2nd Annual Anime Music Awards – The Best of 2011

2011 wasn’t just a very solid year for anime. On the anime music front, we were treated to a considerable number of soundtracks and opening and ending themes that left an imprint upon our collective subconscious. While heavy hitters like Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s soundtrack rocked our world with haunting, memorable themes, this year also saw quiet efforts from other composers bubble forth, leaving us enamored with their compositions. Opening and ending themes also saw a mix of old and new artists make their stamp upon the year, with a fine example of both being Triple H’s (new artists) and Etsuko Yakushimaru’s (established artist) work on Mawaru Penguindrum. With so much in tow, we at Anime Instrumentality would like to present the first of three articles looking back on 2011 by talking about the best 2011 had to offer musically. [Read more…]

Monday Melodic Musings: Tytania – Andante Grandeioso Kokka

Soundtrack music’s goal, first and foremost, is to evoke the emotions running through any given scene and help immerse the viewer in the going-ons. Good soundtrack music will do that so well that one can simply let the power of the music convey the scene in its totality. And for those who are fortunate enough to be able to experience good music paired with memorable visuals, the scene will forever be etched in their minds by the nostalgia borne from experiencing such a sublime combination.

But good soundtrack music doesn’t necessarily always remind people of how great a show can be. Many enjoyable soundtracks accompany mediocrity on down. Guilty Crown is often cited as one of the more recent examples of this. And there’s Yosuga no Sora from 2010 too. The list goes on.

Andante Grandeioso Kokka

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Data Mining the 50 Questions Posts in Relation to Anime Music

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a trend in the anime blogosphere in which bloggers answer 50 questions about anime and about themselves. To my delight, Ace Railgun, who started this trend, did put a few questions related to anime music, and because so many took on the challenge of answering them (37 people, give or take a few), there’s quite a lot of data I could mine. And yes, me being who I am (a notorious procrastinator who will find any reason to duck out of doing schoolwork), I was curious enough to dig through every single one of these posts to see what observations I could make about the anime blogosphere as a whole on the soundtrack front.

Keep in mind that this is hardly scientific and only represents people who have been narcissistic enough to undertake such a writeup. This might be valuable, might not be. I just did it for amusement value and to satisfy my curiosity about anime blogger’s tastes in music. It’s a nice exercise at any rate and do forgive my tongue-in-cheek editorializing here and there. More after the jump. [Read more…]

Monday Melodic Musings: Mouryou no Hako – Mouryou no Hako ~main theme~

The convoluted chronology. The discussion of spirits that lasted one and a half episodes. And, of course, Kyougokudou’s (Akihiko Chuuzenji) dramatic reveal at the end as the disparate components of the mystery finally flow together into a coherent, engrossing narrative. Those were the three things that stood out to me most when I watched Mouryou no Hako, one of the more underrated anime series out there for mystery/horror fans.

Mouryo no Hako ~main theme~

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Not surprisingly, the music plays a strong role in making Mouryo no Hako’s storytelling an immersive experience. “Mouryo no Hako ~main theme~’s” quiet piano introduction brings out the undercurrent of tragedy and the sense of resignation that runs throughout the anime, as the characters find themselves drawn into a circle of fate forged by the past that none can escape from. [Read more…]

Mawaru Penguindrum – OST Vol. 1 – Review

Album Title: Mawaru Penguindrum Vol.1 Bonus CD
Anime Title: Mawaru Penguindrum
Artist: Yukari Hashimoto
Catalog Number: SSX-10205
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: October 26, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

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