Anime and music have always gone hand-in-hand. OT’s, ET’s, and soundtracks can have a major impact on an anime. They have a certain identity all on their own and they push the envelope of what can be expected from a show. Now those elements can be expected in any show. However, some shows push the envelope and incorporate music more intimately through the entire narrative. In these shows, there tends to be male musicians who grab our attention with either their voice or looks episode after episode.
10. Reiji Suwa from Prince of Stride
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Mar. 2016
Now Prince of Stride revolves around the sport of “Stride,” which is like a mix between parkour, tricking, and relay. In this world, Honan Academy used to be considered one of the great schools of the sport but has recently fallen out of commission. Thankfully with the new year, an awesome trio of athletes come to the school and join the Stride Club.
One of the main schools challenging, as well as pushing, Honan along to greatness is Saisei Academy. Their leader and anchor for every race is Reiji Suwa, who in good-natured rivalry has been giving Honan every chance to catch up for lost time. More than being just a young man of honor and competitive spirit, he also happens to be the leader of the pop idol group Galaxy Star. It’s a huge group in this world, and it’s a group that the entire Saisei Stride Club compose using separate identities. The group is particular enchanting and it’s rather amusing that they only do this whole pop group in order to train their endurance.
9. Brook from One Piece
- Episodes: 700+
- Aired: Oct. 1999 – ongoing.
One Piece is one of those anime that everyone knows about, and everyone has at least watched some section of it. Most likely not the whole series as that is one painfully long anime, but bits and pieces here and there as it’s hard not to find this pirate-fueled anime enjoyable.
Now, the One Piece universe has a ton of characters to love, but few (in any anime for that matter) don the threads of rock gods like Brook. Brook can basically play any instrument, with the main two we see on screen being the violin and the guitar. He also happens to be a pretty well-to-do pirate with good combat experience and pretty impressive endurance. However, that’s besides the point. Brook truly shines when music is dancing from his instruments accompanied by his voice’s otherworldly and beautiful rendition of “Yoho”. His music is soothing and generally has the ability to change another person’s mind as well as show just how far the Straw Hat crew has come.
8. Shinjirou Kurama from Kamisama Kiss
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Mar. 2015
Kamisama Kiss depicts the trials and tribulations that fall upon Nanami Momozono as she takes on the duty of being a goddess of a shrine. It would have been one thing if all she had to do was keep up its appearances, but attached to the shrine is the wily and stubborn fox spirit, Tomoe. He definitely makes things harder, but Nanami is determined to win his trust as well as perhaps his heart.
Though he’s only a supporting character in the anime, Shinjirou Kurama is rather a fun spectacle to watch. To the outside world he is an insanely popular idol with the gimmick of being a fallen angel. Basically, everyone sees him as perfection incarnate. However, in reality he is a crow tengu, who not only initially planned on killing Nanami, but is quite the klutz when dealing with either Nanami or Tomoe. For all of his idol suave he really can’t function as a murderous spirit, which isn’t too bad of a trait in reality. In fact, it’s the fact that he sucks at killing that allows us to see the kinder side of him later on.
7. Ichiro from Nerima Daikon Brothers
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2006 – Mar. 2006
The dream of Hideki, leader of the Nerima Daikon Brothers band, is to build a massive dome is his hometown for his group to hold a concert in. Well, to do that, he needs money, and a lot of it. Thus, with his fellow musicians, Mako and Ichiro; Hideki finds himself consistently face-to-face with the crime bosses and villains who have insane amount of villains. Will the Nerima Daikon Brothers consistently be able to thwart the bad guys and make off with the cash is question asked in each and every glorious episode.
Despite Hideki being the main protagonist, Ichiro’s nonchalance and deadpan voice brings a special humor to the show. Though the show makes fun of itself on a constant basis, Ichiro is the vocal point for such occasions. While the others are running terrified in full tilt, he’s carrying along as if it’s all some sort of game. His facial expressions and attitude generally act in a way that mock the others, and none are as great as the moment when he sings to Mako how he’ll never lover her. The guy’s a class act.
6. Kakeru from Starmyu
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2015 – Dec. 2015
Starmyu is extremely reminiscent of Prince no Uta Sama. It follows five promising musicians into the high renowned musical department of Ayanagi Academy, and how they go about excelling in their artistic endeavors. Though not devoid of competition and rivalry, the boys become pillars of support for one another, and help each other grow personally as well as interpersonally.
One of these students showing incredible skill is Kakeru, a famous Kabuki actor, who comes from a noble family. At first he has quite the reputation behind him, coming off as consistently cold and a possible womanizer. As he does have some pride issues, his coldness and possible desire to conquer women seem rather fitting. However, in truth, he just has a cat, which he loves tremendously. Kakeru’s main form of development comes from learning to appreciate the talents and help of others thanks to the kindness that Yuuta showed him.
