Most people don’t pay as much attention to anime that is primarily based on music as other genres, but these ten shows are worth checking out!
Anime is no exception to the rule when it comes to music-heavy tales. It’s possible to write stories about a wide range of musical genres, from a group of friends wanting to start a punk band to a youngster who loves jazz to a young man who dreams of being a pop singer, all of which are worthy of consideration.
Each of these tales has its own unique tone and feel, but they’re all well-written and well-worth your time to take in.
There are four main characters in K-On! who are all members of their school’s light music ensemble. As additional people join and their talents grow, they gradually begin to create a more formal band while still in the club. While attending high school, the two friends continue to develop their musical abilities.
Gravitation tells the narrative of Shuichi, a young man who aspires to be a pop sensation. While Eiri, an award-winning romance novelist, often dismisses his abilities and goals, he falls in love with her and pursues her. Shuichi’s rise to the top of the music charts is as much a part of the plot as the romance between the two menas.
3. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
The story of Beck centers on a group of high school buddies who form a band and see it take off. While on tour in the United States, things fall apart between them due to life intervening.
Even Nevertheless, Beck’s guitarist Koyuki misses his bandmates and sets out to try to resurrect the band in order to recapture the passion and exhilaration that they previously shared in the act of playing music together.
4. Detroit Metal City
One of Detroit Metal City’s main characters is an unfulfilled pop singer who is determined to make his dreams come true, but has so far failed. Instead, he performs in the metal band Detroit Metal City as the band’s face-painted lead singer. It parodies popular notions about metal music and how it affects those who listen to it by utilizing clichés common to the genre.
5. Tomorrow’s Cantabile
The story of two music students, one studying violin and the other studying piano, is told in Tomorrow’s Cantabile, a romantic comedy. A friendship develops between them as they realize how well they play together and work to overcome their insecurities in order to accomplish their aspirations of becoming professional classical musicians.
6. Carole & Tuesday
Shinichiro Watanabe, the creator of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, is responsible for another anime on this list, Carole & Tuesday.
It takes place on Mars, where the two main protagonists are striving to make it as a musical team, and moves away from the more slice-of-life genres that many of the anime on this list fall into.
7. Kids On The Slope
This is the second Shinichiro Watanabe-directed animation to appear on this list: Kids on the Slope. After moving in with relatives in an isolated village, the story follows a high school student who befriends a classmate who is viewed by most as a delinquent. Similar to Cowboy Bebop, the series is based on jazz as a central theme, with the characters frequently playing or discussing the music.
8. Your Lie In April
It’s not for the faint of heart to read Your Lie in April. It’s a story about two young musicians, one a piano and the other a violinist, who are trying to cling on to their love of music by performing together, much like in Tomorrow’s Cantabile.
Although Kaori, the violinist, is very ill and requires a life-saving but risky operation, she will not be able to participate. If you’re looking for a love story that’s both a love story between these two individuals and a love story for music, this is it.
It’s no secret that NANA is one of the most beloved josei manga series ever. Two young women, both named Nana, sit next to each other on a train bound for Tokyo, where they will begin new lives.
Nana Osaki plans to pursue a career in punk music, while Nana Komatsu is following in the footsteps of her lover, who has already moved to Tokyo to attend art school. As much as the series is about their love, it is also about their dreams and plans, with fantastic in-jokes and beautiful stylized animation.
If one were to argue that NANA and Given are both a love story between the male protagonists, Given would be the clearer choice. They’re both in high school, and one of them teaches the other how to play guitar, so the two wind up becoming friends. In the end, they join forces to form a band, and their love for one another deepen as they practice for a gig that resembles a battle of the bands.