Written by TheBigN
Self-explanatory really, though my writing might not be. Whether because of the song, the visuals, or both, these intros and outros worked for me this year. Using youtube, I tried to get all raw versions, but some only had a subbed version. But that shouldn’t be too important, should it?😛
BTW, this probably is a long post, which also explains what happens when you aren’t too selective. :3
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann OP, Sorairo Days
- As the series progressed and Simon changed along with it, the OP stayed the same, but the visuals changed to reflect that. To keep things spoil-free (for now :D), and because it’s my favorite of the three versions, the first version is shown here. The song is alright, especially the quick quitar solo (which isn’t really one) followed by the rest of the instruments, but the visuals made this one for me. Favorite parts: The profile of our three heroes standing while the wind blows around them, Kamina and Yoko’s profiles (flames and casings), Gurren Lagann facing off against the nearly limitless beastmen, and when the three yawn after a hard day’s work.😛
- Hidamari Sketch ED, mebae drive
- Not that much really in visuals, save for the Yuno standing in the clouds bit. But I really like the accompanying music, Mebae Drive, and I think the tone of the song fits the tone of the animation very well. Favorite parts: Yuno standing in the moving clouds, her eyes opening while the adjacent face closeup shot remains with eyes closed, the one by one appearance of the main four characters.
- Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight! OP, A Happy Life
- The song for me isn’t particularly memorable, even though it’s Megumi Hayashibara singing a cover of a Ritsuko Okazaki song (though I do like the contrast between the lyrics and happy feeling of the song), but it works. “Because it’s my life” indeed. It was fun to see the unusual camera angles, and action shots that ufotable employed in the animation, making the result interesting, and maybe innovative. And oh the graffiti.😛 Favorite parts: The girls walking away after their plan is set, Mikan standing on top of what looks like stadium lights, swirling viewpoints as our quintet are walking around as a group.
- Lucky Star OP, Motteke! Sailor Fuku
- Could you say that this is part of the “misleading OP/ED disorder syndrome” based on what followed not usually being hyper and all that jazz? One could say this was a parody to the popular Hare Hare Yukai dance, though while I help set up one such dance in college (with Nomad Otto actually as one of the dancers – fun times :P) , but KyoAni did a great job with this, and left us wondering for more than half the show who the extra girls were. I’m still confused about what the lyrics are about, or rather, the actual context itself. Where is this being said at, and why should we take the seifuku? Favorite parts: Yui stretching, the overall synchronization, the end of the song as the dance ends (thumbs up and Yay!), the Michael Jackson version.
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei OP 1, Hito Toshite Jiku Ga Bureteiru
- Once they finally decided on what to show after the first couple of episodes, wow. An OP that became an inspiration of parody/homage vids second only to Lucky Star’s OP. Based on the song, Itoshiki-sensei is probably being driven to heights of insanity/twistedness by his harem of students. But because this is also Shinbo doing it, it could just be random fun symbolism/imagery. The song fits the OP well, and it’s a nice listen to every once in a while, though I prefer the single’s B-side, aka the second OP song. Favorite parts: Itoshiki-sensei running away from his students, the shot of someone (Shinbo?) after the hanging, and you can’t hate the chorus line coming out of nowhere (Suteki!).
- ef – a tale of memories OP, euphoric field
- Another SHAFT production, and another really enjoyable sequence to enjoy. Unlike SZS (which showed how bizarre SHAFT/Shinbo can be), ef’s OP is more of a showcase of what SHAFT can do animation-wise, and it worked so well with the pretty good song (in Japanese or English :P). Favorite parts: That strange girl with all the letters flying around her, Kei standing with the wind blowing around her (that scene exuded confidence to me, a trait which we really haven’t seen a lot of from her actually :P).
- Genshiken 2 OP, disarm dreamer
- Gundam homage directed by someone who’s claim to fame is awesome representations of the (naked) female form. Highlights the tension between Madarame and Sasahara from Ogiue’s mind, and does it in an awesome mecha battle where we see a lot of explosions and stuff, for what it’s worth. The OP is also nice to listen to but not something to repeat, but also has a superior B-side to it, in my opinion. Favorite bits besides that: Sasahara smiling his goofy smile when looking at the sketchbook at the beginning, and this look of relief before remembering the carnage at the end. Tanaka and Kugiyama smiling when looking up at the sky. Ohno’s, Saki’s and Ogiue’s initial solo shots.
- Sketchbook OP, Kaze Sagashi
- Simple song, and simple visuals that go with the song. But it works just fine for me, and it’s something that I can see over and over again, and not get tired with. Favorite parts: the slow panout to Sora walking on a road as the main rhythm starts, sunlight shining down on the butterfly standing on a flower after a while, her acquaintances during the chorus, and the change in background from white back to the place Sora as she rises up from her rest.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS OP 1, Secret Ambition
- It’s no ETERNAL BLAZE, but the song works for me. Maybe it’s because Mizuki Nana works for me; the single has the B-side (that’s not really one) of the year in “Heart-shaped chant”, so check that out when you have the chance. And with the animation seeing cans of whoopass being handed-down to faceless entities is always fine too. Favorite parts: Erio laying a smackdown to the droids and the road, Fate and Nanoha working together.
- Blue Drop OP, BLUE
- Suara singing a slow song + ¾ time signature + majestic, hopeful tone at the end = win, though I’m disappointed at the full version of the song (I thought they could do a lot more with it then they did, but I’m strange like that). The animation doesn’t really stand out for me save for the rising of BLUE and our Good Girl (hint: thin person with glasses seemingly mouthing the lyrics near the end.
- Mokke OP, Kokoro no Ato
- Really like the song (especially Riyu Kosaka’s vocals), and the OMG beautiful visuals fit the song well to me. Could stand to do without Shizuru’s running at the end though. I really dislike that running stance, since I don’t think it’s natural. I guess prove me wrong if it is. Favorite parts: I loved the opening 20 seconds, Mizuki’s twirling around in the snow, and the sister’s heart to heart with the tree.
- Hayate the Combat Butler OP 2, Shichitenhakki Shijou Shugi
- Due to technical difficulties, here’s the PV of the full version of the song. ;_; Beginning with that awesome line from Wakamoto, followed by the KOTOKO song beginning to pump in during the high speed movement toward the Sanzenin mansion, I was entranced, though nothing really special happened in this OP other than character introduction and mysterious foreshadowing. And it was done at such pace that I loved it. The song definitely helped out here, and I think it’s my favorite KOTOKO piece I’ve heard from here, so that says something about my questionable tastes. And while the animations for the second and third ED aren’t as action-packed, check out their songs at least (Get My Way! and Chasse, respectively). Favorite parts: The initial run up to the building before our view zooms up to the sky, the little Gundam Seed homage with Eight, and the sequence where our “villains” appear up to where Hayate faces off against a mysterious butler. The latter part especially gave me goosebumps, maybe because I wanted to see some awesome EPIC Combutler action occur. Who knows?
- CLANNAD ED, Dango Daikazoku
- A.K.A, A Dango’s Life. This is a good example of how you don’t really need that much time to create an interesting story. Or at least a slice of life story about dangos. Favorite parts: The dangoes swirling around their world, the bunny waving at them for some reason.
- Dennou Coil ED, Sora no Kakera
- For me, this one was all about the song. Very simple and loved how the instruments slowly built upon the other till they reach the chorus. Maybe it was because I could imagine hearing the song as a mainstream hit on the radio here in the states. Who knows? Of course the travels of Densuke are awesome as well.
- School Days ED 3, Waltz
- The ED animation isn’t really something to look at unless you want to see how happy everyone was in still shots on a cell phone before the pain came. But the vocals from Kanako Itou, the piano intro of the song (again 3/4s time representing), and the lilting melody from the Waltz made the song one of my favorites for the year.
- Moyashimon OP, Curriculum
- From the start up, seeing that Oryzae shaking his dreads or whatever they are in real life, there was no way that I wouldn’t like the OP. While the ED is also fun to watch, it doesn’t catch my attention as much as this one (though Polysics has a nice song for it). A great job integrating CG with reality, as it really does look like the little buggers in Sawaki’s eyes exist like that in real life. Maybe they do, and I’ve lost the power to believe. :( I’m sure that at least the world would be a better place.😀 Favorite parts: Everything.
- Negima!? OP, 1000% SPARKLING
- Even though this anime started in 2006, it finished in 2007, so I think it at least counts for this list.😛 Another offering from SHAFT, as we see Negi-sensei and his large class in what looks like a final showdown-esque situation in a world of discarded school desks. The urgent, “GO FOR IT” song for the music just helps things, and the song remains one that I use to pump me up. Favorite parts: The profile of everyone in the class at the beginning, Negi hunched over the desks, the hands, Asuna and Negi running at the end followed by them bursting through the desks.
- Finally, the Night Wizard ED, Erinyes
- As you can tell, there’s not much going on here, so this was another one that was mostly for the song. The vocals coupled with the pinao playing background at 6/8 time (I think) at the opening hooked me here. Judging from the lyrics, the song seems to be a prayer to a higher power, and the vocals, especially at the chorus enhance that feeling for me (the changing tones of notes sound almost like pleading to me, if you want more sense to come from that). It’s a very unusual song for this year I’d like to think, espeically when listening to the full version. And it’s obviously one of my favorites of the year. Of the actual animation the only part that gave me something was the shaky slow zooming out of our heroes sans Elis in disarray, probably as a nice foreshadow to what was going to happen. Oh well.
Next time: Happiness, joys, and the ties that bind.