5 ALBUMS TO ACCOMPANY THE MANGA I’M CURRENTLY READING

Look at Dazai, judging my taste in music. Hello! Here I am with yet another top 5 list. I’m reading The Promised Neverland nowadays, and when I went onto its Anilist page to update my volume count, I saw a discussion topic where someone asked what other users listened to when they were reading the manga. While looking at the answers, I also did some thinking myself.

I’m not a TV person and there’s always music playing in the background during the day. My Spotify Wrapped said I listened to 5 to 6 hours of music a day on average, every single day of 2021. I even think the best place to stalk other people is to peep on what they are listening at the time. However, I realized I don’t specifically choose a playlist for a specific genre/manga. So I said, huh! Why don’t I do that! I picked 5 manga that I’m currently reading and an album that would suit their vibe. I’ll add one song from the said album so you can get a taste. 

Get your ear-jacks ready!!

The Promised Neverland

Paying tribute to the series that gave me the idea. While I was looking at the discussion, one of the readers recommended the artist 2814. I’ve never heard of them before but giving them a listen, I agree that the haunting atmosphere of their music suits the tone. However, I’m not a lazy person, thus came up with a pick myself. I recommend Evan Call’s marvelous soundtrack for the anime Mayonaka no Occult Komuin

One of the reasons behind my choice is, well, it’s a soundtrack so it has to, by design, fit certain emotions or events in a series. What I love about the most about this series is that, despite whatever’s going on in The Promised Neverland, the energy and will to live these kids are brimming with never changes. Hence, I believe this rather high-tempo soundtrack matched the tone of the series.

Do you hear the goblet drums? Santur? This is one gorgeous piece!

Monster #8

Viz has finally started pushing the Monster #8 agenda on their social media upon the release of its first volume in print. The series has been doing well, constantly being in the top 10 on Manga Plus’ Hottest list. It was the shounen series that compelled me to start I Read It So You Don’t Have To, but if you feel like you need further convincing here’s my post. Too long didn’t read version would be: I highly recommend it!

But which artist should I recommend that could go along to this hard-hitting, action-packed series with gigantic monsters? Thankfully it came to me pretty quickly. Wildbirds & Peacedrums are a duo I’ve been listening to for years now, especially their album Rivers that was released in 2010. The entire album is a masterpiece but I’ll let you experience this one song yourself that I think fits Monster #8 the best:  

Blue Sky Complex

One series BL fans never thought they’d get in English but here we are. Ichikawa Kei’s Blue Sky Complex introduces Terashima and Narasaki, two high school boys whose circles probably wouldn’t mingle if it weren’t for unexpected circumstances. Those hours spent together in the silent school library bring them closer and we watch them grow together while stumbling their way through their relationship. 

We do witness their young adult years in the recent volumes, but in the English release they are still in their teenage years. And you know what being a teenager means. Raging hormones. Miscommunication. Having to live with your parents. Hot one moment and cold the next. That’s why a synth-pop song with a catchy tune and simple yet gripping chord progression encapsulates the feeling perfectly Here’s a song I picked from Perlo’s EP, Day by Day:

Crush of the Decade

How would you feel if you were to have an undying crush on your best friend for the past 10 years? Would always being near them pain you? Would you get used to it over time? That’s the situation Yuna is in. She’s been hopelessly in love with her best friend Da-Hye and she manages to stay beside her most of the time but Da-Hye’s unrelenting attempts at finding herself a boyfriend and busy dating life is the biggest challenge to Yuna’s patience. 

This sweet GL title Crush of the Decade, perhaps due to its soft pastels, has a sort of magical feel to it. Not as in literal magic, but the sparkly, frilly, gentle type of feeling. This one didn’t come to me easily and I did some digging into my playlists, deciding on Laura Mvula’s Sing to the Moon album! With her gorgeous vocals that are accompanied by harps or xylophones and layered, complex arrangements, the whole album manages to provide that modern fairytale-like atmosphere. Here’s the song I picked from her debut album:

Saturn Apartments

Sometime in the future, the earth is no longer inhabited by humans for it to be preserved. People now live in a torus-shaped structure around the earth, 35 kilometers above. Being enclosed in such a structure transformed window cleaning as a job, and Mitsu, our protagonist, is working as one. However, considering how dangerous it is to clean windows in space and needs costly equipment, only the rich people who live on the top layer get to see real sunlight. 

Saturn Apartments is kind of old considering it was released back in 2006. However, I’ve never come across this beautiful yet bittersweet mixture of sci-fi and slice-of-life manga before, only to hear about it upon its release here last month. My impression after reading the first volume was a positive one, and I had to pick a recent album that’s frequently on repeat nowadays. I didn’t choose Floating in Space by D.A.N. solely because of the name of the song, mind you. I specifically liked the feeling of an empty space created by echoes and vocals that sound like they’ll dissipate in an instant, and it would enhance the reading pleasure:

What did you think? Do you go for specific pieces/playlists when you’re reading manga? Or go by whatever you’re in the mood for? Perhaps you prefer silence? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget that sharing is caring. Drop a link or a name if you have any recommendations. As always, thank you for stopping by and see you soon with another post!

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