Anime that captures life as Nodame Cantabile’s musician on sound! Euphonium

There are anime about all sorts of professions and hobbies, so it’s only natural that there are various explorations of the diverse world of music. Whether it’s kids in a band or a teenager picking up a guitar for the first time, the feeling of discovering a new way to express yourself and wanting to follow it to its natural conclusion is universal. . If you’re looking for anime that captures the experience of being a musician on any part of the spectrum, from casual to professional, or if you’re just looking for solid storytelling with amazing soundtracks, these shows are winners that will definitely scratch your musical itch.

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Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad


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Image via Madhouse

If you ever belonged to a garage band as a teenager, Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad will give you flashbacks. beck follows 14-year-old Koyuki, just turned 14, who is searching for direction in life and believes he’s finally found it when he meets 16-year-old guitar prodigy Ryusuke and the other members of his indie band Beck. .

Discovering a new passion for rock music and a crush on Ryusuke’s little sister, Maho, Koyuki devoted himself to learning the guitar, joining Beck as they prepared for underground gigs and strived to attract fan attention and record deals. There’s no easy road to success, however, and the tough road to personal satisfaction for the titular band proves almost as intense as the grungy music they play.

The relationships between the characters feel raw in a way that evokes the experience of being in a rambling rock band; the drama that brews as they reach new milestones is melodramatic in a way that comes across as authentic to a group of teenagers trying to find their place in life, and it doesn’t shy away from the realities of trying to succeed in a tough industry. By the end of the show, Koyuki and his castmates aren’t famous, but they’re not in the same place they were at the start either, professionally or emotionally, and that kind of growth is what makes Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad a captivating story.

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Nodame Cantabile


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Image via JCStaff

For classical music fans, as well as anyone who has ever worked professionally in music, Nodame Cantabile offers a rare adult perspective on the world of musicians. Talented but socially awkward, Chiaki is an aspiring bandleader and outstanding student at a top university when he meets eccentric piano genius Nodame. While Nodame falls head over heels in love with Chiaki almost immediately, the difference in lifestyle between Chiaki’s obsession with order and Nodame’s messy improvisation prevents Chiaki from fully embracing their relationship at first.

Nodame Cantabile is the story of their romance, made all the more interesting by the way the series weaves their busy, busy lives into the unfolding and drama of the affair. Along the way, they meet many other people at different stages of their lives and careers, learning from them and becoming more well-rounded people in the process, and the series even ends up expanding beyond their time at school. Basically, however, Nodame Cantabile is always about the same thing – the constant struggle between his passions and his responsibilities, a conflict that defines the central relationship and the various difficulties they face along the way. It’s a grounded romantic drama for those of us who may relate more to working adults than high school teenagers; a relative rarity in anime, and welcome.


Your lie in April


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Image via A-1 Photos

Anyone with a competitive spirit can probably find something for themselves in the story of young pianist Kosei in the tearjerker drama. Your lie in April. Early in the story, Kosei, a successful performance contestant, finds himself unable to touch the piano again after his mother’s death leaves him without sense or purpose. That is until he meets talented violinist Kaori, a cheerful girl whose cowardly approach to music inspires Kosei to start playing again. With the help of Kaori and their fellow competitors on stage, Kosei unpacks his complicated feelings for his abusive late mother while dealing with the drama and heartache of high-level solo competition.

Tragic twists abound, making the series an emotional ride, but it never loses its intense empathy for the characters it constantly subjects to the wringer. It’s a series that enjoys the struggle of coping with personal tragedy in a world that constantly demands your continued participation despite your circumstances, and when its various emotional arcs hit their stride, the feeling of triumph Your lie in April communicates is both exciting and cathartic.


Ring! Euphonium


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Image via Kyoto Animation

Although not all of us have aspired to make it big in the rock world, to become international bandleaders, or to compete on the world stage, many people can understand that they have to choose an extracurricular program and become a child of a group. That’s what Ring! Euphonium is all about: the trials and tribulations of navigating high school politics in a wind band. The protagonist is Kumiko, a first-year euphonium player who joins her new school’s band after being convinced by her new friends after a bitter defeat in competition in her middle school band. Her then teammate, trumpeter Reina, attends the same school and harbors some resentment towards Kumiko, causing an immediate rift in Kumiko’s new situation.

The club itself also has its own set of hang-ups; once a leading wind band school, a number of years under bad advice left them in a sorry state, with not even any elders left in the band, having lost all motivation . To top it off, the group has a strict new teacher in charge the same year Kumiko joins – and it turns out to be an old family friend who further complicates Kumiko’s feelings. Accomplished Kyoto Animation Directors Naoko Yamada and Tatsuya Ishihara, Ring! Euphonium is an ultimately uplifting look at how our relationships inform every aspect of our lives through the lens of one kid in the band just trying to get through their daily lives.


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Corina C. Butler