Hey there everyone! It’s a new year, and that of course means time for some new changes with how I handle my seasonal OPs/EDs article! Yes, again! I update more often than even Kinja does. So, first things first, if you are a veteran of my seasonal OPs/EDs articles, you’ll notice that the title of this one is very slightly, but significantly different.
That’s right after two full years of these (dear god, I’ve been doing these here for two years?!) these are no longer going to be my “Top ‘X’” OPs and EDs of the given season, just a very vague “favorite”, and part of that is because these articles are entirely dictated by the shows I am watching that season. I limited myself to only the themes attached to the shows I watch after all. As a result, this can lead to a constant flux in terms of the number of themes I like for a specific season, and I’d like a bit more uniformity in the titles going forward.
Consequently what this means is that the honorable mentions category is no more! If I like an OP or ED, as in I truly do like it, then it will get its time in the spotlight. That being said, the rule of one entry per show remains in effect, at least for the seasonal articles, my end of the year article is another beast entirely, though. Like always, if one of your favorites isn’t here, I’ve probably not seen it, or didn’t really care for it, or yadda, yadda, yadda, let’s get on with the show!
Title: ANGER/ANGER | Artist: MYTH&ROID
Between the EDs for Overlord and BBK/BRNK, MYTH&ROID is quickly becoming the go-to artist to do EDs focused on crazy women. I can’t complain really, because they do great work, and are one of the few artists I know who can make the robotic vocals of autotune just...work. I like BBK/BRNK’s OP as well, but I dunno, it feels like it tries a bit too much to be a memorable OP. You know how a lot of the really memorable OPs and EDs have at least one really catchy part to them? BBK/BRNK’s OP is almost nothing but those kind of moments. It feels a bit disjointed in places.
The individual moments, like how the beat briefly changes when the MC hits his chest or how the protagonists do a 1 through 5 count, even the multiple yandere faces from Reoko, the main villain, are all great on their own, but put together they all seem to be competing for attention to me. Thus I go with BBK/BRNK’s ED, which has a much more coherent idea behind it.
Title: Genesis | Artist: STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION
God damn, is it like required by law that every OP done by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION must have a really damn catchy beginning? While I think the OP peaks with Kyoma’s insanely GIFable dancing and loses some of its steam by the end of the various characters swapping parts of their faces, it is that initial punch that gets my attention and the momentum from that alone allows me to cruise through the rest of the opening. As the OP to FUNimation’s crown jewel this season (they are on the production commitee of this show after all) I had some high expectations for it, especially after STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION’s last OP for Gangsta. was my favorite OP in for the Summer 2015 season. Thankfully it delivers, especially since if it failed to do so, FUNimation’s exclusive shows would have been shut out this season, which would have been a first (to be fair, though, I am only watching like 2 shows that are on FUNi but not Crunchyroll).
Title: Steppin’ out | Artist: FLOW
When it comes to the openings for Durarara!!x2, they saved the best for last. Keep in mind this is with me saying the first opening for x2 was my third favorite of the Winter 2015 season at the time I made that respective article. There is just so much for me to love with this opening though. First there is the song from FLOW, my favorite Japanese artist/group. It is easily the one I love the most since they did “Sign” for Naruto. The song starts out getting you into a nice rhythm and then slowly builds into one incredibly hype chorus.
Then there are the visuals, which are the standard Durarara!! style of transitioning between the various cast members while showing their names, and the resulting transitions are some of my favorite in the franchise. Lastly, there is the little bit with almost the entire cast dancing along with the song at the beginning before the title drop. If I loved Kyoma’s dancing in Dimension W, you can bet your ass that I am going to love seeing most of the Durarara!! cast dancing around in their own style, from overly energetic, to shy and awkward, to just plain adorkable. Add all of those things together and you get my overall favorite opening or ending of the season.
Title: Re:Re: | Artist: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
One of the more enjoyable things for me these last few years since I really got back into anime was seeing new OPs and EDs from artists that I loved before I went on hiatus. For example, the first opening to The Heroic Legend of Arslan from last year coming from UVERworld. This is another example of that, as the last time I heard a song from ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION it was a certain famous opening from the 2003 version of Fullmetal Alchemist. It is rather fitting that I experience such a blast from the past in an opening designed around nostalgic memories. While I did say it was great to hear from AKFG again, I must say, for me at least, the song kind of loses some steam after the middle. It starts out great, though, and like with Dimension W, that is more than enough to get me through the opening over and over.
