Hey everyone. In what has pretty much become a seasonal tradition here, I am back with yet another list of my 10 favorite openings from the current anime season. I know I keep saying each season that making said list was harder than the previous one, but this time I am being legitimately serious about that. I have loved so many of the openings from this season that at one point I was seriously contemplating doing a Top 15 list this season instead of the usual 10. You can bet your ass that means that there will be honorable mentions after my main list is done. And after those honorable mentions, a special announcement. So be sure to read until the end!
And like always, my list is made by me weighing three different criteria; the quality of the song in the opening, the quality of the animation(with bonus points for being unique, with points deducted for reusing footage from the show itself), and of course how well the opening represents the show. If one of your favorite openings from this season isn't on my list or my honorable mentions, it just means I'm probably not watching that show. So let's get on with the show!
#10 - Psycho-Pass 2
I quite like this opening. It has some style to it and I like this sense of foreboding foreshadowing going on. I also personally like the singing in "Enigmatic Feeling" by Ling Tosite Sigure. It would-would-would-would-would be higher on the list if-if-if-if-if it wasn't for all the-the-the-the-the repeated animations that outstay their welcome by just a couple of repetitions.
#9 - Selector Spread WIXOSS
I really like that this opening is consistent with the style the opening for the first season of WIXOSS, what with the mirroring between the Selectors and their LRIGs and the creepy shadow version of Ruko's LRIG. I also like "world's end, girl's rondo" by Kanon Wakeshima, I especially like the touch where Wakeshima's voice gets distorted during the part where Ruko's LRIG overtakes her. That being said, I feel this opening is weaker than the opening to WIXOSS's first season and only does enough to make it onto my list.
#8 - Yona of the Dawn
Now this....this is an old school style anime opening. Not much in the way of fancy visuals, just showing all the characters in dynamic poses. So why is this here at #8? The music. The absolutely beautiful instrumental song by Zainichi Korean composer Kunihiko Ryo really captures the epic Korean fantasy adventure feel that Yona has going for it.
#7 - Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Oh boy.....I can already feel RockmanDash12's piercing gaze at this being this low on the list.....The main reason it is here is, while the actual quality of the visuals, as in the quality of the crafting behind it, is top notch, for the most part it is rather boring visually. But all is not lost. The fights between the Servants during the chorus, particularly Lancer vs. Berserker and ESPECIALLY Archer vs. Caster are gorgeous. And that's not even touching "Ideal White" by Mashiro Ayano, which is one of the best songs in any opening of not just this season, but the entire year. And what's scary(in a good way) is this is her first single! If she's already singing songs this good out of the gate, I can't wait to hear what her future work is like. Also, sorry for the poor quality of the video, it's the best one I could find(I had another one lined up, but it was muted via copyright claim literally as I was making this article).
#6 - Sword Art Online II
God damn it, SAO2! You ALMOST made it into the Top 5! You would have been a lock for the Top 5 with this beautiful opening, but you had to ruin it at the very end with that damned reused animation! Still, I have to say this is probably my favorite SAO opening to date. There are lots of nice visual tricks with the animation, with my particular favorite bit being the silhouettes of the cast presented as what looks like some kind of info card or something. Also "Courage" by Haruka Tomatsu is somehow both a calm, peaceful song and an energetic one. One that sometimes gets stuck in my head, too.
#5 - Parasyte -the maxim-
Ok, full disclosure here. I don't hate autotune or screamo by default. I hate unnecessary autotune(see the random ass use of autotune in "Some Nights" by fun.). And as for screamo, well, this wouldn't be the first time I ranked an opening with screamo vocals in the Top 5. So needless to say I like "Let Me Hear" by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas. Visually, for some reason this opening kind of reminds me of a slightly watered down version of Tokyo Ghoul's opening. Also this would probably have been higher, but this opening is littered with spoilers for the series. A few might be obvious to even those who are new to the Parasyte series, but as someone who read the manga, each one of them stick out like a sore thumb.
#4 - Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
Yet another opening that would have been higher had it not reused animation from the show. That being said, I love the sense of style this opening has, particularly the shift to each of the three primary characters looking like an old school fantasy/medieval drawing. And I especially love the song "EXiSTENCE" by SiM. I just have to replay this opening over and over.
