The power of music is amazing, isn’t it?
Words are my bread and butter, and, to paraphrase Albus Dumbledore, they do have a special magic that is all their own, able to do great harm or healing with just the slightest twisting of the tongue. But before the magic of music, I must humbly bow in all but complete impotence and ignorance. The crafting of words into lyrics, the use of melody, the voice of the instrument, these are not just one language, but many, all rolled into an audible form that speaks to our very hearts and souls. It is amazing, and beautiful, and magical.
There are countless stories which have been told, and felt in their meaning, with music. Everywhere from campfires to concert halls, from theaters to cathedrals, and from radios to the internet, there is music. We had songs even before we had words, I think, and the society that is without music would be truly devoid of joy.
In cinematic form, there are movies, TV shows, cartoons, and more, where, all other things being equal, it has been the soundtrack which has made or broken it. It enhances action, love, sorrow, horror, tragedy, joy, and everything else. Heck, even the choice to forego music in specific scenes can be powerful.
Thus, it must be said, music is an integral part of what elevates these cinematic stories into art.
And anime has some pretty great soundtracks! 🙂
Picking five soundtracks was less a matter of preference and more a matter of practicality. IE, finding clips on YouTube to share this beautiful music with you, my wonderful audience!
In no particular order, I picked five anime soundtracks which are among my favorites, and linked to a handful of songs from each. Fairy Tail was decidedly left out because I could never pick just a handful of songs to share, but, otherwise, I am just hoping that you can enjoy this music as much as I do! 🙂
I’ll be a bit less wordy from this point on, but there’s plenty of music below, and I won’t be offended if you don’t have time to listen to all of it. If you do, I hope you enjoy it! 😀
And feel free to share some of your favorite soundtracks in the comments below! 😀
1) Record of Lodoss War
Representing some epic fantasy music, in a classical style! 🙂
For the background music of an ancient war between gods, this is pretty perfect!
Listening to a good soundtrack can be like watching the show over again in your mind, and I will always remember the moment where Ghim braved sorcerous fire, stepping ever forward, and freed Leylia from Karla’s control, even at the cost of his life.
Whether they’re fighting a dragon or being overwhelmed by a dark wizard, this music gets your heart racing, as danger closes in on our heroes.
It feels almost operatic, I think. I remember it most from the scene where the dark wizards are taking Deedlit deep underground, past the black dragon, to the very roots of the island, and performing the ritual, complete with sacrifices, to awaken an insane goddess and end all of Lodoss.
Ah, the serene, melodious piece which accompanies the climax, as Parn steps forward, through arcane lightning, carrying two mystical swords, even throwing himself into the abyss to save Deedlit, the woman he loves. One of my favorite pieces ever. 🙂
2) One Piece
There are a number of epic moments in this show, and they need an epic soundtrack! This is a very small sampling, but, I think it captures a lot of the spirit of the show, everything from defiance, to fun! 🙂
How do you say, “We are the best, we have had enough of this nonsense, and we dare you to take us on,” in music form? This way, that’s how.
And this one says, “We are the badasses come to challenge the powers that be.”
I recognize this from the epic moment right after Robin declares her newfound desire to live and go to the sea, and her friends stand ready to challenge, in even greater earnest, the entire powers of the world. Heh, I wasn’t as weepy as Franky was, but I was absolutely psyched. 🙂 Oh, and the second half is just plain, “We are ruling at this” fun. 😉
Something light and bouncy and free! Much like Luffy! 😀 And it leads into a piece that radiates danger, and another where the heroes are soaring free and victorious!
“Let’s see how much trouble we can cause our enemies before we make our escape!” That’s what this one says. 🙂
3) Attack on Titan
This soundtrack is not simply music. It is straight up emotional warfare, that’s what this is! 😀
You know that moment, where Mikasa finds hope? I love that scene. It is my favorite. And this is the song, so soft and tranquil like still water, and so deep and powerful and turbulent as the rising tidal wave.
This is also from that scene. The first portion of it, where Mikasa is so low that she is waiting to die… but then she keeps fighting, and at first even she herself does not realize why. But in the dark and light, she finds it: hope. She finds the strength to keep going. This song, it brings a tear to my eye and goosebumps to my arm even now.
…the second part is where that hope becomes the fire of retribution, including when a giant’s head gets knocked clean off and soars into a church steeple. 🙂
From the scene where Eren plugs the hole in the wall, and the elite human warriors make clear his path. Have you noticed how well they use vocals in these songs? It’s some strange combination of elegant and primal, and it’s fantastic.
The second piece is a general fighting sort of song for this anime.
He is a whirlwind of death descending on his enemy, and even giants would do well to fear him!
4) Outlaw Star
Wonder, mystery, danger, sorrow… this show has it all!
You can find a playlist for pretty much all of it here, but, for my personal favorites from an outstanding soundtrack…
A perfect song for taking off into space and triumphing over one’s enemies! 🙂
She is mysterious and dangerous and her theme song is perfect for her. 🙂
This ended the first arc of several episodes in the series. This is when their friend and comrade can do nothing but look up at her friends leaving her to die, and there is nothing they can do without dying as well. But, wait… she is able to keep one of the pirates dying alongside her from harming them. She dies fighting, and the weight of all this death falls on the young, inexperienced shoulders of the survivors.
This does not actually do justice to the entire soundtrack. Rarely have I come across anything so perfectly ranging from action, wonder, and romance to the nefarious nature of the villain and the horror he inflicts. But, still, we have both pulsing action and heart-breaking beauty here! 😉
And it fits, even more than most, with a texture that is distinctly Japanese, to chronicle a tale that is mostly told in a time of their warring feudal states.
The main theme of the show, and, yes, it’s largely thundering drums and blaring trumpets, and flutes! 🙂
A faster version of the main theme, the one that plays at the climax of a battle, when the final, decisive blow is flying, carried by the power of what the hero fights for, and the nefarious demon is finally falling forever to their might!
I love the female vocalizing at the heart of this. It’s tender, and sad, yet hopeful.
…(sniff!) I am not crying! You’re crying!
…I am still not the one (sniff!) crying!
(ok, maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to listen to all of these back-to-back in rapid succession…)
I kid, of course. 😉
I would never really be ashamed to be the one tearing up. 😛