Once again the time has come to drop tons of excellent music from these past few months. The Summer 2015 anime season was full of awesome music, so brace yourselves for some diverse and interesting sounds.
As always, please note that music is super super subjective and that I love all of these songs. Additionally, some just couldn’t make the cut because of the sheer amount of music released, as I had to cap it at 20.
P.S. Apologies for missing last season’s music, fortunately I’m not missing this one!
20. Himitsu wo Choudai
Artist: Ars Magna
Anime: Jitsu wa Watashi wa
Why I Picked This One: This track was less popular this season because of the sudden changes in the feel. That still holds true to me, but I didn’t mind the extra craziness as this song really is just a fun tune with a bunch of guys singing.
19. Rising Rainbow
Anime: Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
Why I Picked This One: The opening guitar and cool synthesizer part in the second verse are both examples of the interesting bits in this song. I wouldn’t argue that this is the greatest track ever, but it served both Food Wars and my ears pretty well this season so be sure to try it out.
18. Gunjo Survival
Artist: Mikako Komatsu
Anime: Aoharu x Machinegun
Why I Picked This One: I heard that the show is bad, but fortunately the ending theme is not as Komatsu’s serious and darker rock track is a pretty quality addition to this season’s musical lineup.
17. Pride Kakumei
Artist: CHiCO with HoneyWorks
Why I Picked This One: CHiCO’s pairing with the vocaloid group HoneyWorks has resulted in some good music in the past for Magic Kaito and Blue Spring Ride, and the pairing returns once again this season. If you are into their previous works, then you’ll like this one as well.
16. NEVER-END TALE
Artist: Konomi Suzuki & Tatsuyuki Kobayashi
Anime: Fairy Tail
Why I Picked This One: Konomi Suzuki remains one of my favorite Japanese singers, and while I don’t think her recent works have fully capitalized on her rich and powerful voice, her collaboration with Kobayashi is still a pretty epic piece, especially when they pull off ascending/descending chord duet moments.
Anime: Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
Why I Picked This One: This song is a very western-feeling rock piece, and while not particularly amazing in that regard it is a nice change of pace when it comes to Japanese music and even stands up on its own to other similar works. The vocals in the chorus were particularly impressive to me.
14. Yasashii Kibou
Artist: Saori Hayami
Anime: Snow White with the Red Hair
Why I Picked This One: As Saori Hayami’s solo debut as a singer, this song had every right to be pretty bad but it really wasn’t, Hayami’s voice is clearly quality regardless of whether she is doing voiceover work or singing. The calm but upbeat tune of this song fits the show quite well and I definitely enjoyed listening to it every week.
13. Sore wa Akatsuki no You ni
Artist: Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets
Anime: GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There
Why I Picked This One: This song is kind of a fun one, you might recognize the band from Strike the Blood’s opening theme. Kyoudan’s vocals aren’t of a particularly impressive quality in my opinion, but her voice works well with the upbeat guitar riffs in the chorus.
Why I Picked This One: TrySail features a trio of extra-talented voice actresses, and since all of them have parts in Classroom☆Crisis it should surprise no one that the musical group’s second single happens to be the opening theme for the show. I particularly enjoyed the combined effect of their voices in the chorus.
11. Bravely You
Why I Picked This One: Artist Lia has made very few appearances in recent years, but when I saw the new P.A. Works/Key collaboration I knew she would be featured, and sure enough she performs the OP. ‘Bravely You’ is very much a Lia song, with rich vocals and a slight sadness in tone, this time around there is also a bit of an ethereal feel.
Artist: Myth & Roid
Why I Picked This One: I really enjoyed the electronic rock this song has, and while the vocals are a bit covered up with electronic effects I did really see this one as one of the better ending themes this season. If you liked the opening theme of Overlord, you will like the ending theme.
9. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa
Artist: Aoi Tada
Why I Picked This One: This ending theme was surprisingly good. Much like the opening theme of the show, it has a sort of ethereal and melancholy feel, but it worked even better because it was an ending. This was kind of the song I would listen to when going on nighttime walks the past few months, and I highly recommend you do the same.
8. Hajimete Girls!
Anime: Wakaba Girl
Why I Picked This One: Ray is back, and better than ever! I enjoyed to fun pop this song had to utilize Ray’s vocals in, and the full version featured a very excellent percussive-vocal duet bridge to add to an already great performance.
