Music has become an intricate part of the overall viewing experience for anime. Opening themes like “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” from Neon Genesis Evangelion give viewers memorable songs to associate with the shows.
Musical artists have also been inspired by anime for a long time, letting it influence their music videos and even album artwork. They range from using an animated clip to fully working their love of the animation style into music videos with hired animators.
Many musicians, like Britney Spears and Linkin Park, have shown the influence that anime has had on their work in a number of videos. So let’s take a look at some of the music videos that have taken influence from anime!
6 Official Anime Music Videos
1. Daft Punk – “One More Time”
You can’t truly kick off an official anime music video list without Daft Punk’s “One More Time” being featured. Released in 2003, the music video for “One More Time” was under the creative supervision of Leiji Matsumoto, known for series such as Otoko Oidon, Galaxy Express 999, and Spaceship Battle Yamato. The video features an alien music group giving a performance on their home planet and is chock-full of kaleidoscopic visuals!
2. Britney Spears – “Break the Ice”
The very anime-influenced music video for Britney Spears’ “Break the Ice” was released in 2008. Directed by graphic artist Robert Hales, the video itself features a spy thriller theme throughout as an animated version of Spears makes her way through a sci-fi city. The last scene in the music video shows an animated Spears jumping out of a window as a massive explosion erupts behind her–a moment that really stands out.
3. Twice – “Candy Pop”
TWICE, a well-known South Korean K-pop group, released a bubbly music video for their Japanese song “Candy Pop” in 2018. Created in collaboration with director Takahiko Kyōgoku, known for his work on Love Live!, the video sees the group turned into animated versions of themselves for part of the video as they make their way through a candy-filled world.
4. Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”
Ed Sheeran’s song “Bad Habits” received a fully-animated music video in August 2021. Manga artist Rui Ikeda drew the artwork that was featured in the video, which captures some of the nightlife of Tokyo. The video features a storyline that follows the relationship between a woman and a vampire. This also isn’t Sheeran’s first song to receive an anime music video either. His song “Supermarket Flowers” received an animated video by Yoriko Hoshi in 2019.
5. Linkin Park – “Break the Habit”
Another throwback to the mid-2000s is “Break the Habit” by Linkin Park. The video was released back in 2004. Animation for the very stylistic music video was handled by Tokyo-based animation studio GONZO. Known for their work on anime series like Hellsing, Trinity Blood, and Kaze no Stigma, GONZO brought a very industrial look to the music video. Scenes featured include roto-scoped shots of the members of Linkin Park and a cityscape that really lends itself to the song.
6. Norah Jones – “I’m Alive”
In October 2020, Norah Jones’ song “I’m Alive” was part of a collaborative music video that featured art from Rumiko Takahashi’s manga Maison Ikkoku. The song itself features a rather laidback sound and pairs with the nostalgic feel of Takahashi’s art. Nostalgia certainly seems to be centered at the heart of the music video, with Takahashi saying that it “has a very nice atmosphere”.
These 6 anime music videos cover a variety of music genres and are by no means the only ones out there. Anime has served as an inspiration to a number of musicians over the years, and it doesn’t seem like its influence will be waning anytime soon!
What’s your favorite anime-inspired music video? Is it on this list? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!