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NeoGAF Top Anime OST - Voting Thread

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phaze

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Feb 2, 2013
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Best OST:
1. Texhnolyze
2. Fate/Zero
3. Gurren Lagann
4. House of Five Leaves
5. Space Dandy
6. FLCL
7. Naruto Shippuden
8. Shin Sekai Yori
9. Diebuster
10. Kaiba
11. Madoka Magica
12. Katanagatari
13. Legend of Escaflowne
14. Dragon Ball Z
15. Saint Seiya
Best Song:

1. Tatsu Tori Ato wo Nigosa zu - Diebuster.
2. Decision- Naruto Shippuden
3. Wareta Ringo - Shin Sekai Yori

Best Composer:

1.Yuki Kajiura
2.Taku Iwasaki
3. Yoko Kanno
 

AfroLuffy

Member
Aug 17, 2004
177
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Best Soundtracks:

Giant Robo OVA – Masamachi Amano


Cowboy Bebop – Yoko Kanno


Akira - Geinoh Yamashirogumi


Princess Mononoke – Joe Hisaishi


Lupin III – Yuji Ohno


Space Adventure Cobra TV OST – Kentaro Haneda


Bubblegum Crisis OVA - Kouji Makaino & Various


Ashita no Joe – Ichiro Araki


Wolf's Rain – Yoko Kanno


Mushishi – Toshio Masuda


Ghost in the Shell (Film) – Kawai Kenji


Metropolis – Toshiyuki Honda


My Neighbor Totoro – Joe Hisaishi


Hellsing TV - Yasushi Ishii


Escaflowne – Yoko Kanno


Haibane Renmei – Kow Otani


Last Exile – Dolce Triad



Best Composers:

Joe Hisaishi
Yoko Kanno
Masamachi Amano
Kentaro Haneda
Yuji Ohno
Kenji Kawai
Kow Otani
Susumu Hirasawa
Michiru Oshima
 

X05

Upside, inside out he's livin la vida loca, He'll push and pull you down, livin la vida loca
Damn, I had forgotten about this!

Best OSTs:
1 - Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
2 - Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (The Symphonic Suite is God-tier)
3 - Mai HiME
4 - Rurouni Kenshin
5 - Turn A Gundam
6 - Cowboy Bebop
7 - Eureka Seven
8 - Fate/Zero
9 - Evangelion 3.0
10 - Gundam Build Fighters

Best Composer:
1 - Yuki Kaijura
2 - Yoko Kanno

I'll edit later and complete the list!
 

Aureon

Please do not let me serve on a jury. I am actually a crazy person.
May 27, 2013
7,810
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0
1. Cowboy Bebop
2. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
3. Gundam Build Fighters
4. Mushishi
5. Beck
 

PshycoNinja

Member
Jul 10, 2012
6,661
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Los Angeles Area
-Best Anime OST
01. Clannad: Full of emotion and passion. The soundtrack is what helped sell the show.
02. Angel Beats!: The range the soundtrack has is really wonderful. I find myself listening to tracks from the show very often.
03. Your Lie in April: I know this is one of the more recent shows on this list but the music in the show was perfect.
04. Gurren Lagaan: Just hits the highs right when it needs to.
05. Kanon 2006: What can I say? Jun Maeda is really good at what he does.
06. Terror in Resonance: Really powerful OST that has perfect placement in the show.
07. Chihayafuru: Just so good.
08. Anohana: This soundtrack was just beautiful in everything it tried to do.
09. Madoka Magica: Dark when it needs to be and I love it for that.
10. Little Busters: Mainly making the list because of the wonderful "Song for Friends" track.
11. Fate/Zero: Everything done here is just so well made.
12. Spice & Wolf: It's probably just a few of the songs but it helped the show with its atmosphere.
13. Glasslip: Just a really bad show. That isn't to say that it's soundtrack didn't had some amazing standouts, because it had some really beautiful tracks. Shame that this soundtrack was used in this particular show.
14. Toradora: The music of the show really shined in the more in the emotional parts of the show.
15. Death Note: Do you really think a show about a guy writing names in a notebook would've been as epic as it was without the soundtrack!?

