This week’s selection of anime tunes is one that I think we all need to hear now and then: badass songs. Who doesn’t love the heart-pounding energy of a truly badass tune pumping you up for whatever may come your way? I know that I love them, particularly when I’m driving with the windows down on an empty highway. The only drawback is that I almost always end up speeding, but there’s something about blasting an amazing song that just propels me forward, ready to take on the world. The following songs are not only pure badass all unto themselves, but they also come from some pretty badass anime series, too.
3.) Jean-Jacques Burnel – You Won’t See Me Coming (Gankutsuou)
Jean-Jacques Burnel is best known as the bassist for The Stranglers, which is probably why his voice isn’t particularly potent (and it’s nearly god-awful on the opening song “We Were Lovers.”) However, when it comes to the closing theme to Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, somehow it works. The jangly guitars and space-age synths combined with the angry-sounding strings all work together to create a pop number with real punch. The lyrics are especially effective in the context of a story of vengeance as powerful as The Count of Monte Cristo. Bonus: the closing credits give you a taste of some of the amazing artwork to be found in this anime.
2.) Kishida Kyōdan & The Akeboshi Rockets – Highschool of the Dead (H.O.T.D.)
I just finished Highschool Of The Dead yesterday, but listening to this makes me want to watch the whole series again. The theme song is pretty much perfect for a horror series about zombies taking over: it starts off with emphatic drums and frantic guitars and never lets up from there. You’re just bombarded with sound from the start, and it’s nearly impossible to keep from headbanging in time to the beat. Like the series itself, I wasn’t too sure about this tune at first, but now I can’t get it out of my head. It’s become one of my favourite power songs in the past couple of months, and I can’t imagine not playing it when I need an instant dose of badass. A word of caution: there’s loads of fan service in this opening, so it’s probably NSFW. Depending upon where you work, of course.
1.) Abingdon Boys School – Howling (Darker Than Black)
From the opening line, “Now I’ve lost it, I know I can kill,” I was immediately drawn into Darker Than Black as well as this song. It sets the tone for this intriguingly dark fantasy, and whenever I listen to it I’m there in that world. It makes me want to walk in slow motion while wearing a cool Matrix-style coat and looking grimly at the world around me. Unlike the other two songs on this list, “Howling” had me from the very first time I heard it, from the very first drumbeat. Something about the mixed Japanese/English lyrics (please ignore the poor translations in the video) and grinding guitars totally works and gives me exactly what I look for in a powerfully badass number. In my opinion, this completely awesome song speaks for itself. Listen and find your own inner badass.
Join me next week for even more aurally awesome anime adventures! (Say that five times fast!)