Hayato Matsuo

Hayato Matsuo (松尾 早人, Matsuo Hayato, born August 13, 1965) is a Japanese music composer and orchestrator who primarily does work in video games and anime. He has worked on titles such as Front Mission 3, Final Fantasy XII, the Shenmue series, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Hellsing Ultimate. Inspired by his mother, a piano teacher, he graduated from the music composition department of Tokyo University of the Arts. While in college, he composed for the band G-Clef, and occasionally stood in for members. Upon graduating in 1991, he went to work under Koichi Sugiyama, composer for the Dragon Quest series, where he arranged his tracks for the 1991 anime Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai.

Hayato Matsuo
松尾 早人
Born (1965-08-13) August 13, 1965 (age 55)
Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan
  • Composer
  • orchestrator
  • pianist
Years active1991–present
Associated actsKoichi Sugiyama

Around the same time Matsuo began to compose original game music, his first being for Master of Monsters. Over the next few years, he worked on several games and anime series. In 1995, he joined the independent music composition group Imagine. He has continued since then to compose and orchestrate works for several game, anime, and television series, as well as a few pieces for original albums.


Early lifeEdit

Matsuo's mother was a piano and electone teacher, and she inspired him to enjoy classical music. She also organized concerts for local children to compose and perform music in, which he took part in. While in school, he was inspired by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Rick Wakeman.[1] He eventually attended Tokyo University of the Arts, where he focused on classical music. While in school, however, he also was involved in more popular music, and was involved with the progressive rock band G-Clef, filling in sometimes for members of the band, many of whom he was friends with.[2] He also provided some music for the band.[3] When he was near graduation, Matsuo was introduced to Koichi Sugiyama, the for the Dragon Quest franchise. Upon graduating, he went to work with Sugiyama.[2]


Matsuo began his career arranging Sugiyama's pieces for Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai in 1991. His first work as a also came in 1991, with the video game Master of Monsters. His first notable work came in 1993 with Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, which he worked on with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata.[2] Since then, he has worked on over 30 other video games, both as a composer and orchestrator.

Beginning in 1994, Matsuo has also written music for anime series. His first was Magic Knight Rayearth, which he considers to be a turning point in his career.[2] In 2003 he composed the soundtrack for the live-action television show Kamen Rider 555, and in the early 1990s he arranged pieces for orchestration for the Orchestral Game Music Concerts. While his early work was done as an entirely freelance , in 1995 Matuso was recruited by Kohei Tanaka to join Imagine.[2] Imagine is an independent music composition and sound effect group for video games, consisting of nine employees.[4] While Matsuo has never released an album of original works himself, he has released numerous original tracks on six albums released on Shinji Hosoe's Troubadour Records label.


All works listed below were solely composed by Matsuo unless otherwise noted.

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Note(s)
1991 Master of Monsters
Mercury: The Prime Master with Taku Iwasaki, Seirou Okamoto and Tsushi Yamaji
1992 Syvalion Super NES version
1993 Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
Classic Road
Sword Maniac with Hitoshi Sakimoto
1993 Super Ice Hockey
World Heroes 2 PC Engine arrangements
1995 Classic Road II
Tengai Makyō: Kabuki Ittou Ryoudan with several others
1996 Master of Monsters: Neo Generation
NiGHTS into Dreams... theme song orchestration
1997 Chou-Mahsin Eiyuuden Wataru: Another Step
1998 Dragon Force II with Kohei Tanaka
Let's Smash
1999 Front Mission 3 with Koji Hayama
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
Shenmue orchestration
2001 Shiren the Wanderer GB2
Shenmue II orchestration
2002 Shiren the Wanderer Side Story: Swordswoman Asuka Arrives!
Panzer Dragoon Orta arrangements
2004 Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special
2005 Homeland
2006 Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable[5]
Dragon Quest: Shōnen Yangus to Fushigi no Dungeon arrangements
Final Fantasy XII with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer arrangements
2007 Itadaki Street DS
Dragon Quest IV DS arrangements
2008 Dragon Quest V
Shiren the Wanderer
2010 Dragon Quest VI DS arrangements
Shiren the Wanderer 4
Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate
GO Series: Pinball Attack!
Arrow of Laputa
2011 El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron arrangements
2012 Dragon Quest X programming

Anime worksEdit

Year Title Role(s)
1991 Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai arrangements with Motoaki Takenouchi
1994 Magic Knight Rayearth
1995 Saint Tail
The Brave of Gold Goldran
Magic Knight Rayearth 2
1996 Landlock
1997 Haunted Junction
1999 Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation
2001 Spirit of Wonder Scientific Boys Club
2002 Transformers: Armada
2005 Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor
2006 Hellsing Ultimate
Yomigaeru Sora - Rescue Wings
2007 Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette
2010 The World God Only Knows
2011 The World God Only Knows II
2012 Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called!: Me and the Space Princess with Keiji Inai, Toshiyuki Arakawa and Akifumi Tada
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
2013 The World God Only Knows: Goddesses
A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion arrangements with Kenji Inai and Yasunori Iwasaki
2014 Shirobako synthesizer programming
2016 Endride with Kohei Tanaka and Hiroshi Nakamura
Drifters with Yasushi Ishii
2018 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me arrangements with several others
Captain Tsubasa
Hi Score Girl arrangements with several others
2021 Heaven's Design Team

Television worksEdit

Year Title Role(s)
2003 Kamen Rider 555


  1. ^ Matsuo, Hayato (2005-02-09). 今月の作家 (in Japanese). Japan s & Arrangers Association. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e Greening, Chris (2010-01-03). "Hayato Matsuo Interview: Dark Orchestral Writing". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  3. ^ "Creators:imagine|株式会社イマジン" (in Japanese). Imagine. Archived from the original on 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  4. ^ "Company:imagine|株式会社イマジン" (in Japanese). Imagine. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  5. ^ Greening, Chris. "Interview with Hayato Matsuo (January 2010)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 14 May 2018.

External linksEdit