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Music (themed) Anime Recommendation Thread.

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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Now in Great Lakes region

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:36 pm Reply with quote
So as I conceive it, this thread is about anime that has music somehow centrally relevant to the plot. I'll start off with an anime whose ED song made me realize that that there is no Anime Music Recommendation Thread: Your Lie in April.
Plot Summary: Kōsei Arima was a piano prodigy until his mother died when he was eleven years old. The shock of losing her made him lose any interest in piano, and his life has felt monotonous ever since. Then, when he's fourteen, his childhood friend Tsubaki introduces him to her classmate Kaori, a free-spirited violinist. Her enthusiasm reignites his interest in music and in life.

The last episode is to die for -- it's that good.

[EDIT: Made a slight change to the title so people might hopefully realize you mean "music themed" anime, and not just music of anime. -TK]
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Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Okay, since I was the one who brought it up in the General Questions thread...

Fate stay Night
Composed by Kenji Kawai

This one is a bit more noticable in that I think the score is a hell of a lot better than the original anime. The only way you can make me watch this show again is if you somehow edit out the dialogue and sound effects. Just listen to the pretty music, dramatic and sweeping, especially during battle scenes.

Standout Tracks: "Sword of Promised Victory", "Roar of the Heavens and Earth", "Night of Fate"

Haibane Renmei
Composed by Koh Ohtani

Relaxing is how I would put this score. It feels like you're dreaming, even when you're awake. It fits the down-to-earth tone of the show perfectly.

Standout Tracks: "Ailes Grises", "Blight", "Moon and Azure Shadow"

The Madoka Magica Franchise
Composed by Yuki Kajiura

From my favorite anime of all time comes one of my favorite composers of all time! Each piece not only fits the scene, but you can easily listen to the entire soundtrack on it's own.

Standout Tracks: "Sis Puella Magica", "i miss you", "Noi!"

Wolf's Rain
Composed by Yoko Kanno

I'll admit that I liked this one more than Kanno's work on Cowboy Bebop, which is also amazing. I just feel like you can listen to the Wolf's Rain score more on it's own than you can with Bebop's. The best pieces fit perfectly with the mood- melancholical, but with a smidgen of hope.

Standout Tracks: "Go to Paradise", "White Long Tails", "Gravity"
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Um, I appreciate your enthusiasm; but original soundtrack music wasn't what I had in mind. What I had in mind was that music is somehow directly relevant to the plot. In Your Lie in April Kōsei Arima is dragged kicking and screaming back into the musical competition world by Kaori.

I fully realize that that there isn't anywhere near the amount of traffic in the Music Forum, but I nevertheless suggest you try this thread instead.
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Your Lie spoiler["The last episode is to die for" Part of me wants to snicker, part of me thinks that's just really grim.]

At first I didn't think there would be many options, but a glance at the encyclopedia makes me realizes there's actually quite a few options here. But I don't think I can start with anything other than Nodame Cantabile, about a struggling music college student who meets the free-spirited musician next door and together they, ah, make music. Wink It's a great drama about two college students trying to figure out who they are and how this other person fits into their lives.

I also really like Idolm@ster, based on the mega-franchise. It's about a group of idols who are trying to break out and their overworked producer who has to manage them. There's always a problem ranging from mundane/comical ("Someone ate my pudding!") to more serious ("The headline act is being delayed!") and the writing is great regardless. I wasn't expecting much out of it but the show really won me over.

{Saffire, you did not provide links: Nodame Cantabile and Idolm@ster. ~nobahn}
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Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:11 pm Reply with quote
K-On! is the obvious choice for me, since it is one of my favorite franchises.
Yes it has cute girls doing cute things, and they spend a lot of time drinking tea and eating cake, and doing other things not related to music.
But it was the Light Music Club that brought them all together, and creating and performing music is always the main passion for all of them.
K-On! is about music and it has great music, in my opinion.

Piano is a very mellow easy-going slice-of-life show.
It is really about a young girl growing up and her friends and possible romantic interest, but her piano lessons are an integral part of the show.
I like Piano and think of it as a feel-good show.

Fancy Lala is another of my favorite shows.
It is a type of magical girl show about Miho, an elementary school girl, who transforms into an idol named Fancy Lala.
Since Lala is an idol some of the episodes are about acting and modeling, but there is also quite a bit of singing. There are several performance scenes with Lala and some with other idols.

I am going to do something a bit different and recommend an episode of a show, even though the show is not about music.
That would be the "Live Alive" episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It is set during the school's cultural festival and has my favorite performance scene of any anime.
There are two full-length uninterrupted songs. The original Japanese vocals by Aya Hirano and the English performance by Wendee Lee are all great.

