2011′s Anime Music in Review – Soundtrack Edition

In August? Man, at this rate, the 2012 music roundup post won’t be released until 2014 at the earliest!


Starting last year, we decided that an anime soundtrack retrospective wouldn’t be a bad idea. Doing so serves two functions: it allows people to get an idea for what stuff we liked and think are worth checking out and it allows us to go over worthy soundtracks that we simply could not find the time to review but still want people to know about. Narrowing the list down to 15 was not going to be an easy task, but we do hope you enjoy what’s in store here.

Do note that clips presented will be played in their entirety. We do hope you discover something new or get to reminisce over some tune that impressed you during the course of last year. And for those who like a long playlist that they can listen to while at work, we’ve included the Master List below.

Master List

[audio:Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – Gundam AGE – The Story of 100 Years.mp3,Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – Dogfight.mp3, Hunter x Hunter 2011 Original Sountrack – All I Need Is MONEY!.mp3, Hunter x Hunter 2011 Original Sountrack – Chichi no Senaka.mp3, Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Sis puella magica!.mp3, Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Venari strigas.mp3, 01.Silver Wing.mp3, 13.My Favorite Home.mp3, Hanasaku Iroha – Hajimari no Neiro.mp3, Hanasaku Iroha – Soyokaze ni Nabiku Kusa no Youni.mp3, Guilty Crown – Omega.mp3, Guilty Crown – Badseuc.mp3, Ooki Sugiru Shokku.mp3, Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo.mp3, Ano Hana – Before It Gets Dark.mp3, Ano Hana – Dark Waltz – the long tunnel.mp3, Destiny.mp3, Sinfonia on the Battlefield.mp3, Blue Exorcist – U and Cloud.mp3, Blue Exorcist – i-AM.mp3, Mawaru Penguindrum – The Children of Fate.mp3, Mawaru Penguindrum – Penguin Mission.mp3, 01 – So Ra So Mi.mp3, 03 – Hanasaku Machi wo Waltz.mp3, Usagi Drop – Hitori no Onnanoko.mp3, Usagi Drop – Yorokobi.mp3, Yumekui Merry – Main Theme.mp3, Yumekui Merry – Merry no Kunou.mp3]

Gundam AGE
Boisterous, momentous, epic. Those are the words the come to mind upon hearing the fanfare and theme from “Gundam AGE ~ The Story of 100 Years” and its effect leaves one eager to see what new stories this franchise has to tell. Kei Yoshikawa, who performed admirably scoring SD Gundam Sangokuden, once again delivers a work that easily measures up to Gundam scores of years past (setting aside, for a moment, messes like Kenji Kawai’s Gundam 00’s soundtrack). As one delves further into this soundtrack, the bombast succeeds in drawing forth loads of inspiration and capturing all of the action that goes on. So while Gundam AGE’s soundtrack strays pretty far from being subtle and nuanced, fans will find Yoshikawa’s efforts to be excellent on a standalone basis as the action gets underway and the main theme impresses in all of its incarnations.

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – Gundam AGE ~ The Story of 100 Years

[audio:Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – Gundam AGE – The Story of 100 Years.mp3]

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – Dogfight

[audio:Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – Dogfight.mp3]

Hunter X Hunter
Yoshihisa Hirano does seem to be getting undeserved flak for his OST for the 2011 remake of Hunter x Hunter. Well, haters can hate, but we stand firm on the opinion that his remake of HxH is every bit as good as the original, and even better in some aspects. Hirano doesn’t fail to satisfy longtime fans of his works by providing his usual graceful waltzes like “Ginpatsu no Shounen,” beautiful requiems like that of “Chichi no Senaka,” as well as the good old orchestral pieces like “Boys, Be Courageous!” But one does not land an OST among the top simply by being consistent. Like Sahashi before him, Hirano took the opportunity to incorporate new genres and styles. Latin spices tracks like “Kijutsushi no Baire,” the sleazy and humourous pieces like “All I Need Is MONEY!,” lighthearted marches in “Get Funky!,” and a number of rock based themes like “Ikkiuchi!” all bring new dimensions to Hirano’s style, making HxH one of the most diverse and enjoyable soundtracks of 2011.

