AK 3

As much as I like singing karaoke, it’s probably for the best that I don’t get a chance to go very often. By my own estimation, there are really only about a half-dozen songs that I can sing passably well, which means that, by everyone else’s estimation, the number is probably closer to two.

It seems I’m not the only amateur vocalist with a limited set list, though, as evidenced by this list of anime songs people are sick of hearing at karaoke, with an overwhelming top pick that accounted for nearly half of all votes.

Whereas general pop music fans tend to quickly move on from one hit to the next, anime fans with a penchant for karaoke seem to hang on to their personal anthems for a longer time, judging from the relative age of the top rankers in Nico Nico News’ poll of 362 adult men and women.

Of course, there’re two sides to every story, and one person can’t be sick of hearing a song unless there’s also someone who never gets tired of singing it. With that in mind, we’ve included videos of each song below, so either crank up the volume or mute your speakers, according to your preference.

5 (tie). “Ai wo Torimodose!!” (Fist of the North Star) – 3.1 percent

When viewers tuned in for an episode of Fist of the North Star, they knew there were about to see huge, muscular dudes punching each other to death in a desert wasteland. But before that, they knew they’d get to hear Crystal King screaming “You wa shock!”

5 (tie). “Cutie Honey” (Cutie Honey) – 3.1 percent

The theme song to creator Go Nagai’s sexy magical girl series has a couple of things going for it, like its lively tempo and a melody that’s aged nicely from trendy to retro. On the other hand, it also has such deep lyrics as:

“Trendy girls these days
Girls with tiny bottoms
Look over here, Honey!
‘cause, it’s like
‘cause, ‘cause it’s like, you know”

Not helping things in the eyes of the tune’s detractors is the fact that Cutie Honey has seen multiple remakes, but retains its opening number, albeit with a new arrangement, each time.

▼ Seriously, we could spend all day on them.

4. Gatchaman Song (Gatchaman) – 4.7 percent

The title of Gatchaman, about a team of “science ninjas” who dress like birds, was considered too silly for international release, and the anime was released outside Japan under names such as G-Force and Battle of the Planets. Japan, though, was apparently so OK with the name Gatchman that the word shows up no fewer than five times in the theme’s first 50 seconds. And while that makes it easy for a room full of fans to sing along, it also makes the lyrics impossible to ignore for anyone who was already sick of them after the second “Gatchaman!”

3. “Space Battleship Yamato” (Space Battleship Yamato) – 9.7 percent

During my study abroad days, I once went to karaoke with a mixed group of Japanese and foreign classmates, one of whom decided to sing the opening theme from 1974’s Space Battleship Yamato. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a room show any less interest in someone’s singing.

To its credit, Space Battleship Yamato is one of the all-time classics of Japanese science fiction across all media. That doesn’t change the fact that the song’s mix of sea shanty and military anthem is all covered with way to much bombastic sauce for some people’s tastes.

2. “Touch” (Touch) – 12.5 percent

We’ve talked before about our love for this timeless tale of youth baseball and young love. Not everyone feels as positively about its opening theme, though. This might be because Touch was a huge hit, transcending anime fandom and saturating mainstream pop culture with its opener. Or, maybe some people don’t like it because of the way the lyrics “Please, touch me, touche me, touch me here” lend themselves so easily to suggestive gesturing by karaoke singers who’re well into their fifth beer of the night.

1. “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” (Neon Genesis Evangelion) – 40.6 percent

Absolutely burying the rest of the field, we come to the TV opener for Evangelion. Oddly enough, unlike Cutie Honey and Yamato, both of which are committed to recycling their iconic themes for remakes, Eva hasn’t used “Zankoku na Tenshi no Teze,” as the song is called in Japanese, in a new piece of animation since the original TV series’ finale in 1996.

The franchise’s subsequent theatrical features have all featured new songs, some performed by hugely popular recording star Hikaru Utada. But while each new Eva installment’s new theme sells in big numbers, it’s the original that fans have been going back to for two decades now, even when some people wish they wouldn’t.

But again, the fact that enough people are singing these songs to get on the respondents’ nerves must mean they’re still popular, so they’re not necessarily immediate buzzkills. Try to judge your karaoke mates’ moods before you punch in your song, though, and if they don’t seem like they’re down for one of these six anime standards, bear in mind that there are alternatives to group karaoke.

Source: Nico Nico News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Anime Vice