Posts Tagged With: music

Guilty Crown


Guilty Crown is an anime television series created by Production I.G and first aired in 2011. The story takes place in the year 2039 and is about a young boy by the name of Shu Ouma who obtains “The Power of the Kings” which allows him to draw out another person’s “heart” and use it as a weapon called a “void.” If a void is destroyed, the person who the void had originated from is destroyed as well. Eventually Shu gets caught up with a resistance group known as “Funeral Parlor” which wishes break Japan away from the international organization GHQ.

10 years prior to the story on Christmas Eve of 2029, the “Apocalypse Virus” spreads throughout Japan, but the international organization GHQ conducts martial law and restores order. Ten years later, 17 year old Shu Ouma comes into contact with Inora, the singer of the band Egoist, and accidentally obtains “The Power of the Kings” and gets involved with Funeral Parlor. The anime progresses to show the story of Shu’s involvement with Funeral Parlor and his lost past.

The music in Guilty Crown was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano. The anime’s opening and ending themes were written by Supercell, an 11-member Japanese Pop music group. The opening theme of the anime is “My Dearest” and is sung by Koeda. The ending theme “Departures ~あなたにおくるアイの歌~” is performed by the anime’s fictional band known as Egoist. Chelly, who was picked by Ryo of Supercell, provided the vocals.

Guilty Crown’s music really adds to the emotional impact of the anime. The opening scene of the anime’s first episode (see the above video) is a powerful one. The insert song, Euterpe which is sung by the character Inori who’s  part of the anime’s fictional band Egoist, plays as Shu watches the music video for the song featuring Inori (lead singer of Egoist) unaware of Inori carrying the void genome in her hands and running for her life. The music helps parallel and contrast the opening events of the first episode that are occurring: Shu appears calm and bored as he watches/listens to the music video of Inori singing while Inori is busy running for her life. The music in the anime helps to add to the emotional tension that occurs throughout the anime along with the feeling of momentous triumphs.


Written by Joey Vongpanya

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Video Game/Anime Music Covers on YouTube

Go on YouTube and search “video game music covers” or “anime music covers.” “Video game music covers” will give you about 700,000 results, and “anime music covers” will give you about 90,000 results. You can even go on Google, which will give you millions of results including websites and forums on people’s top favorite video game or anime music covers.

In “Sounds of the Game,” Lisa Wong Macabasco talks about how bands like Select Start have started a new genre of music. This new genre of music is video game music. This article even mentions the NESkimos – a rock outfit based in Florida, Minibosses – one of the first game music rock bands, Piano Squall – a pianist who regularly performs game music covers at anime conventions, and OneUp Mushrooms – a jazz-inspired ensemble. You can find all these bands on YouTube.

Above is the video of Select Start’s Sonic the Hedgehog cover. The video was uploaded on August 26, 2007, currently with over 6,000 views. It has many positive comments. Select Start is a six-member ensemble band from Gainesville, Florida, dedicated to performing video game music covers. The group features the cello by John Cheng, piano by Christine Lee, violins originally by Robert Lee and Hoyin Kwan (now Kanako Sueyoshi and Elaine Li), guitar by Dave Yasensky, and the flute by Austin Harley. Select Start has other covers such as The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, and Mario theme songs. Sometimes they add new melodies to the original, but they usually stay faithful to the original. They also perform at local music venues in Florida and at anime conventions.

Do you recognize Jimmy Wong? He sang “Ching Chong! Asian in the Library Song.” The above video is his “Super Mario Bros Theme Song!! A Capella Cover.” It has over a million views and over 25,000 likes. He uploaded it on March 13, 2011. It is pretty amazing. He uses his own voice to make the snare, kickdrum, hi-hat, different kinds of bass, harmony, different kinds of tenor voices, and even Mario’s voice. This must take a lot of careful editing to put together. Overall, the comments are positive. Also, Mario covers are very popular. Search “Mario music covers” on YouTube, and you get over 60,000 results.

Jason Chen and Scott Yoshimoto did a Pokémon cover music video, which is featured above. They even warn that the video contains cheesy acting, which it does but it makes it funny. They even brought back the use of Gameboys. It was uploaded on February 28, 2010, with over 150,000 views and over 3,000 likes. It has a lot of great directing and editing done by Scott. Many people might not even consider Pokémon an anime, but it is the most influential anime in the United States according to Japan Powered. Who doesn’t know what Pokémon is, and who doesn’t the Pokémon theme song? There are over 6,000 results on Pokémon music covers on YouTube.

The above video is of Sherry Kim and Josh Chiu’s collaboration cover on the anime Angel Beats! Brave Song. Sherry plays the piano, and Josh plays the violin. They are even in two different places. This particular video was uploaded on January 13, 2012. It has over 8,000 views. Sherry is known for piano covers of video games, anime, and other popular music. Some of her most popular covers include music from Maple Story BGM, Bleach, and Naruto. Sherry’s hometown and current location is Las Vegas, Nevada. Also, Josh is known for violin and piano covers on video games and anime especially Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Naruto. He is from the United States.

