In Praise of Terribad Anime Music

Ahh, terrible anime music. It’s not really an area I get to dive in as often as I’d like. Though I may search far and wide, only a handful of anime soundtracks would qualify as being truly bad. Either I’ve been too lenient with my judging criteria or there just aren’t really many genuinely bad soundtracks around. I guess that when producers or directors bring a composer on board, there’s a minimum level of competency that the composer must have, and that bar prevents the truly horrendous stuff from really surfacing. So maybe I need to be a bit harsher on the uncreative stuff like K-ON!’s soundtrack just so that I can make full use of the review spectrum. It’d probably be difficult to find soundtracks that toddlers with pots and pans could exceed anyhow.

With J-pop, it’s a different story and you don’t have to look far to find some screechfest that’s really difficult to tolerate all around. But those just end up being easy pickings and aren’t really all that fun to listen to. The gems would be the pieces that transcend badness to the point that they become unforgettable.

So in what I hope will become a recurring trend, April 1st will be reserved for the terribad. I sort of did it last year when I featured Kaere’s character song “Buta no Gohan” but that was a lame attempt at some April Fools humor. This year, I’m just going to skip the pranking and go straight on in to highlight three of the worst pieces of anime music I’ve listened to over the past year and ramble a bit. Like with my notice for the relevant MALKeionbu thread though, I’ll try to make it laughably bad.

Akikan – Koisora Recycling

Akikan ED »

Akikan ED8 »

I think I’m doomed towards liking this song in spite of its off-tune vocals and buttloads of engrish. Part of it is because I don’t think that Nomiko is really trying to sing well here and that she knows the show she’s singing for is one big joke anyhow and another part of it is because this reminds me of her work on Renkin 3-kyu Magical? Pokan’s ED, which was also silly, but memorable because of it. If nothing else, the nonsensical lyrics here fit in well with the show’s scatterbrained approach (at least, the portions of it that I did watch) and it’s good for both groans and laughter, especially if you’re like me and use it to troll friends.

Maria†Holic – Fufufu

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This song is highly context-dependent. That is, you do need to get a feel for Kanako Miyamae’s perversions to really “get it” otherwise it’s just bad and you won’t really get your fill of entertainment value out of this piece. For those who don’t know, Kanako is a lesbian (might even be a fake lesbian; I’ll leave that to you to decide) prone to disturbing (hilarious even) fantasies. Needless to say, this ditty works because of the way Asami Sanada vocalizes Kanako’s lecherous thoughts, delivering in a manner that’s downright creepy. It still is funny though, but I will say this: if music is the window to the soul, I sure as hell don’t want to dig further into Kanako’s.

Lucky Star – Motteke! Sailor Fuku

Lucky Star ED »

Nononono, the original one is actually fine. Not great, but not terrible either. The one that I had in mind was Minoru Shiraishi’s rendition of the song and he takes on the role of the clown good-naturedly and belts out a fun, but abysmal performance. The closest comparison that I can make to Lucky Star ED feat. Shiraishi would be William Hung’s infamous performance of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs,” except that Shiraishi is nowhere as bad and is smart enough to know that it’s all played up for laughs (whether it’s actually funny is something I’ll leave up to you). As taka points out later in the thread in which I nominated this piece, the Shiraishi medley is objectively worse. That is true, but I do think that this performance is just slightly more fun to listen to. Well, relatively anyhow.

Also, if you hear some infernal screaming, that would be Sorrow-kun. I take him at his word when he reviewed Lucky Star and voiced a strong distaste for this recurring gag :p

Parting Thoughts:

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The above is my favorite bad track of the now. It’s more fun if you listen to the lyrics and try to comprehend what’s going on. Sort of like the “noodle incident” from Calvin and Hobbes in that it’s funnier when you let your imagination loose. I personally don’t know even 25% of what the singer is saying, but the picture I have in my mind is downright hilarious.

And yes, this post sprang from me being too lazy to finish writing a soundtrack review that’s been on my plate for quite some time now.

Update:
Bitmapchaos throws in his two cents. Provides an even worse version of “Koisora Recycling.” Edited in under Akikan ED8. You have been warned.

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.

