This is my cheesy song for an RPG
Artistically invalid, but it rhymes sufficiently
And now it modulates to D
because it is the saddest of keys
To denote the tragic romance
That ended so predictably
An emotional, solemn, usually slow-paced song played during the credits
. Common especially in anime and video games.
The most common type is a pensive, retrospective or sad Anime Theme Song
, but it can be an instrumental tune as well. Often so melodramatic that it falls into Narm
Might be accompanied by a Credits Montage
Tropes and styles commonly found in a Solemn Ending Theme
Since except in some cases
the soundtrack usually supports the temper of the ending, this is often a sign of a bittersweet
or Downer Ending
, except in anime, where the opening theme is usually more exciting in order to build excitement for the coming show while the closing theme is more somber to provide a resting period or moment of reflection between shows.
Preferably provide links to the song (Youtube or otherwise) when adding examples. Take care, linked credits videos might obviously contain ending spoilers; to prevent this, it would be optimal to link the song without the credits video or mark credits videos as such.
- Wolf's Rain, "Gravity". Sung in English by Maaya Sakamoto. (non-spoileriffic credits video)
- Cowboy Bebop has "The Real Folk Blues" as the answer to the intro theme "TANK!". The series as a whole also has "Blue".
- manga/Outlaw Star features this for the first 13 episodes, and a slightly less solemn one for the rest of the series. Yes, both far more somber than the opening theme.
- Baccano!, "Calling". Extremely noticeable in contrast to the jazzy upbeat opening, "Guns & Roses".
- The 3rd season of Sailor Moon featured this in the original Japanese, it was changed to an instrumental version of the US opening credit song when it ran in syndication on Cartoon Network.
- Gasaraki features one.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion features Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" sang by several different female vocalists, each with her own unique voice style.
- Excel Saga ends with a parody of this, where Menchi laments her role as the emergency food source, while a woman translates her howls. The last episode parodies the parody with Menchi and the translator's roles reversed.
- The ending theme of Queen Millennia. True, the title theme isn't exactly Hard Rock either, but the ending seems to be a bit more solemn.
- More pronounced in the film version where the ending theme (different from the TV series) is sung by Dara Sadaka.
- Future War 198X: "Pathetic Love is My Destiny" by Kazuko Kawashima. Only in the original Japanese version. The Macekered dubs replace it with a song by Asia.
- In comparison to the more Hot-Blooded opening theme and first and third endings, "Tsubasa Aru Mono," the second ending song from Saint Beast: Kouin Jojishi Tenshi Tan, is very subdued and gentle.
- Berserk has "Waiting So Long", a song that manages to be both endearingly Engrish-y and genuinely haunting.
- Gunslinger Girl has another foreign-language ending theme, this time in Italian: the bleak, operatic "Dopo il Sogno".
- Higurashi's first ending Why or Why Not. It even comes with a Next Episode preview that FITS with the end of the song!
- Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin has "A Far Off Distance" by Galneryus.
- A Little Snow Fairy Sugar has "Snow Flower".
- Most episodes of Black Lagoon end with the incredibly dark and somber "Don't Look Behind" by EDISON.
- Guin Saga has "This is my Road," sung by Kanon Wakeshima and composed by Nobuo Uematsu.
- Mushishi has a different one for every episode.
- The Ending Theme for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yasashii Boukyaku (Which translates as "Tender Oblivion") doesn't even feature any instruments (although there is a version with them) focusing entirely on the solitary loneliness portrayed by Yuki Nagato.
- Mekakucity Actors has days as its ED, accompanied by a long take of Hiyori sitting alone on the train, with the main cast slowly appearing around her. After Episode 4, the final shot - of Hiyori alone again - becomes quite the Tear Jerker, as she's just died.
- The original release of the Mobile Suit Gundam compilation movies had the Enka style song "Cross of Sand" by Takajin Yashiki. The second movie had an unnamed Ethereal Choir number amongst the stars. The third movie ended with Lala Sun's theme ("Beginning") by Daisuke Inoue. The George Lucas Altered Version, however, replaces these second and third movie ending songs with the more fast paced Inoue song "Soldiers of Sorrow" (relocated from the final battle scene) and the more upbeat sounding "Encounters" also by Inoue. Fortunately, "Cross of Sand" was left alone in the first movie.
- Robotech Love Live Alive had the usual opening with the majestic Ulpio Minucci theme. The closing credits, suprisingly, were accompanied by the song "Only a Fool" by Gigi Agrama. This song was actually taken from the 1986 Robotech The Movie The Untold Story which few have seen outside of bootleg. But they may recognize it from the 1995 Robotech 10th Anniversary soundtrack double CD collection.
- Blue Drop has reversed this for its anime; the show starts with the slow, contemplative "Blue", and ends with the upbeat "Tsumoboshi", both performed by Suara.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica somewhat did this with "And I'm Home" and "Mata Ashita" ("See You Tomorrow"), added to the disk sets for the 9th and the first 2 episodes, respectively. Both are considerably more sappy and emotional than the dark rock ending for most of the episodes. But the clearest example is "Hikari Furu," the slow, dramatic, string-filled ending of the second Compilation Movie.
- Gerry Anderson's UFO has a fast upbeat opening theme, but closes with an ominous atmospheric piece.
