Today, Lita and Nyan are teaming up to celebrate our mutual return to blogging! We’re going to chat with y’all lovely folx about something that really motivates us when we need an uplifting dose of inspiration: music!
Music has the power to really change a person’s mood and that’s one of things that makes it so fun and fantastic. Whether we’re feeling depressed and hopeless, or cheery and badass, there’s a song out there to be our comforting companion. Because of how much we both love music and its presence in our lives, we decided to share some of our favourite OSTs with y’all, with a small twist.
We decided to go with the things that never let us down, no matter how many phases or changes we go through. For Lita, it’s anime music! She’s got so much to offer but has managed to narrow her list down to the ones she loves to listen to on repeat. For Nyan, it’s all about the video game soundtracks! Ever since they can remember, video games have been their ultimate comfort through all the dark and bright, low and highs. They appreciate both the musical scores and songs with lyrics, so their picks will be a bit of a mixture of the two.
So, if you’re finding yourself needing a bit of inspiration or a tiny kick of motivational energy, check out all the mighty fine tunes below!
Lita’s Awesome Anime Songs
I’m excited to finally collaborate with Nyan, and yes they are the video game expert out of us. There is much for me to discover in the world of games. But I’ll be sharing three anime soundtracks (reluctantly hard to choose from my list) consisting of my tastes in anime music that I love to listen to on repeat.
Free! (Iwatobi Swim Club) OST: There are so MANY good soundtracks out there that dwindling mine down to 3 is very hard. I’ll start off with a forever favourite for the last few years, the entirety of Free! Soundtracks. Free! is known for its hot swimmer boys fan-service but hides away the true greatness to me. The music to Free! blew me away the intricate use of different sounds, such as electric keyboard, piano, guitar—ah so much more.
Every single track is unique. One of my favourites from the Dive to the Future soundtrack, “Future Visions,” is a great example. This track during the scene focuses on Sōsuke’s decision if he will return to swimming again, weighing upon the decision. Calm melody that washes over you, giving comfort, and Sōsuke’s conversation with Natsuya does just that. I love this track a lot. Like a few others, it feels aquatic and makes me think of the ocean all the time. Heck, it makes me want to go swimming. I can’t express the clever use of different sounds and tones used in many, many, many scenes, quick transitions of subtle to powerful. During any swimming scene the music is always upbeat and electrifying, gives me chills. Free! OST has that aquatic essence, aligning itself with the series’ main theme, which reminds me how much I love the water.
- Free!: Dive to the Future –「Deep Blue Harmony」- Future Vision
- Free!: Dive to the Future -「Deep Blue Harmony」- Rhythm of new Sensation
Weathering with You OST: I saw Weathering With You last August because, hello, Makoto Shinkai. This man does romance like I’ve never seen before. Now, you may be shocked here but this film, I loved it more than Your Name. I can hear the “Booing” not far away. Your Name. is a fantastic film in it’s own right, but Weathering With You resonated with me more from a nature perspective. Makoto’s visuals and music sensation, Radwimps, are what sold it for me. Radwimps are truly unique. Especially the main vocalist, Yōjirō Noda. He doesn’t have the strongest voice but this raspy low tone is fascinating to listen to. Seems I’m drawn to soundtracks with diverse sounds and Radwimps have all that. One of my favourite tracks, “Grand Escape ft. Tōko Miura,” who is the other main vocalist. This song has a strange, allure about is, Tōko’s voice is encapsulating that every time I listen to this track, it makes me think of the movie scene. The thousand droplets pouring on Tokyo, Hina uses her power and the sun comes out, blazing it’s beams over the cityscapes. Alongside this point, the music picks up, letting a voice of harmonies wash over, ah love this scene.
The tone used throughout the album fits with the setting of a drowned, grey Tokyo. It feels cosy and comforting. There I go again with that word, ahaha. The type of album you want to listen to on a rainy day that brings the warm fuzz, that’s how I imagine myself. Weathering With You was a nature spectacle. I soaked up every second of it and finally found my comfort for those rainy days.
Stars Align OST: Middle school anime beware, they may look innocent, but underneath they throw soccer punches. The standard of innocent anime has gone way up since my early days. It was Tsuki ga Kirei all over again, but only worse. Stars Align is no soft tennis club sports anime. It completely blew me away with the tough themes it was tackling, such as abuse and peer pressure. A hard punch adolescence trip is what I went through. Everything is good about this series but what quickly caught my attention was the music. Oh yes, more unique sounds and tones again.
Jizue is a quartet band classed as contemporary electric, jazz-based music. These guys’ variations in combos for this album are good, guys. GOOD!!. One my favourite uses is track ‘W’ during boys matches. We get a fast piano tempo that is dope as heck, creating this rush of nervous tension. The opening theme song, I just love to bits, is sung by female vocalist and voice actress, Megumi Nakajima. I never picked up her voice right away but it clicked as she sang and voiced Ranka from Macross Frontier. Her voice definitely has changed since my last hearing. It has evolved beautifully, and possibly I might love it more now.
