Jack Scheibelein

Welcome back, tourists.

Almost everyone has a niche musical taste. Whether it be an obscure genre or even just a relatively unknown artist, most have their music that others do not know about. Many anime fans — including myself — can relate to this feeling, largely due to the fact that even many of the people who watch anime do not actively listen to the music that accompanies it.

Well, I am here to change that. Apart from being a great storytelling medium, anime has an incredible amount of good music. So much so, that I had to cut it down the list to three for the sake of word count and time. Midterms are a pain, and I am screaming internally. Regardless, here are some anime soundtracks you should definitely be listening to.

“Made in Abyss” - Music by Kevin Pinken

I mentioned “Made in Abyss” on my best of the decade list about a month ago, and a large part of the reason that I did so was on the back of its incredible soundtrack. Indeed, a big reason for the show’s appeal is based on the musical accompaniment of the story. Almost all of the music in the show does a great job of matching the tone of the anime.

Almost all of the credit for this goes to the series’ musical composer Kevin Pinken, who got his breakthrough into anime with “Made in Abyss” and is working on the soundtrack for the upcoming animated adaptation of “Tower of God.” While the music of the series never really goes beyond a particular tempo range — generally focusing on slower songs — it still manages to capture the emotion of the series in a way that makes it wonderful to listen to on its own.

“Re:Creators” - Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

Composer Hiroyuki Sawano is well known within the anime community, even among those who do not know his name. He became relatively famous because of his work on “Attack on Titan” and, to a lesser extent, “Seven Deadly Sins” — two shows whose music are both electronically driven and bombastic in its tone (see “Reluctant Heroes” for more on that).

However, some of his best work came on the soundtrack of “Re:Creators.” The series focuses on the story of characters from various video games, anime and manga coming to life by the power of another character.

Its theme is based on the power of people to create universes and the psychological effect that those universes have on its inhabitants. However, it is also a show with a lot of action, so Sawano’s style fits it perfectly. There are definitely a lot of tracks worth playing on a long car ride.

“Carole and Tuesday” - Music by Mocky

While it is true that director Shinichiro Watanabe knows how to make a good show, he also needed the help of Canadian musician Mocky to really make “Carole and Tuesday” shine. As an artist, Mocky brought a lot of his diverse prior experience to the plate, in order to really enhance the show’s sound, and it is really apparent when you listen to its soundtrack. The series, which centers around the lives of two girls hoping to make it in the music industry, boasts a variety of musical genres including rock, jazz, hip-hop and even opera.

However, Mocky can’t take all of the credit. A lot of the soundtrack’s standout pieces include those featuring vocals from the likes of Nai Br.XX, Celeina Ann, Thundercat, Denzel Curry and many others. On top of that, all of those same standout pieces, save for a few, are done in English, making them much more accessible to a wider audience. It is a strange soundtrack for sure, but one that is definitely worth anyone’s time.

There are definitely a lot of other great soundtracks, but these three also have the quality of wanting to listen to them even after the show is over. Each of these shows has tracks that will make you want to keep it on loop for the foreseeable future.

Jack Scheibelein is a sophomore majoring in English. He can be reached at sgx199@vols.utk.edu.

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