Hunter x Hunter 2011 – All I Need Is MONEY!

[audio:Hunter x Hunter 2011 Original Sountrack – All I Need Is MONEY!.mp3]

Hunter x Hunter 2011 – Chichi no Senaka

[audio:Hunter x Hunter 2011 Original Sountrack – Chichi no Senaka.mp3]

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
There’s always that familiar, stale satisfaction when fans learn that Yuki Kajiura is scoring a show. That’s because Kajiura is as predictable as she is excellent; she never disappoints but is just as unlikely to surprise. I’d rather not delve into another trite tirade of the typical Kajiuran gripes, but a warranty of this nature is necessary for a discussion of Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s soundtrack. The standard descriptions apply, as they do to all Kajiura scores. Dark, moody, and atmospheric? Check. Liberally peppered with hammy moments of grandiose uplift? Yes. Strong whiffs of Celtic and Arabic influence? Definitely. Suffice it to say, it’s a testament as to just how good she’s gotten at her own game that she can write so much similar music time and time again but still be praised for it. Is it good? Well, yeah, but is the sky blue?

Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Sis puella magica!

[audio:Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Sis puella magica!.mp3]

Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Venari strigas

[audio:Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Venari strigas.mp3]

Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing
A soundtrack that can tell a tale of world-encompassing proportions on its own is rare, but Last Exile’s OST pulls this off quite remarkably. In pieces like “Amazing Land”, whose rolling swells depict endless horizons stretching into the distance, the music paints a splendid picture of a wonderfully nostalgic world – a place whose vastness keeps adventure within easy grasp. And indeed, there is plenty of adventure to be found. As heard in the likes of “Silver Wing”, a breathless launch into unexplored skies, and “Gamesmanship”, a precipitous fugue of battle, there is never a shortage of the tumultuous action that this soundtrack excels at. Nevertheless, the grandiose nature of the music also serves to enhance the poignancy of pieces like “My Favorite Home”, a wonderfully reminiscent song that perfectly captures the warm feelings of returning home at long last. When considering Last Exile’s skillful use of Celtic themes, no other soundtrack in 2011 portrayed an epic journey through an exotic world nearly as well.

Silver Wing

[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/audio/01.Silver Wing.mp3]

My Favorite Home

[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/audio/13.My Favorite Home.mp3]

Hanasaku Iroha
Shiro Hamaguchi’s efforts on Hanasaku Iroha’s soundtrack possess a cheery aura that makes most every track difficult to resist. The soundtrack shines through its themes, many of which reflect the energy and optimism that the protagonist, Ohana Matsumae, packs in spades. Nowhere is that more evident than in “Hajimari no Neiro” which absolutely dazzles through the hopeful-sounding piano solo. And then there are tracks like “Soyokaze ni Nabiku Kusa no Youni” which capture the flow of ordinary life through a slow-paced guitar melody that seems content to let one relax. These two tracks encompass the mix of optimism and relaxing moods that the soundtrack features. While some parts aren’t quite as memorable, it still stands as a competent effort, one that works as a wonderful mood-setter to draw you into the anime and keep you entranced.

Hanasaku Iroha – Hajimari no Neiro

[audio:Hanasaku Iroha – Hajimari no Neiro.mp3]

Hanasaku Iroha – Soyokaze ni Nabiku Kusa no Youni

[audio:Hanasaku Iroha – Soyokaze ni Nabiku Kusa no Youni.mp3]

