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What is "Anime Music"?




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frentymon
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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:36 am Reply with quote
Oftentimes I can listen to a piece of J-Music, and be like "this sounds like anime music!" Today especially, after my semi anime-watching friend pointed out that the song I was playing, the OP song to To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, sounded like "anime music", I got wondering, what constitutes sounding like anime music? What are characteristics that anime music have that distinguishes it from non-anime J-Music? Some things I can think of off the top of my head are that anime music tends to be synethetic-intensive, and a high pitched singing voice is often a dead giveaway. Also, I think seiyuu-singers sound a little different when they sing than normal singers. I can't pinpoint exactly why this is (although if its a character song or something and deliberately altered to fit the character then it's usually a dead giveaway), but generally when I listen to a song and I'm like "this sounds like a seiyuu singing it", I'm right about it.

There's non-anime J-Pop that fit some of these characteristics but still don't sound like anime music, though. For example, Ayumi Hamasaki's music is heavily electronic, but they don't really sound like anime songs. Ai Otsuka has a high pitched voice, but a majority of her songs don't really sound anime either.

Any thoughts? Sometimes I wonder if everything besides the American-influenced R&B stuff that tops the Oricon charts could sound like "anime music" to a non-fan. Maybe since anime songs often end up being chart toppers, "anime music" and "Japanese music" are one in the same.
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Vason528



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Anime music in my opinion is basically the themesongs i hear at the beginning and end of an anime series.



I have too many favorite Anime series so I just get the themes i really want to listen to.
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Mushi-Man



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:12 pm Reply with quote
I've noticed this as well, it seems like there's a set "sound" or "feel" to songs that are used in anime. I think the most obvious observation is that the theme music to anime tend to be very catchy and have greater mass appeal. This is seems to be the first indicator to me. But this isn't always the case. But it's a good rule of thumb.
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zanarkand princess



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
Posts: 1484
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:11 pm Reply with quote
I think "anime music" is something that fits into the trope of overly excited with sugary lyrics and almost exclusive female and high pitched singing. You can tell the difference because there is a method to anime music that's becoming increasingly noticeable. Ai Otsuka has a high pitched voice but the composition of her songs usually don't sound like they are for a moe anime. Ayumi Hamasaki sings with a tone of melancholy and has more complexity to her lyrics then your typical anime song. Namie Amuro's music has a cool, confident and sexy tone to it that otaku don't always take kindly too in their anime music. Even Morning Musume has that bit of self-awareness that the Lucky Star OP lacks.

Ami Suzuki's music, despite her being an electronica artist these days doesn't sound like anime music. I think it's about a combination of lyrics, composition and image and that's why it doesn't sound like anime music. Especially to Japanese listeners.
Also, do you notice how more often then not anime singers are female? Male seiyuu singers are hard to come by (regularly, like Aya Hirano or Yuko Goto not a one off one an image CD) but in Japan, male acts and especially Johnny's Entertainment groups are huge. Arashi's best album just sold over a million copies, The yet to be released movie BANDAGE has insane buzz and is set to have a few number one singles from the band within the move due to KAT-TUN's lead singer Jin Akanishi playing the lead, they get massive ratings in a New Year extravaganza. Anime music by contrast doesn't have the same diversity in audience or genre.

Anime music may top charts but anime music artists aren't on Music Station every week, acting in drama series and on talk shows (or in some cases having their own talk shows) so anime singers are definitely less visible for the most part (you do get crossovers like Nana Mizuki sometimes)
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TJR



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:00 am Reply with quote
frentymon wrote:
Maybe since anime songs often end up being chart toppers, "anime music" and "Japanese music" are one in the same.


They cater to very different markets though (anime songs also tend to disappear from the charts within days since otaku snap them up as they're released and then no one else wants them). I know that some Japanese are uptight about the distinction between general music and anime songs.
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Meson



Joined: 28 Jun 2002
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Location: Buffalo, NY
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:47 pm Reply with quote
"anime music" is short for anime theme music or anime soundtrack music. This can be either the openning credits theme, the ending credits theme, any insert song, or simply just the background score. Japanese music tends to get lump in to this genre because usually that's what they are.
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sailorsarah08



Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Posts: 471
Location: Houston, Texas
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:35 pm Reply with quote
I'd say that heavy synth and high pitched vocals are very good generalizations for anime music.

But I don't think that all music in anime is anime music, I think it depends on the song's claim to fame. Falling Down by Oasis was an anime song after it was a popular song. Maybe there just needs to be a special rule for English anime songs, it would clear up the idea a lot for me. If it is sung in understandable English then it doesn't count, or if it's a popular classical piece, like the music from Princess Tutu or the ending of Gunslinger Girl.
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KINGRPG



Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:13 pm Reply with quote
I will remember .

Thank
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synn



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:40 am Reply with quote
I think intro and closing music also qualifies for soundtrack. I like those soundtracks for some animes.
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