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Ominous Latin Chanting / Anime & Manga

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  • The Ah! My Goddess movie had the world rebuilt to Latin choral music ostensibly sung by the three Norns.
  • The Berserk Golden Age Films have Sounds of Tortured Souls as well as Blood and Guts and there is also this music from the third film.
  • The song Lacrimosa by Kalafina in Black Butler has a point where it quotes directly from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Lacrimosa.
  • Bleach uses it when the Fifth Espada, Nnoitra, releases his zanpakutou. He yells his release phrase, the wind starts blowing, and the Ominous English Chanting choir goes nuts. The song is called "Treachery."
    • Episode 226 ended with "Stand Up Be Strong (Part 1)," which features Ominous English Chanting, during Ichigo's second fight with Ulquiorra. There's also "Invasion," which plays when Mayuri releases his bankai against Szayelaporro.
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    • "Treachery" and "Invasion" also appeared during the final battle of The DiamondDust Rebellion, while "Stand Up Be Strong" comes from Fade to Black.
    • Meanwhile, the fourth movie, Hell Verse, is full of remixes of instrumental tracks that appeared earlier in the series, now complete with full orchestras and Ominous English Chanting, backing images of hell, angels, demons, and torment. These tracks began to appear in the anime episodes at the very end of the Aizen battle. Here's a sample.
  • Another example of Badass Latin Chanting is A Certain Magical Index which likes to mix chanting and techno music when a serious fight is going on; quite suitably as the series is about a cold war between science and magic/religion but damn if it's not Crazy Awesome. Case in point: Tsuki Genten, first played when Touma faces off with and beats the crap out of Biaggio who's a bishop. Quite an ironic choice of music...
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  • This kind of music accompanies any scene involving Britannian royalty in Code Geass. The lyrics are English rather than Latin, but given the role Britannia plays in this series, that makes sense.
  • Death Note simply loves this trope, frequently employing it to make the act of writing a name in a notebook and eating potato chips epic. Whoever's name is written in the notebook will die 40 seconds later, so it is kind of an ominous moment when Light puts a name down. In fact, many of the epic Latin pieces in Death Note have the lyrics of a Latin requiem mass. The song that plays during the four-and-a-half-year timeskip montage, for instance, is a Dies Irae, which is about Judgement Day, fitting how Light imposes Judgement on criminals and the rotten (though somehow, it doesn't include the "liber scriptus" verse). Even in the more calm moments you have the Kyrie Eleison chant, which may as well be the anime's theme.
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  • The 9th episode (third part of the "King of Swords" arc) of the Descendants of Darkness animated series features an elegiac choir or male and female voices singing in Italian.
  • The opening theme for Elfen Lied, "Lilium" is Latin with Greek touches, done in a Gregorian chant style. It sets the tone for the anime, which is similarly bleak, sombre, and spooky. The theme is a One-Woman Wail, but the song also appears in other scenes, such as next episode previews, sung by a male voice choir that sounds more Gregorian. There is a Theme Tune Cameo in the form of a music box, giving it yet another different sound.
  • The Fate/Zero soundtrack also has many tracks with Latin chanting like Point Zero or The battle of the Strong. It has even been used for the revised version of The Sword of Promised Victory, also known to many as Saber's Theme Music Power-Up.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has Lapis Philosphorum, which plays in the first episode when the Freezing Alchemist Isaac McDougal figures out that Ed and Al attempted human transmutation and ends soon after the Führer slices him up into chunks. It plays at multiple other points in the series, including the activation of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle. There's also Latin singing in "Trisha's Lullaby," but it's more nostalgic than ominous.
  • Lots of Kenji Kawai soundtracks feature Ominous Japanese Chanting, most notably in his soundtracks for Ghost in the Shell and GITS: Innocence. And also "Torukia" from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
  • Giant Robo: The Animation not only features Dies Irae as background music for The Reveal of the Big Bad's secret weapon, but it also has Ominous Opera Singing: the leitmotif for the various and varying flashbacks to the "Tragedy of Bashtalle" is an arrangement of "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from the opera L'elisir d'amore.
