Okay. Maybe not. But still, they rock.
Never mind the animation sequence. Sure, they are shiny, and they set the tone of the show. Forget that. We’re here to focus on the music tracks.
From bubble gum to punk, from instrumentals to alternative, anime openings are dime a dozen. Most are crap. A few are true gems. Some are forgettable competence. Some are catchy as hell. And then some are musical head-turners, pregnant with unidentified emotion, where one delves further to unlock its mysteries. This is not that list. With a notable exception, I listen to these tracks while I sit back, relax, and enjoy a cold bottle of beer. Think bars with live bands.
Mood and personalities direct our responses to otic preferences. What I enjoy listening while driving differs from the work playlist or from gym music. Keep in mind, what works for me may not work for you.
Tracks are listed in no particular order. More after the jump.
1. Nantoka nare (Furuido): Akagi
Let’s start with the notable exception. Notable, in the sense that this is not merely a track relegated to background noise to sooth one’s stress.
Nantokanare, roughly translates to “I’ll manage”, gives the impression of indifference and cynicism. Yet the riffs and vocals convey misery, grief, and the unidentifiable emotion I mentioned above. Raw and unpolished, Nantokanare is one hell of a song. Arguably, it is one of the best tracks to grace anime haven.
I skip a majority of opening sequences. Yet with Akagi… Never.
2. Zen (Attack Haus): Otogizoushi
Tabibito yo… The only line I know in Attack Haus’ Zen. But I always blast the volume up when my player hits the track when I’m driving.
3. Red Fraction (MELL): Black Lagoon
My favorite Engrish openings evah. The vocalist rocks.
4. 19sai (Shikao Suga): xxxHolic
A toss-up between Boogiepop Phantom’s Yuudachi or 19sai, the latter won.
Dark, provocative, and sensual, 19sai is simply irresistible. Lost somewhere in the metaphor of transformations, sexuality, black swallowtails, and lusts, it sealed my love for Mr. Suga.
Two words: Awesome stuff.
It’s official music video contains potentially disturbing images for young minds and some adult. Truth be told, I liked the concept of the MV. Yet the actors involved seem too green to actualize the intense scene.
5. My-pace Daiou (Manzo): Genshiken
I so want to attend a live performance of Manzo, except I can do without the succint directions for the audience members. I find structured responses too unappealing.
Musically, My-pace Daiou sounds like a song from a friend’s friend’s garage band. Loopy, dorky, and funny.
6. Yuragu Koto Nai (Naomi Tamura): Getbackers
Nailing tough vocals, Ms. Tamura deserves applause for this track. It manages to be catchy, appealing, and fun, despite its ballad-y lyrics.
For fun, here’s a nice cover. And the girl is even slouched down while hitting those high notes.
7. Shell (Bana): Witch Hunter Robin
Sixteen seconds into the Shell, Bana enraptures listeners with her intense vocals. A glorious mix of melodious vocals, guitar riffs, and compelling drum beats, Shell impresses grief, longing, and pain that a lyric translation seems redundant.
It’s a thing of beauty, really.
* Cautionary Warning (John Sykes): Black Heaven – disqualified for being a John Sykes song.
* Duvet (BoA): Serial Experiments Lain – disqualified for not being Engrish.
* Unlimited (Nanase Aikawa): Samurai 7 –
* Asterisk (Orange Range): Bleach