Another season, another flood of openings and endings to pass judgment on. And this season is by far the most difficult decisions I’ve experienced since I started doing these lists. I know that is something I say pretty much every season, but unlike in pretty much every prior season, this is because this season has just way too many quality openings and endings. Usually it is the opposite and I am left with trying to put together a list with the back half only being “decent” openings or endings that I liked enough to sit through, but ultimately end up forgetting in the long run. This season, however, has so many memorable credits sequences that it is highly likely the majority of my personal Top 10 lists for 2015 overall will be from this season.
But because there are so many good openings and endings this season, there is just no way in hell I could represent as many of them as I could if I left my format the same as I did last season. So for starters, the split lists are gone. There will be one singular Top 10 list of OPs and EDs combined. Secondly, each show only gets one representative, so I picked the OP or ED I liked the most from each show. This does not mean I don’t like their counterparts for their respective shows, just means I liked the ones I picked more than the other. And lastly, I’m doing away with the 1-10 rankings, both the Honorable Mentions and main list will be in alphabetical order, instead of order of preference. That being said I will still point out my absolute favorite OP and ED from this season in their respective descriptions.
And yet even with all of that I just know I’m going to have people disagree with me, as some well liked OPs and EDs will not make my main list. Again don’t take this as a slight against them. This was just an absolute amazing season for openings and endings that there is no way in hell people could agree on their 10 favorites. So with all out that out and in the open, let’s get started!
Title: Bravely You | Artist: Lia
Only on the first Honorable Mention and I already know I’ve pissed people off. Well trust me, it pains me that this one had to settle for an HM from me. The animation in it is absolutely gorgeous. And “Bravely You” by Lia is a pretty good song. There’s just something about it that doesn’t let it stick with me as much as the Top 10 do.
Title: Kodama Kotodama | Artist: Nano Ripe
This is a pretty cute and laid back opening. In effect it is basically its own miniature episode of Non Non Biyori. Another one that almost made it into my Top 10, but just had the rotten luck of being in a stacked season.
Title: L.L.L. | Artist: MYTH&ROID
I actually like that this ending focuses solely on the hilarious demonic fallen angel yandere, Albedo. She’s one of the characters that have stolen the show for me so far, so seeing more of her is always a bonus. Plus the song is rather catchy in parts, too.
Title: Cry for the Truth | Artist: MICHI
And here’s the other Honorable Mention that is sure to get people to dismiss the rest of this article simply because it isn’t in my Top 10. Look, I like this OP quite a bit, but at the same time to me it is fantastically generic. As in it is a peak specimen of an anime OP that does nothing to truly stand out beyond being “good”. The song is good, the animation is good. So what’s the holdup? None of it is truly memorable to me. I like watching this OP, sure, but I often quickly forget about it after I finish it. Of course that being said, I know full well that on a season with a weaker crop of OPs and EDs, this would have easily made my Top 10. This is not a bad opening by any means, just a really safe one.
Title: Anata no Omimi ni Plug In! | Artist: Earphones
I like how utilitarian this ending is. It combines a catchy and cute song with a recap discussion of the episode, in addition to functioning as the next episode preview. And if it just did that it would still be fun. But then they go the extra mile and include a little chunk from a popular anime theme song each week. It’s a simple ED with little in the way of animation, but it does so many other things right that that doesn’t matter.
Title: Renegade | Artist: STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION
And we start off my Top 10 with my favorite opening of the Summer 2015 season. The song is a nice clash of sounds, and I like that the music is more electronic and erratic during the literally drug filled parts of the opening. I also like that the visuals have a bunch of little hints to things in the series, but doesn’t flat out spoil things for people. And then there is the shifting colors that adds some style to this opening and some irony to the show, as the show itself has a mostly drab, various shades of brown color palette. Basically this opening just oozes style, and y’all should know by now that I love that kind of thing.
Title: insight | Artist: White Ash
Speaking of style, Gatchaman Crowds Insight has that in spades as well. I especially love the little touch of presenting the characters as cardboard cutouts. It also helps that the song by White Ash isn’t as difficult to make sense of this time around.
Title: One Light | Artist: Kalafina
Ok, real talk, this absolutely should have been Arslan’s new opening, instead of its new ending. This kicks the crap out of Arslan’s real new opening, which is a shame as I usually love NICO Touches the Walls and can take or leave Kalafina depending on the song, but in this instance, it just isn’t a contest. That being said, I still think this ending is a step back compared for Arlsan’s first ending, which was probably going to happen regardless of whatever the new ending was, considering that Arlsan’s first ending was my favorite overall opening or ending from the Spring season.
Title: Kakushin-teki Metamarufouze! | Artist: Aimi Tanaka
March of the hamsters! Seriously I think I can just watch a loop of the hamster march at the beginning and ending of this opening. But that’s not all why this opening is here. I love the hell out of the video game references in this opening, and I can’t get enough of the part where Umaru is shaking maracas while surrounded by other Umarus. But above all I really like that the song slows down and becomes calming while Umaru is in her perfect student persona, only to ramp back up in speed when she turns back to her lazy chibi form again.
Title: Hey! Smith!! | Artist: Smith with MON
Holy hell, I did not expect Monster Musume to have such a badass ending. It’s just.....awesome. Yet it is not just badass, it manages to also mix in some cuteness with the chibi versions of MON during the beginning. Needless to say any ending that makes me look forward to an episode of a show I like to be over is a winner in my book, and that’s what this ending makes me do. As such, this is my favorite ending of the season.
Title: Mikazuki | Artist: Sayuri
There is just something beautifully haunting about this ending. I love the sketchy look to everything, as well as the subdued shades of red. The what really hooks me is how this ending starts slow, then kicks into high speed, only to calm back down to the slow pace the ending started with. It’s chaotic, yet calming.
Title: Friend Shitai | Artist: School Living Club
Welp, Death Parade has been dethroned as the most misleading opening I had seen in recent memory. School-Live! easily takes the cake in this regard. Though, even ignoring the added bonus of it being a gloriously misleading opening, it is still a really well made opening for a moe slice of life show. The song is cute and catchy, and the visuals a funny and happy. The only difference here is the show itself is anything but that.
Title: Inner Urge | Artist: Sumire Uesaka
I love the hell out of both Shimoneta’s opening and ending. They are both funny and have catchy songs, so I knew one of them was going to make its way onto this list. So what was the deciding factor? The dancing in the ending. I have a tendency to mimic any catchy dance in an OP or ED, and trust me, I am dancing along with the characters each week when this ending plays. And just like another recent catchy dance-filled ending, it is worth watching this multiple times just to see how all the different characters dance their own way.
Title: Hajimete Girls! | Artist: Ray
This is by far the most surprising opening and ending of the season for me. It would’ve at least made my Honorable Mentions just from the cute and catchy repetition of that “pinpon” sound, and the opening starts off like your typical slice of life comedy theme, but then Ray starts to let loose with her singing, and god damn Ray can sing! This song is way too good to have been used with a short format series. Granted one that I am loving the hell out of, but still! This is, holy crap this is just a great song. Being absolutely frank here, if I was picking based solely on the songs, this would actually be my favorite of the season. I love this song that much and greatly anticipate its full release.
Title: Lucky Girl | Artist: Yun*chi
The Wooser series has always had great endings, and its latest season is no exception. The song it really good, and I absolutely adore the collage look to the ending, making an already cute looking series even cuter.
And well those are my favorites of the season. I already know many of you will disagree with some of by decisions, so please feel free to share your favorites or rake me over hot coals in the comments below!