-Best Composer
1. Jun Maeda
2. Yoko Kanno
3. Yuki Kajiura

-Best Song
1. Nagisa's Theme (Clannad): This is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.
2. Ichiban no Takaramono (Angel Beats!): Never fails to move me in some way.
3. Springs Melody (Your Lie in April): This piece just does everything right. It goes through many emotions in the span of the entire song.
4. Song for Friends (Little Busters): So, so beautiful.
 

nintendoman58

Member
Nov 20, 2011
10,893
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0
Best Anime OST
1. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: - Just absolutley nails that grandiose feeling.
2. Code Geass - With how intense and crazy things got in this show, this OST got the job done.
3. Fate/Zero - Dat chorus.
4. Mobile Fighter G Gundam - A hotblooded, crazy awesome soundtrack perfect for a great show about Gundam fights!
5. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - The OST in this show was better than it had any right to be
6. The King of Braves GaoGaiGar - Dude that scene where Guy lays the smack down with Yuuki aru tatakai playing in the background. So goood.
7. Black Jack (TV Series) - This OST does a really good job at going from nice and relaxing to super tense.
8. Puella Magi Madoka Magica - A fantastic OST that manages to feel magical, sad, and somber. Perfectly fitting for the show.
9. Hunter X Hunter - This OST is filled with so many awesome themes that's it's hard for me to describe it in one or two sentences. It's something that should be experienced in the show.
10. Baccano! - One of the grooviest anime OSTs I've ever heard. Especially the OP.
11. Gunbuster - An OST that just makes you want to cross your arms and start blasting aliens.
12. Getter Robo Armageddon - On this list for the Stoner Sunshine theme alone.
13. Shin Mazinger Z! - That groovy theme that played whenever Kouji was being a badass was super catchy.
14. Fairy Tail - One of my personal favourite OSTs of all time.
15. Clannad - Some of you might not enjoy this show. Some of you might despite it. But I dare you to listen to this OST without feeling at least some sadness. It's pretty difficult.

Best Composer
1. Taku Iwasaki
2. Kohei Tanaka
3. Yasuharu Takanashi

Best Song
1. Gurren Lagann: With your drill, pierce the heavens! - You know things were gonna get awesome as soon as you heard the first three notes of this song in the show.
2. G Gundam: Though My Palm is as a Raging Fire: - THIS HAND OF MINE IS BURNING RED! IT'S LOUD ROAR TELLS ME TO GRASP VICTORY!
3. Gunbuster March - Don't mind me, just slowly rising upwards while having my arms crossed.
 

ThatChairMan

Member
Apr 22, 2009
2,405
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860
Best OST
1. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere - I don't really expect many other people to vote for this, but this is my personal favorite soundtrack. The diversity in the genres of its tracks is really it's greatest strength.
2. Sound of the Sky - A very emotional soundtrack, ranging from downright mournful and reflective to positively festive.
3. Aria the Animation/Natural/Origination - The definition of relaxing.
4. Gundam Unicorn - Maybe because I heard this one first that I'm biased towards this as the best of Sawano's works compared to his other stuff.
5. Cowboy Bebop - Yeah...don't really need to say much. Everyone already knows why this is good.
6. Clannad - Ignoring my feelings about the actual series, the music in this was really good at tugging at your heartstrings.
7. Turn A Gundam
8. Ping Pong the Animation
9. Voices of a Distant Star - It's short length only makes each scene and track more memorable to me.
10. Honey and Clover
11. Mushishi - Very atmospheric and fitting for the show.
12. Kara no Kyoukai
13. Beck
14. Initial D - Delicious Eurobeat
15. .hack//Sign - Probably the primary motivation for me to start this series just to experience this soundtrack.

Best Composer:
1. Michiru Oshima
2. Kato Tatsuya
3. Hiroyuki Sawano
 

Jarmel

Banned
Mar 3, 2010
43,435
1
0
So I'm back. Ok after some consideration due to me being incapacitated, I'll extend the deadline for another couple of weeks up until 3 AM EST on May 24,2015. I didn't have a chance to remind people so we'll go with that.
 

TrounceX

Member
Aug 10, 2009
1,467
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3. Aria the Animation/Natural/Origination - The definition of relaxing.

This thread deserves more activity, so I'll work on throwing together a list, but for now I just want to say that this will be my #1 without a doubt. The definition of relaxing is exactly right. Sometimes if I'm feeling stressed out or depressed I'll just throw on an Aria soundtrack and instantly feel better. It's really quite remarkable. I wish more people gave the show a chance.
 

Deputy Dangle

Member
Feb 12, 2012
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So I'm back. Ok after some consideration due to me being incapacitated, I'll extend the deadline for another couple of weeks up until 3 AM EST on May 24,2015. I didn't have a chance to remind people so we'll go with that.

Glad to hear that. Will try to get a list out in time.
 

Bishop89

Member
May 13, 2013
16,287
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470
-Best Anime OST of All Time
Dragon Ball Z
Just so epic, the music fits every scene just perfectly. Hype inducing.

