The 10 Best Anime Songs to Play on the Piano
When we think of movies, Hollywood and Disney often come to mind. However, in recent years Japanese animation films and series have skyrocketed in popularity and there are some real masterpieces in this genre. The storylines, visuals and music all contribute to the success of this style.
The very first anime song appeared in 1963 in a TV series called Astro Boy and was performed by a boys’ choir. In the 1970s, anime music came into its own with artists specifically recording anime music and performing it at concerts. This led to anime music becoming a genre in its own right. Nowadays, it is popular with both children and adults thanks to the darker issues covered in many famous Japanese anime films and series, as well as the development of the internet.
There are two big names to mention in this genre: Studio Ghibli and Joe Hisaishi. The former is an animation studio that has released some of the greatest anime films of all time, through the use of beautifully hand-crafted drawings and fairy tales. The studio regularly works with Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi - he is an icon in anime music who regularly works with the legendary film director Hayao Miyazaki and together they have produced some of the best Japanese anime films and music of all time.
At Tomplay, we have a wide selection of anime piano sheet music plus we offer several collections of The Most Beautiful Anime Sheet Music to Play on the Piano. They are available in several levels of difficulty so everyone can try out some incredible Japanese anime music!
▶️ Discover The Most Beautiful Anime Sheet Music to Play on the Piano, Beginner
▶️ Discover The Most Beautiful Anime Sheet Music to Play on the Piano, Easy
▶️ Discover The Most Beautiful Anime Sheet Music to Play on the Piano, Intermediate
▶️ Discover The Most Beautiful Anime Sheet Music to Play on the Piano, Advanced
1. The Merry-Go-Round of Life from Howl’s Moving Castle
▶️ Play The Merry-Go-Round of Life on the piano
Our first piece on the list of the best anime music is of course a creation from a movie by the iconic duo Joe Hisaishi and Hayao Miyazaki. In 2004, the pair worked on the film Howl’s Moving Castle. The story follows a young girl, Sophie, and the wizard Howl. They begin to develop a lovely relationship but it is soon tested when an evil witch casts a spell on Sophie, turning her into an old woman. Howl must fight against the witch in order to break the spell.
The theme song of the movie is The Merry-Go-Round of Life, a delightful waltz that reflects the ups and downs of life. This is a great piece to work on musical expression thanks to the lyrical melody and changing ambiance of the work. There is also a section where the melody is played in octaves in the right hand, so it’s a good opportunity to work on dexterity.
Our arrangement of The Merry-Go-Round of Life by Joe Hisaishi from Howl’s Moving Castle is for solo piano and is set at an advanced level.
2. The theme song from Pokemon
▶️ Play Pokemon - Theme on the piano
Who doesn't know the Japanese anime TV series Pokemon? These fictional creatures were mascots of an entire generation and have had a huge cultural impact in many countries since their creation in 1996.
The theme song from the Pokemon series was written by John Siegler and Tamara Loeffler and performed by Jason Paige. It is an upbeat and fun anime song with lyrics that include the all-important Pokemon slogan ‘Gotta catch ‘em all’. This catchy hit is one of the best anime songs ever released and has become as famous as the series itself.
Our arrangements of the anime piano sheet music Pokemon - Theme are available in several levels of difficulty for solo piano. The left hand part is quite active and provides the heartbeat of the piece, so make sure you learn it properly first. You can do this by using the Tomplay tempo changer - practice it slowly and increase the speed little by little.
3. One Summer’s Day from the film Spirited Away
▶️ Play One Summer’s Day on the piano
Spirited Away (2002) is another iconic creation of the duo Joe Hisaishi and Hayao Miyazaki. It tells the story of the young Chihiro stuck in an amusement park trying to save her parents who have been turned into animals. One Summer’s Day is a gentle composition played on the piano and accompanied by the orchestra. The piano part is filled with lush chords which convey the idea of a beautiful summer’s day perfectly.
Although this work is for piano and orchestra, Hisaishi did turn it into a song by adding lyrics that Japanese pop singer Ayaka Hirahara performed. This popular anime song is titled The Name of Life.
Perform one of the best anime sheet music titles with Tomplay - our arrangement of Spirited Away - One Summer’s Day is for solo piano and is set at an intermediate to advanced level.
4. Sadness and Sorrow from the manga series Naruto
▶️ Play Sadness and Sorrow on the piano
Naruto was originally a manga magazine first released in 1999 before it was turned into a TV series in 2002. Over 220 episodes were released. The story follows a young ninja named Naruto through his childhood and teen years as he tries to become the head of his village.
The first soundtrack of Japanese anime music for this series included 22 tracks, one of which was Sadness and Sorrow. This is an instrumental piece of music that is very expressive with a moving melody.
