Part-time anime fans and full-time Otaku alike all have their favorite anime openings and endings. But what about the shows with an amazing original soundtrack?
In the first three seconds of an opening song a true fan can name that anime. A truer fan can tell you which character a song introduced in season 3 episode 6. These fans are surely guided along by a well rounded and expertly executed soundtrack. Originality, diversity of sounds and its creative use in the feature makes an anime soundtrack one of the best.
1. Samurai Champloo
While Lo-Fi has been around since the 90’s, Samurai Champloo gave us an anime brimming with the hip-hop blended sound in 2014. Every bit of music sandwiched between its iconic opening and melodic ending was not only fit for such a uniquely styled anime but for a chill evening in with friends who may be clueless to the show. (they would never even know you otaku’d them) And let’s not forget the posthumous and well deserved fame it awarded Nujabes. Finding hip/hop and even rap sound so expertly used in an anime is a treasure we have since to find.
2. K (K Project)
This highly underrated anime wraps a well executed magic/science hybrid story and literal sparkling animation in a soundtrack that one could only label as dreamlike. K married chill hip hop beats, glittering piano lifts and intense string instrumentals to match every beautifully and uniquely animated moment. Much like its slightly younger counterpart, Samurai Champloo, this soundtrack is perfect for a chill evening listen.
3. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop reigns supreme for its unusual yet totally fitting soundtrack. Many of us didn’t even know we loved Jazz until we heard the punchy scores for this anime and the soundtrack even breathed new life into the realm of Rhythm and Blues for younger generations. Many songs speckled between the obvious Jazz sound even took a deep dive into Rock ‘n’ Roll. Soundtrack composer Yoko Kanno truly gave this anime a sound that stands the test of time.
4. Soul Eater
Japanese Pop-Rock and HipHop melodies ooze from this super fun and action packed anime. Another with an iconic opening and ending sandwiching a diverse track-list. When the music doesn’t have you bopping and bouncing in your seat, it has you tense and in your feels with orchestral numbers and other out-of-the-ordinary sounds. While not exactly fit for listening outside of the show, it does offer a more interesting viewing experience than most anime soundtracks.
Gangsta is a highly underrated anime with an undeniably amazing sound. The anime’s almost constant action is cradled by the diverse and contrasting yet fitting sounds of smooth jazz and chill EDM tracks. The soundtrack’s irregular genre combination makes for a relaxed storytelling experience despite the anime’s high energy.
Durarara!! is a long winding road of an anime with almost too many characters and several stories happening all in the same twenty-two minutes. But the anime’s soundtrack puts amazing experimental sounds to use in keeping all these stories straight. From songs specific to every character to chill beats for each area of the city. In true soundtrack fashion, listening paints a picture and puts you right in their world. Anyone up for some Russia Sushi?
Nana is easily one of the most beautiful shoujo anime’s to come out in the last twenty years and it exceeded expectations with its soundtrack. Long twinkling melodies, powerful rock ballads and emotional punk sound is a perfect match befitting such a well put together story of friendship between two young women leading completely different lives. The soundtrack does more than score the story, it scores the feels too.
8. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
FMA is a cornerstone anime for every otaku. A well-told story from start to finish with all the rollercoaster ups and downs of real life. Despite the obvious impossibilities as compared to real life, we as fans related and felt for every character, bad guys included. Its openings and endings consistently land top ten (or top five) in every definitive ranking of our favorite or most nostalgic anime openers. But the entire soundtrack is a well crafted work of art like the animation around it.
9. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
A youtube commenter said it best when it came to the soundtrack for this uniquely lecherous anime. “The soundtrack is just like the anime. I need to listen five or six times to decide if it’s a masterpiece or the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” Whether you love or hate raves and dance music you cannot deny they’re sexy as hell. Making them a perfect fit for this show. P&S’s fast paced animation and warped art style is a match made in heaven for the genre.
10. Persona (The Series)
Persona the Series’ soundtrack holds its own against the well loved and executed soundtracks of its RPG counterparts. The sound is clearly rooted in the games beginnings with elements of newer installments, but the series warps the Jazz, Rock, and Pop sounds with a distinct electronic undertone. It’s fun, unique and a solid listen away from the show.