KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Takeharu Ishimoto (Music)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible there are mistakes.
(note: He was once employed by Square but now works for THRILL)
Previously worked on: KH3D, The World Ends With You, Crisis Core: FFVII, Dissidia FF, FF Type-0
Q: Which scenes' tracks were you responsible for?
A: The Caribbean, Big Hero 6's scenes in San Fransokyo, as well as a lot of tracks for cutscenes and boss fights. In total, there were 21 tracks.
Q: Please tell us the concept for the tracks this time around.
A: KH is a large-scale series, so rather than tracks I personally wanted to make, the concept was to be very conscious of the "KH-ness" [of the tracks]. It was work that, along with adding my own personal touch, realized the explanations of the director, as well as an understanding of the worldview of KH, through songs.
Q: Was there anything ordered from the director?
A: Yes, strongly [laughs]. There were more and more orders to create certain songs first, or to decide the direction before work was done, so it depended on the song. There were times when just as I thought I was finished, I had to greatly polish up parts of songs after some back-and-forth, so it was fun.
Q: Which point did you fuss over the most?
A: The tracks in The Caribbean. Instead of "that song" that most people in the world know (note: the Pirates main theme, of course), I created new "Pirates of the Caribbean" tracks, and since it was a situation that doesn't often arise in one's life, I was really fired up. I think it's a good thing to get used to the tracks I made within the game.
Q: What kind of work would you like to try next?
A: I hadn't been involved with KH for a long time, so since I think I'd like to join in and make tracks for this title, I want to create tracks that will remain in peoples' hearts. It's a series that has fans spread out over a wide range of ages who are eagerly waiting, so I really think it's worth doing.
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
When I was rearranging Vanitas' battle theme from KH BbS to KH3, for a whole day, even when I went to the bathroom or took a bath, it was stuck in my head, and I was singing it before I realized. "What the heck is this song called?" I thought, unable to remember, and while I was eating dinner I realized "isn't it just 'Vanitas fight'?!" and burst out laughing alone. I wonder if I can convey correctly how much like a broken piece of junk I felt.