Yoko Shimomura will perform Kingdom Hearts music at the Step Up Concert, Anime x Game x Vocaloid Festival at the 32nd annual National Cultural Festival on November 12, 2017
Yoko Shimomura, known for composing songs for Kingdom Hearts, Mario & Luigi RPG, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, as well as Kumi Tanoika, who's known for composing songs for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Final Fantasy XI, will both be attending the Step Up Concert, Anime x Game x Vocaloid Festival in Ōyodo-chō, Nara, in Japan on November 12th, 2017, as a part of the 32nd annual National Cultural Festival.
They both will also be performing on piano at this concert, which will feature game music as part of the festival. The two of them will perform for 90 minutes. This will be during the second part of the festival at 3pm JST. The first part of the festival will start at 11am JST, during which the participants will be showcasing their favorite anime, video games, and Vocaloid songs.
Admission will be free.
UPDATE [Nov. 12, 2017]: The setlist for the performances has been revealed and it will include performances such as "Traverse Town" from Kingdom Hearts, "Somnus" from Final Fantasy XV, a Capcom Medley, a Bravely Default Flying Fairy medley and songs from Okami, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Legend of Mana.
Also, CDs signed by Yoko Shimomura such as the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack and Final Fantasy XV Original Soundtrack will be available for sale at the event.
You can view pictures of the setlist and signed CDs below.
Thanks to KH13 staff members Mio-chan, Lady Aleister, faemarch, and Katie Armstrong and former News Team member soraspromise for helping with the translations!
Will you be attending the Step Up Concert or the National Cultural Festival as a whole? Let us know down in the comments below!
- Nov 11 2017 10:39 PM
- by Elfdemon_
Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series has announced via her Twitter page that she will be appearing in the 4star Primal Orchestra music festival. At this music festival she will be speaking about something, although she hasn't decided what yet. This will be held on May 5, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan and will be live streamed via Nico Nico. For those who don't know, 4star Primal is a video game music festival held once every 4 years for artists involved in video game music, video game directors and producers along with fans to get together as one.
Translations of her tweets and a quote from the Nico Nico page for the live stream can be read below. Thanks go to goldpanner for the translations.
At last, today is 4star's Piano Restaurant 3rd Concert ~Hiroyuki Sonobe Solo Recital~! KH Piano Collections and FF Piano Opera double feature! I will also be doing a talk, so please excuse me. As for what I'll be talking about, right now I have no plan haha.
And! And! It seems that on May 5th, 4star2015 THE FINAL will be a paid channel live broadcast on Nico Video! I would be so happy if those who won't be able to make it to the real thing check it out there. I will also be doing a talk, so please excuse me. As for what I'll be talking about… second verse, same as first lol.
4star Orchestra is a game music festival held once every four years for artists involved in game music, creators and fans to get passionate together as one. Our second ever festival, 4star Orchestra 2015, will be held alongside Hachioji Music Festival 2013 in Golden Week 2015.
For the FINAL public performance, we have put together a Special All Star Orchestra centered around the musicians who also participate in the official concerts and recorded tracks! With Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura, Noriyuki Iwadare and Atlus established as our four themes, we hope to bring 4star Orchestra 2015 to a close on an appropriately gorgeous stage.
(Yoko Shimomura is then listed as a guest MC as well as the composer of Dearly Beloved, Traverse Town and Hand in Hand from Kingdom Hearts, Faraway Dreaming Days ~Siren's song~, Polpota Harbour and more from Legend of Mana, and MEGALOMANIA from Live A Live.)
- May 03 2015 04:11 AM
- by Jake
Yoko Shimomura, the composer of the Kingdom Hearts series has participated in a Gamescom 2015 Q&A to promote the upcoming blockbuster title, Final Fantasy XV. Nova Crystallis was in attendance and tweeted some of her answers. She discusses playing action games, instruments she likes, inspirations and performing more concerts in Europe. You can read them below.
Shimomura says action games are hard for her and clearing KH2 is not easy either
Besides the piano she likes the flute and string Arrangements
She draws inspiration from being on travels or reading mangas and novels
She would love to do more concerts in Europe if SE allows it
- Aug 07 2015 09:16 PM
- by Sora96
During the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - held in Japan on March 10th, 2017, Yoko Shimomura discussed the music played at the event in the Official Concert Guide. You can take a look at her thoughts on the brochures provided by @RedMakuzawa and @jsjunshen.
