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7 Times Anime Danced Its Butt Off

by Lynzee Loveridge,

There is an undeniable crossover between voice actors, J-Pop, and otaku culture. If a voice actress can be marketed as an anisong singer, she can supplement her income outside of the sound booth with concerts, CD sales, and more merchandise. Sometimes all of this gets mashed together with the actor's character performing a sort of "pop idol" performance in lieu of an opening or ending theme, with a whole dance routine in tow.

7. Another Episode 6: This horror mystery is full of grisliness, creepy dolls, and danger lurking around every corner. Simply put, due to a local belief that the only way to stave off death is to ostracize a classmate, everyone pretends Mei doesn't exist. When new student Kōichi doesn't play along, he too is ignored. In Episode 6, he wonders exactly how far the two of them could go while still being ignored, and daydreams about Mei and himself breaking out in dance during the classroom curriculum.

6. Love Live! "Susume→Tomorrow": Love Live is a show about school idols, and an episode rarely goes by without some kind of performance from μ's or A-RISE, complete with cute coordinated outfits and dance moves. "Susume→Tomorrow" stands out in particular as the series' introduction to what we could expect over the next two seasons, and because Honoka dances in traffic.

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion "Dance Like You Want to Win!" Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the only mecha series, to my knowledge, where the robots get a dance episode. After one of the Angels shows that it can split off into a second, mirror copy, Misato has Asuka and Shinji go through a series of routines to get perfectly in tune with one another while wearing jazzercise outfits. The plan has its setbacks but the two eventually pull it off and perform the routine perfectly while piloting their Evas.

4. Beyond the Boundary "Yakusoku no Kizuna": In one episode of Kyoto Animation's Beyond the Boundary, the staff took a break from the supernatural story long enough for the characters to take on a different kind of yōumu. The thing, which is effectively a giant eyeball that spews foul-smelling goo, can't be snuck up on. The crew decide to put together an impromptu idol sequence to distract it while cutting between a montage of their hard work (that never actually happened). The scene is pretty funny, but unfortunately doesn't save the group from getting barfed on again.

3. Kodocha "Ultra Relax": "Ultra Relax" is like the "Macarena" of anime opening and ending dance sequences. We get our fair share of dances like Miss Monochrome's ending, or the sequence in Kannagi, where it takes several viewings and practice to hit each move and pose. "Ultra Relax" doesn't have that problem. You can probably learn the whole thing, with its fair share of booty shaking, after one watch.

2. Lucky Star "Motteke! Sailor Fuku.": Lucky Star's opening sequence is one of the two entries that really caused a wave of imitation videos. Fans of the show spent their time and energy mastering the dance sequence with their friends, performing at conventions, and uploading their attempts on YouTube. The voice actresses from the show re-enacted the sequence, in costume of course, for huge audiences in Japan, too.

1. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya "Hare Hare Yukai": Undoubtedly the most popular and well known dance sequence to come out of an anime series. "Hare Hare Yukai" combines idol dancing staples of rhythmically swaying while doing a lot of crazy gestures with your hands to tie in with the lyrics. This didn't stop Aya Hirano and crew from nailing it live, 3D versions, or large groups of fans performing it the best they could. The song was unstoppable during the height of Haruhiism and hasn't been replaced since.

The new poll: What's your New Year's resolution this year?

The old poll: Which Winter 2015 anime are you most looking forward to? (Anything under 1% is omitted)

  1. Durarara!!×2 22.9%
  2. Assassination Classroom 9.4%
  3. Tokyo Ghoul √A 8.9%
  4. Aldnoah.Zero 2 8.3%
  5. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc 8.3%
  6. Kuroko's Basketball S3 7.2%
  7. Yuri Kuma Arashi 6.5%
  8. Kamisama Hajimemashita 2 4.7%
  9. Tsukimonogatari 4.3%
  10. Death Parade 3.2%
  11. Dog Days'' 2.5%
  12. Kantai Collection -Kan Colle- 2.2%
  13. The [email protected] Cinderella Girls 1.9%
  14. Sōkyū no Fafner: Dead Aggressor: Exodus 1.5%
  15. The Testament of Sister New Devil 1.2%
  16. Maria the Virgin Witch 1.2%
  17. Binan Kōkō Chikyū Bōei-bu Love! 1.0%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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