Posted in Music

Top 1000 Anime Songs – Part 7: A Day at the Movies Part 1

I bet I look better in a beret than Miyazaki. Okay, maybe not.

I have found that music in movies often serves much different purposes and/or has a different effect in movies than in shows. This is most likely due to the variance in narrative structure between the two formats, and by extension the writing, acting etc. which is all eventually connected to the atmosphere, and that is indelibly tied to the music. So, to commemorate great music in anime, we got this.

Additional note: I may neglect entries which you feel deserve to be on the list. Chances are that at least one of the following is true:

a) I don’t agree

b) I felt that it would serve better in a different “section” of the list

I am not all knowing and all seeing. I only purport to know a lot of music. I’ve got 1000 songs, so you may be in for a long wait if you expect to see your favorite tune of all tyme.

I apologize in advance.

#949. “Itsumo Nando demo” by Yumi Kimura from Spirited Away

We start this list with a simple little song that sounds more like a lullaby than anything. And alone, it’s a swell song. Sweet and melodic, we follow the voice of Yumi Kimura like it’s a bedtime story about mystical, magical adventure. Very nice.

However, what really turns this song up to 100 is its appearance at the very end of the film. We find ourselves with a young Chihiro, confused and frightened after having just escaped a truly unusual series of incidents (which make up the movies runtime), but more than all of that she feels a sense of wonder. Was it real? What really happened? As she walks away from the place where it all started, the audience is left staring back at the dark tunnel that began our tale. It has an ominous and eerie feeling as if the world of spirits both rejects and attracts strangers. It is hard to comprehend sometimes, but alongside this twinkly piece of music, there is definitely a strange atmosphere created, and I will bet money that it is done so purposefully. Very intriguing ending to a great movie.

#948. “Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa” by Joe Hisaishi from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

You have no idea how difficult it is to explain music. It’s just… hard. Sure you can go into the technique of it. The chords and arpeggios that really affected you. You can talk about the tempo, the time signature, the instrumentation, the arrangement.  But at the end of the day, the only thing I can really explain is context. I can’t explain the feelings that are attached to them, the truly memorable part of music.

That being said, there really shouldn’t be anything that I need to say about this wonderful piece by Joe Hisashi that begins the tale of Nausicaa. It’s just a downright terrific piece of music. “Soaring” is probably the best word to describe it, both in the musical and realistic sense of the film. Awesome.

#947. “Tonari no Totoro” by Azumi Inoue from Tonari no Totoro

Not much to say here. If you had a childhood, time to trigger it.

#946.“Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-” by Utada Hikaru from Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

This is here so that you don’t get confused into thinking that this is just a Ghibli list. Because it isn’t supposed to be.

This song is good, but unfortunately it doesn’t really mesh with the film and doesn’t do much for me when it comes to connecting with story. That being said, it is Evangelion, so maybe I shouldn’t push the song so hard.

#945. “Making of a Cyborg” by Kenji Kawai from Ghost in the Shell

Often unsung among the musical heavyweights in the anime industry, Kenji Kawai has definitely paid his dues when it comes to revolutionizing anime music, but one might argue that his most influential and intriguing work was in a rather revolutionary anime film in it’s own right, Ghost in the Shell. That’s what is so great about breaking frontiers in media. Often, you find that creativity garners further creativity and the willingness to go to the fringes of the established format to bring forth something new. This song is so unique in it’s style and musicality, but it meshes beautifully with the opening scene of the movie where we see the assembling of a perfect android. It’s just so good.

Okay, I’m gonna halt it there. This post is gonna go forever at this rate. Look forward to more in the future. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Been on the computer all day.



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