Oh look! A post about anime. Taka here! Yes I have risen from the depths to once again place a post upon Digitalboy’s humble little blog about Ponies.
Gasp! The light of the viewer’s gaze chars my flesh. I shall be with you but a moment.
In case you have been under a rock…blah blah blah…etc. Anime Intstrumentality is hosting an Anime Music Tourney. The nominations process is over by tomorrow so I submitted mine last minute this morning. Let me tell you, picking 15 songs was hard. I stripped my list of anything I thought was a guaranteed for a nomination (most modern anime music and Cruel Angel’s Thesis/Tank/Higurashi) or if I did I put them low. Mostly I stuck to some older songs I enjoy. So without further ado the list!
# 15 Aim for the Top 2! – Groovin’ Magic – Round Table feat: Nino
Ultimately for me it comes down to this or “Let me be with you” from Chobits when considering the inclusion of a Round Table song. My hope is that some other people have nommed the Chobits theme. I like Groovin’ Magic more musically but I like “LMBWY” as a complete opener with visuals and music.
#14 Code Geass R2 – Continued Story – Hitomi Kuroishi
Low because I feel it will get nommed anyway. Seriously, with all the crazy stuff that happens in R2, I can almost forgive the trainwrecks thanks to the scene that this song is featured in. You know the one. Other than that it has a nice “end of an epic” feel to it that is amazingly fitting for the conclusion of the CG saga.
#13 Gantz – Super Shooter – RIP SLYME
I don’t think this one will make it into the competition but where would we be without Japanese rap groups. That being said it’s a pretty fun song that I like to bob along to and pretend I’m bustin’ a move on the mic.
#12 Elfen Lied – Lilium – Konishi Kayo
I have a thing for haunting OP/ED/IN and Lilium is no exception. It perfectly conveys the tone of the series in its most basic form. Elfen Lied is not a happy anime. It might make you hate yourself.
#11 Shin Mazinger Shougeki Z hen – Kanjite Knight – Ultimate Lazy for Mazinger
Are you fucking kidding me? OMAE ETO NARA KANJITE KNIGHTO! ROCK MEEEEE!!!! One of the greatest rock collabs in anime history.
#10 Rosario+Vampire Capu2 – DIscotheque – Mizuki Nana
This song has one of my favorite opening buildups. There is a ton of energy put in from the brass and disco guitar even before Nana starts singing. It’s like you think there is no way that she can match the energy…and then she does, because she is fucking Nana. This is probably my favorite Nana song because of the style and energy.
#9 Cross Game – Koi Kogarete Mita Yume
All my tears. Just…just leave me alone for a minute…..WHYYYYYY WAKABA!?
#8 Serial Experiments Lain – Duvet – Boa
Continuing the tradition of OPs that make you ever so slightly uncomfortable.
Your God lives in the Wired.
#7 N.H.K. ni Youkoso! – Youkoso! Hitori Bocchi – Pearl Kyoudai
Ah here is a nice depressing insert song. The title translates to “Welcome to Loneliness” and the anime is about a dude with issues. It is also really darkly humorous. However Hitori Bocchi punctuates the scenes of the anime that emphasize the humanity, loneliness, and blossoming, struggling love between the main characters. I also love the “knock, knock, knock” part, so sue me.
#6 Nodame Cantabile: Paris – Tokyo et Paris – Emiri Miyamoto x Solita
Full disclosure: Nodame Cantabile as a series is my second favorite ever. I love just about everything about it so I had to shove one of my favorite themes into my list. I actually like “Sagittarius” by SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH ever so slightly better but I think Tokyo et Paris is the more notable song in that it’s a collab between a French singer and a Japanese violinist built upon the back of a classical song; Ravel’s Bolero, in fine Nodame tradition.
#5 Shakugan no Shana – Yoake Umare Kuru Shoujo – Takahashi Youko
I have always called this song the female counterpart to Cruel Angel’s Thesis. While CAT contains lyrics such as “shounen yo shinwa ni nare” (young boy, become a legend). This Shana theme, meanwhile contains lyrics such as “YOU ARE YOU shoujo yo ima koso/
furihodoki tachiagare” (You are you, young lady; indeed now
Untangle yourself and stand up!!). Not to mention that they begin with roughly the same a capella motif that later becomes the chorus and are written/sung by the same person…
#4 Legend of Galactic Heroes – Hikari Hashi o Koete – Ogura Kei
If I need to explain this one…sigh. This song is about the journey and sorrow of a never ending war. It’s about not letting your dreams die. It’s about revealing yourself at your most vulnerable, stripping yourself down to your barest essence…and continuing on. The song is sung with such nobility and passion that perfectly embodies the epic space opera that is Legend of Galactic Heroes.
#3 Aria the Origination – Kin no Nami Sen no Nami – Arai Akino
I had to include a Arai Akino song. Her voice is so tender and kind. I figured there is a good chance of Voices and the two from Outlaw Star garnering a nom so it was between this and “Mitsu no Yoake” from Spice and Wolf 2. For me Kin no Nami presents the perfect “dawn of the new day” song (despite the former translating to “Honeyed Dawn”) it continues to build into a grand march into the new day. If Mitsu no Yoake is about the quiet moments just before dawn, Kin no Nami is about the burst of life accompanying the sun as it peaks over the edge of the horizon.
#2 Fruits Basket – For Fruits Basket – Ritsuko Okazaki
All my anime tears went to Cross Game but all my real tears go here. I never have watched Fruits Basket, I’m not even entirely sure how I stumbled upon this song. All I know is that when I heard it I knew I had to hear more from this singer/composer. This was probably around 2007 and the first post I stumbled on was one of J1m0ne’s from her old blog which contained basically a short obituary to Okazaki. I was crushed. It was probably the first time that I was sad that I wouldn’t get to hear anymore of an artists music. I wouldn’t hear the calm, quiet, tenderness and vulnerability of her voice. Nor would I experience the airy lightness of her love stories written out in melody. For fruits basket will always bring a tear to my eye for what could have been.
#1 Berserk – Forces – Hirasawa Susumu
Let’s start by noting that there is a “10 hours of Forces” video on youtube. I had to have a piece from the great Hirasawa Susumu on this list. His unconventional style always makes me sit up and take notice. No other anime artist has continued to surprise me with new and interesting music like Hirasawa. My second place choices was Meditational Field/The Girl in Byakkoya since Paprika is my absolute favorite opening sequence of anything pretty much ever. Ultimately I went with the older and more bombastic, Forces. Exploding out of the gate, the drums pound and the synths scream and Hirasawa’s voice raises in a triumphant crescendo as he calls upon the unfading voices of the ages to proclaim their power. The energy on display with Forces is unlike any other song I know.
Well that’s my list. Hope you all enjoyed this and maybe discovered some new music that you hadn’t known about before. Now I return to the obscurity from whence I came.