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Top Ten Anime Openings

August 12, 2010

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?

40 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2010 12:00 am

    You know, I’d make my own but it would look practically the same. Xam’d, Last Exile, that awesome first Bleach opening, Baccano, Eden, although I personally prefer the 2nd Gig opening to the first season.

    No Black Lagoon? Or Cowboy Bebop?

    • August 13, 2010 12:08 am

      I haven’t seen 2ndGig yet (DVDs are sitting beside me though) nor, to my great shame, have I watched more than a single episode of Cowboy Bebop (I swear to god I willget round to watching that show some day!).

      Black Lagoon made the shortlist and its one of the one’s I feel bad about leaving out 😦

  2. August 13, 2010 12:06 am

    19sai was also #2 in an informal ranking of my favorite openings. I remember asking my roommate if he wanted to watch xxxHoLiC with me. He declined. Then I put on the episode. 10 seconds into the intro he turned around and said, “whoa.” In addition to what you mentioned, the opening does a great job of spoiling without spoiling. You don’t realize they’re spoilers until you’ve seen the relevant episodes.

    • August 13, 2010 12:16 am

      Oh good point! I never thought of that because I was spoiled to start with from reading the manga 😆 It is cleverly done though you’re right.

      As for 19 Sai, even my mother likes that song despite her distain for my ‘weird japanese things’!

  3. August 13, 2010 1:08 am

    Awesome list! loved the Xamd opening very cool song! same for Eden very nice choice =)

  4. August 13, 2010 9:31 pm

    Nice list. Though for a Bleach opening, I don’t think Asterisk is my favourite one. I think D-tecnolife by UVERworld or Rolling Star by YUI would be my top two, though Asterisk would be a close third.

    As other songs that are on my list, definitely Moonlight Densetsu from Sailor Moon (have I mentioned I’m a Sailor Moon fan? lol) and while not lyrical, Tank from Cowboy Bebop is frickin awesome. White Destiny from Pretear is also amazing.

    • August 14, 2010 12:53 pm

      I like the UVERworld and Yui OPs more musically, but the animation isn’t as eyecatching as the ORANGE RANGE OP.

      Ah the Sailor Moon OP is a classic…….I can’t actually remember the Pretear OP *Youtubes* oh yeah it was an earworm 😆

  5. August 14, 2010 4:56 pm

    I never make this sort of lists because I can’t stop at 10, but if I were pick one, it would be Galaxy Bang Bang w

    • August 15, 2010 1:53 am

      I love lists, but once I finish them I’m never happy – I enjoy the challenge though 😆

  6. August 14, 2010 6:19 pm

    Nice, I’m planning to make a list of my top 10 OPs and/or EDs one of these days. I still don’t know whether to make two lists – one for OPs and one for EDs – combine them, split them between whether I like the song more, the animation more, or like you have it, “the whole package.” Well, I’ll see what I come up with.

    You have some good ones here though I don’t think any of them would be on my top 10 list. I actually haven’t seen many of the series you mention, so I couldn’t say ~_^

    • August 15, 2010 1:55 am

      I have the EDs post started, so it should be up during the week (if I ever stop messing with the ranking). If I was just going by favourite music, or favourite animation the list would look very, very different!

      All the shows listed I really enjoyed and rate pretty highly 😀

  7. August 14, 2010 8:14 pm

    Nice, and that Xam’d OP is really catchy. I’d probably include the first OP of Durarara!! if I ever made a similar list. Anyway, always interesting to see people’s various faves lists. 🙂

    • August 15, 2010 1:57 am

      Yeah the Drrr!! OP was in there, but I decided I preferred the Baccano! OP more and they’re both in a similar style so only left one in the top10.

      I love lists like these, they give a real insight into peoples preferences (I’m very nosey :P)

      • August 15, 2010 3:41 pm

        Haha, so am I! Haven’t watched Baccano yet (I know, I’m rubbish), but that makes sense. Oh, and to add to the nostalgia angle, even though I only saw it a few years ago myself, I’d also add the OP of Revolutionay Girl Utena, it’s just too awesome! 😀

  8. August 14, 2010 10:59 pm

    Yay, you’ve actually reminded me that I should watch Xam’d, thx 😛

    Damn, that Gundam Wing opening was nostalgic. Good pick together with Baccano and Eden.

    I miss old good Bleach times too <.<

    That was some challenge you've brought upon yourself. I can't imagine choosing 10 out of everything, too damn hard.

    Well in my case, I'd probably pick some childhood ones because they can really hit you with the positive feelings – Soul Hunter opening would be fo sho in my top when I think about it.

    Still, your picks were really classy :p

    • August 15, 2010 2:00 am

      Xam’d is pretty entertaining – it lacks something that would have made it brilliant though (can’t put my finger on what that something is though). As it stands its a very solid 4/5

      My brother suggested I make this post, I thought it was a good idea to start with, but a few hours of agonising later I regretted attempting to narrow the list down to 10!

