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The Anime Credits Thread - The OP-ED Section

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
8. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is a show I’m losing a bit of faith in. Its not bad but while it is very slick looking, I’m becoming a little less interested in the mythology and I feel like we haven’t been able to dig into the main character for a while in a way I’m interested it. Nonetheless, the intro has some very gorgeous animation. I like that it is bookended by the lead character falling asleep on a flooded train (whether this is a metaphor or a thing that will literally happen remains to be scene). This doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of shonen action openings. There’s some cool looking fights where the character use their powers. We see characters on their own doing their thing then preparing for battle. Images of villains and significant events. The duality as this is another main character with a darker, more powerful force hidden inside of him. It just does everything very well with pretty animation, good transition and a strong energy-packed pop song.
This OP has risen a lot in my estimation over the course of the season for two reasons. One, it keeps subtly updating over time, which I love (newest ep has the MC crying in the final shot), and, more importantly (big spoilers for episode 12): it looks like it has a spoiler in that it shows one of the young villains befriending the hero and joining the main cast, and then the show starts to indeed head towards that resolution, except lol, the show straight up fucking mercs him and it was an intentional idealized mislead all along.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Yeah, I really liked episode 12 and is winning me back a bit. I feel I'm not in it as much for the fights as slick looking as they are and I felt it becoming a bit dour but despite that it certainly continued the trend the show did good in making killing off that guy who we assume is going to be some sort of long term plant by the bad guys who joins the team for real (that was my read on the trajectory of the show) properly heartbreaking.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Some good OPs and EDs all around this season. Some of them didn't register as such at first because they are second seasons of shows where the bar was set to "fuckin' dope" the first time around but yeah, good new intros. Here's one I like that doesn't tell you the show is going to involve a girl battling a dream monster with four sagging torpedo breasts that shoot pink goo.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Akai Kōdan Zillion (1987) OP - Pure Stone
Basically the ideal form of the bubble era's excesses: instead of commodified, rampant misogyny, there's just bright, extraordinarily lavish cartooning. Perhaps you know the Master System adaptations, but the Sega doesn't stop there: Opa-Opa features in as a constant supporting character in the show. What a wild world.

Aoki Ryūsei SPT Layzner (1985) ED - La Rose Rouge
Ending animations are often held back, or at least defined, by mostly static loops of a character engaged in their run cycle or other sedate scenery to facilitate credit rolls in clarity. This, on the other hand, goes for it hard.

Attack No. 1 (1969) OP - Attack No. 1
We pretty much owe the entire sports genre to Attack No. 1.

Aura Battler Dunbine (1983) ED - Mieru Darō Byston Well (disclaimer for "artistic" nudity)
Praise MIQ. Also this colour palette.

Battle Athletes Victory (1997) OP - Tsubasa
This got rebooted just this year, somehow. Now where is the Princess Nine revival?

Berserk (1997) ED - Waiting So Long
Did you know the show has ending credits? The OP tends to devour all notoriety for itself, but this is legitimately somber and good.

Blue Seed (1994) OP and ED - Carnival Babel / Touch and Go!!
Reaching some kind of '90s singularity with both Fumihiko Tachiki and Megumi Hayashibara handling vocal duties here.

Cat's Eye (1983) OP and ED - Cat's Eye / Dancing with the Sunshine (disclaimer: leotards, vigorous aerobics)
If you commit to any Tsukasa Hojo sex romp, make it this one.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Oof, at this point I'm just trying to think what slipped through the cracks for everyone else.

I mean, most obviously, shame on you all:

And keeping to the theme of guns...

And, I can't find a version without a cold open or spanish subs, but here's where that one guy everyone loves now, Masaaki Yuasa got started:

And then for good measure, YOU MISSED ONE:

... actually 2 because of the network hop:

And... I mean... it's anime. It's an intro. It counts, right?
 
