If you actually pay any attention to the anime openings and their followings, you’ll actually many are divided by their choices of favourite anime openings or endings, especially in 24-episode anime series, such as Attack on Titan or long running anime series, such as Bleach and Naruto. And we can actually get a glimpse of the person’s liking and taste based on his choice of songs. So, what are you?
Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Guren no Yumiya (Crimson Hunter) OP1
Jiyuu no Tsubasa (Wings of Freedom) OP2
Don’t be mistaken, both openings were superb but it’s about which one is prefered. For me, I prefer Jiiyu no Tsubasa, the second OP. As to why, I feel that the song was definitely better in terms of melodic arrangement. The chorus was uplifting and the coarse vocals soaring high above at different intervals that makes me feel the same epic feel every time I listen to it. In addition to that, I feel that the 3D feel to the animation were quite nice albeit losing out to the first opening. Plus, I loved the German words added to the beginning of the song was a great touch of art, and is especially uplifting if you truly understand what the words mean. As for the first opening, I felt it was tad too repetitive because the chorus just repeats the beginning brass melody with minimal variation. And as for the animation, even though it was quite impressive with the flies…erm…I mean, humans running, leaping, and swinging around the giant like a ritualistic dance before going in for the kill, it wasn’t enough for the opening to be my favourite. Thus, my favourite Attack on Titan opening was…
Jiiyu no Tsubasa!!!! by linked horizon (For the above reasons)
Akame ga Kill
Liar Mask OP2
After Attack on Titan, it’s only normal that I put the next most memorable anime that kills off it’s characters as simply as flicking the wrist. If anything, I’d say that Akame ga Kill enjoyed killing off it’s characters much more than Attack on Titan but that’s a story for later. Anyway, Skyreach begins with a atonal and explosive rock guitar riff that introduces the main character, Tatsumi and the titular character, Akame and the rest of the cast while the blood splatters all over the screen in an explosive opening. I didn’t quite get used to the riff until the second or third time I listened to it but it grew on me over time. After that one explosive riff, it transformed itself back into the typical J-pop song format. But it wasn’t because of the guitar riff or the song itself, it was actually the animation that won me over. The way they presented the characters were in such a way that the characters were all quite important and implied that every one of the characters had a sad story even though it wasn’t much focused on by the anime. That laid the foundations for the Grim Reaper and random killings, so much so that I was actually emotionally shaken when the characters started dying. If it wasn’t for the opening, I probably wouldn’t even have raised an eyebrow when some of the one-dimensional characters that seldom appeared got killed. Kudos to the producers for establishing character development in the opening itself. For me, that opening was among the top on my list of anime songs. But apparently, there were quite many fans that seemed to disagree with me. Not that I can blame them, Liar Mask, the second opening was also quite good. Opening with a soft, electronic singing voice and a 3D animation, it was laid the foundation where the viewer was pulled into the sadness and the atmosphere of death surrounding the anime. And that got the viewer to invest emotionally in the song. However, I feel, aside from the opening, the entire song felt like too strange and the animation was mediocre, unlike the first opening. Plus the opening trick (soft then loud approach) was a little over-used and there were some, if not many other songs did a better job than Liar Mask. So… for me, the winner is…
Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood
Rain – SID OP5
Golden Time Lover – Sukima Switch OP3
Period – Chemistry OP4
Again – YUI OP1
Hologram – Nico Touches The Wall OP2
The most talked about and the most loved anime opening in the entire series was undoubtedly “Rain” by Japanese Pop group, SID. The entire song was played in a quite fast tempo but dismissed the drums and crash cymbals that were supposedly ever present in an opening. I was quite surprised that SID actually pulled off something like this since it’s specialty was the Rock genre, with songs like ‘Enamel’ and the second ending song to the same series, Uso (Lie). But the gamble paid off and ‘Rain’ ended up being one of the best songs in it’s long line of singles, opening and ending songs. Unlike the most other openings (and some of the endings, like Shunkan Sentimental) in the series, it wasn’t all Rock n’ Roll for once. The emotional build-up to the hair-raising finale was spectacular and the iconic scenes in the anime featuring the many characters in the anime especially the part it showed Scar and Wrath faced off in the rain. I don’t think I’ll forget the tear falling off the poker-faced Wrath. Ever.(If you didn’t notice that, you must either don’t watch anime openings much or you don’t care. If you’re the former, well, dude, you have got to start. If you’re the latter, well, I have two words for you:
In short, it pulled off what many other openings failed, or rather didn’t do: invoking strong emotions and letting the viewers investing those emotions in the anime. But what about the others? Golden Time Lover, the third opening by Sukima Switch was splendid as well, managing to give the viewers the feel of the ever growing urgency of the series as the enemies (and allies) started revealing themselves one by one. Not only that, the mysterious and urgent atmosphere invoked by the opening managed to be brought forward into the series. As for the others, I never really got the point of them, aside from them being the usual rock music, where the good guys and bad guys face off along to the song. None of them actually stood out in any way at all. If you ask me, I think the first series,(Goodness forbid calling it an original series) Fullmetal Alchemist’s fourth opening, rewrite by the classic ‘Asian Kung Fu Generation’ did a way better job and was way more epic any of the other songs mentioned above.
