atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#564: Anime Music

I've collected a lot of anime music over the last 13 years of my otaku career.

The top 2.5 rows of my CD cabinet, which is itself not small, are entirely anime. And I have a lot more of it stacked atop the thing--maybe two more rows' worth--because I needed room for my non-anime CD collection. Most of these are import CDs; stuff which was not, and never will be, released in the US. And I have many, many more CDs worth of anime music that I've downloaded from alt.binaries.sounds.anime, particularly things which are out of print.

But I have two or three 90-minute tapes which I filled with anime music the hard way: by taping opening and closing themes from the videotapes.

In 1994, you couldn't just go to the internet and order the soundtrack for Ranma 1/2 or Oh! My Goddess!. You could get some stuff via mail order or by going to conventions, but I didn't do cons then--no time--and mail order depended on finding places that did anime business, a non-trivial exercise then. So if I wanted to listen to anime music in the car, I had to make my own tapes.

The tapes included a lot of music I rarely hear now--the Ranma music, for one, but that's not all. The opening theme from the first season of Slayers. The MAPS OP. Lots and lots of other stuff.

I keep telling myself I have to get out the old videotapes and start watching them again--and digitizing all those songs--because it's all good stuff. Truth be told, I'm not even sure what I've got, now; I haven't even had the tapes out since October 2006, to dig out the Halloween anime.

If I am smart, what I will do this year is dump the Halloween anime to DVD as I watch it. Whatever one may say about DVDs, they are slightly more convenient than VHS cassettes are.

In fact, it would be wise to dump all my tapes to DVD, but that's a Herculean task since I have tapes coming out my ears. I collected a lot of anime before DVDs became commonplace.

In fact, I need to get a working laserdisk player so I can copy my laserdisk anime to DVD. How sad is that?

One of the most frustrating things about anime music is finding the TV-length OP and ED themes. For some reason, it never seems to occur to the people making the CDs to include them until the third or so CD--assuming the series is popular enough to get that far. For example, I have two of the Chobits OSTs, and neither has the TV-length OP.

Others put them on the first CD, though.

The OSTs for the Oh! My Goddess! OVAs have both full-length and TV-length OP and ED themes on them. But the full-length versions suck.

They suck because they contain bridges which are utterly out of place, which are just there to pad the length of the song and do not fit at all. I cringe when I hear them. It's not just that they're jarring and ruin the flow of the song; they're fucking stupid.

The You're Under Arrest! OVA OST suffers from the same malady, too. The TV-length OP and ED themes are awesome, but the full-length ones contain crappy bridges which ruin the songs for me...and the OST CD doesn't contain the TV-length ones.

I bought every Tenchi Muyo! OST CD I could find, hoping to find an audio track used in a couple of the OVAs; it was never included in any OST until a big box set came out some 5 years later. (I copied the track from a friend. 95% of the box set contained music I already owned.)

I am still trying to find a copy of the Laughing Target OST. In 1994 the four "Rumik World" titles--Mermaid Forest, Maris the Choujo, Laughing Target, and Fire Tripper--were all available, and of them I believe I have all the OSTs except the one I've wanted the most: Laughing Target. I downloaded most of Mermaid Forest from alt.binaries.sounds.anime but a couple files were incomplete, until I finally paid more for the CD than I have ever paid for one in my life. I got Fire Tripper from the newsgroup as well, and I don't really care about the Maris the Choujo OST. (Though I should; the ED theme contains the useful phrase, "bween bween bween".) But no one has the OST for Laughing Target. No one.

And of the Rumik World titles, by the way, both Laughing Target and Mermaid Forest are staples of my Halloween anime fest. People say that Laughing Target did not capture the manga all that well, but I disagree; I think it's a good adaptation.

In fact, what I really want from the Laughing Target OST is one track: the song that plays during Asuza's flashback, right before she slaughters the three tough guys in the warehouse, the one that shows her being traumatized as a little girl. That is the best piece of music in the show, and several times I have contemplated ripping the audio from the tape and to hell with the sound effects and dialogue. *sigh*

And I do that quite a lot, anyway. Out of the fansubs that I've been downloading and watching, I've ripped audio to MP3 and made CDs. Current favorites include the OP to Potemayo, Ichigo Mashimaro, and Hidamari Sketch. And they really sound good, too.

I guess old habits die hard. Only the technology changes.

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