There is also an interview with her providing information on her inspirations, an image showing the artworks for all three Kingdom Hearts HD collections and how they connect, and some new scans.
We will update the article with higher quality scans once they become available, as well as a proper transcription to read for both Shimomura's thoughts and interview.
- Mar 23 2017 09:12 PM
- by Dengojin
Yoko Shimomura discusses her experience working on the Kingdom Hearts series during the Square Enix Music Presents Composer Talk Show
During the Square Enix Music Presents Composer Talk Show, Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series, discussed her experience working on the Kingdom Hearts series. She was asked a few questions concerning Kingdom Hearts, such as her work on Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. She took the opportunity to listen to a unique version of "Dearly Beloved" during the talk show, and she discussed her work for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] and Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. Other discussions included what it was like to work with certain directors, where Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series was mentioned. Toward the end of the talk show, Yoko Shimomura mentioned some future plans about a Kingdom Hearts presentation, which seems to hint toward the Kingdom Hearts D23 Japan Fan Event that she will be attending.
- Sep 19 2015 10:04 PM
- by Jake
Square Enix Europe's merchandise team recently had the opportunity to interview Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series, along with many other Square Enix and Japanese video games and Kenji Ito, composer of Square Enix's SaGa video game series along with many other Square Enix and Japanese video games. During the interview, Shimomura discusses creating 'Destati', something that could be considered the theme song of the Kingdom Hearts series. You can read both parts of their interview in full below, the part discussing 'Destati' has been bolded.
- Feb 21 2015 05:42 AM
- by Sora96
Yen Press have revealed the cover artwork of Kingdom Hearts: The Novel on their website and on their Facebook page. The novel will take place during the events of the first Kingdom Hearts game and will release in March 2015 officially translated in English. Below is the description and cover artwork of the new novel.
On the Destiny Islands, three children–Sora, Riku, and Kairi–are living out their peaceful, carefree lives while yearning for whatever lies beyond the great ocean. But one night, an unexpected disaster takes place, and the three are torn from each other and their island home. Meanwhile, at Disney Castle, Donald Duck and the other castle residents are in an uproar upon discovering King Mickey has suddenly gone missing. When fate brings them together, Sora, Donald, and Goofy set out on a grand Disney adventure to find their friends.
- Jan 07 2015 07:47 PM
- by AndrewHankinson
Wreck-It Ralph has been revealed to be a summon in Kingdom Hearts III at the Kingdom Hearts III Premiere Event today.
In gameplay videos released by several gaming outlets, gameplay footage was shown that featured Ralph being summoned by Sora in the world of Toy Box.
A full gameplay analysis will be available soon, so keep an eye on KH13.com for all upcoming news from the Premiere Event! Check out screenshots of Ralph in action below.
Are you excited to see Wreck-It Ralph in Kingdom Hearts III? Let us know in the comments below.
For everything on the Premiere Event, check out our coverage here.
- May 18 2018 09:10 AM
- by George Foster
Walkthrough for Castle of Dreams finale in Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ now translated in English
The Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ has reached the ending for Castle of Dreams. With that, Everglow has fully recorded and edited in English translations for the story, which can be seen below. The walkthrough goes from quests 646-660 in-game. Thanks goes to Catherine Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org) for translations.
The story for the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will continue at a later date.
Are you looking forward to playing Castle of Dreams in the English version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ? Let us know in the comments below!
- Feb 21 2017 12:49 PM
- by Jake
Voting for Classic FM's annual Hall of Fame poll has begun - Vote for Kingdom Hearts and Yoko Shimomura
Classic FM is holding their annual Hall of Fame poll where people from all over the world can vote for their favorite classical composers and musical pieces. Among these composers and musical pieces is Yoko Shimomura and her work from the Kingdom Hearts series.
You can cast your vote here. If you wish to vote for Shimomura, simply type "Yoko Shimomura" in the search bar, and click on "Kingdom Hearts". A dialog box will appear confirming your vote has been cast. You have three votes total, so feel free to vote for other favorites as well!
Last year, Kingdom Hearts finished at an impressive 30th place in the top 300 classical works collected that year. Let's help Kingdom Hearts rank even better this year!
- Jan 18 2016 05:11 PM
- by Toominator
Voting for Classic FM’s ‘Hall of Fame’ awards is in progress, and once again features the beloved Kingdom Hearts composer Yoko Shimomura.
