Music makes the world go round

New season, new anime – and also new RC Patreon commissions! That’s right, we’re back at it, this time for our amazing subscriber Nicc, and the topic of choice is our favourite anime OPs, EDs, and OSTs. Unlike our earlier top three anime Patreon post this one wound up be being hard for a few of us, because hey, nothing says challenging like picking music. Very challenging indeed. Also as a reminder, if you’d like to get us writing about something like this, consider becoming a Random Curiosity Patreon supporter!

Princess Usagi

Contrary to what most fantasy series would have you think, an S rank quest isn’t finding treasure, rescuing a princess (I can rescue myself just fine, thank you very much), or defeating the final boss. In my opinion, it is choosing a favorite anime OP, ED, and soundtrack. In all honesty, I can’t choose just one, so what I have listed is just one of many favorites.

OP: JUST COMMUNICATION by TWO-MIX, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

This is one of those songs I love to jam out and dance to with the peppy, catchy tune. This song is also near and dear to my heart because of the nostalgia factor. I grew up with my dad and younger brother watching Gundam Wing, and while I didn’t pay attention to the story itself, I was particularly drawn to this OP (as well as the ED, “It’s Just Love!”). When I watched Gundam Wing a few years ago after getting into anime as an adult, as soon as the opening bars of JUST COMMUNICATION played, the memories hit like a ton of bricks. Memories of sitting glued to the screen as a small child, fascinated by the gorgeously animated robot fights and smoking ruins paired with a song unlike anything I had heard or seen before. To this day when I listen to it, I feel lighthearted, getting in touch with the little girl of long ago. While JUST COMMUNICATION ultimately won out because of nostalgia, I was also torn between the Kaen from Dororo, Usurahi Shinjuu from Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, and Here from .

JUST COMMUNICATION ▼

ED: Otome no Policy by Ishida Yoko, Sailor Moon R

This category was actually pretty easy for me because of how inspirational this song has been to me. Around the time I encountered this song in Sailor Moon R, I was revisiting the Japanese I had studied in way back in high school. Naturally, I took to looking up the words, translating and memorizing the song as practice. The more I learned the song, the more the lyrics about keeping your chin up and doing your best no matter the difficult circumstances resonated with me, especially at a time when I was going through the hell of grad school. It encouraged me to remain cheerful and continue working hard pursuing my dreams in the face of challenges, that what mattered was not everything going smoothly, but the attitude I carried. I would sing along to the song on my way to school every day to help energize me. To this day, when I get discouraged from time to time, this song still lifts my spirits.

Otome no Policy ▼

OST- Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE

The contenders in the ring for this bout were Made in Abyss, Spy x Family, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Yofukashi no Uta, and Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE. The at times dramatic, at other times melodically wistful soundtrack of Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE set the tone of the series for me, drew me into the action and the tragedy. Kajiura Yuki’s beautiful composition acutely conveys Syaoran’s desperation to save Sakura and the emotional pain of his sacrifice. I love to bask in heart-achingly beautiful music and this soundtrack has it in spades.

Zaiden

OP – Silhouette by Kana-Boon, Naruto

Silhouette is a certified classic. And not just because of Filthy Frank, believe it! Optimistic with rising spirits and melodic harmonies, it coincided with arguably the most climactic arc in Naruto, and the animation sequence reflects on the culmination of Naruto’s journey as a character

Silhouette ▼

ED – Kimi ga Sora Datta by Aki Misato, Mai-Hime

Kimi ga Sora Datta is an emotional love song that evokes these nostalgic feelings for bygone days. When I hear it, I feel echoes of the bygone Golden Age of Anime, where stories came from the heart and animation from the soul, unblemished by the mechanical rigidity of modern CGI techniques.

Kimi ga Sora Datta ▼

OST – Little Busters!

Little Busters is an OST that seems lively and playful at first. But when you scratch past the surface, there’s tension belying this unsettling feeling about the ‘truth of the world’. Inevitably you come to realise there’s a lot of emotive depth and psychological trauma deep down there, as expected from one of Jun Maeda’s works.