  • Guilty Crown uses it to great effect in episode 6 when Gai glares down a deorbited Kill Sat about to land on his head. And it's awesome.
  • Several dramatic instances in Gunslinger Girl were punctuated by Ominous Italian(?) Chanting, such as Henrietta's Unstoppable Rage in the first episode. Also, The Reveal Flashback depicting Elsa committing murder-suicide strikes a bonus for having some Ominous Pipe Organ at the start of the piece.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Not even a (mostly) humorous series like this one is immune, as a choral score accompanied the climactic "final" episode. For a Bilingual Bonus, it's an ode to the creator of the universe.
    • Also, the episode where Koizumi shows the Celestial to Kyon is accompanied with a gregorian chant where the lyrics contain mostly the phrase "Kyrie eleison" ("Lord, have mercy" in Greek). Quite fitting.
    • The Movie of the fourth novel, Disappearance, turns this on soon after a minute or two of Quieter Than Silence (the conflict itself seemed over anyway), when Asakura stabs Kyon in the waist. Listen to "Rikishi no Tenkan Ten" here.
  • "Jigoku Rock" (from the Ironic Hell sequences) from the Hell Girl OST mixes this with... well... rock music...
  • Hellsing has the utterly terrifying Gradus Vita. The anime version of Hellsing includes Incognito performing a mock Latin-like chant to summon the Egyptian God of Chaos, Sett, to London.
  • The anime of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's "Battle Tendency" has the track "Propaganda", the leitmotif of Nazi officer Rudolph von Stroheim during his tenure as a cyborg made from NAZI SCIENCE!. It consists of Ominous Chanting in the finest tradition of this trope even if it's in German and not Latin. For bonus points the lyrics are from Also sprach Zarathustra and talks about the nature of the Übermensch.
  • Kamichama Karin: Zeus no Yubiwa/The Ring of Zeus.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • What little we saw of the Negi vs. Chao Lingshen battle in the Mahou Sensei Negima ~Ala Alba~ OAD was accompanied with this.
    • Negima runs on this; nearly all the spells are activated by an incantation in either Latin or Ancient Greek. Supplementary materials usually give the translations of these incantations, and they actually manage to retain some ominousness even in English/Japanese.
  • Mai-HiME:
    • Half of the Mai-Otome soundtrack consists of Latin-sounding gibberish chanting (by an all-female choir), mostly during tense, dramatic moments — and the Magical Girl Transformation Sequence. This also shows up in Mai-HiME, particularly in Mezame and its various rearrangements/remixes.
    • The PS2/PC game for Mai-HiME has one track ("Fortuna" by Yousei Teikoku) that comes surprisingly close to averting this, though — its lyrics are mainly a smattering of quotes from classical Latin writers, particularly Virgil and Seneca, with classical rather than ecclesiastical pronunciation to boot. Taken as a whole it still doesn't make a lot of sense, but each individual line is perfectly legitimate Latin.
  • Shinn Asuka's personal battle theme in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, "Dark Energy", uses this trope; before fans knew the real name, they called it "the Evil Monk Chorus Song". Contrast with Kira Yamato's theme, which uses the One-Woman Wail.
  • Naruto
    • Akatsuki has a theme that carries the effect nicely.
    • And now we have the unearthly track Girei, the only possible theme for Akatsuki's leader, the godlike Painnote . Yet another example of Ominous English Chanting.
    • Also Orochimaru's theme/the epic fight music, although the chanting aspect is hard to hear or doesn't kick in until well after the fight and/or plot point is over (the 2 and a half to 3 minute mark).
    • Whenever Hidan's fear level goes up some sort of ominous chanting starts (with screams of pain in the background). When aided by Hidan's shrieking it gives goosebumps.
    • In the Sunny-Side Battle! OVA, an ominous choir can be heard as Itachi starts chanting incoherently the instructions to make and egg.
  • When the Church Choir in Noir starts up, rest assured that many, many people are going to die. (Specifically, the songs "Salva Nos" and "Canta Per Me". The later is Ominous Italian Chanting. Les Soldats, played at the start of every episode to accompany one of the female characters reciting one of three different versions of the Noir prayer, is also particularly ominous, considering it's the Leitmotif of an Ancient Conspiracy.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has Ominous German Chanting in episode 24, even though the lyrics themselves ("Ode to Joy") are anything but ominous in German.
