The ANA-Shinsei theme music continuum

If you spend enough time in Japan with consumption habits like mine, you will eventually discover that All Nippon Airways and Shinsei Bank have very similar corporate theme songs. This is because both songs were composed and performed by Taro Hakase, a Japanese violinist who sports a generous afro, a skilled bow and a sizable repertoire of corporate contracts.

Here’s the ANA music, “Another Sky,” as presented in their employee tribute video which plays while an ANA flight deplanes. They also play it as hold music on their reservations line and as boarding music on international flights.

And the slightly sadder Shinsei theme song, “Color Your Life,” as performed live by Mr. Hakase. Unlike ANA, Shinsei doesn’t have an opportunity to force-feed this one to every customer, although you can easily get a whiff of it as the hold music on their customer service line. “Color Your Life” is also the company’s retail banking slogan, to tie in with its offering of cash cards in every color.

This is why being on hold with Shinsei gets me in the mood to take a flight somewhere.

One thought on “The ANA-Shinsei theme music continuum”

  1. I would never call that coif an “afro”. It’s a rung or two below Papaya Suzuki and Sib Hashian.

    Beyond that, I am chagrined at how Hakase bastardizes his ability like this. Make no mistake: He is a crackerjack violinist, and musicians of his caliber and creativity can and should break out of the confines of the symphony orchestra.

    Writing adult contemporary type melodies (read: descending baselines with melodies that smack of either “The Prayer”, “You Raised Me Up” or any other Josh Groban hit) for a bank theme song is unfortunate work.

    On the other hand, his break-out during the last 15 seconds was pretty cool, I thought…

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