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

Fall 2013 OPs and EDs

Sorry we’re so late with our picks, but better late than never, right? Also, while there are a few nice onces (see below), none of this season’s OPs or EDs really knocked our socks off.

Best OP: Kakumeiki Valvrave, 2nd Season

The same girl/guy duet that worked so well in the first season (and for Aquarion Evol, though that was probably a different duo) works here too, maybe more so. There’s a ton of energy to the vocals that gets us pumped-up for whatever craziness the episode has in store. (Forgive the cropping and bad audio, the video is just for demo purposes.)

OP Runner-up: White Album 2

Like the show itself, this OP wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s a very stirring ballad-like piece that doesn’t hold back on the drama. The vocals aren’t fantastic (some parts would be more impactful if she could hit higher notes) but they’re earnest and impassioned. And we really like the drums.

Best ED: Nagi no Asukara

There’s so much wistful longing in the lovely vocals, and the song’s tone perfectly complements the dreamy underwater visuals. Ishikawa Chiaki, an excellent vocalist in her own right, wrote this song’s composition.

ED Runner-up: Kyoukai no Kanata

While we were initially skeptical that this show had anything new to bring to the table (skepticism that has since dissipated), we’ve always liked the ED, especially how it provides such a strong punctuation mark to the end of an episode. That, and it’s full of gorgeous , artsy imagery, and a slightly melancholy tone that gradually grows more positive.

20 of Our Favorite OPs

(In Alphabetical Order)

UPDATE: We added five more for a total of 20.

Angel Beats!

A very lovely, moving theme accompanies an opening that still manages to efficiently unveil the sizable cast and the show’s purgatorial school setting.

Angel Beats!

(Yui’s J-Rock Arrangement)

A rippin’-good remix with electric guitars and a bolder, edgier palette.

Bleach OP#1

We once watched a lot of Bleach…too much, in hindsight. But we won’t deny it had a good start, and we still consider its first (of many) OPs to be the best.

Bokurano


We don’t know why, but Ishikawa Chiaki’s powerful, mournful yet hopeful vocals that open this GONZO series always get us a bit choked up. Pass the tissues, damnit! (This talented lady also sang the themes to Majestic Prince and Kamisama Dolls.) 

Chrome Shelled Regios

This is what happens when an OP washes down some adderall with a half-dozen Red Bulls. The booming energy is infectious.

Cowboy Bebop

One of the best anime ever made also has one of the best – and most iconic – openings.

Darker Than Black

This was a pretty good series partly due to Yoko Kanno’s participation in the soundtrack, but the OP is handled by a band rather amusingly called “Abingdon Boys School.” Our favorite part is how it so abruptly ends, which unfortunately this YouTube video cuts off.

Escaflowne

Yoko Kanno’s stirring, epic instrumentation, paired with a young Sakamoto Maaya’s strong, buoyant vocals make this entire OP shimmer and soar.

Eden of the East

We’re not what you’d call super Oasis fans (we’d never put a name to the song before watching this), but it really works here, and the complex, easter-egg-filled visuals still enthrall us today. A feast for eyes and ears.

Gantz


Considering how dark this show gets, it has a mighty upbeat theme! Another great GONZO OP.

Gundam 00

We’ve seen a lot of Gundam OPs, but this is our favorite, with a very serious and mature tone to it.

Kare Kano


Despite an abysmal ending due to running out of material and/or money, this remains hands-down our favorite romantic comedy series. Nothing else has been able to get into the heads of two crazy kids in love quite like this show did.  Its (literally) uplifting OP is one of our favorites as well.

Last Exile

Yet another GONZO series. Pretty much OP perfection, starting off with bagpipes and digeridus, then giving us Napoleonic sky battles and creepy starfish mechas. Claus’s touching down on the flight deck brings things to a tidy close.

Macross Froniter

Another very well-balanced and captivating OP, with an incredibly catchy theme tons of sci-fi action, love trangle themes and a few military salutes for good measure.

Mawaru Penguindrum

Crisp, sparse, dramatic, fantastic.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Evangelizin’ it old school.

RahXephon

Six Years after Escaflowne, Kanno and Sakamoto strike again and prove they’re a match made in heaven. The theme starts quietly, then progresses to a utopian/futuristic sound, and finishes with a nice acoustic guitar.

Samurai Champloo

Some days, some nights, some live, some die, in the way of the samurai.

Serial Experiments Lain

In our opinion, another successful use of an english-language song, along wih lots of weird multiple-personality imagery and general malaise.

Shiki

Weird-ass vampiry goodness, with a grinding, snarling, and rousing Buck-Tick song laced with appropriately dark lyrics.