Artist: Ooishi Masayoshi with Tom-H@ck
Why I Picked This One: Tom-H@ck is an interesting arranger, and the vocalist he worked with for this track is one you might all recognize as the vocals from the opening theme of last summer’s Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. I was quite impressed at the time with his vocals in the song, and seeing a transition to an electronic rock piece seems to reflect the trend this season of performers reaching outside of their comfort zone and delivering stellar performances. Needless to say, you should probably check this one out.
Artist: Natsumi Kon
Anime: Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki
Why I Picked This One: Natsumi Kon doesn’t release singles very frequently, but her vocal quality is pretty much assured whenever she does. After her previous single ‘Niji no Kakera’ from One Week Friends, I’d have to say this is my favorite song by her. This track is significantly louder and more rock-y than before, but because of this a very epic track is created that I highly recommend giving a listen.
5. Secret Arms
Anime: To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd
Why I Picked This One: Ray is not a performer to release singles with much frequency (it’s been over a year since her last one), so seeing not just one but two songs by her in one season was a clear indicator that I would be dealing with a stacked deck. ‘Secret Arms’ is a very cool J-Pop track that utilizes the synthesizer and wind chimes to great effect to complement Ray’s already excellent vocals, and it’s a must-have for you Pop fans out there.
4. Speed to Masatsu
Anime: Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
Why I Picked This One: Although Ranpo Kitan can be hit-or-miss, it is hard to argue that it has some excellent music. ‘Speed to Masatsu’ is the latest single from the Winter 2015 season’s AniTAY list alumni Amazarashi. Amazarashi tends to experiment with different types of sound, but consistently releases quality tracks, this one being no exception. The electronic sounds mixed with piano and guitar complement Hiromu Akita’s vocals well. Akita has an interesting habit of emphasizing every syllable when he sings, which authomatically makes his vocals interesting on their own. Toss them in with the mix of ‘Speed to Masatsu’ and you have some good listen’.
Artist: STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION
Why I Picked This One: ‘Renegade’ is a particularly interesting track because of the electronic rock feel it has that is pretty unusual, especially in anime. STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION is actually a band that I’m fairly fond of since their song ‘Daisy’ served as the ending theme for Beyond the Boundary, and it was cool to see the variation in their style while still writing a quality song. The best way to describe this song is ‘an experience’, because instead of having favorite sections I mostly just appreciate ~4 minutes of good vibes.
2. Wonder Stella
Anime: Fate/kaleid liner prisma illya 2wei herz
Why I Picked This One: It’s a little known secret that fhana is one of my favorite Japanese bands (wish I could see them live at AWA), but after their recently released album Outside of Melancholy, I hardly expected to see them show up again for the Summer 2015 season. Thankfully, the unique reverse-Supercell grouping (three composers, one singer) continues to deliver with a very stellar (haha) performance. ‘Wonder Stella’ has a kind of fun alternative and ‘space-y’ vibe, which is unsurprising considering the name, and has a very cool transition between the verses and the chorus almost like having multiple bridges.
Anime: Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
Why I Picked This One: This song was definitely my most anticipated track for this summer season. The melancholy inflection and interesting overall vocal style of Sayuri mixed with some very excellent instrumentation made ‘Mikazuki’ a very cool-sounding TV size song. The full version capitalized on its extended length by having an awesome second verse (the drumset part is particularly beneficial at that point), and the slower ending portion is very effective.
Best Soundtrack: Classroom☆Crisis
Classroom Crisis had an excellent variety of quality tracks that ranged from intense and sorrowful orchestras to chill jazz, as I mentioned in my review of the anime, so if there was one OST you should listen to from this season it’s this one.
Note: Unfortunately, Sony Music Japan has region-locked all of its music, so even the official music videos are no longer viewable for American youtubers. If you guys find any videos for the music I listed that I didn’t have a video for, be sure to let me know.
Note 2: Symphogear is disqualified from this list because it would stack the deck and probably needs its own article. If you want to listen to the songs from the show, feel free to link your favorites in the comments.
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This is the first in my series of reviews for the Summer 2015 anime season. Here’s the full list (I will link them as they release):
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