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Leitmotif: Anime
  • Shugo Chara!: The majority of the very memorable back - ground music, although most are variations of the main "Open Heart" theme, which can be seen as a theme for the Heart's Egg as a whole, and almost no - one (Aside from the Heart's Egg, the Embryo and, oddly, Utau's "Seraphic Charm" Character Transformation are the only beings within the entire series to have that privilege, which, for the former two, at least, is fitting, really.) gets a theme applied directly towards them: The Guardians within general have two versions of their theme (A quieter, more cheerful one, and a majestic, regal form, complete with copious amounts of brass.), and the Easter corporation had one (A dark, ambient work.)An odd case would be Ikuto's "Death Rebel" Character Transformation, which also has one...But only because it's him actually playing his violin, or if he's not there, and the villains are using it without him, a recording of it played through - out some form of replicating device: Once he isn't playing/the machinery used to broadcast it is halted, it halts as well.
  • The Dominion Tank Police OVA did this: The cops had one, the Buaku gang had one (The "Hey, Boy" striptease number done by the Puma sisters), and the Red Commandoes had one. Bits of each were played to introduce each group in the beginning of the Mexican Standoff.
  • Sailor Moon has numerous bits of theme music and leit-motifs that appear repeatedly throughout the show.
    • The first two seasons of the DiC English dub used none of the original soundtrack, but it did retain the concept of having individual themes even though it used them more sparingly. (almost all of the incidental music was just various instrumentals of the opening played ad nauseam to the point of madness) When the show's license switched over to Cloverway after Sailor Moon R, the new license holder just kept the soundtrack as is.
    • Mamoru's early civilian appearances in the first series in which he would antagonize Usagi also had their own intense tango that would play until he left.
    • The arrival of Tuxedo Mask was usually accompanied by his own tinkly romantic theme complete with castanets. The DiC English dub changed this to a distinct Spanish-sounding guitar riff that also had a "mournful" version.
    • Moonlight Knight got an Arabian-esque version whenever he appeared in the alien arc of R. He had a different theme in the English dub that was also Arabian-esque.
    • In the first season, the show's theme song ("Moonlight Densetsu") is used as a theme for times when Usagi and Mamoru are remembering parts of their relationship from their past lives. This is accomplished via a locket that plays the song. The dub also used the theme song, but a new recording of it. The Japanese version also occasionally used a slower instrumental version of the first ending theme "Heart Moving" to the same effect. Later seasons would occasionally slip in instrumentals of ending themes as well to punctuate more serious moments.
    • Sailor Moon herself had the most individual theme music of any character. Each attack, transformation, and even her disguise pen had unique music themes. The transformations even had her name sung as part of the music. It was also common to hear one of these themes played as battle music when the Senshi had the upper hand in battle. The English dub gave her one transformation song and one attack song that were used regardless of what season it was, which led to some problems by the time they adapted Sailor Moon R because the songs clearly did not fit the length of the stock footage anymore.
    • Furthermore, Sailor Moon's requisite speeches also had their own theme music, though the dub gave her a different one.
    • The other four Guardian Senshi, starting with Sailor Moon R and beyond, each had their own individual transformation themes. The dub, regardless of the season, gave them all one piece of music to share, but also added a second theme that played to indicate that a Sailor Senshi was attacking in general.
    • ChibiUsa had a few themes exclusively for her in the Japanese version - one for whenever she used her Luna P, and one in Sailor Moon R that played whenever she was particularly upset and lonely, actually named "Chibi Usa no omoi" (ChibiUsa's feelings). In the Sailor Moon SuperS movie, she also had a full individual transformation sequence that included a song just for Chibi Moon.
    • Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, first appearing in the third season, got their own theme, one for transforming and one for attacking.
    • Haruka and Michiru themselves had theme music that accompanied their appearances in their civilian identities.
    • Hotaru, before actually becoming a Senshi, also had her own creepy song that played whenever she was being possessed by Mistress 9.
    • The Sailor Starlights had their own transformation music, attack music, and also a unique whistling theme that played to herald their appearance.
    • Even Luna has her own theme music that plays whenever she gives the Senshi new items.
    • Each villain group has their own individual theme. The dub, with the exception of the aliens in the first arc of R, gave them all the same theme. In the case of the aliens, they have two different flute songs that Ali will play, one whenever he's playing for fun, and one when he's summoning a Cardian. The dub alters the first theme and uses it regardless of what he's doing.
