Artwork by makokujira.
Hi everyone! For those of you who are students–school is now in session! Your midterms or final exams may be coming up…It’s a stressful time for all, but don’t worry! Hii-chan is here to help you pass your exams while still expressing your otaku spirit, with this music playlist of relaxing anime, J-pop, and videogame songs that will help you concentrate!
“あの森で待ってる (“I’ve Been Waiting in that Forest”)” – Bonjour Suzuki (Yuri Kuma Arashi OP)
To begin our playlist, let’s start with the beautiful OP for “Yuri Kuma Arashi”, a series that was met with many mixed reviews. Regardless of how you feel about the show–you can’t deny that it has some damn good music! Opening with somber church bells, the song brings you into a fairytale-like world with its soft chimes and breathy vocals. It’s both happy, sad, and a little erotic. Listening to it feels like falling asleep in a grassy field as the sun sets…
“Namine’s theme” – Kingdom Hearts 2 OST
The Kingdom Hearts game series has been a guilty pleasure of mine ever since I was young, and its composer Yoko Shimomura is a legend…There are countless beautiful songs from this series, so don’t be surprised if I list multiple tracks here! XD So here is “Namine’s Theme”, a peaceful piano track for a mysterious, dream-like character.
“ハロ/ハワユ (“Hello/How Are You?”)” – Vocaloid cover by Kano
For the Vocaloid fans out there, this track is bound to bring back many memories! “Hello/How Are you?” tells the story of a shy person with social anxiety struggling to communicate with others. Even the simple phrase “Hello, how are you?” is something the main character of the song struggles to say–and throughout the song, the lyrics allude to her trying to open up to others, despite her inward fears of being rejected. The romantic and girly art style paired with the soft voice of Kano makes for a whimsical and sweet combination, even for a bittersweet story such as this one!
“11 AM” – Animal Crossing New Leaf OST
This playlist wouldn’t be complete with the music from the most relaxing game series of all–Animal Crossing~! I have to admit that New Leaf is the only Animal Crossing game I’ve played in the franchise, but it really is an amazing and peaceful game. When I think of it’s OST, this track always comes to mind first…and it’s the one to get stuck in my head the most!
“Three Piece” – Asobi Asobase OP
Here’s a song from a show that’s come out fairly recently, that many of you will probably recognize! The playful opening song for Asobi Asobase…sung in whispering voices by the three main protagonists, which is a sweet breath of air before the real chaos of the show begins. (Seriously–if you haven’t watched this one yet, check it out! I may write a review on it soon) It’s mischievous and summery-feeling!
“Tunnel” – Mondialito
If you’re looking for relaxing music and haven’t heard of the band Mondialito–you’re completely missing out! The Japanese group performs soft and jazzy songs in French and English. Their sound is soft and romantic guitar and piano over dainty vocals…the sort of music that would fit perfectly in a quaint coffee shop. I chose to showcase their track “Tunnel” because I think it’s one of their more dynamic and happy songs–but really, all of them are beautiful. Give them a listen!
“Zutto Issho ni” – Gochiusa OST
Aaand speaking of coffee shops: this instrumental track from the adorable slice-of-life show “Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?” (translated to English meaning “Is the order a rabbit?”–but otherwise the name is shorted to “Gochiusa”) is perfect for relaxing and studying! The show is a feel-good journey into the lives of coffee shop waitresses in a small town inhabited by rabbits, and the show’s OST is just as dreamy as the plot. With charming harp and piano, this fairytale-like track is sure to sooth your stress away, like a warm cup of cocoa~!
“Xion’s Theme” – Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days OST
I think out of all the amazing tracks that fill the Kingdom Hearts series, “Xion’s Theme” from 358/2 Days is my all time favorite! Soft chimes like a music box ring out over an elegant string orchestra…the sound is moving but delicate–like falling stars across the night sky. A perfect theme for a character with such a sad fate… (but that’s something I can’t get into–because spoilers! )
“Fools in April” – Antihoney
Ah, where to begin with Antihoney…For starters, no one really knows who is behind this band–the only information we have is an old website with little-to-no information on them. The singer and musicians are completely anonymous! But their music is ambient, dark, and beautiful–a soft, sweet voice matched with melancholic synths and tones. Something like a fairytale set in a rotting mechanical world. Their songs are mostly in English, with only a few being in their native language of Japanese, so I chose this one in particular to showcase the emotion of the singer.
“1 AM” – Animal Crossing New Leaf OST
Lastly, this playlist is ending with the somber piano track “1 AM”, from the New Leaf OST. This song is kind of infamous–many players find it creepy to hear such a melancholic tune in what’s usually such a cheerful game…especially in the middle of the night. But I personally find it so beautiful and peaceful!
So what did you think of this playlist? Do you enjoy listening to the music from your favorite anime and games in your free time? Your music taste may be very different from mine–when I was putting this post together, I realized that I gravitate towards melancholic and sad songs, lol… ^^;;; Tell me your favorite soundtracks to listen to in a comment! Until next time~~