Otaku USA Magazine
Anime Music Moves the Mind for These Singing Star Characters

Anime music can move the heart... and the mind, if you're one of these characters

Anime music can really get inside your heart. A certain orchestral swell can remind you of the final tear-jerker moments of Gunbuster or throw you back into one of the epic battles of Attack on Titan. But sometimes the power of music is quite literal. And sometimes it gets all the way inside your head. For better or for worse.

Today, we’re looking at anime characters of the past and present whose relationship with music is more on the psychological side. Sometimes that just means cool stage effects; other times, it means being ripped from the world you know to be trapped in a pocket dimension. But you know. Either way.



Uta, One Piece

Anime music enjoyers have been getting to know the dulcet tones of Ado. The singer debuted in 2020 at the age of 17 and has been skyrocketing. You can hear her this season performing “Kura Kura,” the new SPY x FAMILY theme. But One Piece fans already knew her as the singing voice of Uta, the songstress at the heart of One Piece Film: Red.

Uta loved her fans. A lot. And wanted them to be happy. She was also under the impression that the only way for them (and her) to be truly happy was to transport them to an alternate dimension via song. Her goal was to create a utopia in Uta World. But you know what they say about good intentions.


Sharon Apple

Sharon Apple, Macross Plus

The Macross franchise has left an indelible mark on the world of anime music. Idol singers regularly go into battle alongside mecha pilots, changing hearts with their song. But there was a certain idol who went above and beyond when it came to hearts and minds. And, in the process, reminded us all to always stress-test your software before you send it live!

Sharon Apple was an AI idol created by Myung Fang Lone. But, as she was incomplete, Myung supplemented the program with her own voice and thoughts. But when Sharon gets an illegal upgrade, she becomes sentient. And on her quest to resolve the series’s love triangle (another Macross mainstay), she brings Macross City under her hypnotic control.


The Rappers of Paradox Live

BAE, Paradox Live: The Animation

Move over, HYPNOSISMIC… there’s another mind-controlling rap project taking on the anime music scene! Paradox Live THE ANIMATION brings the project’s story to life this season. At least for the time being, their goals are a lot less megalomaniacal.

BAE and the series’s many other rappers supplement their tunes with “phantom metal”: special accessories that create illusions based on their emotions. But that can come with traumatic side effects. In other words, the minds they’re really messing with are their own. But a little psychological damage is a small price to pay for a massive cash prize, right?

From music to musicals: dive into West End anime!

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.