Hall of Fame counts votes from people all over the world to rank the top 300 composers based on how many votes they get.
If you want to vote for Yoko Shimomura, simply search for her on the site’s search bar and select “Kingdom Hearts (includes The Other Promise) by Yoko Shimomura”. Yoko also features for her work on Legend of Mana and Final Fantasy XV, which is perfect as users actually get three votes each. Click here to vote!
The new top 300 composers will be announced over Easter Weekend 2018. Voting will close on March 11th at 11:59PM GMT, so make sure to get your vote in fast!
In 2015 and 2016 Kingdom Hearts ranked at #30 and #31 respectively, although it unfortunately slipped in 2017 to #119. Let’s not let that happen again! Vote for Yoko Shimomura before her return in Kingdom Hearts III, and show her how much we appreciate her contribution to the series.
These past few years have been especially busy for Yoko Shimomura with the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra- World Tour-, which has recently had a new tour announced for this 2018 and 2019.
Have you already voted for Yoko Shimomura? If not, who did you vote for? Let us know in the comments below!
UPDATE [Mar 6, 2018]: It seems that there is a problem in the system and only entries with UK postcodes are being accepted at the moment. We believe this is due to the accompanying "Vikings Cruise" competition which is only available to UK residents. We have contacted Classic FM regarding this issue.
- Mar 06 2018 02:48 PM
- by George Foster
In a recent tweet, Axel/Lea voice actor Quinton Flynn claims that he has not begun recording for Kingdom Hearts III. This comes just a few months after other voice actors in the series, namely Jim Cummings (Pete, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh) and Bill Farmer (Goofy), claim they have finished their recording process, or at least some of it. You can view the tweet made by Quinton Flynn below:
Flynn confirms that he is referencing Kingdom Hearts III and not Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in another tweet:
With the information given to us by these voice actors, how far along do you believe Kingdom Hearts III is? Feel free to discuss in the comments!
- Apr 05 2016 10:17 AM
- by Toominator
James Woods confirmed on Twitter that he is working on Kingdom Hearts III! You can view the tweet below.
Previously, the only news we had on voice work for Kingdom Hearts III was the Japanese dub given to us in previous trailers from the 2015 E3 trailer up to the last ones revealed at D23 Expo 2018.
Which other Kingdom Hearts voice actors do you think will be next to reveal their work for the latest installment? Let us know in the comments below!
- Mar 29 2018 11:48 PM
- by NihonScribe
- Mar 15 2014 03:27 PM
- by Sora96
- Sep 05 2012 05:12 PM
- by DChiuch
Utada Hikaru, known for her works in the Kingdom Hearts series such as Hikari and Passion has posted via her website that she is currently working on a new album. Along with the announcement of her new album in the works, she recently just had a new born child. While still having her son, she decided to return into the world of music and began creating her new album. Below you can read a translation by Aru Akise of what she said on her website about this great news below.
I have an announcememnt to all my fans.
I 've given birth to a baby!
He's a very calm boy, and is drinking milk and sleeping a lot.
I want to thank all the people who suppoerted me, visited me, and, once again, my parents.
During pregancy, I was working on a new album. It will take a little while before it is finished, but I am eager to resume work on it to deliver it to all of you as fast as possible.
Please wait a bit more, okay?
July 3rd, 2015.
With this news, we would like to congratulate her on the new born child and take a look back at the amazing work she has done in the Kingdom Hearts series. Congratulations!
- Jul 03 2015 07:19 AM
- by Jake
USgamer interviews Tetsuya Nomura on Kingdom Hearts III development, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gummi Ship system and much more
Tetsuya Nomura, director and creator of the Kingdom Hearts saga, recently got interviewed by USgamer.neton Kingdom Hearts III development, the choosing of Pirates of the Caribbeans as a Kingdom Hearts III world, and the comeback of the Gummi Ship system. Nomura also offered some insights and personal hints on how the relationship between Square Enix and Disney went on in the previous years, just like his recent statements in the last Multiplayer.it interview. The interview is completely available, and you can read it down below:
Kingdom Hearts 3 finally brings the Dark Seeker Saga to a close after more than 15 years. Tell me what it means to you to finally finish this story. Are you happy? Are you a little sad that it's finally coming to an end?
Nomura: Yes. It does come to an end, but I'm not fully swayed to one emotion. I'm not really happy, I'm not really sad. Although I do feel a little sad when I think some characters will probably never appear ever again. Once I think about that, it makes me a little sad. But other than that I'm just more relieved that I was able to tell the full story.
