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Masayoshi Soken

Masayoshi Soken Education: Music Education at University Level
General Interests: Being Beaten Up By Robots, Sports Commercials, Pencils
Place of Residence: Tokyo
Joined Square Enix: 2001
Official Web Site: Profile at Square Enix American Web Site


This biography was written by Chris 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.

If any members of Square Enix's sound team were to be dubbed 'eccentric', Masayoshi Soken would seem very worthy of the description. For starters, he seems to have extremely odd origins — he is Square Enix's only sound editor, yet his only known works in that role were created in 2005. Before this, he created a number of original compositions. The first set of these was the solo composition of 2002's Nichibeikan Pro Baseball: Final League, a basketball simulation game that was released only in Japan and has failed to achieve any level of popularity. Soon after, he worked with composer and ex-synthesizer operator Takeharu Ishimoto on World Fantastista, an equally rare sports game, this time dedicated to soccer. Evidence from later works points to Soken's compositions being very cheesy and written in the style of commercial music; though such a description isn't automatically transferable here, it can probably be presumed that Soken's style didn't suffice for him to remain as a composer for more mature Square Enix games when the company reorganised their team in 2003, resulting in his downgrading to a role of sound editor.

Soken appears to be very proficient in the role of sound editing, despite his background. His only two projects, the scores for the 2005 releases Drakengard 2 (aka Drag-on Dragoon 2 love red, ambivalence black) and Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~, both released in 2005, were extremely successful in terms of both composition and sound quality. While Soken's exact role in the process of producing these scores is not known, it is certainly clear he added to their refinement. The latter score was unique in that the Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ Original Soundtrack is the only album to feature a composition from him, "Blue Stream." Though very much an anomaly and perhaps diminutive and superficial compared to Hidenori Iwasaki's mature contributions, it added an additional touch of touch of colour and fun to the end of the score. Written in the style of a sports commercial and led by The Poors, a choir of out-of-tune hooligans, it's the type of composition a listener would either love, hate, or love to hate, being repetitive and extremely cheesy, yet somehow catchy and so bad it's good at times.

This isn't the first time Soken has exposed himself, though, as he's done it before, in more ways than one. Not only did he appear half-naked on a Square Enix Commercial while being persistently beaten up by two robots, his extraordinarily commercialised music plays in the background. What's all this advertising? The pencils, Batoenman, apparently, originally published by Enix. The relationship between the commercial and the product is very vague, though loathers of Soken's music or natural sadists will likely find it highly enjoyable to watch, despite the immorality of schadenfreude. It's also speculated that he may have contributed "Endless Love, Endless Road - Yuna & Tidus" from feel/Go Dream - Tidus & Yuna, having later changed his name from Masayoshi Kikuchi, though this isn't confirmed. He's a very unusual man, it seems, a capable producer of music to accompany hideous adverts, a talented sound editor, and a smiling human punchbag. It seems sensible to keep an eye out on him, even if just for the occasional laugh.

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, X = Sound Editor

Year Game Role
Sony PlayStation 2
2002 Nichibeikan Pro Baseball: Final League C
2002 World Fantastista C
2005 Drakengard 2 (aka Drag-on Dragoon 2 love red, ambivalence black) X
2005 Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ C+X

List of Albums

Original Scores

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