On second thought from the article that I created a month ago, I made a decision.
My list of must listen-to Japanese songs will not solely include tunes from anime shows, but from a wide variety of sources. Therefore, what you will find below could be from absolutely anywhere!
Here is my list for June 2020. Enjoy!
Touch Off – UVERworld
Promised Neverland, Cloverworks, 2019
Well if I could say there was one show that gave me the best thrill ride ever in an anime, this would be on the shortlist. The Promised Neverland is an exceptional show, reinforced by what could be one of the catchiest openings of any show ever, certainly this year. A hip-hop infused rock song, it sets the tone of the show perfectly and plays well into the character themes of never giving up hope.
Tokyo Summer Session – Honeyworks ft. GUMIxflower
Confession Executive Committee, 2015
Now this is a Vocaloid song I’m particularly fond of. Without going into too much lore behind this song, it narrates the love stories of three teenage couples. Whilst CHiCO sang the original version of this for Honeyworks, I just prefer the vocals of this one, as everything else pretty much remains the same. It has the resemblance of a relationship in a way, with it’s awkward intro, kicked in by the fast-tempo drums signalling a fun, chaotic song is in store!
Existence – Malcolm Mask McLaren
Back to rock now, and it’s time for a punk idol group discovered on my Spotify radio. The music video pretty much shows how Yuru Camp would look like if it’s soundtrack was head-bashing heavy rock chords as opposed to comfy, blanket guitar tracks. Malcolm Mask Mclaren hit that sweet spot for fans of usual idol vocals you might hear from the likes of Nogizaka46, with some of the power strumming guitar solos of a band akin to Babymetal.
Guardian Angel – Juno Reactor
Texhnolyze, Madhouse, 2003
Okay, technically this isn’t a Japanese song, but it is featured in an anime! I like to try make these top 5 lists with a bit of variety to them, and I will almost certainly be looking for that sound I haven’t heard before. Juno Reactor is a group that creates experimental, electronic noise that just works. It has heavy bass, industrial clanging for percussion and it works well together, almost like a fusion of trance. Not bad for a song from 1995 that would hold up well in dance halls today.
On Your Mark – CHAGE and ASKA
On Your Mark, Studio Ghibli, 1995
It wouldn’t be a Top 5 without a Ghibli reference right? Well, I’m using this list to increase awareness for this beautiful music video, directed by Hayao Miyazaki himself. Released in theatres alongside Whisper of the Heart, it’s a wonderfully moving story contained within less than 7 minutes, with a soundtrack by one of the most popular rock duos in Japanese music history. The video was originally created because of Miyazaki’s artist block writing Princess Mononoke. Featuring powerful chords similar to the sounds somewhat reminiscent of Berlin’s Take Your Breath Away, it’s an epic rock ballad that deserves plenty of recognition.
Let me know down below what songs you have found this month that you’ve fallen in love with, or reunited with again!