Takeharu Ishimoto

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Takeharu Ishimoto
Born May 19, 1970
Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Composer, synthesizer programmer, musician
Instruments Piano, guitar
Years active 1998–present
Labels Square Enix
Warner Music Group
Associated acts SAWA
The Death March

Takeharu Ishimoto (石元 丈晴 Ishimoto Takeharu?) is a Japanese video game composer, synthesizer programmer, and musician currently working at Square Enix. He joined Square Enix in 1999 as a synthesizer programmer on Legend of Mana, and worked for them on several games. In 2002 he moved to become a composer, beginning with World Fantastista. He has since composed for several large-budget games, such as The World Ends with You, Dissidia: Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Type-0. In addition to his work for Square Enix he is a composer and guitar player for the bands The Death March (formed in 2012) and SAWA (formed in 2008 and disbanded in 2011).


Takeharu Ishimoto first got into music as, according to him, he lived in the country and there was nothing else to do.[1] He first worked as a synthesizer programmer before becoming a composer; he began working as such in 1999 with Legend of Mana. Several games later, he began to also work as a composer with the PlayStation 2 soccer game World Fantasista. In 2004 he began to compose for games in the Final Fantasy series, which he had previously worked with as a synthesizer programmer on Final Fantasy X. His last work as a synthesizer programmer was for Kingdom Hearts II in 2005; since then he has worked exclusively for Square Enix as a composer. He is currently working on two Final Fantasy games, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Type-0.

Ishimoto was also a member of the Japanese musical group SAWA, with which he performed under the name HIZMI. He formed the band along with Sawa Kato in October 2008. Kato sang some of the songs and wrote the lyrics for Ishimoto's The World Ends with You soundtrack. The band has released one album, 333, in 2008.[1] After SAWA disabanded, he formed in 2012 The Death March, a band that play and re-arrange music from videogame soundtracks composed previously by Ishimoto such The World End with You and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.[2]

Style and legacy[edit]

He was named by IGN as number ten in their top ten JRPG composers list in 2008.[3] Ishimoto composes songs in many different genres, including rock, hip-hop, electronica, pop, and experimental for The World Ends with You alone.[4]


Synthesizer programmer


  1. ^ a b "J-Pop World – SAWA Interview". J-Pop World. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  2. ^ http://www.vgmonline.net/the-world-ends-with-yous-takeharu-ishimoto-releases-first-band-album/
  3. ^ Sullivan, Meghan (18 December 2008). "Top Ten JRPG Composers". IGN. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  4. ^ Napolitano, Jayson (24 June 2008). "The World Ends With You: Come on and do the peace! (review)". Original Sound Version. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 

External links[edit]