Hello dear readers and welcome back to Shoot the Rookie! Today I’m bringing you another edition of my anime jukebox series in which I share some of the best music featured in anime. So settle in, turn your speakers up to eleven, and get ready for another musical whirlwind!
This is the fifth edition of the anime jukebox and is likely to be the last for a while as I’m starting to run out of songs! Thankfully this edition is an absolute cracker so I hope you enjoy listening to my selections, which as always represent a diverse mix of musical styles.
In past editions I’ve featured songs from a wide range of anime. From Sword Art Online to Promare and Trigun to Erased, there are so many amazing songs featured in anime that it is impossible to cover them all but I hope in these posts I’ve done a good job of representing my tastes as well as covering some of the most famous songs from anime over the last few years.
If you missed my other posts, never fear! I have put them all together on the blog for easy access, so please do check them out when you get a chance! With that said, let’s get on to today’s musical offerings!
U by Daiki Tsuneta and Kaho Nakamura
Featured in Belle
I only saw the film Belle a couple of months ago and I’m not even sure if it’s on general release yet, but you absolutely must check it out when you get a chance. It is very unusual (for me) in that it is a musical film where the music is outstanding and is wonderful to listen to outside the film. People who know me well will know I hate musicals, but Belle is an exception. This is probably the most notable track (although there is at least one other which I adore), and it does a fantastic job of creating a sense of place early on in the film. An intense and breathless pop classic in the making, it is at once frantic and fun with a slight hint of desperation. It has a super catchy vocal hook and creates an extreme urge to dance in whoever listens to it – or at least that’s what it does to me!
Kyougen Mawashi by NoisyCell
Featured in Mr Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues
This song and this band are one of the main reasons I started writing these posts. I delved much deeper into NoisyCell’s back-catalogue after hearing this song and they are now probably my favourite Japanese band, offering an eclectic mix of rock, indie, pop-punk, jazz and screamo. This song probably falls into the jazz category due to the (probably) fake saxophone. Or maybe ‘boyband-jazz’ if that is a thing. It is a curious song in the context of the show, as in some ways it doesn’t fit at all with the type of show it is, and yet in doing so it adds another layer to the show’s humour. It is in someways and easygoing track with a great swing, and yet it builds to a cool crescendo. I particularly love the vocals, which I would describe as sounding like the smoothest cup of black coffee you’ve ever had. Make sure you check it out!
Q? By Reol
Featured in Digimon Adventure: 2020
Now this is a cracking pop tune. Not necessarily an obvious pick for Digimon but somehow it works and even if it didn’t I’d still be glad to have had the chance to get to know this track as it is J-Pop at its finest. It has a sparkling chorus and much of the rest of it is a nice mix of breathy vocals, bassy beats and a cool rap section. There is a totally weird break-down at the end where everything goes a bit nuts as well. It is catchy and danceable as hell and I encourage anyone with J-pop tendencies to check it out.
The Real Folk Blues by Mai Yamane
Featured in Cowboy Bebop
This is one of the most classic songs I’ve included in these lists and for many of you it will need no introduction. It’s hard to describe exactly why I love this song so much, but it is just so uncompromisingly moody. It creates an atmosphere all by itself – it doesn’t even need the context of the show to help it – and the vocals are so powerful, raw and smoky, I just love it. I say it doesn’t need the show to make it great, but it doesn’t hurt that it is absolutely perfect for Cowboy Bebop with its dark vibe and sense of danger. I’m not sure there have been many better or more evocative songs written for anime, and if you do not already know it you should definitely give it a listen, preferably in a dark room with a glass of bourbon.
The Hero!! by JAM Project
Featured in One Punch Man
To finish, something entirely ridiculous. I’ve already written about the music from the second series of One Punch Man which is by the same band, but I felt I had to include this one too as it is a perfect example of the composers understanding the anime they are writing about it. This song is over-the-top, hilarious, catchy and includes the word hero approximately a thousand times. One of my favourite things about it is all the little asides in the vocals, particularly the occasional yelling of the line “Nobody knows who he is!”, and I challenge anyone reading this to watch the live version I’ve linked to here and keep a straight face.
So there we have it! The fifth edition of the anime jukebox is complete, and I hope you’ll agree there are some awesome songs and anime in this list. But what do you think? Do you like any of these tracks? Maybe you’ve got your own favourite song from anime? Let me know all below in comments and don’t forget to join me next time for more anime and video game chat!
Thanks for reading,