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
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.
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.