As the sun shone brightly over Boston, a feeling of melancholy could be felt throughout the Hynes Convention Center. It was Sunday, and folks were making their peace with the fact that another amazing weekend was coming to an end, only to give way to the cruel reality of the work week.

Still, though, hope remained. As the clock struck noon, hundreds began to stream into the Main Events hall for a final time. Kaoru Wada and composer Jeff Williams joined forces to present a symphonic concert like no other. The two brought together an orchestra, composed of artists from Boston and New York, who would perform a series of arrangements from Wada’s career.

The performance began with a stirring rendition of Inuyasha’s Inuyasha Youkontan. As the selection came to an end, the musicians immediately dove into the main theme to Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas. Through both pieces, the audience sat, enraptured by the powerful pieces that were being performed before them. Memories of raw emotional moments, carried forth in stirring strings and percussive beats.

After the first set, Wada stepped out to greet the crowd, and to introduce the next set. This would become a regular pattern for the day, as Wada became the storyteller, setting the stage for each set of selections.

The next set would take viewers to the courtroom, as the orchestra played through the three major instrumental themes from Kindaichi Case Files and Kindaichi Case Files R (The File of Young Kindaichi Returns). The thrill of mysteries past, carried itself through the discordant back-melodies, which were underscored by swelling strings.

The scene quickly shifted to far more exotic locales, as the orchestra kicked into Samurai 7’s Samurai Sagashi. The mix of traditional Japanese and western instruments rocked the room, the crowd quickly getting into the energy of the melody. It almost seemed as if the piece had just begun, before the final beats rang out, bringing a moment of silence followed by cheers.

Wada took the stage once again, to applause from the room. The composer introduced the next pieces, taking a moment to explain that he had prepared the upcoming medley especially for the convention.

As he took his leave, the powerful, brassy horns and trilling flutes of the d.Gray-Man theme began to kick up. The room sat, enraptured, as the powerful backing melody and growing urgency of xylophones and flutes created a beautiful, yet haunting dirge that filled the room. The piece bubbled across two other melodies, bringing this sense of dread and suspense through, as the horns swelled and the percussion section underscored every note with powerful, booming hits. A brief pause could be felt as the crowd cried out in joy, before the power and despair pulled back and a delicate flute and string melody took focus. In its final movement, the medley returned to the main theme, bringing in the elements of the previous sections for a truly brilliant finish.

As the melody came to an end, a new pair of musicians took the stage: an electric bassist and a drummer, who seated himself behind a standard kit. Suddenly, things got far less… dire. A poppy, playful piece kicked up, as images of a certain spiky-haired attorney began to dance in folks’ heads. The main theme to the Ace Attorney anime served as a delightful contrast to the previous work, offering a playful levity that seemed to ease the tension in the room.

Suddenly, I had a craving for hamburgers, Apollo… wait, what am I saying?

Wada stepped onstage for the last time, thanking the audience for attending, before introducing the final two pieces. Much like the concert had begun, it would also end on Inuyasha.

The orchestra began their final act with Affections Touching Across Time II, which opened with a somber flute melody, and slowly began to pull in strings and woodwinds as the piece built up to an understated, melancholy arrangement, leaving more than a few teary eyes in the room.

The piece was punctuated by raucous applause and cheers from the audience, before the orchestra dove into Inuyasha Fantasy, a stirring piece, heavy on the brass section. The room swelled with excitement as the almost militaristic urgency of the piece kicked up. A percussive string section underscored the intricate melodies of the horns, which played off one another before the band broke into an powerful interplay between the sections, as the familiar melody gained new life before the countless folks who filled the room. The piece was equal parts exciting and somber, embodying the pensive atmosphere of the Hynes.

As the final beats played, though, it was clear that music had chased away the sadness for those in attendance. As Wada took the stage one last time, the crowd erupted in a standard ovation, cheers wailing throughout.

As the audience made their way to the great double doors back to the main convention, one could only see the smiles. Wada’s magnificent melodies, and the orchestra’s brilliant performance had chased away the sadness that seemed to linger in the back of everybody’s mind… even if it was only for a little while.

Set List:

  • Inuyasha: Inuyasha Youkontan
  • Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas: Main Theme
  • Interlude (Kaoru Wada)
  • Kindaichi Case Files: Main Theme (Ballade)
  • Kindaichi Case Files: Main Theme (Allegro)
  • The File of Young Kindaichi Returns: Main Theme (Ballade)
  • Samurai 7: Samurai Sagashi
  • Interlude (Kaoru Wada)
  • d.Gray-Man: d.Gray-Man Anime Boston Medley
  • Ace Attorney: Main Theme
  • Interlude (Kaoru Wada)
  • Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time II (Orchestral Arrangement)
  • Inuyasha: Inuyasha Fantasy


All image credits to Samantha Ferreira, Anime Herald