Are you looking for more video game or anime music covers? Take a look at OverClocked Remix (, which is a website archive of arrangements and re-interpretations of gaming music. Fans and amateur composers create these covers. OverClocked even has its own YouTube Channel. OverClocked Remix is basically an organization dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form founded in 1999. The website features thousands of free fan arrangements, information on game music and composers, resources for aspiring artists, and a thriving community of video game music fans. And YouTube and Google are always great ways to look for video game and anime music covers.

Video game and anime music covers are truly an art form just like what OverClocked Remix says about video game music. There are a lot of video game and anime music covers out there. It just takes a little bit of research on Google or YouTube. Some of these amateur composers do their covers by using sheet music, but some of them even do their covers by ear. It is amazing how these covers sound exactly like the original, and it is even more amazing how an amateur composer can make the original their own by doing something special with it. I did not know how important music is to video games and anime until I started working on this blog. Music is truly important to video games and anime in so many ways.

Do you have a favorite video game or anime music cover?


Written by Camille Garcia

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Touhou – Bullet Hell has never sounded so Good

Touhou Poster

Some of the most well-known characters from Touhou

The Touhou Project, a series of videogames created by one man nicknamed Zun, has a small but loyal following in the United States. One of the most attractive features of Touhou is their entrancing music. Touhou fans have taken their love to the next level, creating myriads of remixes, vocal renditions, animations, and fan-made trailers of these songs. Touhou’s most well known song is Elly’s theme, titled “Bad Apple.” This is due to a catchy, heavily synthesized vocal remix originally found on the website Nico Nico Douga. On Youtube, this famous version has garnered over two million hits. Animated solely with black and white silhouettes, this video depicts at least thirty-six of the characters while focusing on clever transitions. “Bad Apple” can be described as lyrically dissonant, sounding rather sweet to people who are unfamiliar with Japanese when in reality, the song ponders about feelings of sorrow, morality and the nature of reality and existence.

Remilia Scarlet, the Scarlet Devil

Remilia Scarlet, the Scarlet Devil in all her charismatic glory

Within the Touhou fandom, the most popular song by far is Remilia’s theme, “Septette for the Dead Princess.” The original version of “Septette” is played when the player reaches the sixth and final stage of the sixth Touhou game, “The Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil,” to battle Remilia Scarlet, a powerful, charismatic vampire despite appearing to be no more than twelve. My personal favorite remix of “Septette” is “Priere,” arranged and sung by Nana Takahashi. Hauntingly beautiful, this remix retains all of the sophistication of the original while creating a profound interpretation of Remilia’s past and personal fears. Superb animation accompanies this song, illuminating the hidden depths beneath the Scarlet sisters’ appearances. In the video, Remilia dreams that she is reliving the night she and her sister Flandre awakened as vampires. As the video progresses, Remilia’s dream becomes a horrific nightmare as she discovers her head maid Sakuya’s broken pocket watch and then her mangled body, caused by her own hand. The lyrics are equally enthralling, with stanzas that reveal the depths of the Remilia’s vampirism such as, “Begging in the darkness / Praying in the moon / Dancing high in the sky / Wings of Crimson.” With its soulful singing and haunting lyrics, “Priere” is one song to be forever remembered.

A large part of the allure of Touhou’s music is how influences are drawn from both western and eastern sources, creating a “hybridization zone.”  In “Septette for the Dead Princess” elements of waltzes and other “aristocratic” dances can be heard, while in “Bad Apple” synthesizers create a techno feel, which is quite popular in the United States. In my opinion, music is a way that people can bridge cultures, and brings people of all nationalities closer to one another.


The Above Videos

Written by Sarah Ross

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The World Ends with You


The World Ends with You (which is also known as It’s a Wonderful World in Japan) is a role playing game made for the Nintendo DS handheld system and was developed by Square Enix, the same team who had created another Square Enix title known as Kingdom Hearts, and Jupiter. The team had hoped to create a new game that was different from the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts franchises.

The setting of the game takes place in a fictional version of Tokyo’s Shibuya shopping district. As life goes on in the Realground (RG), those who are the chosen dead are taken to an alternate plane known as the Underground (UG) where the Reapers’ Game takes place. Dead players get the chance to obtain the prize: they can either be brought back to life or choose to transcend and become Reapers. The Composer is a god-like entity that maintains Shibuya while the Conductor tasks other Reapers to obstruct the players. Those who fail to complete a mission will have their existence erased.

The story revolves around a boy named Neku who at first has no recollection about how he died and learns the rules of the Game from his partners Shiki, Joshua, and Beat. It’s later revealed that Joshua had shot Neku and Joshua is actually the composer. Neku is given one last challenge: to shoot Joshua and determine Shibuya’s fate.

