I am going to be honest: I had no idea what it meant by “character song” until I looked it up.
If I have it right, and I’m not entirely certain that I do, it refers to a song by the characters (thus the name) and credited to them. This excludes intro songs, ending songs, and mere background music, I think. I’m not sure if they must be sung withing the anime’s continuity or not, but I am proceeding under the assumption that they can be, at least.
This is a fascinating little aspect of the culture of anime vs most other mediums of entertainment. In Japan, the seiyuu, or voice actors and actresses, are expected to be able to sing, and when they sing, it is entertaining, and beautiful. Thus, anime characters are also able sing whenever the occasion calls for it. There is a great deal of work that goes into this, on the part of the creators, the animators, the writers, the actors, but it pays off more often than it doesn’t. Much to the chagrin of everyone who works on the dubbing in other languages, I’m sure! 😉
This one was easier than picking five opening songs, but more difficult than picking only five ending songs. I thought of about a dozen, narrowed that down to seven, and had one heck of a time picking the final two to cross off the list. All that, and then I realized that one of my picks was more of a background soundtrack than a character song, so I replaced it. But, it’s all done now, so, I hope you enjoy the music! 🙂
Here are five character songs (I think?) from anime!
(oh! and don’t forget to add your own chosen songs in the comments below! the more, the merrier! and feel free to correct me if I got the definition of character songs a bit wrong! 😉 )
1) Crow Song
Performed by GirlDeMo (Girls Dead Monster) in the first episode, it really gets the blood pumping, channeling a full rockin’ vibe, and you just can’t help but get caught up in the excitement, ya know?
2) Hiru no Tsuki
Video begins with an image of full frontal female nudity!
Performed by Melfina, it is the anime’s first closing song, and it is equally beautiful in both English and Japanese (a rare thing, I only went with the English for sentimental value). She sings it at least once within the anime itself, towards the end, and this is the prologue of one of the final episodes, showing some of her experiences to the heart-rending melody of her voice. I love it. 🙂
3) Lonely Spaceman
Cat Planet Cuties
I have issues with this anime, but I have none with this musical moment. Performed by most if not all of the cast, this is a tribute to a classic space-faring story of yester-years. There’s an English dub, of course, but the original Japanese is so much better, more beautiful and more professional. It is calm and serene and sad all at once. I do not mind saying that I teared up a bit (because, as a friend in my youth put it, I’m a big softie).
4) Bink’s Sake
This version is performed by the Straw Hat Pirates, and there’s another by Brook alone, and the original in the anime is performed by all the available cast across two generations of pirates. It is my most favorite of the character songs, and one of my very favorite songs in all of anime, and all of music! And that is all I’m going to say about it! 😀
5) My Mai Tonight
Love Live! Sunshine
Performed by Aqours(?) somewhere in this shows second or third season, I think. I haven’t actually seen this show, but I came across some YouTube videos of this group and another, A-Rise. Now, I think I like how A-Rise performs on stage better, but I like this song more. It’s just so plucky and upbeat and entirely perfect for a show about a bunch of girls dancing and having fun, ya know?
No, character songs don’t have be played in an anime. Otherwise, the anime Prince of Tennis would have been a musical thanks to all the CDs it has released!
But songs that jump out at me off the top of my head include:
“Koori no Knife wo Daite” – Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho
“Aoi Arashi” – Yui from Fushigi Yugi
“Route Venus” and “Ai no Megami no How to Love” – Venus from Sailor Moon
All from the 90s, but they are still among my faves.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ah, the 90s. Good times! 🙂
Thanks for sharing! 😀
LikeLiked by 1 person
Krystallina is correct… Character songs are sung *in* character, and are usually released separately from the anime. I don’t know that there’s a term for songs performed in-world by a in-world character.