Pixar films feature prominently in Kingdom Hearts 3. I'm curious to know why they get more emphasis here, but not as much emphasis in, for example, Kingdom Hearts 2. Was it because the PS2 wasn't powerful enough to give you the results you wanted?
Nomura: I've always wanted to have a Pixar world within Kingdom Hearts, it's just that Disney has always returned to me and said that it will be difficult to make it happen. I assume that there were some reasons within Disney that did not allow us to do this, but I don't know what they were. But I do think that that situation probably changed this time and that we are allowed to do it. It just so happened that we were able to negotiate with Disney and Pixar to have it in on our title this time.
Seeing Goofy in the Monsters Inc. world, he has a very interesting design. I'm curious what were your intentions were in that regard? Can you tell me a little about that?
Nomura: For Pixar world, the desires that [the Monsters Inc. and Toy Story teams] had for their titles were really strong. We had a lot of guidelines to abide by in terms of how they appear. Comparing the two worlds, Monster's Inc. had more guidelines that we had to follow, and were a little more clear cut in the details. The coloration, for example, or whether a character only had one eye. When we took a look at those guidelines and figured out what we had to do, we felt that Donald should look this way and then Goofy should look this way. We also had a lot of input from the Pixar team that worked on Monsters Inc. We did pretty much follow their guidelines as well as their feedback for those characters.
The Gummi Ship is returning in Kingdom Hearts 3, which I think is interesting. I'm curious why you decided to bring it back? What you think it can add to Kingdom Hearts 3. Is it to tie it more into the previous games?
Nomura: In Kingdom Hearts numbered titles, the Gummi Ship has always been there to travel between the worlds. Gummi Ships are part of the basics of Kingdom Hearts, and as a numbered title in the series, I thought it was necessary to have it in there to complete the package. This is something that [Hironobu Sakaguchi] told me once, which is that Final Fantasy is a title that just has everything in it.
I wanted to bring that to Kingdom Hearts. In Kingdom Hearts there's the shooting game, there's the RPG, there's the adventure game. It has action, command battles, and everything. There's customization with Gummi Ships, and they bring with them the shooter aspect and the travel aspect. It's just a part of Kingdom Hearts. That's why I thought it was necessary to have it in the title.
At the end of one of the Kingdom Hearts trailer, Aqua definitely has Xehanort's eyes. We think that signifies that she was corrupted by the realm of darkness since the events of Birth by Sleep. Could you elaborate on that and can you speak a little bit on what we can expect from Aqua in Kingdom Hearts 3.
Nomura: I do know that she is a popular character among her fans. I'm sure many are shocked to see [her eyes]. People were more shocked than I expected that they would be. I can't really go into much detail about her because I will just spoil everything, but something does happen in Kingdom Hearts 3 that make her seem like how she is right now in the trailer. I think all I can say is that the player is the only one that can save her from him.
I think it's interesting that you brought back Pirates of the Caribbean, especially since it contrasts sharply with the animated characters. Like, you have Johnny Depp, then you have all the other characters. Why did you bring back Pirates, and why did you choose Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 in particular? Is it because that game is end of the trilogy much like this one?
Nomura: For Kingdom Hearts, it's been a while since we released on a console. Now a lot of developers are creating photorealistic games, and I think that's more mainstream nowadays. I wanted to prove Kingdom Hearts is able to do a more realistic game as well. I also was very interested to see how realistic we could get it. That's why I wanted to have some live action film-based world.
I also thought that the matchup between a very photorealistic character and Sora, Donald, and Goofy would be very interesting to see, which is why we decided to have that world. As for why we selected The World's End, it was because of its story line.
The second and the third movie are connected and the second movie doesn't really have an ending because it takes you to the third movie. It didn't really make sense to go with that one because it doesn't really have a clear ending with that film. We decided to go with the third film which had a clear ending. You mentioned skipping the previous generation of consoles. Was it always your intention to finish Kingdom Hearts 2, explore some side stories, look at different things, and then finally return to the final story much further down the line?
Nomura: It's not like I had a specific order in mind. It was more like we released it in order of conception or idea. Also because it took us a long time to prepare for Kingdom Hearts 3. If you can take a look at what we have already revealed, you can tell that it is a pretty crazy title that we have created. We did have to have a lot of prep time for it. That just a bit longer than our other spin-off titles.
