Listening to Anime OSTs Standalone

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Listening to anime OSTs “within” the show and it’s context, and listening to anime OSTs “outside” of the show, as standalone; can be both very polarizing music-listening experiences. This begs the question then – Is the ability to listen to OSTs standalone important? I welcome you all to this post I guest written on anime instrumentality – detailing the aspect of listening to anime OSTs standalone.

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17 thoughts on “Listening to Anime OSTs Standalone

  1. I’d say much of the music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano or Yuki Kajiura (at least in my opinion) are great for listening even if you haven’t seen the show attached to them. These are probably just special case composers in my eyes. For the most part, soundtracks (at least for me) feel weaker on their own, but many of them evoke feelings when remembering the shows for which they were created that make them much more enjoyable (xxxHolic and most Key series fall into this camp). For that reason, it’s very rare that I’ll seek out a soundtrack for a show I haven’t watched. Although this might derive from the fact that there tend to be quite a few dead tracks and I don’t generally have the patience to sift through them.

    • While I would agree with Yuki Kajiura, the music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, or at least, from the few anime I had watched where he composed the music to, I think the music quite literally goes hand-in-hand with respective anime, and it just doesn’t feel right to listen to them detached from watching the anime. Attack on Titan and Kill la Kill for example, both of these have songs which just sounds a little bit too “epic” and avant-garde to listen to them separately.

      And that’s pretty much my mindset when hunting for anime soundtracks too, in fact, that mindset can pretty much be extended to games and visual novels too, lol. I prefer to literally experience the whole title first before actually looking for their OSTs.

  2. I don’t have much anime music, admittedly. Among everything else that’s going on in a series I usually don’t pay much attention to the soundtrack unless its exceptional. What I -do- have a collection of, however, is visual novel BGM. While I can’t say I pick out specific BGM tracks to listen to often, I keep the ones that stand out to me while i’m playing the visual novel in question. I like to listen to the tracks on shuffle and allow the memories of the story I got the music from return to me along with the emotions I felt at that time. It’s only the really good pieces that manage to accomplish that.

    • Both of these media has sound qualities to them, and it does make sense for you to experience the same thing with visual novels^^ (Although I’m not quite sure why you don’t with anime :p). I know you said you don’t reall pick out specific BGM tracks but you sounded like you really handpicked very specific tracks to listen to :p I guess when the songs are just that good, and instills so much nostalgia.. then again, I’m personally just too lazy to do that, despite so.

      • What I mean by not picking out specific tracks is just that I set my BGM playlist to shuffle rather than picking and choosing what I feel like listening to. I’m very specific about which tracks I load onto my iPod though =P

            • That’s what the next button is for, lol. I also arranged the songs I put in different playlists, so that even if shuffled, the songs shuffled will still have some level of control, since if you shuffled in a playlist, the songs are only shuffled within the playlist itself.

              • But then it uses up space on my iPod T_T
                Naw, it’s fair enough. Everyone has their own system that works for them. I’m just very choosy about which tracks I download in the first place.

  3. “Is the ability to listen to OSTs standalone important?”
    It’s irrelevant for me.
    That doesn’t mean I ignore the anime music. Often I really love the music associated with an anime and will find copies (usually, but not always, via youtube videos). I don’t currently ‘own’ anything, but there are a few I’d like to have, such as the stuff for Aria.

    • That’s interesting. So do you like particular anime music in a sort of “music critic” way or do you like them for the emotional values?

      • Definitely emotional…besides, I’m not sure I’d even understand what somebody was saying if they “critiqued” a piece of music :D

        There are many examples of music associated with shows (live action or animated) that I found I really liked completely independent of the show. A couple of examples that just popped into my head are “NA NA IRO”, the end song for Canvas 2: Niji-iro no Sketch, and “Brave Song” from Angel Beats!. It’s just that while I might bookmark youtube videos that feature those songs, I don’t go out of my way to get personal copies.

        • Angel Beats music is great on it’s own. Some tracks, especially the one you mentioned, induce so much feels even when you listen to them separated.

          Actually, I don’t “own” anything either :D But indeed, Aria’s a good choice to collect physically.

    • I only watched/listened to a few of her works. I’ll c/p this from one of the comment I made on my actual post:

      “Actually, I have the same thoughts as you for the OSTs of some particular anime which I didn’t mention in my post. They likewise don’t remind me of anything from the anime itself, and the soundtracks just feel like simply good music. It’s still few and far in between, of cause, but I find that one genre of music which I generally have such views on is Jazz, and it is indeed few and far in between, considering the only jazzy anime OST albums I listen to (and watched respective anime) are Cowboy Bepop and Sakamichi no Apollon, and like you said, they are indeed good music. I know there are quite a number of Jazz re-arranged versions of some anime BGMs, in fact, I got quite a collection of them (I especially love my Studio Ghibli jazz re-arranged soundtracks) but then again, these aren’t really OSTs anymore right? (with extra emphasis on the “ORIGINAL” of the Original Soundtrack)”

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