Why Radiohead Gave This Incredible Anime the Right to Use Their Music

Thom Yorke: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
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While music from other countries has made its way into anime, it is typical that you find music from Japanese artists and bands being used for an anime’s opening and closing credits. However, there have been exceptions to this, such as when Radiohead was tapped to provide the ending for the anime Ergo Proxy.

Released in 2006 and created by Manglobe, the anime ran for 23 episodes. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world, Ergo Proxy‘s narrative revolves around the concept of humans and androids living together, until one day, a virus appears that makes the latter self-aware and they begin to murder humans. From there, Ergo Proxy then turns into an investigative mystery narrative.

With this concept in mind, it’s understandable why the team behind the anime would want to have a Radiohead song involved. Specifically, Manglobe wanted to use the band’s song “Paranoid Android” for the anime; this track is a song from the band’s 1997 album OK Computer.

When it comes to the band’s music, Radiohead has always been so ahead of the curve regarding technology; they aren’t just a rock band, for Thom Yorke and company have always strived to subvert the technical and creative conventions of rock and roll with electronic music, offering a musical fusion that feels familiar but also otherworldly.

However, when initially approached about this project, Radiohead declined to license their music. However, with a little extra convincing, the Manglobe team was able to get Radiohead on board. As reported by Anime News Network, following the band’s initial decline, Manglobe decided to show the band a preview of the anime, and it was upon seeing this preview that the band was sold, and gave permission to license their song “Paranoid Android” for Ergo Proxy.

“Paranoid Android” proved to be an excellent fit for Ergo Proxy, the song’s ambient electronic-rock atmosphere making for a strong spiritual companion to the show’s themes. Below you will find a clip of the anime’s closing credits featuring the Radiohead song, as well as a trailer for Ergo Proxy.

What are your favorite anime? If you’re looking for new shows to watch, we compiled a list of the ten most metal anime of all time.

Ergo Proxy ending credits – featuring Radiohead song “Paranoid Android”

Ergo Proxy trailer