Yeah, I see you coming already : « Anime ? What does that have to do with music ? And why the fudge is Vinylemag writing about it ? ». Let me tell you : music in anime is the best thing that has been created, after pizza and the ASOIAF saga (this is a totally subjective opinion) ! It literaly controls the way you feel in one moment or the other. For some of you out there, anime is just vague memory of what was on TV after school, for the rest, otakus like me who can be kind of obsessed with this, it is an art, a way of life, a passion. And being the huge fan I am, of course I had to write an article about anime OSTs.
Here it is then : 7 musical reasons to watch anime, or as I call it, 7 ways to start obsessing over fictional characters. This is the list of my top seven anime songs, in no particular order.
1. Super girl from City Hunter :
I think I was eight or nine years old when I started watching City Hunter on the French channel Mangas. As most of Japanimation enthusiasts know, it wasn’t an appropriate show for children. It was full of boobs, guns, blood, fights, a perverted hot dude and everything that would make an anime worth watching. But more importantly, its OST was one of the most beautiful, moving OSTs ever made. It had a touch of that classy 80’s disco, a swing to it that is missing in today’s animes (Ughh, nostalgia). My personal favourite one is Okamura Yasuyuki‘s Super Girl : Just the way he says « Darling » at the beginning makes me want to drop out of school and become a bounty hunter, like Ryo Saeba.
2. For Real from Gensomaden Saiyuki :
Yes, now that I am a grown-up and watching it again, Gensomaden Saiyuki has an extremely gay vibe to it. And I absolutely LOVE it. This anime is the description of the word Bromance at its best. Its OST is also one the most badass ones I’ve ever listened to, not only because it’s very good music (obviously), but also because it captures the soul of the plot : It’s at the same time beautiful, endearing, but also dark and very violent. The story of these four misfits made me cry and cheer (cheer for extreme violence, yes) at a very early age and it will always be one of those beautiful memories that never fade.
3. Kuroi Namida from Nana :
This anime and its OST will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first experience with Josei anime and I never found another one in the genre that could dethrone it. Everything about it is beautiful : The animation, the story, the music. God, the music is breathtaking. Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia (both main singers of the anime’s OST) have the kind of voices you don’t encounter in your everyday life and Tsuchiya’s Kuroi Namida (Black Tears) is the perfect example of what I just said.
4.White Page from Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo :
For those of you out there who call themselves otakus but have never watched this masterpiece, DO IT. Kindaichi Shounen no Kijenbo is everything a horror movies fan wants : It has the Detective Conan vibe, mysteries, police investigations, artsy murders (I can’t believe I just used the word artsy to describe death) and a beautiful OST. The music is hardly the best part of this anime (creepiness is the best part), but it is worth the mini heart attacks you get everytime you witness a brutal murder on the show.
5. Guren no Yumiya from Shingeki No Kyojin :
Everyone, even those who thought that anime was for children and immature adults, heard about the bomb that is Shingeki No Kyojin. Almost everyone who watched it loved it, and some of us became unhealthily obsessed with it (cue to me rewatching all of the episodes in one night while eating chocolate and crying all the tears I have). And no one ever said that its first opening was bad. You just CAN’T. It makes your blood boil in your veins and your heart flutter like a virgin on her wedding night (God, that comparison was nasty).
6. Red Fraction from Black Lagoon :
I guess you got the whole idea right now : I love violent animes, with a lot of action, death, gunfights, a good plot and badass music. So of course Black Lagoon’s opening was going to be on this list. This song fits perfectly this anime’s ambience :It’s dark, entertaining and takes itself pretty seriously. And daaaamn, the women on this show were just great !
7. Stray from Wolf’s Rain :
Wolf’s Rain is one of those animes that you don’t really get, like foreign indie movies or abstract art, but you can’t help but love (or pretend to, we’ve all been an ostentatious douche some day). The music though, is totally understadable and absolutely lovable. The lyrics are in English, sung by the all mighty Steve Conte, they are also meaningful and stay true to the heart of the story.
BONUS POINTS :
Of course I couldn’t write about all anime OSTs that I appreciated, that would be physically impossible. But there are some good openings and endings that didn’t make it to the the list, either because I forgot about them and didn’t remember them until now, or because, well, the truth is I just forgot about them. Here there are :
- Flyers from Death Parade : The groove man. THE GROOOOVE !
- Unravel from Tokyo Ghoul : All the fans will remember the acoustic version of that song at the end of the second season (oh, the feels…)