This Year in Drama Soundtracks: 2013 (Part 2: Upbeat Edition)

Drama ReviewsEnd of the Year ReviewsJapanese DramasMusicTaiwanese Dramas

In case you missed the first part of this series, I am gathering songs from this year’s drama soundtracks based on the kind of ‘feel’ or vibes that the songs give me.  My first edition was for the “Melancholy” vibe…the kind of songs I’d listen to while I’m feeling kinda blue.  This part 2 is centered around a more catchy and upbeat feeling.  I couldn’t really think of any other word to describe these songs so… O__O  If you can find a better word please do. I feel so lame calling this the ‘upbeat edition’.  (Please note that I am kinda clueless when it comes to genres so I just put what I THINK the genre is T_T)

In this Upbeat Edition:

  1. Yin Yang – Kuwata Keisuke – Saikou no Rikon OST
  2. Aitai – Suga Shikao – xxxHOLiC Live Action OST
  3. I Can’t Rely on You – Takeshi Hanzawa/FreeTEMPO – Last Cinderella OST
  4. 23:59 – Takeshi Hanzawa/FreeTEMPO – Last Cinderella OST
  5. Every Hero (Short version) – kaho – Miss Pilot OST
  6. Unknown song – The Pursuit of Happiness OST


The Songs:


Yin Yang – Kuwata Keisuke – Saikou no Rikon OST

Drama: Saikou no Rikon
[Ending Theme Song]
Genre: ??
Feeling:  Spunky, fun….SNAZZY?

Saikou no Rikon definitely has the best ending theme song & MV HANDS DOWN!  Somehow the best word I can use to describe this song is SNAZZY.  It is just a lot of fun and when paired with the awesome MV’s it is amazing.  Each episode has a slightly different ending MV, all of which are really funny and hot. O__O  Really you should just watch all of the ending MV’s for each episode, they are such a hoot to watch, haha!


Aitai – Suga Shikao – xxxHOLiC Live Action OST

Drama: xxxHOLiC Live Action
[Opening Theme Song]
Genre: Pop
Feeling:  Edgy, mysterious

Of course I have to include a song off of the xxxHOLiC soundtrack, bwahahaha!!!  This song gives me a very distinct xxxHOLiC-ish feel because it sounds all mysterious and EPIC.  You really have to watch it with the opening MV though because I think I feel like it’s epic since the MV lets me stare at the main characters’ faces in SLO-MO. 😛


I Can’t Rely on You – Takeshi Hanzawa/FreeTEMPO – Last Cinderella OST

Drama: Last Cinderella
Genre: Pop/jazz
Feeling: catchy, jazzy, smooth

If you’re a fan of FREETEMPO then you’d know that their songs are SOOO CATCHY!  I especially like the piano & violin parts!  And I can actually sing along with it! I CAN’T RELY ON YOUUUUUUUUUU! YOU’RE NEVER THERE FOR ME, I CAN’T RELY ON YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU.


23:59 – Takeshi Hanzawa/FreeTEMPO – Last Cinderella OST

Drama: Last Cinderella
Genre: Pop/instrumental
Feeling: slow build-up, catchy

This is yet another song off of the Last Cinderella OST, and of course it’s by Takeshi Hanzawa/FreeTEMPO. This is actually an instrumental song and it takes a while for it to build-up, but once you get further and further into the song it just gets better and better.  Anyways if you saw Last Cinderella you might remember this is the scene when Hiroto ‘targets’ Sakura while doing his epic slow-mo walk. I think this is one of my favorite songs from this edition because it’s just so catchy.  *W*


Every Hero (Short version) – kaho – Miss Pilot OST

Drama: Miss Pilot
[Ending Theme Song]
Genre: pop, soul
Feeling: soul

I actually didn’t watch all of Miss Pilot but the theme song definitely caught my attention.  The singer, Kaho, is actually new to the jpop scene and I love her voice already.  It’s very soulful and strong.  My favorite part of the song is actually the beginning when kaho sings the opening verse!


Unknown song – The Pursuit of Happiness OST

Drama: The Pursuit of Happiness OST
Genre: pop, instrumental
Feeling: love!