    • Some of the Big Bads, for example, Queen Beryl, had special theme music as well.
    • For obvious reasons, Sera Myu, also made heavy use of leitmotifs and designated character theme songs. Of note, by the end of the run each of the Sailor Sailor Senshi had their own...except Uranus and Neptune who shared theirs each time. This was pointed out and lampshaded by their actresses in a Fan Kan event.
    • Even Sailor Moon Abridged gives each character a leitmotif during their transformation sequence. One example is Sailor Moon's theme, which is Aqua's 'Barbie Girl'.
  • Like Tuxedo Mask, Tokyo Mew Mew's resident Mysterious Protector, the Blue Knight/Ao no Kishi, has his arrival marked by his own theme music. Each of the five girls has her own distinctive transformation music, and all of Mew Ichigo's attacks are accompanied by a special tune (except for "Reborn Aqua Drops", which is apparently so powerful that it required a song — "Glider" — to be accompanied with). There are leitmotifs for some other events as well, for example, the scenes with Kisshu talking to Deep Blue.
  • Excel Saga accompanied Pedro's scenes as a ghost with a sad, instrumental riff from "House of the Rising Sun".
    • Il Palazzo also has his own suitably pompous and grandiose theme that plays during his big speeches. And Nabeshin has his own theme for his appearances as well.
    • Excel's was really quick and had whistles and banging.
  • Quite a few characters in Lucky Star have leitmotifs, such as Konata, who has a slacker-esque melody quite fitting of her goofy-slacker-otaku personality.
  • The intro song to the Lupin III TV shows or movies is also the leitmotif for the titular main character.
    • Zenigata also has his own theme.
  • Many wrestlers from Kinnikuman have their own theme music.
  • In the dub of Kirby of the Stars, Meta Knight is always introduced by a Mexican fanfare.
    • He has a similar one in the original, but it's not quite as foreign-sounding.
  • Vegeta's theme music from Dragon Ball Z It's iconic to his character, though its usage dropped considerably after the Frieza Saga.
    • Leitmotifs were very common in the dub of DBZ. Piccolo had his own theme, usually played whenever he did something heroic (although it was occasionally used at other points). The various story arcs introduced new leitmotifs. Then there's the leitmotif that was first introduced when Goku shows off Super Saiyan 3. It's ostensibly the Super Saiyan 3 theme, but it tends to get played any time the heroes gain an edge during the Buu Saga. Buu himself, of course, has his own, devillishly jovial theme, befitting of a nightmarish trickster. Cell also has a leitmotif that has several different versions, including a really tense version that plays when shit starts hitting the fan.
    • Piccolo had a whistling theme in the Japanese original, mostly seen in the movies when he swoops in to save Gohan.
    • The strangest part about the dub is that every single situation had its own leitmotif. To the point where I can't remember a single scene where some sort of background music wasn't playing.
      • In fact argually leitmotifs weren't as strictly applied in DBZ as most other usages. Captain Ginyu, a minor character from the Frieza Saga, has his own epic theme for when he uses his body-switching technique, that is named after him. However, it was SO epic that it was used throughout the series for moments of awesome, whilst still being called "Captain Ginyu's Transformation". Also the Hyperbolic Time Chamber theme became Gohan's Super Saiyan theme near the end of the Cell Games Saga.
    • Frieza gets a new leitmotif in Dragon Ball Kai called Only A Chilling Elegy, which plays when he stabs Krillin and later when he kills Dende. Unusually, it has lyrics.
  • Ryoga's Theme is one of the most noticable in the Ranma ˝ series
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • Note how Asuka's leitmotif sounds quite American-ish.
    • Misato's theme is very cheery, fitting her character, at least early on.
    • Rei has three different ones, not counting reduxes thereof in the Alternate Continuity movies. Guess why.
    • We don't hear Shinji's much, but it's a very good study of the character; it's not a fast-paced epic full of dashing contrasts. It's quiet, reserved and moved to passion on a few recurring points. There are two themes, the first of which clues us in just what he's all about when we hear it in the first episode. The second expands upon this.
    • There's also Angel Attack, which plays nearly every time an angel attacks.
    • There's also Tokyo-3, the theme music for the city. It's big, impressive, and perhaps most importantly, never quite seems to get to where it's going, making it feel unfinished.
