Timeless anime soundtracks that will make you feel nostalgic

The anime industry wouldn’t be the same without its special soundtracks. Some of us grew up watching series like Naruto, Bleach, and even Death Note, and regardless of how many years passed since, we’ll always recognise the Blue Bird opening and each of these masterpieces’ soundtrack lines. 

The nostalgia and sadness creep in when we remember the great stories of anime in childhood. The sentiment is deep-seated forever for those who continued watching anime as adults. Many adults feel like anime characters are relatable, and that helps them get through the day. 

Watching Nana as an adult hits differently, as we often experience heartbreaks, while the Pokemon collection is the best for being propelled into childhood memories. Regardless, anime soundtracks play a crucial role in flourishing certain scenes and making them more relatable for the viewer. So, we’ll present some of the best anime soundtracks that will always be a tearjerker. 

Photo by Dex Ezekiel on Unsplash

Tokyo Ghoul 

Tokyo Ghoul’s manga version is one of the best-selling of all time, although the anime didn’t receive the same attention. The adaptation was released in 2014, and it showed the story of Kaneki Ken, a college student who lives in a world where humans are terrorised by ghouls ―superpowered beings living off of human meat.  

Tokyo Ghoul’s soundtrack is mesmerising but eerie, and it contains plenty of masterpieces featuring Yutaka Yamada’s genius. However, the most famous piece is “Unravel,” the anime’s opening theme created by TK (Toru Kitajima), also known as TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. While fans placed this single as the best song on the soundtrack, TG Symphonie follows it closely, as its disturbing yet majestical sounds made a superb OST. Schöpfer, Licht und Schatten and The Saints (Seijatachi) encompass the distress felt by humans and ghouls as they hope for a better future together. 

Spirited Away 

Spirited Away is considered one of the best anime movies for otakus and non-anime lovers. Released in 2021 by Studio Ghibli, the story revolves around a ten-year-old girl who needs to save her parents by getting through a world where gods, spirits and witches rule. For almost 20 years, Spirited Away helped the title for the highest-grossing film in Japanese history. 

The soundtrack was done by no other than Joe Hisashi, the film composer who had collaborated with Hayao Miyazaki, the head of the studio before. His music is often seen as child-like but in a romantic and sentimental way, as it encompasses the innocence of childhood perfectly. Everyone remembers “One Summer’s Day” as the opening theme, but it also appeared in peak moments, such as when Chihiro overcomes challenges. Other memorable sounds of the soundtrack include “The Sixth Station” during a scene when silent spirits were leaving the train or “Reprise” that accompanied the close end of Chihiro’s journey. Truly a masterpiece. 

Attack on Titan 

Attack on Titan may be one of the best animes in history, with major plots and heart-wrenching scenes. In a world where human-like titans rule the world, one city lives surrounded by massive walls that protect them from titans’ hunger. Among all those people, one brave kid, Eren Yeager, swears to eliminate the Titans and save humanity.

The soundtrack is perfect, regardless of the season. Music composers Hiroyuki Sawano and Kohta Yamamoto were able to transmit the feeling of terror and despair sprinkled with some hope for humanity. Other collaborators also put their heart into the story as the seasons unfolded. 

However, we can’t get over YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T, the grand opera song that is played in crucial moments in the anime, like the famous twist that Reiner and Bertholdt were involved in. Vogel im Kafig, Call of Silence and Barricades were so incredible that fans can recall the exact scene only by hearing the first sounds. Overall, the Attack on Titan soundtrack is epic. 

One Piece 

One Piece is among the longest animes of all time, with 1092 Episodes, 13 TV specials and 15 movies. After some calculations, fans came to the conclusion that it would take around 19 days to finish the anime if you watched it continuously. The whimsical anime about Luffy’s travels between islands is one of the greatest fantasy pieces with a unique world-building system.

The soundtrack is as brilliant as it’s composed by Kōhei Tanaka. The opening “We Are” is an outstanding piece as it also appears several times in random episodes, and it has been remixed a few times. But the soundtrack contains a variety of music genres, as Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli were also part of the project. The anime’s music adaptation had to fit the peculiar world, so orchestra, hip hop and rap are frequently inserted in special scenes. 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an incredible and bizarre anime that appeared in 1993. The Joestar family is the focus of the story, as they are searching for their destiny’s path of fighting enemies with their own powers. The anime produced some of the best memes of the century, and it became popular on TikTok as well, especially for the “Rero Rero” scene or the “JoJo approach.” 

The soundtrack of the anime was created by composer and orchestrator Hayato Matsuo, whose genius makes the scenes unique and funny due to the contrast between JoJo’s behaviour and the enthralling sound. The Phantom Blood OST reminds fans of a soap opera, while Battle Tendency introduced some electronic-influenced tones when the protagonist would rebel against tradition. There’s a lot of jazz in the anime, as the Stardust Crusaders, created by another composer, Kanno Yugo, made Jotaro’s adventures even more thrilling to watch. 

What’s your favourite anime soundtrack? 

The anime industry is flourishing outside the borders, as younger generations find Japanese characters relatable in living and getting through life’s challenges. But anime wouldn’t be the same without special soundtracks created by Japanese artists who can confine certain feelings into sounds. Hence, we gathered some of the most memorable soundtracks that struck the anime fandom when they showcased the character’s actions and difficulties. 


I listen to and write about music!

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