I guess the previous post in this series was more of a prologue. So bear with the lengthy introduction as I clear out some of the cobwebs. Also, because the year 2000 was when I got into anime, I’ll go a lot more in-depth in this one than I will in later posts because the volume of shows that I watched back then doesn’t even compare to what it is now.
Disclaimer: I unfortunately have not been able to solve the problem on how to turn myself into a being who no longer requires sustenance or sleep, both of which cut into my being able to watch copious amounts of anime and listen to all of their soundtracks. As such, it will be a given that I will not be able to touch upon all of them in this series. If a particular show that came out during the year highlighted did not receive a mention and you believe that it merits one because of its soundtrack, feel free to note that in the comments section. Being the soundtrack freak I am, I will add it to the list of stuff I should listen to. After all, if I can sit through Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose’s soundtrack, I figure I can stomach anything you can throw my way.
Youtube videos are spoilered, clips contain the entire track, and with that, let’s go!
Reflections: One of the easy things about starting from the beginning is that there’s never really much to go off of and most of what you can recall turns out to be embarrassing anyway, even if you do end up looking back at it with a sigh of nostalgia. After all, when you first get into the medium, everything just seems new; you’re so transfixed by what you see that there are no preconceptions to work off of nor do you carry the sort of baggage that you accumulate as you watch more and more anime. So things that are cliche now doesn’t seem that way back then precisely because you haven’t had enough experience to know what is convention and what isn’t.
Given this blog’s music-centric focus, this seems like an odd way to start until you factor in that a part of what makes soundtracks so special is that it relies partly upon the context of the series and the nostalgia factor associated with watching it to be enjoyable. And looking back to 2000, I find shows like Love Hina standing out prominently. While I wouldn’t classify it as an outstanding show now, back when I first watched it, I was convinced that it was speaking to me regarding my future plans. Just picture someone in their penultimate year of high school who would soon deal with the whole rigmarole of college admissions, and it’s not hard to see why I was able to empathize with the male protagonist of the anime. Its depiction of the stresses and pressure arising from the need to figure out one’s future is what made me fall in love with it. Honestly, there was a time in which I thought it couldn’t be topped .
Even though I now know better, the series manages to stay with me not only because of the memories it brings back, but also because it had some very good music. I remember being drawn into the soundtrack, especially the second disc where all of the orchestrated tracks lay. The opening track, “Love Hina ~ Theme of Hinata-sou,” completely blew me away as I found myself enveloped in the warmth of the inn’s setting through the strings which weave a wonderfully inviting melody. Other tracks like “Pursuit” are also very enjoyable. Even though they’re short, they still manage to bring forth the themes and “Pursuit” in particular does an excellent job in bringing forth that hurried pace which brings to mind one of the more comedic scenes in the anime series.
Love Hina ~ Theme of Hinata-sou
So while the symphonic pieces are excellent, the vocal works are worth mentioning because of how some of them grabbed at me, especially Horie Yui’s excellent vocal work on tracks like “Yakusoku,” which has that melancholy aura that brings out the longing feelings within the listener. The scene in which it’s played is really poignant and that, along with the music made it an unforgettable moment because of how my heart really went out to the characters.
So yes, Love Hina has its ups and downs, but on the whole I rather enjoyed watching that series and listening to its excellent score helps in keeping the memories of that show alive.
Inu Yasha, which came out later that year, would not be viewed as favorably. While, it had a strong opening with a good cast of characters and a potentially epic storyline, it effectively pulverized all the goodwill it had built up by drawing itself far too long. Thankfully, it did leave us with some memorable OP/ED sequences. My first contact with Do As Infinity came through “Fukai Mori,” which opens up with a beautiful guitar part to draw me into the song and keep me in rapt attention through the soothing vocal part. Although a lot of the other OP/EDs were pretty good, none of them hold up quite as well as “Fukai Mori.”
The music video, not from the anime:
The BGM’s a different beast though and to be honest, the only theme that I can even remember nowadays is that warrior-esque theme that pervades the entire series. Other than that, I wasn’t too enthralled with and so, most of Inu Yasha’s music has been forgotten. Kaoru Wada’s work has gotten a bit better in recent years though, so stay tuned for that.
Inu Yasha Gensou
Finally, we come to FLCL, which feels more like something that someone soaks in as an experiences rather than analyze for any coherent meaning . But the music was pretty phenomenal though, using The Pillows’s rock sound to give this OVA an edgy feel (with a slight dash of Shinkichi Mitsumune). It must have worked because even though I’m still vague on what it’s really all about, I still can’t forget the impression the soundtrack made on me. I know a lot of folks will cite “Ride on Shooting Star” as one of the most memorable pieces, but I personally enjoyed “Little Busters” just a bit much more. Its the catchy melody that gives it that slight edge.
So yeah, that I covered only three anime series just goes to show how few shows I’ve seen that began in 2000. Yes, I’m aware that Boogiepop Phantom and Crest/Banner of the Stars are worthy contenders in terms of quality series and I really should get to them at some point. If someone tells me that the former has a pretty good soundtrack though, I’d place it on a higher priority because Kajiura released an arrange album titled Boogiepop: Music Inspired by Boogiepop and Others and that’s definitely worth looking into at the bare minimum.
 Not only does this reflect my general naivete, it does reinforce the point I made earlier that yes, there is often an embarrassing element when you’re reminiscing 😉
 I still don’t understand this OVA to this very day, and believe me, I’ve tried.