    • Let's face it, The Beast II (and both it's Rebuild iterations, One also called "The Beast II" and the other,"Sin From Genesis") may as well be Berserk Eva-01's Leitmoff.
  • Some characters in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt have their own themes, like Corset. Neither Panty and Stocking nor their enemies Scanty and Kneesocks, however, have individual themes - rather, they only have duo themes that play when both of them are together.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! and its spinoffs Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds have themes for most of the major characters.
    • Obviously, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series makes fun of this, with all appearances of Duke Devlin being followed by Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack". At the end of the episode Yugi says he'll be friends with Duke if he stops playing that annoying theme music, to which Devlin replies "What theme music?"
      • In one of the 'Deleted Scenes' videos, LittleKuriboh makes fun of this as well, with Tristan having found the remote for Duke's Theme Music. He then proceeds to browse through the several options and eventually chooses the least fitting...that is, after criticizing all the other options. Among those 'criticized' options are the second opening for Death Note, the first opening for Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and the first opening for Pokémon.
    • "You just brought sexy back for the last time."
      • On the subject of Duke Devlin, when he's "dying" due to the lack of pretty girls around, you can hear the music skipping in the background.
    • The Egyptian Gods also have their own epic orchestrated theme music that plays whenever one of them is Summoned.
    • Kaiba has "I'm Back," a song unique to the 4Kids dub and a rare leitmotif with lyrics. It's mainly limited to the first season.
    • There's also a theme that plays in the English dub whenever Kaiba is hacking computers or doing something similar. It's typically referred to as "Kaiba Hacking Theme".
  • Eureka Seven has a rather frantic, chaotic leitmotif play whenever Nirvash and TheEnd fight each other.
  • Naruto loves this. All the major characters have more then one that changes on how dramatic the scene is or character development. Orochimaru has two versions of the same song: one used for fighting and the other used for plot relevance. Even non-major characters like Konohamaru and Tenten have themes.
    • Do not fuck with Rock , Lee, he has three theme songs in the first season which are used (almost) exclusively for him! They seemingly call him ROCK Lee for more than one reason! His awesomeness was apparently toned down in Naruto Shippuuden, though, and these awesome themes have been used on other occasions too, especially in the filler episodes.
  • The anime Mega Man NT Warrior always plays the theme song when the characters are about to win. In fact, you can reliably tell when the characters are going to turn around even the worst situation because the theme music will immediately start to play. It is quite possible that the theme music may be the only thing between life and death for the heroes.
    • In the first season, the music accompanies the climactic final battle between Rockman and Blues during the Inevitable Tournament. Rockman loses, and his hard fight is congratulated by Netto and Blues over a quiet piano version: "Kaze wo Tsukinukete ~Ballad Version~".
    • This was not retained in the dub, to great detriment. They won without their magic theme music.
  • The Big O had theme music for whenever Roger summoned The Big O that was a suitably dramatic orchestral fanfare. It also has a piece of foreign music that the Union uses to apparently summon its agents in Paradigm City to gather. Another song with Ominous Latin Chanting is used sometimes whenever something bad is happening, such as Alex Rosewater's dad burning himself to death.
    • The soundtrack is made entirely of reused leitmotifs that appear constantly. In particular Painful Dream, which had three different versions, and Apologize which had some four or five different versions.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist used a lot of leitmotifs. The names for the Homunculi's themes were named in Japanese even in the English release, with multiple levels of meanings. For instance, Lust's theme, "Aishou", can mean "Sorrow", which is appropriate—and also a clue that nobody with that music can be totally evil—or "prostitute", because, well, she's Lust.
  • In the Pokémon anime, Satoshi (Ash) has quite a few themes and songs (usually doubling as opening songs) with various variations. Haruka (May) has Haruka's Theme ~ Watashi Makenai and in the Diamond & Pearl series, Hikari (Dawn) has Hikari's Theme ~ Kimi no Soba de which is often played in scenes focusing on her (usually karaoke) and has many variations, including a slow version for sad scenes, a Christmas-y version used as the winter ending song, and more.
