It's a new year which means a new season of anime and that in turn means a new group of anime openings for me to pass personal judgment on. This year I'm going to be doing things just slightly differently. For starters I'm going to be doing my seasonal OP lists in a format similar to how I formatted the list for Ani-TAY's Top 15 2014 openings. But it won't be an exact copy of the format, as you'll see below, mainly because I'll still be writing up my thoughts on each of the OPs in this list. Another thing I'll be doing differently is I've decided to drop one of my criterion that I used all throughout last year, and that being how well the openings represent the show they are attached to. Now it'll be squarely how well I like the music and how well I like the animation/visuals.
Now before I dive headfirst into the Honorable Mentions section, I must admit this list was a bit hard to form, as at one point I had a list of 17 possible candidates, but I managed to get it down to 10 main list openings, plus 3 honorable mentions that, while may or may not be amazing, do something to get on my good side. But the reason why it was a bit hard this season was not because of having just too many good OPs, to be frank I actually think this season's offerings are overall lacking compared to past seasons, which is partially why I am getting this done so relatively early in the season compared to usual, I just had a clear cut list of what I thought were my favorites. Rather the hard part this season was choosing which of the "good, but not great" openings would help fill out the rest of the list. So with that out of the way, let's get started!
HM - Aldnoah.Zero Season 2
Title: &Z | Artist: SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki
Much like the first opening to Aldnoah.Zero, the strong point to this opening for me is the song. Weirdly enough I enjoy the visuals in this opening way more than those in the first one, but the trade off is I like the song less. Make no mistake, "&Z" is a good song, it's just not "heavenly blue" good. If it was, this would barely squeak into my Top 10, but as it stands I only find it a good enough opening to recognize as an Honorable Mention
HM - Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
Title: Zettai Muteki*Fallin' LOVE* | Artist: Earth Defense Club
I just can't put my finger on it, but there is something about this opening I like. Maybe it is the fact that it is basically a magical girl show opening, but with guys. Maybe it is that I think the song is rather catchy, though maybe not particularly great. Whatever it is I rather enjoy this opening.
HM - Yurikuma Arashi
Title: Ano Mori da Matteru | Artist: Bonjour Suzuki
I'm going to cut straight to the point, much like the anime itself, I have no clue what the holiest of hells is going on in this opening. I just know the following; there are lesbians, there are bears, there are lesbian bears, and the song is rather calming and just a tad sweet.
With those three out of the way, on to the main event!
#10 - Maria the Virgin Witch
Title: Philosophy of Dear World | Artist: ZAQ
There's just something I really like about the songs from ZAQ, I mean I almost had her Trinity Seven opening on my Fall Top 10 purely because of the song. The visuals in this one do just enough to help boost this opening from the ranks of the Honorable Mentions and into my main list.
#9 - Your Lie in April
Title: Nanairo Symphony | Artist: Coala Mode
I'm probably going to catch some flak for having this opening so low, especially compared to where I placed this show's first opening in my Fall list, but hear me out before you gang up on me and publicly execute me. I like this opening. I think it is a pretty decent overall opening, too, but it just doesn't do it for me like the first opening did, either visually or musically. Coala Mode does a nice enough job trying to follow Goose house, but it's just like trying to perform after Kousei plays the piano in the show itself, try as you might, it just isn't the same. Now all that said, I still like this opening well enough to include it on my list, and it isn't even like it is the worst drop off in openings an anime has had, even this season. *cough* Tokyo Ghoul *cough*
#8 - Yatterman Night
Title: Kyokugen Dreamer | Artist: Screen Mode
I like how this opening rightly prominently focuses on Leopard. She is the hero and the show stealer, after all. I also like some of the smaller details, such as Leopard fumbling through the fight against the Yatterbots and it is up to her loyal henchmen to bail her out of trouble. Plus the song isn't too bad, either.
#7 - Assassination Classroom
Title: Seishun Satsubatsuron | Artist: 3-nen E-Gumi Utatan
I will admit, I am a bit of a sucker for OPs where the song is sung by an ensemble of the voice actors, and AssClass' opening is no different. I also like how it is nice enough to show us most, if not all, of class 3-E. Then things get a bit....weird....during the chorus. Everyone, including the teacher, just start.....dancing. I don't know why, but they just do. It's kind of like the show in a way. Sometimes I don't know why the characters do some of the specific actions they do, I just roll with it.
