The best thing about watching anime (besides the shows themselves) are the songs. Here’s my personal Top 20. It was hard to cull from a list of 50-ish songs. To think I was foolish enough to attempt a Top 10 list at first. That was, of course, a futile exercise.
The criteria is simple: they resonated.
1. Freesia” (フリージア) by Uru – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
If you’ve watched Orphans, you’d know how this song gets your chest tight and tear ducts working overtime whenever it plays. Still, I’d watch Blood-Iron Orphans again for its excellent script and execution. Plus, you don’t need to be a Gundam fan to appreciate it.
2. “Altair (アルタイル)” by Motohiro Hata -Sakamichi no Apollon
Ah, first love. This was an era where teens wrote love notes to their crushes and left them in textbooks and table drawers. I hear a wistful voice reminiscing the past.
3. “LIFE” by Fujifabric – Silver Spoon
Never fails to make me feel upbeat and raring to go. My go-to song when I’m in need of some motivation.
4. “Kimi, Meguru, Boku (キミ、メグル、ボク)” by Motohiro Hata – Itazura Kiss
Hey, it’s fate you meet me. Fall in love with me! Yeah that’s what this song is about. The audacity. Makes me happy just listening to it.
5. “Find The Way” by Mika Nakashima – Gundam Seed
They said Gundam Seed was good but I’ve not seen it yet. Still, that’s not stopping me from liking this ED. I hope to see the light soon.
6. “Kawa, Taredoki (かは、たれどき)”, “Akugo Sayokyoku (落語小夜曲)”, “Hikobayuru (ひこばゆる)” by Kana Shibue –
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
I’m going to cheat. Here’s 3 beautiful Jazz pieces from the soundtrack of Showa Genroku Rakugo.
It’s unbelievable how a tale about a Japanese traditional artform welds so well with Jazz. Which is icing on the cake for one of the best anime this decade.
7. “Baby Romantica (ベイビーロマンチカ)” by SCRIPT -Junjo Romantica
He loves me? He loves me not!?! He loves me!!! A light-hearted, cute ED for a highly watchable BL anime.
8. “Again” by YUI – Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
I was surprised to learn that Fullmetal Alchemist was the work of a lady. But I was able to contain my surprise a little better when I watched Yui rocked this pulsating song in a long ladylike skirt.
9. “Kirameki (キラメキ)” by Wacci – Your Lie in April
When this song starts playing, I somehow imagine the colours around me turning pastel and warm.
10. “Sugar Song to Bitter Step (シュガーソングとビターステップ)” by Unison Square Garden – Blood Blockade Battlefront
Oh! This show was a visual spectacle of colours and action. Expect the ED to be similar? No, no. That would be boring. Let’s have some fun. Yes, it was so fun, other animation teams (fans) took it and created parodies.
11. “Aishiteru (愛してる)” by Kourin -Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 2
Natsume has great songs every season. Can’t not mention the anime that got me started on anime in the first place.
12. “Doukyuusei (同級生)” by Koutarou Oshio with Yuuki Ozaki – Doukyuusei
A very soothing and reflective piece. Love that guitar come-in too. It was a good movie worth watching.
13. “Kimi no Kakera (君ノカケラ)” by Kousuke Atari – Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 3
‘Pieces of You’, 2nd on my Natsume list. Aw, what can I say, Kousuke Atari’s voice is tears-inducing.
14. “One more time, one more chance” by Masayoshi Yamazaki – 5 Centimeters Per Second
An old song first released in 1997 that was used as the ED for Director Makoto Shinkai’s earlier work – ‘5 Centimeters Per Second’. Watching this gorgeous ED animation was actually more satisfying than the movie.
15. “Aruite ikou (歩いていこう)” by Yoshida Jungo- Rental Magica
This is the a cappella version, took me a while to find it. But it was worth the trouble because, what a lovely rendition.
16. “BROKEN MIRROR” by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES (ep 5) – Gundam Unicorn
When I first heard it, I thought: this could have been Linkin Park. Of course, it was a BBS original, an excellent complement to Unicorn. Sadly, both bands lost their lead singers (Chesterton in 2016 and Kawashima in 2017).
17. “Rain” by Sekai no Owari – Mary and the Witch’s Flower
‘Rain’ got me hooked on Sekai no Owari – and their signature arrangement style. You may like the movie if you are a Ghibli fan.
18. “Natsu Yuuzora (夏夕空; Summer Evening Sky)” by Kousuke Atari – Natsume Yujincho Season 1
Not the sharpest version on youtube but this edit is a joy to watch and the Chinese translation is wonderfully spot-on. It reminds me why I like Natsume.
19. “Ring Your Bell” by Kalafina – Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works S2
I remember feeling blown away when I watched Unlimited Bladeworks (UBW) + Fate/Stay Zero. Listening to this again makes me want to re-watch UBW!!!
20. “Shiranai Kimochi (知らない気持ち)” by Megumi Nakajima – Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi
Sometimes, girls just wanna feel romanced. ‘Unknown Feelings’ is the one for those times.
Now that I’ve got this out of the way, time to binge-watch all the anime that’s sitting in my backlog. Hello 2021!