Blue Seed (1994) OP and ED - Carnival Babel / Touch and Go!!
Reaching some kind of '90s singularity with both Fumihiko Tachiki and Megumi Hayashibara handling vocal duties here.
Yeah, Shinji Ikari's mom and dad were big powerhouses in the 90s. I assume they must have shared a talent agency or something. What also is a fun little coincidence is that Tachiki performed the theme song for 3x3 Eyes, which Hayashibara was the star of. 3x3 Eyes and Blue Seed also share a common point of origin, as they're created by the same mangaka.

Also, I was mildly disappointed for a split second, when opening those webms for this show and seeing the video resolution, I got my hopes up ever so briefly that Production IG had finally remastered Blue Seed. That show is pretty problematic by today's standards with regards to regressive gender roles, casual sexual harassment, and male gaze galore. But I still think pretty fondly of it, it's got some decent moral/pacifist themes, and it's got some ridiculously stellar animation for the era.
Aura Battler Dunbine (1983) ED - Mieru Darō Byston Well (disclaimer for "artistic" nudity)
Praise MIQ. Also this colour palette.
Fantastic ending for a pretty solid show. I won't pretend it doesn't have problems, but it's a pretty fascinating watch. It's like, what if we made Zeta Gundam an isekai show, but we made it before Zeta, and it's also better in pretty much every conceivable way possible.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Found this one and... holy shit, I love it.



Bending the static image for an unreal effect. And that last shot.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Going to ask for a source on this, and in this thread in general: part of why I stick to written links is that in case of uploads being taken down (or even regionally blocked), there's still something to cite in what was actually posted; otherwise no one would ever know especially if no commentary is given.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Its the opening to Ninpu Kamui Gaiden. Oh, and its also the origin of the Izuna Drop but here the drop is actually one of the lesser animated moments in the intro.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I want to top ten everything when I can and that includes my OPs and EDs. I’m going to go with my favourite Eds of the year first because while there’s some great stuff, I rarely find the EDs as exhilarating. And yet, this year I got a lot more honorable mentions for this entry than the openings. Nonetheless, here are the ones I felt helped wind down each episode and take us home after a big cliffhanger or a big laugh. Though on my list, it’s mostly the former.

EDIT: I remembered that a show that continued from the previous year had new intros and outros and must adjust accordingly.

First, honorable mentions
Ranking of Kings

Ranking of Kings looked promising when I saw the trailer but I really wasn’t prepared for this wonderful story that feels both like a shounen adventure series and a fairy tale but proves to be much more. It’s surprisingly dark at times but grounding it emotionally is the friendship between Bojji and Kage, two misfits who need each other more than anything. This is a simple ending but effective, with our heroes alone and lost before finding each other and staring up at the night sky, discussing past adventures. Wow, the meat… didn’t think it was going to be as significant as it was. Anyway, I also want to point out how awesome it is for Bojji’s friend to have a hand mouth, perfect as he speaks sign language and reads lips.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Our heroes star into the night sky.

Sk8 the Infinity (honorable mention)

Sk8 the Infinity is what I call a quality mid-tier shows. The year had better shows, more innovative shows and even more quality comfort food but all the same the series is quite a bit of fun, thanks in large part to the two leads’ friendship and sense of true fun for the art of boarding. I think the end credits also does a great job adding to the main message “It’s OK to fail sometimes. No matter how good you get, you can still fail and this is a step to getting better”. And so we have a montage of our cast wiping out with names for each one, including the main villain (whose wipe out isn’t revealed until the finale, instead having his personal assistant hid it for most of the series).

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nope. But they'll need a rest after this.

Sonny Boy (honorable mention)

This one is JUST a song but in a series where there’s a constant sense of uncertainty (not even an intro), this killer track keeps bringing us home.
Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
It's just credits.

Horimiya

Horimiya was a pretty decent teen romance show of the kind I feel like I haven’t seen in a while. It certainly feels modern but at the same time, I feel like unlike a lot, there’s no BIG gimmick or rather what would seem to be the big gimmick (the most popular and least popular students have secret lives outside of school) is second to the characters and how much we like them together. To that end, Horimiya’s ending takes on the look of slice of life gaming in the Animal Crossing vein as we see Hori’s day from beginning to end as a loop of wonderful days with her best friend/boyfriend. It’s sweet and pretty to look at and a little bitter sweet knowing that while we aren’t heading for a sad ending, the cycle will be broken when they grow up and move into the next phase of their lives.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:

We see Hori waking up and going to be at the beginning and the end.


