- June 7, 2015 at 5:51 AM #21104
Here we go with another Top 10 list. These never get boring, right? Well, this time we’re diving into Bleach and its incredible music. I personally enjoy the original sound tracks (OST) from this show more than any other anime. I’m probably starting a war with Naruto fans, but I have to be honest with myself and to you guys. Naruto (and other long running anime) have some great songs, but I feel that Bleach, as a whole, has a stronger collection of music.
You’ll notice right away that I don’t have any of the amazing opening or ending songs listed. I purposely left those out. I feel that those tracks would take up too many spots and not allow some of the original music from Bleach to shine. Instead, those tracks will be set aside and likely put into their own article. Anyway, let’s get started!
1. Number One (original)
Album: OST 1
This song is the only one on the list containing lyrics. It’s one of the few songs, in the entirety of Bleach’s music collection, which has a singer on the track. But, Hazel Hernandes’ powerful voice makes this song a stand out in the series.
It’s hard to talk about this song without mentioning the relevance it has in the show. Whenever you hear this song you know that Ichigo is powered up and ready to take on a powerful foe. Usually this song signals an incoming victory for the good guys, except for that one time an enemy abruptly stopped the song and defeated our hero.
The original version is easily the best one. Next, I’d put Number One’s One Else (OST 4), followed by Number One instrumental (OST 4). I wouldn’t add the Nas-T mix among these great songs. One Else doesn’t have Hazel’s voice, but that’s because it doesn’t need it. The instruments and synthesizers are changed enough to make this version stand out on its own. The standard instrumental version feels lacking compared to the other two, so it’s placed at the bottom.
2. Nothing Can Be Explained (instrumental)
Album: OST 4
This track is easily the most melancholy. You can imagine the deep sadness and despair the characters are undergoing when you listen to this song. These two emotions are something everyone has experienced at one time. They are universal and eternal. Besides that you can also feel a hint of something otherworldly. It transports you to a different dimension or possibly into someone’s heart. You don’t know if you have the power to break away from the pain. Hope may be just around the corner, but for now there’s only uncertainty.
This time I chose the instrumental version for two reasons. First, it does a much better job of evoking emotions than the version with the singer. His voice compliments the music well, however the track has a stronger emotional impact without him.
Second, this particular version pops up in the anime when Ichigo confronts Tensa Zangetsu. He fights him and his inner hollow one last time so that he can attain the Final Getsuga Tenshou. That is a pivotal moment in the series and one of my favorite fights.
3. Will of the Heart
Album: OST 1
This is another track from early on in the series. I feel that the first couple of story arcs contain the most emotional scenes and songs. Therefore, Bleach OST 1 is the best. The title appropriately describes the vibe this song exudes. The piano notes play slowly in the intro and are sad but filled with strength. But, through its own will it perseveres. Then, the accompanying instruments pick up on that strength and together they build up the song into a theme for hope.
The will of the heart (or hearts) is a strong theme in the show. Sometimes Ichigo has to fight alone against all odds. It seems like there’s no way he can win. Yet, he somehow always finds the will to fight. It’s never hopeless. At that moment, he is usually joined by his friends or comrades. Together they continue the fight for hope.
4. Battle Ignition
Album: OST 1
Some of the songs have been downers up until now, sorry about that. But, this one is just about preparing for a battle. There isn’t a lot of emotion tied to this one. It’s pretty straightforward in its purpose. The enemy is straight ahead and the time for words is over. Pick up your sword (or weapon of choice) and let’s fight!
I like the simplicity of this song. A lot of the other songs are complicated and filled with various emotions. This one just pumps you up. A fight is about to ensue so you better be ready!
5. Principio de Lucha
Album: OST 3
The violins and Spanish guitar are welcome change to the music I’ve listed up until now. The tone and energy are completely different from music we’ve experienced in Kamakura town or Soul Society. This change in musical direction is due to the introduction of the Vizards (Visored), Espada, and Las Noches.
Tito Kubo chose to give the series a distinct Spanish feel during this arc. This song is one of the few (from OST 3) that encapsulates the adventurous energy and intrigue that we’ll find in some of the characters in this setting.
