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One Piece Music Symphony

Sunday 21st December 2014

Tom Smith on the legendary composer Kohei TanakaOne Piece Music SymphonyOn Saturday 7th February 2015, London will play host to a very special two-hour event in celebration of one of Japan’s most popular anime franchises: One Piece.

The Luffy-based multimedia extravaganza has already wowed thousands of fans in Paris and Hong Kong, (attracting nearly 4,000 at one show in France!) where audiences were given the opportunity to relive some of One Piece’s thrilling moments on-screen, accompanied by live symphonic music.  Next year it’s the turn of Chelsea’s swanky Cadogan Hall to don the straw hat and impress with their resident orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic.

One Piece Music SymphonyJoining the show in London will be top anime composer Kohei Tanaka, whom VIP ticket holders will have the rare opportunity to meet, greet and get a photo with. Tanaka has composed, arranged and even sang for a huge range of anime, films, video games and Japanese TV series. He’s had music featured in such anime staples as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sakura Wars and Ah! My Goddess, as well as having a major role in shaping the score for One Piece. However, his first break into the world of anime music came unexpectedly.

Tanaka had always had a keen interest in music. He was a regular piano tinkerer as a youngster, and as he matured he went on to attend the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he was fortunate enough to study under the late poet and teacher Tomojiro Ikenouchi. He also managed to take a two-year stint at the Berkley College of Music in Boston after leaving his job in marketing at Victor Music.

Following from his adventures in music education at home and abroad, Tanaka moonlighted as a pianist in a fancy hotel lounge to pay the bills until his big break. His skills on the ivory impressed someone working on Leiji Matsumoto’s space opera sequel Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX, who hired him to arrange a song – Tanaka would later return to work on Matsumoto classic Galaxy Express 999.

The work that really put Tanaka on the map with the anime community was his background music for Hideaki Anno’s Gunbuster series, with its toe-tapping martial marches, its Mozart pastiches and its fully orchestrated battle scenes. Then again, many fans argue that his most important work (besides One Piece, of course) can be found in The King of Braves GaoGaiGar, where it captured the very essence of classic mecha drama.

Whether you're an existing fan of Tanaka’s compositions, a lover of Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates, or just enjoy nothing more than a piece of beautiful classical music, the One Piece Music Symphony boasts it all. Prices start from £25.

Tickets for the One Piece Music Symphony at Cadogan Hall are on sale now, and Manga UK readers can use this link to book today! VIP tickets are the front three rows @ £75 each.


One Piece (uncut) Collection 1 (episodes 1-26)

was £34.99
Set Sail for One Piece!
Monkey D. Luffy is a boy with big dreams. This daring rubber-man refuses to let anyone or anything stand in the way of his quest to become king of all pirates. With a course charted for the treacherous waters of the Grand Line, Luffy strikes out in search of a crew – and a boat. Along the way he’ll do battle with scallywag clowns, fishy foes, and an entire fleet of marines eager to see him walk the plank. The stakes are high, but with each adventure, Luffy adds a new friend to his gang of Straw Hat Pirates! Like his hero Gold Roger, this is one captain who’ll never drop anchor until he’s claimed the greatest treasure on Earth – the Legendary One Piece!



One Piece. Pieces of Hate

Been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt....
Of the anime titles turned into T-shirts by Uniqlo, One Piece is the biggest – the reigning king of all the anime and manga franchises, pretty much unchallenged in the 16 years since Eiichiro Oda began the manga, and 14 since Toei Animation started animating it. But perhaps Uniqlo would have turned One Piece into a line of shirts even if the saga hadn’t been a world hit. Just look at those pirate designs – brash, cartoony, uncompromising. There’s no whiff of a committee, no hint of a five-year product plan reliant on changing a heroine’s hair colour (or deepening her cleavage). It just helps that the pictures are as commercial when they move as they are when they’re a cool static graphic in a manga, or on the front of a T-shirt.

One Piece: Strong World

The Straw Hats Pirates come together for an adventure like no other...
Written by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda himself, Strong World leads the Straw Hats into the deadly path of Golden Lion Shiki.

One Piece - ninja or pirates?

Matt Kamen turns video pirate!
“Ninja or pirates?” While Naruto – representing the ninja corner, of course – has proven hugely popular, UK fans have long been unable to weigh in on the other side. With the long-awaited arrival of One Piece on DVD this May, that finally changes.

One piece: Crew Manifest #1

Matt Kamen finds out who’s who in the One Piece anime
Monkey D. Luffy: The founder and captain of the Straw Hats, Luffy is a carefree soul who wants to become king of the pirates. After eating the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, he gained an elastic body, making him near-invulnerable and able to stretch but paradoxically making him unable to swim.

One Piece: Crew Manifest #2

Back at sea for volume two of One Piece
Before you set sail on the second round of voyages for One Piece, brush up on who you’ll be encountering in this latest volume of nautical nonsense

One Piece music: TOMATO CUBE

Tom Smith on One Piece’s TOMATO CUBE
One-hit wonders. Every country has them. And, as PSY can most likely attest, very few musicians really want to be labelled as one. Sure, it’s all fun, games and fancy dinners when that royalty cheque floats through the letter box. The one with all the zeroes from that single from yesteryear that went massive. But what about the rest of your work? It must be somewhat unsatisfying as an artist to be known for one track, while everything else remains relatively overlooked, and expectations are high for that difficult follow up single. If you’re TOMATO CUBE, you do nothing. Ever again.


A Kim Jong-Il Production

Jasper Sharp reviews a book on the maddest film producer of all
Paul Fischer’s hugely entertaining book, A Kim Il-Sung Production, is the story of two men who lived, ate and breathed cinema, the actress who brought them together and the monster they created together – the Godzilla-inspired Pulgasari (1985), the last of seven features Shin and Choi made in the DPRK in a period of just three years.

Comicon Announcements

News on releases and extras from this weekend's panel
This is what you would have heard:
The popular anime series Tiger & Bunny will be receiving a new movie, and this time it’s a live-action Hollywood film.

Creating Nausicaa

The story behind Hayao Miyazaki’s first and greatest heroine
“There has come the advent of the angel of light, the one who will lead you to the pure land. She who loves the forest and talks with the insects… She who calls down the wind, and rides upon it like a bird. And that one shall come to you, garbed in raiment of blue, descending upon a field of gold, to forge anew our ties with the lost land.”
Japan, the mecca of all things anime, have taken it upon themselves to create a popcorn bucket out of Eva Unit-01's head!

Naruto Music: 7!!

Tom Smith on the newest numero-enchanted musicians
It may sound odd to English ears, but 7!!’s choice of pronunciation makes sense (well, a tiny bit of sense) when put into the context of where the band grew up; Okinawa. It’s an area that’s closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan, and one that’s had a heavy US military presence since the Second World War. These factors, among plenty of others, have had an affect on the cultural evolution of the islands, and one of the most evident examples can be found in local popular music scene.
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