4th Annual Anime Music Awards – The Best of 2013

Attack on Titan Band

Introduction

Anime music fans have long been spoiled by the sheer quality of anime music that have come out with each passing year. There would always be something special that seizes the year, whether it’s an epic soundtrack or a catchy J-pop/J-rock number that would have us humming the melody forever and a day. So when you have a down year like 2013, it’s only natural to feel a bit slighted.

When OP/ED themes lean towards genericity and soundtracks are either overblown in their pomposity or overly atmospheric to the point of boredom, finding those hidden gems becomes a more trying task. Whether 2013’s musical material represents what anime directors/producers are looking for, or that this is simply a blip upon an otherwise strong musical run and we’ve simply been spoiled, is hard to say. That said, we do bring gems from 2013, and of those gems we’ve unearthed, these are what shine brightest: [Read more…]

KOKIA: Pieces – Review

KOKIA - pieces

Album Title: Pieces
Anime Title: Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
Broken Blade
Bungaku Shoujo
Artist: KOKIA, Masumi Itou/Hikaru Nanase
Catalog Number: LACA-15141
Release Type: Album
Release Date: August 24, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

[Read more…]

Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino OP Single – Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi – Review

Album Title: Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi
Anime Title: Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino
Artist: KOKIA
Catalog Number: MJCD-23037
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: January 23, 2008
Purchase at: Out of Print

[Read more…]

Gin-iro no Kami no Agito Original Soundtrack – Review

Album Title: Gin-iro no Kami no Agito Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Gin-iro no Kami no Agito (Origin ~Spirits of the Past~)
Artist: Taku Iwasaki, KOKIA
Catalog Number: VICL-61837
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: January 07, 2006
Purchase at: CDJapan (out of print)

[Read more…]

Celebrating 25 Weeks of Anime Music (#MALKeionbu)

Source: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=933080
Source: Pixiv

It seems like forever since I’ve written up anything related to the MALKeionbu (alternatively known as the MyAnimeList Music Piece of the Week Club), but I figured now that we’ve entered our 25th week of voting, there’s something special to be had in this moment. 25 represents a pretty significant psychological barrier, for me at least, because, let’s face it, keeping a weekly event running for 25 consecutive weeks with few hiccups along the way is a pretty huge feat. And for that, I’d like to thank all of those who’ve directly participated whether it’s in track nomination or voting, in making this such an awesome event.

This milestone also offers an excellent opportunity to look back on all the tracks that have come and gone. The weekly process of nominating 7-10 tracks for 25 consecutive weeks yields a whole hell of a lot of anime music of all styles and rhythms. We’ve gone from simple emotions like Love and Despair, scene depictions like Action and Cityscapes, works from a single composer, to examining music covering various styles (Funky/Groovy) and instruments used (Piano, Electric Guitar). The thing that blows my mind the most is the club members’ ability to come up with a pretty good set of tracks week after week and I’ve yet to go through a week where I didn’t learn something new or find some album or composer to check out. Then there are the discussions that result during the voting phase that have been enjoyable to take part in, because through that, you get a better understanding for people’s tastes and opinions which in turn, helps you appreciate the music more. So it’s been a great learning process through and through!

With that in mind, let’s turn to some of the pieces that really struck a chord with me in some way or other. For the purposes of this list, neither tracks that I’ve nominated nor tracks that I’ve heard extensively are eligible since a big part of what makes this club fun is the process of discovering new pieces. So here are my picks: [Read more…]

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