Reminiscing over the Decade’s Anime Music – 2006

OP/EDs

Save for Ouran’s OP/ED combo and maybe Red Garden’s ridiculous ED, I think all of the anime highlighted in the previous page have decent songs worth catching, so rather than go through all that, it’s worth exploring some of the other prominent themes that have started or ended 2006’s anime.

So with that, we start with Ergo Proxy’s “kiri,” which offers a really mellow sound and dishes enough variety to keep this interesting. Somehow, when I listen to this, I get a feeling as though the singer was trying to be transcendent at times while still keeping the mysteries close to its chest. I’m not sure how many people have listened to this; it never seems to pop up on any OP/ED lists, at least, none that I’ve read. Maybe the tone might not catch people’s fancy? I enjoy it though even if I wasn’t too fond of the anime.

Ergo Proxy – kiri »

Next up is a Shaft/Shinbo work in the form of Negima?!. I never looked into this one due to time reasons and a reduction in my enthusiasm for Akamatsu’s works. Maybe it’s the effect of growing up or something. Still, “1000%SPARKING” still managed to get on my radar since the song has been reused for a variety of purposes such as replacing the girls in the OP with the Touhou girls. The music is also nice and energetic and that it’s a seiyuu collaboration helps me enjoy it despite the lack of singing ability here and there. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s a fun song to listen to on occasion even if it won’t necessarily creep into the anime playlist I listen to most often.

Negima?! – 1000%SPARKING »

Utawarerumono’s “Musouka” served as my first introduction to Suara’s singing, and this was enjoyable from the start. Looking back at her works that I’ve listened to since, she doesn’t show much of a knack for diversifying beyond the soothing, wonderful-type of vocals all too much, but this one will stay with me, what with its upbeat, energetic melodies that suggest a tale epic in scope. That’s close to what Utawarerumono was all about, which isn’t too hard to believe since it did start out as a SRPG. Speaking of that genre, I should also mention the animation in the intro, which really reminds me of Suikoden III’s introduction except with better music.

Utawarerumono – Musouka »

Welcome to the NHK’s ED has also been covered elsewhere and if you’re looking for a good dose of madness, look no further than that. The cacophony works towards driving the listener towards insanity, but when all’s said and done, I’ll take the pleasant OP in “Puzzle” for my normal listening pleasure. Remember when I said there’s never a bad reason to listen to Round Table feat. Nino? Well, this song proves that to be true once more. I’ll spare you from having to listen to the Yui Makino ED though since that one’s pleasant, but not as memorable.

Welcome to the NHK – Puzzle »

Last, but not least, Kashimashi doesn’t seem to get enough recognition, at least, not much that I can see, though to be fair, it’s not particularly brilliant in terms of the yuri stories that have come up over the years. Musically, the OP isn’t much to write home about, though it’s just my eufonius bias speaking. The ED, in my opinion is where it’s at! “Michishirube” by Yuumao is really a joy to listen to if you’re find of those slow, yet lovely balladic airs and… well, I’ve written about it in a different post so many many months ago.

Kashimashi – Michishirube »

That’s not all Kashimashi has to offer though. My love for seiyuu vocals, corny as they may be, rears its head up again through “Compass: Egao no Yukue” which really hits my soft spot for calm, mellow music and this one saw a lot of playtime on my music player even if the singers go flat at times and I can find about half a dozen things wrong with it if I were to review it properly. Call it a guilty pleasure. On the other hand, “Hana Emi to Kasumi Kusa,” is really catchy and much more upbeat than the previous track and I think it helps that the song knocks the energy levels up a few notches while still retaining that pleasant, mellow feel. They’re not stellar, but somehow, I still find them irresistible.

Compass: Egao no Yukue

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Hana Emi to Kasumi Kusa

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Other mentions:

Kanon 2006 came out, but it mostly kept with its VN roots where music is concerned. Somehow, the soundtrack never managed to stand out the way Air and Clannad did, and beyond “Last Regrets,” I really can’t recall much in the way of Kanon music. OK, that’s not completely true, since I do remember listening to “Promise,” but that’s more likely because of all the time I spent playing Eternal Fighter Zero.

Shakugan no Shana also came out and this was before I’d grown disenchanted with Mami Kawada and I’ve Sound. Much of the music was good, but I wouldn’t call them standouts either since Kow Otani’s compositions were much better in Wander and the Colossus which I found to be memorable. I’m sure that in a lighter year, Shana would be worth more than a paragraph in this section, but given some of the more enjoyable fare out there, this one is relegated to the good-not-great pile.

