Between all of the old anime that I dearly enjoyed as a kid in the 1970s and early 1980s such as "Gatchaman"（ガッチャマン）, "Uchuu Senkan Yamato"（宇宙戦艦ヤマト）and "Macross"（マクロス）and the stuff that I've been watching currently in this decade, there is a huge gap of about 20 years in which the anime world was largely unknown to me ("Sailor Moon" is a big exception). When I came back briefly to Toronto in the early 1990s, my anime buddy was still doing his presentations at University of Toronto and I either helped out or watched movies such as "Patlabor II" at one of the Engineering buildings. But basically, some of the big anime including "Five Star Stories" and "Evangelion" were just words to me. And don't even bother asking me about any of the Macross sequels; I have no idea and I don't really care.
From time to time during the anison hour at my friend's place, he plays some of the old stuff and recently he played a couple of pieces attached to the classic "Tenku no Escaflowne"（天空のエスカフローネ...The Vision of Escaflowne）, an ever-flowery title for an anime. Again, it was one of those titles that I have heard about over the years but frankly every time I heard that name, I couldn't help but think of an Italian cheese used in desserts.
Having said that, master composer Yoko Kanno（菅野よう子）came up with a whopper of an instrumental with "The Vision of Escaflowne" track from the 2nd soundtrack for the show. Who would have thought of having Gregorian chants introduced into such an album and then paired with some dramatic percussion? It's cool and haunting at the same time. I would think that this was the musical prelude before the epic final battle...between robot armies.
But then I did a Japanese comedian's pratfall when my friend played the ending theme of "Escaflowne", "Mystic Eyes" by Hiroki Wada（和田弘樹）. I just imagined all those Gregorian monks suddenly ripping off their robes and hitting the dance floor like landed fish. Perhaps conversations may have started like this: "Brother Roderick, thy RUNNING MAN is truly divine!" "My thanks, Brother Oswald, but thou dost danceth your KID N' PLAY like a BOSS!" Aye, those were funky times for the kingdom.
Well, yeah! That is some pretty serious dance music by Wada who also wrote and composed "Mystic Eyes". This was his third single released in April 1996 and perhaps he was channeling his inner Tetsuya Komuro（小室哲哉）. He goes by the name h-wonder now and has arranged music for a lot of other singers, especially Exile and Kumi Koda（倖田來未）. Wada also hails from Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture, a city that is right next to my old burg of Ichikawa.
Hey, speaking of those old 90s dance moves...