Now the list proper
10. Jujutsu Kaisen


This one ended up getting in on the re-edit but it was a close battle. It's not just a well-animated intro, I think it is heavily informed by our character's journey. The intro starts with him taking videos of his friends, which is what he wants to protect in the series, even if it costs his own life (he has made a deal to let himself die when the mission is complete). But friends aren't meant to be enjoyed from a far. You don't capture memories of them, you make them and when Yuji is invited to interact with his friends, the world goes from simply beautiful to truly alive. This isn't the world beater that the previous ending, Lost in Paradise, was but it has a gentle humanity that backs up the show's darker elements.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:

Megumi did and probably regrets it.
9. Beastars season 2

Beastars season 2 ended in a way that left me a bit bummed. It swung for the fences and swung hard but the last message it left me with regarding changing ourselves seems… muddied. And Haru kind of dropped of the story (until this season I thought of it as a two-hander) and whatever happened to the thirsty snake lady and the promise of whoever caught the killer would be the next Beastar. It was all a bit messy. I’m actually surprised there’s a season three since despite plot holes, it felt like it wrapped a LOT up. But while the ending sort of tainted the entirety of the experience a little, it was a mostly decent season and one of the strongest bits involve now crime boss Louis and his second in command, who enter into a complex relationship that reaches a big climax. And the ED is all build up to that, the moments going on in a “henchman”’s head before he knows that it is time for their relationship to change forever and contemplating what it means. Before he would have thought of him as meat, but now he can only see a friend.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nope, simply into each other’s eyes.

8. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6: Stone Ocean

This one gets by a lot on me knowing the direction of the story. This ending is this is both lovingly animated yet minimalist. The real strength comes from drawing as much emotional power as possible to drive home the plight of our latest Jojo. She’s gotten her freedom stolen and now the world seems so very far away, a distant dream. Jojo endings are great and often filled with easter eggs and cute nods but here there’s very little and somehow it completely works and feels completely opposed to the intro, which is a blast of visual information to soak in. Here, we have a song that is appropriately operatic for a show that plays best being outrageously… that but it’s also rather sober, which is a much rarer Jojo experience. The last time the series did that was Last Train Home and… oh, God, I’m tearing up again.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nope.

7. Muteking the Dancing Hero

Muteking the Dancing Hero was a show I felt bad for passing on. It made no mistakes and in fact was a complete delightful reimagining of an obscure 80s series. But at the same time it was clear that it was a monster of the week kind of show and I could sense that each episode would still be good but would result in waning interest. But man, I definitely was tempted to reconsider when watching the ending to this one. It captures the tone perfectly, an ultra-dayglow combination of 80s Western pop art and modern anime. We see our cast maxing and relaxing and having a bite to eat in the form of a comic book, with each issue focusing on a different group of characters. Heck, I’d even like to spend time with the series villain and he and his ninjas enjoy black sushi. The song itself is relaxing and playful, capturing the spirit of a show were even though the hero fights monsters who turn people into goo, the stakes don’t threaten the light tone of the series.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nope. Everyone is just on a lunch break.

6. Lupin III Part 6

I wouldn’t say I’m deep into the Lupin III mythos to know everything but I know enough that it’s a franchise that, like James Bond, can only have bloomed in the 60s. Like Bond, we have a womanizing protagonist travelling to exotic locales but it tends to be more playful. Well aware of that, rather than having a sleek modern sheen, the Lupin III recent ending instead looks back to create an extremely stylish pastich of the 60’s, particularly British pop art. We see Lupin’s frequent dalliance partner Fujiko Mine walking alongside a cat, it’s mischievous and fickle nature reflecting either herself or her friends (or maybe both). The look of it feels very much like it could have come from UK cinema, with lyrics and phrases appearing and setting a romantic and gentle mood after what is likely to be a riotous half hour of capers.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nah. But a very relaxing tone is set.

