One of anime’s most famous opening themes, but like it’s never been heard before.
While the popularity of schoolgirl rock band anime K-On! has cooled a bit since its last animated installment in 2011, the franchise still has a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. As a series in which music plays such a large role, many of the K-On! loyal record covers of the show’s theme songs, but you don’t have to be able to sing or play an instrument in order to pay musical treatment to the Kyoto Animation-produced hit.
Well, we suppose the equipment used in this video shared by Japanese Twitter user @yjsenrisen could technically be classified as an instrument, since it’s an object being used to create musical notes. Still, it’s not something as traditional as a guitar or piano, but instead a Tesla coil spitting out both lightning and “Go! Go! Maniac,” the first opening theme for the second season of the K-On! TV series.
けいおん‼︎よりEDのGO！GO！MANIAC-short.ver- 高槻高校文化祭電気物理研究部のテスラコイルによる演奏 https://t.co/MddrzIt3pt—
ぬさ@鳥取 (@yjsenrisen) October 02, 2016
With sparks stretching several feet in length crackling up to the ceiling, the song’s frantic tempo echoes through the room. All the while, a single young man, ostensibly the mastermind behind this mashup of applied science and anime fandom, stands in the background with his arms smugly crossed.
If your knowledge of science is more focused on anime giant robots than real world phenomena, a second tweet gives a layman’s explanation that “The sound is produced by electricity causing the surrounding air to expand and vibrate.”
PERFECT HUMAN (@rinH91231) October 03, 2016
But what’s perhaps most impressive is that this anime song Tesla coil was put together by students at Osaka’s Takatsuki High School. In the fall, it’s customary for Japanese schools to have what’s called a “Culture Festival,” which is sort of like an open house in which kids get to show off their creative projects. But instead of running a food stand or a haunted house (both Culture Festival mainstays), Takatsuki High’s Electrophysics Research Club decided that a musical Tesla coil was a more appropriate demonstration of what its members have been learning.
Online, the videos have rapidly been racking up comments of “Awesome!” and “Amazing!” About the only detractors to be found are those who would have preferred that it play a theme song from anime series A Certain Scientific Railgun, whose heroine has the power to manipulate lightning. We have to admit, that sounds like a great idea, so maybe we can look forward to that, or a Tesla coil version of electric-type Pokémon Pikachu’s theme song, at next year’s Takatsuki Culture Festival.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where all this talk of anime and high school kids building crazy electric contraptions has him thinking he should finish watching the rest of El-Hazard.