Guilty Crown
The comparison between Hiroyuki Sawano and Hans Zimmer seems to be the standard reaction whenever anyone encounters one of his soundtracks these days, and for good reason: Guilty Crown’s soundtrack showcases Sawano’s ability to bring the brash and bold Hollywood sound to the anime medium, taking a variety of instruments from orchestra to rock instruments to synthesizers and combining them in a way that delivers some of the most intense experiences you’ll ever have listening to anime music. Tracks like “Ω” and “Βασιλεύς,” for example, feature an intensity that materializes in the purposeful rhythm and the crescendos which have been Sawano’s trademark since… seemingly forever. But while the intense BGMs might be the highlight, let’s not forget some of the songs, like Aimee Blackschleger’s (who worked on the Panty and Stocking OST) soul-stirring “Release My Soul.” So while the anime was a crappy affair, Sawano’s score stands out as one of the show’s few bright spots – so much so that shackling it to this show is nothing short of a travesty.

Guilty Crown – Ω

[audio:Guilty Crown – Omega.mp3]

Guilty Crown – Βασιλεύς

[audio:Guilty Crown – Badseuc.mp3]

KyoAni couldn’t have chosen better when they decided to have Yuji Nomi contribute the music for Nichijou. Nomi’s expertise in painting whimsically fantastic soundscapes is nearly unmatched, and if anything, Nichijou is definitely a show more fantastic than most. Half of the time, the music is a reflection of the over-the-top nature of the show, such as in “Ooki Suguri Shokku”. In what sounds like an excerpt from a classical symphony, the orchestra passionately plays a requiem of doom, the perfect backdrop for when a character dramatically falls into despair over failing a test. However, while this classical style contributes to the exaggerated nature of the show, it also leads to tracks that are more melodious than what one would normally find in a comedy. “Happi Shinonime Kenkyuujo”, for example, crafts a deliciously warm atmosphere by turning the normally energetic main theme into a lyrically stirring refrain. Nevertheless, the OST never loses the lively atmosphere epitomized by “Choushiduku Yukko”, whose energy matches the crazy antics of the show to a T. If there’s anything to complain about at all, it’s that the soundtrack is a little on the short side. Nevertheless, it’s an insignificant issue in comparison to the delightful themes that populate the OST.

Ooki Sugiru Shokku

[audio:Ooki Sugiru Shokku.mp3]

Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo

[audio:Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo.mp3]

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
REMEDIOS (aka Reimy Horikawa) is a newcomer to the anime scene, and her opening act with the score for Anohana is one of deafening softspokenness. Horikawa has dabbled in the past in J-drama soundtracks, and the experience shows. There’s a certain fleet-footed elegance to the way Anohana’s music handles itself; it’s sensitive and dramatic without being unengaging or melodramatic, and, considering the show’s subject material, that’s quite the feat. It would be easy to dismiss some of the offerings here as “sad, tinkly piano music,” but to do that would be a great disservice. The clear distinction here is that Anohana’s soundtrack is sad, tinkly piano music done rather well. It walks that fine line better than most, and that’s enough to get our nod.

Ano Hana – Before It Gets Dark

[audio:Ano Hana – Before It Gets Dark.mp3]

Ano Hana – Dark Waltz ~ the long tunnel

[audio:Ano Hana – Dark Waltz – the long tunnel.mp3]

Break Blade
Break Blade has a score which you would never expect to find in an anime, let alone a full film. It’s one of those soundtracks that sound like it’s trying to capture events indescribably huge or emotions inexpressibly powerful. In just the first measures of the main theme, “Destiny”, the impassioned orchestra and choirs of impending disaster are proven to be the norm for a soundtrack that tells a legendary story on its own. From “Toward Resolution”, a depiction of the thick fog of unease before conflict, to “Prayer”, a restrained but hopeful hymn, to the enthralling battle rush of “Sinfonia on the Battlefield”, the Break Blade soundtrack tells a comprehensively vivid tale. It’s stuff like this OST that makes one wonder why Hollywood music is rarely anything like this. After all, if a mecha anime gets this kind of stuff, why not a movie with ten times the budget?



