6 Anime About the Awesome Power of Music
by Lynzee Loveridge,
The power of music, utilized by magic bards wielding flutes and lutes, is a familiar staple to roleplaying gamers. Their original task was to commemorate the great deeds of their patrons and ensure history was passed down via song. It wouldn't be inaccurate to credit bards, and in turn music, as a powerful tool to shape society. Anime has its share of one-off fighters using instruments as weapons but occasionally there's a series where the music itself is the centerpiece.
Senki Zesshō Symphogear Can the power of song defeat an alien invasion? Symphogear blends both sci-fi powered armor with idols as its cast tries to defeat Noise using their powerful Symphogear armor. Each character utilizes a different style of music, like traditional Japanese and Celtic, to unleash overwhelming attacks and wipe out their enemies. One character, Chris Yukine, draws her attacks from heavy rock bands like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and Queen while Miku shares some similarities with the popular virtual idol.
ClassicaLoid The greatest composers in musical history are back, this time to rollerskate around modern Japan and try to perfect the cooking time for gyoza. Beethoven and Mozart live with high school student Kanae, much to her chagrin. The show is full of wacky, family-friendly hijinks surrounding one key mystery: where did these composers come from and what exactly is the "musik" they can cast? Each time the magic-like spells are cast, an overwhelming illusion appears and transports the characters to a fantastical world. The show's production includes popular modern music producers, giving it an impressive soundtrack to back all the colorful antics.
RahXephon RahXephon carries a lot of admittedly confusing plot points through its storyline. If we ignore the slow-aging protagonist, his mysterious classmate in a yellow dress, and people getting spirited away in a weird cave, there's still aliens attacking in Dolems. The clay mecha are all named after musical terms, like Allegretto, and are controlled by its driver singing. Many of the Dolems' attacks are center around singing as well. Each one has an unsettling humanoid appearance that only grows more disturbing when they open their gaping mouths to sing or launch an attack.
The Legend of Black Heaven Washed-up heavy metal frontman Oji Tanaka has settled into a mundane life as a middle-aged husband and father working a nine-to-five. His day starts like any other until he's approached by Layla Yuki, an officer in an alien army. She convinces Tanaka to take up his Gibson guitar again, but he doesn't know she's not just enthusiastic about his shredding abilities. He and the rest of his former bandmates' music actually powers the army's ultimate weapon. They need them to keep playing in order to win the war, but Tanaka finds himself struggling between his desire to relive his glory days and his responsibilities as a family man.
Macross The power of music is a reoccurring theme throughout the Macross franchise, starting with the songs of Lynn Minmay and followed by Ranka Lee, Sheryl Nome, and Sharon Apple. Minmay sets the precedent for later series by showing how music can literally stop an alien war. Sharon, on the other hand, utilizes her musical abilities to hypnotize her victims in a plot to take over Macross City. Later entries in the franchise continue to feature idols whose songs directly affect friends and foes alike.
Violinist of Hameln The bigger the instrument the better! This unfortunately animated series by Studio DEEN stars Hamel, a demon violinist whose violin is about the size of a bass. He's joined by Flute, Oboe, Trombone, and Raiel, the latter who carries a full-sized piano on his back. Many of the cast can perform feats of magic by playing classical pieces on their instruments, like summoning the undead or causing powerful water attacks. Everything and everyone has some sort of music theme in this series.
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- Yuri!!! on Ice
- Haikyu!! (TV 3)
- Izetta: The Last Witch
- Bungo Stray Dogs TV 2)
- March comes in like a lion
- Flip Flappers
- Natsume's Book of Friends (TV 5)
- Sound! Euphonium 2
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (TV 2)
- Magical Girl Raising Project
- Kiss Him, Not Me
- Girlish Number
- Ajin (TV 2)
- Poco's Udon World
- Brave Witches
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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