Anime

Put a Tune to It: Western Songs for Anime

Introduction

Back in November 2019, Dewbond from Shallow Drives in Anime tagged me for the Put a Tune to It: Western Songs for Anime. Apparently, it’s been around before, but this was the first time I’ve seen it, and I thought it was a really interesting challenge. According to Dewbond, here’re the rules:

  • Choose any number of western songs (any genre) that you think best sums up an anime or manga of any type or genre.
  • If you want to pick more than 1 from each section that’s fine. Or if you can’t think of one for a specific category that’s fine also.
  • Explain why you think your choices could work. Is it the lyrics? The tune and the beat? Or just the music video?
  • Link back to the original post so I can read people’s suggestions, I’d love to read everyone’s ideas.
  • Include Put a Tune to It in your tags so everyone including myself can find them all easily.
  • Nominate around 1-5 bloggers. Nominations are below.

I’m going to match songs to specific anime series instead of genres. Let’s see if I know any songs that modern humans remember!

For the record, I accepted some additional, self-imposed rules to make sure I stayed within the spirit of the law:

Western Songs for Anime

Monster Musume

So I was going through my iTunes library and came across ZZ Top’s album Eliminator. As I read through its list of songs, it occurred to me: Three of them applied to Monster Musume! Each focused on a particular character. Let’s start with my favorite character from this series, Miia:

This song honors Miia’s hope and goal to capture all of Kimihito Kurusu lovin’. I should note that I think this is a better match than Animotion’s Obsession, because I think that Miia’s feelings are true. Much more pure than an obsession!

Speaking of Kimihito, he gets the second of two songs: Got me Under Pressure:

Sure, Miia’s feelings are true. But Darling-kun/Kimihito is trying to maintain his neutrality in a house packed with beautiful monster girls, and Miia’s making it very, very difficult. Of course, it’s not like Cerea, Rachnera Arachnera, or the others are making it easy on him.

Finally, speaking of Rachnera, she, too, gets a song from Eliminator. The song is called Legs:

I’m not sure ZZ Top had Rachnera’s legs in mind, but I think it fits. I’m pretty sure Kimihito would agree.

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia

Okay, this one is cheating a bit. I’m a big fan of Therion’s sound and dramatic scope. I really wanted to match one of their songs to something, and I came across Abraxas. The word actually has to do with Gnosticism, but its origin in antiquity is what put me in mind of the Fate series. A stretch? Sure. But I’m going with it anyway! It’s all Babylonia’s Archer’s fault. I’m pretty sure the actual goddess Ishtar could not have looked much better. Anyway, here’s Therion’s song Abraxas:

Shirobako

I thought Shirobako did a great job presenting just how hard it is to produce something beautiful. The temptation to cut corners was always there. The forces trying to change the focus from the writer and artists’ artistic vision to something else were almost irresistible. But Aoi Miyamori, Seiichi Kinoshita, and the others somehow managed to maintain their integrity. Garbage’s song Parade gives me a similar vibe, down to the need to keep focused on what’s important:

God Eater

God Eater was one of those series I don’t talk much about. It wasn’t because it wasn’t interesting. It was. But it seems like other, newer series keep pushing it aside in my mind’s eye, so I can’t get back to it. Be that as it may, two things about God Eater stick in my memory. First was Alisa Illinichina Amiella, and no it wasn’t only for her looks: it was for her ruggedness and her back story. The second thing was the brutality of the world. It fostered in the characters a fatalistic acceptance of death. Death just didn’t invoke the same kind of fear it did in characters in other stories — or characters not on the front line of the conflict in this story. That made me think of Blue Öyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper:

Charlotte

Charlotte is one of those series that I don’t think gets the credit it deserves. It developed characters I really cared about in a world that was profoundly dangerous across four dimensions. At the end, Yuu Otosaka had to do some serious soul searching before he could bring himself to do what had be done, and I think it was only with Nao Tomori’s love that he had any hope of doing it. The idea that he had to see through the world to save it is something that’s always appealed to me. One of Collective Soul’s songs, gave me the same kind of vibe:

Nominations and Closing

Here’re my nominations. I’d love to see how you handle this tag, but if you don’t have time or aren’t inclined to answer, no worries! It’s all for fun.

So, what’d you think? Any of these resonate with you? Have any songs you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Put a Tune to It: Western Songs for Anime

  1. Woah this tag looks really interesting! I hadn’t even realised I was tagged, there were no notifications.. Thanks crow! I’ll definitely be getting this done sometime soon

    1. “I hadn’t even realised I was tagged, there were no notifications..”

      I was afraid of that! WordPress is supposed to notify you if you have a pingback, but I’ve noticed that some themes are better at it than others. Glad you saw the tag! I’m looking forward to reading what you come up with!

    1. It was! It took me a good bit of time to decide on an approach, and even then, I had to think in a more indirect way than I’m used to. It was a lot of fun!

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