Band-Centric Anime Series For Your Watch List

I don’t remember a time in my life when music wasn’t present. Through the years, I’ve learned to appreciate various genre of music. I’ve taught myself to listen to new music and understand why some appeal more to me and why some don’t.

Of my experiences with music, being able to create it was one that developed my appreciation for it. One of the reasons I got into playing was the rush that comes with being able to create a complex sound with a band compared to playing alone. In a band, I feel like the passion and love for music is shared and multiplied among the members. Since then, the unity, camaraderie, and synergy of any band have appealed to me.

Here are some of band-centric anime that you should totally get into if you share the same passion toward music and creating it. I have only included shows that have watched and enjoyed. I haven’t watched every anime in the genre and if you think there should be a show that should be in this list, a comment would be much appreciated.


Sound Euphonium (響け! ユーフォニアム Hibike! Euphonium)

Sound! Euphonium, compared to the others on this list, deals with band concepts in a larger scale. The series is about the Kitauji High School Concert Band Club and their goal of competing in the national tournaments.

The main reason why Sound! Euphonium made my list is because of the way they touched up on an issue I related to regarding bass instruments. Bass instruments generally act as a supporting role in most pieces and are most fun to play when accompanied with a band. The series also covers arguments among band members, which I believe every band goes through. The show lightly touches upon the subject of having a future of being in a band which is a great thing to think about.

The show isn’t too highly technical about music and is easy to get into due to its light-hearted nature. The art is smooth and moe as with any other KyoAni projects.

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (ベック)

Beck tells the story of a band working their way through the Japanese Rock scene. Although the series is often called out on its subpar animation and inferior art, I believe the show makes up for it with the music. The series is peppered with amazing rock soundtrack consisting of anywhere from the classical hard rock to blood bumping brit-punk.

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is presented in a fun and slow paced slice-of-life series that reinforces realism. Many may put the series off for its inconclusive ending, I thinks it’s quite fitting as music itself is just as ambiguous.

Beck fails hard at the visual department and it takes a little effort to get over that fact. It is sincere as a slow-paced slice-of-life series and more so in the aspects of band life.

Kids on the Slope (坂道のアポロン Sakamichi no Apollon)

Jazz is a very complex and layered genre of music and I believe that Kids on the Slope has done justice to the music art form, as well as the culture. The show is set in a time where the popularity of Jazz is waning and is being overtaken by Rock and Roll.

The series was able to perfectly present the struggles and challenges of growing as a musician as well as a person compared to any other series on this list. The main characters, Karou and Sentaro, are often shown interacting, and even communicating, with each other through playing music. Though individually talented musicians, they discover that they can create something totally different together.

The series is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe who also directed Cowboy Bebop. The animation is smooth and the art style is clean. It features an amazing soundtrack and it encouraged me to look into Jazz.

K-On! (けいおん! Keion!)

K-On! Is a fun slice-of-life series that is focused toward the friendship aspect of being in a band. It reminded me of the feeling I had when I joined my first band that had been built from friendship.

The series show how it is sometimes difficult to be in a band with your closest friends because you often tend to forgo practice with hanging out and having fun. Sequentially it highlights the synergy factor that comes from friendship and closeness. How even without practice, nothing beats being well in-tune with each other (excuse the pun). It also shows in a somewhat

It is made by KyoAni; Similar to Sound! Euphonium, and it has that same cutesy animation. The show has plenty of tear-jerking moments, which I am a sucker for. In a cheery way it also shows how members of a tight-knot band support each other in and out of their music.


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