Several years ago I was really into Hip-hop music. I still am now, but, back then, that was all that I listened to. Or, at least, all that I wanted to listen to. The only time that I would regularly listen to something that wasn’t Hip-hop was when my mother would play gospel music in the car when she would take me to and from school. And that didn’t last too long because as soon as I got an mp3 player and a pair of headphones, I couldn’t—and wouldn’t—tolerate anything else. If it wasn’t hip-hop, I wasn’t into it.
If someone was playing any other genre of music and I couldn’t tune it out, or drown it out with hip-hop, I would do whatever I could to avoid listening to it. Even if I had to leave the area, plug my ears, or repeat the lyrics to my favorite song in my head. I think it’s safe to say that I was very close-minded when it came to listing to other forms of music, but, just a few years ago, I fell in love with a hobby that forced me listen to other genres of music and opened my mind.
During the summer of 2013, I jumped head first into the anime fandom.I was always looking for interesting shows to watch, and would spend most of the day marathoning anime. I usually would just skip a series’ opening and ending so I could get back to the action as quickly as possible. But, every now and then, one would catch my attention and I would watch it all the through a couple of times, but that didn’t happen too often at first. However, there were other songs that I couldn’t avoid even if I wanted to—a series’ original soundtrack (OST). While most of the time I would just dismiss it as background music, other times I would be really intrigued by a particular song, but I didn’t want to stop watching the anime to try and find the song—or I looked and just couldn’t find it—and my interest in the song would diminish.
That all changed one day during that same summer. While I was trying to find another anime to watch to get rid of, “the void” and stumbled upon a series by the name of Angel Beats!. Regardless of people’s opinions on the story and characters in Angel Beats!, one thing that most people agree on is that its OST was amazing.
It was the first show that I remember watching both the opening and ending several times over. I discovered that my enjoyment of the series was enhanced because of how good the music was. And that’s how it all got started. Watching anime for the past couple of years has exposed me to more genres and styles of music than I ever would’ve discovered on my own.
From the up-tempo, electronic music from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, to Death Note’s hard rock second opening, to the various styles of J-pop that I’ve heard over the years. Just a few years ago, I would not have gone anywhere near any of those genres of music. Now, I listen to them fairly often.
Of course anime isn’t the only reason that my tastes have changed over the years. A lot of it could probably be attributed to me just getting older, and becoming more accepting of new things. But, I’m not going to downplay the role that anime played in exposing me to several new genres, and subgenres of music. Without it, I might never have even heard of, let alone listen to, some the styles of music that I listen to today. I’ve compiled a short list of songs I really liked from some of the styles of music that anime has exposed me to, and the anime that they are from, below (some songs will fit into more than one genre):
Gymnopédies // The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Symphony No. 9 // From the New World
What’s up, people?! // Death Note
Fallen // Psycho-Pass 2
True Story // Persona 4: The Animation
Fly Away // Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt