The List
8 Magical Instrumentalists

by Lynzee Lamb, Jan 5th 2013

I hope you all had a great new year! My moving adventure is still on-going but that doesn't mean we don't have time to look at some of anime's magical musicians. This list is focusing on musicians who play physical instruments only. We'll save vocalists for some other time, as the power of voice is a large enough category on its own.

The magic bard or wandering minstrel is a very old idea that lives on in the entertainment medium, anime included. The often misquoted phrase "music has charms to soothe a savage beast" (where beast is actually "breast") in William Congreve's The Mourning Bride was coined in 1697, while one of the oldest magical musicians is the Greek's Orpheus of the 6th century BC.

These eight characters, for good or evil, carry on the legendary trait.




8. Aqua Nana (Magical Suite Prism Nana) SHAFT's Magical Suite Prism Nana project is building up steam, with the 4th pilot promo featuring the three magical girls playing in a band. The lead singer and guitarist, Aqua Nana (Eri Kitamura), carries her instrument over for powerful magical attacks. There's still a lot of hush-hush as to the format and plot of Magical Suite Prism Nana, but if the title is any indication, music looks to play a prominent role in the series.




7. Cure Beat (Suite Pretty Cure) Cat-mascot-turned-enemy-turned-magical-girl Cure Beat uses her own guitar in the musical themed magical girl series Suite Pretty Cure. Siren, or Ellen Kurokawa, used to be a prolific singer in Major Land and was the titled Fairy of Songs. When her friend, Hummy, was chosen over her to sing the Melody of Happiness, Siren defected. After her redemption she joins the Pretty Cure team as Cure Beat where she rocks out with her Love Guitar Rod to protect her friends or attack enemies with bolts of energy.





6. Phoron Tatara (Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica) In the world of Polyphonica, musicians called Dantist make contracts with materialized spirits. Phoron Tatara uses his piano-esque motorbike instrument and a backpack piano referred to as a One-Man Orchestra. With these items, Tatara is able play music to influence his contracted spirit, Corticarte "Corti" Apa Lagranges. Corti is one of the most powerful spirits in existence, otherwise known as the "Bloody Duchess". In her full powered form she grows wings and can unleash red soundwave-like attacks at her foes.






5. Scratchmen Apoo (One Piece) Just when you've gotten past that Captain Apoo has piano keys for teeth and two elbows on each arm, he contorts his body into musical weapons. Standing like a DJ at a turntable, Apoo utilizes "Fighting Music" to unleashes slashing sound waves and booming explosions. Hardly a fan of conflict, Captain Apoo will adopt a passive attitude unless the situation truly calls for his Devil Fruit abilities.







4. Amiboshi (Fushigi Yuugi) Spy turned defector Amiboshi uses his flute to relieve the suffering of those around him, at least he's supposed to. He has the ability to emit chi through his mouth and sub-sequentially control the will of others when it passes through his flute. When Miaka attempts to summon Suzaku, Amiboshi reveals his true identity and uses the flute to cripple his comrades with pain. This is a gift considering how he uses it later to murder a group of soldiers.




3. Tayuya (Naruto) The all around unpleasant Tayuya wields a demonic flute that allows her attack her foes at long range. When she takes on her secondary form, she attacks enemies with her Demonic Flute: Phantom Sound Chains attack, causing the target to hallucinate being captured, thus losing the ability to move and eventually, consciousness. In the meantime, the foe witnesses horrid apparitions. In the case of Shikamaru Nara, he witnessed his flesh slowly melt from his limbs.




2. Midvalley the Horn Freak (Trigun) Eleventh Gung-ho Gun member Midvalley uses his saxophone to blast his enemies with waves of pain. Within the instrument is a machine gun that works as a back-up in case the saxophone is damaged. While striking in his cool jazz appearance, the character's back story was all but cut from the anime adaptation. Originally, MIdvalley is more sympathetic character to the audience. He joins the Gung-Ho Guns under duress when his fellow band mates are murdered. Hoping to find a way out amid Vash's chaos, his plot is, unfortunately, discovered.




