I’ve been listening to a bunch of anime OSTs recently and was thinking how some of these are legitimately great musical pieces that should be heard regardless of whatever opinion you may have on the show it’s from. I dunno how much sense that makes, but I just want to throw out some songs to say “Hey I think these are great give them a try you know?” I don’t know just give it a go. Please?….
Table of Contents
Standing Up On Roaring Earth – Yasuharu Takanashi (Naruto Shippuden OST)
The one thing I will always defend about Naruto is that is has some of the best fight scenes out there in any medium. Only just slightly behind that would be the music. Takanashi does an amazing job with all his work, as I will state more so on further down, but the same is true of them all; it’s the way he mixes genres. The mainstream rock and metal sounds, with traditional Japanese and Far Eastern musical styles and genres in Naruto always makes for a fascinating listen, and something that grabs your attention in each song everytime. This one for it’s heavier rock side, but more erratic and energetic side too. It may slow down at points but somehow it always manages to keep the bounce throughout.
Roar Of The Fire Dragon King – Yasuharu Takanashi (Fairy Tail OST)
I’ll slightly repeat myself here; the one thing about Fairy Tail I will defend above all else is it’s music. I go back and forth on which of Yasuharu’s work I prefer, Naruto or Fairy Tail. This time it’s the way he mixes rock metal with more European folk and traditional sounds. My parents do not like anime at all (surpised? yeah me neither) but my mum seems to like some of Fairy Tail’s music. When I first played it she thought it was Nightwish. And that’s probably part of why I love it so much, it’s very Nightwish-esque in the best way possible. And when something sounds like your second favourite band but is still distinct enough to have it’s own identity that helps a lot too. This song it’s a classic Fairy Tail banger; big and fast with just a bit of whimsy to it that makes it all the more enjoyable.
Chokkaku – Shiro Sagisu (Bleach OST)
I love Number One as much as everyone else. But each Bleach movie did it’s own remix, and this one for the final movie Bleach: Hellverse is probably my favourite of the bunch. It helps that it plays during one of the biggest and most iconic moments throughout the entire series; when Ichigo arrives in Karakura Town in his Dangai form, ready to take down Hogyoku-fused Aizen once and for all. The opening riff is just the right amount of heavy for the situation it’s set to, and with Bleach coming back next year hopefully we will get to hear this tune a few more times. Perhaps when Yamamoto goes Bankai?
Daigyakuten – Yuki Hayashi (One Piece: Gold OST)
Kohei Tanaka and Shiro Hamaguchi have done the music for the One Piece TV series during it’s entire run, but for the 2016 movie Gold they chose to go with a different composer; Yuki Hayashi, mostly known for his work on My Hero Academia. And you can tell here too, it shines through. But it still does enough to be distinctive from his MHA work, and fits into the mould of the sound of One Piece without straight up ripping off Tanaka and Hamaguchi’s work.
Unmei No Hi: Tamashi Tai Tamashi – Horonobu Kageyama (Dragon Ball Z OST)
So I’ve been going through the Dragon Ball Z Kai edit of this series but one thing it misses is this song when Gohan attains SSJ2/Super Saiyan 2/Ascended Super Saiyan. And admittedly it doesn’t feel quite as good without it. As I said I love me some rock and metal, but hearing a song from an older period of anime before all that set in makes for a nice change every now and then. It’s just a great slice of 90s pop.
Your Power – Yuki Hayashi (My Hero Academia OST)
Yes I’ve been relistening to this since the finale of Season 4, like everyone else. I guess we can unofficially call this the Todoroki theme, as it’s been there for the most important moments for both major Todoroki’s in the story (Shoto and Endeavour/Enji). Both for very different reasons; when it played for Shoto, it was during his battle with Deku, but not so much for his fighting Deku as the internal battle he was wrestling with simultaneously. His determination to not use his fire powers in an effort to stick it to his dad, to prove he doesn’t need him and a refusal of the gift his father went to such extreme measures to procure. But also the turmoil he faced in this, with Deku trying to get it through to him that this wasn’t necessarily the right way to go about it, that he was his own person and wasn’t defined by his father; His flames are his own power.
For Endeavour this was playing during the battle with the High End Nomu. For him it signified his desire to save everyone but in a way save himself. Having realised the error of his ways, the story points out who he was in a very real way; the High End Nomu is the old Endeavour, the man who sought power above all else. Defeating the High End Nomu wasn’t just about saving people for him, it was about proving he was not the man he used to be, and was moving on from that old version of himself, the one reflected in the Nomu. It was a declaration to the world that he was the new Endeavour, the one who sought to mend the bridges he’d burned down so long ago.
OK back to the actual song, it’s just a perfectly sombre piece fitting both situations it played in and matches said tone exactly.
Gogeta vs Broly – Norihito Sumitomo (Dragon Ball Super: Broly OST)
After the last one you might expect another think piece. Not so much, it’s just a really good hype tune. But not in the normal way ala Naruto and Fairy Tail where it’s fast paced and swift like the action. This one is a bit more slow but manages to keep the hype factor engaged completely as only Dragon Ball can. I guess you could say it’s a bit more cinematic a piece…..yes that pun was intended.
Ihojin No Yaiba – Naoki Sato (Sword Of The Stranger OST)
A fitting song for the end of this list, as it is the final battle of the movie. When I first saw this I was amazed it was from 2007, I would’ve sooner believed it was from 2017. I love how it is melancholic, almost bittersweet. Like the battle itself, Luo-Lang is just looking for a good fight, Nanashi is giving in to that side of him he wishes to leave behind but can’t due to the circumstances and need to save Kotaro. There is probably a part of him that enjoys this fight but he may not like it, which is why I called the track somewhat bittersweet. It feels not as bombastic as some other finale songs, but it doesn’t need to be because the final fight is not as bombastic as many others are; it’s a more stripped down simple clash, and that is part of what makes it so refreshing.
OK…….that was a lot more than I thought I’d write. But……yeah. Hopefully some of you may give one or two of these songs a try