Anime, Music

My Top 10 Favorite Anime Songs in 2021

In 2020, I completed my first top 10 anime songs list. Now that it’s 2022, I am taking a look back at 2021 to see how my top ten has changed.

One thing I changed since 2020 is that I now use Spotify instead of Pandora for all my musical needs. It’s just better for me–I can look up specific tracks from various anime and add them to my playlist. Below is a sneak peak of my full anime playlist on Spotify.

One of the major differences you will notice with my new top ten is that it doesn’t include any songs from Fairy Tail. That is not because I don’t like those songs any more. It is because I have been introduced to new anime since then that have broadened my tastes. A few songs like those from Angel Beats made a reappearance, but my top ten has certainly changed.

Why do I listen to anime songs? Some I listen to because they remind me of anime I enjoyed. Some I listen to because they have a great sound. And some I listen to because I have read and appreciated the lyrics or translations of the lyrics.

Below I have listed my favorite anime counting down from #10 to #1.

#10: Netsujō no Spectrum by Ikimono-gakari

I will preface this by saying that I do not actually like The Seven Deadly Sins at all so far. I do, however, enjoy the first intro song for this anime.

The song is all about love. The singer explains that the love and words of another person have changed her. It has a great sound to it, which is why I liked it even when I hadn’t known the translation.

#9: No. 7 by Jibaku Shonen Band

I love, love, love this anime. The art style is beautiful, the animation is superb, and the characters are loveable. The anime is called Toilet-bound Hanako-Kun.

I know, weird name, right? I didn’t expect to like it when I heard the name, but it was recommended by my best friend and so I couldn’t pass it up.

The song is great, except it starts with weird whispering that I can’t figure out if I like or not. Otherwise it probably would be rated higher.

#8: Gurenge by LiSA

I really enjoyed Demon Slayer Season 1, even though it is not the typical style I like to watch. I generally prefer lighthearted anime, and this anime is a bit dark. I love the bond between the two main characters, siblings Tanjiro and Nezuko.

The song is all about becoming strong for someone else. I love the way the song flows. It sounds beautiful.

#7: Sincerely by TRUE

Violet Evergarden is one of the most touching anime I’ve ever watched, and the intro song is beautiful to listen to. It is all about the power of words and that fits the anime so well. Violet has spent her whole life being trained and used as a weapon, and it is not until after the war ends and she takes a job as a ghostwriter that she learns empathy.

#6: The Red Means I Love You by Madds Buckley

This song is not from an anime, but it is inspired by one. The Red Means I Love You is based on Himiko Toga, a girl from My Hero Academia who drinks blood from people in order to change her appearance to match them. She only drinks the blood of those she is infatuated with–guys and girls alike. The song is about her obsession with blood and her feeling of being an outcast.

#5: Goya No Machiawase by Hello Sleepwalkers

This song is a bolder rock song with the theme of moving on from the past, even if it means metaphorically killing your past self.

#4: Kōkai no Uta by Sayuri

This song I mostly like because of the way it sounds, but it has decent lyrics about moving forward when you don’t have the strength. Eri is an amazing little girl from My Hero Academia and I associate this song with her because the outro that included this music was filled with glimpses of her life.

#3: Brave Song by Aoi Tada

Brave Song FULL VER. - Lyrics and Music by Angel Beats ! arranged ...

This song is the outro to the anime Angel Beats. It is about a lonely girl who is struggling to be strong in the face of adversity. It ends with the realization that she will someday be left only with memories of her friends.

The song fits the anime well, which is definitely one of the saddest anime I have ever watched. The song seems to refer to Yuri, who has a tragic backstory that explains the brooding nature of this song.

Spotify doesn’t have a good version, so here’s the Youtube one.

#2: Ichiban no Takaramono (Yui final ver.) by Girls Dead Monster

This song is so incredibly sad and happy at the same time. I can’t say much more without spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that without explaining what the song is about. The English translation of the title is “My Most Precious Treasure.” This is not on Spotify, so the Youtube link is here.

#1: Red Like Roses Part II

Okay, a quick disclaimer. Some people consider RWBY to be an anime, some do not. The people who do not consider RWBY an anime generally hold the position that all anime must be from Japan.

However, there is so much overlap in styles now, with western countries exploring traditionally Japanese styles, and Japanese companies exploring traditionally western themes. As a result, the line between what is anime and what is not has been blurred.

Furthermore, RWBY appears on the anime streaming service CrunchyRoll.

Personally, I will refer to RWBY as an American anime. If you disagree, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Red Like Roses Part II is about the tragic loss of a loved one and dealing with grief. It is a fast-paced rock song, and unlike the others in the list, this one is completely in English.