  • Pretear has some examples as well. It's a Magical Girl anime, so predictably there is a transformation theme music (actually with three slight variations), a couple of battle themes, and a theme associated with evil. What makes it weird is that main characters don't seem to have any particular tunes reserved for them, but comic relief side characters do. Tanaka the butler even has his theme named after him; there is also a leitmotif played mainly during Yayoi's crazy speeches, and a leitmotif for Mayune's shower scenes.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - And how! Every character has their own theme song, ranging from the silly (Yoko's 'Boing vs Boing', an ode to Gainaxing) to the unbelievably badass (Viral's 'Nikopol') to the just plain weird (Leeron's heavily electronic...whatever it is). The series also has several motifs as background music, like the very well known Fight The Powah rap, and the operatic One-Woman Wail complete with piano accompaniment version of said rap, 'Libera Me From Hell' that plays to astoundingly awesome effect during the final battle.
    • Don't forget Ten wo Tsuke, which whenever a scene that is filled with hope happens like where Simon, Kamina, and Yoko break the surface. And of course what happens, well, you know who dies. "Sniff"
      • Also, we have one of the most badass english song in the entire show, which plays in episode 2, when Kamina and Simon (piloting Lagann) pull off the first Grand Theft Prototype: Gattai Nante Kusokurae! (To hell with Gattai!)
    • During the final battle, as it begins, the Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann and Granzeboma walk towards eachother on top of a galaxy, while "Is it okay to just get fired up?" plays in the background, matching very well with the pace of the battle.
      • When the ASK uses his "INFINITY BIG BANG STORM!!!", the theme "All you bastards, get fired up!" starts playing for a short while, after which it changes into "Sora-iro Days" AKA the opening, which plays while the TTGL and Granzeboma ends the battle, by gradually decreasing in size, both being impaled, and TTGL launching the Chouginga Gurren-Lagann, which is also impaled, after which it launches Ark-Gurren-Lagann, which (surprise, surprise) is also impaled, and launches Gurren-Lagann, which loses both legs and an arm, before Viral rips the Lagann off and throws it at the Anti-Spiral King, who is then defeated by the same attack as the first Gunmen Simon ever fought...Timing it perfectly, so that with every new line, they launch the smaller versions of the Gurren-Lagann and the song ending exactly as the Lagann finishes drilling through the ASK.
  • The Death Note soundtrack has lots of tracks claiming to be Leitmotifs, but really the only one applied repeatedly and with narrative consistency is the Dies Irae, which always means a huge turning point as seen through Light's eyes.
    • There's also at least one theme for L, Light and Misa. The rest of the songs aren't that much of leitmotifs, they just have titles related to their appearance in the anime For example, such songs are Ikari (anger), Himitsu (secret), etc...
    • Near and Mello have their own themes together. When Near's Theme and L's Theme are played together, they actually have an almost call and response thing going on...YMMV, though.
  • Bleach: "Number One" has several variants all based around Ichigo's activities and action sequences. The song title is also a pun with one of the meanings of Ichigo's name. The anime associates it so strongly with Ichigo that when his triumphant attack on Aizen was abruptly defeated with a single finger, the Theme Music Power-Up was also cut off with equal abruptness.
  • Princess Tutu has leitmotifs for most of the major characters, pulled from (mostly) Romantic-era classical music. Fakir's theme is Ludwig van Beethoven's Coriolanus Overture, Mytho's theme is the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker (and later episodes use Siegfried's Funeral March from Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung when he's in danger, as well as "the Immortal Beloved" theme from the Siegfried-Idyll for his true prince form which are appropriate since his true name is Siegfried), Princess Tutu's is "The Waltz of the Flowers" from The Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer's is the Grande March from The Nutcracker (often arranged in a minor key and played on an ominous organ), Rue has several piano pieces by Satie for her themes, Ahiru has The Nutcracker Overture (that has several different arrangements for her changing moods), Edel's organ plays a slowed-down version of "The Dance of the Automatons" from Léo Delibes's Coppelia (can you say foreshadowing?)...even Professor Cat gets one—the Wedding March, of course! This isn't even going into some of the other leitmotifs used to represent various themes in the anime, or the fact that every episode has its own major musical theme named in the title card.
  • One Piece doesn't have particularly prevalent Leitmotifs, but they're around. Some of the main crew have them, particularly Sanji and his jazzy theme, and some villain teams feature their own as well - CP9, for example, had a strong leitmotif with strings and a mechanical-sounding beat. And then there's Sogeking...In the fighting games based on the series, each character has a short musical piece that plays during their finishing attack.
