Music Transcends Language Barriers

I love watching and listening to anime opening songs. The animation paired with a moving score is beautiful to me. Even if the anime is dubbed,  the intro is usually sung in Japanese. I don’t have a problem with this, because emotions go beyond language. If an American singer can’t invoke the same emotion and cadence, an English version sounds odd to me. For the example, I love Inuyasha openings, but I skipped dubbed intros. There is something cringy about it. Like it’s more about the translation than the musical flow of the words. Besides Inuyasha: The Final Act, the English lyrics don’t blend well with the instrumental. Hunter x Hunter’s opening song is probably the only one that sounds similar in English and Japanese. That’s probably because the Japanese version already has a few English lines in it. I wonder if they do that so English viewers can sing-a-long?

Speaking of singing, the School Festival arch in My Hero Academia (MHA) is not my favorite arch, but I was floored when Jiro, a UA Student sang ” Hero Too” in English. Backstory, I was watching MHA subbed on Hulu, because Season Four wasn’t dubbed yet. So the shock value of the English song paired with aftermath of Hero Internships had me in tears. Happy tears, but tears none the less. Honestly, it still makes me cry. There is a singer that understands the importance of cadence, emotion, and instrumental for anime covers. Her name is Amalee. I found her because of Kingdom Hearts.

I love Simple & Clean, Sanctuary, and Face My Fears, which are the three main opening songs for Kingdom Hearts. About two months ago, I decided to see whether Pandora Music could make a station based on Face My Fears. Not only did it make a station with Kingdom Hearts games it included songs from Anime too! It took me a bit to notice Amalee sang quite a few songs on the algorithm’s playlist. She stood out because, I was hearing the instrumental from some of my favorite anime openings, but I understood the lyrics. That threw me off. So, I unlocked my phone to see who was singing, which led to a figurative trip to wonderland (YouTube).  Today, I am sharing Japanese songs licensed for the anime and Amalee’s cover. Keep in mind, the anime intros I’m sharing are not the full song. Amalee’s covers are longer.

Tokyo Ghoul: Unravel

Sword Art Online: Crossing Field

My Hero Academia: Odd Future

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Ray of Light

My Hero Academia: Make My Story

AmaLee is a talented singer. She is definitely fulfilling a need in the anime lover community. I’m glad Pandora’s algorithm introduced me to her, because she’s not a new artist. She released her first album in 2016. As you can see, I’m a bit late to the party…By the way, Amalee has an animated music video for Hero Too.  Like I said earlier, I won’t spoil the scene, but I will give you a link to the full song. The animation is cute too!

Unfortunately, Amalee hasn’t covered all of my favorites. If you’d like to hear more of my favorite Anime openings, check out my playlist below.

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