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The Anime Music a Marathon Runner Listens to

Illustration for article titled The Anime Music a Marathon Runner Listens to
Gif: GOOGLE (Fair Use)

Hey, hey, hey everyone. A common question we get for the DilKokoro Podcast and folks as me in general is about the anime music I listen to. Now, for some, this might sound odd. Everyone who is a weeb listens to anime music. Well, folks are curious with me because I frequently train for and run for long-distance events. Long distances mean more music is essential!


Rather than bore you all with a long list of the songs I have on my playlist currently, I figured it would be fun to use the opportunity to highlight songs I’ve picked up along the way that I still keep on a giant playlist that has grown through different stages of my running life. Keep in mind that my running playlist is not exclusively anime music and that my current playlist is around nine hours long. Songs are in categories based on when I added them. Also I am going to leave out some of my absolute favorites for the very end so I can share the songs on my “Killer Tracks” playlist I keep for those crucial less than an hour periods I need them for.

2014-2015 An Introduction to Distance Running & Anime

So it wasn’t until after the big injury I suffered to my knees that I began distance running. Its funny, really- folks always see me rubbing my knees and say “That is what running so much gets you!” but hurting my knees was the entire reason I started running. My doctor recommended it to me to keep fluid moving in my knees and I fell in love with running from there (to be fair I don’t think she meant for me to go run marathons, but hey). My running was still in its infancy here (I was only running in local 5Ks and did only one 10K when I was living in Mississippi), so I didn’t have the monstrous running playlist I do now.


This was also the period in time where I began watching anime seriously for the first time. Re-watching Haruhi because it reminded me of a late friend only set the ball in motion for me to watch plenty of shows. I had some songs I really liked to run to in this period, but I will stick to just leaving the ones I run to now on there.

  • Persona 3 FES Opening
  • Ride on Shooting Star- the pillows (FLCL)
  • Calligraphy Pen- Ho-kago Tea Time (K-On!)
  • Gotta Knock a Little Harder- Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop)
  • No Thank You- Ho-kago Tea Time (K-On!)
  • Little Busters!- Rita (Little Busters!)
  • Bōken Desho Desho?- Aya Hirano (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
  • only my railgun - fripSide (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
  • DAYS- FLOW (Eureka Seven)
  • The Other Self- GRANRODEO (Kuroko’s Basketball)

Best Running Memory Linked to Anime Music: RIMFIRE- GRANRODEO (Kuroko’s Basketball)

When I was rehabbing, I wasn’t allowed to go see my physical therapist. I had to get up at 3-4AM to go workout in the morning before we had mandatory physical training (which was always a play wallyball or something stupid). I had a roommate who played basketball for the base’s team. He would always challenge me to try to run a little bit more or play a few more trips up and down the court. One night, he asked me to try to run without my knee pads on since I had been making a lot of progress.


“Alright DJ, I want you to find the most hype song you got on that phone of yours and let’s roll!”

Miles was always really great at hyping his team up. I remember turning RIMFIRE on and just, for the first time in about a year, going for it. I took off and I remember from my very first step that the muscle I put on in my legs was something that would change how I walked and felt forever. I felt like I was flying, really. In a bit of excitement, I ran a pretty wild zig-zag pattern quickly and slapped the track with a holler. Even when we talk to this day, Miles brings up that night as one of the most exciting moments he has ever seen with running and basketball. His support and the results of us grinding will always stick with me in the form of the memory of that great night.


2015-2016 Marathons Begin and Dil Goes Full Weeb

Ah, Korea. What a transformative time of my life. As I was spiraling to the bottom as a result of my trauma without realizing it, life was “Work Hard, Play Hard” at the deployed location (no, seriously- that was their motto there). While most of my friends had the idea of “playing hard” as drinking and getting into trouble, “playing hard” took a much different form for me...anime. I had started watching anime once a month with the girl who would go on to be known on here as Umi. It was part of our “anime club” we did to try to keep our minds off of things. It wasn’t until after my attempt I had back stateside on my mid-tour leave that I joined AniTAY. Believe it or not, I was plenty resourceful finding anime on my own without our weeb wizards.


There are a few...obvious inspirations I had from this period, and I am plenty proud to say I still get a lot of mileage out of some of these songs. There are some other songs from the same shows/franchises listed here that will show up in a bit, but I am leaving them out for this category because I did not get the music on my playlist until after this period. This was the first time I ever ran a marathon, too, so I have additional sentiments as well.

