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Junya Nakano

Junya nakano Date of Birth: February 28, 1971 (Kyoto)
Education: Vocational School
Instruments Played: Piano
Place of Residence: Tokyo
Joined Square: 1995
Official Web Site: Profile at Square Enix American Web Site


This biography was written by Totz exclusively for use at Square Enix Music Online. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission, as this is a violation of copyright.

Born February 28, 1971 in Kyoto, Japan, Junya Nakano was introduced to music by his parents when he was just three years old. Having taken music lessons while still a child, joined some brass bands, and been a keen radio listener, the foundations of his interest in music were laid. His interest in video games started when he was eight years old after his friends introduced him to Lunar Rescue, a Taito game, where he was also said to have enjoyed the score. He first composed his own music at the age of 14, and he started attending a vocational school two years later; this prepared him to become a professional musician.

Like Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito, Junya Nakano began his career working as a member of the Konami Kukeiha Club, which he joined in 1991. Here, he worked on the scores for a number of arcade games, namely Astérix, Lethal Enforcers, X-Men: The Arcade Game, and Hexion in 1992, as well as Martial Champion, Mystic Warriors, and Polygonet Commanders in 1993. His last known work for them was the score for Golfing Greats 2 in 1994. Though no albums were released for any of these games, leaving many of his early works shrouded in mystery, they almost certainly developed his own distinct style: a dark and ambient one, which generally has a greater emphasis on rhythm than melodies.

In 1995, Nakano joined Square, where his first project saw him collaborate with Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Masashi Hamauzu to create four tracks for the score of Front Mission: Gun Hazard. These initial partnerships were extremely important, as he appeared alongside these composers in a number of scores afterwards. Particularly important were his collaborations with Hamauzu, the co-worker he incidentally admired the most. Following Front Mission: Gun Hazard, he created the score for the StellaView game Treasure Conflix later in 1996. At the start of 1997, he wrote some pieces for Tobal No. 1 in 1997 alongside a host of other Square composers, including Mitsuda, who produced the score, and then went on to be the synthesizer operator for Riow Arai's score for Front Mission Alternative later that year.

If you lived in Japan in 1998 and didn't know who Nakano was, you would have surely found out then. How? Two words: Another Mind. This was his first solo soundtrack and it elevated Nakano's status in Japan considerably. Though short, its ambient themes were mostly marvellous. The same thing happened in the West a year later, with the release of Threads of Fate (aka DewPrism). Though less consistent than Another Mind, the game featured some of Nakano's best work, the most highly acclaimed track on the album being "Passing Through the Forest."

Nakano's most well-known work came in 2001 with the release of Final Fantasy X, where he worked with Uematsu and Hamauzu once more. Here, he handled most of the ambient tracks, the normal boss theme, and "Summoned Beast Battle," among others. Though certain themes did not generate much interest on a stand-alone basis, each worked well in the game. Later that year, he created "Endless Love, Endless Road" with Masayoshi Kikuchi for the feel/Go dream - Yuna & Tidus album, a tribute album dedicated to Final Fantasy X.

After Final Fantasy X, there were a number of conflicting reports about what Junya Nakano was doing. It was reported that he left Square Enix to join Asmik Ace Entertainment, Inc., and it is known that he produced the score for their Japan-only PlayStation 2 flight simulation game SideWinder V in 2002. However, there is a degree of ambiguity about whether he actually left, as it was also said that he was still working as a resident employee at Square Enix at the time, and was merely working on other projects. Indeed, it is quite possible that he collaborated with Asmik Ace Entertainment while still a Square Enix resident composer but never actually worked as a resident composer for the company.

Either way, it was known that Nakano was working with Square Enix for the score of Musashi: Samurai Legend (aka Musashiden II BLADEMASTER) in 2004. Here, Nakano was finally reunited with Masashi Hamauzu, and the score also saw him paired with Wavelink Zeal (Takayuki Iwai and Yuki Iwai). The Musashiden II BLADEMASTER Original Soundtrack was released in July 2005 and Nakano largely succeeded, scoring the majority of the battle tracks. Having re-established himself at Square Enix with this large new score and having refined his ambient style over his ten years of employment, it is likely that Nakano-san will remain a respected and prolific employee there for some time to come.

List of Game Projects

Note: This list only includes games that the composer has actively worked on, so those games that feature reprises of the composer's work from older titles are not included.

Key: C = Composer, A = Arranger, P = Performer, S = Sound Programmer, E = Sound Effects, M = Synthesizer Operator

Year Game Role
1992 Astérix C
1992 Lethal Enforcers C
1992 X-Men: The Arcade Game C
1992 Hexion C
1993 Martial Champion C
1993 Mystic Warriors C
1993 Polygonet Commanders C
1994 Golfing Greats 2 C
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1996 Front Mission: Gun Hazard C
1996 Treasure Conflix C
Sony PlayStation
1997 Tobal No. 1 C
1997 Front Mission Alternative M
1998 Another Mind C+A
1999 Threads of Fate (aka DewPrism) C+A
Sony PlayStation 2
2001 Final Fantasy X C+A
2003 SideWinder V C+A
2005 Musashi: Samurai Legend (aka Musashiden II BLADEMASTER) C+A

List of Albums

Original Scores

Arranged Albums

Other Albums

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