Anime OpeningsAugust 13, 2008 at 8:00 am | Posted in Top Ten | 13 Comments
New Top Ten list. This week I go into my love of music a little with ten of my favorite openings.
Specifically, these are openings that I like both the music and animation for. A good opening needs to have nice animation and nice music. One or the other doesn’t cut it.
Of course, my standard for animation is mostly just lots of pretty images. You get no ground from me for being plot-relevant. A lot of time I wonder why more openings aren’t more plot-relevant, but I never like the ones that are as much. Meh.
Anyway, this time I limited myself to one opening per anime/series. That includes sequels and different seasons. As it turned out, this was really only a problem with a couple of anime.
Meaning KyoAni usually only does one season of an anime (ooo, spoiler alert).
Number 10: InuYasha OP6 – Angelus (Hitomi Shimatani)
Yup…InuYasha is on the list. Because no matter what else you can say about the anime, it had some really nice openings. It was kind of hard to chose between this, I Am (OP2), Grip! (OP4), and One Day, One Dream (OP5). But Grip! ruined itself with sound effects. One Day, One Dream had the prettiest spot of animation, but other parts were awkward. I Am came closest with pretty animation and a song I’ve always liked, I just didn’t like either part quite as much.
Once back in my long-ago InuYasha fangirl days, I had a conversation with an old internet acquaintance on IM about which opening was the best. Basically we decided that it really came down to “which opening had the prettiest Kagome animation.” because that’s really what it comes down to.
Most shounen anime have all that crazy action, random plot insertion in the OP. What I always liked about InuYasha’s openings (and endings) was the pretty still frames, the quick landscape images, and then the shots of Kagome. They really liked making her hair blow in the wind…I like that too.
Number 09: Tsubasa Chronicle OP1 – Blaze (Kinya Kotani)
The Tsubasa anime sucked. The first season wasn’t as bad as the second, but still didn’t compare to the manga. The only thing I like about that anime is the fact that it brought me Yui Makino…and I still can’t find room in my heart to forgive them.
But the first OP had everything the anime didn’t. Some emotion, pretty animation, SakuraxSyaoran moments, cool action, plot, mysetery and…overall non-suckage. I won’t say “good music” because there was plenty of good music in the anime (why do you think I love Yui Makino so much? If it weren’t for episode 19 I’d never have even noticed her).
Basically, I liked this song. And the animation was full of the stuff I like too. Now if only it was done in Production I.G.’s Tokyo Revelations style instead of Bee Train’s. That would have been great.
Number 08: Air OP – Tori no Uta (Lia)
Oh the way I discovered KyoAni was this beautiful OP. Everyone can rag on KyoAni’s adaptations as much as they want (I personally love them all…KyoAni fangirls exist too), but they can’t say anything about the beautiful animation. Especially in the openings.
I really love that one shot of Misuzu in the sunflowers. That’s what really hooked me when I first checked out the OP. The effect with the clouds is really cool too. And the shot of Misuzu turning is just KyoAni showing off their pretty wind-blowing animation…and I love it.
Beautiful animation, a beautiful song. Yeah…it pretty much has everything you need to be on this list.
Number 07: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu – Sore Ga Ai Deshou (Mikuni Shimokawa)
I had such a hard time chosing between this and Minami Kaze from Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid. But this one out in the end…just barely. The other one has a song I kind of like more and a lot of really nice shots, but…this one has hair blowing in the wind. I love hair blowing in the wind.
Really, this one just has nice calm music and really nice animation that fits with it. The only complaint I have is that I’m kind of bothered by the spots for the credits, but whatever.
Yup, it’s just a really nice song with really nice animation. The only thing is…it doesn’t really fit in with the ridiculous nature of the show (so much Bonta-kun in that series…).
Number 06: Shugo Chara! OP2 – Minna Daisuki (Buono!)
Oh well all know why this one’s on here. Personally, I’m a Buono! fan, but animation is also a requirement. This one beats the other SC! opening with a better song and…an Amuto moment in the OP.
Yeah, I can’t even try to say that this one has better animation…because it doesn’t. It’s has spectacular Amuto instead. And I love it.
The whole opening is really cute though and I really like Amu’s semi-transformation into Amulet Angel. It would have been my screencap but you know…Amuto.
Number 05: Clannad OP – Megumeru ~cuckool mix 2007~ (eufonius)
Nagisa, Key VN-style opening, KyoAni animation, and…did I mention Nagisa? Oh and that cute little girl too! I know her name, but I’m going to be a good girl and keep it to myself, because not everyone spoils themselves about the After Story.
