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Saturday, March 6, 2021

10 Best Anime Soundtracks On Vinyl

cowboy bebop anime soundtracks in vinyl

Many of the otaku culture's avid fans have sought at least one or two anime songs that resonated inside their heads. Some would even have the entire soundtrack of their favorite.

Listening via CDs or digital copies, you might think you've heard the song in its best sound quality possible. However, vinyl releases sound better, and the nostalgia is much more present whenever you carefully lower down the tonearm to kiss the record. Hence, the timelessness of turntables and vinyl albums.

Yes, turntable sales are still lively in 2021. It has outlived several music equipment pieces, and there are many turntable stores worldwide that thrive in cartridge and stylus replacements alone.

Early millennials (born in the 80s), who witnessed the golden age of anime, might own a couple of vintage albums or more. Back then, they are the first ones who have listened to songs from anime produced by Studio Ghibli, Kyoto Animation, Daicon films, and more.

On the side of early otaku video gamers, there are a few promo releases in the 80s. But one of the first recognized video game vinyl albums is Haruomi Hosono's Video Game Music.

If the Generation Y geeks still have a working and well-maintained turntable, they could be living the nostalgic dream of the otaku fandom.

To those who already knew about this and would like to purchase a turntable, there are affordable record players that might suit you.

We also listed below the best anime soundtracks in vinyl that we found.

Best Anime Soundtracks In Vinyl

Most of the anime soundtracks in vinyl are from 80s shows. As you go through our list, you'll also notice that it's rife with Studio Ghibli productions. Although the company is well-known for its masterful animation films, it also laid down some whimsical soundtracks you will quickly love.

#1 - Castle In The Sky

blue castle in the sky vinyl cover

The original motion picture soundtrack from Hisaishi Joe is quite expensive (almost every record here is). Buyers admire this Castle In The Sky vinyl for its top-notch pressing and a stunning cover. It's a piece of art everyone would be proud to display as the heart of their collection.

Your parents might like this as a gift as this might be a song they frequently heard growing up. If you simp for Studio Ghibli films, particularly of the classic Laputa: Castle In The Sky (1986), grab a vinyl copy now while it's still available on Amazon.

Get Castle In The Sky vinyl here.

#2 - Akira Symphonic Suite

Akira Symphonic Suite vinyl cover with Kaneda holding a golden gun with Tokyo as background

One of the earliest anime soundtracks to successfully cross the Pacific and make history is Geinoh Yamashirogumi's Akira Symphonic Suite (1988). The animation feature did not play much of its music, but everything is here in this vinyl album.

Fans will enjoy the sound of thunder roars and engine throttles as the first theme, "Kaneda," sets off. The rest of the pieces perfectly represents each highlight of the movie. We won't go into detail to avoid spoiling those who want to take a look back into this feature, but all we can say is that this vinyl record is immaculate and 100% worth acquiring.

Get Akira Symphonic Suite here.

#3 - Cowboy Bebop Original Series Soundtrack

"One of the best-selling and top-rated anime records you can buy today." That's what most people know about this Cowboy Bebop (Original Series Soundtrack) in vinyl format.

However, there are more things you should know about this outstanding record, which should affect your decision whether to purchase it or not. Some of these are tiny music details that you won't hear when playing a digital copy. As we all know, anything recorded through analog, then compressed and converted digitally must have a suppressed quality. As such, every music ensemble is better sounding through the same analog device that is a turntable.

The vinyl set also showcases epic Cowboy Bebop art and is a must-have for an avid anime fan. If you don't think it's enough, your order will come in two beautifully colored discs — one is marbled red, and the other, purple vinyl.

Check Cowboy Bebop's vinyl record review on Amazon.

#4 - My Neighbor Totoro (Original Soundtrack)

From the artist that gave us Castle In The Sky soundtrack, Hisaishi Joe brings another excellent album everyone would love playing every chance they could.

It makes a perfect piece for your Japan collections with an original Japanese cover alongside other original gifts you bought from the country, whether via personal visit or online purchase.

My Neighbor Totoro anime film is a huge success, that Hayao Miyazaki's fans would greatly appreciate everything about it, including the full version of its soundtrack. Everyone can reminisce the classic, heart-warming story as they relish the excellent music out of this vinyl format.

Get your copy here.

#5 - Deathnote (Original Soundtrack)

Those who binge-watched the Deathnote series, including the live-action film, would have noticed the excellent music and character themes that played along. It's the kind of post-rock and instrumental scores that linger and captivates you to further engage as the series of thrilling events unfold.

No matter which side you're on, the Deathnote soundtrack is a compilation record you shouldn't miss. Tracks 1-18 are from the composition and arrangement of Hideki Taniuchi, while tracks 19-28 are from Yoshihisa Hirano.

Check the soundtrack here.

#6 - Ghost In The Shell (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The ever-popular anime cyberpunk film has a superior sound that every turntable owner begged for a vinyl release. After 22 years of waiting, they got what they asked for. Although it is a pricey investment, it's worth the money.

The 1985 iconic film had its sounds recorded in a high-end studio. Composed by Kenji Kawai, he did a spectacular job conveying the imaginary world's essence through music. With the help of haunting chorals and a spatializer used to modify the voices, his work is no doubt ahead of its time.

"One Minute Passenger," a collaboration between the U2 band and Brian Eno, is the ending theme of the film's English version, which is also a featured song in this collection.

Make sure you grab this vinyl copy before it's gone!

#7 - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaa lovers can't go wrong with buying this image album. An indispensable dish from the Studio Ghibli lineup is that the record brings back memories, especially for those who watched the film in 1984.

Joe Hisaishi, who composed most of Hayao Miyazaki's film scores but one, arrange the entire music collection. On the other hand, Haruomi Hosono produced the vocal theme "Kaze no Tani no Naushika." Mai Fujisawa, Hisashi's daughter, sang "Nausicaa's Requiem" and other pieces in the Studio Ghibli assortment.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind OST is still available in Amazon.

#8 - Howl's Moving Castle

The world imagined by Hayao Miyazaki has its musical theme recorded by Joe Hisaishi and the New Japan Philharmonic. Hisaishi also conducted the symphonic suite, which includes the re-arranged pieces of the original soundtrack.

Compared to most vinyl releases, Howl's Moving Castle: Image Symphonic Suite is one of the newest. It may also be a driving factor for a Gen Z to seek a turntable.

Get a copy here.

#9 - Spirited Away OST

Spirited Away has been the highest-grossing Japanese film for some time. Many attributed its significant success to the fantastic characters, unique story, and an enchanting world ever imagined.

It also has an award-winning soundtrack featuring timeless pieces such as "Itsumo Nando Demo," vocalized by Yumi Kimura. If you're a simp for every Studio Ghibli works as well as musical scores, you might as well collect their vinyl records and begin with the ever-brilliant Spirited Away OST.

Get Spirited Away Original Soundtrack here.

#10 - Samurai Champloo

Showcasing a mix of hip hop and Japanese samurai culture, Samurai Champloo is a widely-praised anime series for its superb blend of genres. The influence of music in the show is robust, that its soundtrack, particularly the vinyl release, is one of the most sought-after gems.

Its ambient soundtrack features various artists: Force of Nature, Nujabes, Fat Jon, and Tsutchie. Samurai Champloo's collection is one of the top ten anime themes and soundtracks in history. No wonder it is a rare item nowadays, and that you have to spend a hefty amount to listen to its groove as it plays on your own turntable.

Check availability here.

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