  9. August 15, 2010 8:20 am

    A few of my favorites not listed …

    “Tenshi no Yubikiri” from Kare Kano
    “Days” from Eureka Seven
    “Dramatic” from Honey and Clover
    “You Get to Burning” from Martian Successor Nadesico (yes, this is already an all-time favorite for me >_>)
    “Summer Rain” from Cross Game
    “Macross” from SDF Macross
    “HEAT ISLAND” from Ayakashi
    “Allegro Cantabile Sound” from Nodame Cantabile
    “Yume no Shima Shinen Kouen” from Paranoia Agent
    “Bara wa Utsukushiku Chiru” from Rose of Versailles
    “Duvet” from Serial Experiments Lain

    • August 16, 2010 12:40 pm

      Ah the Macross OP! That was wedged in my head for weeks! 😆

      I had Nodame Cantabile, Paranoia Agent and Eureka Seven on the shortlist 😀

  10. Custard permalink
    August 15, 2010 5:06 pm

    I love all of those openings, but to be honest, FMA: Brotherhood’s “Again” by Yui is undeniably my favorite opening of any series. Though Bleach has the best consecutive openings.

    • August 16, 2010 12:41 pm

      Ah yes that FMA:B OP was also on the extensive shortlist – its very good.

  11. August 16, 2010 5:17 am

    I recognized and love everyone you named except for gundam wing and xxxHolic. Some opening that I particularly like include:

    Beck Op – Hit in the USA by Beat Crusaders

    Cromartie High School – Jun by Yoshida Takurou

    Ergo Proxy Op – Kiri by Monoral

    Eureka Seven Op’s – Days by Flow, Shounen Heart by HOME MADE KAZOKU

    Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Op – Golden Time Lover by Sukima Switch

    Mouryou No Hako Op – Lost in the Blue by Nightmare

    Persona Trinity Soul Op – Word of the Voice by Flow

    Serial Experiments Lain Op – Duvet by Bôa

    Welcome to the NHK Op – Puzzle by Round Table Feat Nino

    • August 16, 2010 12:42 pm

      Woo! 100oth Comment! 😀

      Love all these you’ve mentioned – particularly the Cromartie High OP and the BECK OP!

      Really need to watch Lain……..I keep telling myself that!

  12. Misaki permalink
    August 18, 2010 2:39 pm

    Nice List!!
    I like too Bacano. Jazzy image matches to the style, it’s fashionable..
    well, I recommend
    TRIGUN Op – H.T.
    Serial Experiments Lain Op – Duvet
    BOKURANO Op – UnInstall
    HAIBANE RENMEI – Free Bird
    Macross F – Lion

    by all means , please check them…

    • August 18, 2010 8:37 pm

      Couldn’t actually recall the Trigun OP, but now I’ve Youtubed it – nostalgia!
      I really liked the Bokurano, Haibane Renmei and Macross F OPs, I thought of them all when compiling my list – a Top 10 list really is too short! 😆

  13. August 19, 2010 8:39 pm

    I must certainly agree with the bleach opening; it was my favorite, and now, all the openings in comparison just…suck. Alas, it can’t be always that good…

    The other opening that I’m particularly fond of was 19sai. Definitely the greatest opening sequence and song out there. Terrific.

    Keep up the good work. =D

    • August 19, 2010 9:33 pm

      The early Bleach OPs were great, but Asterisk will always be a favourite – all the recent ones have been a bit ‘meh’.

      19Sai is a firm favourite, great song, great visuals, great show – can’t ask for more than that 😀

      My Top 10 EDs will be coming shortly!

  14. August 20, 2010 2:27 am

    If I do this, I think most of my fav would be from Bleach ^^”

  15. August 20, 2010 5:51 pm

    I very nearly approved of this post till I noticed you left some out! 😡

  16. anime lover permalink
    January 14, 2011 5:32 am

    my favorite is the second opening from soul eater
    love it , check it out
    seriuosly check it out

    • January 14, 2011 12:48 pm

      I preferred the 1st OP for Soul Eater, really liked the way the animation worked with the song.

  17. boobdfrwsgetjym permalink
    August 24, 2011 12:18 am

    Where the fuck is evangelion? I know many agree with me that, that is the top anime song.

  18. Brandon permalink
    June 25, 2013 6:54 am

    I love #8, #7, #4, and #1,I’ve never made a list of my top 10 Anime openings.The ones that might in it though would be FMA Op 4, Cowboy Bebop’s OP, EVA’s OP, Trigun’s OP, Bleach OP 2, Gurren Lagann’s OP, FMA:B OP 1, maybe one of the Soul Eater Openings, one of the Death Note Openings, and maybe Naruto Shippuden OP 3 IDK yet lol.


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