Last edited by Touma on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:36 pm Reply with quote
I've always thought the original La Corda d'Oro series is pretty good. I liked how the show uses music as a device to bring the characters together, and despite the fact Kahoko has a magic violin, she still has to learn the pieces and can't just play them amazingly straight away. There's a nice diversity of characters, and some pretty good supporting characters too. Being able to hear the music in the anime is a distinct advantage over the manga.

Don't bother with Blue Sky though. It's boring as hell and has none of the charm of the original. Plus the heroine suffers from blank personality disorder like so many otome game adaption protagonists. Fortunately, the original show manages to avoid that, and Kahoko does have a personality.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:24 pm Reply with quote
Enh, I wasn't impressed enough by La Corda d'Oro to get past its first half. I definitely acknowledge that it fits in the category, though.

One series that I do think qualifies here is Key the Metal Idol, which is an early (mid-'90s) precursor to the current run of idol shows; in fact, sometime I would dearly love to go back and thoroughly examine it in the context of current idol shows. The idol industry and the way it uses and abuses its performers isn't exactly the focal point of the story but is a major aspect of the plot - and boy, does it say or imply some damning things about the music industry. Song performances are also both stage settings and key devices powering the storyline.

If this sounds at all typical, it isn't, as nothing else really resembles this series.

Most of the Macross series would also qualify here, as most of them have songs and musical performers as both focal points and keys to plot resolutions.
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Jose Cruz

Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:49 am Reply with quote
Anime/manga about classical music:

Piano no Mori is a very good anime film about a piano player. Was nominated for the Japanese academy award for best animated feature film.

Film's poster:

Also, I read the excellent Nodame Cantabile manga, in fact, if you know something about classical music you will appreciate it better. I haven't watched the anime series adaptation but I heard it is very good as well. However, anime usually adapted from a great manga is usually inferior to the original.

Sound Euphonium, a series that just finished, is also great though I liked it less than most other fans. I guess I feel burn out by slice of life series already.

{Links: Piano no Mori and Sound! Euphonium ~nobahn}
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:29 am Reply with quote
My vote goes to Princess Tutu. They really tastefully worked in the classic ballets to the theme of each episode. There's even extras on the DVD that explain how each classical piece relates to the events of the episode. Heres an example

I used to watch a lot of ballets and operas with my grandmother, so the music in Tutu and how it related to the main plot and themes really struck a chord with me.

{Link: Princess Tutu ~nobahn}
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:36 am Reply with quote
Piano no Mori is a great film. The Nodame anime is pretty faithful to the manga, actually. It gets a bit rushed in places, but it does cover the whole story.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:12 am Reply with quote
I'll toss AKB0048 into the mix, a show that was surprisingly better than one would expect given that it was largely a promotional vehicle for the actual AKB48 idol group. I credit that to the collaboration between Kawamori Shouji and Okada Mari. The script imagines a future where entertainment is banned in parts of the galaxy,* so the idol group AKB0048 goes around staging guerilla concerts and fighting imperial soldiers. They reprise a number of AKB48 standards like "River," "Beginner," and "Shoujotachi yo," and include a few songs made specifically for the show like the OP and ED. "Manatsu no Sounds Good" makes an appearance in episode six, though sadly without any of the surreal aspects that makes the music video so intriguing.**

*This aspect of the story reminded me of the Tenpou Reforms which are a key component of Oh! Edo Rocket, the adaptation by Mizushima Seiji of a stage play and novel by Kill la Kill screenwriter Nakashima Kazuki. Public entertainments were banned by the Shogunate in an effort to "purify" Japan and return it to frugality and discipline.

**I generally describe it as consisting of "blood, boobs, bikinis, and ballistic missiles." There are also references to Evangelion in some of the scenes; the music video's director worked on that show. Can't link to this one, I'm afraid.

Encyclopedia link: anime#13805
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:07 pm Reply with quote
BECK is an anime about rock music. The music is surprisingly good. I remember the sub suffering from some terrible Engrish, but I've heard that the dub is good(?). It's a slice of life anime with some drama and great romance in the mix. It has a great opening and ending that really put you into that mood for some rock music.
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DuskyPredator's not like I post for you or anything!'s not like I post for you or anything!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:09 pm Reply with quote
Definitely Senki Zesshou Symphogear, an action orientated anime which is all about the characters singing for the battle to have power. Sounds silly, you have a bit of the idol theme in it, I think the core idea was thought up by someone who was more involved in music than anime writing, but it kind of has a passion to it and some noticeable music/singing scenes.

{Link: Senki Zesshou Symphogear ~nobahn}
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Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:15 pm Reply with quote
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad comes to mind. I really love the music in that show. The English versions in the dub are greater than or equel to the original versions as well.
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