5. Kageki Shoujo!!
Kageki Shoujo!! Is a show that took me a while to warm to have a pretty intense origin story for one character, followed by a low key ill-considered follow up episode to that. But it mostly filled the void I long wanted; a worthy successor to Glass Mask, but with somewhat less abusive acting teachers. Though the show is often lighter than the aforementioned long-running epic shoujo series, the end theme has an intense finale worthy of Glass Mask, with alternate endings depending on who the character focus is. These are people who take their craft seriously and with intensity and the ending reflects that. Moreover, each personalized ending sees the focused character in a role reflective of the kind of persona they wish to inhabit as they look towards the sacred stage. It’s not as flashy as some of the lower placed ones on my list with little animation but it is nonetheless striking whenever it happens and embodies the passion that the show wants us to share.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Their too busy performing the fuck out of their dreams!

4. The Heike Story
“Makes history comes alive” sounds like a bloodless cliché but as cheesy as it sounds, I find my favourite historical dramas take what is often transcribed in a dry, removed way for an audience who have know the story and reawaken the feelings behind it. To this end, the series gives us the point of view character Biwa, a sort of Greek chorus cursed to watch the tale without avoiding the tragedy. One of the factors that enhances things is a really stellar soundtrack, with some classical biwa sound as well as some interesting and invigorating modern music choices. The ending by agraph and ANI feels more akin to an art piece than a traditional ending, an unusual EDM rap piece as Biwa experiences the future in horror. Up close, each thing is a mere element and seems harmless but we can see in Biwa’s eyes, they represent another step in the tragedy of the Taira clan that they brought to themselves. Not as important but neat, I suspect the strands of hair in silhouette could easily be mistaken for biwa strings.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nope.

3. Shadows House

When Shadows House came out I was excited but a little worried that it might be an anime that romanticizes indentured servitude. It wouldn’t be the first time. But no, thankfully what starts as a “domestic” drama soon shows that it is, in fact, interested in seeing our heroes realize they are part of a toxic system. While also still kinda romanticizing the surface elements. But not nearly as badly as some. All the same, this is a darker kind of maid show without being “edge” lordy and even getting a little shounen-y down the line, with puzzles and powers. Of course, the big theme is duality, which plays into the opening and ending heavily, as we see moments that exemplify the relationships between the shadow children and their “dolls”. Even in the happier moments, the music is cool and sinister, as we open on a train running through a darkened landscape snowing ash, it’s wicked purpose not becoming clearer until near the first season ending. As the ending comes to a close, the show reinforces that for all the players, the Shadows House is a gilded cage, as we see it though barriers of glass twice, just to really drive the point home.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Nada

2. Nomad: Megalobox 2
Megalobox was one of those great little series that had the exact right episode count, not outstaying it’s welcome and coming to a satisfying conclusion, both honoring and low key subverting the source material. Megalobox 2 was a risky venture but the show managed to do a phenomenal job as a follow up, a 180 in tone that somehow felt right in a mature way. The ending also reflects this. I was left a little cold by Nomad’s opening but the ending, like the original, does a lot with a little. The original pumped you up with neon marquees that felt defiant and optimistic in the face of adversity. But this time, the winds blow a little colder with a Spanish tune that tells a tale that becomes important later about a man and a hummingbird and the desire to live even when things are dark. While the younger “Joe” was willing to risk life and limb for pride, this one is fighting for reasons to live. The ending now looks like the title cards of an old film with snow sneaking in at the end. It’s sad and moving and ultimately hopeful, a perfect capper to Megalobox’s surprisingly mature sequel.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
Not today

1. To Your Eternity

We end with one of my favourite shows of the season. It’s rare that my number one doesn’t involve some sort of ear-worm, as To Your Eternity’s ending isn’t exactly hum-along-to-able. And there are endings I can intellectualize more to be sure. Technically, most of what it does is feature some stellar CG props from the show to remind us of the journey of our enigmatic protagonist. But it is also fitting, as it is very much a show about how memories and experiences make us who we are and we have a being whose entire purpose, according to his creator, is to experience and grow and fight. And when you take us through the journey of this strange immortal ball, it works. After all, every lifetime, both in the excitement and even the banal, is an adventure. To Your Eternity excels in being a fantasy series about a life and lives and uses the medium not only for high adventure but to examine what it’s all about, perhaps beyond even a purpose deigned by God itself.

