Title: Inner Universe | Artist: Yoko Kanno & Origa | Show: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Hello once again everybody! Let me first say, that this was originally not what I had planned for my second contribution to the OP/ED of the Day. Spoiler warning, today's OP/ED was originally going to be "Obsession" from .hack//SIGN(don't worry I still plan on doing that eventually), but due to some tragic news from over the weekend, I decided to move the OP I am covering today to the front of my rotation. In case you didn't hear, Origa, the Russian singer who does the vocals in this particular opening, died on January 17th after a tough battle against lung cancer, so I figured I might as well pay tribute to her the only way I possibly could, by highlighting one of her most famous songs.

Yet again I trot out another rather old opening for y'all to experience. Though this one is a bit younger, turning merely 13 years old this year (that still makes it almost as old as some of you, though.....>_>). And given that the entirety of the animation is 3D CGI, for better and for worse, it shows its age, as some parts have aged actually pretty well, but other parts look laughably outdated now. But the animation isn't the reason I am sharing this OP today, nor is it the reason why I love this OP so much. No, the real star of this OP is the song, "Inner Universe" sung by the now late(but still great) Origa with the master Yoko Kanno contributing the music. Real talk, this is probably the first song I ever heard in Russian. But while the slimmed down version used in the OP is great on its own, the full version of the song is damn near a masterpiece, in my opinion, so for the love of god, please listen to that below, too.

Of course this song wasn't all Origa did for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. She also did the OP for the show's second season, 2nd GIG, called "Rise" and sang multiple songs for the OSTs of both the show and its sequel film. Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite anime franchsies around and Stand Alone Complex is arguably its most defining entry, and Origa's vocals were such an integrated part of the experience for me that I honestly can't separate the two. So it with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to the voice behind one of the most memorable anime OPs I have ever heard. So long Origa. You may be gone, but I'll be damned if you're ever forgotten.