Hey y'all! It's that time yet again. It's a new anime season and that means a new batch of anime openings. Like I have done twice before I am going to share my personal favorites of the season. This time around we have a season seemingly filled to the brim with some quality openings, making this easily the hardest list for me to make yet. As always, my rankings are decided by the following criteria; the quality of the song, the quality of the visuals, and how well the opening represents the show. Bonus points for creative and/or memorable visuals and music, negative points for blatantly re-using footage. And of course it is limited to the openings of shows I am currently watching, so if an opening you really like isn't here, it more than likely means I am not watching the show it is for. Unfortunately there won't be an honorable mentions list this time around. So with all of that nicely out of the way, let's get started, shall we?
#10 - Aldnoah.Zero
The strong point to Aldnoah.Zero's opening is the song "heavenly blue" by Kalafina. While the opening does have the interesting back and forth between Inaho and Slaine, the visuals overall are kind of bland. Make no mistake, this opening will be remembered for its song and really nothing much else. As such it just barely squeaks into the list at #10.
#9 - Re:_Hamatora
Yes this opening does commit the sin of re-using old footage, but this is one of those cases where I'll allow it to slide, as they use it in an interesting way. On top of that, I love how the characters are introduced with their names written in a graffiti-style. I also really like how they present the characters using their Minimums during the chorus. And the song, "Sen no Tsubasa" by Livetune adding Takuro Sugawaro is rather catchy, too.
#8 - HaNaYaMaTa
For most of this opening it seems like your typical opening for a cute girls doing cute things show, just featuring the cast doing seemingly random things, but both the visuals and the song, "Hana wa Odoreya Iroha ni Ho" by Team Hanayamata (the seiyuus of the main cast), slowly build up to the chorus where the girls start dancing yosakoi and that's when this opening becomes special amongst its ilk. The girls' dancing is rather mesmerizing.
#7 - Free! - Eternal Summer
Much like HaNaYaMaTa's opening, this one begins slow but then builds up until it explodes with energy in the chorus. The song, "Dried Up Youthful Fame" by Oldcodex really gets me hyped up each time I listen to it. It may be a bit typical for its genre, but considering how the sports genre as a whole has some of the best openings around, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
#6 - Sword Art Online II
I like some of the touches such as seeing Kirito's past avatars and seeing different versions of Sinon as well. What I really like though is the visual of Kirito rapidly riding up a lift before entering a battlefield. It matches the music perfectly and is a great segue into Kirito slicing into enemies whilst the chorus plays. And the song "Ignite" by Eir Aoi is a pretty good one, too.
#5 - Barakamon
This is a somewhat deceptive opening that actually took me a while to notice all of the tricks used in it. First there is that brilliantly timed pause in the song "Rashisa" by SUPER BEAVER as Naru opens the door to Handa's house. Then there is the credits being presented as if they were written with calligraphy ink, and if you might remember doing stuff like that with the credits earns brownie points with me. And then there is the trail of ink that Handa leaves in his wake. On top of that is Handa smearing the exhaust trail in the sky. And then there is the primary side cast being presented partially in outlines. And lastly that fist bump between Naru and Handa. Just so many little things add up to an opening I quite enjoy.
#4 - Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun
Now this is a pretty creative opening. I love the manga/comic book paneling at the beginning. I also like how the characters kind of dive into the manga itself and kill that poor Tanuki. Another thing I like is at the end of the opening where the pens and erasers react to the song. Speaking of which, the song "Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai" by Masayoshi Oishi is really upbeat and catchy.
#3 - Akame ga Kill!
I like the way each member of Night Raid is presented next to their Imperial Arms. I also like the single stretch of screen during this part that was filled with negative coloring. Another thing I like is the stylized brief appearance of the Jaegars, the primary foes of Night Raid. Lastly I liked the way the vocals in the song "Skyreach" by Sora Amamiya, Akame's seiyuu, start out slow and subdued only to increase in energy as the song goes on.
#2 - Terror in Resonance
This is simply a beautiful opening. I am an absolute sucker for symbolism, and this opening is filled with the stuff. On top of that is the eerily calm song "Trigger" composed by series composer Yoko Kanno with vocals from Yuuki Ozaki. All in all it is just a very memorable opening that on another season might have been my #1 pick.
So how do you top that?
#1 - Tokyo Ghoul
This is one of the most unique anime openings I've ever seen. First there is the song "unravel" by TK from Ling Toshite Sigure that begins with the slow beginning that is broken up by energetic guitars to the near constant falsetto singing from TK. Then there is the visuals, such as the screen breaking like glass, the various reflections of the characters as they walk past glass, and then the absolutely beautiful sequence of Rize's and Touka's kagune being depicted as abstract art. This is a stunning opening that I will never, ever forget. It's not just the best of the season for me, it is the best of the year so far.
So there you have it, my 10 favorite openings of the Summer 2014 anime season. Like always, feel free to discuss down below what you think about my list and of course what your own favorite openings of this season are. And like usual, be on the lookout for my Top 10 Summer 2014 Anime Endings sometime in the near future.