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More Anime Soundtracks to Put in Your Playlist

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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It is Friday, which means another column to share from my time at my college’s newspaper. This time, I thought it would be fun to return to the topic of good anime soundtracks, and so here are a few more that should absolutely be on a playlist of yours if they are not already. While a certain show that I have talked about in the past is also on this list, I stand by the argument that it has a great soundtrack, so yeah. With that being said, let us begin.


Welcome back, tourists.

With increasing access to pretty much every kind of music through the internet and various music streaming services, it feels as though there is a soundtrack for pretty much every point in people’s lives. Now, instead of borrowing CDs, people are sharing playlists on Spotify and YouTube. 

I have said it before, and I am here to say it again. Anime has a number of amazing soundtracks with plenty of “banger” tracks, as the kids say, as well as slower, more reflective moments. Today, I want to share more of those worthwhile soundtracks. Content warning for some of the descriptions below.

“Wonder Egg Priority” – Music by De De Mouse

Those who follow seasonal anime might already be familiar with this new addition to the magical girl genre that recently took the community by storm. “Wonder Egg Priority” follows a group of girls who are transported to a dream world in order to rescue their friends who have died of suicide. The strange and dark nature of the show’s story and animation flows into the series’ soundtrack, courtesy of De De Mouse

The 42-year-old music producer pulled no punches on this project, taking his signature electronic music style and turning it up to 11. From the first episode to the latest, there is a sort of Kinetic energy that permeates the entire work. For the best example of this, check out episodes three and four. While it might be confusing, it will definitely also be exciting.

“Bleach” – Music by Shiro Sagisu

“Bleach” is an anime with a long and complicated history in terms of its quality. However, one element of the show that always felt underappreciated was its soundtrack. There are, of course, many openings that are worth talking about, especially its first one “Asterisk” by Orange Range. However, composer Shiro Sagisu knows how to capture the show’s unique flare. 

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The show’s long run time also came with it a much larger than usually soundtrack, and while there are, of course, the occasionally more generic-sounding songs, some, like “Ichigo’s Theme” help to carve out the show’s identity and give it that extra bit of hype that every good shounen anime needs. 

“Your Name” – Music by RADWIMPS

Maybe it is unfair to compare tv anime soundtracks with movies, but it would be an absolute tragedy to not recommend at least one movie from Makoto Shinkai, as his films are pretty much all about the experience. After all, it would not be a Shinkai film with the backing of RADWIMPS.

The J-Rock group has been around since the turn of the millennium but got international acclaim after their work on “Your Name,” and for good reason. Their unique brand of J-rock is both energetic and musically progressive, building on itself constantly until it reaches a fantastic peak. The film would have been much worse off were it not for this group, and it is definitely good car ride material.

It can be hard to find good music given just how much is available, but for those who are up for trying something new, there are plenty of anime soundtracks worth exploring. 


What other soundtracks did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special thanks to patron Jenn Coulter for continuing to support us this month.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Final Thoughts: Weathering With You

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

In the three years after the worldwide success that was “Your Name,” director Makoto Shinkai spent his time hard at work on yet another film, or at least that is what he said in an interview shown after “Weathering with You’s” premiere in U.S. theaters this week.

“Weathing With You” tells the story of Hodoka, a high school boy who runs away to the city of Tokyo, only to find out it is a little more than he bargained for. After finding a stable place to live Hodaka meets Hina, a girl who has the power to control the weather. Soon, the two decide to start a business, only for things to go horribly wrong.

The film certainly has a lot of interesting things about it, and so here are my final thoughts.

Weathering With You as a Message About Climate Change

Another thing Shinkai mentioned in the interview is that stuck out to me was that part of what inspired him to writer the film was the ever-looming threat that is Climate Change. Initially, I thoughts this was kind of posturing, and was something he only said to make the movie feel deeper than it really is.

However, the more I thought about it the more it maid sense. After all, the story focuses on a coporation (Hina and Hodaka) using the earth for profit at the expense of those around them (The people living in Tokyo), and Hina is almost made to pay for it. I suppose its fair to say, though, that this interpretation is a little mean, and that the message is much more general.

