Uh… well, this is going to be interesting.
So I was recently tagged by Aria, over at The Animanga Spellbook. And what would it happen to be but a tag bringing my musical tastes to the fore! And that’s… really interesting because I’m probably going to have to utter rack my brain over this. Dewbond started the tag, and now the torch has been handed off to me. It’s the Put a Tune to It tag! Now for the rules.
Right. So this is tough because… I honestly don’t believe most western music that I listen to really goes well with… really any of the anime I watch? I also mostly listen to Japanese music anyway. Generally speaking, I don’t pay much attention to the words in music because the music, itself, is the draw for me. That and occasionally the actual vocal ability of whoever’s singing. So coming up with songs that actually sum up any show, let alone a whole genre, is a tough one for me. But, alas, I have been called. I must answer. Always.
This one’s kind of easy. So this song could easily fit with many, many, many series, and even more characters. I just chose this one because it’s perhaps the easiest one in recent memory. The song’s lyrics invoke the sort of thing that Saitama represents. He’s this godly powerful entity but, at the end of the day, there’s one challenge he simply can’t overcome – his own depression. For all the exaggeration and bombastic action within the series, that one detail brings everything back down to a very human level. And the song feels appropriate to that.
It’s a bit of a sweeping generalization. But it stands that most battle shounen – most shounen, in general, really – abide by this philosophy of fighting (be it literally or just as a matter of struggling and enduring) through trials in order to surpass yourself and achieve the next natural state in your individual evolution, whatever that might be. They champion the idea of never giving up and, when the chips are down, fighting your hardest anyway. The song more or less captures the essence of that. Appropriately, the first time I heard this song was an AMV. It was for DanMachi, which is… basically a shounen, honestly. But even if we go with it not being so, it does apply to that series really well, given Bell’s entire character arc. I think it also works pretty well with really any action series where the MC isn’t OP (at least not from the beginning) and the action is tenser.
I’m going to be honest. I have a problem with Re:Creators. And amusingly enough, this song represents it, in a way. Because it speaks to the exact element of this series that bugged me – how absolutely dour it was. The message was pretty and hopeful but the package was just so bloody depressing or unrelentingly grim, half the time, for a series that should’ve been a lot more fun than it was, just based on the concept, alone. That said, I do think this song actually very well represents one of the core conflicts (internal and literal, I suppose) within the show as the main character wrestles with the pain and guilt over his role in the suicide of his friend and fellow creator whose demise spawned the entire ordeal. And while I wish to high heaven that this song didn’t represent the series so well, it’s a very good, gripping and tragic song that works really well with the story’s more emotional beats.
This is thematically pretty perfect for Death Note as the song is about exactly what it says on the tin – the desire of people to control those around them and the consequences thereof. Light Yagami is, of course, the epitome of this, using the Death Note to become a mortal god as the power went to his head, ultimately falling in the end due to his hubris. Death Note isn’t really my thing, given my preferences. But this song really suits it. I can see the upbeat vibe of the song making it difficult to see fitting with the rather dark series… luckily, there’s an appropriately much darker version by Lorde that I think is far more tonally consistent. And here is that, for those of you who may be curious.
Whether you prefer the old classic or this newer, darker rendition, I think the song’s overall theme suits the series well. As an aside, I almost suggested Overlord for the song (which would ironically be a better fit for the classic version). But Ainz… doesn’t really face any long-term consequences for his conquest. So it ultimately doesn’t fit all that well. Though one could argue that, in that case, the song would very much apply to those Ainz overthrows as he’s sort of this karmic force of nature unto them. Food for thought.
Real talk. I went through my entire music library while trying to figure out what song I wanted to go out on. I decided to listen to this just because I felt like it. Then it hit me that I knew the PERFECT connection for this. This song suits Nodoka, from Bunny Girl Senpai to an absolute T. The song has a lot of potential meanings. But the most obvious is in the often complicated relationship between parents and children. Particularly neglectful and/or overbearing parents whose actions only serve to drive their children away, possibly to even fatal extremes. It explores the effect that kind of upbringing can have on a child. The self-loathing. The self-flagellation. All things that Nodoka deals with, only exacerbated by her having a more successful sister whom she looks up to and is led to resent. It’s just a really great fit overall.
All right, I think that’s a fine place to end things. Now then, let’s see… let’s see. Nominations… let’s go wiiith…
(Really, my method is just to go through my WordPress reader to see who’s been active within the past week and then check to the best of my ability to see who’s already been tagged since I wanna try tagging people who haven’t been, already. That’s all. I just make a show of it, ’cause it’s amusing.)
Okay, we’re done here! I’m sure there’s other music in my massive library that could potentially fit well with a ton of anime. But I’d be writing this forever if I took the time to search through all of it and the huge library of anime I’ve seen (or, in the case of Death Note, learned about through pure osmosis). These were the ones that jumped out so I went with ’em.
I’m interested in hearing what you guys have to say or suggest!
Keep up the Awesome!
We’re baaack. And ready for another season of anime essays! Stay Toon’d!
March of the Magical Girls concludes with the girls’ final thoughts on the second season of Senki Zesshou Symphogear! Stay Toon’d!
Our boss just launched a brand new Web Novel project! Check out the details, over on his blog!