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Maaya Sakamoto


22 Apr 2003
It seems to me that the little singer/ツ青コ窶妊 (seiyuu; voice-actress) introduced in the series 窶弖窶ケテウ窶堙姑竪ニ湛ニ谷ニ稚ニ陳哉値 (Escaflowne of the Heavens) in 1995, has been as active in the music field than in the seiyuu field (if not more) and has produced more than exclusively for the anime industry.

She's grown a lot since and it seems to me, that though she doesn't usually fall into the J-pop category, that this is an omission. She has an amzing register, she can reach very low keys as well as sing really high-pitched anime style songs. She's dabbled in a lot of genres, but it seems that she's more at home in what I believe the Japanese call "folk", which means accousic instruments and few arrangements. Yet, she thrives in blues-like songs, rock-like song, and more j-pop songs.

In my opinion, she's the equal of many of her so-called mainstream j-pop artists, yet she doesn't receive as much of the recognition. Perhaps she likes it that way, perhaps it's the way she's been pinned as an anime singer, or perhaps a bit of both. I don't know.

Does anyone feel the same?
I'm not sure, but i think this sentiment only exists outside of Japan. As far as i know Maaya is very popular among Japanese people. Her recent single "Tune in Rainbow" sold quite well.

Western hardcore Jpop fans don't regard anime singers very high for some reason. Probably due to shortsightedness. They don' t recognize anything good when they hear it. I heard quite some people say: Oh, she's that anime singer so it's no good.

It's true that many studio's didn't use topranking artists in the past due to budget reasons, but currently that's changed. Especially the more popular series use Oricon ranking artists these days. For example Gackt in the new "Fist of the North Star" series or Mai Kuraki for "Detective Conan".
Inu ya sha is also a good example. But you don't see the reverse happening. For example, I know Tune in Rainbow sold well, I bought it the day it came in stores and I was lucky to get one (can't wait for her singles collection to come out at the end of July... It's got a DVD with it, apparently), but she still didn't make the charts. YET, the song from Gundam Seed from that Chinese model (can't remember her name Vivien Hsu or some such thing) made it on... I simply don't understand this double standard. But I think you're wrong about the sentiment being only outside Japan. My wife was only recently flabbergasted to learn that Maaya ranked amongst some of the best-selling artists in Japan... Well, maybe it's just my wife who's out of it...
i don't see how anyone could say that she is just a anime singer and nothing better. Maaya Sakamoto is a good singer who can can hit almost any note. in fact i'm listening to one of her songs right now. i like it when she sings in a mellow tone myself. if anone has a problem with her then i'll kick their ***, got that
Maya Sakamoto, Faye Wong (FFVIII) and Yoko Kanno are one of my favourite Japanese singers and authors.

J-pop doens't get here much so I started to get contact with the Japanese world of music through anime. I don't know why should anyone think about anime songs being low grade. Anyone heard the Cowboy Bebop OST's?
Although Maya Sakamoto is an anime singer, she is one of my favorite Jap singers. I totally agree with you guys that anime should not be considered as low grade...

PS. maya sakamoto also sang for RahXephon (ongaku); which in my opinion was very nicely sung.... and yes, i've heard of the Cowboy Bebop OSTs by Yoko Kanno; they surely have their own style and it's no wonder why Yoko is so popular in Japan.
Well, Yoko Kanno has certainly won her fame, at least in my book. Except for a few minor mihaps, all she does is marginal... Any of you heard the OST to Brain Powerd? Maaya also appears on that. After Escaflowne, I think it's my favourite Kanno OST...

I agree with you Shadow about the RahXephon tune, it's really great. I was listening to it when I thought up this thread yesterday...
I quite like Maaya Sakamoto but I haven't heard all that much. I went to find other songs of hers after hearing the Escaflowne song. :)
Maaya is one of my favorite seiyuu-singers, and is very underrated within the J-Pop community IMO.

