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12 Days of Anime #6: Top 5 Best Soundtracks I Listened This Year

Music, for me, is an integral part of any anime production. Music is what sets the tone for a battle of all ages and for a romantic climax. It lets people know when to expect a heartfelt tearfest and also when its time to laugh, even if the joke doesn’t exactly land. Without music, many of the best moments in anime would not have nearly the emotional punch that they do. For another end of the year list, here are my top 5 best soundtracks of the year.

5. Durarara!!

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No show set in the bustling and always exciting city of Ikebukuro would be complete without Durarara’s equally as bombastic and overactive soundtrack. It takes everything great about the show and transforms itself into the music equivalent. Its mix of Urban and J-Pop sounds makes for a wonderfully diverse listening experience.

4. Jormungand

Jormungand

Jormungand’s soundtrack was a large part of my initial love of the show. Tracks like Time to Attack and Cul-de-sac know how to set the mood of the more action-packed and darker moments of the show. It always felt that the music knew exactly when to come in and when to leave, which is part of why it is such a good soundtrack.

3. Sound! Euphonium

Sound

One would hope going into a show about a high school with a dream of reaching 1st place in the national competition that it would have a good soundtrack to support it, and luckily Sound! Euphonium delivers on that front. A highly expressive soundtrack for a highly expressive cast of characters.

2. The Ancient Magus Bride

the ancient magus bride

While Ancient Magus Bride is an appealing show for many reasons, its soundtrack is one I find to be a particularly convincing one. Its opening Here is one of the many examples of what the show does right, blending Celtic origins of many of the myths that appear in the show with just the right amount of fantastical energy to give it a particular feel.

1. No Game No Life Zero

NO GAME

Everything about this movie is great. It recreates an entirely new world that otherwise hadn’t been mentioned in the No Game No Life anime and manages to bring it to life with exceptionally high quality. I’ll admit that I never thought much of the music in the original, but No Game No Life Zero cranks it up to 10 and breathes life into what would otherwise have been just another J-Pop/electronic filled soundtrack, making it feel vital to the movies overall feeling.


What was your favorite soundtrack of the year? Was it even an anime soundtrack? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 4 Reaction: Lots and Lots of Cats(and Sorcerers)

If you’re wondering why I’ve started with episode four when it comes to reactions to The Ancient Magus Bride, then I have two reasons. 1) I’ve been busy with school still, and 2) I have already detailed my thoughts on the shows initial episodes in an older post, which you can read here. With that Out of the way, here’s my reaction.

As someone who hasn’t read the manga in any capacity, I have gone into to this series completely blind, so I definitely was not expecting episode four. The show picks up from where episode three ended, with Chise having passed out after a ride with one of the elder dragons. She wakes up on Elias’ lap and sees that they’re on a train, where she meets a talking cat and discovers what their next mission is. Already I was both taken by surprised and extremely intrigued, and this was only the first three or four minutes of the episode.

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The group finds themselves in a village Ulthar, a small village which is known as the Cat Kingdom. This is because even though humans live there, a huge population of cats is concentrated in the area. Elias and Chise meet with the King of the Cat Kingdom, Molly, who asks for there help with a particular task: getting rid of an evil.

Molly tells Chise the story of a couple that lived in the village long before she had been alive. The husband of that couple was a maniac who would kill cats and go on a rampage. This is when the cats decided to come together and fight back. This addition to the lore of Ancient Magus Bride was an interesting but also fun one. The show opens with what a cute and funny set of new furry characters, but as we learn is much more serious. A lot of this seriousness comes from learning more about the differences between a sorcerer and a mage.

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The middle part of the episode shows Chise with the Molly and the other cats looking at the problem that the cats created when they decided to kill the cat murdering maniac named Matthew. Out of nowhere a mysterious woman comes and drops Chise in the water before leaving, attempting to drown her.

At the end of the episode, we get an even clearer picture of who the sorcerers are, when they appear while Chise is attempting to rid the village of Matthew and his wife. The sorcerers tell Chise that Elias is only using her as a toy and that she will die soon.

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Overall, this was a good episode. It is established that the two sorcerers we meet are people that Elias knows from somewhere before, and are likely to be the series’ main villains. It also seems as though the original doubts that Chise had about Elias are likely to resurface, and it doesn’t seem like Chise is the type of person now who would take her questions being brushed off. Next episode will likely be a revealing one.

Opening of The Week: Here by Junna (The Ancient Magus Bride)

In trying to establish at least some level of consistency on this blog, I have decided to start posting an opening of the week. Each week, I will share an opening that I think is awesome and that you guys should listen to.

The inaugural episode is being dedicated to not only one of my favorite shows, but not my favorite openings: The first OP from The Ancient Magus Bride, Here by Junna.

I remember the first time I heard this opening a few weeks ago, and within the first 10 seconds, I could feel an intensity in the music. It wrung with an incredible amount of power, and the singer Junna’s voice was impressive, to say the least.

Cut to a few days ago when I read that Junna is only 16 years old, and that her first album came out this year! Talk about talented. Her powerful voice, combined with the Celtic influence behind the musical production, and you get an opening perfectly fit for a show like The Ancient Magus Bride.

I don’t know about you, but this OP has got me jamming out every time I listen to it. In Fact, you might be able to argue the music is too intense for a show like this. Highly recommend!

I Just Saw The Ancient Magus Bride, and I’m Excited

Yesterday, I went to the Crunchyroll Anime Movie Night and saw The Ancient Magus Bride, and It was probably one of the best viewing experiences of an anime I’ve had. Rarely do I get to view anime in theater, and, in fact, this was only my second time seeing anything anime on the big screen. The first time was going to see the amazing Your Name.

Before they showed Magus Bride, Crunchyroll gave a sneak preview of its upcoming original film Children of Ether. Now, based on the clip they showed, I’d have to say that I’m a bit skeptical. The story seems like its going to be enjoyable, but the directorial debut of Lesean Thomas overall is not promising. The animation was a bit wonky in a lot of places, especially in the fight scenes. It was just a ten minute clip, though, so hopefully the whole movie will be better.

The main event; however, did not disappoint. The first three episodes were an absolute masterpiece, to say the least. Of course, I can’t speak for the quality of the show beyond episode three, but based on the show so far a drop off in quality is not likely. The animation was on par with most other Studio Wit productions, and the colorful art pallet fit perfectly for a show about magic.

The characters have also been a delight. Chise, while not having done much so far, seems to be genuinely growing from her experiences with Elias, and because of that it looks like she will be able to adequately deal with her past. Elias is a bit more shrouded in mystery. His motives on the surface seem ok, but I get the feeling there is a lot more going on in the mage world then what the story, and more specifically he, is showing us.

The Music is by far my favorite part of the show so far. The soundtrack has what I would describe as a more regal feel to it, which makes sense considering the show is set in England. A lot of the tracks have large horn sections which I like a lot, and I hope to see that trend continue.

If there was a line to buy tickets for the hype train, then I would be first in it. I’m genuinely hoping that the show doesn’t disappoint, because what we got in these first three episodes was amazing.