Top 10 2016 anime OSTs

Top 10 Animes OSTs of 2016

Happy 2017 Everyone! Hope you had a great celebration. We start the year off with our top 10 anime OSTs from 2016. The anime may not be best/most-popular of the year, but the music certainly is:

#10 Twin-Star Exorcists / Mikio Endō

Summer 2016

WATCH The hit action show of the summer starts of our list! Mikio Endō (K, Coppelion) is a newbie to the anime scene and at times it shows. But this action-packed score is so powerful that we couldn’t help but put it on the list. Looking forward to the OST release!

#9 SERVAMP / Kenji Kawai

Summer 2016

WATCHBUY Veteran composer Kenji Kawai (Fate/stay night, Ranma 1/2) brings his decades of experience to this fun, supernatural show. “Smooth” best describes his dynamic score which moves effortlessly from sweet “elevator music” to pumping action under a synthetic melody. Kawai has certainly embraced the electronic-synth age as he continues his craft.

#8 Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Season 3 / Yasuharu Takanashi

Spring 2016

WATCHBUY Season 1 & 2 weren’t the best in terms of music (or animation, for that matter). But season 3 is differently moving in the right direction. Yasuharu Takanashi’s (Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tail) familiar magical girl score may still pale in comparison to the original – save for a few stand-out tracks. Arisawa certainly expanded his music language with each new season and we’re hopeful Takanashi will do the same.

#7 AJIN / Yugo Kanno

Winter 2016

WATCHBUY Psycho-Pass composer Yugo Kanno brings a complex score to the sleeper hit of the winter season. Combining acoustic orchestral writing á la God of War with the Japanese new-age electronica, Kanno’s suspenseful tunes accurately reflect the traumatic and desperate lives of the Ajin such as the perfectly demonic “Main Theme.”

#6 Bungō Stray Dogs / Taku Iwasaki

Spring 2016

WATCHBUY The music chameleon Taku Iwasaki (Kekkaishi, Soul Eater) is back with a solid soundtrack for a solid anime. Bungo’s score’s strength lies in Iwasaki’s unique approach to electro-acoustic music, blending genres and unusual timbres with pulsating EDM beats and guest rappers. Fun fact: season 2 is his favorite score to date!

#5 D.Gray-man HALLOW / Kaoru Wada

Fall 2016

WATCHBUY Kaoru Wada (InuYasha, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) is a master of manipulation! He creates unforgettable themes and transforms them throughout all his scores – and HALLOW is no exception! Listen to Allen’s theme as a battle tune, romantic interlude, suspenseful moment, or creepy encounter – it’s genius! So happy to hear throwbacks to his original music from the 2006 anime as well!

#4 Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju / Kana Shibue

Winter 2016

WATCH A newcomer to the anime scene, gifted pianist-composer Shibue offers a nostaglic score imbued with jazz idioms and improvisational musical dialogue that fits perfectly with the show’s time period. We’re very excited to hear what she has coming next!

#3 Erased / Yuki Kajiura

Winter 2016

WATCH If you weren’t expecting to cry this year, tough luck! Aniplex’s tearjerking thriller had some of the best storylines and OSTs of the season! Yuki Kaijura (Sword Art Online, Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle) is really at her best here; her score piano-driven score is sensitive, emotional, nuanced and will ALWAYS MAKE YOU CRY.

#2 Natsume Yūjinchō Go / Makoto Yoshimori

Fall 2016

WATCH Yes, yes, YES!! It’s BAAACCCKKK!! Makoto Yoshimori (Baccano! Durarara!!) creates a fitting warmth and gentle soundtrack for this very sweet and humbling anime. Certainly a pianist at heart, he has a delicate touch in orchestrating for his small chamber group of strings, clarinet, harp, piano, and traditional Japanese instruments. Would love to do a concert of all his beautiful music from the Natsume series.

#1 My Hero Academia / Yuki Hayashi

Spring 2016

WATCHBUYThe most popular anime of the year? Probably. The most epic shounen score of the year? Definitely! Yuki Hayashi has been creating strong OSTs recently (Haikyuu!!, Death Parade, One Piece Film: Gold) and this one is no exception; he’s becoming a powerhouse in the shounen genre. So, get pumped, get inspired, and rock out with your … superpower out to this powerful soundtrack! Check out our version of the thrilling “you say run.” Highly recommended.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know on social media!

Winter 2016 Best OSTs

Winter 2016 has finally come to a close (tell THAT to the weather!), so Bobbie lists his favorite OSTs and ones to look forward to next season:

1. 昭和元禄落語心中 (Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū)
English Title: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Composer: Kana Shibue

This is hands-down the BEST series of this season. And who IS this woman making the music?! It’s amazing! Young newbie anime composer Kana Shibue brings a 20th-century “old-school” flair to an old-school show with a Yuji Ohno-like (Lupin III) score. Love the use of Japanese instruments for the rakugo moments, but she shines in her hard-bop big band underscoring the historical period and attitude of the main character. Shibue is definitely a composer I’ll be following!

