Well, it's certainly been a while!
I know I said last time that I'd talk about AMVs in my next post, but I've decided to toss that in the backburner for a while. I want to take my time with it, and make sure to word everything in such a way that cannot be misconstrued as easily, since it is a touchy topic after all.
Not to say that Nightcore isn't (in a sense), but I've only recently begun listening to this "genre" that's been associated with anime for some reason, and I found it fascinating enough to warrant a blog post. If this fascination of mine isn't indicative of my old age, I don't know what is. Anyway...
First of all, can this even be considered a genre? Most people would say no, but I'd argue that it can if we categorise it under general EDM, specifically plunderphonics, which already has its own plethora of genres like grindcore. We have DJs legitimately mixing and remixing songs all the time too, so I frankly don't see why not.
Is it harming the industry? There have been some cases of copyrighted songs being sold on various music sites, but for the most part Nightcore seems to be doing more good than evil. There are producers that support Nightcore channels and even release songs of their own, as well as labels releasing songs and compilations. And of course, there are countless not-for-profit artists on YouTube that entice people to check out the original tracks. Someone on this forum actually went into detail about this, if you're interested.
Okay cool, so...what's it got to do with anime then? Nothing, actually. People have merely noted the similarities between this type of music and the kinds of themes you'll hear on a show. Although to be perfectly honest, the observation is pretty outdated by this point. Sure, there are plenty of poppy tunes that have been recorded for anime in the past, but we're hearing much more variety now, and even then we've always been hearing all sorts of vocalists and their genres of music being credited for contributing to anime alongside the upbeat ones (albeit to a lesser degree). I only say this, because it seems like every time someone talks about a cheerful-sounding song sung by a high-pitched vocalist, they'll say it sounds "anime-ish," which I simply don't think can be used as a characteristic today.
But what do I think of Nightcore in general? Like many, I'm not particularly crazy about it - but I do think it has its uses. For one, I think Eurodance/pop songs suit it much better than what we're normally used to in North America. Not because I'm biased, but because I find that the more "festive" and "exotic"(?) vibes of these songs tend to be easily pairable with Nightcore's happy and energetic beat. That was the original idea, anyway.
I also think it's conducive to comedic moments in video production, especially in improv and situations where you're forced/feeling pressured to speed things up (think of Let's Plays). Nightcore can help play into the lighthearted and "screwball" atmosphere when you least expect it.
As for whether or not any actual talent or effort are needed to create this kind of music, I think the most important things to consider are the motivation to create it in the first place, as well as others' appreciation for it. At the end of the day, someone had an idea to recreate a song they like as something they believe will sound (even more) creative, cool, and interesting, and someone else listening in felt the same way about it. Talent and effort are definitely worthy of merit, make no mistake about that; I'm just saying that artistic value will mean different things to everyone. And perhaps the amount of work going into Nightcore is just enough to strike a chord with fans.
As the old saying goes, "It's the thought that counts."
~ Milica M. "Mimo"