5. Natsuki from Uta no Prince Sama
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2011 – Sep. 2011
Uta no Prince Sama takes viewers into the highly acclaimed Saotome Academy, where the most promising performing arts students go to perfect their crafts. Following Haruka Nanami’s first year into the academy, we get a special glimpse into the lives and artistic expressions of several of the students. Ultimately, this various bunch of students are brought together musically into a group that promises to topple the entertainment industry.
One of the aspiring musicians who finds himself entrapped by Haruka and her talents is Natsuki. Now Natsuki plays the viola, used to play the violin, and can sing quite eloquently. Though these talents alone don’t particularly put him above the rest of the musicians that compose the UtaPri boy band. However, Natsuki has a second personality, who goes by the name Satsuki. Compared to the gentle at times woeful music that fans out from Natsuki, the music that Satsuki performs is tumultuous and aggressive. As a result, he has an extremely wide range that none of the others can actually compare to.
4. Shuuichi Shindou from Gravitation!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2000 – Jan. 2001
Shuichi with his best friend Hiro have formed the band Bad Luck in pursuit of chasing after his favorite pop idol Ryuichi Sakuma. Now, these friends have made some headway into the entertainment industry as they have successfully been signed to a major recording label, but with deadlines coming up for singles and an album, Shuichi is struggling with writing songs. It doesn’t help (or does it) when he runs into Yuki Eiri, a young writer, at a park and gets verbally wrecked by Yuki.
Shuichi is that character you can’t help but cheer for. He’s energetic, hyper and extremely innocent. In fact, his innocence plays a huge part throughout the show, as it plays into his massive mood swings. It also explains why he breaks into chibi form frequently as well as why his singing is affected both positively and negatively by his relationship with Eiri. Though he is used in comedic ways often, you won’t be able to ignore his obvious talent and perseverance that keeps the show’s plot moving.
3. Sakuya Ookouchi from Kaikan Phrase
- Episodes: 44
- Aired: Apr. 1999 – Mar. 2000
Kaikan Phrase follows the guitarist Yuki and the drummer Santa as they leave their old band and try to create a new one. First things first, they need to get a bass player and a singer, and luckily they find two people who surpass what they could have ever hoped for. The question is will this new band be able to stick together and break into the music industry?
The singer that Yuki and Santa recruit to their group Lucifer is the troubled and disillusioned Sakuya. From the very first time they, and we the audience, hear Sakuya sing as he plays the piano, it’s clear that he is the secret weapon that they need. He is the person who can drive them to stardom. His voice is hypnotizing and powerful, and his tragic past ties so perfectly with it that it’s hard not to have a crush on the guy.
2. Koyuki from Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2004 – Mar. 2005
This anime follows Yukio Tanaka (Koyuki) as he falls in love with music and joins the group Beck. Led by Ryuusuke Minami, the ragtag group Beck takes on Japan’s music scene, doing it’s best to create a unique mix of bluesy rock that will pave the way to international fame. During each leg of this journey, the anime proves itself to be a coming of age story that chases down young love, creative differences, international crime, and of course rock.
Now Koyuki doesn’t seem to be much of a rock star at first glance. He’s quiet, constantly embarrassed, and barely able to speak his mind to others. However, he does have a particularly unique voice and one that becomes more and more developed with his “underground” attitude as he becomes closer with Ryuusuke and other members of Beck. By the end, of the series, he’s standing alone on a concert belting out a song that’s hypnotizing the crowd, and you as well.
1. Souichi Negishi from Detroit Metal City
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Aug. 2008 – Oct. 2008
Detroit Metal City tails the young Souichi Negishi, who wishes to pursue a career as a pop star. However, this dream is one in the works and to keep those gears turning he finds himself taking on the lead singer position of the death metal band Detroit Metal City.
Becoming the lead singer of a death metal group has given Souichi a new vocal range and vocabulary to say the least. It’s hard to imagine words like “bitch” and “ “ to come out of the quiet and good-natured Souichi’s mouth. However, when donning the guise of Krauser, he can commit practically any crime he so desires and it’s generally to great comedic affect. Despite the anime’s incredibly contrasting natures, it still holds true to some musical integrity. Souichi’s grasp of rhythm and wordplay allow him to roam through several different genres to an amazing degree. It’s quite epic to watch him scream out a song like Demon King to humming out the melodic Raspberry Kiss to picking up a basic rap pattern when listening to it for the first time and incorporating death metal lyrics into it.
Music is an important aspect of any and every anime, but it’s always a nice touch to find characters who have the power of song within them. Whether being a musician is more for gimmick or an actual in-depth part of the character, such characters generally have very unique personalities that are expressed in amazing ways. Are there any male singers out there in the anime world that you feel deserve a spot on this list?