Fate/Stay Night, for many, was the greatest thing since sliced bread (especially if you consider all the Saber figurines that have come out as a result). The anime wasn’t my favorite though and Kenji Kawai’s work, in general, is overrated. Yes, there were some decent tracks scattered about and once you listen to it, you’ll easily be able to peg him down as someone who runs the atmospheric side of things really well when he composes music, but melodically, I’m not too impressed. Of the tracks, I’d be able to pick out 5 of them as being really memorable and had Kawai composed more of those, the soundtrack would have been a lot better. Similarly, I’m not too impressed with his work on Higurashi either (which also came out in 2006!) and that soundtrack was a little on the dry side. He’ll redeem himself later on though and I’ll let you know when we get to it.

So yes, we’re looking at yet another long list. Obviously, I’m not able to keep track of everything and I know I’m missing quite a few good ones out there. Feel free to mention whatever soundtracks and/or OP/EDs caught your fancy in 2006! With luck, I’ll be able to fill in those gaps at some point since listening to anime music is something I can do wherever!

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.

28 thoughts on “Reminiscing over the Decade’s Anime Music – 2006

  • May 18, 2010 at 6:47 am
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    Ouran indeed has a really great soundtracks. It is easier to recognize sober/serious/dark ost as a great piece but not that easy for lighter/merrier ones. Thus, ouran’s osts is quite extraordinary. :)

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  • May 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm
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    Asatte no Houkou got a mention! \o/

    Ai no Melody? But I guess KOKIA got a nod with Red Garden.

    Also, IMO ’06 is the Iwasaki revival year with Giniro no Kami no Agito and Kekkaishi… culminating in what we all know as Gurren Lagann.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm
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    Ahh, some wonderful choices here. 2006 was a great year for music. I appreciate the decision not to cover the already-over-popular tracks of Haruhi. (Gah! Although I love the soundtrack, I’ve listened to it as much as I’ve been forced to play Pachebel’s Canon in D. T_T).

    I need to check out a lot of these shows, as the only one whose music I am familiar with is Ouran. I absolutely adore the music of that show, it’s so classy xD One of my favorites was the piano version of the OP song, although all the background music in general was really nice and suited the atmosphere well.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm
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    No love for Simoun? I’m so disappointed! The OP and both OST albums were on my most-played list for many many months after the show had ended. I still think it was one of the high points of that decade.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm
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    This was, IMO, pretty much the best year in anime last decade, and the music was also outstanding. I really liked Kenji’s Fate/Stay Night soundtrack, but I do agree his Higurashi soundtrack is very underwhelming and well below his standards. The Honey and Clover II ED, “Split” by SuneoHair, also deserves a mention. Taniuchi Hideki was also doing outstanding work at around this time on the Akagi soundtrack, and about half of the Death Note soundtrack. Funnily enough, the other composer who worked on Death Note, Hirano Yoshihisa, also did the soundtrack for Strawberry Panic, which made me think at the time that I’d never seen a yuri anime with bad music. I think that’s still probably true.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm
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    Agreed with Gozaru. Since the only possible reason Simoun has not received mention here must be that you haven’t heard any of its music yet, I will post YouTube links:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLyHmKEOMxQ&feature=related

    I appreciate the mention of Paprika’s soundtrack. While unusual, it certainly is unique in a good way.

    Lastly, I’ve never heard of Asatte no Houkou. I’ll have to look into it.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm
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    I knew you guys would comment about the lack of Simoun D:

    @Canne
    Kind of funny how, as Sorrow-kun mentioned Hirano also composes darker fare for the Death Note anime so he can shift deftly between moods when it suits him.

    When I listen to Ouran, I do get quite a kick out of the experience. The classical music does capture the lighthearted moments of a show, accentuating it even further. Needless to say, it’s a wonderful listen that brings back the nostalgia really well!

    @ottocycle
    Well, I’ve already responded to your comment via Twitter, so the only thing I’ll add is that Iwasaki’s compositions for the movie were solid in addition to KOKIA’s lovely vocals. Guess this means I should also delve into Keikkaishi too.