The music for Stars Align is just behind the story and characters and is what makes this series fantastic. It’s a tense atmosphere, with raw themes exposed. This soundtrack backs up every time, making mass impact and it hurts. I say be mentally prepared before watching this series, which is far from a ‘sports’ anime.
Nyan’s Video Game Musical Picks:
Final Fantasy X: FFX is always highly motivating for me because of the nostalgia and the sentiment that is associated with it. It’s the second JRPG I’ve ever played, and it’s helped me fall in love with the genre. It’s also the OST that my brother used to play all the time on the piano. My favourite songs are “To Zanarkand” (ザナルカンドにて) and “A Dream That Will End Someday” (いつか終わる夢), as they were his favourite songs. They were very indicative of his loneliness and that sentiment transferred on to me after his passing. While sometimes this OST can make me feel sad, it also helps me appreciate how much my brother’s passions meant to him, thus motivating me to be just as diligent in pursuing my own. Also, it reminds me so much of the efforts that go into creating art, which is when I tend to listen to this the most (while drawing or writing).
The Legend of Zelda Orchestra: These sets of OSTs are amazing. My favourites are the ones for Twilight Princess (I know it wasn’t the greatest addition to the franchise game-wise, but the music is excellent) and Ocarina of Time. Nostalgia definitely has a role here once more as Ocarina was my first Zelda game and it utterly changed my love of the medium. That’s when I went from being kind of a casual dabbler into a full-blown obsessed gamer geek. The retro songs of Ocarina sound so breath-taking in their orchestral form and do a splendid job of meshing old with new. The magic in their profound ability to motivate me lies the ways they envelope me into the scores. I can listen to it and completely tune out all distractions without any problems whatsoever. When I’m working on manuscripts, it allows me to dive fully into the worlds and settings that I’m crafting, especially fantasy-based ones, which helps me iron out all details that go into that sort of stuff. When I’m working on blog/BookTube content, it lets me give my full attention to the respective project so I can create more thought-out material, as well as inspire me to think outside of the box when trying to think of fresh ideas. My favourite orchestrated songs from Twilight Princess are, “Intro Orchestra Piece,” “Hyrule Field,” “Don’t Want You No More,” and “Hyrule Castle.” The faves from Ocarina of Time are, “Zelda’s Lullaby,” “Zora’s Domain,” “Temple of Time,” “Kotake and Kōme’s Theme,” and “Gerudo Valley” (the last two sound so fucking epic in orchestral form!).
Age of Conan: The Hyborian Adventures, Rise of the Godslayer, & The Secrets of the Dragon’s Spine OSTs: Another first for me, Age of Conan was my introduction to MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games). I still recall when everyone was obsessed with WoW (World of Warcraft) and all I wanted to do was spend hours upon hours playing Age of Conan. I finally got it for my birthday the year it released (along with a computer upgrade) and I remember that aside from the breath-taking fucking graphics of the era, the soundtrack blew my bloody mind. This game has one of the most beautiful and cinematically sweeping musical scores that I have ever heard in my life. The first song on the main OST, “The Dreaming – Ere the World Crumbles,” is a gorgeously sung ballad in ancient Norse that gave me chills the I originally heard it. It does an outstanding job of setting up the epicness of the main storyline and many of the savagely brutal side quests to come.
I turn to the Age of Conan OSTs often because it’s so easy to visualise what I’m reading while I listen to it, making it the perfect accompaniment to my most beloved hobby, particularly if they’re from the fantasy genre/subgenres. Beyond that, I don’t use this to help me with work or anything else of the sort, unlike my previous choices. Rather I use it as a treatment for my anxiety/panic attacks, and when I’m faced with incredible bouts of stress. Slipping my Astro headphones over my ears and turning the volume up lets me hyper-focus on every single instrument and the range of vocals so wholly that it becomes an instant beacon that takes me away from the harmful thoughts or symptoms of anxiety that will be going on. It’s motivational in the sense that I feel I can conquer my mental disorders and still move forward with life rather than be immobilised by them in a dark corner, if that makes sense. My favourite songs are, “The Dreaming – Ere the World Crumbles,” “Nighttime Journey Through the Eiglophian Mountains,” “Rise of a Champion,” “The Mountains of Night,” “Northern Grasslands,” “Ambush From Three Directions,” (reminds me of Polynesian tribal music), “The Ballad of the Barbarian King,” and “The Dragon’s Spine.”
We hope you enjoyed Lita and Nyan’s music collaboration today and that it has given you some fantastic music to visit whenever you need some motivation of your own. Check out Lita’s blog and Twitter down below. She’s an absolutely delightful content creator who makes the anime community brighter every day. 💚💚
Lita @ Kino Reviews: My name’s Lita, and you will see through every post I write, every tweet I make that I am crazy about anime. The purpose of my blog is an outlet for me to express my love for anime, like all other ani-bloggers that are on here on word press. Anime is my ultimate hobby and passion in life, I always need my daily dose of it, now a days I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to about anime. I tried blogging in the pasts on other sites but wasn’t till I created my blog here on WordPress, there was a whole anime blogging community. I’ve met so many amazing people through this blog now and my drive to continue blogging about anime is stronger than ever.