Does anyone sleep or look at the stars?:
We do get a bit of night skies but no characters directly looking for them. Or maybe so, since it has the main character in his ball-form and who knows what direction he is looking in.
 
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Good wrtite up, Johnny. I like most of those songs/shows. I think I would reorder them significantly, just because we value different things in our EDs, but these are mostly big bangers.

A few standouts from 2021 that I really liked on top of what you posted, in no particular order:

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time -- A good 20 years later, Hikaru Utada still rules. A good song is kind of the #1 thru 5 important things for me in an ED and this one is a good one. Like the whole movie, good (re)mix of nostalgia with fresh ideas, and the song plays perfectly for the film's themes. There's not anything going on visually here (it's just a standard film credit roll) but I do like how the credits of this movie (and all the other rebuild movies) keep a visual/font theme going with End of Evangelion.

Tsukimichi -Moonlit Fantasy- -- This song goes hard. The visuals themselves are just a slideshow, but I always kinda like this form of it? The MC is looking up at the moon and reflecting on everything that brought him to where he is and the people who are the most important to him as well. It's not the most deep of scenes. But it's a nice little tidbit of character development where it shows our MC as someone contemplative and driven by his personal history and his values of his own, rather than just being a blank slate audience insert with no personality that just does stuff because of plot inertia. Did I mention this song goes hard?

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S -- It's cute. There's lots of neat little animation loops to look at. And in general, I really dig theme songs that are sung by the cast and ostensibly about the show itself. It's a throwback mentality to the cartoons/anime of old.

The Case Study of Vanitas -- This show is awesome, and the song goes hard with impecable style - just like the rest of the show. Tons of fantastic homoerotic tension.
If you've watched this show via official streams, you might not recognize this version of the ending I just posted. That's because in the international streaming versions, they gave us an official, English version of the song! I usually hate it when you get English dub versions of anime songs. But this is fantastic because it's made by the studio/artist themselves, so they do it right.

Godzilla: S.P. -- I like the style of this ED. It's well animated and tells a cute little story, which is always fun. And the song is fun!

Laid Back Camp Season 2 -- Vibin'

Yashahime: Half-Demon Princess Season 2 -- Not the deepest of EDs - just a short character study of our heroines in a context we rarely get to see them in, in the show. It's fun! I like these characters a lot, so them hanging out and having fun in an ED is fun. Also, the song slaps in the style and tradition of the best Inuyasha songs. Man, I love this show.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Now for my favourite OPs of 2021
The Vampire Dies in No Time
Look, a lot of these I’m going to intellectualize to rationalize my choices. The Vampire Dies in No Time is an often funny and sadly not-infrequently problematic/hokey gag comedy. Yeah, they are still doing jokes about gay leather daddies and trying to get girls to strip. But for its faults, its still often pretty enjoyable and this intro captures the series better energy. But really, I like watching people dance to music. And the song is good and reminds me of similarly good openings from 20 and (oh god!) 30 years prior. But yeah, it's a show I am hesitant to completely recommend but I like it.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?

Nah, they dancing.

Jujutsu Kaisen


I feel like Jujutsu Kaisen’s second half was stronger than the first but the OP/ED was a slight step down. But only slightly. Still, the animation is gorgeous, the song is great and it all looks amazing.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?

Sorta. They were running at people to beat up.

Komi Can’t Communicate
Till my #6 came along, this one was in the #10 spot. I don’t like this series as much as a lot of people seem to. I find it works best in feel-good mode and not so much in gag manga mode. Not even that the gag manga version is bad, but it doesn’t really make me laugh. It’s mostly harmless, save that two of the main character’s friends are aggressively horny towards her, which probably isn’t the best for a series about a character with serious social anxiety trying to reach out and get connection. Also, one is full-on a stalker. The intro of this very gorgeous series also knows that the feel good angle is the one to take, presenting us with a sweet little pop confection where our heroine slowly amasses more friends. She is separated from people who “love” her because most of them deify her but here them seem like legit connections and it’s sweet. Though in the show… a lot of them still deify her. Messaging needs work maybe.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?

