Last week’s Loved Trax holiday bonanza may be over, but I am still thoroughly stuck in a winter season mood. That plays a major role in what I am highlighting this week. So let’s marvel at this alt-rock gem of an opening theme, shall we?

Credit and props to AniTAY for already giving this a highlight a year ago.

Note: It’s practically impossible to find a video with the song; this live performance is the best that can be done.

Galilei Donna
Negoto
“Synchromanica”

If the impulsive and unreasonable id of my anime preferences could instantiate a show out of thin air, it might look a lot like Galilei Donna. Gorgeous astronomy-themed poster? That A1 Pictures visual style? Ice-age-in-progress science fiction setting? Snowy environments 99 percent of the time? A story that revolves around the descendants of muthafuckin Galileo Galilei? Hybrid mecha/airship globetrotting action with a 13-year-old prodigy mechanic at the center? Short-haired girl who constantly wears stockings? Please understand, this is anime Mountain Dew for Justin’s mind.

So while watching this during the summer, you best believe I was very entertained and wholly satisfied. Not even a baffling Ace Attorney/The People’s Court conclusion or a little time travel nonsense could get in the way! And it would have never been on my radar were it not for the music.

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My first exposure to “Synchromanica”, and its attached anime series by extension, was this piece from anime-focused mashup maestro nakinyko, laying the Negoto song’s vocals over D’Angelo’s “One Mo’Gin”. This is one of their less impressive mashups, to be honest, though still competent and intriguing enough to warrant seeking out the source songs. When I came across the Galilei Donna opening, I was blown away.

First thing’s first, it opens strong with something fierce. The moment when guitar chords, a bassline, and some hyperactive drums intrude on the handclaps and twinkling synths was when it became clear I’d love this thing. It’s a driven song that manages to keep up its momentum while also being downright pretty; everything sounds like sparkling, resplendent scenery. Not just any kind of scenery, either: Icy winter night scenery, specifically. I especially love the chilly guitar tone Negoto uses with those full chords, and the polished-to-pop-song-sheen vocals add significantly to the vibe as well.

Finally, as its associated show is a winter aesthetic masterstroke, there could not be a better fit than “Synchromanica” as a theme song.

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RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.