Kirito’s Top 10 Anime Openings (Feb 28th, 2021)
Big shoutout to Annie, from evening tea musings, for this tag! I figured I make a full top 10 list out of this tag. Hope you don’t mind Annie! She’s also starting this really fun project where she’ll create a KPOP playlist for you! If you like KPOP definitely go check her post that I linked!
Having watched the ridiculous amount of anime that I have…there are a lot of opening that I’ve seen so creating this top 10 is also a restriction for myself to keep it short and sweet haha. When looking at openings, I look for a number of things: Music selection, animation, composition, and story element integration. Alright let’s dive in!
Kiss of Death [Darling in the Franxx]
Starting off with controversial shows right off the bat! Leaving the fact that I wished the show concluded around episode 15 (maybe a conversation for another post?) behind…the opening is one of my favorite things about the show! Darling in the Franxx excelled in its character design and animation with a flair that we all know and love from its animation studio TRIGGER. The opening hones in the color red and allows the everything else to be monochrome creating a number of symbolisms that tie back to the show: the monochrome aesthetic symbolizes the sterile nature of the world that the kids live in while the red is 02 who slowly brings a new perspective to the story. Insertions of abstract flashbacks hint at the relationship between Hiro and 02 without outright spoiling the character development. Kiss of Death ties extremely well to the story of Darling in the Franxx as 02 is thought to be a bringer of death to all those who partner with her. HYDE’s production on the track backed with strong vocals from Maka Nakashima hits us like a train once that drop kicks in.
Seize the Day [Yuru Camp Season 2]
Yuru Camp has been a favorite since the first season (so much that I named my Animal Crossing Island “Yuru Camp” as a homage LOL)! The second season spices up the opening number with Seize the Day, a fun uplifting jazz tune. The style has this cozy feeling to with it’s soothing main and back up vocals as well as warm sounds like the trumpet and the smooth bass line. And as the character love to take and send photos of their camping trips to their friends, the opening sequence features some of the moment and scenes that we may not see on screen which make the characters feel more relatable, fun, and wholesome. Along with the “behind the scene” moments, there are visually appealing graphics that hint back to camping, from abstract mountains, maps, to camp set ups and food! Makes me want to hop in my car for a camping trip!
Togenkyo Alien [Gintama]
There aren’t many shows that has the notoriety that Gintama has. Starting off as a seemingly gag/comedy anime but then actually developing characters to the point where the fandom would cry over these characters backstories. The comedy and story telling of Gintama is unmatched to this day in my opinion. The unconventional way the story presents itself is what makes it so appealing to those that give it a chance! And so, out of all of the Gintama openings (WHICH ARE ALL GREAT BTW), I chose Togenkyo Alien. This 9th opening, in my opinion, truly embodies the essence of Gintama within a 2 minute time frame. Be sure to watch to the end! There’s a surprise!
Good Morning World! [Dr. Stone]
Dr. Stone continues to be one fo the most popular shows this season but I want to take it back a little bit and highlight the first opening! First of all, BURNOUT SYNDROME nails an opening every single time. It doesn’t matter what the show is about, if it has a BURNOUT SYNDROME song for its opening then it’s a classic! The opening features focus point throughout. The first focus point is Senku who is featured walking through the forest alone and then right after shown with gears and scrap metal seemingly spilling out of him. This implies his path of science one that he started alone and push toe realize. This features cold and lonely colors like blues, grays, and blacks. With the emergence of our antagonist, Tsukasa, bring a red color, which you can guess that means that he’s the enemy. Continuing on we start to see the different characters that Senku will encounter on his journey and this is when the colors start to kick and and really make the opening a delight to watch, from the fun poses that the character make to touching moments in the show. And While Senku is featured throughout the opening, he doesn’t take the spotlight and is more hidden in the back to allow the other characters to shine and have their moment. This also relates back to Senku as a character, while he is the brains of the show, he doesn’t let that get to his ego. It’s the subtle details that really make an opening stand out.
Lost Princess [Princess Connect Re:Dive]
There are A LOT of reasons why I love this opening! First is bringing the theme song from the mobile game over to the anime was a GREAT decision in my opinion. The song really does define Princess Connect Re:Dive. Now you’re probably asking…why does it Kirito? WELL, ONE is that there are a number of variations of this song throughout the mobile game which makes it easily recognizable! TWO, the song is performed by our favorite trio, Pecorinne, Kokkoro, and Kyarl who we, the main character, interact with the most. Their sing voices are wonderful and really hits home that we’re watching (or playing) Princess Connect! Now to the opening itself! While the anime didn’t have enough time to hit on all of the characters from the game, the opening helps with featuring some of the ones that make not even had a chance to appear within the anime’s first season. It was great to see the characters in action instead of just being simple 2D sprites. But what really takes the cake is THE INCREDIBLE ANIMATION. It’s impeccable, everything from subtle movements to action scenes were all well animated with the wonderful aesthetic that Princess Connect is known for! It also features a fun gag that we see in the anime and that’s when Kokkoro catches Yuki in a perilous situation and makes the ” OxO ” face! A wonderful opening for a wonderful show!