    • Every crew member DOES have their own Leitmotif, though, little snippets of which play during their eyecatch. They don't show up all that often in the anime, though, except during their battles (usually at their moment of triumph.) Also notable in that they seem to each get their own primary instrument (Robin has the saxaphone, Chopper the flute, and so on) and musical style (Franky gets orchestral swing, Sanji has smooth jazz, etc.) Brook is the only one whose theme tune seems to have actual lyrics, since it's so important to his character arc.
    • In the 4Kids dub, Shanks had a very noticeable Leitmotif of an Irish tune. Anytime he spoke. Wouldn't be as annoying if it wasn't also during awesome moments.
    • Though perhaps not a proper Leitmotif, "Overtaken" functions as a Leitmotif for anyone who goes into Determinator mode and is about to do something awesome.
    • I would think that One Piece is full of obvious Leitmotifs. Throughout the series they recycle tunes such as designated tear-jerker, awesome, and Big Bad-introduction music.
  • Pretty Cure is positively drowning in Leitmotifs. Every Cure has her own theme music; these are slow and quiet for the more intellectual characters, and cheerful and upbeat for the others. Every complete team has a Leitmotif for when they're kicking some butt, distinct from the opening theme (which in turn is used as a Recurring Riff). Every evil organization has one, and every Big Bad as well, including the movie villains. There's one for every Magical Land. Every mascot creature has a Leitmotif—usually this is individual, though Coco and Nuts share theirs, and creatures from the movies tend to share themes as well. Yes! Pretty Cure 5 even gave the school its own Leitmotif.
  • Code Geass has "All Hail Britannia" (for when The Empire does something epic), "Devil Created" (for when Lelouch uses his Magical Eye), and "0" (for when Lelouch's latest bit of magnificent bastardry comes to fruition.
    • Beautiful Emperor plays when Lelouch creates the UFN, and becomes Britannian Emperor. You know, Emperor-y stuff. The "beautiful" part is self-evident.
  • The "Julia" music box theme from Cowboy Bebop certinally quallifies, as it harkens Spike's myth arc.
    • Also, Andy would usually whistle his own generic Western theme whenever he showed up.
  • One from a manga, carried over into the OVA: Rip Van Winkle of Hellsing is continuously singing from the opera "The Magic Bullet" (about a huntsman who makes a deal with a devil for bullets that never miss; Tom Waits based The Black Rider on it). At one point, when Alucard attacks her, he sings the demon's part.
    • This opera is actually called Der Freischütz, although some English-Language versions of the folktale it's based on were called "The Magic Bullets" since "The Free-Shooter" doesn't make as much sense in English as it does in German.
  • In the Japanese Digimon series, each of the main characters gets their own Leitmotif. Hikari and Takeru get two, as they star in two separate seasons. If you're watching Digimon Adventure in Japanese, that quirky beeping techno music that plays every time Koushirou whips out his computer or realizes something important? It's called "Digital Scratch!" Get used to it. You will hear it a lot.
    • There's no way the Digimon Adventure 02 songs "Bokura no Digital World" (the season's memorial song) and "Mirai e no Message" (an image song) can contain the same six note melody (da-da-DAH dah dah daaah) and similar chord progressions in the verses without some intention to tie the songs together by the composers. Even more, "3 Primary Colors" from Tamers (sung in the points of view of the three main kids, and it was used in that season's final episode) seems to use a variation of the aforementioned motif between vocal sections. Different characters, different continuity, same franchise...not surprised they sound alike.
    • Digimon Xros Wars LOVES leitmotifs, with several variations of different songs. There's several, but special mention goes to the Bagra Empire's theme, which has no less than seven versions of the theme played throughout the series.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, if someone has an elaborate Transformation Sequence, it will be accompanied by their Leitmotif. Some, like Fate's "Flash of Gold" or Teana's "Meteoric Marksman", are action-packed enough to be used for Theme Music Power-Up purposes as well. Others, like Nanoha's "Raising Heart, Set Up!", can't be used anywhere else so she has other character themes for befriending purposes, like "Ace of Aces".
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn! has a number but most notable is Hibari's which is about the only piece in the show on the piano and means that you know from the beginning just how awesome he is.
    • Actually, each character has an epic theme song. The editors/writers just don't want to overuse them.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has some good examples, too. Each of the girls (and Itoshiki-sensei), or to be more precise the personality quirks their entire characters are based around, has their own specific theme - stalking, trolling, being incredibly positive, being incredibly depressing, you name it, it has a theme song.
