Like any medium, anime is comprised of many moving parts that come together to make a satisfying whole. And while all of them are critical, the soundtrack has the power to amplify the scene ten fold. Even a casual conversation can be made even more epic by the soundtrack. And over the years I have fallen in love with countless soundtracks. And now, I want to share them all with you guys. They’re in no paricular order, no ranking, and thanks to the suggestion of a reader, I’ll simply be posting links after a couple of embeds so that older/slower computers don’t burn out from all the videos(Note: I have no idea how many tracks are gonna be on this list. I’m building it as I go.):
M12+13 by Yuki Kajiura
Kara no Kyoukai is one of the greatest anime film series, in my opinion, but its also very, very confusing at times. And that makes the soundtrack so great. Its constant, and its the score that serves as the basis for all of Kajiura’s works since then. If I’m not mistaken it was also Kalafina’s anime debut, and quite frankly, Oblivious and Sprinter are two of my favorite anime endings of all time. Here is Oblivious.
Beginning by Daisuke Inoue
When it comes to the original Mobile Suit Gundam, the soundtrack definitely sticks out as decidedly late 70's. But to me, there is no track better than Beginning(Encounter ties it though.). Its stuck with me after all these years. Its the song that plays during the credits of the Federation vs. Zeon Deluxe PS2 game at the end of the Arcade mode. It had this space opera feeling and ever since then that has been synonymous with Gundam to me.
(Note: Just to clarify, this song to my knowledge is from the third Mobile Suit Gundam compilation film, Encounters in Space. I can’t remember exactly. It was one of the films though.)
Unmei no Yoru by Kenji Kawai
Say what you will about Studio DEEN’s 2006 adaptation of Fate/Stay Night(Which for those of you that don’t know about it, its mostly the Fate route of the visual novel, but with bits of Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel mixed it.), but Kenji Kawai created an absolutely beautiful soundtrack. He is the king of atmosphere in my opinion and atmosphere is exactly what this show needed to lift it up.
But of course, no Fate/Stay Night entry is complete without a mention of its opening song, This Illusion:
The Sixth Station by Joe Hisaishi
Its the score from a Studio Ghibli movie, what did you expect? I keep bouncing back and forth on which film is my favorite, but the soundtrack of Spirited Away still captures my heart each and every time I watch it. I remember the first time I watched this film after it had been years since I last saw it. It was dark out, snow was falling outside, all the house light were off except for the stove light in the kitchen and the christmas tree lights next to my chair. And then this song came on, and it was like I was swept away by the melody.
Sin from Genesis - Shiro Sagisu
I’m not entirely familiar with the original Evangelion TV series, but I have watched the first two Rebuild films to death because I absolutely love them. And the soundtrack to the second film just gives me chills. Sin From Genesis, Fate, and The Final Decision We All Must Take are phenomenal.
Death Parade by Hayashi Yuki
Death Parade was an original work and man was it absolute phenomenal. I’m still waiting on the physical release of the English dub and an announcement of a second season, but until then, I have the soundtrack to hold me over. And the main theme is all I need to picture the entire show.
Different Definition by Masaru Yokoyama
Iron-Blooded Oprhans, the latest Gundam series to grace television with a second season airing this fall. I thought it was fantastic if not a tad predictable series. Definitely refreshing to say the least. The soundtrack was quite appropriate too.
L’s Theme by Yoshihisa Hirano
I may not be too much of a fan of Death Note’s second... half? Not even, but the final arc. But the soundtrack which is constant throughout is a thing of beauty. L’s theme is the song I wish would play over the school loudspeakers whenever I one-upped the supposed genius of the class. Damn I wish reality was more interesting.
Snowfield by Jun Maeda
I needed to break up the spree of action and thrillers with something a little more.... depressing. Enjoy the feels.
This Day and Never Again by Yuki Kajiura
I didn’t Fate/Zero could be as good as people were telling me it was, not after Fate/Stay Night ‘06 and the UBW film, but man was I glad to be wrong. Zero is a masterpiece. And the Yuki Kajiura soundtrack? A match made in heaven.
She Has to Overcome Her Fear by Yuki Kajiura
So many Kajiura tracks on this list. But damn is she good at what she does. When this song came on for the first time, I got so many chills and they lasted even after it was over.
SOTE by Hiroyuki Sawano
Sawano is the Hans Zimmer of anime. His tracks are bombastic and have that sound that fits with just about every action series/film. Seraph of the End’s soundtrack drew me into not only the action, but also the quieter moments.
MAD NUG by Hiroyuki Sawano
Unicorn was the first time I ever heard Sawano’s music. And I loved it from the very beginning. It fit with the story that was being told and that was all I needed it to do.
Ready by Satoru Kosaki
I watched this film before I finished watching the television series. There were subtle nods that I didn’t quite understand. But I loved this film to death despite that. And then I went and watched the TV series, even suffered through all of Endless Eight, and then I went back and watched this film again and it had even more of an impact on me. This piece of music is stuck in my head because it was that big moment track.
Only I Am Missing by Yuki Kajiura
I don’t think I’ve ever heard her compose a soundtrack for a subtle series like this before. I couldn’t even tell it was her. But after someone pointed it out to me, it was then obvious that it was Yuki Kajiura. This particular track was stuck in my head throughout the show from the second episode onward. I wanted the soundtrack to come out so badly because I wanted this song. I wanted to put it on repeat. And I finally got it.
Of course I absolutely must add the opening to the show here because goddamn is it catchy:
Genos Fight Theme by Makoto Miyazaki
One Punch Man, enough said.
Hemmingway’s Daiquiri ~ Roujin to Umi ~ by Kaoruko Otake
Kaisho by Kasamatsu Kouji
Grace Omega by Hajime Mizoguchi
(Everything from here on in is just links, no embeds.)
SHI-KI by Yasuharu Takanashi
Fairy Tail 2014 Main Theme by Yasuharu Takanashi
TRANS-AM RAISER by Kenji Kawai
Speed-Star by Yuki Hayashi
Clear and Serene by Yuki Hayashi
His Name is Domon Kasshu by Kohei Tanaka
Touched Heartstrings by Ko Otani
Bonus: Just Communication Instrumental Version by Ko Otani
Sorrowful Memory by Ko Otani
Tears by Toshihiko Sahashi
Grief and Sorrow by Toshiro Masuda
Girei by Yasuharu Takanashi
Bonus: Maisou by Yasuharu Takanashi
Torn Apart by Shiro Sagisu
Composed by Yusuke Honma
Madder Sky by Kotaro Nakagawa
To the Night of the War by Hayato Matsuo
Two Hearts - Hideyuki Fukusawa
The Day When I Waited for the Wind by Jun Maeda
The King’s Plan by Super Sweep
Farewell by Takeshi Abo
Theme of SSS by Jun Maeda
No Name in DC - Takizawa no Theme by Kenji Kawai
Blue - Blue by Yoko Kanno
And I think I’m done. If I keep going it’l even longer than it already is. Like, way, way longer. If there’s any series you wanna know my favorite track from that isn’t listed, just ask and I’ll link it to you personally in the comments.