Title: Nornir | Performed By: Etsuko Yakushimaru Metropolitan Orchestra | Show: Mawaru Penguindrum
It's a well established fact that I am the resident Kunihiko Ikuhara fangirl around here, but what can I say? He does a lot of things amazingly, and that includes perfect show openings. "Nornir," the first OP for 2011's fantastic Mawaru Penguindrum, is the perfect OP for me. Along with crisp and stylish animation, it introduces us to the main characters, motifs and imagery that go along with them, and even some of the show's major themes.
All of Ikuhara's shows find their strength in building a language of symbolism on a foundation of strong, very human themes, and I think "Nornir" conveys that. The "narrative" of the OP has some very clever foreshadowing, but not to the point that the plot is spoiled. It was a cool experience to watch this as I got further in the show and different objects and symbols in the OP became "aha!" moments. Even the title of the song ties into Penguindrum's theme of fate : "Nornir" is the plural of Norns, female figures in Norse mythology that control destiny.
It's also just a damn good song.