Weekend OP: “ROAR”

Kurosaki Maon has handled the vocals for all of the Index OPs, and the new song “ROAR” unveiled for the Russia arc is one of the best yet, combined with visuals that kick up the urgency and gravity, thus hyping up the episode to come. There’s Accelerator fighting Worst (which hey, actually happens in the show!); there’s Misaka jumping from jet to jet; and there’s Touma running towards the next battle, this time with a game Lessar in tow.

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Weekend OP: Love is War!!

Singer Masayuki “Martin” Suzuki is apparently known as “Japan’s King of Love Songs”, so he’s the perfect choice to croon out the opening theme “Love Dramatic” for the very love-centric Kaguya-sama: Love is War.

Combine it’s somewhat vintage sound of the vocals and instrumentation with some slightly hypnotic/hallucinatory visuals, and once Chika shows up gogo dancing it’s official: this almost feels like the opening to a James Bond film!

That’s also apropos, since both Kaguya and Miyuki often act like Agent 007, whose M.O. is winning over the hearts of women without letting them win his…or at least not letting them believe they have. Happy Friday, and stay warm out there! —sesameacrylic

Weekend OP: “shadowgraph”

MYTH&ROID is one of those fun, weird bands that merge the old and new (hence their name) into haunting tracks that sound like they might’ve come from another world. It’s why they’re so well-suited to providing the opening and ending themes to Re:Zero and OverLord II/III.

Boogiepop and Others doesn’t necessarily take place in another world, but it is very weird, and as the first Winter 2019 show I watched I liked how this opening really effectively wraps you in that bizarre, mysterious aura. It presents a number of instances of Miyashita Touka interacting with her alter-ego Boogiepop (something that hasn’t happened in the show yet), who while definitely strange and a little creepy, is still less creepy than the foes they’re up against.

By the end of the OP it seems Touka has fully embraced her supernatural half (depicted by a passionate kiss), while Kirima Nagi blasts onto the scene, scaling a building and running right at the camera as a sitar crescendos to the end. That’s another nice aspect to the OP: it reflects the show’s penchant for suddenly cutting off music, adding to the disorientation and questioning of what exactly is going on.

Enjoy the weekend!—Braverade

Weekend OP: “Touch off”

So far, the alternate title to this show could be Those Poor Kids, but officially it’s The Promised Neverland. And the OP matches the intensity of the lofty task of escape and survival before them.

Whenever an OP breaks out the saxophones, you know some serious shit is about to go down! UVERworld provides that epic sax, as well as a super catchy beat and a “Nanananananana” refrain with rich bass-y tones.

Have a good weekend…or at least a better weekend than these poor kids!

Weekend OP: “Kaen (Flame)”

This opening, so far the best of the Winter and an immediate personal favorite, just gets so many things right. It achieves a perfect synergy of music and visuals, utilizing a eclectic mix of layers, textures, and scale, calling to other classic OPs such as House of Five Leaves, Un-Go and Samurai Champloo.

Ziyoou-vachi’s fusion of traditional Japanese orchestration/vocals and modern hip-hop really brings the OP alive, and features the non-annoying use of English lyrics (even Iwasaki and Sawano sometimes have issues with this point).

It’s an opening that proudly and confidently announces that Dororo has finally arrived in the 21st century after a five-decade hiatus, and it has my full attention. It’s a minute and thirty seconds of which I highly doubt I’ll ever tire, not matter how many times I watch it.

Happy Friday!
—Braverade

(Note: As always, since this YT video is not from an official channel, it may not last long.)

Weekly OP: “Winding Road”

Golden Kamuy features arguably the best OP and ED of the Spring shows we’re watching here at RABUJOI. The gorgeous OP really captures both the sprawling grandeur of the wild setting and the warmth of the friendship between Asirpa and Sugimoto.

Man With A Mission does some really nice work with the theme here…although is it just me or does the lead vocalist have a kinda Michael Stipe thing going on?

Weekly OP: “Kyoumen no Nami”

Welcome to another Monday and to another RABUJOI Weekly OP. Today we bring you the opening to Houseki no Kuni, one of the most beautiful, bizarre, and powerful shows of the season.

Fittingly, it’s a lovely sequence, starting underwater with Phos waking up, excitedly getting on with their day, then being shattered into pieces that eventually form the elegant logo. We also get a good look at Cinnabar and the other Gems. The animation is silky smooth and, well, lustrous.

The opening theme is “Kyōmen no Nami” (鏡面の波 – “The Waves on the Mirror’s Surface”) by YURiKA. A simple piano arpeggio runs throughout the song, and is the only instrument at the very beginning and very end of the theme, going from hushed to lush then hushed again, closing with Phos getting to their feet.

Weekly OP: “Ugoku Ugoku”

Whenever you have a show that sometimes goes to dark places, it’s nice to have an upbeat/hopeful opening to start things off. Girls’ Last Trip is on one level fundamentally depressing, what with there seemingly being only a handful of people left in a sprawling, once-advanced civilization that may have simply grown too far too fast and imploded. And yet, these two girls are alive, and plan to stay that way, with each other’s help. That the girls’ seiyus Minase Inori and Kubo Yurika provide vocals further demonstrates an underlying thread of hope and perseverance.

Weekly OP: “Saturday Night Question”

It’s Monday morning, not Saturday night, but I thought I’d get this week started right with one of the best OPs of the new Fall 2017 Season, a quickly but tightly produced sequence set to a very catchy, upbeat, hopeful song, “Saturday Night Question”, sung by none other than Ranka Lee herself, Nakajima Megumi! Enjoy…at least until it’s taken down!

More importantly, watch the show…it’s quite good, aided in no small part by substituting a 30-year-old woman who quit her cushy job by choice for the usual teenage boy who occupies the MC role in this kind of show.

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).