  • Minami-Ke does this often with Hosaka, usually resorting to a Harmonica version of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C major during his many rambling monologues dedicated to his unrequited love for Haruka.
  • In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle the main group of characters each have their own themes—most notably Kurogane, Fay, and Syaoran all have seperate themes that are often played when they're fighting, at least in the first season. Kurogane's is "break the sword of justice," Fay's is "strange names," and then Syaoran's "a song of storm and fire" is probably the best known one. Even some arcs have their own set of background music and insert songs.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has a few good examples, but the one used with the most consistency is definitely "Nagato's Confession," a cool, stoic electronic tune. "How Promising" is also used pretty often and usually means Haruhi's about to pull some harebrained scheme again.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam has some memorable, if trippy motifs (it was 1979, after all!) "The Gallant Char" sounds downright heroic compared to the typical Zeon themes, which had a psychedelic spooky aspect. Music associated with the crew and suits of White Base featured triumphant horns - when not in battle.
    • Zeta Gundam - Four Chords mean Somebody's Dead.
      • The AEUG's theme also features triumphant horns, and features heavily even in battle scenes, while the Titans and Axis had unique themes as well. Many of these themes were carried over into Gundam ZZ, as both were scored by Shigeaki Saegusa.
    • G Gundam made extensive use of themes for the main fighters, not to mention the themes used for the Shining and Bakunetsu God Fingers.
    • Gundam Wing has different themes for, among others, the five Gundam pilots, Relena, Wing Zero, the Mobile Dolls, and Treize. Heero's ("The Wings of a Boy Who Killed Adolesence") and Relena's ("Soft Hair, Clear Eyes") have several remixes, most famously the former's "Codename Heero Yuy" (the next episode preview theme), while Duo's ("Black Wind Inviting Death") and Quatre's ("Looking for Peace Hidden in the Corpse") never actually get used in the show and can only be heard on the soundtrack or in the SD Gundam G Generation video games.
    • Both Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny gave us more leitmotifs. Whenever Freedom sortied in SEED, it was followed by METEOR by T.M. Revolution, the band that made the first opening for both shows. When Strike Freedom sorited in SEED Destiny, Vestige (also by TMR) started playing. Individual characters also got leitmotifs, Shinn's being "Shutsugeki! Impulse" or a derivative thereof, Kira's being "Tobe! Freedom" from the first series in varying arrangements, and Stella's being variations of her Image Song "Shinkai no Kodoku".
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Each faction's ace-pilots have their own music. Graham had "Union", Patrick had one, Ali-Al Saachez had his own (but shared it with the Throne Meisters). And most importantly: Celestial Being had their music for whenever they appeared. And it even came in several versions: a normal version called Intervention, a slightly slower version, and one called Fight, which plays when Exia attacks the Thrones, and later when Exia's Trans-Am activates.
      • Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer gave us even more epic versions of Intervention, one of which (Envoy from Jupiter) plays in its entirety and EVEN EXPANDED for the duration of the only battle where Tieria and Setsuna actually fight. The main battle in the end even had its own epic battle music, based off "Trans-Am Raiser" from the original series, which competes with "00 Gundam" for the titular Gundam's leitmotif.
      • The ELS were often represented by a One-Woman Wail, and had a distinct Recurring Riff of five notes that was often present in the melody whenever they were onscreen.
  • Gunslinger Girl's anime adaptation gave all the girls one of these. They also have a version with lyrics. Here are Triela's, Claes's, Angelina's, Rico's, and Henrietta's.
  • In the anime of Baccano!, the brief appearances of the Torture Technician Mr. Chick are accompanied by a faint, upbeat and very unnerving whistling tune. Szilard Quates has an appropriately menacing one too. It's usually used when he's committing an act of pure evil.
  • Slayers has a couple. The main heroes' Leitmotifs are pretty subtle, but the not-quite-main characters (especially the morally ambiguous sorts) have some very apparent ones, which sometimes serve as foreshadowing or add a flashbacky layer of emotional poignancy, especially when dead or absent characters' motifs turn up in the later series, Revolution. Rezo's theme in particular is an elegant, rather catchy little melody.
    • Although "The Clan of the Fire Dragon King", a somewhat playful but sinister song was used in Season 3 for...well...the clan of the Fire Dragon King. But in Seasons 4 and 5, it plays quite often when Xellos is around. It fits perfectly for him.
