Hajime Kikuchi The music industry and the anime community have lost a talented and influential composer, as Hajime Kikuchi, the co-founder and keyboardist of the rock band Eufonius, passed away on November 10, 2023, at the age of 44. The cause of his death has not been revealed, but his family and friends have expressed their grief and condolences on social media. Kikuchi was best known for his work on various anime soundtracks, such as True Tears, Clannad, Kokoro Connect, and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. Here is everything you need to know about his life and career, as well as the legacy he left behind.
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Who was Hajime Kikuchi and how did he start his career?
Hajime Kikuchi was born on June 9, 1979, in Osaka, Japan. He started playing piano at the age of 4 and developed a passion for music and composition. He studied music at the Osaka University of Arts, where he met Riya, a singer and lyricist. They formed the band Eufonius in 2003 and started producing music for various visual novels and video games, such as Narcissu, Planetarian, and ef – a fairy tale of the two. They also performed live concerts and released albums and singles, such as Eufonius, Subarashiki Sekai, and Apocrypha.
What were some of his notable works and achievements?
Kikuchi and Eufonius gained more recognition and popularity when they started working on anime soundtracks, especially in the genres: romance, drama, and fantasy. Some of their most famous and acclaimed works include:
- True Tears: The 2008 anime adaptation of the visual novel of the same name, tells the story of a high school boy who falls in love with a mysterious girl who always cries. Kikuchi and Eufonius composed the opening theme song “Reflection”, as well as the background music and the insert songs for the anime. The song “Reflection” was praised for its beautiful and emotional melody and lyrics, and became one of the most iconic and memorable songs of the band.
- Clannad: The 2007-2008 anime adaptation of the visual novel of the same name, which follows the life and relationships of a delinquent boy who meets and helps various girls with their problems. Kikuchi and Eufonius composed the opening theme song “Megumeru ~cuckool mix 2007~”, as well as the background music and the insert songs for the anime. The song “Megumeru ~cuckool mix 2007~” was also well-received for its catchy and uplifting tune and lyrics, and became one of the most popular and beloved songs of the band.
- Kokoro Connect: The 2012 anime adaptation of the light novel series of the same name, which depicts the supernatural phenomena and the psychological drama that affect a group of five friends who are members of a school club. Kikuchi and Eufonius composed the opening theme song “Paradigm”, as well as the background music and the insert songs for the anime. The song “Paradigm” was complimented for its energetic and catchy rhythm and lyrics, and became one of the most successful and catchy songs of the band.
- Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: The 2013-2016 anime adaptation of the manga series of the same name, which is a spin-off of the Fate/stay night franchise, featuring an alternate universe where the main heroine becomes a magical girl. Kikuchi and Eufonius composed the opening theme song “starlog”, as well as the background music and the insert songs for the anime. The song “starlog” was admired for its cheerful and lively melody and lyrics, and became one of the most fun and upbeat songs of the band.
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How did he impact the music and anime industry?
Kikuchi and Eufonius were widely respected and appreciated for their music and composition skills, as well as their versatility and creativity. They were able to create songs and music that matched and enhanced the mood and atmosphere of the anime they worked on, whether it was sad, happy, romantic, or dramatic. They were also able to experiment and explore different genres and styles of music, such as rock, pop, jazz, and classical.
They were also known for their collaboration and communication with the anime staff and the fans, as they often shared their thoughts and opinions on their work and the anime they were involved in. They also participated in various events and activities, such as anime conventions, concerts, and interviews, where they interacted and connected with the fans and the industry.
How did the fans and the industry react to his death?
Kikuchi’s death was a shock and a tragedy for the fans and the industry, who expressed their sorrow and condolences on social media. Many fans and colleagues shared their memories and appreciation of Kikuchi and his music and thanked him for his contribution and influence on the music and anime industry. They also sent their support and sympathy to his family and friends and wished him to rest in peace. Some of the messages and tributes that were posted on social media include:
- “I can’t believe it… Hajime Kikuchi was one of my favourite composers, and his music was a big part of my life. His songs always touched my heart and made me feel happy, sad, or inspired. He was a genius and a legend, and I will always remember him and his music. Thank you for everything, Kikuchi-san. Rest in peace.”
- “Hajime Kikuchi was a master of music and emotion. His songs and music were so beautiful and powerful, and they fit perfectly with the anime he worked on. He was able to create music that made me cry, laugh, or smile. He was a talented and creative composer, and I admire and respect him so much. I’m so sad and sorry to hear about his passing. My condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Kikuchi-san.”
- “Hajime Kikuchi was a wonderful and amazing composer, and I’m so grateful and honoured to have worked with him. He was always kind and professional, and he had a passion and a vision for his music. He was able to create music that matched and enhanced the anime he worked on, and he always communicated and collaborated with the anime staff and the fans. He was a friend and a mentor, and I learned so much from him. I’m so devastated and heartbroken to hear about his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Rest in peace, Kikuchi-san.”
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