-Best Composer
Bruce Faulconer

-Best Song
Episode ending theme
Mot hyped tune ever... making even the last minute of dbz epic is just astounding.
ssj3
dbz theme


+ lots more, but since only 3 count...
 
Dec 4, 2014
261
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Not Japan ( " . . )
I'm surprised Sakamichi No Apollon (Kids on the Slope) didn't get any mention yet. However, it's understandable that on the first few episodes that you would think it's Yaoi anime, not to mention it's demographic being Jousei.
So while the anime may not be for you, I'm just here to bring it's OST into attention atleast.
Beside the nice Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop OSTs all over this thread (well deserved though), I'd think I'd add something that hasn't been mentioned yet...

Also, featuring yours truly - Yoko Kanno.

My Favorite Things
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L1r9hIytCA
My favorite (no pun intended). My Favorite Things is just...soulful. It deviates a bit from John Coltrane's original song but it's a damn good one. The engrish is cute, nice addition to the song. Understandable if not for everyone though.

Kids On The Slope
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKQqR-uOAS4
By 0:14 - 0:20, I was already hooked. A beautiful melodic line by the trumpet which fits with how this anime plays out. A combination of adolescence, frustration, drama within rose-colored friendships taking form within your ear.

Moanin'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caWY7uOlakU
Much darker tune compared to most of the other tracks, however the most memorable tune of the anime. The path of jazz was not always as carefree as the music. So was journey through the "Coming-Of-Age"

BUNKASAI Medley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BNRENSEV0g
This is a combination of 3 famous jazz songs, 2 of which that have already been mentioned above. It really shows the synchronization of these 2 characters, A nerdy brainiac pianist and a carefree brute drummer "arguing like good-natured princes on the way home". The song defines the bond between these 2 characters so well it was inspiring enough for a few tears.

I seriously apologize for not following the template, but this anime OST is so underrated I feel that it's criminal to have it left out.

EDIT: Forgot to include this cute music box version of the OP of this anime https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioE7JGWYkwk
 
I thought I couldn't think of much, but previous posts jarred my memory.

Best OST

1. Bubblegum Crisis (2032)

Not just the vocal tracks, every synth-filled track in this series shoves you into the driver's seat of high octane 80s mayhem.
The music ranges from intense(Rock Me!) to melodic(Konya Wa Hurricane) to melancholic(Mr. Dandy).

2. Samurai Champloo
A wonderful testament to Nujabes' talent. He could shift from hype music to smooth jazz without skipping a beat.

3. Princess Mononoke
Can't hear The Legend of Ashitaka without getting chills.

4. His & Her Circumstances
Catchy and fun throughout, immediately memorable. Ba-biya-ba!

5. Fate/Zero
It's a crying shame UBW hasn't even come up to the heels of Zero's OST.

6. Revolutionary Girl Utena
Best use of vocals in my list, easily. Everything should use choirs.

7. Initial D
Does this count? Not sure, but it has the best damn use of licensed music ever. FIGHT FOR LOVE TONIGHT!

8. Cowboy Bebop
Worth it just for Tank!. Well, the rest of the jazz is great too.

9. Mobile Suit Gundam
I put this here just for White Base Gallant Char.
Though I gotta give props to Zeta Gundam for its smooth jazz.

10. Haibane Renmei
None of ABe's shows had very memorable music, but this one sure did.


Composer
1. Yuki Kajiura
2. Nujabes
3. Joe Hisaishi

Best Song
1. Memoria - Fate/Zero
2. Magia (Kalafina) - Madoka Magica
3. Guardian Angel (Juno Reactor) - Texhnolyze


Honorables:
Let's Keep It Friends (Platonic) - Ranma 1/2
Out Of Control(Nothing's Carved In Stone) - Psycho Pass
Shiki no Uta - Samurai Champloo
Duvet (Boa) - Serial Experiments Lain
Do You Remember Love? - Macross
Information High - Macross Plus
Durarara Season 2(not X2, part 2 of Series 1)'s OP and ED, both are stellar.
 

ColossalLazy

Member
Sep 27, 2011
9,174
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0
I pretty much love anything Yoko Kano makes, such talent. I am also a big fan of Taku Iwasaki of music. I do not have a third favorite composer though.

For each OST I will provide a link to a song I like. Also, I felt that only 3 choices for favorite song is just too little since I have many favorite songs lol.

