Japanese anime fans list their suitors for a modern day Japanese national anthem.
The current Japanese anthem, Kimigayo, has a long history, the lyrics dating back to a Heian period (794-1185) waka poem. Its ties to pre-war imperialism, however, mean it has its critics. Maybe it’s time for a change, something a little more in tune with modern Japan. What sums up Japan more than a song wishing the Emperor a long and healthy reign? That’s right, an anime soundtrack!
Many fans of anime songs call their favorite song their anthem, but in a recent poll, fans were asked to choose an anime song, or anison, which is expected to be elevated to the top of being sung by thousands of supporters at events like the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The Japanese anthem is one of the shortest in the world.
Survey respondents were a mix of male (41%) and female (59%) fans, with 63% aged 19 or under and over 20% in their 20s. There were clear favorites for the top three anime songs that would work as a Japanese anthem, so let’s take a look at the list below.
First: “Tori no uta”(“ Bird’s Song ”), the opening theme of Air, which garnered the support of around 10 percent of those surveyed, is sung by singer Lia. Those who took the survey responded with comments on the popular and uplifting trance song like, “This is the most famous, I couldn’t even think of anything else that could beat it.” And “That would make the perfect national anthem.”
The song “Dream cafe“, the opening track of the animated comic series, Gochumon wa usagi desu ka? (“Is the command a bunny?», Often abbreviated as Gochi United States) on the Rabbit Café workers. For many, this song sums up Japan as a nation much more than the current anthem with its good dose of humor and dancing anime characters.
Third, at around 8 percent (which shows how close the results were, only around a percentage point between each of the top three results), was the theme of Neon Genesis Evangelion (and a personal karaoke favorite), “Zankoku na Tenshi no Tese“(” The thesis of a cruel angel “) sung by Yoko Takahashi. Commentators argued that it was the best choice, given that it is famous even beyond the world of anime song fans.
Add in some elaborate dance moves or a physical workout, and any of these songs could work as an alternate Japanese anthem. While the investigation resulted in only one winner, it will likely be some time yet before Japan becomes a full otaku and one is adopted. Moreover, listen to any song too often and you can easily get bored of it; maybe the next survey should include a petition for the new national anthem to have a reshuffle function.