Sinfonia on the Battlefield

[audio:Sinfonia on the Battlefield.mp3]

Ao no Exorcist
Despite his relative inexperience compared to the heavyweights in the anime arena, Hiroyuki Sawano once again shows that he is not to be taken lightly. Within the span of 5 years, he has presented us with stellar works like that of Gigantic Formula, Gundam Unicorn and Sengoku BASARA. 2011 presented us with two more solid projects: Guilty Crown and Ao no Exorcist. Ao no Exorcist was definitely not overshadowed by that of Guilty Crown; its music blended with the anime’s atmosphere perfectly. Sawano’s familiar electronic sounds lent themselves well to energetic tracks like “Exorcist Concerto 3rd Movement,” while his skill at conjuring up reflective and mellow tracks has vastly improved, yielding pieces like “Symphonic Suite DEVIL 2nd Movement” that would give even Joe Hisaishi a run for his money. Recently, he has also included more collaborations with vocalist Mika Kobayashi, whose rich and relaxed voice weaved itself beautifully into many of the tracks in this OST. All in all, Ao no Exorcist is an excellent representation of Sawano’s works, and definitely spiced up the 2011 anime scene.

Blue Exorcist – Dai San Gakushou: U & Cloud

[audio:Blue Exorcist – U and Cloud.mp3]

Blue Exorcist – Dai Ni Gakushou: i-AM

[audio:Blue Exorcist – i-AM.mp3]

Mawaru Penguindrum
Yukari Hashimoto’s track record for compositions has been inconsistent at best, but one should never rule her out entirely, especially when she has the capacity to compose something that’s as heartrendingly beautiful as “The Children of Fate.” With a solo piano giving way to a full ensemble, the chain of tragedies that lie at the heart of the anime comes to light and is reflected brilliantly in this first track from Mawaru Penguindrum’s soundtrack. The other pieces, like “Sparkling’s” sense of innocence to “Penguin Mission’s” jazzy flavor, lack any sort of thematic consistency that would make them memorable beyond their use in complementing the scenes, but at least it plays that role well enough. If nothing else, listening to Penguindrum’s OST serves as an excellent way to relive some of the more heartfelt, tragic moments the anime serves up.

Mawaru Penguindrum – The Children of Fate

[audio:Mawaru Penguindrum – The Children of Fate.mp3]

Mawaru Penguindrum – Penguin Mission

[audio:Mawaru Penguindrum – Penguin Mission.mp3]

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
A good relaxed slice-of-life soundtrack is hard to write without making the music forgettably generic. The anime of 2011 proved this point clearly with the large influx of drama/slice-of-life series that it brought. Out of all of them, very few titles pulled off the enjoyable, laid-back OST successfully (Hanasaku Iroha and Ano Hana come to mind as soundtracks that didn’t do as well in this department). Ikoku Meiro no Croisee succeeds however. With music that becomes catchier with each relistening, Ikoku is soothing without losing the ability to be engaging. Tracks like “So Ra So Mi” and “Hanasakus Machi no Waltz” aren’t obtrusively fancy, but they nevertheless manage to captivate with remarkably simple melodies that stick long after one hears them. The infectiously cheerful feeling that permeates the whole OST in the form of humming oboes and singing violins leaves a warm feeling without fail, an effect that a truly good slice-of-life OST should always have.

So Ra So Mi

[audio:01 – So Ra So Mi.mp3]

Hanasaku Machi wo Waltz

[audio:03 – Hanasaku Machi wo Waltz.mp3]

Usagi Drop
There are soundtracks that try to capture the grand and the fantastic. There are others that strive to paint wrenching emotion and tragedy. If you ask me, though, the most difficult to depict most faithfully is that which we are most accustomed to, which is exactly why Usagi Drop’s score is such a success. It displays the frail rituals and delicate routines that we depend on in our daily lives with such sensitive acuity and frank honesty that it’s impossible to not get sucked in. Usagi Drop’s OST carefully builds these precious, fragile vignettes of life that sound like they could topple at any second. It’s not the most exciting or intricate score Japanese animation has ever seen, but it’s certainly among the most genuine and sincere ones.