Best OST
1. Comboy Bebop
2. Wolf`s Rain
3. Macross Frontier
4. Samurai Champloo
5. Jojo Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency
6. Ghost in the Shell SAC
7. Ping Pong
8. Space Dandy
9. Gurren Lagann
10. Gundam Unicorn
11. Gundam Build Fighters
12. Noragami
13. The Big O
14. Initial D
15. Redline

Composer
1. Yoko Kanno
2. Taku Iwasaki

Best Song
1. The Real Folks Blues - Comboy Bebop
2. Stray - Wolf`s Rain
3. Shinku no Diamond Crevasse - Macross Frontier

Honorable Mentions

Birdy the Mighty Decode
Gatchaman Crowds
Yowamushi Pedal
Gankutsuou
Katanagatari
City Hunter
 

Jarmel

Banned
Mar 3, 2010
43,435
1
0
Suppose I should finally post my list.

Top OSTs:

1.Eureka Seven Franchise- (Yes this includes AO)
Yes, this is a bit unconventional as this spot would normally go to Cowboy Bebop however I feel Eureka Seven's OST is just as exemplary as Cowboy Bebop's. A number of songs such as Storywriter and Niji were done by the band Supercar. Supercar had already existed at the time that the anime was created and was led by Koji Nakamura. One of the more striking things about the OST is the breadth of genres in which it covers; there are heavy piano pieces, such as Truth, going all the way up to trance works, an example being Get it By Your Hands. The music ties thematically into the work in that the electronic music is supposed to represent the new generation, a passing of the torch.

As for AO, let's just say that the OST was the strongest element of the show. Koji Nakamura came back and while didn't surpass the original, he tried really damn hard. The result is a bit more rock heavy but still really fantastic. I also liked the remix they did of Niji for the show.

2.Cowboy Bebop-

Yea, the reigning king. There's not much I can say about this that hasn't already been said. The jazz theme serves as a reflection of the characters and story itself. Kanno's strongest work, and that's the highest of bars.

3.Fooly Cooly-

I'm surprised I haven't seen this on more lists. The Pillow's work helped lift up an already great OST. They really should work on more OSTs (I'm still salty about the Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer stuff). The music served to match the 'street punk' atmosphere of the show itself and the unconventional decision music-wise of the Pillow's involvement matched the off-the-walls directorial style of the OVA series.

4.Gurren Lagann Franchise-

Iwasaki's best work hands down. People focus on Row Row Fight da Powa (Libera me from Hell) but the other tracks are just as strong. Iwasaki nailed the epic nature of the show in the music itself. How many songs do you know that have opera and rap in them at the same time?

As to why I used a franchise vote is because I loved some of the movie remixes. Lagann-hen has a flat out AWESOME version of Sorairo Days.

5.Ghost in the Shell Franchise-

Kenji Kawai's work on the original OVA is an evolution of his work in Patlabor 2. It blended traditional Japanese music with electronics resulting in a surreal effect. Kanno also did some good work for SAC.

6.Samurai Champloo-

Nujabes(RIP) created a soundtrack that could hold up to Cowboy Bebop, no light feat. He used a mix of rap and jazz to give the OST this off-kilter feel. My favorite of the OST was used at the very end and I thought it was a great way to end the show..

7.Wolf's Rain-

So another Kanno listing, and we're not even halfway done yet. The OST not only has a haunting element at times but the flute solos, such as in Pilgrim Snow, give it an earthly element.

8.Big O-

The OST at times felt like something out of old scifi shows such as the Twilight Zone. However it could just as seamlessly switch into action pieces that remind me of 80's B movies. I love Sahashi's usage of trumpets, it gives many of his pieces an uplifting feel, even in other OSTs such as Full Metal Panic.

9.Neon Genesis Evangelion Franchise-

Tumbling down~

10.Madoka Magica-

Kajiura went all out. She not only captured the more tragic elements of the work but also created these great act pieces that matched the theatrics of the visuals.

11.Macross Frontier Franchise-

The pop songs in the Macross series have always been a highlight. Kanno took it to the next level. I would have never expected her to be capable of crafting songs that are so fun. Even the non-show pieces are fantastic. It's an OST that seems to be overlooked despite how extremely well done it is.

12.Fullmetal Alchemist-

My favorite Oshima work. There's so much variety in the work from the trumpets, that give it a militaristic feel at times, to the woodwinds].

13.Utena-

It has a phenomenal overture. The use of vocals for the duel themes assisted in developing a ritualistic atmosphere. The violin solos are also fantastic.

14.Mitchiko & Hatchin-

Has such a tropical feel to it. They got a Brazilian musician to compose the soundtrack, Alexandre Kassin, and it shows. The music helps contextualize the location, in that the audience is in Brazil (a rather unusual location for an anime). Yamamoto's decision to go outside the industry resulted in a very distinctive soundtrack.

