It often goes unnoticed by viewers of anime, but yet, it is indubitably one of the most important components of anime. I'm talking about the music. The music of an anime work is often just as memorable, if not more memorable, than the work itself. In fact, it can make mediocre anime into a great work or vice versa. From the techno style of Macross Plus to the cyberpunkish rock of Bubblegum Crisis to the symphonic themes of Miyazaki's films, anime music has a vast range of styles. The creators of anime go out of their way to pick or create the perfect music for their anime. Some go to musical groups such as the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra (Macross Plus), while others go to idol singers, as is the case for many of the songs in BGC. I know that some people may get so involved in reading the subtitles that they occasionally blot out the sound and the music, but then they are missing half of the show. So next time you're watching anime, close your eyes, stop, and really listen to the music. You just might be pleasantly surprised. Some pieces are just so wonderful that we never forget them. Often, open and closing themes of series stick in people's minds (I tend to hum the opening of Maison Ikkoku at random). In fact, the sign of a true music otaku is that he can sing the Japanese lyrics to a song and not know a word of Japanese. Many people new to anime may not realize that soundtracks to various anime films and series are readily available in the United States. While they may carry a lofty price, $30-$45 depending on the CD and yen, the good ones are worth more than their weight in gold. [Others, like Akira and Macross Plus, have been pressed here in America, making them a bargain-basement $15 -Ed] I've listed below a few places to contact if you are interested in purchasing anime music.
If anyone is interested in discussing anime music, wants recommendations, or has questions, feel free to come up to me and ask. While I may not be able to answer many of your questions, I can tell you why the Japanese drive on the other side of the road...