- Game of Thrones, especially after important characters kick the bucket. The credits music at the end of "Baelor" is particularly sad, and "The Rains of Castamere" has no ending credits music at all, due to the shock and tragedy of the Red Wedding.
- Parodied by the version of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 "Love Theme" that plays over the show's closing credits, which is a much slower, more ponderous instrumental version of the theme sung over the opening credits.
- The ending theme of The Incredible Hulk, "The Lonely Man".
- The Mickey Mouse Club. "Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company..."
- Kamen Rider Black: "Long Long Ago 20th Century"
- Friday episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1971-72 closed with the solemn-sounding "Weekend Song".
- A part of this song would also serve as the coda to the closing version of "It's Such A Good Feeling" used since 1972, but the solemn effect was less pronounced because the preceding portion was upbeat, and the tempo picked up again for the instrumental as Mister Rogers said his closing words.
- Used on the final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which an acoustic guitarist played the Liberty Bell March. It sounded like a brand-new guitarist was playing it, slightly halting and unsure. Strangely, it works.
- The Sweeney has a fast-paced opening theme as befits an action-packed cop show, but the closing titles use a surprisingly low-key arrangement of the same theme.
- Archaeology show Time Team has a slower ending theme without its usually drumbeats that it uses on "special" shows where they may be investigating things like WW2 archaeology or other sites that had a significant death count.
- When Mick Foley first appeared as "Mankind" in the WWF, he had two themes, an entrance theme and a different, more solemn exit theme that played when he won a match.
- Last Scenario ends with "Moji no dengon" by Sound Horizon.
- "Drift" by Laura Shigihara at the end of Quintessence. [credits video, non-spoiler]
- Iji ends with a cover of the VNV Nation song "Further".
- Many Final Fantasy games end with one of these.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has "I am the Wind".
- Inverted for the dog ending of Silent Hill 2. The starting theme is melancholy, then the game ends with an upbeat J-pop anthem followed by a cheery "singing dog". The normal endings are played straight, however.
- ICO has "You Were There".
- Metal Gear Solid features a Gaelic one. Almost all the Metal Gear ending songs are like this, with the exception of "Can't Say Goodbye To Yesterday" and the one to the original Metal Gear (which was ridiculously peppy). "Way To Fall" by Starsailor in Metal Gear Solid 3 is a mournful alt-rock ballad, "The Best Is Yet To Come" is a Gaelic ballad and "Calling To The Night", "Here's To You" and to a slightly lesser extent "Heaven's Divide" are all super-melodramatic Power Ballads.
- "Late Goodbye" by Poets of the Fall in Max Payne 2 The Fall Of Max Payne.
- Turn Based Battle parodies this with "Cheesy RPG Song", which name-checks several other examples from this list.
- Wild ARMs series:
- Legend of Legaia uses this trope. See for yourself..
- "Small of Two Pieces", the Narm Charm-loaded Power Ballad that caps off Xenogears, might not be solemn enough to qualify for this trope, but the "Myth remix" likely is.
- Tetris Attack/Panel de Pon, a game with a very upbeat soundtrack, ends on "A Walk on a Rainbow".
- Chrono Cross ends with the exquisite ballad "Radical Dreamers ~ The Jewel Unstolen".
- Radiant Historia ends with -HISTORIA-, with its mellow instrumentals and retrospective, vague, sad lyrics (spoiler, but won't make much sense for anyone who hasn't played the game).
- Mega Man Zero 4's Freesia.
- Dark Souls has the Nameless Song., a haunting, beautiful One-Woman Wail.
- Killer7's Dissociative Identity
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has an ending theme that is a mixture of hard rock, Playing the Heart Strings, and Ominous Russian Chanting. And since Japanese, Soviet, and even Allies' endings can be considered The Bad Guy Wins kind of ending, it can be seen as rather appropriate.
- The Mass Effect Trilogy concludes with An end, once and for all a melancholic yet progressively more bombastic reprise of the last episode main theme.
- The second episode from the Arc The Lad series ends with To Tomorrow.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni has two: Bring the Fate from Ep 1 and Ricordando Il Passato from Ep 8 (it also counts as the ending theme for the series). Ricordando Il Passato is especially noteworthy because the lyrics is basically Battler grieving and lamenting over that he wasn't able to solve the mystery and understand Beatrice/Yasu until it was too late.
- Journey has "I Was Born for This."
- Halo: Reach has the One-Woman Wail and piano piece "Ashes" during the credits, and more lonely piano in the post-credits epilogue.
- Fallout: New Vegas has Playing the Heart Strings credits music.
- Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow's ending theme has Dead Can Dance-style wordless vocals, sung by Azam Ali.
- The World Ends with You features "A Lullaby For You" playing over the credits.
- DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou has "Heading for Tomorrow" performed by Zwei.
- I Believe, which plays in the end credits of Wolfenstein: The New Order.
- Dragon Age II ends with a remix of Florence + the Machine's "I'm Not Calling You a Liar".
- The ending for the Linus The Lionhearted show (1964) was like a funeral dirge. All the characters were sadly placing their props in a trunk, ending with Billie Bird sweeping up afterwards.
- The Porky Pig Show ending starts off sadly but perks up when they say they'll be back next week.