ranking of kings is now streaming on Crunchyroll. The soundtrack is released via Milan Records on various digital platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, etc.