The soundtrack for the game was both composed and produced by Takeharu Ishimoto, a Japanese synthesizer programmer and video game at Square Enix. Much of the music in the game uses elements of different genres such as rock, electronic, and hip-hop. Since the beginning, the creators had wished to use a large variety of genres to compose the game’s soundtrack. The different genres would serve to fit the different moods that the different events and areas would give its players. The pre rendered movies were purposely removed and flash styled sequences were put in their place so there would be room to include over thirty songs in the game. In total, approximately ¼ of the game’s ROM is filled up by music.

The music definitely adds a lot to the feel of the game so making room for more music was a good call in my opinion. Much of the music in the game really adds to the atmosphere of the game’s battles and many of the songs are upbeat, fast paced, and catchy which really helps keeping players pumped and sucked into the game. The music also helps add to the emotional impact of the game’s storyline. The game’s soundtrack does an amazing job in combining the elements of different genres to create a distinctive soundtrack that helps to make the game what it is. If for anything, the game is definitely worth checking out for its music.


Written by Joey Vongpanya

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Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts is an action role-playing game developed by and collaborated between Square Enix and the Walt Disney Company. It was released on March 28, 2002 for PlayStation 2. Kingdom Hearts includes characters and settings from both Disney and Final Fantasy. Its main characters are Sora, Donald Duck, Goofy, Kairi, Riku, and the Heartless. Sora is a 14-year-old boy with an upbeat attitude and has a strong sense of justice. He can excel in strength, defense, or magic depending on what the gamer chooses, and he has the Keyblade, which is a large key-like weapon. Donald Duck is the feisty but impatient court wizard, and he is also King Mickey Mouse’s loyal servant. He excels in magic. Goofy is the easygoing but clumsy captain of the royal knights, and he is also a soldier who does not like weapons. He excels in defense. Kairi is a delicate but strong 14-year-old girl. Riku is a cool and collected 15-year-old boy with a curiosity for the unknown. Both Kairi and Riku are Sora’s friends. The Heartless are mysterious beings that hunt Sora, and there are many types of Heartless. The Heartless is controlled by Ansem, the seeker of darkness. Kingdom Hearts is basically about Sora who must battle against the Heartless with the help of Donald Duck, Goofy, and even other Disney characters that he will meet on his journey. They travel to the different worlds (i.e., Olympus Coliseum, Agrabah) on the Gummi Ship to seal each keyhole so that the Heartless does not destroy the world. Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy must also look for King Mickey Mouse, Kairi, and Riku. The gamer controls Sora, and the computer controls all the other characters.

By 2009, 12 million copies of Kingdom Hearts were sold worldwide. During the first two months of its North American release, it was one of the top three highest-selling video games. At the end of April 2003, Square Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts had sold its millionth copy in the United States. Kingdom Hearts was followed by several sequels, which includes Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded.

The Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack was released on March 27, 2002. It contains two CDs with 41 tracks on one and 35 tracks on the other.

Yoko Shimomura (pictured above) helped compose and arrange the music of Kingdom Hearts. At first, she was afraid to score this kind of demanding project. She had no idea what music would be right for a Square Enix and Disney collaboration. She did a lot of trial and error. She eventually created stage, battle, and boss themes to fit every world based on the scripts and illustrations. Yoko Shimomura is a Japanese video game composer. She is known as the most famous female video game music composer in the world. She has been working in the video game music industry since 1988. In 2002, she wrote the score for Kingdom Hearts, which she says is her most special soundtrack and a turning point in her career. The soundtrack sold more than four million copies worldwide. It is ranked as the fourth-best role-playing game title track of all time. Shimomura also composed music for other Kingdom Hearts games in the series. Even piano sheet music from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II has been published as music books by Yamaha Music Media. Shimomura’s favorite track that she composed is “Dearly Beloved” from Kingdom Hearts (featured in the video below).

Hikaru Utada (pictured above) also helped compose and arrange the music of Kingdom Hearts. She also helped perform the music. She actually made two theme song contributions to the Kingdom Hearts series. This is the first time Hikaru Utada had produced a song for a video game. She composed, arranged, and performed “Simple and Clean” for Kingdom Hearts (featured in the video below) and “Sanctuary” for Kingdom Hearts II. She sings both the English and Japanese versions of both songs. Hikaru Utada is actually a famous Japanese American singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer. She was born in Manhattan, New York.

The Kingdom Hearts soundtrack basically features music from Disney films and Final Fantasy. Most of the music is orchestrated, but there are some vocal songs such as Hikaru Utada’s “Simple and Clean.” Like all video games and their music, the music of Kingdom Hearts helps set all the action making music an important part of the video game.


Written by Camille Garcia

Categories: Camille Garcia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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