Gabie

OP – One Day by The Rootless, One Piece

Cut back to the end of 2020, it’s the middle of the pandemic, businesses are closed, everyone’s online, I’m going through an intensive introspective period in my life, and I’ve decided to binge-watch One Piece. There were days that I’d sit in front of the television for seven to eight hours. For three whole months I did not read, watch or listen to anything else. Out of all OP openings there were a few I listened more than once, and One Day by The Rootless was one that made its way into my Spotify playlist. It’s also the opening, in my opinion, for the best arc we’ve seen so far: Marineford. Not only is the musical arrangement in this song beautiful, but Nobata Makoto’s talents as a vocalist are exceptional and were perfect for conveying the sentiment and weight of this arc. Marineford was Luffy’s coming of age, it’s the biggest emotional violence he goes through, a trauma that shapes him into the man who will become the Pirate King. “Every time I look at the sky after the rain I think of the past when I was only a crybaby, I was frantically going after someone’s back and saying ‘I wanna become stronger’ (…) like an island that floats in the sunset, I’m looking for the tomorrow I cannot see, yet while I falter, even if I’m afraid (…) the words of giving up are coming out, but there’s only one goal I can’t give up on. The overcoming of the happiness and the sorrow will go on little by little.”

One Day ▼

ED – Shout Baby by Ryokuoushoku Shakai, My Hero Academia

I was quite late for the Heroaca bandwagon. And the reason I joined wasn’t even because the voices of the internet (or someone) finally threw pertinent arguments my way. Not at all. I’m subscribed to a YouTube channel called The First Take which has a simple enough concept: one song, one take––and it recommended me (Shout Baby.
I clicked out of curiosity because I thought the lead singer, Nagaya Haruko, was cute. But I left blown away by the melody, vocals, arrangement and lyrics. In the description I found out the song was the ED to My Hero Academia, a show I’d sort of been aware of. So I went to watch the actual ED and found that it featured photos of the main characters with their parents, and that got my attention. Because parental and familial relationship dynamics are not usually a point of focus in Shōnen anime and manga. The song and visuals also do a beautiful job to illustrate Izuku’s journey and his relationship with Katsuki. Just read the translation, “(…) These feelings of mine will never reach him. How much longer should I go on with this? I have no idea, I merely keep holding on this admiration that sets my heart aflame, like it erases my everyday worries, it won’t disappear, I want to change.” Gosh fans herself. It’s their hymn. There was a period of a few months that if you ever crossed scooters with me in Bali you’d hear my awful singing of Shout Baby or One Day.

Shout Baby ▼

OST – Cowboy Bebop

My favorite uncle is also one of the most eccentric people I know. He’s an architect and product designer. He and my aunt are also contemporary art collectors, theater people, horror and European films aficionados, heck, the door to their home used to be a bunch of realistically sculpted boobs––you get the gist. Back in the age of Walkman and Discman, I would go to my uncle’s once a week to watch his Pink Panther VHSs, and he’d select 1-3 albums for me to listen to and exchange the following week. He’d give me small briefings about what he liked about them, but would ask my impressions upon our next meeting; he was the one who introduced me to jazz. Davies, Marsallis, Ellington, Brubeck, Waits, Monk, Armstrong, these were some of the names I grew up listening to. On the possibility of sounding extremely pretentious, I have to say: there are few anime soundtracks that truly impress me. It’s easy enough for me to like some songs and tracks because I create an emotional connection with them due to my attachment to the story/characters/themes. It’s harder for me to be blown away by musicality itself. But such was the case of Yoko Kanno’s Cowboy Bebop. To borrow Murakami’s words from “Absolutely on Music Conversations with Seiji Ozawa”: “I have been a fervent jazz fan for close to half a century, but I have also been listening to classical music with no less enjoyment, collecting classical records since I was in high school, and going to concerts as often as time would permit. (…) Listening to jazz and the classics has always been both an effective stimulus and a source of peace to my heart and mind. (…) As Duke Ellington once said, “There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind.” In that sense, jazz and classical music are fundamentally the same. The pure joy one experiences listening to “good” music transcends questions of genre.”

Princess Tutu’s soundtrack came to a close first, but I wanted to give the podium to an original score (so I rank PT OST as my 1.5), in second place is, of course, Samurai Champloo by Nujabes.

Guardian Enzo

As soon as I saw this one came across the chat from Pankeeki I cussed, because I instinctively knew it would be stupidly difficult. And it was. I can only preface this by saying if you ask me tomorrow I’d probably give you three different answers. This is a snapshot, not a monument.