    @Mint
    Yeah, it didn’t make sense to cover those known quantities when there’s a world of stuff people should take a stab at. Between the three that I highlighted as my possible faves, Bartender hits the classy mood just slightly better. Then again, it’s more of a healing/soothing type of show that takes place in a refined beer lounge. Ouran is comedy (and well done at that!) but I find that the joy is in listening to the music as a subversion of the host club’s borderline pretentious activities :3

    @Sorrow-kun
    I think I just have a beef with composers who write solely for the atmosphere moreso than melody because one works great within shows but doesn’t do too well outside it. Kawai’s work does tend to fall under that category even if stuff like “Pride of the Warrior King” is really really good!

    @Gozaru
    I wouldn’t doubt it. The consensus I’ve heard/read is that Simoun offers some of Sahashi’s best compositions. Ever. Yu managed to nail the reason why I didn’t cover it and it still sits idly on ye olde backlog.

    As for Hirano’s work on Strawberry Panic, I’ve been told to check it out by Smankh who says it’s pretty solid after I asked about how it compares to Ouran. But yeah, I can’t think of a yuri anime with bad music either. Marimite’s was solid and Aoi Hana gets the mood down quite nicely. There are probably other prominent ones that I’m not thinking of either.

    @Yu
    Spot on and sadly enough, I’ve heard both songs you’ve stuck in the comment. I’ve enjoyed both “Youen Naru Kizuna no Hibiki” with its seductive flair, “Rekishi wa Kataru” with its blend of tension and elegance, and “Doukoku Kooru Tempest” which feels like the rise of some dark lord or something. That I’ve gotten even this much positive mileage out of it means I’m about due. It’s probably even better in context.

    I think Hirasawa does tend towards a lot of electro-synth/whatever since the OP to Berserk was sort of the same way. As for Asatte no Houkou, it’s got a nice combination of pretty piano music that fits in with the kind of stuff I like.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm
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    Ergo Proxy is on my list of OP/EDs. I love it.
    Or maybe it’s because I’m also in love with the series, but I do think it’s a very good OP.
    I’m so glad you included it.

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  • May 19, 2010 at 1:28 am
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    @Yi
    I’m really thinking about giving the soundtrack to Ergo Proxy a shot… even if the music never struck me during the 13something episodes that I’ve seen for it. But yeah, the opening is one of those tracks that are easy to listen to somehow, so I have no problems just tuning it in and letting it all go~

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  • May 19, 2010 at 3:22 am
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    That’s one fantastic list of OST. Paprika’s music is possibly my favorite anime music out there (I still frequently listen to Mediational Field).

    Anyway, nice to find out that a silly title like Magical Pokaan actually has a some nice soundtrack to back it up. I might give it a shot sometimes soon 😛

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  • May 19, 2010 at 6:08 am
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    Yay! Loads of stuff which struck my attention too. Like I’ve mentioned before, Ouran is really in a class of its own. I really enjoyed Red Garden and Le Chevalier D’Eon as well. And from the clips here, looks like I just can’t miss out on Bartender either. =D

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  • May 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    @Omurqi
    I was quite surprised too with Magipokaan and had my doubts after watching the show and wondering whether the soundtrack would be pleasant. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least.

    Hirasawa’s been pretty consistent with his musical style in Paprika, showing he can do that cacophony, but also the smooth jazzy elevator music thing decently too. I think my next watch might be Tokyo Godfathers since he also composes the music for that too, so I’ll see how that goes!

    @Jen
    I certainly wasn’t going to forget Ouran and Red Garden =p

    But yeah, Bartender is great, relaxing fare and the soundtrack is filled with tracks like those two. It’s a great way to fritter those worries away since it’s so calm and enjoyable~

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  • May 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm
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    Some fantastic choices here. I hadn’t heard Red Garden until recently and it is such a beautiful classical soundtrack, especially the Kokia tracks at the end :)

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  • May 20, 2010 at 1:06 am
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    I think you should check out Ergo Proxy’s soundtrack. I’m curious as to what you think of it. It’s certainly a very different genre than many.

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  • May 20, 2010 at 1:50 am
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    @Sirusjr
    With the context, that soundtrack becomes all the more poignant because Senju does such a fantastic job in getting you to feel the emotional pain that the girls go through. There’s enough hopeful stuff to buoy you up and it hits so deep and it feels so right. KOKIA’s stuff is just a bonus to an already awesome effort, that’s for sure!