    • The music of Rebuild of Evangelion sounds like this at first, but then we realize it's Ominous English Chanting done in a way that it sounds like Ominous Latin. It goes even further, with both a remake of "Angel Attack" and a new song played during the attack on Ramiel containing epic amounts of Ominous English Chanting, with some of it being pretty creepy for Western audiences too.
      • Rebuild 2.0 goes absolutely crazy with this, having no fewer than seven songs played during Angel attacks with Ominous English Chanting.
      • Followed by 3.0 having as many as twelve songs with Ominous English Chanting. As well as, calling back to the 24th episode of the show, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". At this rate, the final movie will probably have chanting for every single piece of music in the movie...
    "The war to end all wars is here... the air is filled with heavy fear... humanity is disappearing; suffering as millions see slaughter... this is the final showdown. There will be no tomorrow."
    • "Escape to the Beginning" from The End of Evangelion. It only plays during the beginning of the end of the world! The English lyrics are quite appropriate as well.
    Far in the distance / is cast a shadow,
    symbol of our freedom, / will bring us salvation.
    On the horizon, / hope for tomorrow,
    sweeping across the land / to give us unity.
    Look to the heavens / with tears of triumph
    to cherish a new life / and suffer not again.
  • Then there's the Read or Die movie, in which the threat is Ominous German Chanting via Clone Beethoven's Suicide Symphony.
  • Sengoku Basara
  • The intro to the Umineko: When They Cry anime is rife with ominous Italian chanting, though this is more of a trademark of the singer Akiko Shikata's style. While likely unintentional, the song's name, "One-Winged Bird" (which is a reference to the crest of the main family in the series, the Ushiromiyas), immediately bring to mind a certain other famous Latin-chanting theme of ominousness. From the visual novel, one of the game's soundtracks, sy, does have ominous Latin chanting. The phrase is "Dominus mā in dictorē astent in dictorum" (my God stands against the speaker in declaration). There is actually a few Latin words interjected in the Italian chanson.
  • The intros to Higurashi: When They Cry feature ominous backwards Japanese chanting.
  • Soul Eater has a few tracks that involve ominous chanting for fight scenes, specifically against the Big Bad, although it's tough to tell what language is being chanted. "Salve Maria/(Peace Be With You)" sounds like it may be Spanish rather than Latin, but either way it has a rather depressing, haunting feel to it (which fits well with the character it's often played for).
  • Pumpkin Scissors features ominous German chanting "Töten Sie sie!" ("kill them") whenever the main character activates his Lantern.
  • "Grain," the opening theme of Monster.
  • A staple of the Genesis of Aquarion soundtrack, particularly when Shadow Angels are involved.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Throughout the Ron Wasserman soundtrack for Dragon Ball Z's original dub, there are various gregorian-like synthesized chanting sounds. They appear quite frequently, and helped give the show's first two seasons a very sinister, almost otherworldly feel. An example of this type of music would be the track that plays at the height of Goku and Vegeta's beam struggle.
    • Starting with Dragon Ball Kai all of Frieza's Leif Motifs have this, as befitting of an epic cosmic emperor. There is his Kai theme song, his resurrection theme song in Super, and his Golden Frieza theme.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Beerus' more frightening moments are accompanied by a track called "Beerus Madness", which contains a low chanting.
  • GaoGaiGar has Beautiful Wings of Light, the theme of Soldat J, which plays during several of his [CMoAs], including his introduction and Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Happens on The Legend of Koizumi, sung by a choir of children during the Pope's introductory Moment of Awesome: "Fiat Lux!" "Dixitque Deus!". Coincidentally, a different "Fiat Lux" is used in the Tales of Symphonia OVA. Given what is happening while she sings, and knowing the context behind both the song and her ability to perform it, crosses over into Tear Jerker territory. Fiat Lux.
  • Gunnm, while being a manga series still fits the trope, as the Den's attack on the Scrapyard in the end of the original series is set to the lyrics of "O Fortuna".
