Music For Otakus, Part II: Beautiful Feeling

Continuing last week’s anime music fest, today, because I’m feeling thoughtful, I give you my top three most beautiful songs from anime. This one was tougher to put together than you might think, because there really are some exceptionally gorgeous songs accompanying some exceptionally gorgeous anime shows out there. However, these three not only had an immediately arresting effect upon me at first contact, but they continue to aurally astound me with each further listen.

3.) Kanon – Saga~This is My Road (Guin Saga)

Yes, I mocked Guin Saga profusely in my initial review. But then I went back and gave it another chance, and this lovely song was part of the reason. It begins very Enya-esque, which I enjoy because I loved the hell out of Enya back in the day (still do, when I happen to catch one of her songs on shuffle). However, after the opening it becomes a creature of its own making, thanks in no small part to Kanon’s amazing vocals. I couldn’t find a video of Guin Saga’s closing animation to show you, but this concert video is just as good (if not better) because Kanon sounds almost exactly the same here, live, as she does on the official recording. As a singer myself, I can tell you that is impressive.

2.) Kuricorder Quartet & Yukawa Shione – Tameiki no Hashi (Allison & Lillia)

As soon as I watched Allison & Lillia for the first time, my breath literally caught in my throat during the opening credits. I usually have no idea what to expect with a new anime series, and I certainly wasn’t expecting such a gorgeous song right off the bat. I kept thinking over and over, “This is beautiful. This is just beautiful.” The vocals and instrumentation are so clear and simple, but they meld together in a way that elevates my senses. I can honestly say that I was moved when I heard this song, and I continue to be each time I listen to it. The fact that the anime is exceptional is icing on the cake (look for my review in the coming weeks on Otaku Haiku!).

1.) Kalafina – Lacrimosa (Black Butler)

As I’ve mentioned numerous times over on Otaku Haiku, Black Butler is the origin of my intense love for anime. This song, from the closing credits of season two part one, is also the origin of my obsession with anime music. (The closing animation for Black Butler is lovely, of course, but I adore this masquerade-themed video so much that I had to post it instead.) It gives me chills every time I hear it. It’s passionate and gothic and beautiful, which is an unbeatable combination in my book. The violins soar, the operatic chanting is solemn yet full of emotion, and the drums carry it further and further toward the brink. Of what, you may ask? Of wherever your mind may wander during this amazing four minutes and fourteen seconds.

I’ll never forget my joy at finding this song, and how I listened to it again and again and again during the month that I waited for Black Butler season one part one to be released on DVD. I took it with me on a trip to NYC and listened to it on the plane there, in the taxi to the hotel, late at night when everyone else was asleep and I kept my iPod pressed to my belly so as to hide the screen’s light, in the taxi on the way to the airport, and on the plane ride home again. And despite the hundreds of times that I’ve listened to “Lacrimosa,” I never fail to get that same feeling of excitement and swept-away loveliness that I heard the first time. The fact that I also see Sebastian Michaelis in my head whenever I hear it is just another bonus. This song is the reward in and of itself.

Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel, to hear more musical stylings from the world of anime!

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