Anime has influenced western art since its inception – and although anime music videos are fast disappearing, music videos inspired by anime are not. Between nostalgia, streaming, and accessibility, anime is making its way into music videos in a big way, especially as more and more people revel in their love for the art form. So, on to the music videos! This list is unranked, but I can assure you that my favorite is at the end of this slideshow. Enjoy some absolute bangers while you wait.
“You should see me in a crown”, Billie Eilish
You might not recognize Takashi Murakami’s name, but a lot of people would recognize his happy-faced flower or his super flat aesthetic. Eilish is a renowned anime fan and this isn’t even the first anime music video she’s done.
“Boss Up”, Tyga
Tyga is facing an isekai assassination situation here folks.
One of the earliest anime references in our slideshow, tATu leaned into the cyberpunk aesthetic for “Gomenasai.”
“Pink Youth”, Yuna with Little Simz
Yuna’s take on immersive storytelling is inspired by super sentai stories, Akira, and 1984.
“Another Life”, Afrojack and David Guetta
Ever since Bjork changed the game with her amazing sexy robot music video for “All Is Full of Love,” people have been trying to replicate it. This video does a good job of homage, fusing together epic space scenes.
“Breaking the Habit”, Linkin Park
Studio Gonzo animated this music video and the director, Kazuto Nakazawa, created this film in the style of the O-Ren segment of Kill Bill, on which he also worked.
“Shelter”, Porter Robinson and Madeon
A real anime collaboration between the musicians and Crunchyroll, this short film is really awesome.
“Wake Up”, Yaeji
This style reminds me of Guadetama, and I really like the laid-back, almost Sanrio-meets-Jojo kind of vibe here.
“Bad Habits”, Ed Sheeran
The Japanese version of Bad Habits has its own anime version, and it’s super charming, actually, mixing idol culture and supernatural horror.
“Levitating”, Dua Lipa
The Sailor Moon the references are all over this one.
“Snowchild”, The Weeknd
The Weeknd’s anime-horror aesthetic is awesome, actually.
“Emotions”, cashmere cat
Cashmere Cat wants you to play JRPGs or die.
“Once More”, Daft Punk
One of the original anime music videos, this 2000 banger was directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi who used these scenes as part of the feature film, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5secret 5tar 5system, which he also directed.
“Breaking the Ice”, Britney Spears
Say what you want about this animation, this song is a bop.
“Sing along”, Sturgill Simpson
OK so I’m not going to get poetic about Sturgill Simpson sound and fury, but the thing is, this country artist fell in love with anime, then went to Netflix and thought, “How about we produce a 40-minute episodic anime movie that uses my latest album as the soundtrack. ” What came out of the collab is a cypberpunk/country mashup that’s a delight to watch and listen to, and I haven’t seen enough people talking about it. Japanese director Junpei Mizusaki helmed the project, and everything about it is weird, wonderful, and works alongside Simpson’s outlaw country roots that sprouted electronic flowers. So while this single is available to stream, the whole thing is on Netflix, and it’s well worth your time. Also, if you want to read me getting poetic about it, I got you covered.
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