1. Hamel (Violinist of Hameln) The notoriously underfunded Violinist of Hameln anime adaptation feature a large, musically named cast that play over-sized instruments. In the case of Hamel, he plays a violin (the size of a double bass) to defeat the demons plaguing the land of Sforzando. Hamel attacks using renditions of Mozart's Requiem to heal or Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker to raise and control the dead. The anime version of Violinist of Hameln features a wonderful story, but the chances of it being brought stateside due to how dated it is and it's woeful lack of animation are probably dead.




The new poll: If given the opportunity, which of the following mascot characters would you kick to the curb?

The old poll: Last week I asked which anime couple was the best of the 2012 season. Topping out the list is Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online. The fervor in which you all seem to love that show is starting rub off on me. Maybe I should finally watch it? Here's the full results:

  1. Kirito and Asuna (Sword Art Online) 14.8%
  2. Shizuku Mizutani and Haru Yoshida (My Little Monster) 12.1%
  3. Yuta Togashi and Rikka Takanashi (Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai!) 8.3%
  4. Kiritsugu Emiya and Irisviel von Einzbern (Fate/Zero) 6.6%
  5. Mei Tachibana and Yamato Kurosawa (Say, "I Love You".) 4.8%
  6. Fujiko Mine and Lupin III (The Woman Called Fujiko Mine) 4.7%
  7. Koichi Sakakibara and Mei Misaki (Another) 4.0%
  8. Mikoto Urabe and Akira Tsubaki (Mysterious Girlfriend X) 4.0%
  9. Tomoe and Nanami Momozono (Kamisama Kiss) 3.7%
  10. Serika Itou and Mutta Nanba (Space Brothers) 3.3%
  11. Kaito Kirishima and Ichika Takatsuki (Waiting in the Summer) 3.2%
  12. Io Otonashi and Tsumiki Miniwa (Acchi Kocchi) 2.7%
  13. Ririchiyo Shirakiin and Soshi Miketsukami (Inu X Boku Secret Service) 2.1%
  14. Teiichi Niiya and Yuko Kanoe (Dusk maiden of Amnesia) 2.1%
  15. Taichi Yaegashi and Himeko Inaba (Kokoro Connect) 2.0%
  16. Haruyuki Arita and Kuroyukihime (Accel World) 2.0%
  17. Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami (Psycho-Pass) 2.0%
  18. Mashiro Shiina and Sorata Kanda (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou) 1.9%
  19. Medaka Kurokami and Zenkichi (Medaka Box) 1.7%
  20. Nagi Sanzenin and Hayate Ayasaki (Hayate the Combat Butler: Can't Take My Eyes Off You) 1.6%
  21. Mahiro Yasaka and Nyarko (Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos) 1.5%
  22. Ayumi Aikawa and Haruna (Is This a Zombie? 2) 1.2%
  23. Tori Aoi and Horizon Ariadust (Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II) 1.2%
  24. Rea Sanka and Chihiro Furuya (Sankarea) 1.0%
  25. Rokka Shimao and Ryosuke Hazuki (Natsuyuki Rendezvous) 0.9%
  26. Saki Watanabe and Shun Aonuma (From the New World) 0.9%
  27. Godo Kusanagi and Erica Blandelli (Campione!) 0.7%
  28. Oda Nobuna and Yoshiharu Sagara (Oda Nobuna no Yabō) 0.7%
  29. Riki Naoe and Rin Natsume (Little Busters!) 0.7%
  30. Mikono and Amata (Aquarion Evol) 0.6%
  31. Yoshino Takigawa and Aika Fuwa (Blast of Tempest) 0.6%
  32. Ryota Sakamoto and Himiko (BTOOOM!) 0.5%
  33. Yūya Bridges and Yui Takamura (Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse) 0.4%
  34. Akatsuki Osawa and Myuu Osawa (Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero) 0.4%
  35. Risara Restole and Ryosuke Kaga (So, I Can't Play H!) 0.3%
  36. Tamaki Kasuga and Takuma Onizaki (Hiiro no Kakera - The Tamayori Princess Saga) 0.2%
  37. Yuki Ojima and Chisato Sumiyoshi (Love, Election, and Chocolate) 0.2%
  38. Akiko and Akito Himenokoji (OniAi) 0.2%
  39. Syogo Mikadono and Konoe Tsuruma (NAKAIMO) 0.1%


Alright everybody, see you all next week! I look forward to your input in the comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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