This year I decided to split up my year in review post into several smaller posts. First I’ll look at the music in anime this year. I hate J-POP with a fiery passion, so keep that in mind.
Worst OP / ED
This year had a lot of terrible OPs. But only one of them made me want to hang myself.
Congratulations, Queen’s Blade: Rebellion! Your music sounds nearly as good as scratching nails on a chalkboard!
10. Eureka Seven AO — Escape
The pump-up song of the year that gets you set for the show to start. Nice long, held out vocals.
9. Nisemonogatari — Hakkin Disco
This one’s not on youtube unfortunately. But Shinbo sure can be stylish.
8. Morestu Pirates — Mugen no Ai
One of the most musically interesting OPs of the year. This one goes all over the place, and makes heavy use of distortion. This has one of the best songs, but the visuals are comparatively lame, especially when contrasted with the music.
7. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san — Taiyou Iwaku Moeyo Chao
Cheerful and ridiculous enough for a show like Nyaruko.
And as a bonus, check this out.
6. Space Bros — Feel so Moon
Rainbow drool, rockets, and Hibito drilling a hole in the moon with his hair. Plus a catchy tune. Makes you feel so moon!
5. Sakamichi no Apollon — Sakamichi no Melody
Catchy tune, great visuals. I love all the floating music notes in particular. Just because I liked it doesn’t change the fact that they should have used jazz though.
4. Humanity has Declined — Real World
Dancing fairies, whooo! So bright and cheerful, just like the show!
3. Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Meteoroid-Falling, Burning, and Disappear, Then… — Synchrogazer
Sorry, I couldn’t find this one with the visuals either. But this is some wild techno stuff, ready to get you totally pumped for the awesomeness that is Symphogear. Fits the show perfectly, and catchy to boot.
2. Tsuritama — Tsurezure Monochrome
An extremely catchy tune, matching with equally catchy dance moves.
1. Polar Bear Cafe — Boku ni Invitation
Again, the visuals are banned by youtube. 🙁 This one has great visuals, with the penguin rocket car, the dancing people and animals, and the spinning coffee cup. The music is extremely catchy and the singer has a nice voice. My favorite OP of the year.
This list was much harder to rank. There were a bunch of excellent endings this year.
10. Eureka Seven AO — Iolite
I like the lead-in with the snare rim shots. The rest is fairly generic J-Pop, but kind of catchy. The visuals are very minimal.
9. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san — Zutto Be with You
I want to hate this because of the terrible Engrish, the fact that it’s J-Pop, and the dull visuals, but the tune is just too damn catchy.
8. Nichibros — Ohisama
The cast puts on a silly musical. Musically simplistic, with just a piano and drum set supporting the vocalists. As hilarious as the show itself.
7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure — Roundabout
They picked an existing song that was actually good. Hard to screw that up. I’m surprised more shows don’t take this approach. Or maybe they actually think all those generic J-Pop songs are good. Also, this lends itself perfectly to an ending lead in, which they make great use of. The visuals are disappointing.
6. Humanity has Declined — Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume
I like here how the visuals actually tell a story, summarizing the entire show. Usually the ED just shows random things from the show, but here you could actually understand the ED on its own without much context. Musically it sounds influenced by classical Chinese music. The singer has a really high-pitched voice.
5. Tsuritama — Sora mo Toberu Hazu
This one’s banned from youtube as well. The song itself is a cover of a 1994 song by the band Spitz. The video above is the original version. It’s quite a catchy tune, and its relaxed feel fits in perfectly with Tsuritama. The animation of the paper sea adds to the feel.
4. Hyouka — Kimi ni Matsuwaru Mystery
Chitanda and Mayaka are dress up as detectives to arrest Satoshi and Houtarou, who are criminals. Most adorable thing ever. By the way, whoever made the first Hyouka ED must have been really high, what the hell were they thinking? It didn’t fit the show at all.
3. Polar Bear Cafe EDs — Especially Grizzly Rock and Bamboo Scramble
These are all just so creative. They’re entertaining in and of themselves, with very interesting animation made from composting photographs together. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be available on Youtube.
2. Shin Sekai Yori — Yuki ni Saku Hana
Once again blocked on Youtube. I love the start, with its sequence of short riffs and pauses between them, and how this is coupled with scene shifts in the animation. This series of pauses leads the climax with the duet and continuous instrumental support to become much more intense. The bstract, stylish visuals complement the music and show perfectly.
1. Space Bros — Kokuhaku
So catchy. Starts with just the vocals and electronica in the background. Then builds up with the introduction of the guitar. Then it goes wild with the drums. These match the stages of a rocket launch. Then it adds a second vocalist and the rocket starts dancing. A beautiful buildup, coupling the music and the animation.
This final category is for the music during the show, excluding the OP and ED.
5. GIRLS und PANZER
No explanation necessary.
Singing gives these girls battle powers so they’d better have a good soundtrack. The music is what makes this show. There’s nothing like blasting monsters while you listen to epic techno music.
3. Sakamichi no Apollon
It’s a show about jazz. How can they not have a good soundtrack? Although that’s what I said about the OP and ED too…
2. Shin Sekai Yori
Creepy percussive noises, mystical chanting, bugs and slimy things in the background, contemplative orchestal arrangements… Shin Sekai Yori knows how to use music to amp up the tension and build atmosphere.
The whimsical music of Kuurecorder Quartet fit perfectly for this series.
What did you think the best music in anime for 2012 was? Feel welcome to leave a comment and share.