Also, interestingly, it seems I tend to like EDs better than OPs…

OP – Cruel Angel’s Thesis, Neon Genesis Evangelion

I chose this out of a pool that could have included FLCL, Uchouten Kazoku S1, Hunter X Hunter 2011, Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus, and Major S1 among others. Somehow this one feels like the soundtrack to my becoming an anime fan. Library borrows on VHS, Baby.

Cruel Angels Thesis ▼

ED – It’s Gonna Rain, Rurouni Kenshin

Even more stupid good choices here. FLCL (again), Seirei no Moribito, SSY, Cross Game, Red Data Girl, Petopeto-san, the list goes on forever. But damn, I just love this one so much. It’s forever linked with the best arc in one of the best shounens ever in my mind.

Its Gonna Rain ▼

OST – FLCL

Again, so many choices. Could be Moribito, TTGL, Made in Abyss, or many others. But in the end I can’t argue with The Pillows. I mean – it’s The Pillows. So many great songs, so many great memories, so seamlessly integrated with the story.

FJ Freeman

OP – Shounen Heart by Home Made Kazoku, Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven was such an influential anime for me, and its second OP is something that I will never forget, because to this day, in my honest opinion it’s the textbook version of how an OP should be, from the floating Bollywood heads, showing estranged relationships metaphorically linking the two characters via visuals. To the way the Itano Circus takes place amongst the mechs, back in 2005 it was way too cool for my simple childish brain to understand. Eureka Seven was both my first mecha anime and the first anime I watched simply because I was interested in its plot. Furthermore Renton spoke to me in more ways than one. Shonen Heart will forever be engraved in my memories and my heart. Plus the song is simply a banger, even to this day.

Shounen Heart ▼

ED – Kesenai Tsumi by Nana Kitade, Fullmetal Alchemist

Is this cheating? Maybe a little bit. Endings for me as of recent late have become less and less important, it’s the part of the show where I pick up my phone and track whatever episode I have just watched into my MAL or equivalent site of your choosing. It’s something I haven’t really paid attention to as of late. However, Kesenai Tsumi was something I always paid attention to after an episode of the original Fullmetal Alchemist ended. And it really captures the vibe of those first episodes of the series, dark and gritty but with just enough spunk and attitude to make you want to watch the next bout. Accompanied by the OP Melissa this ending was certainly something that stuck with you, and still has to this day, it’s one of the reasons I’m unable to watch Brotherhood, the nostalgia for the songs and OST is simply not there.

Kesenai Tsumi ▼

OST – Naruto

Ah~ Don’t hate on me for this one. Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, maybe it’s just that the Naruto fight scene music was something I had on repeat for days when I first watched the series. Or maybe it’s that Sadness and Sorrow still makes me cry to this day. Maybe it’s the mix of traditional tools with modern compositions that does it for me, as I have always loved the sound of traditional Japanese instruments. Or maybe it’s simply the emotions the music portrays. Maybe it’s the fact I was so engrossed in Naruto’s ninja world as a teenager that still to this day I can’t help but feel things as I relisten to the music. Maybe it’s just that good and I should stop trying to justify it. Whatever the case the Naruto OST and BGM are still to this day something I hold dearly and close to my heart.

Pancakes

OP – Exist by angela, Soukyuu no Fafner: Exodus

Considering just how many bloody OPs I’ve wound up loving over the years (and how often my favourite winds up changing), I’m going to use my spot to give some deserved attention to Fafner: Exodus’ first season. Besides arguably being Xebec’s last great hurrah (I’m a sucker for their art direction in Fafner) Exodus’ OP was also pretty damn catchy and well-animated to boot. Female vocals after all are typical for anime music, but vocal power and presence are not easy to pull off, especially for choruses which makes angela’s work here all the more impressive. Chalk up some neat sequences too – Emery running with the damn shoe and the rocket launch have forever stuck with me – and it’s one mecha OP I always enjoy coming back to.

Exist ▼

ED – Hunting for your Dream by Galneryus, Hunter X Hunter

To be honest anime EDs aren’t usually my thing, however that hasn’t stopped me thoroughly digging Galneryus’ feature for HxH’s 2011 adaptation. Catchiness here is a given – power metal do be tasty and I’m a metal fan – but it also was a perfect fit for the Phantom Troupe arc and the sheer chaos it evoked. No other track could get you as pumped to watch the next episode, no other bit of music more capable of stopping you from skipping over it. Sure, Madhouse maybe didn’t go all out with the animation for it, but the choice of music for this part of the anime was simply put perfect. There’s a reason music is so critical to the overall success of a show, and this ED for me helps reinforce why.

