Welcome to 2013’s first edition of The High Notes! We’re going to kick off the column this year with a few of the staff’s favorite sad songs from anime. This week’s contributors will provide a little context for their choices and tell you why these tracks are great, even though hearing just the first few notes might move us to tears. You might want to keep a hanky at the ready.
Anohana: “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~”
by Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Saori Hayami
“Let’s just get this out of the way first: anohana is a phenomenal show with a sad story about friendship and dealing with loss. (We have a review here if you want to know more.) It’s also a short series that wastes little time in pulling out tearjerker moments, so this ending theme made me choke up from the very first time I saw it. I actually had to avoid reading the subtitles after that. This cover of Zone’s single is made even more heartbreaking when you realize that anohana‘s lead voice actresses are the ones singing it, which means the characters themselves are singing out their feelings. At the same time, it’s such a gorgeous, catchy song that I love listening to it…as long as I don’t have to hear it in the context of an episode.”
–Jennifer Griffith, Associate Editor
Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora: “Kioku no Kakera”
“Hantsuki came out in Japan in 2006 and wasn’t licensed here, which is a real shame. The 6-episode series follows Yuuichi who has been hospitalized due to Hepatitis. On his adventures around the hospital, he happens to meet a girl named Rika who is suffering from a heart condition. It’s hard to say much more without spoiling the story, but suffice it to say that Hantsuki manages to pack a lot of emotion into 6 episodes. While the opening (Aoi Kofuku) sounds pretty upbeat, “Kioku no Kakera” is much more melancholic. The lyrics are also bittersweet and serve as quite the reminder of how ephemeral things can be. Frankly, I still can’t listen to this song without the room getting a little dusty.”
–Dan Furnas, Editor-in-Chief
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood: “Requiem for the Brigadier-General”
by Akira Senju
“I’ve been a fan of Full Metal Alchemist since the manga first appeared in 2001. While the setting and events of the story are fantastical, the character-oriented focus kept me involved and interested. Almost every character in the series feels thought out and three-dimensional; they all have strengths and weaknesses, moments of courage and cowardice. Maes Hughes is a perfect example of this. From first appearances, he seems a foolish, if charming, family man. However, over the course of the series we see him from a more serious side, especially after certain events take place. His influence has a profound impact on many of the main characters, even the titular Edward Elric. This sad and reflective ‘Requiem,’ from the second Full Metal Alchemist series, Brotherhood, is the perfect accompaniment to the tragedies that surround Hughes.”
–Jimmy Stephenson, Staff Writer
Have you run out of tissues yet? If you aren’t too busy wiping away your tears (or if you just want to make us cry along with you), jump into the comments and share your favorite sad anime songs with us!
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