So you’re an anime director and it’s the climax of the show. The big bad has revealed himself, every thing’s blowing up, the hero got his final power upgrade, punches are flying, everyone’s yelling, but some thing’s missing. It all needs just one more element to kick it up to eleven. Clearly, it needs Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony, specifically the climax of the fourth movent, cause nothing says epic action quite like a string section. Yes, Dvorak does show up rather commonly in anime, or at least I’ve found him in three different shows so I’m going to say he’s common.

I first heard it in One Piece during Luffy’s final fight with Crocodile. The Alabasta arc had already been going on for like a hundred episodes. All of the Baroque Works had been defeated, Pell had just sacrificed himself, and all of the Straw Hat Pirates were trying fruitlessly to stop the mindless bloodshed. And during it all Luffy’s stuck in an underground tomb fighting Crocodile for the third time, with the tomb collapsing around them of course. As soon as the New World started playing I knew it was all over. The scene also sinked well, as the happier, lighter movement started after Crocodile had been launched into the air. Just to note, One Piece isn’t that shy to other classical music. Chopper’s flashback arc makes brilliant use of Mozart’s Requiem, making the scene truly heartbreaking when it didn’t need to try that hard to make you cry even without music.

The New World Symphony is also used as the theme for Proist, the psychotic bitch main villain of Gaiking. Ironically enough she’s trying to destroy Earth and thinks that the New World Symphony is the only good thing humanity as ever produced, so much so that she even names her main mech, a giant self-replicating dragon made of nanomachines, Chou Maryu Dborak. Of course, Dborak eventually falls to the musical might of Gaiking the Great. It’s hard to beat Akira Kushida’s Sono Mei ha Gaiking the Great when it comes to hotblooded music.

And you can’t leave Legend of the Galactic Heroes out when it comes to classical music, since that’s what it’s whole soundtrack consists of. The New World symphony is used here as background for the Battle of Amlitzer, where the Alliance forces are completely crushed by Lohengramm. Rather ironic, since Dvorak composed the New World Symphony after traveling in America, and here it’s being used for a battle where the “democratic” forces are beaten. Then again, it’s better than being the main theme for a psychotic bitch.

Are there any other anime out there that use Dvorak that I haven’t seen? I’d love to know and get a real collection started.