Personally, I’m a fan of KyoAni trying to adapt Key’s VN opening styles with animation…even if it means that they use a clip that never even gets to appear in the anime (Kyou…).
Also, this is one of my absolute favorite songs from an anime. So there’s that too.
Number 04: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha OP – Innocent Starter (Nana Mizuki)
Nana Mizuki song is a must on this list. And this is the one with the animation I like best.
Even if the song wasn’t a Nana-sama song, I’d probably still really love it. it has a really nice sound and the images are all just really nice. The shots showing of Nanoha’s sailor fuku armor are cool (though it’s being changed in the upcoming movie! My red ribbon!!!).
Even though I’m always hesitant to call Nanoha a mahou shoujo anime (really, at the very least you can’t call A’s one), the OP feels like a mix between a mahou shoujo and moe anime…and hey! That’s what it is. They do their job well.
Number 03: Macross Frontier OP2/3 – Lion (May’n & Megumi Nakajima)
Epic. I created this list a while ago, but I had to readjust it while I was typing it up because Lion came out. I’ve watched it thirty times since and I’m still absolutely loving it. Absolutely the best use of recycled animation ever. What’s with Macross F? Making an enjoyable recap episode and making a top 3 quality OP with recycled animation. It’s almost so good that I hate them for it.
Basically, this OP combines what I really love about Macross F. The music, the pretty animation, and the girls. God, I hope this OP means I can look forward to a team-up with Sheryl and Ranka. The shipping is fun and all, but I’m really just after this anime because I like all the characters separately too.
Basically, they made old footage fun to watch by matching it up with awesome fights and the two girls singing. And pretty colors too. The effects were so amazing that even if you compare this to a MAD video, I’ll laugh and say, “point me to the MAD video that looks this great.” Especially the transitions that go all 3d with the mechs. It’s cool. I really love this opening. So bright, crisp, and the song is just awesome and matches the mood nicely (in both the way Sheryl and Ranka sing and the current mood of the anime).
Even if you don’t watch Macross F, you have to watch this opening…thirty times. Though please do it in better quality than the videos I could find on YouTube (they make me weep).
Number 02: CardCaptor Sakura OP3 – Platinum (Maaya Sakamoto)
Barely anything in this video is plot-relevant. There’s only one point in the opening where any character besides Sakura shows up too. It’s kind of funny. That always bothered me before, but now I just take it in stride as a sacrifice for beautiful animation.
In order to get a perfect screencap for this video I basically went through the whole thing frame by frame. I didn’t even get bored. Every frame is a different beautiful image, nothing ever looks awkward. Or at least, nothing important ever looks awkward. Sakura’s face is always beautiful, the only way you can tell in some of the frames that it comes from a moving animation are some transparency issues, but that’ really impossible to avoid.
It’s really a beautiful song matched with some absolutely beautiful animation. It was kind of hard choosing between the CCS openings, but this one really had to win out in the end. It’s the best season from the anime and it shows it. Best outfit for Sakura (after her princess outfit in the anime), best song, best animation. And Sakura having wings made room for even prettier animation too.
Number 01: Kanon OP – Last Regrets (Ayana)
The ultimate of hair blowing in the wind openings. In fact, the hair blowing in the wind is so amazing that I couldn’t even manage to catch an image that looked right when it was still. It’s really just something that you have to watch (cute loli-Ayu will have to do).
Really, for me…Last Regrets just can’t be topped. The music matches the mood of the anime, the animation is just absolutely beautiful, and it has those little mysteries in the opening that keep you guessing throughout the anime. The little glimpses of the past.
The only minor thing about Kanon is that it does the same thing as a certain other opening from KyoAni does. It gets so wrapped up in being like the VN and showing off the girls that it forgets that there’s a certain character who shows up even more often than the girls…
Well, I guess it’s okay. For the proper mood, it needed to just be sad girls in snow…and Ayu eating taiyaki.
That’s it for today. Maybe someday I’ll do my top ten endings too…but not sometime soon. I had a really hard time finding the right youtube links and then collecting clean openings to grab screencaps. I haven’t watched a lot of these anime in quite some time so they got deleted from my computer at some point. And I never watched either Air or InuYasha raw (and I didn’t have any InuYasha DVDs from that season).
Innocent Starter was definitely the most difficult to get a hold of though. If only Geneon were still around. Then I’d already have my Nanoha DVDs and that would have settled that!
The only ones readily available to me were Blaze (Tsubasa DVD), Sore Ga Ai Deshou (Fumoffu DVD), Minna Daisuki (Shugo Chara! raws), Lion (I’ve had that clip stored on my computer so I can watch it thirty times), and Platinum (CCS DVD). It really was quite an ordeal otherwise.
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