Usagi Drop – Hitori no Onnanoko

[audio:Usagi Drop – Hitori no Onnanoko.mp3]

Usagi Drop – Yorokobi

[audio:Usagi Drop – Yorokobi.mp3]

Yumekui Merry
Yumekui Merry doesn’t waste any time in laying out out the setting as it immediately plunges you into its world of nightmares. As you explore the environs further, Keiichi Oku’s score lurks around, delivering a sound that sets your nerves on edge. Yumekui Merry’s main theme is born out of that effort and it does a remarkable job of using dissonance and melodic shifts to capture the sheer unnerving moments interspersed by quieter moments of false calm that fade out, leaving only hidden terrors remaining. That’s not the only track to impress, of course, as others like “Merry no Kunou” work the piano and, later, the violin solo to yield a lonely, melancholy affair that teeters on the brink of despair. It’s by far the most memorable, however, one that grasps the anime in a nutshell and that most listeners will take away from the anime.

Yumekui Merry – Main Theme

[audio:Yumekui Merry – Main Theme.mp3]

Yumekui Merry – Merry no Kunou

[audio:Yumekui Merry – Merry no Kunou.mp3]

Final Thoughts:
A task like whittling all of 2011’s soundtracks down to 15 (Chihayafuru’s soundtrack was highlighted in the 2011 Best-Of post) is fraught with peril as it forces us to make quite a few cuts. After all, who are we to say that soundtracks from shows like Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere and Dantalian no Shoka don’t belong and that some of the ones listed here should have not made the cut? While you wait for us to (slowly) cobble our list of OP/EDs, feel free to voice what impressed, what you thought should have made the cut, and whatever else comes to mind!

Anime Instrumentality Staff

A collaboration between the staff members at Anime Instrumentality to bring you the best of all the anime music out there! Or silliness, whichever it is that happens to come first.

27 thoughts on “2011′s Anime Music in Review – Soundtrack Edition

  • August 12, 2012 at 6:02 am

    I thought about what you meant exactly when you said that Hanairo kinda failed in delivering a laid-back OST. I really couldn’t agree with that at first, but when I properly compared Croisee and Hanairo side-by-side, I totally get what you mean. Hanairo makes you hop on rainbows but Croisee’s OST feels like you’re taking a stroll in a cool breeze.

    Out of the lot, Usagi drop had the most poignant soundtrack. The OST of Exorcist especially the “Dai San Gakushou: U & Cloud” track totally caught me off-guard when I first heard it. It was so good that I was watching the show solely to catch that track again.

    Love your “anime soundtrack retrospective ” column and I really want you guys to do more of these. I also wish the Instrumentality staff name/list themselves in the beginning of this column so I can know who are all the awesome people who worked on it. (Pretty sure zzeroparticle was in on this)

    • August 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      I would say Hanasaku Iroha failed as much as it wasn’t memorable (though that might be failing to some people) since the music was enjoyable without being much more than it was. Whether the clarinets and guitars are a novelty or whatever, it worked in making Croisee stand out.

      And thanks! Always good to hear from readers. Retrospectives really only work on a year to year basis, but do stay tuned as I’m working to cobble some stuff together that would work for a semi-retrospective (if I can even call it that). Also, the reason the authors’ names are concealed is because I want to do something with this article.

  • August 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

    First and foremost I have to thank you for collating all these, it was an hour well spent on my part. I’ve been a fan of the Ao no Exorcist soundtrack for some time (and am surprised you didn’t use the big hitter “Exorcist” as a choice, much as I like i-AM and U & Cloud), but I have to say there wasn’t anything here that didn’t impress me, though you did pick the best tracks from their respective selections. I didn’t even notice how good the Last Exile soundtrack was (probably because of how poor the show was) so I have to thank you for bringing that to my attention.