15.Arjuna-

The only good thing from the show.

Composer:

1.Michiru Oshima-
I loved her work on Fullmetal Alchemist. However she's also done great stuff such as Little Witch Academia, Sora no Woto, and Tatami Galaxy.

2.Naoki Sato-
I didn't even get around to praising Sword of the Stranger's soundtrack. Which is a damn shame considering how fucking good it is.

3.Toshihiko Sahashi-
His work reminds me of the 80's movies I watched as a kid and I think he does a fantastic job developing themes for characters. I wish I had more slots so I could have listed Full Metal Panic, just for the trumpets. The trumpets are so good~

Song:

1.Green Bird

2.Sayonara no Tsubasa

3.Storywriter
 

DarknessTear

Banned
Sep 5, 2005
10,529
0
1,230
35
Ohio
Best anime OST of all time:

1. Darker Than Black
2. Gundam Wing
3. .hack//Sign
4. Last Exile
5. Mushishi
6. Neon Genesis Evangelion
7. Trigun

Composers:

1. Kow Otani
2. Michiru Oshima
3. Kajiura Yuki

Song:

1. Robe des Champs
2. I talk to the rain
3. Knives

Stuff. I haven't been listening to much anime music lately, but it used to be all that I listened to!
 

Joyful

Member
Jun 4, 2014
4,585
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745
neogaf
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1. The Big O
because I want to learn how to play some of the songs on piano , its that good

2. cowboy bebop
because its better than almost everything else

3. ghost in the shell
because


honorable mentions:

neon genesis evangelion
revolutionary girl utena
panty and stocking
madoka magica
durarara!!
parasyte
fate/zero
kara no kyoukai
gundam
gurren lagaan
yu yu hakusho
trigun
death note
akira
I could go on and on probably
 

javac

Member
Oct 25, 2012
15,368
1
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UK
Music has shaped a large part of my life, and so the opportunity to share some of these soundtracks that have moved me throughout the years and touched me in one way or another is exciting. It’s not easy to constitute a number to these soundtracks and to arrange them in any kind of order is no easy task either, but nevertheless I look forward to not only listening to these soundtracks one more time but also in figuring how just why they are so important to me in the first place and sharing them with you all. From the ones that made me cry to the ones that filled me with awe and wonder, these are my favorite anime soundtracks.

  1. Patlabor - Series
    My number one soundtrack is also my number one anime, and that’s Patlabor. What makes the soundtrack for Patlabor my number 1 is summed up with one word, diversity. The catalog of music for Patlabor is as deep as it is wide, with an assortment of classic, hard to get out of your head music littered throughout the classic series and films like Sea-Side Highway and If You Want It to beautiful, emotional pieces such as The Sunset of Ancient Times (Video contains Spoilers, sorry!) and just plain awesome tracks like Paradise no Kakuritsu. The soundtrack is both energetic and lively, while the Movie soundtrack has a sense of melancholy surrounding it such as The Second Movies Opening, with more upbeat music like Into the morning sunshine in juxtaposition to bookend the films more energetic scenes. The Patlabor films show signs of Ghost in the Shell Oshii before GITS was a thing on the silver screen, and the soundtrack is no exception. It does away with the ritualistic aspects of that aesthetic but retains the much loved synth with a slew of awesome vocals to add much needed character to the OST. It's a soundtrack that makes me laugh, smile and cry, and just like the show it has everything, and it does everything perfectly. Unlike the soundtrack for Akira, there’s not much to say in regards to the intricacies for this soundtrack, all you have to really know is that it’s awesome.
  2. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross/DYRL
    The original Macross series is without a doubt one of my all-time favorites. It’s a show filled with an amazing, engrossing cast, a captivating soundtrack from the late composer Kentaro Haneda and a beautiful story. The series was notable for its combination of action, Sci-Fi and romance, all held together with its core theme of music, a combination it pioneered and a combination that is still used today in the world of anime. Epic fights in space with a Japanese pop song playing in the background, all choreographed with finesse…what’s not to love? The music in Macross is truly a defining element of the series, and was embraced by fans all around the world, with its popularity transitioning Mari Iijima, the voice actress for one of the main characters into a mega hit sensation overnight. From classics like 0-G Love and Silver Moon, Red Moon to songs like Angel's Paints (Tenshi no Enogu), Flash Back is a joy to listen to.

