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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Hana Emi to Kasumi Kusa
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!