Hunting for your Dream ▼

OST OST Composer – Kevin Penkin!

Rather than give a specific OST I’m instead going to cop out and provide an OST composer: Kevin Penkin. I’m firmly in love with this guy’s work, whether it be the dramatic swings in Made in Abyss and his uncanny ability to maximize that series’ emotions, or the subtle, almost sinister suspense he provided in Kami no Tou. The skill he has is quite honestly top tier for anime, and in a way reminds me of another favourite composer of mine in Michael McCann for his talent in seamlessly matching music to story and art. While some of Kevin’s other work (e.g. Shield Hero) doesn’t rise to the same level as his famous OSTs, it doesn’t take away from what he has created or how impactful these creations have been on their parent shows. As mentioned in my ED bit music is essential to any show’s success, and Kevin Penkin emphatically indicates why that remains the case.

Choya

OP – Hanaji by Yuu Kobayashi, Maria Holic

I vastly prefer Season 02 of Maria Holic, but the music from Season 01 is more than worthy of a revisit. I love the cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Kimi ni Mune Kyun” as the ED, but I have to give all my kudos to “Hanaji” for being one of the most sinister OP’s out there. If you could imagine the anime equivalent of a Disney villain song, this would be it. It acts as a gleeful ode to Mariya Shidou’s sadistic desires with its lyrics reading Kanako like an open book. Kobayashi’s vocals waver between cheeky cutesiness and biting mockery, which is also played out through the animation as it dedicates itself to showing Mariya’s outright contempt in full display. It’s pure chaos as Mariya is shown wreaking havoc and painting the world with Kanako’s bright neon nosebleeds. Grungy guitar riffs are fused into a chaotic jazzy beat to create a vulgar, sleazy vibe that goes perfectly with Kobayashi’s aggressive vocals.

I think what makes “Hanaji” perfect for me is that it’s not so much of an opening as it is a declaration of war. It’s a similar kind of vibe I get from “Dance with the Devil” from Kakegurui and “Hito Toshite Jiku ga Bureteiru” Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei where it acts as a celebration of the macabre, grotesque, and twisted atmosphere they wholly embrace. But because Maria Holic is a very difficult, mean-spirited show as it is, it makes “Hanaji” all the more effective in getting you to squirm in your seat and second-guess if you clicked on the wrong video.

Hanaji ▼

ED – Uso by SID, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

My favorite genre of ED is one that makes what you just saw in the final moments of an episode one of the rawest scenes you’ve witnessed. DEAR FUTURE by Coaltar of the Deepers was THIS close because of how it made every next step Himari’s brothers took a desperate one. But one experience that stuck with me the most was when I finished the Nina episode of Brotherhood. I watched the original Fullmetal Alchemist so I knew what happened, but when that episode happened in Brotherhood, it was devastating. Edward’s betrayed fury, Dr. Tucker’s disgraceful fall, and then, the ending credits. Once “Uso” hit, I bawled. It was one of the only times I ugly cried during the credits of an anime.

There’s a poignant sadness that comes through from “Uso” that I only get occasionally from anime endings. The picture book aesthetic from the animation contrasts between the innocent art style and the melancholic sorrow of the boys’ journey through life after their mother’s passing. The instrumentation has this grand, sweeping feeling to it that swells and storms through the song’s turbulent lyrics about casting aside the grief of a broken promise to carry forward. Mao’s vocals are as powerful and booming as they are vulnerable and soul-bearing. The inquisitive “Nee?” in the chorus never fails to stop me in my tracks and tear my heart in two. At the same time, there’s a sliver of hope in the song that reminds you never to let go of the feelings and experiences you carry with you. As if to say, yes, life will be full of farewells and goodbyes, but just because a chapter ends doesn’t mean the story is over.

