If someone could take Hironobu Kageyama, Masaaki Endou, Yoshiki Fukuyama, and a huge chunk of anime and tokusatu’s biggest musicians, then they’re going to get JAM Project. JAM stands for Japan Animationsong Makers since the band consists of artists who made their individual careers by contributing to anime. The idea of the band originated from Ichiro Mizuki, who mainly worked in the 70s as he did the theme songs to Mazinger Z, Babel II, Voltes V, and other iconic classics. Since the inception of JAM Project, the band has continued the tradition of making songs for anime and tokusatsu. What are some of their biggest songs? Read our top 5 to find out!
5. Kaze ni Nare
Kicking off this list is Kaze ni Nare, the opening theme song of Ex-Driver. As a matter of fact, Kaze ni Nare was JAM Project’s debut song! This song pretty much sets the tone for what JAM Project is all about, making exciting and intense songs for anime fans! As the song relates to the driving gimmick of Ex-Driver, Kaze ni Nare, or Be Like the Wind, is certainly an appropriate title. One of the first things listeners would hear that would persist in a majority of the band’s songs is the heavy use of guitar riffs. They’re the kind that listeners would certainly love to play air guitar to as they listen. The singing, largely provided by Hironobu Kageyama and then-member Karen Shiina, excellently carries a sense of passion as the song conveys messages of just throwing caution to the wind, living life on your own terms, and enjoying it. If any of you readers feel down, this might be the song to lift you up!
4. Hagane no Messiah
Along with Kaze ni Nare being their breakout into anime, Hagane no Messiah (or Full Metal Messiah) was JAM Project’s breakout into video games since it was the opening theme to an installment of Bandai’s Super Robot Taisen series. Considering that robots are seen as a saviors in the mech genre, a song title such as Hagane no Messiah is a perfect way to set the stage. However, the selection of this song goes beyond the naming. The instrumentals will dial one’s adrenaline to 11, and the delivery of the lyrics about how one should rise to be a hero will also inspire people to take a stand and make a difference! Last, the lyrics also share themes that promote peace, tolerance, and understanding, messages that will never go out of style.
3. Shugonshi – The Guardian
In 2009, Mazinger Z—the OG of the mech genre—made a comeback. Welcoming new and old fans alike is the opening theme, The Guardian. Through this song, the core members of the band can masterfully mix qualities that are old and new to create a balance that makes it appealing to all potential viewers. The opening hook in The Guardian takes a slightly different approach by having something more orchestral and hymn-like to emphasize an event akin to what is foretold in the Book of Revelations while maintaining that same fire that is consistent in their songs. Even when the song transitions to the lyrical portions, it still maintains that same tone that tries to come across as religious with the instruments and melodies, but with a voice and lyrics that are in-tune with present-day heroics of soaring through the sky and kicking evil’s butt.
2. The Hero
Coming in at number 2 is The Hero, which some of you readers may likely recognize as one of One Punch Man’s opening themes. The song is in your face with what it’s all about and when listeners understand the content of the song, they can easily get an idea that it perfectly fits with One Punch Man. The song effectively conveys how Saitama is the hero that nobody knows but even so, the important thing is that one becomes a hero to do the right thing and not for the fame and glory, which perfectly reflects Saitama’s character (and that he can take out foes in a single punch). The exciting delivery of the singing that goes along with the melody and guitar chords demonstrates how a traditional hero should be, but the lyrics do a great job of showing how this isn’t a traditional hero show. The combinations of all these qualities make the song feel fresh despite using such familiar qualities listeners would hear within the genre.
1. Garo ~ Savior in the Dark
Just like how JAM Project has contributed to the Garo anime, the band’s presence in the franchise dates back to the 2006 debut of the original tokusatsu series as they performed the second theme song, Garo ~ Savior in the Dark. While many opening theme songs of anime and tokusatsu refrain from directly telling viewers the story, Savior in the Dark is one of the rare exceptions and when readers listen to this song, it’s for good reasons. It’s a great preview of how the golden knight will always be there to protect the innocent, and whenever he is lost, his sword will always guide him to the answer that he is seeking. With its powerful guitar riffs and inspiring chorus, it also does a great job of promising viewers that they are in for some awesome action. If an action/horror film could be a song, Savior in the Dark is the best way to describe it.
With JAM Project’s rich and abundant library of amazing songs, we’re ready to admit that a good majority of you readers may disagree with our selections and we’re cool with that. No matter what your personal Best 5 may be, we’re positive that your songs are all uplifting to all individuals in their own ways. A great percentage of their songs are about overcoming adversity and doubt and as a whole, that’s what makes JAM Project the best!