GeekNights Wednesday - Great Anime Music

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider anime music, particularly tv shows and OAVs. A good OST has more than just a rockin' opener or closer, it both enhances the show and stands alone. We cover some of the greatest, including Giant Robo, Initial D, Vision of Escaflowne, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Cowboy Bebop, and more. In the news, the under-appreciated and oddly prescient Dennou Coil comes to Netflix, and Scott has a geekbite on Ciguatera.

Things of the Day

Episode Links

Man, didn’t even get a shout out in the show notes.

That production breakdown seems neat but I can’t watch someone wearing that flag, as on his hat. Here’s a decent piece about it.

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Oh dang. I didn’t even notice. I was just looking at the tracks the whole time.

Not sure that seeing a black-on-black flag on a hat is worth looking into much. A monotone flag, a ‘subdued’ insignia, has long been recognized as an acceptable alternate to the full RWB American flag insignia to be worn on camouflaged clothing and gear. (And it’s not just the US, a lot of countries have subdued insignia variants of their flag) There’s thousands of examples of black/black, black/grey, green/green, tan/tan etc that are all common ways of putting the flag on ‘camo’ gear such as hats, patches, packs, vests, etc. And it’s never had any sort of subversive or sinister meaning besides “this needs to blend in”

I’m sure I can look through my old bins of paintball gear over the years and dig out a few examples of an all-black US flag on stuff. And at least 1 or 2 Canadian flags. It really is just pretty ubiquitous, and it would never have been controversial. There’s no alternative meaning or significant political statement to make when it’s literally the default for that sort of presentation.

Stickers, or full-blown actual flags that are being flown, when it’s making a point of being blacked out in a setting where it otherwise shouldn’t; then yeah there’s more chance of some intent behind displaying it. But as a patch or embroidered on ‘gear’ such as a baseball hat then the subdued flag is more-or-less the most vanilla default image you’d expect to see. To the point it’s even available on stuff that isn’t intended as tactical gear. Sporting hats, streetwear, etc.

I feel duty-bound to shout out two of my all-time favourite anime OSTs that weren’t mentioned. They’re on frequent rotation while I’m working or doing art.

I’m a fan of Susumu Hirasawa, and what he did on the 1997 Berserk adaptation is out of this world. His work on Satoshi Kon projects is also phenomenal, but for me, that particular OST is a standout.

The other is the Devilman Crybaby OST. Absolutely fantastic from top to bottom. Even if you didn’t vibe with the show itself, that OST is all-time.

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One OST I regret not mentioning is GitS:SAC. It’s available on all the major streaming services. The first track “Run Rabbit Junk” is great for getting hyped up, like the loading screen music in Tribes ][.

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Ehh… That thing is a big red flag to be honest. I similarly am distrustful of even a regular American flag. Someone who wears either definitely doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

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Giant Robo has such a bombastic and motif-driven operatic score. It’s my work listening today.

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I think this was inadvertently overlooked by Rym and Scott, but Yamato has a wonderful OST for all of its versions of it. Here is the opening just to give you an idea… Uchuu Senkan Yamato Opening - YouTube

The opening is legendary, but the rest of the music? As far as Leiji Matsumoto shows go GX999 TV has better music that is not the opener or closer.

The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtracks are so good I have high bitrate FLAC files of them that I… acquired… some time ago.

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Oh man, how did this one slip my mind? Thanks for reminding me, this will fuel my Friday.

No, it’s a tiny black one. ;^)

Anyway, here’s a guy not wearing questionably-treasonous hat, with a better track breakdown, IMO:

This video is cool, but not as good. First of all, the head mounted camera makes me dizzy with the guy bopping his head to the music. Secondly, if I wanted to follow the mixing process, a guy doing it using an analog mixer in real time, without stopping to talk about his thought process, teaches me nothing.

To get that raw cookie dough taste of the music what I need is to hear each separate track, solo. To learn about mixing I need someone to go slowly, one step at a time, with explanations. And an explanation would be further helped by doing it digitally so there’s more visuals to help understand what is going on.

This video comes across more as someone just showing off their skills/equipment moreso than an avenue to further the viewers appreciation for the original recording.