Ootani Kou

Name (Japanese) 大谷幸
Name (Romaji) Ootani Kou
Occupation Composer
Gender Male

Ootani Kou is probably one of the more well recognized composers introduced here in the western world, due to his involvement in “Shadow of Colossus” (PS2 game), and recently Echoes of War, a full orchestral arranged album for Blizzard’s games – Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft.

It’s hard to describe Ootani Kou’s music in a line, as his work ranges from touching harp melodies to epic ambient music, although there is a common element – the extensive use of hammered dulcimer, piano and harp. I wouldn’t say it applies to everything Ootani has created, but some of his best music pieces are tastefully painted with life and soul.



Born to parents who were both modern dancers, Ootani was brought up influenced by their dance and music. After graduating from university, he started his music career as a keyboardist for the group “Dang Gang Brothers Band” (ダンガン・ブラザース・バンド).

He was later involved in composing, arranging and producing music for Southern All Stars (サザンオールスターズ), DREAMS COME TRUE, Inoue Yousui (井上陽水), Kawaguchi Kyougo (河口恭吾), etc. In the next 10 years or so, he had several piano solo concerts held locally and internationally, and eventually became an independent music composer and producer.

He had composed both instrumental and vocal themes in all sorts of areas – movies, TV dramas, anime and games. Some of his famous work included the “Gamera” (ガメラ) series, “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah” (ゴジラ·モスラ・キングギドラ), “Shourou Nagashi” (精霊流し), “Haibane Renmei” (灰羽連盟), “Shadow of Colossus” (ワンダと巨像), etc.

In 2005, he released his first piano solo album Tsuki no Ningyo (月の人魚), as Ootani himself had put it, “it is a soundtrack for a nonexistent movie”. A year later, he formed Makura no Soushi (枕草子), a duo composed of Ootani himself, doing the composition and piano, and Aika (愛華), the vocalist.


This section details some of  Ootani Kou’s albums. Note that this is not a complete discography, it’d be long to list them all and there wouldn’t be much of a point. Each album listed contains a few handpicked sample tracks that I personally adore. Not all albums have their complete tracks listed since some of them are potentially large. An external text file containing the tracklist is provided. Also, the albums are sorted by personal favourites.

Note: Additional “sample” link is included if the stream doesn’t work.

External Links

  • Wikipedia (English)
    Ootani Kou’s English Wikipedia page. Contains discography information, not very complete.
  • Wikipedia (Japanese)
    Ootani Kou’s Japanese Wikipedia page. Contains a brief career history and a more complete discography.
  • Blog (Japanese)
    Blog of Ootani Kou’s band Makura no Soushi (枕草子). News, brief biography, pictures, etc related to the team. Updated frequently.
  • ffshrine (English)
    Massive soundtrack collection for Ootani Kou (direct download). It isn’t complete, but it’s probably the largest single-source site for downloading Ootani’s music. All in MP3 format.


  1. Wow.. Nice soundtrack!!
    By the way, where can I download the song scrip..
    Especially the song that title “main theme” on Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino album..

  2. Not sure what do you mean by song scrip, I am guessing you mean the score? Don’t think the official score is ever released…

    If it’s the album itself, nipponsei has it (https://nipponsei.minglong.org/)

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