Anime music has expanded far beyond the borders of Japan where it began and has become a popular musical style in every corner of the globe. Though originally defined strictly as the music composed for Japanese animation, it has grown into a genre that stands alone apart from film and television. There are plenty of places online where you can download anime music MP3s to get your fix.
Free Anime Music Downloads
The following sites offer quality free anime music that you can legally download:
- Last.FM: This site offers a large library of anime artists such as Kanon Wakeshima as well as anime soundtracks. The free downloads include over 580 MP3s. The rich variety of songs provide hours of music exploration with themes like Donkey Kong anime, 8-bit video game anime, comical rap with anime elements, and much more. This might very well be the most eclectic mix of anime and anime-inspired styles online.
- ReverbNation: With over 100 artists offering free anime MP3 downloads, this site provides a vast library of music to discover and enjoy. The anime artists are not only from Japan, but also many other locations including America, Colombia, Argentina, Italy and many others. The anime sub-genres are just as diverse, with styles like j-pop, manga, videogame anime, acoustic anime, and even Christian anime.
- Free Music Archive: Although the selection of anime is small, FMA's reputation for curating its music and only featuring the highest quality makes this site worth a look. Featured anime artists have included such acts as The Antti Jädertpolm Quartet, a Finnish group with a passion for anime and electronica.
- InternetArchive.org: This non-profit archive functions as an online library that offers, among many things, free music files that have Creative Commons licenses. With 50-100 free anime files, this site is a rich resource for music. It includes music from popular anime shows such as Gundam, Bleach, and Durarara.
- SoundCloud: This site has a handful of free anime MP3s with interesting sub-genres such as anime space bass, experimental anime, and original soundtrack anime.
- G.A.M.E.: Possible the most intriguing site in the lineup, a band called G.A.M.E. performs live shows of anime music, and they offer free MIDI versions of the songs they perform. The site is organized according to the set lists of their shows. The band will send out MP3 versions of any songs by request, citing the size of file storage as the reason they are not offered as direct downloads.
- Jamendo: This site features indie artists who make anime or anime-influenced music with a small number of free MP3 downloads. Featured artists include Randagio (acoustic anime), Asael (folk anime), and Phrenia (pop anime).
With over 800 free tracks to choose from in total, the sites above will keep you plugged into a wide variety of anime music for a long time.
Unique Music with a Unique History
Although the anime of today's artists may seem endless in its variety, anime has been around for close to a hundred years since its inception in Japan in the early 20th century. Its history has many layers that have elegantly diverted into different shapes and sounds as the rapid changes of the 1900s led to the Information Age. Now, with an online network of millions of fans and composers, anime is capturing more attention in the mainstream. The wide array of artists on the sites above are just a small sketch of what's to come as the genre evolves at light speed.