Music Monday – Customisations

Opening sequences and closing sequences are standard formulas for any sort of anime (although sometimes openings are optional), recently we have seen a number of series with what I like to call ‘custom music’ (boring name, I know).

If you’re one to follow recent anime, you’ll know that there have been a few musical or music themed anime of late, among which are such as Guilty Crown and Senki Zesshou Symphogear, both of which feature tracks written and/or performed especially for the anime by the seiyuus (voice actors) of the series.

More and more often, seiyuus are the ones who bring music to an anime, no longer selecting musical tracks performed by musical groups like in the past. Even though this practice is not new, in the past it was only songs sung by singers turned voice actors that were used, but inevitably, more and more seiyuus are also breaking into the music industry.

It has slowly progressed from character songs being released after the conclusion of a series, to songs which are then used for the opening and closing themes. Of course there are probably many reasons behind that, possibly above and beyond matters to do with costs, but this seems to be an ongoing trend all the same. Another recent anime that uses songs sung by seiyuu is Brave10, of which the openings are sung by Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya, and of course Synchrogazer from Symphogear as embedded above.

Apart from  opening and closing themes though, although another aspect of this custom music is usually insert and background music (of which is usually custom for a series anyway). Despite sometimes a questionable quality of storyline, most can agree that Guilty Crown music is truly quite amazing. The opening and closing themes are composed by supercell who are amazing in themselves (of Vocaloid fame, their Guilty Crown compositions are worth a listen if you have the time), but what is also not lacking in quality are the insert songs/background soundtrack composed by Hiroyuki Sawano and performed by Mika Kobayashi. They are very different, compelling and use a mixture of languages.

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(And sorry for forgetting last wee– no wait, that was totally on purpose. Yeah.)