Kōhei Tanaka (田中公平 Tanaka Kōhei?) is a Japanese composer, arranger and singer. He is affiliated with the music production company Imagine. He has created numerous musical scores for famous anime TV series, OVAs, movies, computer games and tokusatsu series. Tanaka was born in Ebisubashi, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture on February 14, 1954.
Tanaka has played the piano from an early age. After graduating from the Osaka Seiko Gakuin High School, Tanaka attended Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (Music faculty - composition department), studying under Tomojirō Ikenouchi and other professors. Tanaka worked for three years at the advertising department of Victor Music Industries after he had graduated. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for two years after he left Victor. After returning to Japan, Tanaka started his activities as composer in earnest.
While employed playing the piano in a hotel lounge, he was requested to arrange a song in Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX, a 1982 TV anime, and it became his first work as a composer. Afterwards, he produced some songs and arrangements for the Super Sentai series and his first work as the main composer was for the TV anime Konpora Kid (コンポラキッド Konpora Kiddo?) in 1985.
His compositions are especially known for the "hot" strings and piano that he combines masterfully. He often produces orchestral compositions with brass instruments and the timpani that are simple and easy to listen to, and these are often used as the background music in TV programs. Because his early works were a little on the heavy and rock-ish side, it came to be that people would only request such music from him. This disappointed him for a while, as he wanted to create more varied music, but with the computer game Sakura Taisen he was finally able to compose freely and prove his talents in other genres as well.
Notably, the background music in Gunbuster made his name and talent very famous among anime fans and is recognized as one of his most important works. He also handled the composition of Diebuster, a sequel series of Gunbuster, and showed a peculiar arrangement to his own work 17 years ago.
He hosted the Dai Anime Hakurankai radio show on Tokai Radio together with the voice actress Konami Yoshida from April 1993 to September 1994. His discussions with Toshio Okada and Hiroshi Yamamoto about anime, originally published in the hm3 seiyū magazine, have been republished in book form.
On February 14, 2008, he opened an official web site and announced his intention to work also as a singer in the future. On July 4th, he released his first album called Kokorone song 1st.
Tanaka occasionally introduces himself as Monrio Erricone Jr. (a reference to the Italian film composer Ennio Morricone who he respects). He is not only a composer but also very good at singing and he is able to reach four octaves. He often sings in the chorus parts in his own orchestral compositions.
Tanaka claims to do the Donald Duck voice well. The current Japanese voice actor for Donald, Kōichi Yamadera, has reportedly requested Tanaka to succeed him in the event that he dies.
When he worked on the music for Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh, he told about his experiences with an earlier robot anime that he composed the music for. He put his heart and soul into the music used in a scene where the robot combines into a more powerful form. Later, however, he was devastated when the producers asked him to create another piece of music with even more "punch" for a new type of combination.
He is said to be synesthetic, that is, he experiences sounds as colors and vice versa.
When he attended the Berklee College of Music, he studied English at the same school as Akio Toyoda, who later became the president of Toyota Motor Corporation. The two used to hang out together during that time.
Tanaka is the main composer unless otherwise noted.
- Ginga Kojiki Gundan Hyper CD Book (1992)
- Kimi koso Waga Otaku (1993)
- Tanaka Kōhei 20shūnen na Yoru - Toppu o Nerae! kara Yūshaō Gaogaigā made - (2001)
- Tanaka Kōhei Concert - Sakura na Yoru - (2001)
- Gaō Yūshaō Tanjō! 10renpatsu!! (2005 - includes the Yūshaō Tanjō! demo tape and Yūshaō Tanjō ultimate extra song)
- Kokorone song 1st (2008)
- Kokorone song 2nd (2009)
- Sakura Taisen 2 original game music score Mezase! Sound Creator (Doremi Music Publishing, 1999)
- Fūin - Shijō Saikyō no Otaku Zadankai (with Toshio Okada and Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ongaku Senkasha, 1999)
- Kaishū - Shijō Saikyō no Otaku Zadankai 2 (with Toshio Okada and Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ongaku Senkasha, 2000)
- Zeppan - Shijō Saikyō no Otaku Zadankai 3 (with Toshio Okada and Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ongaku Senkasha, 2000)
- Sakura Taisen 3 - Paris wa Moeteiru ka - Piano Hikigatari Kayō Zenshū (with Hiroi Oji, Doremi Music Publishing, 2001)
- Tanaka Kōhei Sakuhinshū (1) Sakura Taisen Kakyokushū Sōfu (Satake Gakufu, 2009)
- Tanaka Kōhei Sakuhinshū (2) Gensen Kyokushū Sōfu (Satake Gakufu, 2009)
- Nunokame CM song "Hiyoko no Hiyokokko" (1986-, still being broadcasted, with Fusako Fujimoto)
- Himekun Series Image Album behind (1986)
- Yamamoto Masayuki '88 (1988, arranged part of the songs)
- Uchū Eiyū Monogatari (1989, radio drama)
- Yamamoto Masayuki '89 Shōnen no Yume wa Ikiteiru (1989, arranged part of the songs)
- Seishun Radio Menia (1989-, composed the ending song)
- Yamamoto Masayuki "Colors" (1992, arranged part of the songs)
- Mashin Eiyūden Wataru 4 (1993)
- Star Pinky Q (1996, CD drama)
- Anime Giga (February 19, 2008, appeared as a guest)
- BS Anime Yawa Top o Nerae! (March 18, 2008, appeared as a guest)
- Inazuma Challenger (2008, supervised "Romantic Ageruyo (21st century ver.)" and "Makafushigi Adventure (21st century ver.)")