  • Daisy- STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (Beyond the Boundary)
  • Bravely You- Lia (Charlotte)
  • Ambivalent World - Miyuki Sawashiro (Bakemonogatari.....DUH)
  • Perfect Slumbers - Yui Horie (Monogatari: Second Season)
  • Iroboke Neko- Kousaki Satoru (Bakemonogatari)
  • Kimino Shiranai Monogatari- Supercell (Bakemonogatari)
  • Outer Science- Jin (Mekakucity Actors)
  • daze- Jin/MARiA of GARNiDELiA (Mekakucity Actors)
  • Quarrel- Kousaki Satoru (Nisemonogatari)
  • Platinum Disco- Yuka Iguchi ( mom loves this song)
  • Futakotome- Chiwa Saito (Nisemonogatari)
  • Before My Body Is Dry- Mika Kobayashi (Kill la Kill)
  • Nanairo Symphony- Coalamode (Your Lie in April)
  • My Soul, Your Beats! (Yui version)- LiSA (Angel Beats)
  • COLORS- FLOW (Code Geass)
  • Stand Proud- Jin Hashimoto (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders)
  • Christina, I- Takeshi Abo (Steins;Gate)
  • Hacking to the Gate- Chiyomaru Shikura (Steins;Gate)

Best Running Memory Linked to Anime Music: Marshmallow Justice- Eri Kitamura (Nisemonogatari)

Maybe the most underrated Monogatari song for me, this song has a ton of nostalgia thanks to where I was when this song played during my first marathon. I was lost and just hoping I was heading in the right direction during my first marathon- all directions were in Korean, everything was on the metric system, and, of course, it cannot be overstated this was only my first time doing something like that.


I remember I went down a really huge tunnel (it was a street that was closed off for the runners) and wondering how much I had left. Just when this song started up, I came out of the tunnel and took in the most beautiful sight I saw in my whole time in Korea: there was a large bridge, the water was spotless and the skies were clear. I remember taking a deep breath in crossing the bridge and feeling so at peace. Really stands out as my favorite running memory of all time.

2017 Tampa Time

Ah, yes. Tampa. Would have been a beautiful stay if I wasn’t so depressed. Anyways, this was a productive year for me as an anime writer, but not as much as a runner. I had a four month injury after trying to get back into running a marathon far too soon (like three months between my events). I still got to run across different Florida locations and didn’t die from the stupid humidity.

  • LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME- Boom Boom Satellites (Kiznaiver)
  • History Maker - Dean Fujioka (Yuri!!! on Ice)
  • Life Will Change- Lyn (Persona 5)
  • Our Beginning- Shoji Meguro (Persona 5)
  • Mousou♡Express- Kana Hanazawa (Monogatari: Second Season)
  • Orange Mint- Saori Hayami (Tsukimonogatai)
  • Naraku No Hana- Eiko Shimamiya (Higurashi)
  • You Say Run- Yûki Hayashi (My Hero Academia)
  • Zenzenzense (English)- RADWIMPS (Your Name.)
  • Blue Sky Rhapsody- Fhána (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
  • decent black- Kaori Mizuhashi (Owarimonogatari)
  • mein schatz- Ryuichi Takada (Owarimonogatari)

There were no great moments in Tampa running lol

2018-2019 Homeward Bound

The closer we get to the present, the less we need to get into what was going on in my life. I lived with my parents during this phase and ran two marathons (one per year). This was the uphill climb out of my depression, too. Since I had two marathons, there are more songs added, too.

  • filament- Yōsei Teikoku (Future Diaries)
  • Monster Without a Name- EGOIST (Psycho Pass)
  • Deep in Abyss- Miyu Tomita (Made in Abyss)
  • Great Days- UNITS ver. (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable)
  • EMG- JAM Project (GARO: Vanishing Line)
  • hello, world! - BUMP OF CHICKEN (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
  • The Beast II- Shirō Sagisu (Evangelion)
  • Michishirube- Minori Chihara (Violet Evergarden)
  • Sincerely- TRUE (Violet Evergarden)
  • The Voice in My Heart- Evan Call (Violet Evergarden)
  • Across the Violet Sky - Evan Call (Violet Evergarden)
  • A Doll’s Beginning- Evan Call (Violet Evergarden)  
  • ASH- LiSA (Fate/Apocrypha)
  • Tsuki to Hanataba- Sayuri (Fate/Extra Last Encore)
  • I think I can- the pillows (FLCL)
  • LITTLE BUSTERS- the pillows (FLCL)
  • Spiky Seeds- the pillows (FLCL)
  • Hollow World- Aimer (Fate/hollow ataraxia)
  • Raise Your Flag (Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans) 
  • Fighter- KANA BOON (Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans)
  • Fukashigi no Carte- Asami Seto (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
  • Kiminosei- the peggies (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai) 
  • Touch Off- UVERworld (The Promised Neverland)
  • Nameless Story- Takuma Terashima (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
  • 99.9- MOB CHOIR ft. sajou no hana (Mob Psycho 100 v2)
  • euphoric field- ELISA (ef: A Tale of Memories)
  • Winding Road- MAN WITH A MISSION (Golden Kamuy)
  • Kaen- Ziyoou-vachi (Dororo) 

Best Running Memory Linked to Anime Music: Last Stardust- Aimer (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works) 

During my last marathon, I experienced three inches of rainfall. The weather made running grueling and many runners were passing out/retiring. To call it “miserable” would be an understatement. Water flooded my shoes, and I blistered badly. It was one of those grinds that makes you consider why you are doing what you are doing.