WATCH: Crunchyroll Logo

2. 僕だけがいない街 (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)
English Title: ERASED
Composer: Yuki Kajiura (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online)
Favorite Track: I Have to Save Her / Yuki Kajiura

She’s back! Yuki Kajiura does it again with a heart-wrenching score to a heart-wrenching anime. Soft piano melodies reflect the simply-sounding, yet internally complex, emotions felt by the young main characters. It’s a haunting instrumental-only score with strings, glockenspiel, celesta, and flute. Kajiura’s strings have always been exciting: rich counterpoint, interlaced dissonant harmonies, and tons of counter-melodies over a pulsating bass drum. It’s perfect for the mystery of this anime and its delicate topics.

WATCH: Aniplex, Crunchyroll LogoFunimation Logo Hulu Logo
BUY: Box Set I with Original Soundtrack

3. 亜人 (Ajin)
English Title: Ajin: Demi-Human
Composer: Yūgo Kanno (Birdy the Mighty, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Psycho-Pass)

Wow – amazing orchestral themes in this very popular anime! Kanno knows how to combine an odd collection of instruments (i.e. organ, rock band, and brass) for a demonic, frightening theme! There’s something to be said about writing full orchestra in octaves with little harmony: it’s amazingly effective for this anime about new races, discrimination, and self-identity. I wasn’t a huge fan of Psycho-Pass, but this has made me a convert!

WATCH: Netflix
BUY: Ajin Original Soundtrack

4. 灰と幻想のグリムガル (Hai to Gensō no Grimgar)
English Title: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Composer: R.O.N ([K]NoW_NAME)/Ryuta Iida (Aquarion Logos, Psychic Detective Yakumo)
Favorite Track: seeds / [K]NoW_NAME

A bad-ass soundtrack of mostly guitar-heavy tunes (and English(!!) rap) and a few soft piano/string moments. R.O.N is a combination of Shiro Sagisu’s chording and phrasing and Taku Iwasaki’s American pop manipulation. This OST would kill any live concert, but I truly wish there was more of it and it was louder during the actual show (though I can understand that having lyrics over dialogue can be confusing).

WATCH: Funimation Logo Hulu Logo

5. Dimension W
Composers: Gō Shiina (The Idolmaster, God Eater), Yoshiaki Fujisawa (GATE)

With probably the best opening this season, Dimension W has a strong sci-fi/adventure score. Shiina is definitely a game composer – using minimalism and reverb in his music for atmosphere and a futuristic vibe. Fujisawa most likely brought in a few more instruments, melodic structures, and rhythmic variations to punctuate the action. But that OP is OG, for realz!!

WATCH: Funimation LogoHulu Logo

Honorable Mentions:
Active Raid
Dagashi Kashi

Stay-tuned next week for my Spring 2016 preview edition!

VIDEO RELEASE: Director’s Podium #3 – Anime Soundtrack Review. No.3

No music video this week, but we present an early edition of Anime Soundtrack Review No.3! Our AD Bobbie goes through his 10 top favorite anime soundtracks from Winter 2015, with links to purchase released official albums and where to watch anime streaming online!

Part I

10. 夜ノヤッターマン (Yatterman Night)
Composer: Tatsuya Katou

9. 美男高校地球防衛部Love! (Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!)
Composer: yamazo

8. 神様はじめました (Kamisama Kiss)
Composer: Toshio Masuda

7. ジョジョの奇妙な冒険スターダストクルセイダース エジプト編 (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Battle in Egypt)
Composer: Yuugo Kanno

Composer: Yuuki Hayashi

Part II

5. 幸腹グラフィティ (Gourmet Girl Graffiti)
composer: kotringo

4. デュラララ(Durarara)!!×2
Composer: Makoto Yoshimori

3. 純潔のマリア (Maria the Virgin Witch)
Composer: Masato Kōda

2. 東京喰種 (Tokyo Ghoul) √A
Composer: Yutaka Yamada

1. 暗殺教室 (Assassination Classroom)
Composer: Naoki Sato

VIDEO RELEASE: Director’s Podium #2 – Anime Soundtrack Review No. 2

This week features a two-part special edition of Director’s Podium – Anime Soundtrack Review No.2! Our AD Bobbie goes through his 10 top favorite anime soundtracks from Fall 2014, with links to purchase released official albums and where to watch anime streaming online!

10. Tribe Cool Crew
Composers: avex proworks (Dance Side), A-bee (Drama Side)

9. まじっく快斗1412 (Magic Kaito 1412)
Composer: Taku Iwasaki

Composer: MONACA

7. 怪盗ジョーカー (Kaitou Joker “Mysterious Joker”); JOKER
Composer: Yūsaku Tsuchiya

6. 憑物語 Tsukimonogatari (“Possesstory”)
Composer: Kei Haneoka

5. 棺姫のチャイカ AVENGING BATTLE (Hitsugi no Chaika); Chaika The Coffin Princess
Composer: Seikou Nagaoka

4. 暁のヨナ (Akatsuki no Yona) “Yona of the Dawn”
Composer: Ryo Kunihiko

3. 四月は君の嘘 (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) “Your Lie in April”
Composer: Various, Masaru Yokoyama

2. Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
Composer: Hideyuki Fukasawa

1. 神撃のバハムート (Shingeki no Bahamut) “Rage of Bahamut”: GENESIS
Composer: Yoshihiro Ike