Good day dear readers and welcome to another post on Shoot the Rookie. I hope you’ve got your headphones handy because today I am putting a twist on my occasional ‘Songs That Remind Me of Games’ series and presenting you with an anime related musical extravaganza!
For any of you who have not read my ‘Songs That Remind Me of…’ posts before, let me explain a little bit about how this idea came about. Simply put, I often find that certain things can trigger memories of a different, completely unrelated things. Sometimes a game will remind me of a different game, sometimes a book will remind me of a film, and today’s examples are all songs that remind me of anime.
When I originally looked at the songs that remind me of games I was struck by the number of different reasons I had for making these connections. Sometimes the link would be thematic, sometimes it was that I was reminded of a specific character or place, and sometimes it was something less concrete – just a feeling that led my brain to link the two things together.
I have another Songs That Remind Me of Games article in the works but in the meantime lets get going with the Songs That Remind Me of Anime!
Beware! This piece is pretty *SPOILER* heavy, so if you see the name of an anime you are planning on watching, maybe avoid reading that section!
Free Kitten (by Dover, 1999) – My Roommate is a Cat
My Roommate is a Cat is a show about a loner who takes in a stray cat. It explores how his decision to do this effects the life of both him and the cat. Haru (the cat) is like many cats – a bit of a tricky customer. She is always running away, jumping on things, demanding food when she has just eaten etc. The reason Free Kitten reminds me of the show is because it is also about a cat with a strong personality. In the song, the singer tells us about how she lost her kitten in the kitchen. The kitten, like Haru in the show, has its own voice in the song. It is clearly annoyed by the actions of the human and screams “Free! Would you stop it and set me free! Could you tell her to let me be?” The owner of the kitten ends up becoming quite emotional – admitting that she was wrong and pleading “Baby I just need you back”. Although Haru’s owner Subaru isn’t necessarily the most emotional guy, this does correlate well with the show’s final episode, where we finally get to see just how much he cares about Haru. Both the song and the show are remarkable representations of the relationship between cats and their owners and I now picture Haru every time I hear the song.
Dover are sadly no longer going but if you want to hear more of their awesome 90’s Grunge-Punk sound (that’s a thing…right?) then why not check out this totally awesome video!
Phantom Self (by Sepultura, 2017) – Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
The connection here is that the whole song is basically just a run-down of what happens in the show (minus all the silly bits with anatomical dummies). I could quote the entire lyrics to prove my point but instead I’ve just picked out a few lines to illustrate it. From the song’s chorus, the following line is particularly striking “Lost, I’ve been looking for myself, It haunts me everyday, I’m searching for a truth no longer there”. The idea of someone looking for themselves is central to the show’s story which tells the tale of teenage ghost, Yuuko Kanoe, who wanders the corridors of her old school searching for the memories of her life before she died. Our bubbly and fun Yuuko however is not the only version of her haunting the school. Although she is unaware of it, another version of her is also wandering the corridors – this one much more terrifying and full of rage – full of the ‘bad’ emotions that our Yuuko has discarded. The song’s lyrics continue – “Transformed I’m someone else, must face my phantom self” – which perfectly aligns with Yuuko’s plight, as she must face and accept her ‘phantom self’ in order to regain her memories and finally be at peace.
Sepultura have just released new album Quadra and are touring the world this year so make sure you check them out (also, if you are on Instagram, give singer Derrick Green a follow, he is one of the world’s coolest guys!)
The Hero (by Battle Beast, 2019) – My Hero Academia
For ages I thought this song would be the theme song for season 4 of My Hero Academia and was sorely disappointed when it wasn’t. Given Battle Beast’s clear love of anime it wouldn’t surprise me if this song was written deliberately in celebration of My Hero Academia, but even if it wasn’t, the lyrics are pretty evocative of the show’s overall themes. The song depicts someone calling for a hero to come and save people from a hopeless plight – “Calling hero in the cold night, Calling someone to amend this world we’re in, Someone who’ll stand up when all else fall”. That call for a hero is very reminiscent of the way the professional heroes of My Hero Academia are worshipped and relied upon by the general public – people believe that there will always be a hero to save them. The personality of the show’s number one hero, All Might, very much answers the public’s call and it is really easy to picture All Might as the hero referred to in the song. He isn’t the only My Hero Academia hero conjured by the song though, as when it goes on to say “the greatest hero lives within us all” it feels like a direct reference to the show’s main protagonist who aspires to be the greatest hero despite having to overcome a number of road blocks to achieve that goal. The history of the superhero genre is long, but these are definitely two of my favourite examples!
Amazing Finnish power-metallers Battle Beast are touring across Europe now! For more info check out their website!
Short Skirt, Long Jacket (by Cake, 2001) – Ace Attorney
My examples so far have mostly been about thematic similarities, but with this one the connection is something completely different. I hadn’t heard this song in a long time until it randomly appeared on my headphones a few weeks ago and for some reason when listening to it I was reminded of the Ace Attorney character Chihiro Ayasato (aka Mia Fey). It isn’t that the lady described in the song is exactly like her, or even that Chihiro always wears a short skirt and long jacket (although it is half right I suppose), but just something about the intelligent, professional and sassy lady that is described by the song got me thinking of Chihiro. In particular the line “With fingernails that shine like justice” just seems to perfectly encapsulate her. It describes a women “using a machete to cut through red tape” and being “fast, thorough and sharp as a tack” and these lines really bring to mind Chihiro’s determination and dedication to achieve justice. Even the fact that Chihiro’s name is changed in the English language version of Ace Attorney is given a sly nod in the lyrics, as the lady in the song changes her name from Kitty to Karen. There is no absolute connection between the song and the anime except the one created in my mind, but from now on I will always picture Chihiro doing her best attorney-ing when I hear the song.
Cake have a few dates planned across the USA this year so if you’re around why not check them out!
Killers with the Cross (by Powerwolf, 2018) – Shiki
“In the night came the killers with the cross, In the light of the moon when our lives are lost” is the first line of the song’s chorus and those simple lines beautifully evoke a fundamental part of Shiki’s story. Boiled down to its simplest form, Shiki depicts a conflict between Humans and Shiki (a vampire like creature) who inhabit a rural Japanese village. In the song the killers are using the symbol of their religion as a justification for their actions – saying that whatever they do is OK because they are right, they are representing god. This idea is mirrored in the show as we see the Humans becoming increasingly violent towards the Shiki until it reaches a point where the Humans, the supposed good guys, become the aggressors and the Shiki become the victims. The song suggests that the killers were once brave but have now have awoken to a new destiny, one filled with “hypocrisy and hate”. Hypocrisy and hate are also very strong themes within Shiki, particularly in relation to the actions of the Humans. On a different note, religious imagery, which plays a major part in the song also plays a big role in the show, with the town’s priest being an integral part of the story. The song also evokes the show in its frequent references to events that take place at night. It mentions that the killers come at night under the light of the moon, and that image is very similar to Shiki, where much of the action takes place at night. All in all the song and the show are both excellent examples of horror stories that make us question the fundamental idea of what is good and what is evil.
Powerwolf will be performing their metal mass across South America in February and March 2020 so if you are in that part of the world you should definitely go take a look!
So there you have it! Five songs that remind me of five anime series! But what about you? Are you ever reminded of an anime you watched when listening to a particular song? What kind of associations between songs and other forms of media do you make? Lets discuss below in comments and if you fancy reading my previous Songs That Remind Me of Games articles then you can find the first one here!
Thanks for reading,