12 Days of Anime #8: A slightly greater appreciation of music

Earlier this year, we had the AniMusic Tourney. I am ashamed to admit that I did not really take part in it, but that initial collection of songs (nominations) was a godsend.

I am super grateful to ZeroParticle (go praise him on twitter!) for organizing the tournament and exposing me to lots of music I hadn’t heard before.

I want to start this post by making note of my incredible musical ineptitude. You could make me listen to an orchestral rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and I’d ask you if Kanye West was singing or playing the guitar.

That said, I did come to like a few anime songs this year and I wanted to call attention to them. I found a good number of them through the tournament but I discovered many songs through other means and well, I rediscovered quite a few as well.

Haruhi Keyboard

Note: This isn’t a list of my favorite songs nor is it a comprehensive list of any sort. These are just some nice songs that I have in my playlist or I can remember off of the top of my head. There are a lot of other songs (particularly openings and endings from this year) that I haven’t the time nor the energy to hunt down and list here.

Ash Like Snow

-The Brilliant Green

The second Gundam 00 opening is wonderful. I can listen to this song on loop for quite a long time. The first minute or so in particular is lovely. It immediately catches your ear and then weaves a tale with great lyrics and an excellent accompaniment.

I haven’t seen 00, so I don’t know if I’d like the anime or not but I definitely like this song.

Tsuki no Mayu

-Yoko Kanna, Aki Okui

This is the second Turn A Gundam ending. I don’t know if it is the budget, the number of titles or something else, but the Gundam franchise certainly has a lot of good music.

I really like how Tsuki no Mayu first soothes you in and then slowly ups the ante with grander and grander music. Then it slows down, enters an instrumental section before starting up again. It is a nice ride.

Hiru no Tsuki

-Arai Akino

Outlaw Star’s first ending song is a very, very loop friendly song. When I first got into this song, this was pretty much the only thing that was playing. Even now, when I want to listen to music, I often find myself starting with this.

It is a great, smooth, melancholy song. There are no jarring transitions and no rapid changes. There is nothing to detract your attention away.

It is a song that just blends into the background, but enriches it in the process and I love it for that.

Karma

-Kokia

I have actually seen Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom or at least some of it (can’t remember if I watched all of it).

Like many songs I like, Karma is a sad song. It is a strange song and I can’t quite place what it is trying to do. I do like listening to it though. The combination of background vocals and foreground vocals is fantastic.

Hacking to the Gate

-Itou Kanako

This is an old favorite of mine that I guess I rediscovered. It may only have entered the tournament due to the popularity of the anime it opened (Steins;Gate) but I can’t help but love its energy. It is a great song to get hyped up to.

Hikari no Senritsu

-Kalafina

This is an opening for Sora no Woto (an anime I should probably watch). I have one small problem with this song. Remember how I said that I am not normally a big fan of abrupt transitions? Well, this song has one of those transitions.

Around the 2.30 mark, it transitions into an instrumental section. Now, the section itself is perhaps not that bad but it feels out of place because we had a similar pre-transition piece (with a very different post-transition) earlier in the song so you are expecting something very different.

The other problem I have with that instrumental is that it is a section where there is no singing. This is sad because the singing in this song is fantastic. I could listen to the that singing (and the background music) all day long.

Open Your Wings

-Hitomi Kuroishi

Maybe it is because this song is an ending for Last Exile but it feels like this song soars. It goes up and down all the while maintaining a steady course. I can’t help but fly along with it. It is a great song.

Land of Twilight Under the Moon

-See-Saw

.hack//sign is another anime I need to finish someday (I have seen some of the dub). Land of Twilight Under the Moon (mouthful) originates there and it is a great song. It is quite catchy and grand too.

Do You Remember Love

-Mari Ijima

The Macross: Do You remember Love movie is an old, iconic staple anime. Old-Timers rewatch the movie whenever they damn well please and New-Timers are convinced to watch the movie if they haven’t already done so (I need to watch it…).

Back when this song was losing (probably here) in the tournament, someone (I think Shinmaru) said something like “<other_song> is great but Do you Remember Love is iconic”. I’d have to agree with him there. There is something rather special about this song.

It is strange because the song isn’t demanding your attention per say but you will turn your head regardless. It is a song that doesn’t ask to be listened to but you will listen to it regardless. Does that make sense? I don’t really know what I am talking about but I can definitely see why this song is considered iconic. It is definitely a fitting finale to a most beloved movie.

Resuscitated Hope

-Komine Lisa

This song from GoSick is a nice song. It flows well and I like the lyrics a good amount.

“Libera me” from hell

-Tarantula, Yuri Kasahara

This is an old song that I guess I rediscovered. I love Gurren Lagann (always have) and I am pretty sure that this song is a good part of that love. It is a song that makes you want to fight for your dreams and perhaps more importantly, it encourages you to dream big and to always dream.

It might not be the greatest musical achievement but it will always have a special place in my heart.

Tsumetai Heya, Hitori

-Various Artists (I think)

This song is the ending to K. (K as in the anime, K and not the letter K.)

