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10 Anime About Music To Watch If You Are A Musical Enthusiast

anime about music

Far too often we are so focused on what we see, we often overlook the messages in what we hear. Anime, however, draws heavily on the power of music.  With beautiful stories and even greater scores, we have curated a list of only the best anime about music. The visual appeal may enhance a frame in anime, but music is what breathes life into it. As cliche as it may sound, music really has no language. It transcends everything.

Music is what kept man going when all else failed him. The brilliance of music in Japanese animation is a legend in itself. How many of us grew up learning the opening sequence of Pokemon or quietly dancing around to The Merry Go Round of Life from Howl’s Moving Castle? Music in anime is more than just a tool, it creates entire stories and worlds in its notes while subconsciously putting you in the characters’ heads.

List Of The Best Anime About Music

  1. Kids on the Slope
  2. Sound of the Sky
  3. Given
  4. Nodame Cantabile
  5. Detroit Metal City
  6. Your Lie in April
  7. NANA
  8. Macross Frontier
  9. AKB0048
  10. Tari Tari

1. Kids on the Slope (2012)

This heartwarming story revolves around two drastically different lives of a successful but aloof academician and a rebellious delinquent during three years of high school. The story closely develops around their mutual love of jazz music in a record music shop and a close friendship through these sessions.

The time this anime is set in, which is the late 60s and 70s makes for a crucial aspect behind the success of this show. People listened to records and this anime incorporates older jazz and rock music which will keep music enthusiasts absolutely captivated. 

2. Sound of the Sky (2010)

Sound of the Sky, also popular as So Ra No Wo To is a war story about Kanata Sorami, a young girl who joins the Helvetian army only for her love of music and becomes the bugler.  This apocalyptic setting has a surprisingly compelling style of storytelling. The relationships between characters as well as with themselves is a beautifully crafted experience. 

Mamoru Kanbe does really well with Kanata’s expression of absolute love for music and how she takes this musical journey to seek herself. The music in the anime reinterprets classical scores from several different cultures and nails every single one. You’re going to love Sound of the Sky even if just for its music.

3. Given (2019)

Given is one of the best anime there has been. The way this romance drama employs music to drive the storyline is what really captured me. The series follows four young students who form an amateur rock band and set off to create quite the history. This anime is as much about the journey of music as much as it is about finding yourself while coping with the you that already exists.

As an anime about musicians, the music is some of the best I’ve heard and the character arcs are downright amazing. The Given franchise breaks away from the usual lighthearted comedy and skirting around the LGBT theme and gives us a solid story with strong dynamics and important discourses. Check this one out if you are looking for anime about music.

Also Read: Anime About Friendship

4. Nodame Cantabile (2007)

Perfectionist Chiaki Shinichi is your typical arrogant musician whose life gets turned on its head when he meets the supposedly sloppy Nodame, a pianist who prefers to play by the ear rather than off the sheets. Romance ensues as their love of music draws them closer while opportunities arise that lead them towards risks that take them far higher than anyone ever thought possible.

Here’s the opening sequence to it:

Nodame Cantabile is fascinating in more ways than one and romance here is not just another tool for show. It actually drives the story towards personal development instead of just meshing the two characters together. The music is great, the romance is fresh, and the art style is different and keeps it relatively simple without any harsh tones. If you’re looking for anime about music, this musical romance is totally the gem for you.

5. Detroit Metal City (2008)

This musical parody is unlike anything you might have previously seen. The lead singer of Detroit Metal City, a death metal band is called Johannes Krauser II and is the subject of some of the vilest rumours possible. However, the shy young musician underneath that stage persona Soichi Negishi is capable of anything but all that. This anime follows Negishi as he tries to juggle his wild stage life and his extremely average real one.

While this anime might not be for everyone, there are themes in it that parody all the hilarious stereotypes that come with this genre of music and does surprisingly well with holding a pretty solid storyline around it. For all the death metal fans looking for anime about music, this rocking show is it. 

6. Your Lie In April (2014)

A one-shot comic entered into a competition which led to the existence of this masterpiece. This musical tale is about a piano prodigy who loses his will to play after the tragic death of his mother. He continues living his monochrome life until Kaori, an eccentric violinist brings him back into the spotlight.

The story goes beyond bringing music back into Kosie’s life, it brings him back to life. It is a story of friendship and music but above all, it is a story of finding your once-lost self and falling in love with life. Your Lie in April is one of those anime that is worth every second of your time, so grab your tissues cause you’ll need it.

Also Read: Anime About Gods

7. Nana (2006)

Nana is a romantic musical that finds two women with identical names but completely different personalities. The two women, Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu arrive in Tokyo at the age of 20, and the plot centres on their struggles to keep their friendship afloat while Nana O pursues a successful musical career and Nana K pursues romance even as adulthood tries to drive a wedge in between. 

Nana is one of those timeless classics that everyone seems to have heard of, and rightfully so. The way music becomes an invaluable tool in expressing emotions and thoughts makes it extremely compelling and the soundtracks are absolutely beautiful. Nana is not your typical shoujo anime but it definitely is one that you must watch at least once.

8. Macross Frontier (2008)

Another atypical anime about music is the sci-fi space opera Macross Frontier. Set in 2059, Alto Saotome, a trainee mecha pilot, and his friends are gearing up to perform an accompanying routine for the well-known singer Sheryl Nome when a biomechanical alien species attacks and wreaks havoc. Subsequently, Alto gets involved in combating this new alien threat.

Music in Macross Frontier is a message about it being a universal language that can open up communication possibilities no matter the differences. This take was pretty interesting to me as rarely do anime weaponise music in their storyline. The diverse discography in this anime makes it a great recommendation for anyone looking for anime about music.

9. AKB0048 (2012)

Imagine you wake up one day and the music becomes illegal. The universe would descend into madness but that is precisely what happens in this anime. This sci-fi comedy is about a group of rogue idols based on the Japanese idol group AKB48, who fight against the system and hold concerts on planets where music is banned.

AKB0048 is an anime about the fight to keep music alive. It really makes you root for supposed criminals as they grow and train as they willingly take concerts to the people who love music, despite being branded as terrorists. The premise is one that’s never been done before and has very promising characters with great dynamics.

10. Tari Tari (2012)

Wakana Sakai used to be enthusiastic about music but quit after losing her mother, while Konatsu’s life hung on singing. With three other companions, the 5 friends are adamant about living out their last year in high school with all their dreams realised. And what better than music to bring them all together to weave in some magic in their lives?!

The central theme of Tari Tari is about the incredible power of music and its identity as a solid force of encouragement and motivation to unify people. While it may seem like your usual coming-of-age story, Tari Tari manages to stand out with its splendid scores and the ability to use it as a device at driving the story. 

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few anime about music that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carole and Tuesday
  2. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
  3. Gravitation

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.

Lost

The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake


The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan


The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward