Wareta Ringo (Shin Sekai Yori ED)
This one definitely tries to something different with all the stops, reversed themes, interesting lead in and whatnot. I use “whatnot” here because despite all of that, when the song comes together in the chorus, I can’t find myself to care too much. That being said, the imagery associated with it from the ED animation helps strongly here. But we shouldn’t be taking that into consideration, should we?
Daydream Syndrome (Yumekui Merry OP)
And this song doesn’t even really try at all here.
Which Do I Want to Win: Wareta Ringo
Which Do I Think Will Win: Wareta Ringo
Why? Recency bias and song style. Shin Sekai Yori was a show that probably resides in people’s minds more. And it helps that “Wareta Ringo” is a song that I can listen to and not be bored by quickly. “Daydream Syndrome” is a song that I don’t really care to listen to more than just in this tournament.
Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix- (Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 ED)
No video here. Those guys were too good with that one.
Utada Hikaru is someone that I haven’t heard from in a while, honestly (it kind of makes sense since I haven’t really been watching these films much anyway). Something’s always intrigued me with how she stress certain syllables when singing, since sometimes it flows with the song well, and other times it’s noticeable enough to be off-putting. This song is in the former for me, especially when she starts singing the chorus.
Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (Cross Game ED 1)
A little adult contemporary with a hint of jazz throughout, this piece from Ayaka isn’t half bad. If a bit long.
Which Do I Want to Win: Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-
Which Do I Think Will Win: Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-
Why? Song style. Both songs are solid, but “Beautiful World” is something that I think more people could listen to and feel, if that makes any sense.
Voices (Macross Plus ED 2)
Dated? Yes (all dat synth!). But it has Akino Arai as the vocalist. And Yoko Kanno making the music. Which makes it a nostalgic magical ride for me. Especially when I apply it to that very interesting OVA.
Memoria (Fate/Zero ED 1)
This song grabbed me with the chorus, as Aoi Eir belts out her passion and does it in a way that fits with the music well. It’s not even the strongest of the OPs and EDs from the song, but it’s not a bad choice at all. But you’ve heard this type of song before.
Which Do I Want to Win: Voices
Which Do I Think Will Win: Memoria
Why? Recency bias, in both song and work. I’d really, really like to hear an updated version of “Voices”, since it’s a melody that would be timeless to me if you weren’t dragged back into the late 80s/early 90s with the synth. Would like to be proven wrong though. :3
Manten (Fate/Zero ED 3)
Now this is a Kalafina song! This song has the driving Kajiura instrumentals behind it as the trio’s vocals get to show off their harmony in very interesting ways.
Akatsuki no Kuruma (Gundam Seed insert song)
That being said, Yuuka Nanri showed Kalafina how it’s done by a soloist affiliated with Kajiura. And it hearkens back to some of the more varied musical flavors that come out in the song maker’s work, as a Latin-flavor is suffused throughout the song.
Which Do I Want to Win: Akatsuki no Kuruma
Which Do I Think Will Win: Akatsuki no Kuruma
Why? I’m a fan of both songs, and it’s really a push, more than me going for Fiction Junction YUUKA. But “Akatsuki no Kuruma” has an acoustic version is better than the one heard originally, and that’s what sells it for me.
Gravity (Wolf’s Rain ED 1)
Judging from the response of the song being played during Yoko Kanno’s ”Piano Me” concert (of which I’ll talk about in the hopefully near future), this song still holds a lot of feels for a lot of people. With a smile piano driven melody and gorgeous vocals by Maaya Sakamoto, it’s hard to beat this song, so I feel sorry for…
Melos no you ni ~LONELY WAY~ (Aoki Ryuusei SPT Layzner OP)
This song is unabashed 80s, and in a good way, as the melody is something that you can groove too. I remember first hearing this song years ago linked by a cool soul on Twitter, and it’s a nice song. But it’s still unabashedly 80s.
Which Do I Want to Win: Gravity
Which Do I Think Will Win: Gravity
Why? Feels. All those feels. Recency bias, familiarity and Yoko Kanno help too.
HOWLING (Darker Than Black OP 1)
Interesting English phrasing that everyone quotes leads into a nice driving rock song by Abingdon Boys School. And the song never lets up, especially when it hits that punctuated Engrish chorus.
The Search for Odin (Odin – Photon Space Sailer Starlight ED)
Another “LOL THE 80s” song, although this one is more pure awesome rock. And it has a killer (synth!) instrumental intro and funny English placement. But still. The 80s. This band, LOUDNESS, is \m/ though.
Which Do I Want to Win: The Search for Odin
Which Do I Think Will Win: HOWLING
Why? Familiarity. Song Style. And the ravages of time.
Inner Universe (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OP)
Bias alert. This is another one of my favorite OP/ED themes period. The outerworldy (ok, Russian) vocals of Origa. The pulsing electronic that Yoko Kanno serves up. The driving chorus that ties it all together. It’s not fair to whatever song faces off against this one. Aeria Gloris.
Byakuya (D. N. Angel OP)
Sorry man. This song also has a nice atmospheric intro, and a pulsing tone. If the LOUDNESS sang the vocals for this song, this might be a closer (but still not winner) matchup over “Inner Universe”, but Shunichi Miyamoto’s vocals are nowhere near epic enough to match the rocking behind him.
Which Do I Want to Win: Inner Universe
Which Do I Think Will Win: INNER UNIVERSE
Why? Mana du vortes, mana du vortes. Aeria Gloris, Aeria Gloris (“Watch in awe, watch in awe. Heavenly Glory, Heavenly Glory). No. Contest.
Natsu Machi (ARIA the Natural ED 1)
Round Table featuring NINO strikes again in this soft rock, smoothly relaxing track. It’s hard not to rock your head to this song, though musically it doesn’t do a lot and can get repetitive. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine for a song to do that if the mood is set right.
For Fruits Basket (Fruits Basket OP)
Ritsuko Okazaki (Rest in peace) slowly builds up a simple melody into something a little more poignant (given her passing, it becomes a lot more listening to it after that fact). That being said, the synthisized drumbeat short of cheapens the feeling of that song, even as the string backup lifts the song into something that’s more hopeful than before.
Which Do I Want to Win: Natsu Machi
Which Do I Think Will Win: Natsu Machi
Why? Song style. “For Fruits Basket” was built more “solidly”, I think it would actually win this battle hands down. Course, that would take away from the power in the song’s simplicity to begin with.