Go Shiina

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Go Shiina
Birth name Masaru Shiina
Born May 16, 1974
Yokohama, Japan
Genres Orchestral, jazz fusion, rock, electronic
Occupation(s) Composer, arranger
Instruments Keyboard
Years active 1998-present

Masaru Shiina (椎名豪 Shiina Masaru?, born May 16, 1974), known professionally as Go Shiina, is a Japanese anime and video game composer employed at Bandai Namco Games. He is best known for creating the scores to Tales of Legendia, the Mr. Driller series, and the God Eater series.


Born in Yokohama, Japan, Shiina was taught how to play the electronic organ from his parents when he was growing up.[1] Although he was not a dedicated musician before becoming a composer, he was at one time a member of a Megadeth cover band who also played J-pop music. Shiina enrolled at Dokkyo Junior High School. After being rejected by 46 companies, including a jewelry company, a finance company, and a fast food company, he was hired by Namco (now Bandai Namco Games); he had little prior experience with video games.[2]

Creating music for old arcade releases using Namco's sound trackers felt more like computer programming than composing for Shiina, but he has said that the experience helped him out when he would have to use MIDI sounds in future games. The songs he composed for the first Mr. Driller were deemed unfitting for a puzzle game by some of the staff and they almost didn't make it into the final product.[2]

Shiina's first solo project was Mr. Driller G. He was given extensive access to live instruments and an incredible amount of creative freedom, setting the stage for his later work. The scores for future games in the Mr. Driller series would also be composed exclusively by Shiina.

The critically acclaimed soundtrack of Tales of Legendia is perhaps his most well-known work. When he began writing songs for the game he tried to follow in the footsteps of the usual Tales series composer, Motoi Sakuraba, but after realizing that Legendia's imagery and story were different from the rest of the series he was inspired to develop his own style for the music.[2]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Go Shiina's music is characterized by dramatic melodies and unusual arrangements. His soundtracks contain a wide range of musical styles, including jazz,[3] orchestral, fusion, and rock, and he often mixes different genres and instruments together for unique sounds. Many of Shiina's songs use live string sections, slap bass, audio filter effects and artificial languages.

He has said that he can write music in any genre, as long as he is motivated, and has also stated that "when I write a song, the time it takes me depends on whether I know the singer's natural voice. The genre doesn't matter..." Shiina feels that there are two types of compositions: "some tracks can stand alone as musical pieces, and some only work when you hear them in the game," and he often alters or leaves out certain songs when putting together albums. When composing vocal or instrumental tracks he sings the parts out loud.[2]

He enjoys listening to the works of Ayumi Hamasaki.[2]

For the soundtrack to God Eater, Shiina explained that the creative nature of the story pushed him to be creative with the music as well. He looked around for a variety of instruments from many countries, and some of the styles and instruments featured in the score include Japanese traditional music, African rhythms, and the Indian sitar.[1]

He has also done string arrangements for bands.[4]


Video games
Year Title Role Co-worker
1998 Quick & Crash Composition
1999 Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere Composition many others
Mr. Driller (Arcade) Composition Tomoko Tatsuta
2001 Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil Composition many others
Mr. Driller G Composition
2002 Mr. Driller: Drill Land Composition
2003 Taiko no Tatsujin Composition/arrangement many others
2005 The Idolmaster Composition many others
Tales of Legendia Composition/arrangement
Tekken: Dark Resurrection Composition/arrangement many others
2006 Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology Composition many others
Pro Baseball Nechu Star 2006 Composition (opening)
2007 Tales of Fandom Vol.2 Composition (opening/ending)
Tekken 6 Composition many others
Kyou Kara Maoh! Hajimari no Tabi Composition many others
2008 Mr. Driller Online Composition
Echoes of War Arrangement many others
2009 Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 Composition/arrangement many others
Tales of VS. Composition/arrangement many others
2010 God Eater Composition
Ace Combat: Joint Assault Composition/arrangement many others
Gods Eater Burst Composition
2011 Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 Composition many others
2012 Ace Combat 3D: Assault Horizon Legacy Composition many others
2013 God Eater 2 Composition/arrangement
2015 God Eater 2: Rage Burst Composition/arrangement
Tales of Zestiria Composition/arrangement Motoi Sakuraba


  1. ^ a b "Interview with Go Shiina (November 2009)". Square Enix Music Online. November 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Interview with Mr. Go Shiina (NBGI) Part 1". CocoeBiz. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  3. ^ Mackey, Bob (2009-12-01). "The Unrecognized Genius of Go Shiina". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  4. ^ "new label esteem!!参加メンバー". November 2006. 

External links[edit]