    The soundtrack ranges from soft and sombre to sweeping and powerful with your healthy dose of Lynn Minmay classics thrown in for good measure. From vocal heavy tracks like Sunset Beach to background music like Trembling Heart, the music does a stunning job of adding emotion to the drama and weight to the amazing cast of characters and their actions and decisions and tracks like Dog Fiighter making each and every battle epic and exhilarating. All of it comes together to make a series that will have you shuffling from side to side one moment, shedding tears the next, and laughing all the way as the visual onslaught blows your mind away. Macross is all about the power of love, music and culture and with a soundtrack this good, the Zentradi and Meltrandi had no chance
  3. Texhnolyze
    From the very first moment that you start up Texhnolyze only to be greeted by the opening theme Guardian Angel you know that this soundtrack is going to be one that you’ll remember for many years to come. Keishi Urata’s work on Texhnolyze is as striking as the show itself and works in harmony with its visuals in order to conjure up an atmosphere that is unlike any other. Composer Keishi Urata relies heavily on the synthesizer while marrying its harsh and ambient reverberations with the sounds of drums and guitar riffs (contributed by the one and only Tsuneo Imahori) as the listener is entranced by what can only be described as an overdose of emotions. Its soundtrack is haunting and yet energetic and what this accumulates to is something that grabs you by the neck and pulls you deep into the world of Lux. They say sound is as important to a film as the video itself, and it’s easy to see why when watching a show like Texhnolyze.

    Keishi Urata’s contribution to the soundtrack includes tracks such as Code 07TX and Wavering Atmosphere, two very different tracks and both integral to the whole experience. Urata’s pieces consist of very surreal and ambient tracks that I find myself getting lost in, but what makes this soundtrack so very complete is the other half of the soundtrack that comes from a man named Hajime Mizoguchi (Escaflowne, Jin-Roh). Tracks like A Drop Of Sunlight Shimmering On Water and Gentle and Lasting Footstep are the brainchild of this vary man and unlike the other composer, Mizoguchi goes for a sound pallet that is very sombre and emotional, and it’s this other half that completes the show Texhnolyze and makes this soundtrack a full package.

    I find myself lost and in a trance when listening to A Mayfly Dance, and I find myself all over again when listening to One and Only Warmth and Time for Blooming Flower. Like the show itself, the soundtrack for Texhnolyze is one that is unrelenting, and never pulls it punches. Emotional and diverse are words that describe Texhnolyze and its soundtrack. It’s both fast paced and relaxed, with jazzy tracks such as When Reason Fails thrown into the very tasty mix. It’s a soundtrack that will get your blood pumping one minute and will have you lost in your sorrows the very next, and without a doubt it’s a soundtrack that will next leave your side, unwavering, like a rose that grows from the wreckage.
  4. The End of Evangelion
    Neon Genesis Evangelion is without a doubt a franchise that is very near and dear to me and it’s a series that has shaped my artistic eye and the way in which I perceive art and has opened my ears up to new sounds and has without a doubt expanded my appreciation for all things music to all new heights. It’s a phenomenal series with a phenomenal soundtrack, however the film The End of Evangelion in particular is without a doubt one of the greatest things to come out of the brain of Hideaki Anno and what makes it so powerful, so goddamn memorable among all of the other outstanding aspect that make up the film is the sublime soundtrack. Composer Shiro Sagisu is without a doubt as much of a master as Anno is when it comes to the Evangelion franchise, and is not only integral to Eva as a whole but every time he composes a song, he shows just how much in tune he is with the franchise. From the six minute track Munashiki Nagare that sweeps you off of your feet and demonstrates the scale of a film like End of Evangelion and its layers of emotions it contains to the use of Jesus bleibet meine Freude [Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147]which greatly encapsulates just what Eva is all about. Heisoku no Kakudai is a pivotal piece to the whole of The End of Evangelion and articulates the failure of the instrumentality project and the removal of a blockage that Anno was so focused on removing during the creation of Evangelion.

    Anno: It's a problem of the quality of the Japanese people themselves. To express it in the style of Shiba Ryotaro, the voltage of Japan is decreasing. It's not just anime; novels, films, manga, no matter the kind of culture, they are all surely declining, I believe. It's not simply a matter of the old times being good. We[, my generation,] and those after are already a "copy culture," so there's nothing else we can do. As copy piles upon copy, they quickly become distorted and diluted. [...] In this situation, things can hardly be improved. It's difficult, I think. From here, Japan will probably rapidly reach an impasse. Perhaps years from now, or perhaps longer, someone will figure out something, and perhaps things will just keep declining. In Japan as a country, culture has already become "blocked." Korea, China, and South Asia have been able to produce exemplary works, and the day may arrive when they do away with Japanese things. I believe the intention to break down this "blockage" is essential.

