MPO’s Symphonic Anime at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas

Last weekend, the MPO was back to perform not one, but four anime concerts! It was proven that anime fans are not just lovers of the art and story of anime, but are equally lovers of the music of anime. The Symphonic Anime was originally planned for 1 night concert but due to popular demand, it turned into four sold out concerts from 26 Aug to 28 Aug with a full capacity of over 3,600 people (920 people per concerts).

Helmed by Resident Conductor Naohisa Furusawa, the MPO performed a series of favourite anime songs over the two hour concert. Born in Tokyo in 1973, Furusawa added to the background of every piece played with his personal stories and memories of each anime.
He even ‘cosplayed’ when he donned an Ultraman Tshirt and changed into Dragonball’s shirt when leading the specific songs.
Many guests took the opportunity to come in their favourite anime costumes as well, which added to the whole atmosphere in celebration of music of anime. When it comes to the famous scores from anime, Joe Hisaishi must be mentioned, as he is renowned as the composer of over one hundred film scores.
Over half the performance was from Hisaishi’s composition, namely Princess Mononoke: Legend of Ashitaka, Gake No Ue No Ponyo, Kimi Wo Nosete From Laputa, Kiki’s Delivery Service and an entire 28 minutes of Spirited Away’s Suite. They say, music makes movies iconic, and certainly it cannot be denied. How can anyone forget Hisaishi’s music in all of these Hayao Miyazaki’s animations. I might have watched many of these anime centuries ago, yet when the music was played at the MPO, the scenes of the anime immediately appeared in my memory. Did you have the same experience?
The concert started off with Grave of the Fireflies: Setsuko & Saita, the main title of the anime and believe it or not, it had been nearly 35 years since this anime was made and the score composed by Michio Mamiya. After a series of Hisaishi’s scores and coming back from the intermission, the tempo started to pick up with music from Ultraseven Symphonic Poem, Ultra Hawk Launch and Ultra Seven Appears. It was really a trip down memory lane as I had grown up watching these Ultra series, and then came the question, are the Ultra series even anime? Conductor Furusawa was well prepared with the reason why this piece was included, and it was non other than that he was a fan of Ultraseven!
After the fast paced military theme from Ultraseven, we were transported back in time to the oldest Studio Ghibli production, Kimi Wo Nosete from Laputa or Castle in the Sky’s ending theme.
The next piece was a beautiful piano centred score from Kiki’s Delivery Service, I always love it when the MPO bring’s in the piano. We continued to be amazed and entertained with scores from well known newer animes from the 90s such as Yuji Nomi’s Whisper of the Heart: On a Hilly Town and the ever popular Kōhei Tanaka’s One Piece: To the Grand Line & I’m becoming the Pirate King. It definitely felt like the concert was drawing to a close with Naruto Shippuden: Departure To The Front Lines by Yasuharu Takanashi as we entered anime from 2000s and the music reached an even stronger climax.
The MPO went all out with the last piece, Attack on Titan: Guren No Yumiya by Revo with added colorful lights and participation from the audience. I wish I can show you how exciting the atmosphere was at that time that made me want to jump up and dance, I guess you can only experience it by coming to one of the shows yourself.
All hyped up, the audience did not have enough as they shouted encore and Furusawa decided to give a treat with Dragon Balls theme and a repeat of Attack on Titan to the delight of the crowd.
As if the crowd was not excited enough, Furusawa also pointed out that Hakken the famous cosplayer was with us, seated in the balcony. It definitely seals the point that you can’t love anime without loving the music that makes it iconic! Hakken fans, here’s a video just for you.

For more of the MPO:
Box Office Hours
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10:30 am – 6:30 pm, 9:00 pm on performance nights
Sundays: 12:00 noon to performance time (closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays unless if there is a concertscheduled)

Telephone Bookings: 03-23317007
Email Bookings: MPO website:

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YouTube: MPO TV
Spotify: MPO
TikTok: @malaysianphilharmonic

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