It’s hard to deny that anime has good music compared to other animation. For example, I don’t think a song from Spongbob Squarepants or Ben 10 would ever make it onto the Billboard Charts, but you often hear of anime music reaching the top 10 on Japan’s equivalent Oricon Charts. With music oriented anime like K-ON! achieving huge success, that got me thinking: does music affect the popularity and success of an anime, or conversely, does an anime affect the popularity and success of a song?
In a recent post, I listed 10 anime series with good music that made it onto the Oricon Charts. Most of these series were very popular when they aired, but it’s hard to determine if that was soley because of the music or if the anime was already good. Ideally, to figure this out, we would need to put a crappy anime on the market with good music and a good anime with bad music, then watch the Oricon charts. Unfortunately, I don’t know any pop stars or anime studios that would help me, so I’m settling for the next best thing: watching Senki Zesshou Symphogear.
Now Symphogear isn’t an ideal “crappy” anime since it does have a unique setting and yuri overtones (who doesn’t love yuri?), but it lacks in other areas including plot, direction, and animation quality. At best, Senki Zesshou Symphogear can be described as average. It does have something going for it though, good music.
Now that’s what I call quality!
Nana Mizuki, who voices one of the main characters and sings the theme song for Symphogear, is a popular singer in Japan and her songs commonly rank in the Oricon charts. In 2009 her album “Ultimate Diamond” topped the Oricon Album Chart, and in 2010 her single “Phantom Minds” topped the Oricon Singles Chart. It would be surprising if her music didn’t reach at least the top 50 in a weekly ranking.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait to see the results of combining Symphogear with Nana Mizuki’s music. Her single “Synchrogazer”, which contains the opening theme song for the anime, has already reached the number 2 spot on the Oricon Weekly Singles Charts. This could be an indication that a less successful anime has little impact on the popularity of music, but what about the reverse?
After airing three episodes, Symphogear has received a weighted rating of 7.10 by over 2000 viewers on MAL and is the 5162nd most popular anime on the site. A rating of 7.10 on a 10 point scale might sound high, but that’s actually mediocre by MAL standards. Judging by peoples’ opinions on Symphogear, it seems that having good music will not save an anime from mediocrity.
I can’t say that this is true for all anime, but in terms of Senki Zesshou Symphogear, it appears that the popularity of the anime and its music have little to do with each other. On the other hand, I do know people *cough* myself *cough* who have finished poor anime because it had good music.
So what’s your take on anime and music? Would you watch an anime just because it has good music, or would you listen to a song just because it came from a good anime? Do you think that the two can help each other gain greater popularity? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.