Monday OP: “Underground River” from Made in Abyss

This piece of music (by series composer Kevin Penkin) is played at the start of the first episode of Made in Abyss in lieu of the standard OP, during an otherwise soundless montage of Riko and Nat heading home to Orth with Reg on Nat’s back.

“Underground River” and the montage that accompanies it, were all I needed to see and hear become absolutely hooked on Made in Abyss, albeit five weeks later than most others.

It perfectly encapsulates the show’s spirit of youthful adventure, as well as the excitement and bittersweet yearning that go hand in hand upon striking out into the big world, from the home you’ve always known.

(The vocals also remind me of Sohn.)

So far I think MIA is hands-down the best series of the Summer, excelling equally in story, characters, animation, and yes, music. I only wish this piece was the weekly OP (though the actual one isn’t bad either).

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ED of the Week – ReLIFE 12 – “Summer Festival”

The summer I spent with you, is like a faraway dream
the fireworks display that disappeared into the sky

That’s pretty much the perfect refrain for ReLIFE, which ends with Hishiro likening Kaizaki to those vanishing fireworks, in addition to decribing similar moments between Kariu and Oga. I can see why the producers dusted off a sixteen-year-old single to bridge the gap between the 12th and 13th episodes.

Also, Whiteberry is singing about a Summer festival, so of course they’re donning yukata while playing. How badass is that?

DISCLAIMER: RABUJOI is not responsible for any ear bleeding caused by this song.

Here’s a more contemporary version of the song, covered by the vocaloid Hatsune Miku (based on the voice of Fujita Saki, AKA Inami from Working!!).

This version was used in the ED of Watamote Episode 6, but I never watched that show:

I like both, but I think the original has more charm.

Weekly ED: Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru

Happy Friday! Why not chill out with the ending theme to Beautiful Bones, a soothing, ethereal little number called “Uchiyoserareta Boukyaku no Zankyou ni” (打ち寄せられた忘却の残響に, no help from Google Translate: “The reverberation of heave are forgetting”) by TECHNOBOYS PULCRAFT GREEN-FUND, which is a wonderfully ridiculous name for a band any way you slice it.

Weekly OP: Gundam IBO

To be honest, my favorite part of the newest Gundam’s OP is the first five seconds, which suggest a more soaring orchestral theme than the rock number we get, and “Raise Your Flag” by MAN WITH A MISSION isn’t anywhere near as stirringly awesome or operatic as “Daybreak’s Bell” (the 00 theme) by L’Arc-en-Ciel. But it is hella catchy and is quickly growing on me. There’s nothing in the gritty visuals to complain about, either.

Weekly OP: Subete ga F ni Naru

Zane started off the week with an ED (one I agree is probably the best ED of the season, at least music-wise), so I’m ending it with an OP, specifically, the OP of Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider.

The highly catchy, danceable theme song is “Talking” by Kana-Boon, and the visuals, consisting of animated “gesture drawings” of the characters, well, dancing. They’re faceless, but you know pretty much instantly who they are: Saikawa, Moe, and Shiki.

They’re not just “regular person” dancing, either, but more like professional dancing, perfectly in time with the beat and with lots of spins and lifts and hip-throwing. I wonder if the live-action version of this included dancing?

I’ll admit the OP is not quite on the same wavelength as the show proper, but that’s not that big of a deal, and in any case, it does what any good OP should: get you pumped up to watch the show.

Finally, there’s a nice symbolism to their dance, as the three literally circle each other and feel each other out, which is what they’re figuratively doing in the show.

Weekly ED – Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai

Happy Friday. Now GET UP AND DANCE TO SOME ANTIMAGIC BEATS!

I love how this theme not only drops funky piano chords, but is also sung by Itou Kanako. She has a very distinctive, familiar voice, and when I looked her up I found out why: she sang the excellent opening theme to Steins;Gate. Her’s is a light, somewhat nasally voice that’s powerful and articulate without ever sounding strained.

The panning shots of the main six characters (only four of which we were formally introduced to in the first episode) are fine, but honestly this ED is all about the music; a sound that takes me back to fighting the LeBlanc Syndicate in FFX-2 (and yes, that’s a good thing).

Weekly OP: Owarimonogatari

“Decent Black” by Meg Rock

This opening starts out very dark and foreboding, as befits a “final showdown” or “last level.” There’s a palpable “This Is It” aura to it. Then it the music gets a little more lighthearted as Oshino Ougi dances around in her Oshino Ougi way, before getting a little darker in tone again towards the end.

There’s still nothing that can touch Koimonogatari’s sublime retro/modern OP (IMO one of the best openings ever…I WILL FIGHT YOU), but this is still one of the more solid Monogatari OPs.