    Yume no Sukima projects the feelings of loneliness and unknowingness as to what lays ahead, while the cathartic Komm, süsser Tod is an acceptance of everything facing oneself with open arms. Whatever the case, and whatever the End of Evangelion means to you, it’s clear that without a doubt Evangelion is a personal series, one in which Anno poured all of his consciousness into, and as such is a snapshot so to speak of his mind-set at the moment in time, and truly what a snapshot it is.

    Anno: I think that, seen from the perspective of those who value suppressing one's self and depicting other people, there is nothing more foolish than what I have done. But, we who have lived in the midst of a vague feeling of "blockage" for ten, twenty, or thirty years, can do nothing but call attention to ourselves. I think we are a lonely generation who can do nothing but get others to recognize [our?] individual existences, being unable to recognize our own existences.
  5. Only Yesterday
    The Studio Ghibli Films are near and dear to my heart, with jaw dropping visuals and beautiful stories, each of them has a gorgeous soundtrack nestled at its core. It’s hard to pick a favourite, from Princess Mononoke to Ocean Waves there’s something for everybody, but at the top lays Only Yesterday. Like this film itself, the soundtrack is soft and soothing, gentle to the touch as it lulls you into its fully realized world. Composed by Katz Hoshi, the soundtrack employs an aesthetic reminiscent of Eastern European folk music, like Frunzuliță Lemn Adus Cântec De Nuntă, which is a Romanian folk song by Gheorghe Zamfir and is used frequently, most prominently during shots of the beautiful landscapes and vistas that surround this film. Many instances of both Hungarian and Bulgarian folklore music is present here, and helps to create a truly unique pallet of music. The ending theme is without a doubt one of my favorite pieces from any film and closes this stunning film perfectly.

    Only yesterday is a beautiful, delicate film that is near and dear to my heart and its soundtrack is a piece of that puzzle that places tears on my cheeks and a smile on my face. It’s sombre and yet powerful, peaceful and yet lively and very intimate. Words often fail me in describing this soundtrack and this film for that matter, but like most films, its best seen for yourself, and like most music, its best heard for yourself too.
  6. Giant Robo: The Animation
    Giant Robo without a doubt is home to one of the greatest anime soundtracks of all time. Composed, arranged and conducted by Masamichi Amano and performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the soundtrack to this phenomenal OVA is as haunting as it is beautiful, with much verity. From grandiose and imposing to cheerful and upbeat, the soundtrack does a wonderful job of emulating the emotions of the characters on screen. Released in seven soundtracks, the amount of music to listen to here would be daunting if it wasn’t so good to listen to. From tracks like ‘Saint Abbey! Main Roshin Shidou!’ which twist and turn as they conjure up a multitude of emotions to eye watering pieces like ‘Ashita e no Kibou’ which present the softer side to this terrific show, soothing and soft and yet both firm and reassuring. Like the show itself, many realities are hard to face, with many tragedies and losses had, and yet a future to look forward to glows inside each and every character.
  7. Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster
    Ah Gunbuster, one of my all-time favorites, I mean what an ending huh? Sadly I’m not here to talk about the show itself, but the soundtrack, but it so happens that the soundtrack is also one of the defining traits of Gunbuster. Gunbuster presents many emotional scenarios and the soundtrack plays a huge part in making them work. From punchy tracks like Try Again To emotional rollercoasters like A Grim Resolution and Beyond the River of Time and cheesy 80’s j-pop such as Active Heart, whatever you’re looking for, Gunbuster has you covered. From composer Kohei Tanaka who’s arranged many other superb soundtracks, its clear as day that Gunbuster sits at the top of his fine portfolio. With tonnes of variety, he effortlessly matches the highs of the Gunbuster story and creates a soundtrack that quite literally defines a generation and aims straight for the top.
  8. Akira
    In 1988 an animated film was released that quite frankly changed the world of film and animation ever since, a sci-fi cyberpunk masterpiece known simply as Akira. With ground-breaking animation it blew everybody away and made the argument for adult focused animated works that told deep stories with mature narratives. Akira is a master class in storytelling, but what elevates it to further heights is the soundtrack.

    Geinoh Yamashirogumi, the group tasked with the soundtrack is made up of an ensemble of ordinary people from all walks of life, from university students to doctors and engineers and businessmen. When tasked with the soundtrack for Akira, no budget was allocated; all they received was a blank check and job to finish the soundtrack within 6 months with full carte blanche at their disposal. The collective’s diversity is apparent with their utilization of many technical innovations within the music industry, making use of computers and micro-tuning facilities in order to accurately reproduce the sound of the Indonesian gamelan and the indigenous Balinese jegog.

