Anime is more than just beefy warriors and over-the-top battles. For many fans, there daily binges have little to do with busty witches or even supernatural soul reapers. There are countless sub-genres of anime out there waiting for viewers, and there are few themes as popular as musicals.
Thanks to Japan’s idol-hungry culture, there are dozens of quality music anime series, and fans have already fallen for many of them. Whether you are into energetic pop or classic tunes, there is something out there in the anime world for you (and your ears) to explore.
At ComicBook.com, we’re listing five of the best music anime series out there. So, if you have the time, whip our your headphones and find a comfy chair to lounge in. You’ll want to be sitting down when these lilting series come for your eardrums.
Alright, so maybe sugary sweet pop singles aren’t you thing. For those of you who were in band, then you may want to take a look at Sound! Euphonium. Released in 2015, the anime is a more grounded approach to school bands and how they operate. The anime is set at Kitauji High School where its once-praised band has since fallen into disarray. After the club’s adviser left, the students have failed to qualify for any tournaments, but that all begins to chance when a new advisor comes into town. Sound! Euphonium has a slew of characters, but the slice-of-life series follows protagonist Kumiko Oumae and her euphonium as she gathers the courage to become a well-rounded musician in her own right.
What’s not to love about a group of carefree girls learning to rock out in their school’s band? For many, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of self-indulgent fun. Created in 2009, K-On! has become one of the most well-known music anime series and even helped reenergize the genre during a slump. Fans still applaud the show’s original pop-rock music, and K-On! has a cast of characters who age very well with time. The anime tells the story of Hirasawa Yui after she finds herself joining her high school’s music club as its lead guitarist. The only problem is that she has never touched the instrument before. As time goes on, the show follows Hirasawa as she discovers her passion for music and learns the ins-and-outs of being in a band.
Classic music is often represented in anime, but Nodame Cantabile does the genre a great service with its inspirational tune. The anime was released back in 2007, and it continues to hold up to repeated viewings today. The beloved series follows two young musicians as their lives and careers come to a head. Shinchiki Chiaki has always been a lauded musicians with a penchant for perfectionism, but his past holds latent traumas which keep him from becoming a world-famous conduction. As for Megumi Noda, the piano student is renowned for her messy personality and awe-inspiring composition skills. When the two meet on accident, their friendship grows note by note as Shinchi and Megumi help each other face their fears. And, of course, the attraction between them is not something that can be ignored.
Love Live! School Idol Project
If you want to embark on a hilarious journey and learn about idol culture along the way, then you need to introduce yourself to Live Love! School Idol Project. The series debuted back in January 2013, and it remains one of the most popular music anime projects to ever hit televisions. The bright series features infuriatingly catchy J-Pop songs, but Live Love! also takes time to explore each of its characters and their pasts. The anime tells the story of Kousake Honoka, a high school student whose school is about to be shut down. In order to get more students enrolled, Kousaka and her friends band together and create an idol club to make their school more popular than its rivals, but only time can tell if their plan will succeed.
Your Lie In April
There are few music anime series which so effortlessly blend genres like Your Lie In April can. When the show premiered in October 2014, its animation and breathtaking music left fans all over the world stunned. Not only does the anime honor classical music and the training required to play the style, but it also explores adolescent relationships with brute honesty. Your Lie In April focuses on a young pianist by the name of Kousei Arima. The young boy was once a prodigy, but he gives up music after his emotionally abusive mother passes. Kousei, who claims he can no longer hear the piano, finds himself forced back into music when he meets a free-spirit named Kaori Miyazono. The eccentric violinist reignites Kousei’s love of music, and the two come to rely on one another as they endeavor to play a perfect piece.