0 thoughts on “In Praise of Terribad Anime Music

  • April 1, 2010 at 4:40 am
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    And this is why I doubt I could ever write a serious music review, because I adore Kanako’s Fufufu (Cosplay Angel) song. My mind forever has that song and the accompanying video (and series, which I loved) linked together in such a fashion that it puts an instant smile on my face every time. I can’t even look at the song objectively from a purely musical standpoint. It might as well be Chopin as far as my brain’s concerned! (Alright, my hyperbole went off the charts there…)

    How could I not give that a positive review? :)

    Oh, and the Akikan ED is absolutely the worst thing I remember hearing out of an anime ED in years.

    (Also, love this idea for future April Fool’s days! Bad music needs its time to shine as well!)

    Reply
  • April 1, 2010 at 5:55 am
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    Im not really a fan of one of them this time, well the guitar in the lucky star one is pretty good…Shame i cant play like that thought D:
    Akikan Mhmm i dont really want to talk about it since the anime gave me a nightmare. The maria holic…lol no comment.=)

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  • April 1, 2010 at 7:56 am
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    The Lucky star one is great, indeed O_O

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  • April 1, 2010 at 9:53 am
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    Fufufu is the greatest song ever. I watched that sequence over and over.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm
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    @Karisu & Taka
    I figured there would be a few who loved that song. Watching Kanako’s perverted expression shortly before she launches into the “lolicon angel, tsundere angel” are just comedy gold! Something tells me I should have put the clip with the segment in though.

    @Karisu
    And yeah, having that context does help make it more enjoyable. Glad you liked this segment and I guess it means I’ll have to keep an eye and an ear out for terribad music over this next year!

    @Fabrice
    Well, I sure wasn’t kidding when I said the music here would be bad and terrible. Hence, terribad!

    @McGee
    It’s funny enough. There are times that I’ll admit I really want to give Shiraishi a nice punch to the face though. Good to know he has fun playing the role of the clown.

    @Baka-Raptor
    Listening to the Miku version was awesome and was probably the best of the lot. The energy drink version with the IKUZOOOO’s were also worth a good laugh too, though I think the chiptune version edges that slightly.

    Reply
  • April 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm
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    I think I’ve fallen in love with the creepy off-key singing to the two note vaudeville theme bleeping in the background.

    You know what’s really fun? Taking something sung by Aya Hirano (Super Driver, for instance) and slowing down the playback speed until you can hear her vibrato go up and down and up and down and up and down….

    Reply
  • April 3, 2010 at 2:12 am
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    @Yu
    I think you’ll find it downright hilarious with the context assuming you can’t picture how creepy it’ll go. As for your suggestion, I really might have to give it a go at some point….. Hopefully it won’t make her sound worse than she already does.

    @kevo
    Miku version! Now!

    Reply
  • April 3, 2010 at 3:40 am
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    I remember I have listened to many songs that were simply intolerable and when that happened, I’ll just skip them entirely and they were forgotten. That’s why I can’t think of any that is truly bad. (o_o)

    Reply
  • April 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm
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    “Winter’s a Machinegun Too!” is great. It’s like some crazy, hyper girl yelling like a machine-gun, haha.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2010 at 1:43 am
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    @Canne
    Well, that means you miss out on the bad-but-hilarious tracks. Sometimes, they’re good to have around like here.

    @Reltair
    Very. I’m usually averse to screeching, but “Winter’s a Machinegun Too” is far too hilarious for me to pass up.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2010 at 4:13 am
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    Lol everything listed here is pretty much an ear sore.

    Hoping there’d be more, maybe it might be even better if you could list some of the worst albums or soundtracks you’ve listened : p

    Reply
  • April 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm
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    @depthcharge101
    I only went for three since those were the ones that really struck me when I listened so as to render themselves unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. As I mentioned above, doing a soundtrack version is harder since most soundtracks aren’t consistently bad. The only one I can think of is K-ON!’s and maybe Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2010 at 2:41 am
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    It’s interesting how two of these involve some sort of a dialogue. I hate that in a song too… Seems so cheesy.

    Anyways, they may be terrible, but at least they’re not boring.

    Very interesting post.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm
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    @Yi
    There’s a fine line between tracks that are outright bad, and those that are bad, but have some amusement value that would be enough to make me want to listen to the more than once. You’ve nailed two of the reasons why some of these (especially “Fufufu”!) continue to see time on my playlists.

    Reply

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