One of her more recent songs, Gravity, which in english is almost a testament that she is capable of crossing over, much like Mai Kuraki and Hikki.
If you're interested and you can read Japanese, here's her complete discography.


I rather deplore her label's recent move to only release singles or mini-CDs... I hope her next full-length album (accompanied by an area 2 DVD) will have all her most recent on it... Release date July 2003. Can't wait!
Hmmm... the release date is July 2003... I can't wait! but i wonder if I have to import them from Japan this time as well...
<Toronto don't have much 'new' anime merchandise>
I think Maaya is a wonderful singer, I've got many of her songs and I truly enjoy them all. She's got an amazing voice, and "Yubiwa" probably has to be my favourite of them all... It's gorgeous!
Thank you Aoi Sora, Yubiwa is at the top of my list as well, I think it reaches the soul. So does Hikari no naka e...

Probably you'll have to import it, yes. But as you live in Toronto, unless you have a region free DVD player, you won't be able to play the DVD that comes with the album...
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Probably you'll have to import it, yes. But as you live in Toronto, unless you have a region free DVD player, you won't be able to play the DVD that comes with the album...

Yeah... Luckily I have a region free DVD player (that i got from Japan a few years ago)... but importing mechandise tends to be expensive, too bad there's not too much Japanese shops in Toronto.
Have you tried buying from Japanese venders online, such as Tower records (www.towerrecords.co.jp) or Amazon Japan (www.amazon.co.jp)? I'm fairly certain that accounting for the high exchange rate (I mean 87 yen to a dollar?!?!), you could probably get it for a more reasonable price that way than if you bought it through a store in Toronto... But Japanese CDs are so expensive anyway... Now I'm used to it, but it took me a long time to swallow paying 35 bucks for a 10-track CD...
That's a good idea... I've never tried using Japanese online venders directly; usually I import my CDs through online stores based in Canada or the States.

And boy! They were pretty expensive... I remember importing my Orphen soundtrack (since I couldn't find the songs online); and it came to roughly around 40 bucks for one CD! (after taxes, shipping, duties)
I know... Doesn't that blow a hole in a pocket, eh? DVDs are also outrageously expensive here... I still can't get over paying 5000 yen plus for a 30-minute anime DVD...
Ha ha ha... exactly... it's way too expensive to buy everything so usually I try to download it off the net first.... (I have a huge collection of anime and it's all from the net... i love being wired... lol)
Maaya's one of my favorite singers of all time. I bought her Easy Listening and Lucy CD and loved every minute.

I love Hemisphere from Raxephon and her new song from Tune the Rainbow titled 'Garden of Everything' (featuring Steve Conte). It's a nice song to listen to on rainy days, in my opinion. :p
one of the first songs i really liked when i started to get into j-pop was maaya sakamoto's "another grey day in the big blue world" it's in english, but wow. what a pretty song. i like her.
I like Maaya Sakamoto very much, especially when she is working together with Yoko Kanno.
Her beautifull voice and his talent for unusual sounds...
I like the Theme of Loddos War and the english song Annother grey day in a big blue world.
Japanses singing english are cute ^-^
Yes! I totally agree with you Lil'Anij... Both Yoko Kanno or Maaya Sakamoto are so good that they can feature in a song alone.

Imagine how good they can be when they work together (as in Wolf's Rain - Gravity)!
Originally posted by Shadow
Yes! I totally agree with you Lil'Anij... Both Yoko Kanno or Maaya Sakamoto are so good that they can feature in a song alone.

Imagine how good they can be when they work together (as in Wolf's Rain - Gravity)!

Thanks for agreeing with me ^_~

Try the opening of Record of Lodoss war!
Kiseki no Umi
Lovely and very interesting!

Nice place to get some lyrics, if ou are lucky you will even find a translation ^-^
Hmm... i haven't heard of the song from Record of Lodoss War yet, altho i've listened to most of her other songs... but i bet it'll be good considering her standards.. ha ha...

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