Uso ▼

OST – Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

The most memorable anime soundtracks for me transcend background music and aim to act as a panorama of a diverse, underground subculture built around the text. It’s a tough choice, but I can’t help but adore how the music of Panty & Stocking captures a bold, provocative sound as a celebration of EDM’s potential to be remixed, reinvented, and retooled into the new hotness. The soundtrack to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is a legit electronic album jam-packed with powerful pop anthems, club bangers, and some of the horniest EDM in anime. Thanks to TCY FORCE, Teddyloid, Hoshina Anniversary, and many more, it’s an OST with just about everything: Tooth-rotting synth, bubblegum pop, funky grooves straight out of Jet Set Radio, pop rock, sentimental ballads, and even just straight-up orgasms.

In our contemporary musical landscape of Hyperpop and EDM-flavored ballroom music, Panty & Stocking feels like it’s even more relevant than ever. Even with the early 2010’s poptimism leaking through its more upbeat tracks, the soundtrack carries many of the same dark, raunchy, aggressive beats you could catch from the latest Hyperpop artist. It’s the kind of lustful, candy-coated atmosphere that’s perfect for Panty & Stocking’s debauched quest to regain entry into paradise.

18 Comments

  1. Code Geass has a good OST but I think thats because I find it nostalgic as it was the first 5 animes I watched back in 2008 that made me a proper anime fan.

    OverLord has a good OST too, most OP & ED’s are decent.

    Although not quite anime but theres loads of JRPG OST’s I like, like Legend of Heroes, Nier Automata etc

    Rob
    1. Video game OSTs would’ve been difficult for me because I have a laundry list of games where I loved the soundtrack deeply (13 Sentinels, Killer7, No More Heroes 1, FFVII, most of the Persona/SMT games, Hades, Guilty Gear X2, Three Houses, Street Fighter 3, Tekken 5, etc.).

      Choya
  2. Might as well try this myself.

    – OP: to the beginning by Kalafina from Fate/Zero
    This was a though one since there are plenty of openings that sound really great but not a lot that stood out to me. But I loved pretty much everything from Kalafina and this one especially. Close second were probably Taiyou no Mannaka e from Eureka Seven and Kyoukai no Kanata from…well Kyoukai no Kanata. But since I liked them for the same reason, they get shared 2nd place.

    – ED: Ai wo Oshiete Kureta Kimi e by Qaijff from Inuyashiki
    This was a no brainer. I vibed with this song from day one and that was before I knew the lyrics (and I never pay attention to lyrics). It resonated with me personally and it’s just a good song period. Before this it was Eternal Wind by Hiroko Moriguchi from Gundam F91. I just love songs that just keep building up.

    – OST: Aldnoah.Zero
    I am cheating a bit since I’m also taking every song (op/ed/insert) into consideration. But since almost everything was done with Hiroyuki Sawano’s hand, I’d say it counts.
    Although his music tends to sounds very similar across series (although more like easily recognisable than just the same stuff every time), Aldnoah.Zero’s left an impression with how bombastic it was. Combined with all the great songs of which most are in my “Best” songs playlist, I guess that makes it an obvious pick for me without diving too deep into everything I’ve heard.

    JHNSeph
  3. I would want to old guy flex with some some Kimagure Orange Road or Ranma 1/2 OPs or EDs but I feel like Domestic na Kanojo’s Kawaki wo Ameku or Seishun Buta Yarou’s Kimi no Sei or Fukashigi no Karte might be my faves these days. Tonikaku Kawaii’s Koi no Uta, Wolf’s Rain’s Valse de la Lune, Uchouten Kazoku’s Que Sera Sera, Kannagi’s Musuhi no Toki also slap…

    OST I’ve listened to the most would easily be Cowboy Bebop no. 1 or the Air OST.

    As soon as I post this I’m going to remember like twenty early 00’s OPs and EDs that I will think are my favorite…

    Rentarousensei
    1. Yup, Record of Lodoss War Adesso e Fortuna, Outlaw Star Through the Night and Tsuki no Ie and Hiru no Tsuki, Cruel Angel’s Thesis is a good shout of course, Angel Beats My Soul Your Beats, Bleach Asterisk, Gurren Lagann Sorairo Days, Asian Kung Fu Generation stuff from Erased or Naruto or wherever else, Love Hina’s Sakura Saku, Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai Treat or Goblins, Sakura Taisen’s Geki Teikoku Kagekidan, GitS: SAC’s Inner Universe, Serial Experiments Lain’s Duvet, Rahxephon’s Hemisphere (and all the Cardcaptor Sakura songs by Sakamoto Maaya), Gunslinger Girl’s The Light Before We Land…. And a few dozen more are the best. Yes.

