I’ve frequently seen Yuki Hayashi as one of the most promising current rising stars in the world of anime soundtracks, with many singing the praises of his work for series like Robotics Notes and My Hero Academia. He also worked on the soundtracks for Death Parade and Gundam Build Fighters, and you know he’s hitting the big time now as he’s been drafted in to do duties on the 2017 incarnation of PreCure.
Hayashi’s work is frequently characterised by this incredible sense of propulsiveness and flowing motion; fitting then that his background is in making music for dancesport (competitive ballroom dancing), and that most of his most iconic soundtracks have involved some kind of competitive, tournament style element.
Up there with his work on My Hero Academia, I feel one of his finest tracks is Haikyuu’s Chimu no Jiriki – which perfects what I call a certain kind of ‘liveness’ of sound; the drums feel ‘real’ and distinctly ‘played’, as opposed to some cheaply programmed drum machine. The track feels human, invested with muscle and strength and spirit – so crucial for a series about sport.
I remember I struggled for a long time to really get into Haikyuu, initially dismissing it as just another boys’ sport series – until, that is, I heard this track play over an iconic moment of the series – where the animation burst into full-on sakuga mode and everything came alive at once. The soaring string section, Moby-esque synth swells and undercurrent of strummed guitar add this ever-present surge to Chimu no Jiriki, drawing us ever onward and onward – a true testament to humanity’s constant strive to ever more impressive physical sporting prowess.