    I do not remember either the Guilty Crown or Break Blade ost being so… epic. They are both awesome, and i can certainly see the comparison with Hans Zimmer. I feel it’s a waste of a good soundtrack too to be wasted on Guilty Crown, and Break Blade wasn’t fantastic, though at least the fight scenes were as epic as the soundtrack was.

    I certainly have a lot more to add to my slice of life soundtracks now, which was before dominated by Aria music. Thanks a lot for compiling this, and I have to agree with pretty much all that you’ve said.

    • August 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      It certainly did take quite a bit of time to pull together, but I’m pretty happy people are enjoying the results of it. Last Exile had a strong musical tradition with the first season featuring some excellent selections and I had high hopes going in for Fam. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed with the music (the anime, yeah, you said it).

      In compiling this article, we are lucky in being able to cherrypick our favorite tracks, but I do think that our commentary should hopefully work in helping people decide whether it’s a soundtrack listeners would want to add to their collection. Thanks for taking the time to listen and explore!

  • August 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Anyone following my stream on Google+ probably knows how much I like Hiroyuki Sawano’s work in the Guilty Crown soundtrack (it probably was the reason I kept watching the show), so its presence here in indisputable. If I may, my own personal favorites were Hill of Sorrow and Kronë, but to each its own!

    Another soundtrack I highly enjoyed was Break Blade’s. While the orchestral parts are as good as you say, the first theme that hooked me up was the opening theme, sung by Kokia, whose voice I instantly fell in love with.

    Concerning Kajiura, while I have to admit she’s excellent, I’ve heard too much of her work for it to register any more emotion on my part, and I think her songs simply are too many and too similar. This is only my point of view though.

    Anyway, cheers guys, I pretty much agree to most of what you said but these where my thoughts while reading this! You always manage to bring out the best in anime music to your faithful readers, so thanks a lot for this huge article! 🙂

    • August 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      I can’t agree more with your comment on KOKIA. Do check out her album, “pieces”, which contains all her songs for Break Blade, as well as lots of other anime and games. Also, do keep your eyes peeled, because you aren’t the only one who found KOKIA’s works for Break Blade noteworthy.

    • August 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I heartily agree with your opinion on Kajiura. She’s not a bad composer, in fact she’s quite above average, but album after album she doesn’t give us anything appreciably different. If only her large and rather rabid fanbase would quiet down, I’d have no problem with her other than the fact that she bores me. 😛

    • August 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      It’s fair to say Kajiura is a bit like anime fandom’s precious one trick pony, whose tired gimmick that was interesting and novel at first grew stale long ago but no one has the heart to break it to her.

  • August 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks for compiling and sharing. It’s so easy to miss these when actually watching the series, and it makes me wonder why I haven’t added many soundtracks to my library the past few years.

    Regarding the master list…. have you considered streaming/radio?

    • August 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Long time, no see! No, there are no plans for streaming/radio. Partly because I don’t have the money to invest in more bandwidth and storage space. These will have to do for now!

  • August 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    > Chihayafuru’s soundtrack was highlighted in the 2011 Best-Of post

    I gave the OSTs a shot after that, and I was surprised how much I liked some of the tracks.

    • August 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Yeah, it’s amazing how Yamashita was able to channel those inspiring tones and working that theme throughout the soundtrack in a way that was really cohesive and wonderful. Glad you really enjoyed that soundtrack.

  • August 14, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Thougts on Hideki Taniuchi’s music for Kaiji S2? I see it wasn’t mentioned here.

    • August 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      I think that was one of those shows that flew under a lot of folks’ radars, but I did hear it didn’t deviate too badly from the first season.

      • August 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

        It was much like his other soundtracks. Not quite as good as the first season’s, perhaps, but it still had some pretty nice tracks.

  • August 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I’m a bit disappointed that you didn’t go over any one of Taku Iwasaki’s 3 works from last year (C, God’s Notebook, Bento). Granted, they are quite mediocre compared to his other works, but I felt that they at least deserves some acknowledgement.

