Do you like to fall asleep? Do you like music? Most importantly, though, do you like anime? Well, what a coincidence, my friend, because I’ve got the top 12 anime ending songs that are perfect to listen to before you go to bed. Why top 12? Because I like to go one step further than the Nostalgia Critic.
Even non-anime fans admit that the original soundtracks for anime are some of the best original soundtracks around, so I’ve compiled some of the best ending tracks from these OSTs for you to listen to before you snooze! So without further ado, here’s the list (not in any particular order):
CHECK OUT: TOP 5 ANIME WITH THE BEST OPENINGS
Number 12: “Fly Me To The Moon”
Artist: Claire Littley
Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Aired: October 4, 1995 – March 27, 1996
Genres: Action, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Drama Mecha
Studios: Gainax, Tatsunoko
Originally written in 1954 by Bart Howard under the title “In Other Words,” and popularized by Frank Sinatra’s that came out ten years later, this song became widely known in the world of jazz music before landing in the hands of Evangelion‘s creators. The song has many vocal and non-vocal versions at the end of every episode in this series that are also great, but I chose the version sung by British singer Claire Littley because it’s the smoothest and the one that resonates with me the most.
Its calming vocals and the gentle rhythm of the instruments truly make it something sleep-inducing, and the entire song makes you feel as if you’re at a jazz dinner in outer space where other travelers stop before their next planetary destination.
Number 11: “Waltz for Zizi”
Artists: The Seatbelts, Yoko Kanno
Anime: Cowboy Bebop
Aired: April 3, 1998 – April 23, 1999
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Drama, Space Western
This is not an ending song, but I feel that it would be a crime not to include this song in place of the ending song. That’s right, folks, it’s from Cowboy Bebop, and boy is this show and tune one to be revered! Composed and performed by Yoko Kanno and her jazz band, The Seatbelts, she and her band are most widely-known for creating most of the songs for this anime, along with other critically-acclaimed works like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Trigun.
Now, this song is just…tranquil. Yeah, that’s it, the best word to describe it is “tranquil.” All of the various guitars have a nice, easy tempo that is almost impossible not to close your eyes to at least a little bit. Having a sound that’s very similar to early 60s rock, one of the genres that so heavily inspired Cowboy Bebop, it also gives the listener that nostalgic feeling we mentioned in earlier songs, bringing the listener to a “simpler time and place.” You can also hear this tune during the scene when Jet tells Spike the story about the injured hunter near Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of my favorite scenes in the show. Because Bebop has a laid-back, yet dark feeling with the hope of friendship throughout many of its scenes, including the one I just mentioned, it has a great influence on your imagination’s daydreams.
For that reason, whenever I hear this song, I always imagine myself at a bar in a slightly run-down, yet proud, small town in their local bar at night. You’re kind of stressed about other aspects of your life at the moment, but the few people who are still at the bar are ones with whom you bond over advice, interesting stories, and songs you choose to play on the jukebox. The songs playing in the bar are quiet, but the loudest thing at the moment is your current experiences that make you feel like you’re in heaven due to your feelings of both social belonging and a bit of alcohol.
Number 10: “Zzz”
Artist: Sayaka Sasaki
Aired: April 3, 2011 – September 25, 2011
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, High School
Studio: Kyoto Animation
This beloved slice of life series has had tremendous success with anime fans since its 2011 release from KyoAni. Sung by pop star Sayaka Sasaki (a goddess 😍), the ending’s animation contains many elements of kawaii culture that are commonly used by J-pop stars, reminiscent of Nintendo games, and often used by shoujo series like Madoka Magica.
Like Evangelion‘s many renditions of “Fly Me To The Moon,” this song also has a couple of different versions that are also worth mentioning, but because I like this one the best, it’s the one that I’m using. The electronic clapping rhythm coupled with what seems like a xylophone depicts childlike innocence, and the soft, cheerful vocals evoke an optimistic, soothing sound that one may get from a mother. I.E., they’re the perfect conditions for sleep.