Be it jazz, pop, or rock; there is something for every music anime fan. In a world of mechs destroying cities, wizards chasing trolls, pirates after plunder, musicians and singers seem to take the anime stars’ position. There are many fascinating subjects in anime; a pop idol becoming famous, a piano prodigy trying to dig in their art, or an indie band surviving in high school. A good musical anime should be the best in its music and art. The image and sound should give the audience a captivating experience. Either introspective and quiet or flashy and grand, the piece’s genre should provide the best of its medium.
1. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is incredible in its art, music, and the legendary adorable dog, Beck. It’s worth a binge-watch for covering “I’ve Got a Feeling” by Beatle. The film is based on manga (1999-2008) by Harold Sakuishi. Beck narrates Yukio Tanaka’s story and his friends who form a rock band after meeting with Ryusuke Minami, a guitar prodigy. Beck finds himself in a familiar premise but refuses to rest on cliché and violates anime tropes. No anime has done that. The club makes us feel the same way as Beck of how the musicians on the road are struggling.
Nana is a 2006-2007 series by Ai Yazawa based on two women named Nana meet. They get musical chemistry which results in them becoming roommates. Nana Komatsu goes to Tokyo to follow her boyfriend, who wants to join an art college. Nana Osaki still hopes to move from being a bandit to be a star. The series is all about the friendship of two women aiming to succeed in music. The opening theme in the first episode is Anna Tsuchiya’s Rose. The tone is triumphant, which shakes viewers hence forcing them to be keen. Nana is among the top shojo anime for great music, narrative development, character designs, and unique art.
3. Kids On The Slope
Shinichiro Watanabe is the creator and director of Kids on the slope. It has a proper characterization and ambiance, with spectacular musicians. The seventh episode of the series has the best genre and is worth a binge-watch. Besides the rock and jazz dominating the genre, the series focuses on jazz. Kaoru Nishimi is an introverted protagonist chasing a more accessible and creative performance style, which helps him find himself. However, his friendship with Sentaro Kawabuchi makes him switch to jazz, making the anime look real.
4. Carole and Tuesday
Carole and Tuesday is another series by Shinichiro Watanabe on this list. It is one of emotional cinema without manipulation. The sci-fi is done on Mars, uniting Carole, a working-class orphan, and Tuesday, a rich runaway girl. The animation is gorgeous, the show representation perfect, and the character designs brilliant, with the leading character having authentic portrayal and human substance. The Loneliest Girl is the song that makes Carole and Tuesday makes it among the best anime. The scene on the music laundry is also perfect. The female friendship is the most exploitative and contrived among other depictions.
5. The Idolmaster
Are you exploring on sprawling media franchise with rhythm video games, movies, and animes? The Idolmaster is among them with a bizarre adaptation of Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, an A-1 Pictures series. The series makes the idols look like mecha pilots while focusing on 765 Productions’ producers of pop idols. The story of Haruka Amami shows the price paid for music stardom, making it the best idol anime.
K-On! is famous for its songs with punchy vocals and fast guitars. Ho-Kago Tea Time music is engaging, driven by the lines between pop-punk and J-Pop. The opening theme of season 2 is Go! Go! Maniac that makes the intro energetic and catchy. The music lies in the formulaic plot and generic art style but fails in the anime. Furthermore, the music is fantastic, and K-On is suitable for ear candy.
7. Love Live! School Idol Project
For a J-Pop musical experience, Love Live! School Idol Project will not disappoint. It is about a group of girls with contemporized costumes and choreographed dance numbers. Honoka Kosaka and friends form an idol group in their school to prevent it from closure. The school is about to shut down because of a lack of enrollment.
8. Hibike! Euphonium
Unlike Love Live! With its pop ensembles, the entire orchestra performs classical music in Hibike! Euphonium. Based on Kumiko Ouma, a euphonium player, and his concert band, the series has a love of music, from the instruments used to the movements by the musicians as they perform. Every frame resonates the glide in keys and strings, the thunderous sounds of the drums, dart, and finger skate. The combination of expert direction and quick-cut editing creates scenes with an orchestral performance.
9. Detroit Metal City
Soichi Negishi is the leading singer of Detroit Metal City, a death metal band. But Soichi despises his persona. The band has hateful and violent lyrics that contrast to an ordinary student who likes Swedish pop. There is a tension between Soichi’s stage persona and authentic self. Thus, it gives the band a narrative intensity and strong momentum. Though the fans like how he pretends to be a demonic figure, he hates the career which helps him make ends meet. The anime theme songs in Detroit Metal City are not among the best but have a strong introduction for the coming fun.
10. Sounds of The Sky
In a science-fiction world but with 1900 technological standards, Kanata Sorami joins the Helvetian Army. Thats after witnessing a performance of Amazing Grace by an enigmatic trumpeter. Sounds of the Sky is richly developed and fascinating with a set of Helvetia and Seize. Kanata’s comrades like Sergeant Major Rio Kazumiya push him in both expected and unexpected ways, making the story move quickly. Hikari no Senritsu by Kalafina is the opening theme, which is energetic and bright. With only 12 episodes, Sounds of the Sky is the perfect anime for binging.