Album: OST 3
Here we have another Spanish influenced track from OST 3. However, this one is bit more playful and cocky. The trumpets overpower the guitars and other instruments. Then, there’s a bit of an eerie or mysterious feel to it that pops up throughout the song.
This track is pretty much Shinji’s Vizard theme song. We all know that Shinji is an over the top character who hardly takes himself seriously. His eyes and smiles seem mischievious. He has his comedic moments and likes to bicker with some of his Vizard brethren. But, underneath that there is an air of mystery surrounding him. This song perfectly matches what we know about Shinji from his first few appearances in the anime.
Album: OST 3
Epic and ominous. Those two words describe this track perfectly. It stats off slow but ominous. You know that you’ve entered into an area where you are unwelcome. There is danger lurking in every corner. You have to move forward and meet the danger head on. The song climaxes at the point where the hero and enemy are about to collide in an epic battle.
There are other tracks that I enjoyed listening to more. But, this song is one I kept coming back to over and over. It’s very short but it packs a punch. Surprisingly, few of the songs from the OST’s contain an “epic” feel. They cover mystery, doubt, despair, supernatural, danger, but they never really cover the feeling of “epicness” before a major battle is about to ensue. This song feels more on the scale of a small war than a one on one confrontation.
8. Power to Strive
Album: OST 4
Alright, now we’re getting into some electric guitars! Combine that with violins and you have the makings of something unique and powerful. I mentioned in Hollowed that few songs feel epic. Well, this is the other one that I would categorize in there as well. But, this one conjures images of two powerful enemies going at it. Not two battalions facing off.
The horns at the end of the track, to me, signal the fight escalating to new levels that are too much for us to fathom. The combatants continue their fight in a dimension that is unseen by us. That’s a cool image to have.
9. Shadow’s Masquerade
Album: OST 2
Ah, this song. When this song starts you instantly know that you are in the Bount arc of the series. I have personally never seen this arc (I’m not a fan of fillers), but I do enjoy a couple of songs from this storyline. Shadow’s Masquerade is my favorite, followed by Citadel of the Bount. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy them for any reasons having to do with Bleach.
I actually enjoy these songs because they remind me of Castlevania. This song makes me feel as if I’m playing a classic 16-bit video game. I don’t think it’s a bad reason to enjoy a song. Each of the OST’s have a unique feel and tone. This one just happens to remind me of old school video games. I actually highly recommend listening to OST 2 if you enjoy those types of songs.
Album: OST 4
Mysterious is a song, that I feel, other people wouldn’t put on their list. I wouldn’t describe it as having a universal appeal. But, it’s a relaxing song. The various guitars are soothing. At the same time they are slightly “off”. This song makes me feel as if I’m in another version of my home. Almost like an alternate reality. I’m in a place that’s recognizable and comfortable, yet it’s not a place where I’m from.
This is the most difficult song to describe out of all the tracks on this list. Fortunately, the title describes the song appropriately. The song is not threatening, at all, but it’s also not ordinary either. I think I enjoy this song so much because it’s difficult to pinpoint what is so great about it.
Here's a link to a video containing most of the Bleach songs from the OST's. It has all of the songs I mentioned here in the article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ag_NfSyxAE
Well, there’s my list of Top 10 Songs from Bleach. I know I had a tough time choosing these. I usually have 2-3 OP’s and 1 or 2 ED’s that come to mind when I think of Bleach songs. So, having to ignore those forced me to revisit the OST’s and discover some songs I’d forgotten about.
What do you guys think about these choices? Is there anything that surprised you? Would you add in some more songs from the Bount Arc (OST 2)? I’m curious what your choices are. Chime in and let’s get a discussion going!
- June 8, 2015 at 6:32 PM #21239
The Analog ChildParticipant
Wow! These are great!!
- June 8, 2015 at 9:16 PM #21245
I'm glad you enjoyed them. By the way, nice gif! Haven't seen T2 gif before. (I'm being serious.)
- June 10, 2015 at 5:23 AM #21401
This is one of my favorites!
- June 12, 2015 at 5:56 AM #21596
Yes, it's great! It's actually the first song on this list. The title of that song is "Number One".