Anime music trends for the fall 2014 season

Psycho-Pass || Photo from: http://www.animevice.com/

Psycho-Pass season 2 is one of the hot new animes this season. || Photo from: http://www.animevice.com/

Fall is an amazing season because of many things. It’s the time for sweater weather and preparations for yummy turkey on Thanksgiving. But, what might be better than all of that in the fall season? Anime, of course!

Story by Sara Eunice Martinez

Anime premieres vary throughout the year, so there is always something new running. However, when the animated shows premiere in fall, just like American TV shows, it gives college students something to look forward during midterms.

One thing that is as important as the anime itself are the opening songs. With Japan having such a large music industry, anime openings are an opportunity for artists to promote their music.

Since the Japanese are known to be trend setters, every season brings different styles of music to mainstream audiences. In no particular order, I have compiled a list of the top anime trends that have made their way to the openings of this season’s premiers.

Shoujo: Your Lie in April. || Photo from: www.animevice.com

Shoujo: Your Lie in April. Shoujo animes are more known for their plots focused around relationships rather than action. || Photo from: http://www.animevice.com

1. J-pop rules the shoujo anime category
     Shoujo literally translates to “little girl.” This category of shows revolves around romance and more realistic graphic novel-like situations. Unlike action-based animes, such as “Naruto” or “One Piece,” this category is more realistic and made to appeal to young girls and women. The stories they tell are easier to relate to and often revolve around relationships. While browsing through the different anime premieres this season, all the animes in the shoujo category all had J-pop (Japanese pop) openings.

2. Female vocals are a rarity in openings for shounen animes
     Shounen anime translates to “boy” anime and is more focused on action. This season, the only females that performed a shounen anime’s opening is the all-girl band LAGOON for the anime Magic Kaito 1412.Typically, there is a gender gap between performers for shoujo and shounen anime because of their target audience. Most female groups open shoujo animes, and most male groups open shounen animes. So, those instances where the opposite happens are always interesting to see. It would be great to see more of this happen, so I’m really looking forward to what next season has to offer.

3. English lyrics are becoming more popular
     In the past, most Japanese artists have tried to keep their music traditional in order to  hold on to their cultural roots. This fall season premieres features more instances of a new trend among Japanese rock bands. Several anime openings, especially for more action-oriented shows, were sung entirely in English. Most impressive, since English is not these artist’s first language. Even so, this trend has grown so quickly in Japan, that it is now common to hear many Japanese rock bands play setlists that are mostly in English.

4. Most anime openings are performed by J-rock bands
     Depending on a person’s taste in music, that can either be a positive or negative. This trend, however, is definitely not a new one; J-rock bands perform many openings every season. Although there are plenty of animes produced for female audiences, there are a lot more for male viewers. J-rock appeals more to their taste in music since it is an industry dominated by males so the lyrics and music are often relatable. Coincidence?

Si-fi anime: Karen Senki || Photo from: animetosho.org

Sci-fi anime: Karen Senki || Photo from: animetosho.org

5. Sci-Fi anime openings’ vocals vary
     Listening through the different openings this fall season, I noticed that sci-fi animes liked to switch things up. Some of their openings varied between J-rock and J-pop since their plots can sometimes be unpredictable. Some shows featured male vocalists, while others had females. I really liked that this genre was so open to a variety of vocal talents. In the other anime categories, specifically shounen and shoujo, it’s often very predictable what the openers will sound like. That is why I like sci-fi anime openings – because they can surprise you!

What trends have you noticed, anything we missed? What’s the all time best anime opening song have you heard?

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