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I don’t have the greatest musical background in the world, but I’ve always appreciated the way that a song can contribute to an anime. It’s easy to forget, but music can often elevate a scene long after its runtime. The right song can form an emotional connection between the viewer and the scene itself, such that the song itself is enough to evoke the same emotions as the entire scene.
This is a long-winded introduction, but it gets at why I value soundtracks so much in anime. I’m almost always listening to music in my daily life, and it’s partly because it can have this kind of effect. So with that all said and done, let’s talk a bit about the soundtracks that I still listen to today.
3-gatsu no Lion
It’s hard to pin down a soundtrack that I would consider to be my favorite, but I think this one would probably be it. It’s true that the tracks have a somber tone to them, but there’s a sense of longing in it that I think encapsulates the series well. Combine that with the evocative and memorable imagery you’d expect from a Shaft production, and it’s no small task for any song to bring me right back into the show.
Strangely enough, I never took note of this soundtrack until after the series had finished airing. But when I listen to it, it’s so easy to bring myself back to the big emotional moments from the show. I love how orchestral and almost whimsical the soundtrack sounds, and I really like that several tracks include typewriter sound effects that would have easily gone unnoticed in the actual series. This soundtrack tends to be my go-to when I need something listen to at work.
Gundam Build Fighters
With many of my other picks for this list, I think it’s pretty clear that my musical preferences can be pretty narrow. This soundtrack is here to shake that up a bit. Unlike the smooth, flowing songs I tend to choose, this soundtrack is a lot more active, fitting for the action focus in the series itself. I enjoy listening to the songs in this soundtrack for their diversity and energy.
I don’t always listen to the entire soundtrack for this series, which is why it’s lower on the list, but the tracks that I do listen to are among my all-time favorite songs. In particular, “Deja View” and “Zashiki Warashi” are two songs that I always enjoying hearing.
This is not to say that I have a problem with other Key adaptation soundtracks. For some reason, this soundtrack always hits me the hardest, despite how long ago I watched the series. Is it just because it was the show I watched first? It’s difficult to say. I once went through a long plane ride listening only to the songs in this soundtrack, so I suppose I have a lot of history with it as well.
Honorable Mention: Aria, Houseki no Kuni, Made in Abyss