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Like a lot of new anime, it has been done before: super-powered high schoolers, mysterious invaders, rival schools vying for prominence. But while watching the first episode of Qualidea Code, one aspect of the presentation stood out from the first scene onwards: the music.

Qualidea Code is an anime centering around the invasion by an unknown lifeform. After much of the world is devastated by the “Unknown,” as they are called, surviving children are put into cryostasis. However, when those children are awakened years later, it is discovered they have gained superpowers. Thus, these teens are easily the ones most capable of fighting against the invaders.

Backing up the major battles of episode one is music that ranges mainly from techno to dubstep. While I’m not exactly the biggest fan of dubstep, it perfectly fits the futuristic tone of Qualidea Code. But more than that, like in Macross, the music is not just something in the background for the viewers to hear: It is also a part of the story.

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The six main characters of Qualidea Code are the three pairs of student leaders from the regional schools (Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba) that are tasked with training the superpowered children. Among the main characters are a pair using guns and another using swords. But the Tokyo team is a bit different.

One of the pair is Ichiya, a boy with gravity control powers, as well as a hero complex and an ego to match. His partner, Canaria, has a power unlike the others; her voice can easily change the tide of battle. Canaria can sing a song that fortifies those around her, healing them and protecting them from damage. It doesn’t just affect one person or two, but rather thousands across an entire battlefield.

In the first episode’s climax she does just this, protecting the entirety of all three schools’ defending armies. But of course, this wouldn’t be half as cool if the music weren’t a perfect fit. Composed by Taku Iwasaki, the song is a haunting female vocal backed up by a techno track that occasionally devolves into dubstep. Check it out for yourself (it starts at around 16:10 in the episode).

[Update 9/21: Canaria’s song is called “Time to Go” and is available on the Qualidea Code official soundtrack. It can be purchased on Japanese iTunes and Amazon.]

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One of the interesting quirks about the anime so far is that Ichiya believes he is powerful enough to take on mass numbers of the enemy alone, though his definition of “alone” includes himself and Canaria. He is an arrogant ass who cares more about killing “Unknown” and ranking the highest on the overall scoreboard of students than about protecting people. The twist is that he isn’t wrong about his strength. Backed by Canaria, he does look unstoppable. But then again, wouldn’t anyone when backed by Canaria’s song?

It also brings up the question of why Canaria is only ranked at #10 in the overall rankings. It’s surprising to think that a person who can empower and protect an entire army is ranked below those who can only kill enemies small groups at a time, Ichiya included. Only Maihime, the Kanagawa student leader (who is actually #1), seems comparable in power as she can destroy an entire army in a single attack.

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But power rankings aside, Canaria’s songs and the rest of the background music are far from the only quality music associated with the anime. ClariS (Madoka Magica), GARNiDELiA(Kill la Kill), and LiSA (Sword Art Online) are all performing theme songs for the series. So it’s safe to say Qualidea Code will continue to have rocking music if nothing else.

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