    @Yi
    That’s sort of what I expected… now to see if I can somehow get my hands on the US release since I know they’re floating about somewhere…

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  • May 20, 2010 at 4:24 am
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    wow, finally, some appreciation for Red Garden, well the soundtrack definitely is a must, we can all skip the anime.
    anytime i need to de-stress, it will have to be the Red Garden OST & KOKIA. This is THE killer combination 😛

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  • May 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm
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    @mei If you haven’t listened to it already, get a hold of the “Guin Saga – This is My Road” album by Kanon, it almost sounds like Kokia. 😉
    I really like the Red Garden OST too, btw. :-)

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  • May 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm
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    @mei
    Well, it was going to receive its due, regardless of whether I’d reviewed it or not! And I have no idea how to de-stress using Red Garden. It usually makes me feel sad more than anything else if it’s not uplifting me with some of KOKIA’s more optimistic fare. My de-stress of choice is still the tossup between ARIA and Bartender!

    @signor_rossi
    Yes! I loved that album because of how well Kanon takes you far far away into other lands. The tone of voice that she uses is really beautiful and it’s a solid ED theme.

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  • May 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm
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    @zzeroparticle, @signo_rossi
    there’s no denying KANON was good in Guin Saga, in fact, Guin Saga’s would be one of my top choices for 2009. But KOKIA still kinda ranks 1 step above (for me anyways).

    @zzeroparticle
    i de-stress with sad music, go figure. to each his own :)

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  • May 21, 2010 at 12:08 am
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    I usually de-stress with Hisaishi music or with Kunihiko Ryo’s Juuni Kokuki Kokyu/Piano Memories albums. :-)

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  • May 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm
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    @mei
    Her ethereal voice does kinda do the trick nicely. I was pretty impressed with most of her songs in general, though Red Garden does benefit from Senju as the composer. Wonder if they’ll ever collaborate again.

    @signor_rossi
    Not a bad selection. Guess your mode of de-stressing involves going off to different wondrous worlds out there and Hisaishi/Kunihiko both do a good job of that. Now I want to try out Kunihiko’s Letter Bee OST…

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  • May 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm
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    Indeed, FSN is probably the greatest thing since slice bread or peanut butter for me : p

    Anyway good choices on the instrumental and OP/ED. I think part of the reason why Kiri is so under-appreciated is that Ergo Proxy isn’t that popular. My best OP/ED in 2006 is undoubtedly Juukai’s Anata ga ita Mori, but that’s probably partly because of my love for FSN.

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  • May 22, 2010 at 12:48 am
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    Fate/stay night is a decent anime that I myself overrate. I don’t even know why I chose Saber to center a blog around. Spur of the moment I guess when I was doing a mental random pick of anime characters I knew.

    Around half of those series I have only sampled, which leads me to the other half. Ergo Proxy’s OP does seem to go by unnoticed, but I just find it fascinating to listen to. Red Garden’s soundtrack was great, and my friend recommended Le Chevalier D’Eon for me to watch just recently. I like what I hear from it though.

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  • May 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm
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    @Reltair
    Ooshimas music for Chevalier D’Eon is very good and among the best works I heard of hers, I especially like Ria no Kan, Russia ni Shisu and Owari ni Mata Kotoba Ariki. The anime itself isn’t bad either and certainly worth a watch. If by chance you find it a bit boring/dragging in the middle you should still watch on, since the finale is very strong and doesn’t disappoint.

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  • May 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm
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    @depthcharge101
    A lot of people that I read do talk a lot about Ergo Proxy’s pseudo-philosophical pretentiousness and the ED of Paranoid Android since Radiohead’s involved, but Kiri seems to be passed up quite a bit.

    As far as FSN goes, I love Juukai’s ED quite a bit! The OP was also a much better version of the VN’s OP theme, though the 2nd OP was a bit of a wash.

    @Reltair
    Ehh, why not, right?

    And yeah, Le Chevalier D’Eon was one that I found to be really enjoyable if you’re into the political intrigue atmosphere combined with some historical rearranging. The score is solid through and through and even if I can find a few holes to poke in the show, the soundtrack is strong.

    @signor_rossi
    Talk about those twists and turns at the end! I live for those moments in Chevalier 😀

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  • May 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm
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    I like the love here for Kanon’s work in Guin Saga but I didn’t enjoy anything else from her album besides the actual full ED song. The ED song was perfect and had a beautiful feeling of peace but the rest of it was just too much synthesizer for me.

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  • May 31, 2010 at 10:49 am
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    @Sirusjr
    I can see that being an issue if you’re not overly fond of synthesizer and though I liked it, I’m not one to be able to really determine what’s overuse. Still, I did think that the “Cavalleria Rusticana” was really enjoyable.

    Reply
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