You can thank Winamp and it’s non-random random shuffling for this post.
I have a super condensed anime music playlist that I like to listen to; it’s only 230 songs long and there’s a handful of songs on this list that when I’m in the right mood will get me to shed a tear. Last night I wasn’t much in the mood but out-of-the-blue Winamp starts playing every sad song on the list in a row and even repeating some more than once so now I’m in that mood.
It’s probably not a good idea to marathon a Key series right now so instead I’ll write this post.
Oh, and there’s some spoilers so read at your own risk.
Natsukage – from AIR
Let’s start off with an obvious show that could generate a tear inducing song – AIR. This anime holds the personal record for the most tears shed while watching it (Clannad is a close second). See, I was a relatively new anime watcher at the time, mainly subsisting on a diet of shounen shows and wasn’t aware of the emotional depths that could be found in anime. It also didn’t help that I had absolutely no knowledge of what to expect and was lulled into a false sense of security by it’s light-hearted start. Therefore, when the story turned tragic, I wasn’t ready for it and ended up crying for just about every remaining episode.
Natsukage is the name of the instrumental track that KyoAni used for many of the emotional scenes during AIR and thus when I hear it, I’m reminded of those scenes.
Koikogarete Mita Yume – from Cross Game
The show’s first closing is another song that can bring me to tears and was able to from the very first time I heard it, which was in episode 1.
That episode completely blew me away. I wasn’t expecting to see enough character building and tragedy to fill most series all within those 24 minutes and by playing this song at the saddest scene meant that I’d always link this song to that first episode. Nor has that episode and that song lost it’s power to move the viewer, recently the animators essentially reshowed the first episode in it’s entirety for the episode 30 recap.
Kanon by Pachebel – from Kanon
The wedding standard got repurposed for another of Key’s works – Kanon. This time, the characters actually referenced the song in the show and provided a strong means for the viewers to attach the often tragic nature of Kanon to the song. At least when I hear this song in public it’ll probably be at a wedding and it’ll be more socially acceptable to cry to it.
“Libera me” From Hell – from Gurren Lagann
I’m convinced that Gurren Lagann is one of the greatest anime ever made and should be required watching for, not only those who profess to be an anime fan, but also for every single kid that grows up watching the insipid tv shows that pass for kid’s shows these days.
This song was used in many places throughout the show, primarily when it was time for the good guys to kick butt which makes it a strange song to cry over. And it would be but for it’s use during one of the best scenes to Gurren Lagann which happened in episode 26. The hero of the show, Simon, was given the choice between the easy way out and the harder path that true heroism calls for. He chooses the path of heroism and as a result is able to break himself and his comrades out of a devious trap laid by the enemy. The whole scene is very emotional, a testament to Gainax’s stellar character development and story telling ability, and having this track play during the entire scene meant that those emotions come back whenever hear it.
And within the entire scene there’s a small part that absolutely gets to me every single time I see it. The trap that Simon breaks everyone out of gives each person the ability to live in whatever dream world they wish for. One of the people trapped is Viral; he’s a beastman which means he looks human but was created sterile and he has a tough-as-nails personality so one would expect his dream world to be some sort Valhalla battlefield but it’s not – it’s living in a little cottage in a country meadow with a wife and a daughter that calls him “Papa”.
Dango Daikazoku – from Clannad
Yes, another song from a Key/KyoAni anime, this time it’s from Clannad. This was used as the first season ending but it wasn’t until the second season that this became tear inducing. Though in the case of Dango Daikazoku (or “Big Dango Family”), the song brings tears from being linked to the tragic parts to Clannad and also from the happy parts.
Love is a Flower, You are a Seed – from Only Yesterday
In many ways Only Yesterday is my favorite Studio Ghibli work so I find it an absolute travesty that it’s the only Studio Ghibli movie not released in America.
This is the only song that exclusively makes me shed tears from happiness alone. It’s the end song to Only Yesterday and the animators had it playing while the movie had it’s climatic scene before going to credits. So, like the others, those emotions got transferred to the song and hearing this song gets to me every time.
Anyone else want to share? Or is everyone too busy getting in the Halloween mood today?