It is my type of song. It has no sudden transitions. It is soothing and yet it still soars at times. This is an incredibly loopable, incredible song.

(p.s. If you are looking for “hype me up” music, look at Number One (Bleach) and Tsuna Awakes (Reborn!) )

Tsunaida Te ni Kisu wo

-Sanae Kobayashi

This song from the D.Grayman OST is so sad and beautiful. Its impact is even greater if you know the context behind this song (if memory serves me correctly, this is the 14 Noah’s song, thus it is somehow linked to the relationship between Allen and his adopted father).

Tsunaida Te ni Kisu wo is beautiful. There is really no better way to describe it in my opinion. If I could play the piano, I’d learn how to play this only to weep when I realize that I don’t know a vocalist good enough to sing this song.

Neguse

-Suzaki Aya

Neguse is the ending to this year’s Tamako Market. I already talked about it (and Black White, which is also fantastic) here.

Neguse is a really sweet, little song. It fills me up with fuzzy feelings.

Let’s Get Spark

-Asumi Kana & Chihara Minori & Mizuhashi Kaori & Nakajima Megumi

This song wasn’t featured in an anime. It is just a side song that happened to be included in the Install x Dream (the Busou Shinki opening) release. Illogicalzen was the one who found this gem and told me about it.

It is such a great find. This song is energetic and bursting with energy. I love it so much.

Far Away Place

-Haruka Kanata

I originally came across this by virtue of a Little Busters Refrain PV/AMV thing. I think it is a song from the original visual novel, but it is probably featured in the Refrain anime as well.

This is an emotional song. It is sad, but not depressingly so. It is a really nice song to nod off to. I am almost temped to watch Refrain because of this song alone.

PostScript

Every time I have done these 12 Days posts, I have used one post (the 8th or 9th one) to post about something a little different. The first time I did this 12 Day thing, I posted about “Retro” anime. The second time, I posted about “blogosphere” adventures.

This time around, it was a post on anime music.

anime_mother

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  1. #1 by Highway on December 25, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    Ahahaha! Let’s Get Spark! is such a great song. It’s totally metal, and then sung by pixies! it’s really surprising how much they EQ’d up all their voices for the Busou Shinki songs, to the point you almost wonder if it’s the same ladies singing.

    Hikari no Senritsu was one of the first anisongs that I really got into, and Sora no Woto was one of the early series I watched, so I probably like both a bit more than most people. Personally, I do recommend Sora no Woto, It’s not amazingly deep, but the setting is nice, the hopeful naivete of Kanata is lovely, and I love the ending.

    I don’t know if I’ve listened to Ash Like Snow, but I have been hearing a lot of the brilliant green and other Tommy Heavenly6 songs lately, due to having to reload my SD card on my phone (no, I hadn’t, but listening to it now). If you like that style, you might enjoy a lot of the Tommy Heavenly6 songs, although they’re a bit heavier (I really like Door Mat and Bloody Knee-High Socks from Heavy Starry Heavenly).

    I try to listen to all the b-sides from anisong singles, to at least give them a try. Some are forgettable, songs you feel like they just stuck on there to fill it out. And others are songs I love to listen to. Brand New Day and Sakurairo dai 2 Button from GRANRODEO are b-sides, and really enjoyable, And then there’s stuff like Vs!! Rival!! from Haganai, which is Maria and Kobato singing an argument and is outright hilarious.

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 26, 2013 - 1:11 am

      I know, eh! Let’s Get Spark is wonderful.

      You should listen to Ash Like Snow and I should listen to other Brilliant Green songs.

      I will try and find Door Mat in a bit but I listened to Monochrome Rainbow and that is pretty good.

      I will have to listen to it a few more times but Heavenly Heavy Starry Chain sounds interesting. My Bloody Knee-high-socks sounds like my kind of song. My initial impressions are very positive.

      I don’t mind heavy songs at all (I used to and to an extent still do listen to a good amount of English Metal).

      I should listen to more b-sides but to be honest, my music library is a big mess and I don’t even listen to much music. I need to sort it out sometime and give everything a proper listen (it doesn’t help that I lost a good amount of music when one of my harddrives died)

      Listening to Vs!! Rival!! makes me wish I knew Japanese. I am acquiring Brand New Day and Sakurairo right now. I will give them a listen. Thanks.

      • #3 by Highway on December 26, 2013 - 1:30 am

        Heh, I’ve been working on learning Japanese for 2 years, and it’s surprising sometimes how much I pick up, even if I’m much better at understanding it by reading (kanji) than listening. Vs. Rivals is really just a continuation of the continuous argument that Kobato and Maria have, over who is better, and who should get Kodaka’s attention.

        I am a big metal fan as well, especially older 80’s metal. And it’s surprising how much of that shows up in anime songs. Just One Life from Samurai Flamenco is a perfect 80’s metal song. And if you like the style of GRANRODEO at all, their non-anime stuff is more metal than that.

  1. 12 Days of Anime #8: A slightly better understanding of my own taste | Toxic Muffin
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