As we approached the longest stretch, a bridge, the sun came out and the ensuing heat made more folks collapse from heat exhaustion. This was mile 21 at this point, and my time was suffering badly. By now, I was only concerned with making it out without further injuries. Every time I saw a truck go by with runners on it, I kept thinking about waving it down for a pick-up. In my driest pocket, I could feel my keepsake that reminded me I was alive. I kept touching the outside of the pocket to remember why I was there. This song came on around mile 22 and gave me the last bit of willpower I needed to keep pushing. It was technically my second worst marathon time, but it was one of the most rewarding moments of my life.

2020 Year of Yoko

All running events have been canceled because of COVID-19, but I have been training to be on a relay team. Rationale for this is that, by being a relay runner, I could do more events per year since I won’t need to recover as long. That aside, it has been kind of boring. I run a bike path and around town but besides that, just staying busy. Little Yoko, my Cavalier puppy, has been walking with me a lot more than I have been running (I have been running a lot, she just likes walks that much).

  • Alchemy- Miyuki Sawashiro (Angel Beats)
  • Uragirimono no Requiem- Daisuke Hasegawa (JJBA: Golden Wind)
  • Heikousen- Sayuri (Scum’s Wish)THIS ILLUSION- LiSA (Fate/stay night 2006)
  • MEGALOBOX - mabanua (Megalo Box)
  • Final phase- FripSide (A Certain Scientific Railgun T)

Still hoping my best running memory is yet to come!

Illustration for article titled The Anime Music a Marathon Runner Listens to
Screenshot: My iPhone


These are the best songs on my playlist for running. They’re my silver bullets, get me going and get me emotional. As an emotionally driven runner, I need songs in this wheelhouse for cadence. The most critical runs of my life have been backed by these songs, and they have done me well.

  • Sorairo Days- Shoko Nakagawa (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

This is my favorite opening from my favorite anime, really. The mood and cadence fit what TTGL represents and the hope it instills me. It is the perfect starting song for a run or to end with.

  • Brave Shine- Aimer (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works)

Lyrically, I think this is one of the most important songs to me. It is a fantastic song as is, but the lyrics gave me a lot of hope when I was first recovering from my attempt. I wrote the roughly translated lyrics on my desk with a patch that has the rank I need to get to make a difference in the way I want to. I will always tear up a bit when I hear this, but it will always hype me up, too.

  • Another Heaven- earthmind (Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel)

The latest of the songs on my killer tracks, this song is just perfect for a run. It has all of the ingredients for a great up-tempo cadence with some remarkable heights. 3:39 has this guitar riff that is simply electric.

  • BURN- FLOW (Tales of Berseria)

Berseria was a remarkable game for me because I found myself really drawn to its characters. I think this song captures the spirit of those characters and their journey while also being an incredible running song. I admit out of all of the killer tracks, I probably switch this one after the first verse or two because it is basically the same song three times over, but that is still a wonderful song nonetheless.

  • Rage of Dust- SPYAIR (Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans)

Probably the closest to an “alpha chad” song just based on feel, this song is a great sports song. The spirit, the energy, it really rocks.

  • Kuusou Mesorogiwi- Yousei Teikoku (Future Diaries)

Look, man. Every playlist needs a track that just lets out with. When I need to just go hard (and I mean HARD), I turn this track on. I space out and just fire off all cylinders.


...maybe Kinksy and DocKev are right. Maybe the problem is not that I attract yandere girls...maybe I am the yandere.

  • Bright Burning Shout- Takanori Nishikawa (Fate/Extra Last Encore) 

As much as I was afraid that folks would dog on me for putting Fate songs on my list so much, these really do work for running. This one in particular has an “air” to it that just works on a run. The pace is always there and its breakdown still has a pretty up-tempo cadence. The vocals are so smooth, too.

  • God Knows... - Aya Hirano (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

My last song is predictable, I know. Its the song that I carry the most sentimental value for, and hearing it always gives me a spark. A run, workout, or just mood could have me circling the drain, but hearing this works like a full HP and SP restore kind of item in a game. It’s that powerful, man. 3:09 through 3:40 is like if you set fire to a lighter fluid factory for me.


So there ya go- that is my running playlist with anime songs that have stayed on the list. Thanks for reading, have a great day and stay healthy and safe!

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