#6 - Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
Title: Remind | Artist: ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D
Well talk about a few bookends happening with this opening. First, I get to mark a full year of doing these OP lists by having a Yowamushi Pedal opening on both of the Winter lists I've done. Second, Yowamushi Pedal gets to end just like it started, with a great, energetic opening from ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D. And then there is the real nice touch of highlighting some of my favorite face offs between cyclists from the Inter-High, living up to the name of the song. I'm going to miss Yowapeda, and this opening helps ensure that.
#5 - GARO the Animation
Title: B.B. | Artist: JAM Project
Well, would you look at this, another show that ranked high in my Fall list that took a bit of tumble this season. Again I really like this opening, but much like Your Lie in April, the first opening is a tough act to follow. GARO's second opening goes a bit of a more subdued path with the visuals, heavily focusing on a grey, black, and gold color scheme, too. Then there is the song, which has a bit of a jazzy edge to it. I don't know what to call it. Jazz operatic rock? Whatever it is called it is still a pretty good song, it just doesn't pack the same punch without the "GARO!!!" of the first opening.
#4 - The Rolling Girls
Title: Hito ni Yasashiku | Artist: The Rolling Girls
This is just a cute opening, in my opinion. Especially the song. Like I already said, I'm a bit of a sucker for having the voice actors singing the opening, and this opening literally has The Rolling Girls playing the song. And then there is the visuals, which quite frankly, I have no idea how to describe them. I just know I like them a hell of a lot. Speaking purely in terms of visuals, this is probably my favorite of the season.
#3 - Durarara!!x2 Shou
Title: HEADHUNT | Artist: OKAMOTO'S
The latest opening in the Durarara!! series follows the template the first two laid down, specifically covering as many of the show's cast members in a stylized way that is filled with a lot of well thought out transitions. Sure the song in this opening is probably the slowest to really get going of the three, but I like that it is a bit of a nice, steady build up. Time and again once the opening gets to Dotachin and his gang I start to get sucked into the song, and by the time Shizuo is swinging a streetlight at Izaya, the song just kicks into high gear. Plus I think I like this opening's stylized look the most of the three, too. I just like how it shifts between different angles of most of the characters.
#2 - KanColle
Title: Miiro | Artist: Akino from bless4
What the holy hell is up with these anime adaptations of Japanese freemium games getting such damn good openings? First there was Rage of Bahamut: Genesis in the Fall, which would have been higher than its 4th place finish had it not reused footage from the show itself, and now there is this. I'll be flat out honest, while the visuals are not super flashy, in that it doesn't do any particular tricks and stuff and is rather straight forward, they are still really damn good. Easily some of the best of these kind of visuals in openings. Plus I actually do like some of the more memorable little animations in this opening, such as Shimikaze's little butt flick torpedo launch or Naka doing an idol pose while firing her main batteries. But the reason this is #2 for me is primarily the song. After Amagi Brilliant Park's opening placed so high on Ani-TAY's 2014 list, thus making me watch that OP as I had to look for it, I've become a bit of a fan for Akino and her siblings in bless4, and just dear god do I love this song.
#1 - Death Parade
Title: Flyers | Artist: BRADIO
Was there any doubt this was #1 for me? Like, at all? The very moment I saw this opening I knew it would be near the top of my list, but as more and more series showed their OPs, Death Parade just kept climbing more and more up the list, by the time the first full week of the season was done, it was firmly secured as my favorite of the season. It doesn't hurt that I sometimes literally cannot stop watching this opening. And usually the opening that gets me to replay it over, and over, and over tends to be my favorite of the season (funny how that works). Hell this opening was pretty much the driving force behind me dropping the criterion that the openings had to represent the show well, because let's be real, this opening doesn't faithfully represent Death Parade at all but again, it was my favorite of the season (partially because of the massive dissonance between this opening and the show itself), so I was in a bit of a bind and decided to just cut that criterion entirely rather than doing a single exception to the rule to keep my sanity down the road.
So those are my favorite openings from this season. What about you guys? Do you agree with any of these? Disagree? Feel free to talk about your favorite openings from this season in the comments down below.