Thanks to Annie of Evening Tea Musings for the nomination. Be sure to bring a cup and check out her blog where she spills the tea on all things anime, k-pop and dramas.
This tag gave me a difficult time because I was debating on whether to dish out my absolute favourite anime openings of all time or to just focus on the anime openings of series I enjoyed from the 2010s.
As you’ll find out, I opted for the latter and wrote five songs in no particular order because If I did choose the former, this post wouldn’t be out today. I also didn’t have any other criteria in selecting the following songs.
Beastars – Wild Side by ALI
Please tell me that you heard this song and felt the same electrical tingle running down your spine at the first note of the trumpet.
This song is such a bop. The sung lyrics blend three different languages (Japanese, English and French). Embedding the words within a combination of funky jazz and rap, this song sounds both sleek and rough and I love the contrast of the vocal stylings between Jua (rap) and Leo (vocals).
I don’t think there could have been another song that captures Legosi’s character (and Louis’s character too) so well in describing the internal struggle of complying with societal expectations but also wanting to destroy them at the same time in order to live truthfully as oneself.
The linked TV size version of the song is beautifully done entirely in stop motion animation by dwarf studios and Michiya Kato, President of Cyclone Graphics. I love the fact that this opening theme only focuses on Legosi’s story, diving into the themes of instinct, conflict and love in a forbidden romance between a wolf and a rabbit and doesn’t spoil the juicy parts of the series’ plot.
Psycho-Pass (S1) – Abnormalize by Ling Tosite Sigure
I cannot imagine how difficult it is to play this song with its complicated guitar melodies. It, like most of the songs I’ve heard T.K. sing for anime series, begins soft with T.K’s whispers before swiftly switching back and forth between this calm to loud hardcore screaming, mixing male and female vocals together in an eargasmic whirlwind.
Without looking at the lyrics’ English translation, I felt the song successfully incapsulates that moment where you’re lost in your chaotic thoughts, not being to discern what’s real from what’s not.
The visuals for the opening, with its monochromatic colours and focus on the protagonists, Akane and Kougami, is really pretty. (I really appreciate the Kougami eye candy.) The lyrics definitely teases the audience more than the visuals in revealing what the series is all about.
I also really fell in love with REOL’s cover of this song. The band she collaborated with on it kicked ass and nailed the song. Check it out here if you’re interested.
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic – V.I.P by SID
There is just something so unique about Mao’s voice. Whenever I try to emulate him in singing this song, my voice gives out by the second belt in the chorus and I’m drained of energy.
V.I.P definitely feels like the kind of song you’d play off Spotify at the beginning of a new adventure where you’re bright-eyed and ready to tackle any obstacles with the power of friendship! Its upbeat melody is great to bob your head to.
…And yeah, I just really love the belting parts a lot in this song.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable – Crazy, Noisy Bizarre Town by The Du
I confess, I started my journey into the Jojo franchise with Part 4 and I’m kinda glad I did.
I really enjoyed all of the songs chosen for this season because they are all really bright, catchy and funky, fitting the eclectic cast but “Crazy, Noisy Bizarre Town” is a great title for a song and I think it defines the whole plot of Part 4 nicely compared to the other tracks.
This song was made for people to dance like no one is watching on a weekend night or you know, playing it while practicing your Jojo poses in front of a mirror…
There is a cover sung by taiga and he sounds nearly identical to the vocalists in The DU. When I first heard the cover, I thought I was playing the original song. You can hear it here.
Before continuing on with the final entry in my list, I thought I’d take a second to reflect on all the songs I’ve chosen thus far and I’ve noticed some trends:
- I seem to enjoy anime songs where the vocalist has a unique voice and/or uses unique singing techniques.
- If it’s not jazzy, then it’s j-rock and/or vice-versa.
- Play with real instruments or BUST.
- Belting out the lyrics and your feels makes everything better.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (S2) – Imawa no Shinigami by Megumi Hayashibara
This song sung by the legendary Megumi Hayashibara seems strange on this list, but it’s still jazzy. With Hayashibara’s dulcet voice and sighs, the song sounds so seductive and delicate yet theatrical and dramatic. It fits perfectly with the storyline of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju‘s second season. The moments when you hear the ticking clock and how the melody swirls around the vocals, it gives the impression that you’re sailing away to a faraway dream-like place without any cares in the world.
Paired with the visuals of the anime opening, this song’s true meaning is revealed to be ominous. The tolling bells act as a reminder of death haunting Yakumo, marking the end of his captivating story that the audience is so eager to watch.
Honestly, for me, it’s hard not to keep pressing replay for this track.
What are your top picks for anime openings? Leave me a line below or if you want to give this tag/list a try in a blog post, please link me back so I can read it!