Top Ten Anime Openings
So I was struggling to decide what top 10 to write about next, when my brother suggested I compile a top 10 OPs / EDs. Now this sounded like a fantastic idea at the time, but now that I’ve actually attempted to sit down and make a proper list I realise that it was a terrible idea! Simply said, this was an exercise in frustration because I have way too many favourites! 😆 Even now I’m resisting the urge to reorder the list, put things back in, take things out, renumber the whole lot…….but enough’s enough!
I decided to be pretty strict with myself and discard things were I just adored the song or the animation – the whole package needed to be good in my estimation to make it into the top 10. For example, even though it pained me; I had to leave off the Maria+Holic OP (song is rubbish without the animation), the 3rd Code Geass OP (love the song, but the animation is lacking) and the Elfen Lied OP (ditto), plus a whole lot more for similar reasons.
Anyway enough stalling and attempting to explain myself; as always the following list is completely subjective and based purely on my own biased opinion, and much to my everlasting regret there is only 10 places on a Top Ten list 😛
10. Gundam Wing OP 1 – ‘Just Communication’ by Two-Mix
OK I kind of lied. Admittedly the Gundam Wing OP isn’t particularly fantastic musically or animation wise, but damn is the pull of nostalgia strong! I kept taking it off the list and then staring at it thinking “but I love this OP!” and sticking it back in again! 😆 There’s just something about hearing ‘Just Communication’ start up and seeing Heero with his hand over his face that just makes me happy. I also love the way all the old-school battle sound effects are left in, and the way the Gundams are depicted just standing in the middle of their respective battle fields – it’s not shiny, it’s not particularly exciting, but I just really love this OP!
9. ef: A Tale of Memories OP – ‘Euphoric Field’ by ELISA
Ah SHAFT, I do like your OPs. The ef OPs are one of the best examples of how well SHAFTs quirky animation style can work. I love all the text, block colours, eye-shots, silhouettes etc, it’s just a very visually attractive. I picked the Memories OP over the Melodies OP, because I prefer ‘Euphoric Field’ to ‘Ebullient Future’. Both are pretty good songs, but Euphoric Field just nudges Ebullient Future out; plus I just preferred Memories over Melodies in general 😀
8. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 1st Gig OP – ‘Inner Universe’ by Origa
The unusual choice of a Russian song and CGI animation drew me to this OP, it’s really something special. I love the haunting melodic vocals coupled with some pretty cool imagery – it makes for a really excellent lead into a the show. I often find myself playing this OP over and over again, it just never gets old.
7. Bleach OP 1 – ‘*~ASTERISK~’ by ORANGE RANGE
I love this OP and at the same time it makes me a bit depressed, simply because this OP reminds me of when Bleach was great. The stylish OP animation and catchy song have remained firm favourites of mine over the years, I sometimes find myself humming this song from time to time out of the blue! The animation shows off the stylish character designs that are the best part of Bleach and it works really well with the music. Ah nostalgia!
6. Xam’d: Lost Memories OP – ‘Shut up and Explode’ by ‘The Boom Boom Satellites
I’m a big fan of OPs that have been animated to match the accompanying music; and the Xam’d OP is a brilliant example of that. The song itself is excellent, and I listen to it quite a lot, but paired with BONES’ droolworthy animation it takes on a whole new level of awesome. It’s a great OP as it manages to highlight all the characters and give an inkling of their personalities – all in only 1min30secs and coupled with great music! Cant ask for more than that really 😛
5. Last Exile OP – ‘Cloud Age Symphony’ by Shuntaro Okino
Last Exile is how I like to remember GONZO, it’s just wonderful, and I adore this OP as it is a perfect teaser for the brilliance of this series. The song itself is really interesting with those bagpipes at the start and the really catchy melody – I love to put this on and just sit back and just soak up the wonderful feeling of flight that the song conjures up (I particularly like listening to this OP when I’m sitting at the window seat in a place :P).
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion OP – ‘Zankoku na Tenchi no Thesis’ by Yoko Takahashi
Now this is just a classic. The OP for EVA is just as iconic as the rest of the show and has spawned more parodies than I’d care to count. As a song it sounds so much more upbeat than you’d expect the OP to this series to be, but it works extremely well (and is extremely catchy – another tune I catch myself humming from time to time). The visuals are packed full of symbolism and the OP is an excellent teaser for the actual series with all its flashes of text and images. It’s just an all around great OP.
3. Eden of the East OP – ‘Falling Down’ by Oasis
I wasn’t going to include this as since the OP is by Oasis some part of me thinks its cheating; but feck it! This OP is just too good not to include! Eden of the East was a great show, I really enjoyed it – it was particularly fun to pick all the imagery in the OP apart to try to unravel the plot ahead of time – because this OP is just jam-packed full of hints and symbolism. Its got fantastic use of kinetic typography and colour too – the over all effect is very striking. Couple the fantastic animation with a pretty damn good song from Oasis and you’ve got one of the best anime OPs in recent memory!
2. xxxHOLiC OP – ’19 Sai’ by Shikao Suga
Whoever decided that Shikao Suga would be the best person to go to for the xxxHOLiC OPs deserves a medal! This song is just perfect for xxxHOLiC and is insanely catchy; plus Suga’s voice is just melty 😆 Great song and nicely done animation = winner in my book. Plus Yuuko looks awesome in this OP, that alone bumps the OP up a few places in my estimation 😀
1. Baccano! OP – ‘Guns & Roses’ by Paradise Lunch
And so we reach #1. The Baccano! OP stands out in my mind because it does its job as an OP so well. With such a large cast appearing in a host of different locations and times, it would be really difficult to learn character names without some help – which is why the Baccano OP with its character name cards is a stroke of genius. Not only does it add the names in, but it actually builds the OP up round that concept and makes the introductions flow in a fantastic interlinked way – just like the actual plot. The music itself is a perfect fit for the tone of the show too – that fun, jazzy tune gets stuck in your head and makes you smile. It’s just a great OP.
So that’s the 10 I eventually settled on. There are a whole heap of others I feel bad about leaving out, but I’m fairly happy with this list as it stands. Care to share your favourites?