    The opening track Kaneda starts with the sound of thunder before the roar of a 1929 Harley Davidson invites the listener with the proceeding gamelan arrangement. Another standout track is Tetsuo, which gradually accumulates in complexity, integrating the church organ and a choir as it progressively gets darker. The piece, named after the ‘antagonist’ works as a character study, depicting both his child-like nature with a music box while also depicting his misuses of the powers he’s granted.

    One of my favorite pieces from the soundtrack is Exodus from the Underground Fortress, which is one of the more conventional bits of music in Akira, which makes use of a variation of the jegog arrangement that is also used in Kaneda's theme, backed up with drums, a stellar use of the guitar and some synthesizers. Director Katsuhiro Otomo wanted the soundtrack to deploy a sense of urgency with this track as it nears its conclusion.

    The soundtrack for Akira is without a doubt one of the greatest soundtracks in film, with Geinoh Yamashirogumi exhibiting a full understanding of the material and delivering an unorthodox soundtrack that works in conjunction to the artwork in order to create a visual/audio tour de force. The founder of Geinoh Yamashirogumi later founded an Institute of Science and Culture and helped in the creation of the dynamic hypersonic audio effect. It is believed that humans cannot hear frequencies above 20kHz, however the existence of such a frequency still has an effect on the listener, and has since been incorporated into the Blu-ray release of Akira.
  9. Ghost in the Shell - Movie
    A list of the best anime films is incomplete without Ghost in the Shell; a list of the best anime series is incomplete without Ghost in the Shell and without a doubt a list of the best anime soundtracks is incomplete without Ghost in the Shell. The soundtrack to GitS invokes an aesthetic that is often coupled with something of a ritualistic nature. Kenji Kawai makes heavy use of Yamato , an ancient Japanese language which is prominent throughout the movie but is best heard in the iconic opening credits, Making of a Cyborg. The soundtrack for Ghost in the Shell goes against all traditions and applies a very atmospheric and methodical sound to what is in essence a cyberpunk film, and that is very unheard of, and yet it works perfectly. Nightstalker again is a very atmospheric track that makes use of a synthesiser and is one of my favorite tracks from the film, while The First Sight of You Was Like Looking At Heaven is a upbeat Cantonese pop song that works in juxtaposition to the high tech, low life world that that characters inhabit.
  10. City Hunter
    The music for City Hunter is easily a highlight, embracing its 80’s life; it’s jazzy, cheesy and full of emotion with each song doing a stand-up job of signalling what type of scene is coming next. You know something heartfelt is coming your way when you hear The Shining of Cat's Eye play, and you know Saeba is going to do something badass when you hear Want Your Love. The music is energetic, dynamic and punchy, unashamed to tap into its cheesy 80’s action heritage. The soundtrack is top notch and straight up my alley. The opening and closing themes are also fantastic, with one of the greatest fade-ins in any anime, period. Easily a top 10 soundtrack for me when it’s all said and done and easily a top 10 show

    The remaining 5 (AKA No time to put them into my list and write enough to slot them in the above, but they would be in there if I had time):
  11. Robot Carnival
    A great soundtrack for an amazing film. From PRESENCE III to my favorite, Starlight Angel, this soundtrack is as unique as the visuals contained within, truly an audio/visual masterpiece. Should be higher on my list, but alas.
  12. Porco Rosso
    One of the first soundtracks that I ever genuinely fell in love with, head over heels.The Bygone Days and Toki Ni Wa, truly a beautiful soundtrack.
  13. Grave of the Fireflies
    I cry uncontrollably whenever I hear the ending theme, the soundtrack truly made this film something I will never forget, and I write this as I shed tears, a beautiful soundtrack for a beautiful film.
  14. Perfect Blue
    A psychological horror with catchy pop music works surprisingly well, utilizing tracks such as Angel Of Love and Alone But At Ease. With amazing cinematography and choreography during the dance routines, the music elevates this already masterful film to new heights.
  15. FLCL
    The Pillows.

Best Anime Composer:
  1. Joe Hisaishi:
    I don't have much of his in my top 10 if anything outside of Robot Carnival and Porco, but regardless he's worked on countless soundtrack that are near and dear to me and with some mind-blowing stuff.
  2. Kenji Kawai:
    Patlabor and GITS are two soundtracks that have given my countless hours of enjoyment, and for that I am eternity grateful.
  3. Shirō Sagisu:
    His work on the Evangelion Franchise has impressed me to no end, it also happened to be the first anime soundtrack to hook me and is what lead me further down the rabbit hole.
 

Wiktor

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