Disney has changed tremendously since 2006. Obviously Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, totally different style of animation. How your relationship with Disney and its properties evolved over the past 10 years or so in the context of Kingdom Hearts?
Nomura: I can say that it has actually been increasingly difficult to get approvals from Disney. That's mainly because in the past Kingdom Hearts titles, the creator wasn't around anymore or the team that used to create those titles wasn't there anymore. There was just this one person that we would just have to go to and they would approve it and we'd be fine and good to go. But because we've been featuring recent titles, they still have existing teams for existing creators that are still working in Disney and still working on a certain title.
That feedback process just has been a little bit more difficult than before. And each team would have a different set of rules and guidelines and they would say different things, or they would look at different things. It's just been a little different that how it used to be because Kingdom Hearts is a bigger title than it was before. I think that whenever we would bring our previous titles, a lot of people at Disney, and this is my assumption, but I do assume that they probably didn't know what Kingdom Hearts was. They'd go, "What's Kingdom Hearts? I have no idea." But now that it's become a bigger title, a lot more people have been involved in than before. In that sense the relationship with Disney has changed quite a bit. Emotional changes I don't really know if there has been any changes emotionally for me. But at least physically I can say those were the changes that we had with Disney.
You mentioned that Monsters Inc. had many more guidelines than Toy Story. Was that the one that had perhaps the most guidelines or was there one that had even more?
Nomura: Frozen had the most.
I imagine if you want part of a level to be behind the Monsters Inc. factory, you could ask them what they think that would look like. You could ask them to try and provide some suggestions or fill in some of their vision. Whereas for Aladdin, for instance, that's not possible anymore. Being able to quiz those people. So is that also helpful in some respects?
Nomura: Since you mention Aladdin, I'll just use Aladdin as an example. Since there isn't anyone that we could ask about adding more areas to Aladdin, it was actually easier because we could just create them on our own. But speaking of advantages, because all these films were made in CG, we weren't able to use the character models as is. But we were able to receive a lot of different assets that we could actually base references on them to create, and I think we were able do it a bit easier than we were able to do with our past titles, as well as create something with higher quality because the original title was in CG.
Final Fantasy characters have always been a big part of Kingdom Hearts, but it was always fun to watch them interact with Disney characters in interesting ways and of course it brought together Disney fans and Square fans. But it appears Kingdom Hearts 3 won't be using Final Fantasy. I'm curious to know why you went in that direction? Is it because you wanted to focus on the core cast, because it's their final game?
Nomura: I can't disclose too much about the Final Fantasy characters or whether or not they'll be in Kingdom Hearts 3, because I can only speak to what's been shown. But the reason you haven't been shown any Final Fantasy characters is that there are so many original characters that need to resolve their own problems and issues. And because their issues and problems are very difficult, there just hasn't been that much space to fit Final Fantasy characters so far." When you look back on the first Kingdom Hearts, Sora was still a new character, so we kind of had the Final Fantasy characters as supporting characters. But now that it's been 15 years, the original characters are more polished than they were before, so I don't think think they need the Final Fantasy characters help as much as they did before. [...] Also, when we first released Kingdom Hearts, there weren't that many other titles that brought together the Final Fantasy characters. I actually think that Kingdom Hearts may have been the first to do that. But nowadays, there are an abundance of titles that do that, so I don't see the value of having that kind of feature in the game anymore. But that doesn't mean that I'm saying that there won't be any Final Fantasy characters. Please look forward to future information.
Kingdom Hearts III releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!
What do you think about Nomura's statements on Final Fantasy characters into Kingdom Hearts III? Do you think they will be likely to appear or not? Let us know in the comments!
- Jul 02 2018 04:44 PM
- by Yoshirai
Update 1.02 now available for Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, includes KH2FM damage/gauge 60fps & other defects fix
Square Enix has officially rolled a new update for the Japanese version ofKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. This update, which is 1.02, fixes the damage and gauge problems caused by 60fps in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and has fixed other various defects within the collection.
The update is 235.3 MB big.
You can check out screenshots of the update (in Japanese and English) thanks to @aibo_ac7 and @churroz.
UPDATE: Square Enix has announced that they will be offering a Day One patch for North American and European players for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. It is stated that the patch is to resemble that of which was released in Japan.
- Mar 23 2017 08:55 PM
- by Jake