Music Is The Slice Of Life – Otaku Digest
Happy New Year to otakus far and wide! Most importantly, welcome to the very first instalment of Otaku Digest in 2017. The New Year is a time for making New Year’s resolutions where we try and promise ourselves that we will make changes and be better. Whether the resolution is that of the physical variety, the promise of getting into shape, eating healthier, being more positive or trying new things, we all try something in the New Year. Anyone who says they do not try one of these is lying.
We here at Otaku Digest are no different; in a personal sense, here on Otaku Digest I am taking steps to being more open and positive about anime that I would usually bash. This week, we kick that off talking about two aspects of anime that I usually can’t stand: slice of life and music anime. I combine the two here since it has become a genre all in itself at this stage, whereas the slice of life genre deserves a list all of its own. Tying into my real life gives me inspiration, and considering I am headed to a concert this weekend, it is only natural I have music on the brain.
Usually I would rant on about how much I hate these types of anime. In the past, I have been quite unreasonable towards them, my main complaints about them being that they never have a story focus and are usually very cliché in any story attempted. However, in the spirit of change and the New Year, I am keeping an open mind and I’ve tracked down some music and slice of life anime that are worth watching. Just to clarify, there will be no ‘idol’ anime here since they lack all things an anime needs in my opinion. Like a good story.
SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation
This may be the anime that piqued my interest in this genre. This anime only slightly tips into the music and slice of life genre with Sonico’s passion being music. She lives and works to be able to live her passion. Now, most may feel like this anime is a bit of a cop-out, since it goes against most things I like in an anime; there is no real story as such except the series follows Sonico in her day to day life of being a student, part time model and following her passion playing music with her band.
The aspect that really sold this anime for me was the engaging characters and their ever-developing relationships. Another positive for this series is the music. As would be expected from an anime about Super Sonico, the music is high energy with incredibly catchy tunes which only complement the tone and rhythm of the series.
Your Lie In April
If you want an anime that will move you with some of the best mental health storytelling (which happens to be accompanied by some great music) then look no further. Honestly, it took me a long time to sit down and watch this anime and it was simply because it hits very close to home; it tackles some really personal issues and hits depression right on the head. It follows Kousei Arima, a musical prodigy, and how he deals with the aftermath of his mother’s death, his own musical passion and new relationships in this time.
Although still not my cup of tea, I think that is mainly down to how difficult this anime was for me to watch; depression and all aspects of mental health is something I find hard to watch, especially when it is done as well as it was here. I highly recommend going and reading Declan’s article “Anime Made Me Realise I Needed Help” for a more indepth look at anime and mental health. If you want an anime to make you think but you can still enjoy with some gorgeous music then Your Lie In April is for you.
I’m pulling one out of the woodwork here since Gravitation can now be considered a classic anime of sorts, but I am pretty sure most newcomers to the anime world will not have heard of it and especially will never have read or watched it. Most who do know it would be more familiar with the manga adaptation which, although labelled a shoujo or shounen ai, is seen as one of the classic yaoi manga we all read. For me, it was probably the first ever music type anime I watched.
The thing about this anime was that, yes, it was complete trash in the sense of story but it really didn’t matter because you loved these characters. Each of these characters for whatever reason were so completely engaging and you wanted them to get to their dreams, and the obvious romances were always a plus. Although created in 2000, this music has aged very well and still stands to the anime. It’s an oldie but a goodie! If you are looking for some silly romance and some high energy music, then look no further then Gravitation.
What are you watching to kick off the new year? Let us know in the comments!