  • Fairy Tail has quite a few to the point where some of their attacks get theme songs.
  • Alois Trancy from Black Butler has the Slightly Chipped Full Moon and its variations.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has the song "I Can't Be Cool" whenever the Major is hacking, although that's more of a 1337motif.
  • Soul Eater has many of these (most of which have lyrics):
    • "Never Lose Myself" for Black★Star (and by extension, we assume, his teammate Tsubaki—although he would make it all about him). The second OST gives him another theme, with the ironic title "Lost Myself".
      • Black Star also has "harmoNIZE" as his battle theme.
    • Kid and his teammates Liz and Patty have "Death The Kid (So Crazy)", their general theme, and "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Have a Nice Dream", a Theme Music Power-Up.
    • Similarly, Soul and Maka have "Soul-Eater (So Scandalous)" as a general theme and "PSYCHEDELIC SOULJAM" for their fight scenes.
    • "Lady of Gorgon" for Medusa.
    • "Kindertotenlied" (that's "child death song" in German) and "Salve Maria -Peace be with You-" for Crona.
    • There's also "M.Albarn" for Maka, "C.Mosquito" and "D.Mosquito" for Mosquito, "Mifune" and "Masamune" for the characters bearing those names, "Camellia" for Tsubaki, and "Lycaon" for Free.
    • Let's not forget "STEP UP" for Justin Law.
  • GaoGaiGar has several, though most seem to be more for specific scenes rather than the characters themselves. A few examples include the different themes that accompany Final Fusion, Symmetrical Docking, Big Volfogg's combination sequence, and Goldion Hammer. Additionally, there are other songs that seem to play in less specific situations, such as the Anime Theme Song playing during some of the titular GaoGaiGar's CMOAs.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys:
  • Initial D used them for various characters. Nakazato's stands out do to being organ music compared to the usual techno beats.
  • The Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple anime makes excellent use of "Night on Bald Mountain" for Siegfried, who is often singing along to it as he fights.
  • In the original HunterXHunter anime, Gon, Leorio, and Kurapica each have their own themes. Gon's is cheery, lighthearted, and generally represents his upbeat personality, Leorio's is a jazzy saxophone tune, and Kurapica's is melancholic and sad.
  • Rurouni Kenshin has Kimi wa Dare o Mamotte Iru for the titular character, which also counts as a Bootstrapped Leitmotif.
  • The Girls with Guns trilogy from studio Bee Train has it's share of examples:
    • Noir features Salva Nos as the most prominent theme during action sequences.
    • Madlax features Nowhere as the titular character MADLAX's theme.
    • El Cazador de la Bruja features a few. Maxewell's Witch for Ellis during her Witch Power up mode, El Cazador for the general battle sequences, Ballad of a Bounty Hunter as well as Nadie frequent for the moments Ellis and Nadie are in a rough spot.
  • In Hellsing, Millenium has their own theme, Letzte Bataillon which has three different versions through the series. A slow version that lays weight on the melody is played when Zorin invades Hellsing HQ, adding to the dread. Another version is heard during the credits of the third OVA and oddly enought when Alucard releases his army of familiars. This could on the other hand be Fridge Brilliance as that is what the Major wants him to do.
  • Ryuko from Kill la Kill gets Before My Body Is Dry, which plays whenever she's about to do something awesome. Kiryuu G@ KiLL is effectively Satsuki's Imperial March, while her and Ryuko's mother Ragyo gets Blumenkranz. Meanwhile, the Elite Four gets two lietmotifs split between them; the first half of InuKa3L represents Inumata (and also sometimes Mikisugi when he's in male stripper mode) and the second half is often used for Sanegayama, while goriLLA is split between Gamagoori for the first half and Jakuzure for the second half. Finally, Nui gets something befitting how creepy she is.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has leifmotives for every character, but the most outstanding and most popular example is Mami Tomoe's theme, "Credens Justitiam".
  • Mekakucity Actors: Instead of using a straight-up Insert Song, Episode 7 instead inserts a piano riff of Konoha's State of the World (also the episode title) when Takane arrives at the start of the episode to visit Haruka in hospital.
  • Umi Monogatari has the shrine maiden's song recur at several points and in different instruments/tempos throughout the show, as well as Sedna's theme.

    LeitmotifComic Books

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