  • The Wangan Midnight anime has Voices of S30Z the theme song of the the ominously named Devil Z, fitting since the car is not only the fastest on Tokyo's Wangan-sen, but also one of the dealiest to it's drivers (all previous owners had died in crashes, yet the car survives and continues to run). Later on, the song gets used for every major high powered car in the series.
  • Noein makes heavy use of Ominous Latin Chanting, mostly in the bombastic themes relating to the hellish dimension Shangri La.
  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica has some Ominous Latin Chanting, to make sure the titles are also in Latin, with a mix of Italian and Japanese, all collectively referred to as "Kajiuran" after the score's composer, Yuki Kajiura. One is Mami's transformation scene, Sayaka's and the other... Well the title says all.
  • Record of Lodoss War: Okoreru Kyousenshi/An Angered Berseker. "DIES IRAE, DIES ILLA, SOLVET SAECLUM IN FAVILLA!"
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena features quite a bit of strange, baroque music, but saves its Latin chanting for when the villain of the Black Rose Saga is recruiting.
  • There is some on the Saint Beast OVA soundtrack mixing up the Sanctus and some other Gratuitous Latin.
  • Sgt. Frog parodies this; ominous Latin chanting comes up whenever Angol Moa uses her Armageddon Attack (even at one one-trillionth power).
    • The "one-trillionth power" at least, is justified, as Moa's Armageddon Attack is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. So at one-trillionth power, it "only" creates a crater the size of a house, instead of, say, cracking the entire planet Earth open like an egg.
  • Tegami Bachi occasionally uses a music cue that resembles it.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the unusual variation of Badass Latin Chanting. Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's theme music is a One-Woman Wail version of Libera Me mixed with the Hot-Blooded rap song that was earlier used as Kamina's theme in the Recap Episode and they together are called Libera Me From Hell.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew has not quite so Ominous chanting during the Christmas episode where Kish finally realizes that Ichigo will never be by his side.
  • Many themes from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, although the chanting isn't actually in Latin. The language is Kajiurago (see here).
  • The primary battle theme from The Vision of Escaflowne is the imposing, "O Fortuna"-inspired "Dance of Curse". At around the halfway mark, "Dance of the Curse" finds itself supplanted by the even more ominous and imposing "Epistle" as the primary battle theme. The fact that this is around the point where the battles get increasingly hellish and violent is probably not coincidence.
  • Witch Hunter Robin also features some chanting on its soundtrack. The chanting on "SOLOMON" is hard to decipher, and could just be nonsense words, but they do have a Kyrie (technically, ominous Greek chanting) that sounds absolutely amazing.
  • Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou has this as background music whenever a fight or something juicy is going on.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • The summoning of the Egyptian God card "Winged Dragon of Ra" required Ominous Egyptian Chanting to do properly. The Dub replaced this with Ominous... English Rhyme?
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light does have Ominous Egyptian Chanting for anything involing Anubis.
    • Also, the music that accompanied the summoning of God Cards (and other particularly important scenes) in the Japanese version was replaced with this kind of chanting.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has chanting when the Three Emperors of Yliaster combine into Aporia while dueling Yusei Fudo.
  • The chanting in "XL-TT", "Attack on Titan'' 's go-to 'oh god we're screwed now' track, may not be in Latin, but it's certainly ominous.
  • The eighth episode of Pokémon Generations launches into a remix of the Weather Trio's theme when Archie awakens Kyogre, with the chanting kicking in when it finishes breaking out of its stone shell. Considering what happens next, it is entirely appropriate.
  • Maria the Virgin Witch has "Les serments de Chastet", a techno metal piece played as the shie witch Dorothy saves Maria from being burned by the church. It somewhat clashes with the orchestral tone the rest of the the soundtrack uses, but it only serves to make the scene more awesome.
  • Star Driver features this in "Emperor". Appropriately enough, this is basically the theme for Samekh, the giant King Cybody which upon being freed from Zero Time will absorb all Libido on planet Earth and thus kill every living being. There is also "Libido", reserved for intense fight scenes.
  • Aikatsu Stars! has Dreaming Bird which uses the "ooh", "aah", "ooo" variant, mixed with Ethereal Choir.
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