If you want that, this intro has you covered!

10. Shadows House

Shadows House is a show about performance, both in lying to stay safe and the fact that even the more guileless characters learning to have to put on a proper face for their dark masters. I mean, it’s also about imprisonment, servitude and oppression but they go together terribly well, don’t they? Anyway, appropriately, this one starts with curtains raising to our quasi-identical leads and features dancing, performance and, as MUST happen in a show about dopplegangers, some good old compare and contrast. The romantic Eastern European-style music sets the proper mood of being imposing and amps up to desperation at the half-way point as our protagonists find each other in a mirror. On the nose? Sure, but this isn’t a subtle show and it works. I to most evocative images are the “doll” and the shadow being smeared with shadow and sinking into shadow respectively, metaphorically hinting at the dark fates that await them should they not play savvy enough as well as what they might need to do to complete their mission; find out how to become part of the system to dismantle it. Here’s hoping for season 2!

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?

Yep. And they even give us some in the end credits for good measure.

9. The Heike Story

The Heike Story is what I’m sure is one of many retellings of an old historical epic and I can’t make assumptions on how the other ones handle it but this version makes sure to take a lot of time to ground things, as does the intro. The Taira clan of the series aren’t *wholly* evil but they sure do evil stuff/let evil stuff happen as a result of their action. Still, they are also people and the series focuses on the tragedy of seeding your own destruction and the destruction of the people you love. We have Biwa, the character created for this series who acts as reluctant observer and Greek Chorus. We are introduced to the people she loves, even though she has good reason to despise them and hints of the war that it to come for them by looking with an eye that sees the future. But these scenes of war also end up giving way to some good and joyful memories and when we cut back to her, she is using the eye that sees ghosts of the past. At what exact point did she switch, we don’t know but it seems like this is actually representative of the length of the series and now within her is the knowledge of Taira’s downfall and all that it entails. The poppy score actually works and really, the entire series makes some great musical choices, but this opening is pretty good stuff.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?

Oh, she’s runnin’ baby!

8. Dr. Stone: Stone Wars

The animation in Dr. Stone is a bit on the weaker side compared to some of the other major Shonen Jump shows, but man, they always have banger intros. It never quite topped “Good Morning, World”, which got stuck in my head forever but Stone Wars is the arc the series was leading to since the second episode or so and manages to finish it off in a satisfying way. You’d expect something epic and operatic but instead the show goes smooooooooth. For the most part, you get what you expect from a lot of similar shows these days; contextless shots of stuff that basically spells out the entire season but isn’t too spoilery. And it’s good, but mostly the killer-diller song is doing the work. But the best bits are the second half, when we have Gen lip-syncing the song, which also plays into the arcs story and dips into the pasts of the shows antagonists, many of which don’t remain that way. I also appreciate that the first and last shots are also alluding to the next season’s exciting new direction. So I feel like some of the lower tiered entries my be technically better, this one definitely gets me pumped more and frankly denying that lizard brain instinct just to sound smarter is one billion percent pointless.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?

Why run when you can tank?

7. To Your Eternity

To Your Eternity was a strong revelation this season and though the last arc faltered a bit by comparison, I eagerly anticipate more. It also has a pretty good intro doing what I mentioned last time: lots of shots of important stuff. Unfortunately, this time is gets perhaps a little too spoilery in spots, implying some fates for characters we haven’t yet met. At the same time, once the show gets going you can see the formula and yet the brilliance is that while you know each story climaxes in some sort of tragedy, that’s not all there is. And the opening is a college of the life and triumphs of our unusual protagonist. We actually do and don’t see a lot of him, in a way, and that makes sense. The series has a very big scope and while he becomes a well rounded character, the show is about how that only happens because of taking in all kinds of experiences. The music is by Kingdom Hearts lady Hikaru Utada who probably did lots of other stuff but to me is always Kingdom Hearts lady. I think having a kind of JRPG emotionally filled pop song works for this one, even though it’s a different kind of fantasy series than anime has often slumped into. The series is an emotional ride and I think the we get to capture the scope of what is experienced over 20 episodes to make it feel quite large.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
Not really.

6. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6: Stone Ocean

If there is a season with a new Jojo, of course they are going to make it in. Now perhaps the fact that I’ve been holding off on watching the new season to watch it with JBear hurts sit because the context of watching the show always helps but I did read the manga… shit, that was nearly a decade before. That was the Summer I shotgunned all the Jojo there was while getting a ESL teaching certificate in Manitoba, so strong association from chilling out from my writing marathons with it (and also often reading too fast and getting confused because… Jojo is always something you need time to absorb a little). Anyway, I love that each Jojo series is not only a new setting and characters but a new tone building on the last and one thing I remember (and hope holds true) is that Araki finally cracked writing better female characters (yeah Lisa Lisa and Trish were cool but after 13 years of manga, that’s not a lot) and it’s mostly making them like their male counterparts; tough ridiculous weirdo friends. Anyway, this one goes with a wonderfully brash riot grrl meets bubblegum pop banger with a sense of chaos as it zips from set piece to set piece, laying out the story. And beyond that, it also has the fun visual decision to have Jolyne’s power guide us through each scene. There’s only a few moments where Stone Free isn’t present and I like using the power to take us on a tour of the prison. Also cool, Kamikaze Douga is back doing the opening and rightly calls back several times to Stardust Crusaders, though an ending that’s less “I’ma punch you” and more “Yeah, I’m stuck in here… for now.” Even though it’s the 2nd or 3rd endings that really get to play with the intro format, I suspect this one will also have some pay off once we get to the final battle…

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
Of course, it's Jojo

5. Blue Period

For a show about artistic freedom, Blue Period has a standard, if handsome, look (at least compared to other shows about the creative process like Eizoken). Nonetheless, the opening does capture the creative process of the main character which involved learning from teachers and peers, some relaxing with them, doing the work and most importantly lots of food fuel. There’s a lot of pack days that are rewarding in their way but don’t come to fruition till that moment the paint brush really burns in your hand and that’s the narrative of the opening, being free from a fairly standard life path and choosing the hard but important road of artistic expression that allows you to communicate in new ways. “Everblue” has sort of a light pop sound but it also has a sense of propulsiveness that works for a hard work montage and captures the tone of the show.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
Mostly walking and floating.

4. Case Study of Vanitas
Case Study of Vanitas is a show that I ended up finishing the first series of but mostly kind of fell out of favour for me. It took a big hit when early on the title character gives a non-consensual deep mouth kiss to a woman to make her fall in love with him. The title character didn’t really get more interesting with all the more interesting beats going to his co-star and frankly the mythology of the series became increasingly uninteresting. But more than anything, I just wish the show was what is promised in the intro. The show as is a vampire teaming up with a magic human doctor to solve vampire woes and are involved in a deep conspiracy in alternate universe Paris and an alternate alternate universe Paris as well. But the show in the intro is a more interesting two hander with a man taking in the sights of Paris, filling his own days with joy as a little gremlin friend tries to badger him into the adventure the day. It does a much better job setting up an interesting dynamic than the show itself and seems to be about the joy of stopping and smelling the roses.

Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
It's more of a walking tour.

3. Zombieland Saga Revenge
I’ve never been quite as enamored with Zombieland Saga as Talking Time in general but it is definitely the finest idol show I’ve seen. Yes, like all of the others it exists in part to be part of a “mixed media project” but I actually find the characters and general attitude to be a lot of fun, with a lot of heart and can genuinely be surprising (like this season having a sober flashback two-parter with everyone’s favourite courtesan). This intro doesn’t break the mold, it does what an idol song should do: pump up the listeners, this time with a defiant comeback song. I love the use of street sign/map/infrastructure imagery throughout and much like the first season’s tokusatsu fight, it has a gorgeously animated fight that in no way reflects the content but does the headspace of our heroes. Here’s hoping that they stick to their guns with a completely out-of-left field coda when they come back.
Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
Walking, biking, driving, jetting, pretty much anything they can to propel themselves.

