A couple of months ago I made a post about some of my favorite anime themes in recent seasons. Today I figured I’d do something a little bit different but in a similar vein. Anime openings and endings are great, and I will absolutely post more of my favorites here in the future because I love music and what I’m actively listening to changes a lot. I’ve been listening to the band Creepy Nuts recently, who does the opening and ending themes for Yofukashi no Uta, for example. But instead of opening and ending themes I want to look at songs that are part of the OST. Some shows have amazing songs running throughout and I just wanted to share some of my favorites today. I hope you enjoy!
Carole & Tuesday – After the fire
Carole & Tuesday is one of the most memorable anime from the past 5 years to me. Like I said in the previous paragraph, I love music, and this anime is basically just an excuse to write an album. It has a story to tell as well, about how people are racist and we need to not be racist. It’s not a particularly original premise, but it’s executed decently. Now I could have picked any song from this show, and I’m doing several songs a disservice by not picking them. From start to finish this anime is filled with absolute bangers and I have most of the songs in my playlist and listen to them regularly. But after the fire makes me feel like creating something myself. There’s a line in the song that goes:
After the fire new maps are drawn.
I can’t quite explain why, but I love that sentence, it makes me feel like I’m listening to something inspiring. This is an 8 out of 10 anime with a 10 out of 10 soundtrack, and I would highly recommend you give it a watch and/or a listen.
Kekkai Sensen – Catch me if you can
Kekkai Sensen – or Blood Blockade Battlefront – is an anime based on a manga by the author of Trigun. Now I personally haven’t seen or read Trigun, but I do know it’s considered a classic and if it’s got any of the swagger that Kekkai Sensen has I probably need to watch it at some point. It tells the story of Leonardo Watch, who has a special eye that allows him to see things other people can’t. With his powers he goes to an alien and fantastical creatures infested city where he joins up with an organization of super powered folks who help keep the city safe. Relatively speaking at least, it’s not safe at all. Unfortunately for me, it’s been hard to get a hold of the manga, so I’ve so far not bought any. I have seen both seasons of the anime and will highly recommend it to anyone. One of my favorite songs of all time has been used for the first opening, and the second opening as well as both endings are all bangers. But we’re talking about the OST here, which is a jazzy playlist reminiscent of Baccano. The second season, however, has more hip-hop inspired music but in both series it’s clear that there was a lot of effort put into the soundtrack. Catch me if you can is a fast jazz track that takes you by the arms and swings you across the dancefloor.
Bleach – Number One (Ichigo’s Theme)
It’s no secret to anyone reading this blog that I’ve been rewatching Bleach in anticipation of the new season. I hadn’t watched it since the first season ended and I didn’t really remember why it was considered one of the greats, seeing how the manga ended up being confusing and kind of disappointing towards the end of its run. Having finished the Soul Society arc I remember why this show was once considered the best of the best. And supporting some of the most hype moments is the track number one which is just *chef’s kiss.* I have nothing but the utmost respect for the people in charge of putting together the OST for a show because I don’t know how they do it but they somehow manage to find or create the perfect songs out of thin air. I assume many of you are already familiar with this show and subsequently the music, but if for some reason you’ve been on the fence about consuming one of the coolest stories ever written, then here’s my seal of approval. What are you waiting for? Watch Bleach so now you can also feel like number one!
Fairy Tail – Main Theme (slow version)
Fairy Tail’s music is iconic to me. It has celtic inspired tracks that are often very similar to the main theme, but have just enough variance that they effortlessly support any scene on screen. Fairy Tail as an anime is not the best. I love early Fairy Tail, and the show will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s one of the first shows I truly got sucked into, but it’s not the best. Saying that, I think this show would go from a 7 out of 10 to a 4 out of 10 if you removed the current soundtrack and put in a more generic track. I still get chills when I listen to some of the songs on this OST. It’s so perfectly aggressive when it wants to be yet tender enough in those quiet moments where it hits you like a brick wall. If you haven’t seen Fairy Tail yet, I highly recommend the first few arcs, maybe even the entirety of the first season if I’m being generous, but what makes this show special is the music. As with all of the previous shows, of course Fairy Tail has some amazing opening themes as well (and some pretty awful songs mixed in here and there), and as much as Hiro Mashima isn’t the best author, he knows how to write a powerful scene and if you take those with the right music you find yourself highly invested. I know I did at least, the music was powerful enough to make me care about the later arcs somehow.
Samurai Champloo – Tsurugi no Mai
It was hard for me to pick a song from this soundtrack that really stood out to me because the entire OST is good. I considered putting Feather by Nujabes in this spot but I forgot that wasn’t actually on the OST and just another great song by the late great Nujabes. Instead I went with another song by them called Tsurugi no Mai. Samurai Champloo, for those unfamiliar, is an anime about samurai. It’s a gritty and depressing show with some humor sprinkled in for good measure. It shows a bleak world which makes it feel real. And underlining this story is a plethora of hip-hop beats and vibes. This show becomes memorable because of how it sounds. It’s one of those shows that creates an atmosphere and is good because of its consistency to this atmosphere. It’s the same as with Fairy Tail here where I legitimately don’t think the show would be half as good if there was a mediocre soundtrack. I’m always reminded of Guilty Crown, which was an absolute trainwreck of an anime but I still remember the music vividly because it gave me chills whenever I listened to it. Unfortunately even the soundtrack couldn’t save that one. But for a show like Samurai Champloo, where I don’t think I would have really enjoyed the story on its own, it can definitely elevate a show and make it better than the sum of its parts.
And that’s it for today. If you’re looking for more shows with good soundtracks I was considering putting both Durarara and Baccano on this list, as well as One Piece, although both Bleach and Fairy Tail have more memorable soundtracks. But that’s me and my opinion, who knows what I’m forgetting about. All this has done is make me want to rewatch some old shows again. I might go through some of my favorites in the near future and write some reviews about them. The problem with that is that a lot of my favorites are super popular already so who needs a millionth review of Durarara? Well, I might just write it for myself. With that out of the way, thanks for reading. I’m going to try to stick to my schedule for the rest of the week, but this week is one of my busiest in a while. With that said, Hesitant Hero could be a day late if things go poorly, but I’ll try my best!