Despite there being so few OSTs that grabbed my attention this year, just the music portion of this list ended up being pretty big. So part one is music and part two is everything else!
Goya no Machiawase from Noragami
Viva Namida from Space Dandy
Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Unravel from Tokyo Ghoul 1
Welcome!! DISCO Kemo Kemo Ke from Gugure! Kokkuri-san
Ambiguous from Kill la Kill
Winner: LEGENDARY ULTRA SUPER INDECISIVE THREEWAY TIE
Daze from Mekakucity Actors
Maria has connection to the Kagepro series prior to Mekakucity Actors and she absolutely delivers here too (continuing on Ambiguous from Kill la Kill being so great). There were some problems with this OP specifically where they weren’t really done it for the first few episode so by like episode three or four it had changed to a finished version with proper colouring and stuff but regardless, it’s still really cool and manages to reference a lot of events stylishly.
Enigmatic Feeling from Psycho-Pass 2
Psycho-Pass 2 was awful and I hate it and I hate the movie that’s not even out yet and I hate myself for ever being excited. But the OP was so much cause for my excitement. The mysterious imagery was perfect for theorizing and speculation, especially as it changed as the series went on. But hey? You know what? It didn’t really matter. A lot of the imagery meant jack shit and it was a waste of time thinking they would do something interesting worth speculating over. So Psycho-Pass 2 might have been a complete and utter disappointment but this OP did excite me for a time and it’s still pretty cool, series aside.
MOON PRIDE from Sailor Moon Crystal
Speaking of complete and total disappointment, Sailor Moon Crystal! Say what you will about SMC, the Momoiro Clover Z songs are great. In fact, they’re probably the only good thing to come from this whole mess of a show. If it wasn’t for Momoclo, well… well I’d probably still be watching but it would be even more painful. The song (a good song from Revo for once lately!!) is super cool and gets me so pumped. Not to mention the lyrics are fantastic. The ED is great too but since the animation is a lot more laidback, I wouldn’t call it a highlight of the year like Moon Pride.
days from Mekakucity Actors
Wow am I an unpredictable person or WHAT. But hear me out just a bit (because for real I could go on about this ED for days). If I only had to pick the OP or ED from Mekakucity Actors, it would be the ED. One of my ultimate wishes for MCA was for there to be a Lia track because it’s IA, her vocaloid, that was used for most of the music. When she actually did the ED I was beside myself with joy. The melancholy song to a character who, originally, dies and doesn’t come back is rough enough on it’s own but the shot where Ayano passes her (another character that was and stayed dead originally) ripped my heart out, lit it on fire and scatter my ashes in the ocean. They set out to make the saddest ending for fans of the series and they succeeded flawlessly.
I was also convinced that because there’s a focus on these very dead characters and that she disappears in the end, I should give up hope for my beloved Ayano getting a happy ending. Luckily that wasn’t the case and both she and Hiyori are A-OK (though Hiyori receives no fanfare or final words or anything and is just kinda there at the end again) which made Mekakucity Actors so much greater to me.
However, the his don’t stop coming because the full version for this song is a PV from Azami’s point of view about her losing her family, seeing the loop, etc. They took it that extra mile and I’m so glad that both the TV size ED and the Azami PV both exist.
Favourite Insert Song
Happy Maker from Love Live
Wow it seems like I spoiled a lot of my picks with my top 12 but godaaaaaamn do I ever love this song and this sequence and everything about this. It was a perfect way to end the series (the movie is going to be hard pressed to top this) and it’s absolutely how I want to remember the superior second season.
Lost Time Memory from Mekakucity Actors
I’ve gone over this a million times already. The presentation and visual choices they made were amazing. Even with that mindblowing stuff aside, it’s such a climactic moment that felt like it came out of left field even for me, who was already well versed in the series before this aired. From seeing Ayano’s “shin jatta, gomen ne” scene to Medusa Marry, it was an incredible moment in an otherwise bleh series (I say blew but it sure is on this list a lot). I guess my new years resolution will be to stop raving about how much I love this scene.
Norgami / Taku Iwasaki
Ao Haru Ride
Drakengard 3 / MONACA 5
Space Dandy / lots
Winner: Yuki Yuna is a Hero / Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru
ホシトハナ(Instrumental TV Edit)/Hoshi to Hana (Instrumental TV Edit)
To be honest, not much stood out this year. Taku Iwasaki was either doing bad shows or kid shows. And everything else was really blaaaaand. I’m pretty disappointed. But then one glimmer of hope, a great OST to give me something to cling to and listen to over and over until Iwasaki does something good again or something else surprising turns up.
While watching, I initially thought of the Yuyuyu OST of trying to capture the feel of the Madoka OST too. That first time you see barrier and the track with backing vocals kicks in and it feels very Madoka-y. However, I’ve learned it isn’t right to compare the two and the same can be said for the OST.
Done by MONACA, the guys behind the Drakengard and Nier soundtracks, there are plenty of tracks that are much better outside of the show than in. I didn’t appreciate it at all until I sat down and listened to it. Perhaps because by the end there was just so much going on in Yuyuyu that I wasn’t really focusing on the bgm.
I wish the Emi Evans tracks would have been better utilized but hey whatever, I’m glad they’re there. Even though they do make me want to play Drakengard 3 again.
- I may have hated this show but the OP has some real great visuals that still give me chills. ↩
- Best song in the series, hands down. ↩
- I still really love this song but since Ao Haru Ride was soooo bad, I can’t justify saying this is may favourite. Was the least awful part of the show? ↩
- tfw ayano will never throw snow at you :( ↩
- Ok so not an anime soundtrack but like there were so few I liked this year and I was OBSESSED with this soundtrack for a good few months so what even ever. ↩