    • August 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      That would be precisely the reason why they didn’t get mentioned: their mediocrity. In this list, we strove to pick the 15 best OSTs of the year and the OSTs listed above are what resulted. Iwasaki hasn’t exactly been on a tear lately, which is a bit of a shame. I would like for him to return to his glorious past however, but he seems to be typecast as a composer, and, as a result, we’re not getting the best out of him.

      • August 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm

        Sadly, I agree. He’s gradually getting worse; I thought C and God’s Notebook were pretty decent, but after listening to Bento’s music… I feel like Iwasaki’s lost himself. Jormungand’s music is certainly reinforcing that. The guy needs a break.

        I found Sawano’s work on Ao No Exorcist to be better representation of what Taku tries to do these days, but ultimately fails.

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  • August 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    This post pretty much touched base with my favourites from 2011, and a little more. Didn’t expect Yumekui Merry to be in there, but I liked what I heard.

    I thought Penguindrum had that moment of utter goodness with its main theme, but the rest couldn’t exactly reach, let alone surpass it, including the main theme rearranges. Gosick however was able to match its main theme in some tracks making a somewhat decent OST overall which might have had its downs as well.

    I’d like to add UN-GO into the category too. Its climactic staccato flamenco theme still stands as the Bitchslapping Attention-Getter Piece of the Year for me, if you know what I mean.

    I haven’t had a chance to fully appreciate Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo’s score, but I guess it says something about 2011’s abundance in quality if a Tenmon score wasn’t able to get in. I also presume that the second Macross Frontier movie didn’t get in as it wasn’t a strictly BGM score… in fact the movie sure as hell threw the concept of BGM out the window, lol.

    Iwasaki needs to be more positive about his music, he was whining on twitter throughout the whole of last year. 😛

    Small notes: The Break Blade movies started in 2010, and extended into 2011. Does this mean things like Gundam Age would get further coverage for 2012’s review given that there were further OST compilations released for them in that year? (A whole new dimension to Yoshikawa Kei’s stuff can be discovered in the next Age OST, IMO)

    • August 22, 2012 at 12:40 am

      Yeah, Penguindrum, and Yukari Hashimoto in general isn’t as consistent a composer as I’d like her to be, but if there’s an area where she does shine, it’s in arranging those HHH songs that were used in the anime. She did a swell job of taking ARB’s songs and translating them into pop songs to the point where I prefer her versions over ARB’s. As for Gosick, it just didn’t garner quite as many votes and didn’t get on the board as a result.

      I’d also like to add that Yumekui Merry was the surprise hit. Until this point, I had no idea what Keiichi Oku was capable of, but now that I’ve gotten a chance to explore some of his works, I will say that he’s very much an underrated composer. One that more people should check out like his score for Ashita no Nadja.

      Iwasaki needs to stop getting typecast, I think. Just like how no one has ever requested a cheerful OST from Kajiura (My HiME/Otome came close), I don’t think anyone will be asking for a standard, epic orchestral OST from Iwasaki anytime soon. A shame since that’s what he excels at.

      And thanks for alerting me to Gundam Age’s other OSTs. Will heed the cry though I may or may not cover them. Depends on which other OSTs claim the spot, I guess.

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  • March 4, 2014 at 12:23 am

    AIB staff, You are doing no wrong in comparing Sawano-san with Zimmer. Lately we feel that Zimmer has peaked and most of his recent releases seem similar. apparently we think that he has not yet moved on from Inception and the Dark knight series.

    Sawano-san on the other hand mix-n-matches, keeping the OST fresh, however recent OSTs have been EPIC and surpasses Zimmer. I agree that I have been introduced to Sawano-san with the recent Shingeki no Kyojin. curious we went back and listened to quite a few from his early pieces and suffice to say that he would surpass Zimmer.

    Cutting this short, it wont be long before we say, “Move over Zimmer, Sawano is the new King of OSTs’

    TBaHN Team

  • March 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    First time i find blog like this. God job guys, i like it. Keep going okay!!

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