Weekly OP – Occult Academy

We were very wet behind the anime-reviewing ears when we watched Occult Academy, an Anime no Chikara anime-original. It was a very nice-looking, immersive show we’d suggest to anyone who enjoys supernatural mysteries.

But we were always pumped up to watch an episode by its very spirited opening sequence, in which the leads run and jump and fly through all manner of occult impedimenta to the rousing rock tune of “Flying Humanoid” by Nakagawa Shoko.

Weekly OP: Blood-C

We really liked the one and only version of the Blood franchise we’ve seen, Blood-CIt makes a good first impression with its opening sequence, the visuals of which are cool, confident, and crisp. Plenty of that titular blood factors into the equation, as the heroine Saya practically bathes in it.

All the gory imagery (juxtaposed with more normal life) is accompanied by the brooding “Spiral” by DUSTZ, whose frontman is French-Japanese, which explains the unexpected French lyrics.

Weekly OP: Noragami

It’s another busy new season, with ten new shows (though one’s only four minutes long) plus three Fall carryovers. That means lots of new OPs and EDs. Instead of listing our favorites all at once, we’ll be posting them on a weekly basis, with the OPs early in the week and EDs on Friday. An OP and ED for your week, as it were.

This week’s OP is the new supernatural Bones series Noragami. It’s a fast-paced, rousing, nicely-staged opening, efficiently presenting the characters, their various forms and connections, and alternating between action and rest. We also found some possibly coincidental similarities to Lain’s OP—specifically the tight shots of power lines and the stark monochrome setting, albeit with a totally different mood.

Weekly OP: Sword Art Online (1)

By all accounts, Sword Art Online was fairly popular franchise, so a sequel was all but inevitable. Sometime this year we’ll be getting one!

The first season had some pretty awesome action and adventure, but were disappointed in how the badass Asuna devolved into a generic damsel-in-distress in the second half, and how cartoonishly evil the villain became (though the argument could be made that such a villain has a place in an RPG).

One thing SAO definitely got right was its first opening, which gives us an enticing taste of the virtual world we’re about to enter, nicely paired with LiSA’s (Oribe Risa)’s single “Crossing Field.” We also know Risa as the vocalist for Yui in Angel Beats!.

Weekly OP: Bleach (2)

Every Monday we share a video of Weekly OP or ED that we like. It could be from a show we’re currently watching, watched long ago, or never watched. Note that the videos may not hang around forever, since we have no control over them.

How did we find out about Bleach? By opening up the Baltimore Sun to a story about Otakon in 2005, where we saw a pretty good Rukia and Ichigo with his giant sword thing. Bleach would become the first show we watched regularly,  and ultimately watched it longer than we should have.

The first 26 episodes actually weren’t that bad. The world-building, character design, music, and comedy were imminently watchable, but the thing is we just hadn’t watched that much other anime, and so couldn’t compare it to anything. In any case, we liked the shinigami/hollow mechanics of the show, and were immediately charmed by Rukia, the death god who became a transfer student.

By the time this OP came along, Rukia had been taken captive and it was up to her human friends to save her. The first OP was very light-hearted, hip, and playful, but this one is all business, successfully capturing the urgency of the rescue mission and all the new characters who would stand in the gang’s way.  Our first glimpse of many shinigami captains and lieutenants whose lives we’d follow for years came right here.

Unfortunately, the mission, like the show itself, didn’t have the same urgency as this OP, perhaps because the anime was rushed out before adequate source material was published, resulting in lame filler arcs. But for a while there, Bleach was good watching, as long as you cared about the characters, which we did.

Weekly OP: Koimonogatari

Every Monday, starting today, we’ll be sharing a Weekly OP or ED that we like. It could be from a show we’re currently watching, watched long ago, or never watched. Note that the videos may not hang around forever, since we have no control over them. 

This week is the final arc in Monogatari Series: Second Season: Koimonogatari or “Lovestory”, a shining example of blending old and new animation styles and a retro song evoking a superb feeling of nostalgia. 80’s Senjougahara and Kaiki rock!