99.9 [Mob Psycho 100 II]
Alright anime openings are pretty extravagant as they are but there are some shows that really take it up to a level that no one could think of! Mob Psycho kills it with its second season opening 99.9! Where do I even start? The amount of animation styles that are included in this short 2 minutes is staggering, starting off with the typical 2D and CGI animation we also have spinning animation (where they have imagine on a table and spin the table) and also optical illusions in the form of colored blobs that come to life as you pull a layer of black and white stripes across it! This alone is already a lot of work but if you analyze the animation throughout the opening, the QUALITY IS HIGH! The complicated perspectives, the dynamic explosions, the range of colors and shading! I can’t fathom how much time and effort it took to complete something of this quality! And what makes all of this so much better is if you were to go back to the web manga that the entire show is based off of and look at the art by the infamous ONE, really does bring everything into perspective!
Guruguru DJ TURN!! [D4DJ: First Mix]
Ok, I know I harp about D4DJ: First Mix all the time BUT HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS SHOW. First off let’s talk about the nice CGI work! I love the movement of the character and not once did they feel stiff or robotic! There’s a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the movement of the characters and this also translate to the show itself! Paired with the CGI is really stunning graphic designs that hint towards a number of things throughout the show, from the setting, the equipment that use to perform, mascot characters etc. They’re quick and flashy which reflect the way visuals are done for live performing DJs! Now the song itself is my favorite part of the opening because it does a lot of things right. First off I love the energetic beat that really gets you on your feet but what I really loved was the transitions from Happy Around’s vocals to the leaders of Photon Maiden and Peaky P-Key! Going from this happy idol song to a bit slower and more cool tone and then back to the happy idol was really cool and ties really well with the DJ theme. Subtle details include Jamaican horns, record scratches, and repeating effect further emphasize the theme and make me smile from ear to ear (their cheesy and very generic sounds but to see it in an anime is so cool!).
Grandeur [Black Clover OP 13]
Black Clover has been killing it with all of their openings with each one getting better and better! I pulled my favorite one from the batch and it’s of course the one that is currently airing Granduer. Now while the opening is more a JPOP-esque song that doesn’t necessarily relate back to the show, it still fits the shounen category of pushing past your limits and overcoming challenges so we’ll give it a pass. The thing I want to focus on is the animation and it’s incredible. There’s a lot going on in the world of Black Clover at this point in time and the opening hints at a lot of battles that are still forthcoming (and even new characters that we haven’t met yet!). But from the few moments that have already aired, the quality is mesmerizing! The smooth and fluid animation makes me crave for more week in and week out! While Black Clover struggled a little bit with gaining a fan base due to the rough art and somewhat generic plot line, it has certainly gained traction over the years and is now a staple in the anime community!
Hikari Are [Haikyuu!!]
Ah yes, the most intense season of Haikyuu!!. The entire volleyball match between our home team Karasuno and the powerhouse team Shiratorizawa was such a sight to behold. This entire season of Haikyuu!! was dedicated to this ONE MATCH and further more it was one of the best animated scenes I’ve ever seen. And the opening follows suit! Lots of symbolism here, with the entire team facing the mountain that is the Shiratorizawa team. When the match begins noticed that the entire court is dark with spotlights on the Karasuno members. The dark court and focus on the players symbolizes the focus that the Karasuno team possessed during the match. Nothing else matters except for winning against the other team! The wonderfully animated movement that we see so often in volleyball pulls us back to the core of the sport which reminds us that volleyball can also be beautiful even if you’re just trying to keep an inflated ball in the air! Pair that with the dynamic cinematography panning from one court to the other and you’ve got one of the best looking openings to date.
Kaikai Kitan [JUJUTSU KAISEN]
Alright, who’s actually surprised? If there was a perfect anime opening, this would be it. First off, the song Kaikai Kitan by EVE is excellent. The lyrics have a darker tone and refers to a lot about “ghosts”, “exorcising”, and even “jujutsu”. A unique song for a unique show. The animation pairs very nicely with the sinister atmosphere that the song creates. Can we also talk about the animation itself because goodness gracious I’ve never seen an opening with animation this fluid, immaculate, and articulate. Gojou’s white hair as he stand on the tower? Beautiful. Nobara as she pulls up her cursed floating nails? Beautiful. The Panda jumping roof top to roof top? BEAUTIFUL. And while there’s a lot of action going on in the opening, it doesn’t necessarily translates to actual battles in the anime (no spoilers in the opening yay!) and are more for displays of strength for the characters. The actual characters themselves do make an appearance establishing our list of both good vs. bad guys as well as a handful of confrontations like the one at the end with Itadori and Sukuna! It’s hard to beat an opening that’s this crisp and clean!
Gonna take the easy route on this one and say YOU!
Let me know if you want to have a hand at this tag post! (You don’t have to do top ten like I did).
Also I’m curious to what your favorite anime is! Let me know in the comments below!