Reminiscing over the Decade’s Anime Music – 2000


Artist: up-uat

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 [1].

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

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Pursuit

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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.

Yakusoku

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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.”

Inu Yasha ED2 – 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

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Finally, we come to FLCL, which feels more like something that someone soaks in as an experiences rather than analyze for any coherent meaning [2]. 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.

FLCL – Little Busters »

FLCL – Ride on Shooting Star »

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.

Footnotes:
[1] 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 😉
[2] I still don’t understand this OVA to this very day, and believe me, I’ve tried.

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

15 thoughts on “Reminiscing over the Decade’s Anime Music – 2000

  • December 25, 2009 at 10:31 am
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    Wow, almost a decade and I’m still not sick of listening to Fukai Mori.

    Reply
  • December 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm
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    Wow, Yakusoku was awesome. Can’t believe I missed Love Hina anime. Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  • December 25, 2009 at 10:30 pm
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    Oh man, when I first saw Love Hina way back I thought it was the best anime ever. Now when I look back, I look at it and think no way.

    I agree with Seinime though, Yakusoku was awesome.

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  • December 26, 2009 at 12:53 am
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    Merry Christmas to all! Thanks for the well wishes!

    @Baka-Raptor
    Yeah, I was also pretty surprised that it’s been that long. Goes to show that good music will forever remain good music. The other Inu Yasha tracks might not be as strong, but Fukai Mori holds that special place for me.

    @Seinime
    It’s a good introductory show, especially for people who can sympathize with the show’s particular sentiments. And Yakusoku is just awesome in the way it highlights that dramatic moment really well!

    @Reltair
    Even if it seems silly now, can’t deny all the good times it brought us. Love Hina was my first harem show and by golly I sure enjoyed it!

    Reply
  • December 26, 2009 at 4:51 am
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    I’ve always loved the Pillows, and Little Busters is one of my favorite tracks from them!

    Anyways, good selection in the other ones as well. ^ ^

    Reply
  • December 26, 2009 at 6:58 am
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    I recall InuYasha’s music, too. It’s nice listening to it again (though I don’t like the anime as much as most people).
    Oh and…Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  • December 27, 2009 at 12:10 am
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    @Yi
    It’s funny that most of my exposure to Japanese artists come from anime. Or maybe it’s not so strange since one of the Lucky Star characters enjoys pretty much groups with roots in anisongs.

    @Canne
    I was under the impression that the anime was (deservingly) criticized for taking so long. I know I quit around episode 80, which I suppose makes me a very slow learner :p

    Reply
  • January 2, 2010 at 6:06 pm
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    NOSTALGIC STUFF! I think hearing that ED (Deep Forest) gave me a solid attachment to InuYash way back, but … that wore out. The Pillows I’ll remember forever with those super catchy melodies and style (awesome mesh for FLCL).

    Reply
  • January 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm
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    @Ryan A
    Yeah, thinking about how long its been since some of those melodies came out really puts things in perspective. Also brings back those fond (or not so fond) memories that the series brings back :p

    Reply
  • January 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm
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    Love Hina’s symphonic soundtrack is one of my favourite anime scores. I would say it’s kind of unfortunate that it’s associated with one of the modern “punching bags” of anime. Really nice melodies, pleasant, light orchestrations, and a very characteristic sound. The Hinata Hot Springs Station track? Definitely does not sound like something out of a harem comedy. And I really like the instrumental of “Winter Wish” on the Christmas OST as well.

    Reply
  • January 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm
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    @Theowne
    I think you might be a bit more pessimistic about Love Hina’s reception than I. While I think everyone in general agrees that it’s not the best, it is seen as an important gateway to bigger and better things.

    And yes, the symphonic portion of the soundtrack music is beautiful, complementing the positive emotions that the series invokes at times. That it’s gotten repeat listens is a testament to its awesomeness.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2010 at 11:25 pm
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    Love Hina ~ Theme of Hinata-sou
    i remember that sound..
    i first heard that sound from AruaRose in Luna town XD
    i missed AruaRose so much :(
    love the soundtrack btw.. and Love Hina’s one of my fave anime :)

    Reply
  • July 18, 2010 at 11:40 am
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    @Shanlee
    It was my first introduction to the harem romance genre and I thought it was well-executed for the most part. The music also caught my ear and it was wonderfully done.

    Reply
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  • November 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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    It seems I’ve stumbled back onto this article, having given Love Hina a recent revisit due to a bout of nostalgia. Though the series was much harder, initially, to stomach as an adult, somehow, the music you’ve praised here seemed to serve as the bridge – immediately when those melodies started playing in the second half of the series, the emotions and attachment that the show brought out in my younger self started to feel familiar again. To think that over ten years later, that music could have that effect on me – quite special.

    Reply

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