2. Ranking of Kings

Ranking of Kings has been an absolute delight. To a certain extent, there’s a desire to get to the fireworks factory but unlike that reference, everything in the way of what I really want has also been completely engrossing and emotionally satisfying. But even when he’s spending a lot of the series not present, Prince Bojji, the goodest boy there ever was, is the nucleus of these character’s world, whether they want him to be or not. As such, we have him marching onward to adventure to King Gnu’s absolute pop banger “Boy”, that works perfectly (as JBear noted for some characters taking shortcuts really ISN’T fun and is downright tragic). Like my favourite openings it alludes to the big beats without giving much away, as characters look onward, pondering their kingdom’s future and presumably their decisions (it’s interesting because in one case a character looking into the sky… well, who is he?). But Bojji is marching forward, leading his kingdom into a more empathetic and understanding future from a cast of well-intentioned characters lead astray by bad judgment and misplaced priorities. My working theory is Bojji leading the characters might be literal if Bosse’s mysterious decisions prove so disastrous the kingdom falls and the entire population might migrate and start a new kingdom from the bottom ranking.

Oh, also the music video for Boy is also an awesome, optimistic little street fairy tale. Check it out.


Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
Some light sprinting but mostly confident marching.

1. Odd Taxi
Odd Taxi, like Ranking of Kings, is a big cast of characters orbiting one but it is much more up front that this really is an ensemble show, with lots of seemingly unconnected threads coming together for a completely airtight plot. It tends to have a positive view of humanity and a love of it’s characters but the show is also about weakness and vulnerability. People let their guards down with Odokawa a bit but never completely and never even completely with themselves either. Characters are delusional and in denial and each character is clearly defined even if their motivations aren’t always. This show, which I would call “noir lite” shows begins with a smooth, chill song and we are taken through the headspace and trials of various characters who we live with, some with metaphor others not as much. And I love how this one starts ironically revealing one of the show’s big mysteries, a fact that doesn’t become clear until the finale. Characters are scrambling for meaning and while it would have been easy to make this a commentary on the ills of the information age (gacha games, influencers, online dating), it feels like these are characters would find other paths to delusion and need some real help that Odokawa often provides (sometimes on purpose, sometimes by coincidence). Odd Taxi hooked me from the get and when I watched the engrossing yet calming opening, I knew I was in very good hands.
Were people running to demonstrate desperation or drive?
Mostly just the baboon.
 
Some of the storyboarding for that OP is a little corny, but it's still gorgeous with a song that slaps. King's Ranking is turning into an instant-classic. Only real question here will be if it can stick the landing and be something I can easily/whole-heartedly recommend to others. Forecasts for that are generally positive though, imo.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
If the sheer premise of Ya Boy Kongming! doesn't captivate one enough already, let the already-an-all-timer opening do so.

 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
This song came up on a randomized playlist the other day and reminded me of the days when I truly loved the One Piece anime.

 
If the sheer premise of Ya Boy Kongming! doesn't captivate one enough already, let the already-an-all-timer opening do so.
So that's what PA Works has been up to lately. This is either gonna be incredible or awful, but hoping the OP is a sign of things to come!
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Oh right. I've been meaning to come in here and link to the best opening of the past season:



And while I think Ya Boy Kongming probably wins it for this season, Miss Shachiku and the Little Baby Ghost feels like a close runner-up:

 
I like it when an OP just lays out the premise for a show. Take for example Skeleton Knight in Another World's:


It also help that I'm a fan of power metal and Nowegian metal singer PelleK is the vocalist.
 

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
I like it when an OP just lays out the premise for a show. Take for example Skeleton Knight in Another World's:


It also help that I'm a fan of power metal and Nowegian metal singer PelleK is the vocalist.
Yeah, real OPM vide to that intro.
 
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