Written by: Tanya Peacock & Andrew Monkelban
As time passes, we’re getting a bigger mixture of media. One such example is that anime is getting high quality music for it as opening or ending themes, insert songs, or what have you. Having watched a lot of anime, Tanya and I have come across a number of great songs, as well as some meh ones. Here are our Top Fifteen Songs in Recent and Not So Recent Anime. It should be noted that narrowing this list down to 15 was difficult, because there are so many choices to choose from.
15. Don’t say “lazy” – Sakurako K-ON bu (K-ON!)
Sometimes I marvel at how the animated groups in different anime always seem to just take over the entire series. In the case of K-ON (ANN link), the whole story is ABOUT the band and how they try to go from school band to a real band. This particular song, seems to stand out among the rest in the series. It’s catchy rock style makes it hard not to sing along.
14. Yubiwa – Sakamoto Maaya (Escaflowne The Movie)
With a haunting melody that will make you remember it, this particular song also reminds me of something you’d hear during the end credits of a Disney animated feature. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Many Disney songs are epic in and of their own rights. However, for Yubiwa hits it home as Sakamoto Maaya and the composer come together to perform just one of many many audiotastic offerings. I highly suggest that anyone check out anything that Sakamoto Maaya and Kanno Yoko has ever done together. You will definitely not be left wanting.
13. Ash Like Snow – the brilliant green (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
I have no idea where to even begin for this song. It’s one of the many amazing offerings done by pop/rock group the brilliant green. This song is special for many more reasons as it was the third single release of the group after they came off of their hiatus. This such a great rock song with stunning vocals and a guitar riff that seems to make you feel the music, its sure to leave an impression with you.
12. Period – Chemistry (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Okay let’s put aside the fact that Chemistry is going to be at Otakon this year. (My girlfriend is extremely excited for this fact alone.) That is not why Period is such an epic song. Period has that power to it that just makes you feel what an epic song it is. But don’t take my word for it, go youtube this song and find out for yourself. Also take a moment to find the collaboration between Japanese music star Crystal Kay and the group called “After Love -first boyfriend-“. If it were in an anime, it would be on this list – hands down.
11. Rolling star – YUI (Bleach)
This. YUI is an amazing artist. And before this song’s release, she didn’t do anything of this sort. All of her songs were of an acoustic nature that fit really well with her almost robotic sounding voice. This song bridged a gap that YUI had in her catalogue and helped propel the rising music star from popular to very popular. This is YUI’s first foray into using an electric guitar and you can’t even tell. She knocks it out of the park with a song that just knocks it out of the park.
10. God knows… – ENOZ feat. Hirano Aya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Insert Song)
I will admit right here and now. I’ve never watched the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. No, I don’t know why. And for this song, nor do I really care to know why. I found this song when someone had sent me the link to it via youtube. And like love at first sight, I was hooked. I couldn’t believe that the animators had done such a great job animating the girls as they sang the song. And equally so, I couldn’t believe that the song itself was so amazing.
9. Hitohira no Hanabira – Stereopony (Bleach)
Stereopony is an all-girl rock band and this is the song that really made them break out. Yes it’s from Bleach. So what? The series has some kickass music, even if the show makes you die a little inside every time you even see a picture of the show somewhere online. This particular offering really makes you want to jam out. Go on, I know you wanna. Go on and headbang to your heart’s content.
8. Rain – SID (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
It must be the haunting melodies that really tug at me. This offering has just that same haunting melody that’s combined with a rock undertone to create one of the most memorable songs there is. And definitely not in the Disney way. The vocalists shine with the power and professionalism that is seen is so many Japanese artists. Sometimes, I wonder where this quality has gone in the American music industry.
7. 19sai – Suga Shikao (xxxHOLiC)
If it weren’t for the fact that xxxHOLiC had this song as its opening I likely would never have even gotten into Suga Shikao. This was an entry for me that has stayed for me through most of his career since this song. And I always keep coming back to it. Nevermind, the fact that the video for this song should not be shown on American TV. (Ah, Japan…) In fact, the video for this song really had my friends and I talking for
a few days. (Go on. I know you’re going to Youtube it.)
6. Aozora no Namida – Takahashi Hitomi (Blood+)
The first time I heard this song in its entirety was when I was watching Blood+ (CANNOT WAIT FOR THE REMAKE BY CLAMP) I about nearly fell out of my chair, if that were possible. Takahashi Hitomi had this as her debut single and did so amazingly well with it. A well produced hard pop song that makes you think twice at times.
5. Fukai Mori – Do As Infinity (Inuyasha)
This was probably the first JPop song that I heard in an anime. And it remains one of my favorites, even though sometimes it feels as though I’ve overplayed it. What is not to like about a familiar melody and a vocalist who just hits it home with almost everything she touches? (No, we’re not going to talk about her solo career here.)
4. COLORS – FLOW (Code Geass)
Raise your hand if you want to rule the world! That’s exactly what the opening to Code Geass made you think was going to happen when this song was played along with the opening animation. (I know I know he about nearly DID rule the world!) Every time I hear this song I cannot help but to replay the opening credits of Code Geass in my head. And that is exactly what an opening theme song should do. Never mind that FLOW is a well pronounced Japanese rock band with quite a number of best sellers under their belts.
3. synchronicity – Makino Yui (Tsubasa TOKYO REVELATIONS)
The reason this song is here? Kajiura Yuki. Everything that Kajiura Yuki touches is gold. She even managed to turn Makino Yui and her squeaky low voice and turn it into this amazing offering that just makes you sit there with your mouth hanging open. And with that I’m through with this song. I’m scared that if I say too much more, I’ll tarnish it.
2. chAngE – miwa (Bleach)
Oh, this. This song fits right along the same vein as YUI’s Rolling star. Another acoustic artist that goes from the acoustic to the electric and nails it. That’s why the A and the E are capitalized in the song title. In fact this is the best offering from miwa that we have yet and it shines.
1. Alchemy – Girls Dead Monster (Angel Beats! Insert Song)
Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a thing for animated bands. Did anyone watch Angel Beats? This song wasn’t the opening or the closing (though those are both really good songs), but made the series shine with its debut of its distraction music group. And it continues to be one of the best songs out there now. Shame its just an insert song and just a fictional band. I’d love to hear more than just the Keep The Beats album.