I love the imagery used in this song, such as describing blood as “red like roses.”

While glancing through the comments on Youtube, I found that many people could relate to the songs theme of loss, especially the line: “All the joy that I had known for all my life, was stripped away from me the minute that you died.”

The wonderful thing about the songs from RWBY is that they reveal more about the characters and create depth. They also are just good stand-alone songs even without the anime – the lyrics are relateable for many people even without the context of the show.

I fully recommend checking the song out because it is my absolute favorite.

Conclusion

Even if you haven’t watched anime, I would recommend you listen to these songs and see if you like them. Who knows, maybe you’ll like them.

I plan to analyze most of them at one point or another so you’ll be seeing them again.

Anime, Shows

Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Bathroom Ghost

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun Season 1

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Intro

My friend recommended this anime to me. I was skeptical at first, especially since she is not usually a fan of anime, but I am happy to say that Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun far exceeded my expectations.

Background

Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun, also know as Jibaku Shounen Hanako-Kun is an anime based on a manga series by Iro Aida. It falls into the genres of Comedy and Fantasy.

Season 1 was released in 2020, and it is likely there will be a Season 2 due to the show’s popularity.

You can watch Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun on Hulu or Funimation.

Summary

Yashiro Nene, a high-schooler at Kamome Academy, investigates a rumor about a wish-granting ghost named Hanako who resides in the girl’s bathroom. Nene seeks romance, and is in for a surprise when her wish gets her into deep trouble.

Pros

  • Intriguing story
  • Compelling characters
  • Unique art style
  • Superb animation
  • Balance of humor, tension, and sorrow
  • Quirky intro and outro
  • Contrasting yet fitting music

Cons

  • A couple episodes are incredibly bizarre and creepy
  • Inappropriate choice of language

Review

Story

The storyline is unique and follows the attempts of Hanako and Nene to maintain the delicate relationship between the natural and supernatural at Kamome Academy. Each episode deepens the conflict between the forces of evil seeking to corrupt the spirits at the school and the forces of good, led by Hanako.

Occasionally episodes veer toward the creepy, especially with the Misaki Stairs segment.

Characters

Yashiro Nene is a romance-obsessed high schooler who is willing to do whatever it takes to find love. This gets her into stupid situations sometimes. She annoys me occasionally with her poor decision-making, but overall she is a kindhearted and appealing character.

Hanako is a ghost with a dark past. He has a great sense of humor and a playful personality. Even though he can be a bit thoughtless at times, he genuinely cares for other people.

Kou Minamoto comes from a long line of exorcists. He has a brash personality and frequently acts on impulse. His personality is also selfless, and he truly wants to do what’s right, even if that means exorcising Hanako.

Sousuke Mitsuba is a spirit who appears midway through the anime. He is quick to jump to conclusions, confident, and foul-mouthed. He calls Kou “Lame-Ass Traffic Earring,” for instance. He has a surprisingly complex personality that I definitely appreciate.

Style and Animation

The art style is beautiful, taking advantage of pale pastels as well as brighter colors. Their treatment of light, seen above, is especially stunning. The characters’ eyes are made up of rich hues that make them seem even more expressive.

Humor

There is a balance in this show when it comes to humor, tension, and sorrow that makes it impactful.

Much of the humor in this anime comes from Hanako’s playful personality, Nene’s fruitless attempts at romance, and Kou’s exorcist antics.

There is a running joke about Nene’s legs being like daikons (a type of radish), and she is extremely self-conscious about her appearance.

I can’t say much about the tension and sorrow without giving away details of the plot, but I will say that this anime did make me tear up at one point.

Intro and Outro

The intro is beautiful and impressive, with kaleidoscopic and at times almost retro colors. It foreshadows future episodes without giving anything away.

The outro is not as good when it comes to art, but the theme is attractive.

Music

The music is quirky, with unique little tunes for transitions between scenes and different music to create different moods.

I like the music of the intro best because of its catchiness, but the calmer song of the outro is also very appealing.

Language

Occasionally the language verges on the inappropriate, such as when Hanako demands Nene’s “body” in return for a wish. What he really wants is for her to work as his assistant, but the way he said it was very suggestive and uncomfortable

Title

The title of the anime, since it uses the word toilet, kind of put me off. I wouldn’t have chosen to watch it if it hadn’t been suggested to me. I usually associate the word toilet with potty humor, which tends to just annoy me. Luckily, that’s not the sort of humor this anime employs. But I feel like the title would intrigue some people, so I didn’t list it as a con.

Conclusion

Even if the title doesn’t sound appealing to you, I would recommend you give this anime a try. It would be best for an audience of ages 13 and up. If you’ve watched it or decide to give a try, let me know in the comments!

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links