Anime theme songs are an integral part of their respective series and anime culture as a whole, but what makes some of them so memorable?
Anime is popular for many reasons, but a key feature that helps set it apart from Western-style shows is the opening theme song. Not only is it a fun way to start an episode, but it also sets the tone for the entire season.
While there are many great anime themed songs, some, in particular, stand out. Songs like Dragon Ball“Cha-La Hed-Cha-La” and Cowboy bebop“Tank!”, Which was released more than two decades ago, still stands the test of time and is still popular. “Tank!” He even appeared on figure skater Kevin Reynolds’ short show for the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships 2016. Clearly, even though most anime themes are sung in Japanese, the language barrier does not prevent fans around the world from engaging with them. Thus, they become a link between the anime and its fans, sometimes remembered far beyond the actual lifespan of the anime.
Let’s take a look at just two iconic and memorable themes from the past few years that became an integral part of the anime they were used for.
Attack on Titan, “Shinzou wo Sasageyo”
Perhaps one of the most iconic anime theme songs belongs to Attack on Titan. “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” is not only the opening song of season 2, it is also a fan anthem. Performed by Linked Horizon, the song remains memorable well beyond season 2, and many fans still sing it to this day as the type of theme for the entire anime. Maybe it’s because the song has incredible structure, or because the chorus can be sung easily.
The choir’s musical phraseology has a particularly hymn vibe: when the song breaks with the words “shinzou wo sasageyo”, we see the Scout Regiment throw its right hand on its chest in solidarity. The visuals coupled with the music make the song feel heroic, triumphant, and capable of withstanding even the toughest of titans. That sheer energy is what makes her so influential.
Also, “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” is so popular that it has been performed in sold-out concerts. Imagine that: concerts specifically for anime music. It just goes to show that an amazing anime theme is so much more than just a song. “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” is one of the best-known anime openings in the world because it unites viewers with the feelings of Attack on Titan. As Eren, Mikasa, and Armin fight for their lives, the song allows viewers to feel that sense of pride alongside them. It can almost be compared to a battle march.
My Hero Academia, “Strange Future”
Another very memorable anime theme is “Odd Future” by My hero academia Season 3. Compared to “Shinzou wo Sasageyo”, this song is less of an anthem for the anime and more of a great way to prepare fans for an episode. UVERworld’s “Odd Future” is one of many My hero academia openings, however, stands out as one of the best received. The reason for this is all in the wording. The song goes from playful and light to big and bombastic, combining that delicate balance of fun and tension in the same way. My hero academia it does.
What works well for “Odd Future” is the way the musical phrasing dramatizes the opening credits, which can instantly enhance any scene. But when the chorus arrives, the footage shows the UA students in their hero suits, ready to fight for the innocent. He does this by using powerful vocals combined with catchy pop music. “Odd Future” is not only a perfect song to start an episode, but it is a great independent tune to listen to. Pairing it with the thematic content of My hero academia it only improves the opening credits.
Anime theme songs often leave a lasting impression on viewers. This may be due to the energy of the song, its powerful voice, or its tone in relation to the content of the series. They are an important piece of anime culture and as the popularity of anime increases, so does the love for theme songs. While these examples are more modern, there are anime songs from the 80s and 90s that are still remembered today, both in Japanese and English, such as PokemonIt’s unforgettable, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.” No matter the reason for their popularity with fans, theme songs have become a staple of anime culture that lasts well beyond their original context and content.
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