This is one of the most beautiful pieces of anime music to play on the piano. Our arrangement of Naruto - Sadness and Sorrow is set at an easy to intermediate level for solo piano.
5. The Bygone Days from Porco Rosso
▶️ Play The Bygone Days on the piano
Porco Rosso (1992) is a Japanese animation film about an Italian bounty hunter who has been cursed and turned into a pig. His nickname therefore is ‘porco rosso’, or red pig in English. This film is yet another wonderful creation by the iconic duo, director Hayao Miyazaki and composer Joe Hisaishi, and was produced by Studio Ghibli.
The anime theme song for this movie is titled The Bygone Days. It is a beautiful piano and orchestral composition with a lilting swing. Although the time signature is 4/4, the score is marked ‘swing feel’ so instead of a straight quaver rhythm you can play it more like triplets. This anime piano sheet music title is also great for practising pedalling.
Our arrangements of Porco Rosso - The Bygone Days are available in a variety of levels for solo piano. Get to grips with one of the best anime sheet music titles thanks to Tomplay!
6. Guren no yumiya from Attack on Titan
▶️ Play Guren no yumiya on the piano
The video game Attack on Titan is based on the Japanese animated series of the same name, where humans are confined to a city protected by walls to keep out the monsters named the Titans. This manga series is so popular that a musical adaptation will premiere in 2023.
The opening anime theme song is titled Guren no yumiya and has become popular both within and beyond the video game world. It even appeared on Billboard’s Hot Animation charts and Billboard Japan Hot 100, proving that anime music now holds an important cultural spot that goes far beyond mere background music.
Get to grips with this titan of anime songs! We offer Attack on Titan - Guren no yumiya for solo piano at an easy level but be careful - there are several key signature changes throughout the piece.
7. Innocent from Castle in the Sky
No surprise here, Castle in the Sky is yet another creation by duo Hayao Miyazaki and Joe Hisaishi! It was also the first Japanese anime film Studio Ghibli made, in 1986.
The story centres around Sheeta, a young orphan who is kidnapped then escapes via a magical necklace she is wearing. Along with her new friend Pazu, she explores a mysterious city while trying to evade further capture.
This wonderful piece of anime music is the theme song of the film. It is both uplifting and sad, with a hint of nostalgia. The original version is orchestral however it is also a magnificent piece to play on the piano. The left hand part has a passage of semi-quavers so fingering is really important - you can either follow our recommendations or you can add your own fingerings using our annotation tool.
We want everyone to be able to play one of the best anime piano sheet music titles, so we’ve arranged Castle in the Sky - Innocent in three levels of difficulty for solo piano.
8. Ashitaka and San from Princess Mononoke
▶️ Play Ashitaka and San on the piano
In 1997, the fantasy film Princesse Mononoke was released in Japan, then in the United States. The film is set in Japan and tells the story of a young prince, Ashitaka, who is stuck in the middle of a conflict between the Gods of a forest and the humans who are destroying it.
The anime song Ashitaka and San, written by Joe Hisaishi, represents the relationship between the two main characters Ashitaka and San. It is therefore a romantic piece that is perfect for solo piano. Our arrangement of Princess Mononoke - Ashitaka and San is set at an advanced level.
9. A Town with an Ocean View from Kiki’s Delivery Service
▶️ Play A Town with an Ocean View on the piano
Once again we have another anime piano sheet music title from the duo Hisaishi and Miyazaki. The film Kiki’s Delivery Service was released in Japan in 1989 and tells the story of Kiki, a young witch who makes money in a new town by offering a flying courier service. In 1997, Disney released an English version of the film that included the original anime songs plus new anime music.
A Town with an Ocean View is one of the theme songs of this Japanese animation movie. It is played over the scene where Kiki arrives in her new town, Koriko, and returns often throughout the film. It is a charming piece of anime music that requires the pianist to work on phrasing - the melody flits between staccato and legato.
Our arrangement of A Town with an Ocean View is available in two levels of difficulty for solo piano, so everyone can learn this anime piano sheet music title.
10. Giorno’s Theme from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (Golden Wind)
▶️ Play Giorno’s Theme on the piano
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was originally released in 1987 in a manga magazine before being made into a series and anime film in the 2000s. Golden Wind is the fifth part of this Japanese anime series and it follows the story of Giorno. This man wants to become a mafia leader in order to fight against drug dealers who are selling their product to children.
Giorno’s Theme is one of the best anime songs thanks to its upbeat and catchy rhythm. The relentless beat is a reflection of Giorno’s resolve and ambition as a character.
Our anime piano sheet music arrangement of Giorno’s Theme is set at an easy level for solo piano so everyone can give it a go.
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