My Hero Academia has taken the manga and anime world by storm in the last few years as the series has grown in popularity in Japan and the United States. It's because fans are drawn to the anime's characters, story, and in some cases, music.
ComicBook got a chance to sit with My Hero Academia series composer Yuki Hayashi, and was able to get his perspective on the series' popularity and why his soundtrack has become so popular.
Hayashi discussed everything from his Western superhero influences like Superman, how he became a composer, how he crafts songs for a villain like All For One, how his tracks like "You Say Run" have such staying power, and even let us in on what his favorite track is.
For more on what My Hero Academia series composer Yuki Hayashi had to say about his work on the series, read on for the full interview from San Diego Comic-Con!
How Does It Feel Having Music Heard 'Round the World?
My Hero Academia is one of the biggest franchises in anime around the world, or in America. How does it feel to have your music heard by people all over the world?
Yuki Hayashi: Along with My Hero Academia, I do music for Haikyuu!!, and they're both very well received worldwide, and I'm very fortunate to be involved in both projects like that. I hear fans on social media comment about the music that I worked on. I'm very, very happy to hear those comments, and appreciate it. It gives me more motivation to do more of these big titles.prevnext
How Do You Prepare for 'My Hero Academia' Music?
Every composer and arranger approaches their process differently. What specifically are your steps when you get into the studio for My Hero Academia, specifically with Season 3?
Basically, the process for Japanese music composers in anime and entertainment production, unlike in the US, you don't get to create music after all the scenes are shot and everything is completed. So, we start at the planning stage of the entire anime production for My Hero Academia. I sit down with the music director, and there I listen to their sort of wish list for the type of music that they would like for certain scenes.
So, they would give me a wish list that's like, "In this scene there will be a fight between All Might and All For One, I would like to be such and such type of music." And that's the list that I would get, and then I work from there.prevnext
How Did You Come Up With All For One's Track?
The reception to the track that appeared when All For One was first shown in Season 3 was everywhere. It was very well received. Can you talk about how you worked on that track?
I sat down with the music director for this scene, and he was very adamant and wanted to use a female voice undertone in the music because he said that the power of female vocals are very strong. So, I wanted to introduce the character with a strong female voice.
So, that's where we started, and later on, we added the strong string cord. We also purposefully delayed the pitch towards the end of the scene to convey eeriness of All For One's character. I think it became quite an interesting song.prevnext
Did Any Superhero Films Inspire You?
Listening to My Hero Academia, the heroic moments of the anime have some great music that really adds to the scenes and make it epic. So, did you ever get or draw inspiration from superhero films, you know, outside of anime? Anything from Ultraman to Iron Man, or any of those kind of popular franchises?
So, when I first created All Might's theme song, I did actually reference a little bit of the original old Superman movie because I feel like the more recent Hollywood movies — superhero movies — there is not much melody. So, in that sense, I did reference a little bit of the original Superman theme song.prevnext
How Did You Become a Composer?
How exactly did you wind up getting into the field of composition? I know you have a background in sports, and now you're working on high-profile anime titles. So, can you kind of talk about your transition into this field of work?
So, the type of athletic field that I was in was called Men's Rhythmic Gymnastics. For that field you need music to perform. So, I started to arrange. I started getting involved in arranging and picking music for my performances and my teammates performances and started doing arranging. I'm basically self-taught. Before I was asking the music arranger to arrange the music for us, but I felt like I wanted to learn how to do it on my own. So, I taught myself.
As I progressed, I started creating music and composing music for my friends, and I started wanting to learn more. I wanted to learn how to make scores for TV and anime. I started creating demo tapes, and sent demos to several different music agencies. And so Hiroyuki Sawano, who worked on Attack on Titan, he was one of the composers who liked my demo, and he introduced me introduced me to an agency, and that's when I started working on anime and TV dramas, and so forth.prevnext
Favorite 'My Hero Academia' Track?
Back to My Hero Academia. I know it's really hard, if not impossible to pick a favorite track that you've made for the series, when you've made so many. But what's one that you're very, very proud of?
It's the main theme, called "You Say Run." Like, that represents the show, the Hero Academia world really well.
I saw that a lot of people have uploaded the song to YouTube, and I saw it got so many views before it got taken down for infringement. But, that gave me an idea, you know, how popular that song became.prevnext
Why Does the Music Stick With Fans?
For my final question, I wanted to know what you think it is about the tracks for My Hero Academia that resonate with listeners around the world.
Every fan from every fandom, regardless of what kind of anime they like, they seem to really love this music. I mean, I listen to it in the gym. So, what is it that you think makes this such a resonant body of work for you?
I actually somewhat intended to make the music sound like that. I was an athlete myself, so I always listened to music that motivated me before doing my performance. I do understand how music affects people's feelings and motivation. So, when I get the order from the director and music directors to create music that is very motivational and up tempo, I try to take that on and use my full ability to make that type of music.
I hear that a lot in Japan even. A lot of people listen to it during their workouts. Even my personal trainer is a big fan of My Hero Academia, and he listens to it while he works out as well!0comments
For those unfamiliar with the My Hero Academia juggernaut, the series was created by Kohei Horikoshi and has been running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump since July 2014. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, who lives in a world where everyone has super powers but he was born without them. Dreaming to become a superhero anyway, he's eventually scouted by the world's best hero All Might and enrolls in a school for professional heroes. The series has been collected into 15 volumes so far, and has been licensed by Viz Media for an English language release since 2015.prev