#3 - Your Lie in April
This is a beautiful opening that earns this spot due to all the little things it does. Such as Kousei and Kaori briefly turning into musical notes at the beginning of the opening and the way the credits fade onto the screen. As well as the way Tsubaki starts crying uncontrollably after she reminisces about her childhood with Kousei. And then there is the song, "Hikaru Nara" by the incredible Goose house, where I just can't help but get pumped once the chorus hits. The reason this is only #3, though, is because of some of the odd animation choices during the chorus, such as the other two pianists the opening focuses on only being presented with still images, and then there is the random bit with Kaori and Kousei dancing across the screen naked.
#2 - GARO: The Animation
What can I really say about this opening? Visually speaking, it is easily up there as one of the most unique anime openings of all time. The highly stylized animation that seamlessly transitions between every major character in the show, as well as basically telling the basic story of the show for you, more or less quite literally as the song "Hono no Kokuin -DIVINE FLAME-" by the always great JAM Project basically tells the premise of the show. That being said, while I do love the song, it definitely isn't amongst the strongest songs from JAM Project. Though there is no denying that I will probably NEVER get the beginning of the song out of my head, ever. GA-RO!!! GA-RO!!! GA-ROOOO!!! Anyways, for the majority of the season, this was actually my #1 opening of the season. So what the hell happened? Crunchyroll finally finished a contract negotiation that started all the way back in the Summer 2014 season, that's what.
#1 - Encouragement of Climb 2
Encouragement of Climb 2? Encouragement of Climb 2. Ok, time for a story, I suppose. See, back at the beginning of the Summer 2014 season I was rather excited to see Encouragement of Climb 2, the vastly longer sequel season to a short show about cute girls climbing mountains. And my excitement paid off! Crunchyroll announced they were simulcasting Encouragement of Climb 2! So I saw the first episode, which, btw, did NOT have the first opening for this second season, and then waited for the second episode. And waited.....and waited. You see, turns out CR only officially had the rights to stream the first episode at the time, they were still negotiating the rights to the rest of the episodes. The entire rest of the Summer season would go by without me seeing another episode, let alone the AMAZING first opening(I'm being real here, I actually prefer to first opening to even Tokyo Ghoul's, so....had CR streamed it weekly back during the Summer, Encouragement of Climb 2 would be topping this list for back to back seasons). It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I even got to see either as CR finally put up the missed episodes and started streaming it weekly again.
So now that that's out of the way, about this opening itself. Yes, it is a cute opening. But dear god it is also a pretty opening. It is just visually stunning, and the amount of visual tricks is just too numerous to count. Basically, nearly the entirety of the animation for this opening is visual tricks. And the song, "Mainichi Koharu Biyori" by Yuka Iguchi and Kana Asumi is a true earworm. I just can't get this opening's song out of my head.
And that's it for my main list! But wait! We're not done here, just yet! It is time for the honorable mentions! These are openings I liked, but all had something that kept them from making my main list.
Hi-sCool! SeHa Girls
I was a SEGA fanboy growing up. I'll completely own up to it. That being said I absolutely love this opening for the nostalgia trip it sends me on. At the same time I just couldn't put it on the list due to its large amount of reused footage from SEGA games. Yes, the same reason I love this opening is what prevents it from making the list.
Gonna be the Twin-Tails!
This is an entertaining opening, particularly the song, which, while maybe not an earworm to me, still gets me pumped for an episode of Win-Tails(not a typo). At the same time, the visuals themselves are just a tad bit generic and not that particularly memorable, aside from the bit with Aika, Twoearle, and the class president.....erm....."dancing".
I like this opening. In fact, this almost made the list, consider it my #11, really. It got bumped from the Top 10 once I finally saw Encouragement of Climb 2. It didn't do anything wrong, it is just I think everything else in the Top 10 did at least one thing better.
And I think I'm gonna cut it off there. The truth is I have like 8 different openings that I could use as honorable mentions, and I rather not have an honorable mentions list almost as long as the main list itself. ^_^;
So there you have it. Over the course of the year, you have seen me list at least 40 of my favorite openings of the year(at the time of me writing the articles, I've gained a few favorites long after doing my Spring and Summer lists). So where do we go from here? Well that is the special announcement I was talking about! I'm only announcing it now, and will do a proper announcement article in the future, but I will be holding a collaboration where we will decide the Top 10* 2014 anime openings!
* - Note, this is only the current minimum amount. Actual size of final list may vary. Please seek medical attention if you fangasm for more than 4 hours.