That sound you hear in almost every anime…

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When I hear this one sound I feel like I have stepped into the anime world! It is the beautiful sound of the cicada.

So what’s there to know about this iconic insect?

  1. Japanese folk don’t consider that Summer has officially began until they hear the sounds of the cicada’s chirping.
  2. It is unusual not to hear a cicada in a summer anime scene. Cicada sounds are even used in video games.
  3. Catching cicadas are a popular past time for children in Japan. Kids love to catch these bugs as it’s always a novelty to hear it start to sing. Cicadas are not commonly sold in Japan so if you want one you need to catch it yourself!
  4. Antarctica is the only continent that doesn’t have cicadas.
  5. There are approx 2500 types of cicadas in the world and Japan has 30 of them. However, there are many that are still unclassified.
  6. The cicada sound that is used in anime is often linked to nostalgia and familiarity.
  7. Cicadas all have their slightly different sound. The ‘minmin-zemi’s’ song is what you most-likely hear in anime.
  8. In Latin cicada means tree cricket.  
  9. People find the “Semi Bakudan” freaky. Nothing worse that walking or sitting next to a ‘dead’ cicada it ‘comes to life’ with an all mighty shriek. Another name for this phenomenon is the cicada bomb! You have been warned!

YouTube channel Shmergy has created a video that discusses the significance of of the cicada in anime.



Video by YouTube channel Shmergy

To hear for yourself the different sounds of Japanese cicadas check out the below video.



Video by YouTube Channel Various cicadas

If you find the sounds of the Japanese summer relaxing you will love these videos I found on YouTube.



Video by YouTube Channel TOMOKI Nature Sounds & Landscapes



Video by YouTube Channel TOMOKI Nature Sounds & Landscapes


Video by YouTube Channel TOMOKI Nature Sounds & Landscapes


Video by YouTube Channel TOMOKI Nature Sounds & Landscapes

I trust you have enjoyed learning about cicadas in Japan.

Do you have cicadas where you live? Do they give you the feeling of summer? Do cicadas give you a feeling of nostalgia? Tell me in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and watching!

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6 comments

  1. When I was living in New Zealand, the first time I went out for a run,
    I had to keep stopping and removing my headphones because I could have sworn I was being chased by a motorbike. There were so many and they were so loud, I could hear them over my music. We don’t get them like that in England or Canada. I do miss them, oddly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Are used to love cicadas are used to catch them when I was young I once caught a blue Eyes Cicada sadly my dad wouldn’t let me bring it to the zoo for a dollar LOL Now Cicadas and other bugs creep me out I have a phobia to them

    Liked by 1 person

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