The jazz included in Cowboy Bebop is simply amazing. Unfortunately, it’s not the only anime that appreciates jazz.
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Disagreements about jazz have existed from its inception. Jazz music’s bustle irritates as many people as it pleases. For every admirer of the genre’s technical proficiency and rhythm, there’s a hater. Jazz has a profound ability to create an environment, and musicians tend to appreciate it more than the general public.
That many beloved anime shows contain jazz soundtracks may not come as a surprise. J-pop and city-pop have both featured jazz, as well as modern J-pop, for many years now. Many anime fans have developed a deeper appreciation for jazz as a result of listening to the music of great anime composers. While CowboyBebop is the most well-known jazz anime, it is not the only one.
1. Cowboy Bebop Is the Quintessential Space-Jazz Opus
Cowboy Bebop may be the most closely associated anime series with its music. Director Shinichiro Watanabe and composer Yoko Kanno became household names thanks to Cowboy Bebop, which is revered more widely than any other anime series from the 1990s in the world.
In spite of the fact that Kanno and Seatbelts (the band she assembled particularly for the performance) engage in various genres including funk and pop as well as blues and rock, jazz is the blood that runs through these space excursions. It’s also like jazz, where the plot can move from exuberant cacophonies of ecstasy to the darkest lows possible. Without the music, Cowboy Bebop wouldn’t be the same.
2. In Sakamichi No Apollon, Jazz Is A Lifesaver
Sakamichi No Apollon is yet another amazing collaboration between Watanabe and Kanno.
This album’s opener, screamed by anime OST icon Yuki, has a remarkable flare: cascades of horns and piano perforate what otherwise might have been a pop ballad. This film’s soundtrack is essential because it takes on a life of its own, becoming a character in the story.
These 1960s youths are simultaneously saved and destroyed by their love of jazz, one other, and the wider world. At least they have music to assist them get through their difficult times.
3. Kekkai Sensen Is Cooler Than It Has Any Right To Be
It doesn’t seem to matter that Kekkai Sensen is terribly underappreciated. Yasuhiro Nightow, the author of Trigun, wrote the series. Both seasons of the anime adaption were produced by Studio Bones, however fans were apprehensive about Season 2 because the show’s director had been replaced.
Regardless, the soundtracks of both adaptations are outstanding. Jazz, hip-hop, world music, and orchestral compositions are all featured in the soundtrack composed by Taisei Iwasaki. As diverse as the array of people and the transdimensional New York City setting, Kekkai Sensen’s soundtrack is. Listen to “White Beyond” if you’re seeking for a beautiful piece of lounge music.
4. Durarara!! Equates Chaotic Music With A Chaotic Cast
Fans of Durarara!! know to expect a screeching trumpet sound whenever Izaya makes her appearance.
With its jazzy, low-fi and trippy ambiance, the show’s soundtrack perfectly reflects the eccentric metropolis it strives to portray.
Each instrument has its moment to shine and melodies mingle in jazz, which is often regarded as particularly individualistic. Durarara!characters, !’s likewise, are constantly bouncing off of one another and experiencing highs and lows. While jazz isn’t the only music on show in “Ikebukuro West Exit Five-Way Intersection,” it’s the one that most symbolizes the series’s theme.
5. Showa Rakugo’s OST Captures A Fading Era
Almost everything about Showa Rakugo is top-notch, but the jazzy opening of Episode 3 sets the tone for the rest of the series. An orchestral piece of symphonic music, boosted by the addition of traditional Japanese music, cuts across the series’ classic jazz soundtrack from Kana Shibue’s debut. “Gei No Asubare” is a classic that will never go out of style. As with the characters’ attitudes toward rakugo, the choice to use music that is often regarded as archaic and contentious was a wise one.
6. Baccano’s Setting & Soundtrack Are Prohibition-Chic
Of all, Baccano is set during the prohibition era, when jazz was everywhere. If that were any other genre, it would be completely out of place here. Baccano! helped director Takahiro Omori become on everyone’s radar after it was adapted by the same studio and crew who worked on Durarara!
Makoto Yoshimori, the composer of Durarara!, is also the composer of this magical realism mob capera, making it a joy to see. The season premiere, “Guns & Roses,” perfectly conveyed the pizazz and charm of “Tank!”
7. Darker Than Black’s Soundtrack Is The Best Thing About It
It’s no surprise that Yoko Kanno, the gold standard of anime soundtracks, is so prominently featured here. As committed admirers and furious detractors debate the merits of Darker Than Black’s music, there is one thing worth applauding.
Yoko Kanno understands how to score almost anything and make it better, despite the fact that jazz and science fiction don’t usually go hand in hand. Her work in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, for example, tends to lean more toward electronic, synth, and psychedelic music. However, Darker Than Black’s OST is about as jazz-heavy as they go.
8. Trigun Has A Hearty Share of Jazz Moments
As a result, it’s nearly impossible to divorce Trigun’s music from its memories. It doesn’t matter how bad the rest of the show has gotten, the soundtrack is always there to lift it to new heights.
It was composed by Tsuneo Imahori, a former Yoko Kanno apprentice whose style ranges from rock, country, to jazz to create the perfect soundtrack for a western set in space. Even though jazz isn’t the show’s main genre, it nonetheless gets all the attention. Take the bubbly “Permanent Vacation,” for example.
9. Death Parade Makes Elevator Music Cool As Anything
Music in the lobby, like elevator music, tends to be unappealing to most people. However, the Quindecim’s cool lo-fi jazz background, which acts as the afterlife hotel bar’s atmosphere for Death Parade, is wonderfully effective for the film’s location. When it comes to big titles like Haikyuu!! and My Hero Academia, composer Yuuki Hayashi has really exceeded himself.
The opening tune, “Death Parade,” features a melancholy saxophone theme that feels everlasting, and the music is creative yet classic at the same time. In the same way as the program evolves, the soundtrack does as well. The soundtrack features ethereal vocals and orchestral flourishes that enrich the music.
10. ACCA-13’s Soundtrack, Like The Show Itself, Is An Underrated Gem
According to the work of Natsume Ono, Acca-13 is a series many anime lovers have overlooked. It still has a certain air of class that is missing from many contemporary seinen shows. One of the most distinctive aspects of Ono’s work is his unique sketching style and the soundtrack of Acca-13 is no exception.
Ryo Takahashi, the album’s composer, combines cool jazz with sultry funk. It sounds like a holiday classic from another planet, and “Kiss Me” is the kind of music that makes people fall in love. The soundtrack, like so many other aspects of this show, is vastly underappreciated.