Literally I searched EVERYWHERE for the title of this song and I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE.  I couldn’t even find a clip of it so the only way to share it here was to use a whole part of the episode.  O_O” It starts at 11:14 and plays through 12:14.  Note that there are also big spoilers haha!  Anyways this is one of my favorite songs from The Pursuit of Happiness OST even though I’ve only heard it once or twice.  It is also an instrumental but OMG it totally suits the scene so well and I loveeee the ending when it turns into this really swoony romantic melody.  *W*

**The song starts at 11:14!  Don’t watch this if you haven’t seen episode 8!


So that’s it for part 2 of This Year in Drama Soundtracks.  There are only 6 songs here but I think each one of them is quite memorable to me.   They all have a very distinct feel to them and I also feel like they are more unique in that they are not all the most popular songs off of the drama soundtracks.  I think it’s good to appreciate the instrumental tracks as well as they are usually overlooked in favor of the more well-known theme songs.  Also I know this ended up being mainly Japanese songs, erm it just kinda happened that way. O_O”

This Year in Drama Soundtracks 2013


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
Female Prime Minister: Eps 7-18
The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 9
  • Ummmm, because Japanese drama songs are THE BEST… ok, not necessarily, but I find other ones to be (really subjectively, obviously) more annoying. I just really remember them using music really well in Proposal Daisakusen (also Kuwata Keisuke, I think! Although I reeeeeally loved their Mongol800 montages), and so I’ve always associated good music with j-dramas. I think a Korean drama that I really liked the music for was Sungkyunkwan Scandal, the rest have been really hit or miss. Like, the times I’ve been really annoyed by music in dramas, it’s generally been Korean or Taiwanese ones. That probably doesn’t really make sense, but oh well.

    Anyway, thanks for that first video, because now I’m definitely watching Saikou no Rikon. (God, I’m so behind in dramas right now!)

    I haven’t been very consistent with finishing dramas lately, so I don’t really have a current opinion for this year, but thanks for the list.

    • LOL actually I think it’s because I watched more jdramas this year. 😉 YESSSS Saikou no Rikon is so good!! And yay that means you can still watch the ending MV’s hehe.

  • The ending theme song for saikou no rikon, i don’t enjoy that kind of music, but it’s so catchy, i keep found my self humming that song at some catchy part. for the mv, I always looking forward the lesbian scene between ono and maki yoko, it looks hot, lol, weird I know. The music in xxxholic opening song sounds bizzare (i like it) but I dont enjoy the singer’s voice, also, heisui, I saw the clip and you made me want to watch the drama, quite creepy, and as bizzare as the ost. and thanks to you, After reading the first part of you drama ost review, I start watching Mahoro, I really enjoy the backing music and the ending song in Mahoro. my fav ost for this year (for upbeat ver.) is:
    1.Itazura na kiss opening song ( so cute, youthful and sugary, I thought you will include this one)
    2.Soratobu kouhoushitsu ending song (really suitable for air force and chasing dream theme)
    3.Legal High 2 ending song (more because I enjoy this kind of music)
    for now, I enjoy the grand bgm music for Ando Lloyd, it sounds splendid and bring the sci-fi mood to this drama.
    anyway, looking forward for part 3 of your drama ost review.

    • Yup xxxholic was a really good drama. The opening theme song really suits it. And agreed about Mahoro, overall I loved all the songs from that drama! They were very soothing.

      Actually I didn’t really like the INK opening song because the singer’s voice was too high-pitched to me. >__< like that super anime kind of high-pitched. Haven't heard any songs from Soratobu or Legal High 2, I'll have to check those out.

  • Despite not really liking both Last Cinderella and Saikou no Rikon personally, I do like their music. Freetempo is just pure love!!!
    J-dramas are so good with their batch of upbeat themes, such as Miwa’s Hikari no E in Rich man, poor woman.

    Recent soundtracks that I really like in TW-drama will be TPOH, the songs by 吳汶芳 are just so lovely and they even include my favorite band Frande in the soundtrack. I also think that In A Good Way have the best opening theme and quite a nice selection of BGMs (90’s mando-pop can be great at times), hahahaha. For Korean dramas, I prefer those indie-music artist songs because there’s more diversity.

    • *high five* YAY FREETEMPO!! It’s so catchy right?!?! Haven’t heard that song from RMPW I will have to listen to it.

      Agreed about POH I love all the songs, particularly those by Wu Wen Fang. I didn’t like the one by Frande as much but I love all of Wu Wen Fang’s heh.

      • I’ve known Wu Wen Fang when she was in the indie-band Double 2 Band, so i was really surprised to see her singing for a mainstream drama soundtrack. 閃電 is not my favorite song from Frande but it was the reason that make me interested in TPOH, hahahahaa… just because I know that they’re taking part in the soundtrack. Frande’s vocalist voice is soooo mellow and nice, I like their other songs.

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