      Rentarousensei
  4. First, thanks a lot for taking my commission. I knew that it was going to be a tricky one and I expected many different answers. I’m familiar with some of the posted selections.

    As for my choices… It’s a work in progress. I’ve already figured out my pick for OST, but picking out the OP and ED is proving difficult. I’ve been poring through my music library and discovered how my musical tastes have changed, or not, over the years. I’ve been listening to tracks that I enjoyed back then, but not quite so much now. Then there are others I’ve learned to appreciate more. Then, the are others that were always great. Then, there are the “When did I buy this one?” singles or tracks. I’m still working on it and I hope to put up a post soon.

    Nicc
  5. For OSTs, I still keep listening from time to time (1) Zetsuen no Tempest, (2) ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, (3) Moribito, and (4) Macross Frontier. I generally prefer anime songs that don’t give anime vibes, but Macross Frontier’s sound track is too good to pass up.

    For OPs and EDs, I think it is hard for anyone to name their favourite picks out of a sea of great songs. Some songs I like include Cruel Angel’s Thesis, Lilium (Elfen Lied’s OP), Freesia (ED of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans), I & I (Fune Wo Amu’s ED), and many songs by Stereopony, but the whole list is just too long to write down.

    There are also songs that were not written for animes, but I came to know and love because they were used as OPs or EDs in animes. Lucy Rose’s Shiver, which was adopted as one of the OPs of Mushishi, is a good example. In some sense Lilium (Elfen Lied’s OP) may also fall into this category, because the song’s composer apparently did not know that the song she was contracted to write was intended to be used as an anime OP.

    And don’t forget inserts. Many inserts are better than the OPs or EDs in the same anime series. One interesting example is “Return to Love”. It was used as BOTH an insert theme and an ED in SoltyRei, but the jazz version in English lyrics used in the insert is arguably better than the non-jazz Japanese version in the ED.

    The Suffocated
  6. For me, there are two that come immediately to mind.

    The first is Gundam Seed. I like the OPs and EDs, but Rie Tanaka is just amazing. Pretty much anything she does feels like it’s healing my soul. I could hear Fields of hope every day and never tire of it.

    The second is Ai yori Aoshi. This is the only time that I’ve ever purchased a series based solely off of the OST. I heard the OP over a trailer at the beginning of another Pioneer DVD that I was watching and just fell in love.

    I also really enjoy Ruri’s song in Nadesico and the insert music throughout Chobits.

    There’s plenty more but that’s the highlights.

    hjerry
  7. A lot of what was reviewed I still listen to now too. And what I find interesting is Zaiden listening to Kimi ga Sora Datta by Aki Misato, Mai-Hime. None of my closest friends know what Mai-Hime is yet they have been enjoying Anime since the 80s like me. they also don’t like the OP/ED for Mai-Hime saying it sounds too romantic for their tastes.

    Renasayers
    1. *cackles and rubs hands together*

      Well, that wasn’t “fully” my intention… Anyways, I’ve been looking forward to all of the answers here and I’m loving the variety of them. I’ve added a few of them to listen to later on. It’s not like I asked this commission just to get music recommendations from fellow Randomc-ers. Nope, that wasn’t it at all.

      I’ve always enjoyed collecting music from the shows and movies that I like. My sound memory is better than my visual memory. If I want to recall a scene from a TV show or movie, I can remember it better from a musical cue first. I can still remember songs in my head that I haven’t listened to since the 80’s. I suppose I could look them from YouTube if I wanted to, but I think they’ll always sound better in my head.

      The big challenge when it came to acquiring music from anime back in the day was availability. It was difficult to find in record stores back in the day. I figured a good chance may be dig around in the used CDs section and maybe I could get lucky one day. I turns out that I did. More on that later.