- BS Necchū Yawa Hero Song Night (July 10 and 17, 2008, appeared as a guest)
- BS Necchū Yawa Anisongu Night (May 22 and 29, 2009, appeared as a guest)
- Keroro Gunsō presents "Pekopon Shinryaku Song, Daishūgō de arimasu!" (2009, arranged part of the songs)
Composed for others
- Ari no Mama no Watashi de (1993, included in the album "Cluster")
- Kōkai wa Suteki (1995, included in the album "Shukujo Chōtokkyū")
- Fjord no Komoriuta (1996, included in the album "Saga")
- Konjō Sentai Gattsuman (1996, included in the album "Kenkabanchō")
- Tatakae! Great Gattsu Fighter, Denkō Gattai Regōmā (1996, included in the album "Space Kenkabanchō")
- Ai nante (1998, included in the album "Tamashii")
- Ko-ko Paradise (1999)
- Fly over to you... Yozora wo Kakete (1999)
- Ari no Mama de (1999)
- Mizu ni Utsuru Tsuki - my heart - (2002, included in the album "JAM First Process")
- Kanzen Muketsu on GO Fighter!! (Theme of Endoh) (2003, included in the album "Chakuriku!!")
- Bara no Namae, Hoshi ni Naru Hi (2007, included in the album "Rose Balcony")
- Tea for Two - Nigai Kokoa to Milk Tea -, Kimi no Inai Valentine's Day (2008, included in the album "chocolat")
- Dream on Dream - Yume no Tsuzuki - (2009, included in the album "Departure")
- 2002: Tokyo International Anime Fair 21 Anime of the Year Best Music (TV category, One Piece)
- 2003: 17th Japan Gold Disc Award (Sakura Taisen 4 - Koiseyo Otome - Zenkyokushū "Geki! Tei-Saishūshō (Finale) e-")
- Tanaka Kōhei Sakka Katsudō 20shūnen Kinen Honoo no Orchestra Concert (November 1, 2000, at the Tokyo Opera City concert hall)
- Tanaka Kōhei Sakura o Utau Hikigatari no Concert (April 16, 2006, at the Nihon University Casals Hall)
- Tanaka Kōhei Kokorone 1st Live (July 21, 2008, at Roppongi Sweet Basil STB139)
- Tanaka Kōhei Kokorone 2nd Live (February 15, 2009, at amHALL Osaka)
- Tanaka Kōhei Kokorone 3rd Live (July 25, 2009, Minami-aoyama Mandara)
- Tanaka Kōhei Sakkaseikatsu 30shūnen Kinen Concert (November 1, 2009 at the Tokyo Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan, big hall)
- List of video game musicians
- Seishun Raji Menia
- Kazuo Iwasaki
- Kaori Minami
- Kenji Kawai
- Shirō Sagisu
- Shirō Hamaguchi
- Hayato Matsuo
- Takayuki Negishi
- Ennio Morricone
- Mike Sugiyama
- Tanaka Kōhei Official Website
- Tanaka Kōhei Official Blog
- Tanaka Kōhei home page (approved by Tanaka)
- heart sound to asuka Kokorone Song lyrics writer Asuka's blog
- Imagine Tanaka Kōhei