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Takeharu Ishimoto

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Takeharu Ishimoto
Born (1970-05-29) May 29, 1970 (age 54)
Nichinan, Miyazaki, Japan
  • Composer
  • musician
Years active1998–present

Takeharu Ishimoto (石元 丈晴, Ishimoto Takeharu) is a Japanese video game composer and musician. Formerly employed by Square Enix, he joined them in 1999 as a synthesizer programmer on Legend of Mana, and worked for them on several games. In 2002, he was promoted to the role of composer, beginning with World Fantasista. 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 and SAWA. He left Square Enix at the end of 2017, becoming a freelancer.


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.

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 on Ishimoto's soundtrack for The World Ends with You. The band released an album, 333, in 2008.[1] After SAWA disbanded, he formed The Death March in 2012, a band that plays and re-arrange music from soundtracks composed by Ishimoto.[2] In December 2017, Ishimoto announced that he would be leaving Square Enix and becoming a freelancer.[3] Ishimoto stated that the decision to leave was his own, leaving on amicable terms with the company.[3]

Style and legacy[edit]

He was named by IGN as number ten in a top ten JRPG composers list in 2008.[4] Ishimoto composes songs in many different genres, including rock, hip hop, electronica, and pop.[5]


Year Title Role Ref.
1999 Legend of Mana Synthesizer programmer [6]
Front Mission 3 Synthesizer programmer [6]
2000 Vagrant Story Synthesizer programmer [6]
All Star Pro-Wrestling Synthesizer programmer [6]
2001 Final Fantasy X Synthesizer programmer [6]
All Star Pro-Wrestling II Synthesizer programmer [6]
2002 World Fantasista Music with Masayoshi Soken [7]
2003 All Star Pro-Wrestling III Synthesizer programmer [6]
2004 Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII Music [7]
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Synthesizer programmer [6]
2005 Last Order: Final Fantasy VII Music [7]
Kingdom Hearts II Synthesizer programmer [6]
2007 Monotone Music [7]
The World Ends with You Music [3]
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Music [4]
2008 Dissidia Final Fantasy Music [4]
2010 Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Music with Yoko Shimomura and Tsuyoshi Sekito [7]
2011 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Music [7]
Final Fantasy Type-0 Music [8]
2012 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Music with Yoko Shimomura and Tsuyoshi Sekito [7]
2014 Final Fantasy Agito Music [7]
2015 Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Music [7]
Rampage Land Rankers Music [7]
Dissidia Final Fantasy Music with Keiji Kawamori and Tsuyoshi Sekito [7]
2018 Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Music [3]
2019 Kingdom Hearts III Music with Yoko Shimomura and Tsuyoshi Sekito [9]
2021 The World Ends with You: The Animation Music [10]
Neo: The World Ends with You Music [11]
2022 Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion Arrangements [12]
2024 Tsurugihime Music [13]


  1. ^ a b "J-Pop World – SAWA Interview". Kingdom Hearts Insider. 1 January 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  2. ^ Greening, Chris (28 June 2014). "The World Ends With You's Takeharu Ishimoto releases first band album". Video Game Music Online. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Gallagher, Mathew (28 December 2017). "Takeharu Ishimoto retiring from Square Enix". Video Game Music Online. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Sullivan, Meghan (18 December 2008). "Top Ten JRPG Composers". IGN. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  5. ^ Napolitano, Jayson (24 June 2008). "The World Ends With You: Come on and do the peace! (review)". Original Sound Version. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Takeharu Ishimoto Profile". Video Game Music Online. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Sato (28 December 2017). "The World Ends with You And Dissidia Composer Takeharu Ishimoto Resigns From Square Enix". Siliconera. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  8. ^ Leo, Jon (12 December 2011). "Sound Byte: Meet the Composer - Takeharu Ishimoto". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  9. ^ Fuller, Alex (12 February 2019). "Kingdom Hearts III Review". RPGamer. Archived from the original on 14 September 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  10. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (4 July 2020). "The World Ends With You Anime Debuts Worldwide in 2021". Anime News Network. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  11. ^ 石元丈晴 Takeharu Ishimoto [@ishimoto_music] (25 November 2020). "新 すばらしきこのせかい また曲担当させて頂きます。 世間の流行りが何であれ、等身大でやれる事を最大限にやってみます〜!" (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved 26 November 2020 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Romano, Sal (29 November 2022). "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion launch trailer, gameplay". Gematsu. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  13. ^ Romano, Sal (4 December 2022). "Fahrenheit 213 announces side-scrolling action RPG TSURUGIHIME for PC". Gematsu. Retrieved 4 December 2022.

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