GATE Season 2
Title: GATE II ~Sekai wo Koete~ | Artist: Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets
This one I am a little bit conflicted on, if only because they recycle a lot of footage in this opening. That’s about where my complaints end, though, as the song is really damn good. Overall I actually like this song more than the one used in the first season’s opening. Heresy, I know.
Haikyuu!! 2nd Season
Title: FLY HIGH!! | Artist: BURNOUT SYNDROMES
It goes without saying that action-based sports anime need hype OPs. If they fail to have one, then they fail as a series. Even then, the number of sports OPs that can get you hyped with the opening line of the song are few and far between. This is one of those few. The moment this OP begins, it’s over, I’m already hyped for the new episode of Haikyuu!!. It also bears mentioning that this is probably the best directed OP of the season. Almost none of the shots are wasted, and when the characters are moving around, particularly during the chorus? Amazing. The crowning moment is towards the end when Hinata is going up to spike a pass from Kageyama, and all eyes are locked in on the redheaded shrimp as he soars into the skies. This legitimately was almost my favorite of the season, but then I had to go get caught up on Durarara!!...
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Title: STEEL - Tekketsu no Kizuna- | Artist: TRUE
So let’s just get it out of the way, I think this is a step down from the first ED, thus becoming the combo breaker for sequel OPs or EDs that I thought were better than their predecessors. However, that does not mean I think this is a bad ED, like at all. Just that the first one was really, really, really damn good. I can understand why they changed EDs for thematic reasons, but still, I am going to miss how the show used to lead into the first ED. They way they lead into this one just doesn’t have the same effect on me. Regardless, TRUE does a hell of a job singing this pretty damn good song that just had the colossal task of following up one of my favorite EDs of the previous year.
Title: Zenryoku Batankyuu | Artist: AouP
The first opening to Mr. Osomatsu is probably going to end up one of those treasured and iconic OPs, at least in Japan given how massively popular the show is there. While I do agree that the first OP has overall better visuals, the second one is no slouch in that department, having nice little things like having five of the six brothers rise from the bottom of the screen at roughly the same time, and then Jyushimatsu, arguably the breakout star of the show, comes zooming in from the side of the screen and then gets all up in your face. In addition, I prefer the second OP’s song to the first one’s. The first opening’s song was goofy, yet catchy, but this opening’s song sounds more like what I would expect a hit show’s opening to sound like. Plus any opening that gives people manservice is a bonus.
Myriad Colors Phantom World
Title: Naked Dive | Artist: Screen Mode
This was the first opening from a new show that I saw this season, and like all other OPs in its position, it set the bar for the other OPs and EDs that would come after it. Thankfully it set that bar high this season, as this is pretty good. The visuals have some flair to them while still overall being a bit on the “safe” side. In other words they were more than serviceable. The real star here though is the song, which is just really damn catchy, from its infectious beat to a chorus that has since become a bit of an earworm for me.
Title: Hoshizora Rendezvous | Artist: Sekko Boys
Sing it with me everyone! S-E-K-K-O B-O-Y-S, Sekko! This ED is completely carried by this extremely catchy song, and that’s really all there is to it. Not like there is anything wrong with that. It’s simple and effective, much like the show itself.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Title: Usurahi Shinju | Artist: Megumi Hayashibara
Here’s my requisite “I love the hell out of it because of how much style it has” entry. I love the film grain effect the opening uses, as well as the way it presents the credits. You may remember having stylized credits wins major brownie points with me. In addition, I quite like Megumi Hayashibara’s subdued, almost whisper-like vocals backed by music that has a bit of a jazzy feel to it. This is one of those more “chill” type of openings that show it isn’t just hype building OPs that work at getting the viewer ready for the show they are watching. Now if only they used this opening in more than one freaking episode......
So there you have it guys, my favorite openings and endings from this season. Did any of your favorites make it? If some of the ones you really like didn’t make the cut, feel free to share them in the comments below!