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The Ultimate Playlist For Playing Anime Games Posted Jun 2, 2021

The Ultimate Playlist For Playing Anime Games

The Music in Anime: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Music and video games have always had a very close relationship. Some songs have become so closely associated with specific games that hearing them brings back memories of playing them for those who have. New music has also been released to video game players. Three elements make up video games. The first two, visuals and interactivity, are integral components of games. The third is sound and music especially, elevates them beyond mere entertainment. Music can turn games into unforgettable experiences.

Good game music works in combination with the visual and interactive elements to transport our minds to the locations that the composers and developers desire. Music in video games and even films tends to fade into the background and becomes an inextricable part of the larger picture.

The heart of game music composition is to complement the visual and interactive core of games. It must stand out in terms of gameplay, story writing and music, to create a memorable experience. Not only does this mean that everything in those moments must be at a higher level of intensity, but the rest of the game must also support that level of intensity. It's a powerful thing how video game music combines with our active experiences while playing games online, helping to create memories of moments or locations in games and life.

The Ultimate Playlist For Playing Anime Games

Anime and its Musical Routes

As most anime enthusiasts know, anime has a solid link to lo-fi music. Downtempo beats with the occasional tape hiss or vinyl scratch are interspersed with voice samples from old anime, self-help recordings, movie quotes and the like, making lo-fi music remarkably coherent and distinct. This music represents yet another change in internet radio's model. However, would it surprise you to learn that this ostensibly millennial genre of music has its origins in rock from the 1980s?

Although it's difficult to say who invented the phrase, it's widely assumed that DJ William Berger popularised it in 1986 with his half-hour radio show of the same name. Lo-fi stands for "low-fidelity," which is the polar opposite of "high fidelity," which refers to a musical piece's sound and output quality. In a professional environment, music classified as "low-fidelity" would be deemed of lower quality and substandard. Many of the elements that make lo-fi so common now (think environmental interferences, degraded audio playback, and mismatched notes) were considered unacceptable by musical producers in the 1960s.

If you think recent lo-fi music sounds like a particular music genre, it's because it was at one point—lo-fi artists were outliers in an increasingly commercialised music scene. They were amateur beatmakers on shoestring budgets who were resourceful and were often referred to as "bedroom musicians." Instead of high-tech equipment, they used whatever was available (and cheap). In their makeshift workshop or kitchen studio, recording studios were in reality eight-track tape recorders or Sony Walkmans.

The revival of lo-fi can be traced back to the mid-2000s. When Japanese music producer Nujabes, dubbed the "Father of Lo-Fi," redefined the sound for the iconic anime Samurai Champloo in 2004, the variation took off.

In an "elevator-music-but-better" makeover, the scratchy punk rock sound was replaced with slower tempo varieties that blended in influences from techno, jazz and hip-hop. When Toonami began broadcasting Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop in America, the lo-fi genre became inextricably linked to the anime aesthetic and the nostalgia associated with it.

Let’s now look at some of the most iconic music from some of the most popular TV and video game series.

The Ultimate Playlist

My Hero Academia – Peace Sign

My Hero Academia has been one of the most successful anime series in recent years, and it's easy to see why with its vivid, pop-art styled superhero antics. In the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, singer Kenshi Yonezu wrote the song Kite for popular boy band Arashi, which is used as the theme song for Japanese national broadcaster NHK's coverage.

Black Cover – Black Catcher

Although the series received a lukewarm reception at first, by the time Vickeblanka composed this opening theme (the 10th in the series), audiences had warmed to the show's remarkable fight sequences between the show's heroes and villains. When it comes to stirring up the appetite for drama and spectacle, Black Catcher delivers!

No Game No Life – This Game

Imagine living in a world where games determine the outcome of everything. That's the premise of No Game No Life. Konomi Suzuki's colourful theme tune, which has accompanied this high-stakes series, has become an absolute fan favourite, with many cover versions now available on YouTube, as talented pianists perform their take of the song's unforgettable melody.

Naruto Shippuden – Closer

It's nearly impossible to choose just one awesome opening theme for Naruto's long-running Shonen series, but Closer has always been a standout. Japanese-American singer Joe Inoue combines Japanese and English lyrics to significant effect in this super-catchy song, making it the perfect introduction to Naruto's thrilling ninja adventures.

As you can see, anime has a distinct sound that has evolved over the years but has still managed to stay true to its routes. The sound quality has improved along with technology, but the heart and soul remain the same.

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