I really love music, and one of the things I really like about anime is that music is a huge part of the experience. Even better is that so much of the music used for anime is right in my wheelhouse as far as what I like to listen to, with lots of it that great mix of rock and pop, guitar and drum heavy hooky music. But that’s not all I like, with tastes that range almost everywhere (except maybe Country and Gospel). So I wanted to share some of the songs from the Summer 2012 cour of anime that I’ve been enjoying the most. Some of them are what I think are the ‘best’ songs, but some of them might be songs I enjoy for one particular aspect. And everyone is free to disagree, because music is really an individual thing. I’m not even going to try to rank these songs, because it depends on the day and mood which is the one I want to listen to, or even watch, because while the music is a big part, sometimes the animation is what you really want to see.
Kokoro no Senritsu – Asami Seto and Saori Hayami – Tari Tari ED Episode 2 (Alternate Version from Episode 6)
The prettiest song I’ve heard in a long time, the duet version features two excellent voices (I’ve mentioned before how much I love Saori Hayami’s voice) singing a beautiful song to piano accompaniment. This isn’t the regular ED song for the show, but they’ve used the same song twice in two different versions. I’d actually have preferred it without the band coming in, but we can’t have everything. I also like the Alternate Choir version, which doesn’t have the band, and brings in some nice voices by the guys in the show, as well as Ayahi Takagaki. I really want a full single of this song.
Kimi ni Matsuwaru Mystery – Satomi Satou and Ai Kayano – Hyouka ED 2
For Ending the episodes in the second half of the series, Hyouka used this super cute animation featuring Eru and Mayaka as detectives Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot chasing Houtarou and Satoshi as villains Arsene Lupin and Professor Moriarty. The song is also really cute as it centers around the singer wanting to find out the “mystery” about the boy they like. The full song gives a little different feel, as Ai Kayano takes over lead vocals for the second verse from Satomi Satou, and while they both have voices that can handle the notes, they’re very different voices, with Satou (as Eru) having a wonderfully soft nature, and Kayano (as Mayaka) having a more strident vocal quality. But mostly the song is a lot of fun and the animation is just so cute.
Jersey-bu Tamashi -Kaori Ishihara, Asami Seto and Ai Kayano – Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 ED
While this as an ED sequence doesn’t do anything amazing, the full song is where it’s at. While the ED for individual episodes switches between “rap” segments done by each of the three characters, the single puts these all together, and for good measure adds an awesome bridge and counter chant “Fight-OH!”. Plus, it’s Madoka, Lan, Muginami, and a horn section. That’s just piling awesome on awesome. I really suggest finding the Single version for great fun.
Unite – Sachika Misawa – Accel World ED 2
This song kind of crept up on me, but I really love it for the instrumentation and overall mix. Sachika Misawa’s voice seems much more expressive here than it does for Kuroyukihime, but the best part of the song is the dynamic contrast. In an era when so many songs are brickwalled, it’s nice to have a song that keeps a large dynamic range. 6 obvious instruments (including Misawa), and there’s space for every one in the mix. You can really hear the two guitars – one with a middle overdrive and the other with an interesting bright cleaner sound – separately on either side, and the drums are nice and clear. The ED animation is also sort of touching, with schoolgirl Kuroyukihime fighting avatar Kuroyukihime for Haruyuki’s affections.
Platinum 17 – yozuca* – Dakara Boku ha, H ga Dekinai ED
The video is what makes this one. Not only the nudity, but the really happy faces on the girls, make it a lot of fun to watch, as well as the cute little vignette with Ryousuke and Lisara acting like embarrassed but interested teenagers. The full song isn’t a slouch either, using a violin as a nice bit of interest in a pretty catchy rock song. If you look for other copies of the full song on Youtube, beware of some that people have just put the ED version twice (lame).
Magenta Another Sky – Hitomi Harada – Arcana Famiglia OP
Arcana Famiglia isn’t the greatest show, and the OP animation is nothing to write home about (including having some horrible timing where they hold the last still for about 10 seconds while the song finishes). But the song itself is a different story, because it gives me this 80’s metal vibe with that narrow crunchy guitar and the riff they play with it. It also has some great engrish, with “Tell me something, tell me all the things” cracking me up.
This is just a sampling of the songs I like from this season. There’s more that I’ll listen to all the time, but that’s enough for this post.