Yes, I began this series of anime music posts with totally cute songs. And I realized almost as soon as I had posted that I’d made a critical error in leaving out today’s number one song. But then I thought about it more, and realized that my mistake was actually a fortunate one, because the songs that I bring to your attention in this post are in an entirely other realm of cuteness. Part I of Music For Otakus was filled with adorable toe-tapping numbers cute enough to make even the most sullen of people yell, “Kawaii!!!” and prance about merrily. However, the songs that I present to you now, dear reader, are so ear-bleedingly cute that they verge into annoying territory. The first time that you listen you might just dismiss them as obnoxious and not give it a further thought. But later on, be it in ten minutes or two days, you’ll find yourself subconsciously humming or stirring your coffee in time to a strangely peppy little ditty that you just can’t quite place. These songs, little earbuds, are those infectiously precious anime gems. And just like in the Japanese horror film Ringu, the only way to exorcise them from your brain is to make someone else listen and share in the horror, the marvelously darling horror of it all.
3.) Gotou Mai & Kurokawa Nami & Nishizawa Hiroka – Otome Ryouran Battle PARTY (Shin Koihime Musou)
After just three short episodes I was done with Shin Koihime Musou. The comedy was too base and vulgar, the story was too slow and lackluster, and the characters all washed together in an unidentifiable and unimaginative tangled mess. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wondered why, since it wasn’t a good anime (in my humble opinion) but it certainly wasn’t bad enough to warrant a second glance. Then I realized that my thoughts were instinctively drawn to the cotton candy sweetness of this ending theme song. It was the lantern in the darkened landscape of mediocre crass fan service, and my ears were the months, flitting in energetic circles around this tune. My older sister says that it sounds like a dance-off in a video game, and I couldn’t agree more. This song makes me want to move my feet in a frantic hopscotch of a dance. It also kind of makes me want to punch someone in the face.
2.) Namikawa Daisuke – Marukaite Chikyuu (Hetalia: Axis Powers)
This totally tiny song perfectly encapsulates all the silliness and fun of Hetalia: Axis Powers. The fact that it’s sung by the actor who is the actual voice of Italy in the anime is even better. Throughout the series the song changes lyrics and singers to create a dozen different variants. There’s a gruff version sung by Germany, a classical music-inspired interpretation by Austria, and a dreamy childlike rendition by Chibitalia. But the original remains my favourite, as none other is so ridiculously patriotic or joyfully indulgent. And none other took hold of my brain to the point that I was making up nonsensical words to fill in the blanks so that I could sing along every time that I watched the closing credits. And I watched the closing credits in full for every episode in season one. All twenty-six times. If that’s not infectious song crafting, I don’t know what is.
1.) Rocky Chack – Ringo Biyori ~ The Wolf Whistling Song (Spice and Wolf)
Finally we come to the mother of all musical anime addictions. As soon as I heard this song for the first time at the close of Spice and Wolf season one, I instantly thought that it was childish and simple and sing-songy. And I freakin’ loved it. I listened and watched it over and over again to make certain that I got the words down, and in time I not only sung along with Rocky Chack as the fairy tale-esque closing artwork flashed by on the screen, but I would also burst into song for no reason at all when I wasn’t watching. In the car, at the supermarket, doing the laundry, whenever: if I saw a butterfly or ate an apple or someone asked me to pass the sugar (listen to the lyrics, all are mentioned there) I was off and running. I sang almost without the ability to control myself. It became a reflex, like scratching my elbow. I managed to dial it down in time, but just writing this entry has brought back the intense desire to bounce around and karaoke the hell out of this number. It’s cute, certainly, but almost scarily cute in how it weeds its way into your brain and won’t let go until you have performed your own recital several times over as though attempting to please Holo the Wise Wolf herself.
And those are my picks for the most frightfully darling anime songs in existence. Listen at your own peril, and be sure to come back next week to cleanse your palate with a whole new stew of anime music mayhem!