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My top ten favoite anime soundtracks

  • Feb 19, 2013
When most people think anime, they don't really think about the music. They think bumbling teenage boys with magic powers who lust after stuck up snoddy hot chicks with huge boobs. They think Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, and or some other kiddy nonsense. But anime fans with  more mature preferences will tell you that there is a lot of depth and a lot of gold hidden within the generic, immature, kiddy crap. One of the greatest chunks of gold, I've found, in anime is the multitude of amazing scores and soundtracks written for these shows and movies which can give even the best of Hollywood a run for their money.

So here they are, my personal top ten anime scores and soundtracks.
The Place Promised In Our Early Days
If ever there were a soundtrack to bring me to tears on the power and emotion of its score alone, it is this one.

Though I found the actual movie to be a bit of a disappointment, the score for this film is beyond a doubt one of the most beautiful and emotional works of art ever made. The piano is just so perfectly played... ahh, there's not enough good things I can say about this score. You ever hear that score that just brings you to tears every time you hear it? Yeah, that's this for me.
See the full review, "Beautiful, Poetic, and Moving visuals, but Bad Pacing Keeps this from Being Great.".
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
Who knew that a show about a Japanese rock band (yuck) could be so cool? And who knew that the music made for just such a show would be equally amazing?

If I didn't know any better I'd say the people who created Cowboy Bebop created this show. Rock n' Roll Japanese style, who knew?
Princess Mononoke (Dub) (1999)
Any anime fan worth their salt knows the works of Hayo Miyazaki, and any fan of Miyazaki's work knows about his close affiliation with legendary Japanese composer Joe Hisashi. Half of what makes Miyazaki's movies so great are the beautiful and majestic score written for them. A few of them appear on this list, but I want to talk about Princess Mononoke in particular for it is far and away the best of them all.

Or how about this gem of a song? It makes me want to take a walk in the park every time I hear it.

Its just too amazing for words.
Cowboy Bebop
Come on, you knew this was going to make the list. Cowboy Bebop is the perfect anime show, its the Firefly of the anime world really. Great characters, great plots, great writing, and most importantly for this list, GREAT music. I normally don't like jazz and blues, but it works out perfectly for this show. I mean, how can you listen to that opening and NOT get pumped for it?
You knew another Miyazaki movie was going to appear here, and with it another Hisashi score. This was only the second anime I'd ever seen, and though half the score is weird techno music, the other half is orchestra gold.

The man himself in action.
Now and Then, Here and There (Complete Collector's
Its a shame this show doesn't get the attention it deserves, though it does have a very passionate fan base. It is my personal favorite anime of all time, and that's due in no small part to the music. Again like Nausicaa its got that weird mix of techno music, but for this show it actually works. But the real show stealer is the main theme, its so haunting but yet endearing that it leaves me with heartbreaking fondness.
Castle in the Sky
What, ANOTHER Hisashi score? Yes, yes, and yes. And its not hard to see why, he is simply the best composer Japan has to offer, and he loves scoring Miyazaki films. Its the best team since Jordan and Pippin! Castle in the Sky is another stand out score, and its not even the last to appear on this list.
Spirited Away
And finally we get to the last Hisashi score on this list. Spirited Away was actually the first anime film I'd ever watched, and at first I hated it. It was strange, it didn't make any sense to me, the characters confused me, but after a few viewings it grew on me until now it's one of my favorite movies ever. And I do mean ever, I think its number ten on my all time favorite movies list. That's just how good it is.

Or how about this little gem?
Voices of a Distant Star
From the same creator as The Place Promised in Our Early Days, this was actually his first movie, and he wrote all the music as well. Again perfect piano pieces really give the film a more epic feel despite its thirty minute run time.

Or the more sped up version.
Grave of the Fireflies
Not the most memorable soundtrack of all time, but one song always stood out to me. For the movie, its just perfect.

And here's an AMV created with the song Let it Be by The Beatles. Not from the movie, but I love this video so much, I thought I'd share it.

What did you think of this list?

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April 08, 2013
Impressive list.
April 08, 2013
Thank you
April 09, 2013
You are very welcome.
February 25, 2013
What no Gigantor?
February 26, 2013
Never seen it, is it any good?
February 28, 2013
I was joking about the Gigantor soundtrack. It was really cheesy music. It was an old cartoon from the 1960's. I liked it when I was a kid but would probably find it ridiculous today.
About the list creator
Jonathan J.D. Lane ()
Ranked #13
I am a member of the US Air Force and presently serve overseas at RAF Mildenhall about three hours north of London. I grew up in Pappilion Nebraska and Crestview Florida, but since joining the Air Force … more
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