10 Best Anime Defined By Their Soundtracks
Music is essential when it comes to creating an anime narrative. It sets the tone for what viewers can expect to see from the story, but the more powerful music can elevate the scenes and become one of the most memorable aspects of the anime itself.
fans of Made in the Abyss undoubtedly associate Kevin Penkin’s music with his tale of Lovecraftian fantasy and horror, and it’s impossible to separate The attack of the Titans from the sounds of Hiroyuki Sawano’s compositions. No matter the genre or style, there are anime soundtracks that define what their anime is.
ten Kill La Kill wouldn’t be so explosive without his tunes
Legendary anime composer Hiroyuki Sawano became known in the community for his “Sawano drop”. It’s a musical technique he implements in which a slow but tense rise in tension leads to an explosive chorus, and it’s used perfectly in kill her kill her.
Ryuko Matoi in Search of Her Father’s Killer wouldn’t be the same without the track “Before My Body Dries Up”. Then, with the villain’s intimidating theme “Blumenkranz” and the bittersweet ending song “Gomen ne, Iiko ja Irarenai”, and the kill her kill her the soundtrack is the complete package.
9 Made In Abyss conveys its dangerous wonders through sound
Made in the Abyss revolves around young Riko and Reg as they cross the perilous and impossibly deep chasm known as the Abyss. Such a story must be accompanied by music that can convey the majesty of the beauty and mystery of the abyss, and Kevin Penkin was up to the task.
Tracks like “Hanezeve Caradhina” make audiences feel like there’s warmth even in the darkest of situations, which contrasts nicely with the haunting tension of tracks like “The First Layer.”
8 Violet Evergarden’s soundtrack is deeply emotional
Every track in Violet Evergarden has something to say. The strong orchestral notes of “Across the Violet Sky” immediately make viewers bright and upbeat, while the slower but beautiful strings of “The Voice in My Heart” can make fans feel like they are in the anime decor.
A large number of Violet EvergardenThe tracks produce heartfelt effects on viewers, neither does “Never Coming Back,” which defines Violet’s inner struggles and can effortlessly draw viewers into sympathy with her emotions.
seven Megalobox has one of the strongest hip-hop soundtracks in anime
There’s perhaps no better soundtrack for an anime about retro-futuristic boxing than a mix of cyberpunk-inspired hip-hop and rap, from the pregame hype of “MEGALOBOX himself to the drum beats of “Beginning of the Fight”, and the electric guitar riffs of “Battlefield”.
There’s no shortage of bits that make Joe’s Megaloboxing journey the most thrilling sports tale in anime. Add the lyrical raps of “The Slum City feat. COMA-CHI” and the Spanish influence of the second season, and Megalobox has an unforgettable soundtrack.
6 Your name carries emotional weight in its tracks
Makoto Shinkai has made a name for himself as a director of your name, and the impact of the band he chose, RADWIMPS, cannot be underestimated. The raw, deep-cutting vocals are amplified by some of the most thrilling drum and electric guitar beats in space anime.
Tracks like “Dream Lantern” and “Zenzenzense” demonstrate this in spades. Elsewhere, the beautiful piano notes and moving lyrics of “Nandemonaiya” define what the story of the two cursed protagonists who swap bodies is all about: an impossible chance to find love.
5 Samurai Champloo has redefined what samurai music can sound like
Most audiences have a preset idea of what a samurai soundtrack should be. These ideas were thrown out the window when Samurai Champloo used modern hip-hop and jazz. This is immediately noticeable with the gripping opening theme “Battlecry” by the late Nujabes.
The rest of the soundtrack features a mix of upbeat tunes for fans, as well as the epitome of “lofi beats for chilling out” before this genre even emerged. Finally, it would be a sin not to mention Minmi’s ending song “Shiki No Uta”.
4 Monogatari’s music tells a story in every song
It is already impressive that the Monogatari The series has iconic music for each of its many characters. However, it’s even more impressive that it implements them as opening songs that change with each new story arc.
J-pop’s sweet “Staple Stable” for lead heroine Hitagi Senjougahara differs from the deceptively cute sounds of Nadeko Sengoku’s “Renai Circulation.” The music of Monogatari creates a sense of place in every scene, but just like clever dialogue, music is also used to tell deeper stories than they initially seem.
3 Cowboy Bebop made jazz and sci-fi work like never before
The jazzy sax notes of “Tank!” creating arguably one of the greatest opening songs an anime has ever had. It’s fluid and endlessly cool, and it sets the stage for a great sci-fi adventure.
Sometimes the soundtrack of cowboy bebop is upbeat and funky like with “Too Good Too Bad”, and at others it can be melancholy and surprisingly lonely. Tracks like “Space Lion” convey alien planets, and viewers can always count on “The Real Folk Blues” to cap off an episode in style, regardless of the latest story events.
2 Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has music in its DNA
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is inseparable from music. Author Hirohiko Araki has a deep love for Western music from the 80s and beyond, and this inspiration is felt in all facets of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
Characters like Vanilla Ice and Stand abilities like Red Hot Chili Peppers are just a few of the many names that are named after songs or musical artists. Beyond its references, character themes like “Il Vento D’oro” for Giorno Giovanna and opening songs like “Sono Chi No Sadame” are legendary in the anime community.
1 Attack On Titan is a masterclass in musical score
The attack of the Titans is the best work of Hiroyuki Sawano. Humanity’s dying struggle against the dreaded titans is evident in tracks like “attack ON titan” and “Before Lights Out”. Sweeping orchestral melodies and singers with incredible vocal range show the epic scale of what’s at stake, while “You See Big Girl” conveys both emotion and dread in equal measure.
Having “Guren No Yumiya” as one of the most memorable anime openings of all time is just icing on the cake. Sawano combined Japanese singers with classic European themes and German lyrics to create a soundtrack as beloved as The attack of the Titans himself.
Next: 10 Best Anime Based On Music