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The Guest Cameos

If you were not paying attention much at all while watching the movie, it would be pretty easy to miss the fact that the two main characters of “Your Name,” Mitsuha and Taki. While it is not super weird to see the two in the new movie, given that they are set in the same place at roughly the same time, it still kind of messes with my head a bit. Speaking of “Your Name,” though…

The Legacy of Makoto Shinkai

“Your Name” was an incredibly successful movie in every sense of the word. Not only did it become one of the highest selling Japanese films of all time, it also has had a cultural impact far beyond just the borders of Japan. It is certainly an epic tail that will be remembered well past 2016.

However despite the experience that “Your Name” was, I find myself gravitating much more towards “Weathering with You.”

Shinkai’s newest film actually feels like a departure in a lot of ways from his previous films. While movies like “Your Name” and “5 Centimeters Per Second” focused largely on the experience of the film, i.e. the overall atmosphere and feeling, “Weathering With You” feels a lot more grounded in its characters, which makes them feel a lot more human and not just random actors in a modern TV commercial.

Conclusion

Despite not feeling that great when going to watch it, “Weathering with You” managed to bring me on the emotional roller-coaster that only Shinkai films can, while also briging fresh ideas and interesting story lines as well. While maybe as ambitious as previous Shinkai films, the feelings it brings are real just the same.


How do you all feel about Weathering With You? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

12 Days of Anime #9: Posing an End of the Year Question: Your Name vs A Silent Voice?

2017 saw the explosion of anime’s popularity in the west, as it has been for the last couple of years. A lot of that attention, however, was focused on two particular franchises: A Silent Voice, which was released this year, and Your Name, whose popularity largely carried over into most of 2017.

To many, both of these critically acclaimed movies represent the best of what anime has to offer, and I would be inclined to agree. Both Makoto Shinkai’s newest masterpiece and KyoAni’s surprise hit both represent everything that anime can and should be. But I’m curious, which one do you think is better? Please leave your response and your reason in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Your Name Live Action: Can It Be Good?

The production of a live-action version of your name was recently announced, and it came as a surprise to many. While Your name has become one of the most commercially successful anime films of all time, alongside spirited away, It is still largely gone under the radar of your average moviegoer.

One person who did notice it was director J.J. Abrams, who will be producing the movie at his studio Bad Robot alongside the original creators of the film, Toho. Abrams is responsible for directing the highly successful Star Wars: Episode 7 and has the endorsement of the producer of Your Name, Genki Kawamura.

2014 NBCUniversal TCA Winter Press Tour Portraits
Writer, Director, and Producer J.J. Abrams

If there’s one thing that I think most fans can agree on its those live-action adaptations of anime and manga have been really, really bad. From Dragonball Evolution all the way to this year’s Ghost in the Shell and Death Note, Hollywood has been struggling to get it right, but honestly, it shouldn’t be that hard.

Imaginative stories like Death Note basically write themselves, but, as I‘ve noted before in a previous post, they still get it wrong. Whether it be adapting films accurately or just writing a new version of the story, it seems like anime has never really gotten the mainstream representation it deserves. Now the question arises as to whether or not Abrams can do arguably one of the best-animated films of all time any justice.

Honestly, though, I’m not confident, for a few reasons. The first of which is the very medium that Your Name exists: anime. Anime has many things that make it great, be it character design, music, and the vast pop culture references, but one thing that makes anime so great is the art. Art is an essential part of an anime’s identity and trying to recreate that in a live action film is going to leave a lot to be desired.

A live action version would also have another problem: Culture. Your name is a Japanese story, through and through. Everything about the story of your name, from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to the uniquely Japanese tradition of a Shinto shrine and the mythos behind the Red String of Fate would go over the heads of an American audience. It definitely went over my head when I watched it the first time. Without the uniquely Japanese part of Your Name, it would just be a sci-fi film about switching bodies.

Although, I can’t be too filled with dread because there is a reason to have hope. J.J. Abrams at the helm of this project might mean that we might finally get an adaptation that does the original film justice. Abrams has been at the forefront of Sci-fi films for a while, and his 2011 film Super 8 is one of my favorite movies of all time. Even Makoto Shinkai, Your Name’s director, seemed excited about the joint production, saying:

“‘your name.’ is a film that was put together with the local creativity and domestic techniques of those of us living in Japan. With such a movie now intersecting with Hollywood, there’s the potential for the staff to show us new possibilities, which is something I’m looking forward to in the finished film.”

In light of recent tragedies, it is completely justified to stay skeptical of this project. Even with the team behind it, there is no guarantee that this won’t end up a complete trainwreck. It would be nice to believe that there is even a glimmer of hope with the name attached to it, but that is most likely wishful thinking.