Music. Music is a universal art form whose medium is not only capable of sound and silence, it is also able to portray a connectivity to mixed feelings and emotions. It is one of the things that is highly regarded for making anything visual, highly entertaining.
In many cases, music may just be what a good show needs – turning it into a masterpiece. It is that little extra something which may or may not determine an anime’s worth. To me, shows like Guilty Crown and K-On! are a couple of shows that wouldn’t have received the appreciation they did if not for its music. But aside from your usual anime OPs and EDs, I thought I’d show a little appreciation to some of my favorite anime background music. This includes any song that is used in the show, but not used for the OP or ED in any way(with movies as an exception). And to make things easier, I will only be using one song per series. So lets get started!
#10. Kaoru & Sentaro Duo in BUNKASAI [Kids on the Slope]
This song comes from a fairly new anime from this past Spring 2012, but it was just so good I had to squeeze it in here. Not to mention that the composer of this song happens to be none other than miss Yoko Kanno herself. Just leave it to Yoko to make, possibly, the best anime reconciliation scene ever! sound very cool. If you’ve seen this anime then you already know what I’m talking about, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you do.
#9. The Girl’s Fantasy [Clannad ~After Story~]
Surprise surprise. Oh Clannad. :) I don’t know what it is about Clannad that always has me on the brink of tears, but Clannad is an emotional roller coaster I frequently find myself riding.
#8. Sad Brothers [Saint Seiya]
Say what you want about shounen anime, but there is no doubt that shounen series have one of the saddest, most heart wrenching songs . . . and then there’s Saint Seiya. The epitome of sadness. Now, Saint Seiya isn’t as great as I remember it, but its music has not withered one bit. I can still remember the tears I wept and the feels I had whenever I listened to this song. And although there are a lot of good shounen series out there with their fair share of ominous beats and, well, sad, feely music (Bleach :P) – to me, this song is the most memorable among tragic oh tragic shounen moments in anime.
#7. Sora [Escaflowne]
This song is so good, it became known to me without having even watched the anime! And I just recently found out that this song was composed by Yoko Kanno. Need I say more?
P.S. For you Spanish speakers, the Spanish version is also really good.
#6. Space Lion [Cowboy Bebop]
Another Yoko Kanno masterpiece. Maybe I should have made it a rule to not composer abuse. From Kids on the Slope to Escaflowne, if she’s done the music, it’s guaranteed to be good. But unlike many of her other works, as the great Arkada says, her music from Cowboy Bebop shows you even she can take a sax and make it magical. It is only a plus to take a few drums and vocals and make this song a spacey jungle theme. I love it!
#5. Bios [Guilty Crown]
It was a tough choice between “Bios” and “Bios Delta.” And although I generally prefer slower moving songs like Bios Delta, as opposed to the much intense Bios, I couldn’t let go of the extremity Bios had. Guilty Crown has one of the most amazing soundtracks I have ever heard. Its music is on a whole different level(although, I can’t say the same thing for the anime as a whole). Plus, this song just so happens to play throughout its most memorable and most epic of scenes! Also, did you know that this song is sung in German? :D
#4. Making of a Cyborg [Ghost in the Shell Movie]
If it wasn’t for this song, I don’t think I would have ever finished watching this movie. But I’m glad I did. Ironic how such an emotional song could fit in quite nicely with an anime about machines – something rather emotionless. Kenji Kawai, the composer of the movie, deserves much kudos. The only other anime composed by him that I know of is Higurashi series and man does he know how to put that anime on a whole other level of creepy. Although, now that I think about it, this song brings a certain level of eeriness too. LOVE!
#3. Alchemy [Angel Beats!]
Ah Angel Beats! Not only is this anime based in one of the most unique type settings, its music adds to it being one of the most heartwarming series out there. And although this song is a little more upbeat than the latter feeling aforementioned, it is one of the many insert songs within the Iwasawa episode – a rather heartwarming episode and an Angel Beats! fan(me) favorite. With beats like that, one can easily forgive any plot hole. ;)
#2. Madder Sky [Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch R2]
For those of you who’ve seen Code Geass, which I doubt many of you haven’t, you know of the emotional impact this song delivers. And with it, the many tears. Overall, Code Geass does a pretty good job with its orchestral sounds, putting its whole harmonic to good use. I wouldn’t overlook such a story as this if I were you. If anything, it would be a sin to do so.
#1. Luna [Casshern Sins]
Speaking of sins, my number one spot . . . “Luna” from Casshern Sins. Overall, Casshern Sins has an excellent soundtrack, but I don’t know what it is about this particular song that intrigues me so. I think a lot of it has to do with the atmosphere it gives off – along with its dark and gloomy tunes. Either way, Casshern Sins can be quite the depressing series, but its execution is what makes this anime truly worthwhile.
Well that’s it for my list! I hope you all enjoyed it. Hope you all found something new and interesting to listen to. With that said, I would now love to know about some of your favorites. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Or if you’re up for it, jot down your own list and let it be known to the world. Peace out!
[Inspiration: Glass Reflection – “Top 19 Anime Background Music”] In this article, I paraphrased Arkada a couple of times – the author of GlassReflection.net. Check out his post!