      Favorite OP – Kiseki no Umi (Sea of Miracles)

      Series: Lodoss-tou Senki: Eiyuu Kishi Den (Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight)

      Artist: Maaya Sakamoto

      Lyrics: Yuho Iwasato

      Music: Yoko Kanno

      Arranger: Yoko Kanno

      Year: 1998

      Now, let’s get down to business. Man, this was tough and this was actually a surprise pick for me. I haven’t watched it in years, but I still remember the original “Record of Lodoss War” OVA. The OP from that one, “Adesso e Fortuna” by Sherry, was on my shortlist for favorite OP. That one was a classic. I can’t say the same about remembering this series, but I never fogot how the OP sounded like. What stood out for me was the chord progression. After poring through all of the OPs that I owned, I couldn’t get this one out of my head.

      Favorite ED – Unknown Vision

      Series: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (Maoyu ~ Archenemy & Hero)

      Artist: Akino Arai

      Composer: Akino Arai, Hisaaki Hogari

      Arranger: Hisaaki Hogari

      Lyrics: Akino Arai

      Year: 2013

      2013 was a terrific year for anime. “Nagi No Asukara”, “Kyousougiga”, “Uchouten Kazoku (My AOTY for 2013)”, “Log Horizon”, “Kill la Kill”, “Servant x Service”, “Non Non Biyori”, “Silver Spoon”, “Shinsekai yori (Started in 2012, but ended in 2013), just to name a few. That was only my 2nd year of being a full-tine anime watcher and that was the year that completely sold me on anime. And, this was one of the shows I also enjoyed. The visuals of the ED was what grabbed my attention at first, but the music kept me listening. I’d say that the pick for ED was even more competitive, but once again I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

      Favorite OP & ED Pair – Shadow and Truth & Pale Moon ga Yureteru (The Pale Moon)

      Series: ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.)

      Artists: ONE III NOTES/Aira Yuuki

      Composer: Ryo Takahashi

      Arranger: Ryo Takahashi

      Lyrics: Konnie Aoki/Aira Yuuki

      Year: 2017

      This my pick for my favorite OP and ED pair. I love the contrast between the OP and the ED, and both of them were also on my shortlist for the categories. The OST for this series also made the shortlist for my favorite OST.

      Favorite OST – Macross Plus Original Soundtrack I & II, MACROSS PLUS The Cream P・U・F

      OVA: Macross Plus

      Composer: Yoko Kanno

      Arranger: Yoko Kanno

      Musicians: Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra

      Year: 1994,1995

      I get it, picking Yoko Kanno is kind of like cheating, but this one won out in the end. Gabie mentioned “Cowboy Bebop” and that one was in my shortlist. “Sakamichi no Apollon” also made my shortlist. She does an amazing job with jazz. Oh yeah, that CD that I got lucky one day and found it at the record store… That’s the one and I still have it, the first soundtrack, that is. Part II I picked up online, the Cream PUF was from a digital download. I remember watching the OVA on DVD all those years ago. Certainly, the animation was top notch, but it was the music that really awed me. The OST highlights for me are “Information High”, “Idol Talk” and “SANTI-U”. I’ll be continuing to listen to this soundtrack for many years ot come.

      And, that’s about it. It was fun to read everybody’s comments and I could write more about this topic, but I’ve gone on long enough already. And, now it’s on to the next track in my playlist…

      Nicc
  8. Psst — amateurs!

    I generally go for the very heavy metal stuff (in no particular order) –>

    Spring 2008, Kaiba OP :: Never by Seira Kagami;
    Spring 2008, Kino no Tabi OP :: all the way by Mikuni Shimokawa;
    Winter 2008, true tears OP;
    Winter 2008, true tears ED :: near and far by eufonius;
    Chobits OP and both EDs;
    Dennō Coil OP and ED;
    Hayate no Gotoku! EDs are pretty good, and
    Blood+ EDs (especially “This Love”; and many more

    There’s way too many favorites for me to choose, the above
    were kinda off the top of my head. As I think about it more,
    many more titles come to mind. And …

    .. don’t even get me going about the music of Angel Beats!
    What a genius variety of soft to hard – each piece is very listenable.
    My addiction started with LiSA’s inset song Ichiban no Takaramono in
    episode 10! The Anime’s delivery was/is timeless – still chokes me up.

    Unlike American TV media, (most) of the Japanese music has a lot of
    thought behind it with the audio engineering/music arrangement, etc.,
    and (at least for me) stands the test of time, IMHO.

    I can’t tell you how many needles I’ve replace in my CD player
    listening to some of this music over and over again 🤣!

    (all in good jest – music, like politics, is a very polarizing subject)

    mac65

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