So that leaves us just OP3 and OP5. It’s a hard one, but my favourite is going to be…
RAIN!!!!!! (For the all the above reasons.)
Naruto & Naruto Shippuden
(Since there are soooooooooooooooo many openings, I’ll just choose from my list of favourites)
Sign – FLOW OP6 Naruto Shippuden
Haruka Kanata- Asian Kung Fu Generation Naruto OP2
Totsugeki Rokku (Attack Rock)- The Cro-Magnons Naruto Shippuden OP11
Silhouette – Kana-Boon Naruto Shippuden Opening 16
Go!!- FLOW Naruto OP4
Honestly, the Naruto openings are so many that I bet that many of them were pretty much just there to be there. As far as I know, most of them in my list are there simply because the songs were nice and typical J-pop songs that were great for both people who are new to J-pop and hardcore J-pop fans but honestly, as opening, they didn’t stand out. Not even a bit. However, those that did stood out for a very good reason. Take Sign, the fan favourite opening. The fight scene in the opening between Jiraiya and the Akatsuki, his students when they were little, gave me goosebumps. And seriously, not all anime openings can give me goosebumps, though making me roll my eyes is quite easy. The way they fought on opposing sides despite all that they have been through and the deja vu feeling it emitted easily made it my personal favourite. Of all Naruto Openings. Of. All. Time. And for Haruka Kanata, I remembered how as a child, it left such a mark in my memory, that after almost 9 or 10 years of not listening to it, when I rediscovered it, I leapt with joy. Nostalgic stuff. But it has to be nostalgic for a reason, right?
First of all was the catchy tune. I remembered as a kid, when I went to swimming class after watching one or two episodes of Naruto, I would have the memory of the song etched into my brain. And since swimming was a quite boring sport, (Yes, Free fans, swimming IS a VERY boring sport) I hummed the song for all the time I was swimming lap after lap to entertain myself. Not that I could help myself, it was too catchy. Secondly, the animation. The rotating camera angle around the Groups in the series during the pre-chorus was spectacular. In short, just splendid, the opening was just splendid.
If you don’t remember Totsugeki Rokku, don’t worry, I won’t blame you. The fact is that the mono-tonal song wasn’t exactly a great choice for a J-pop fan’s favourite. But the highlight isn’t the song you see, as the case with all anime openings, the marks were given not only to the song, but to the animation and the atmosphere it brought. The looping chorus which comprised only with the words: “Eien desu” and “Totsugeki Rokku” definitely boosted the presentation of the animation where Naruto just runs around, dodging attacks and fire balls, which wouldn’t have worked with any of the other monotonal songs, (like the forgettable “hero’s come back”, the first Naruto Shippuden opening.)
On the other hand, Silhouette by Kana-Boon gave us a glimpse of the final battle involving Sasuke and Naruto and the awesome battle right in the beginning. In fact, I bet all those Naruto haters after watching this opening, will be drawn to this anime right immediately after. It being the final opening definitely won me over. The way the opening presents Naruto growing up while running was awesome. I love the opening. Seriously. Finally is the classic “Go!!” by flow, the principle that applies to Totsugeki Rokku applies to Go!! as well. I mean, can you imagine the animation going together any other openings? The only thing that is different is that Totsugeki Rokku didn’t have a big name like FLOW behind it. Just that.
And so, which is my favourite?? The winner is…
SIGN!!!!!! (for all the above reasons)
So I think this should be enough for today, I shall continue this discussion (with myself) some other time. Till then, Bon voyage. (Pardon my French. Literally.)
Feel free to comment on my post to tell what you think or give me any feedback or even just to discuss this particular topic with me. For more posts from me, please visit my site, https://seeanimeondaniel.wordpress.com
Thanks for your time and have a happy new year.