Music In Anime: Not Just A :30 Clip


I’ve watched a lot of different types of anime throughout my lifetime and each anime binge I would go through would reflect whatever mood I was in. When I was in elementary and middle school, I would watch a lot of action anime because I wanted to fit in the with the guys at school and not be known as ‘one of the girls’ because I hated Barbies. When I was a freshman in high school I would watch whatever the anime club would show but at home I would watch shojou (girly) anime. Once that phase was over, I discovered a genre of anime that I was unsure of: the music genre. Not being a musician by any means but really into the punk-rock culture I searched for an anime that would suit my tastes. That’s when I came across the anime ‘Nana’.

‘Nana’ by Ai Yazawa is about two girls named Nana who wind up living together in Tokyo and their journey through life. Nana Komatsu is a girly-girl who falls in love at first sight constantly and is trying to find her place in life. Nana Osaki is the lead singer of the BLAST, a punk-rock band that is trying to go pro to compete with the current superstar punk-rock group, Trapnest.

The entire storyline of Nana was absolutely amazing. Throughout the series I laughed, cried, sat on the edge of my seat and I fell in love with all of the characters. For me, ‘Nana’ was more than just an anime but it was what was the music that was playing on my MP3 player as well as a motivation to learn how to write songs in Japanese. The songs throughout ‘Nana’ were absolutely breathtaking. At the time, I didn’t know a lot of Japanese but the songs still moved me and now that I can understand what is being sung I am moved even more.

Fans of anime should recognize one of the voice actors in ‘Nana’: Aya Hirano. That’s right. The same Aya Hirano who voiced Haruhi in ‘The Melancholy of Haurhi Suzumiya’. While ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’ is not an anime known in the music genre, it is known for the songs that Aya Hirano sang. In fact, ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’ was Aya Hirano’s big break. Without that gig, she would not have become so popular in the anime world as well as in the JPop world.

She made music for ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’, ‘Nana’ and ‘Lucky Star’ which all are extremely popular both online and in Japan. If you were to go to an anime convention in Japan, there is no doubt that you would see all of those anime being cosplayed, in the Dealers Rooms and being talked about at panels.

Aya Hirano is not the only voice actor to have made it big in both the anime and JPop world,  all of the main voice actors from ‘K-On!’ have also started to hit it big. Since ‘K-On!’ debuted in 2009, it has made quite the impression on both Japanese as well as American anime fans. The voice actors sing all of the songs that are in ‘K-On!’ and with that has come great success. They have thrown together a few albums and most of the voice actors have been recruited to work on other musical anime and have even released their own singles. In fact, the success of ‘K-On!’ was so crazy that when the first album was released over 62,000 copies were sold the first week making it the first anime character CD to ever reach #1 on the charts.

I am beyond excited to see what new musical anime will be coming out within the next couple of years. With the success of ‘K-On!’, Aya Hirano and other talented voice actors, there is no doubt that soon most of the music you hear on Japanese radio will be based off of an anime.


For more gaming, anime and other articles you can follow Stacy’s blog or her Twitter account.


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Categories: Anime


I love Japanese culture, video games, anime, learning new languages, fashion (though I may not show it), reading, doodling and more! Currently a college student hoping to graduate this May. I would love to travel the world with my husband before we have kids and eventually find a job in advertising/marketing preferably with a big electronics corporation. I like to think I'm funny and I love to smile. Please check out my articles on Another Castle:

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One Comment on “Music In Anime: Not Just A :30 Clip”

  1. 02/27/2013 at 6:50 PM #


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