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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Editorial: The Top 5 Anime Openings of 2015

Editorial: The Top 5 Anime
Openings of 2015

I'm a bit late getting around to this one, not least because 2015 was not exactly a stellar year for anime, but since I did this last year, it's only fair I should do it again. Any anime airing in the calendar year of 2015 is applicable, although in shows with multiple openings, only one of them can actually end up on the list.

Okay, let's roll on with number five:

5. Butter-Fly, Kouji Wada, Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion (Crunchy Roll version).

It feels, in a way, a little unfair to put this so low on the list, since the thing that really drops it down - the uninspiring visuals almost entirely recycled from trailers - is the result of having fewer resources to work with than every other entry on this list. After all, in the film that Crunchyroll split into episodes, there's only one opening sequence, with just the track playing behind scenic shots of Odaiba and Taichi riding a bike.

What gets it on its list is, really, Kouji Wada's reworked rendition of his old classic, Butter-Fly, a cheerful yet oddly melancholic song about feeling constrained by the world and fearing for the future (both of which are themes very much present in Tri) that served as the opening for the very first series of Digimon.

Wada's reworked version is heavy on the nostalgia, downplaying the brighter, more action-y elements of the song in favour of playing up the sense of wonder.

4. Kyouran Hey Kids!!, The Oral Cigarettes, Noragami Aragoto.

It's no scratch on Hello Sleepwalkers, the opening song of the first series of Noragami, but Noragami Aragoto's opening - a fast-paced song about ... about ... actually, I've been looking at the lyrics for ten minutes and I can't figure out what this song is meant to be about at all - is a fun listen.

It's also got some especially striking visuals, with the characters rendered mostly in black and white, with only their eyes coloured, and set against stark, colourful backgrounds in shades of blue or orange. 

No, but seriously, though, does anyone have any idea what this song is actually about? Anyone?

3. Hello World, Bump of Chicken, Kekkai Sensen.

If this was a list of best endings, Kekkai Sensen's ending would be at the top of the list with no competition. Alas, it is not. But Hello World, Bump of Chicken's upbeat, optimistic song about aimlessness, misery and struggling with existential crises, is nevertheless a particularly excellent, and very catchy, earworm.

The song is accompanied by a lot of imagery regarding protagonist Leo's occupation as a photographer, and the bustling city of New York - which is fitting, really, since Kekkai Sensen could probably be best described as a love letter both to the city itself, and to the general idea of mundanity and everyday life.

Particular props go to the Avengers moment, where the camera circles Leo as the various members of Libra show off their skills, apparently in aid of protecting him.

2. Renegade, Stereo Dive Foundation, Gangsta. 

There's always one where I can't find a good video of it on Blogger's horrendous video search, however if you meander over here, you can watch this there.

Okay, the shower of dominatrixes is a litte bit weird, I'm not going to pretend that it isn't. In general, though, the opening combines a great song about, er - actually, no, I don't know what this one is about either, with sharp, striking visuals that make great use of colours.

It also gives us important information about our three main characters, too: One drinks Perrier and has a sword, the other one only puts on his clothes literally as he's heading out, and the third one is possibly possessed by Satan.

Good. That's information we will surely need going forward.

1. Two Souls - toward the truth -, Fripside, Owari no Seraph: Battle in Nagoya.

It almost pains me, a little, to give this the top spot, since out of all of these, it's probably the most aggressively typical anime opening. 

But I can't help it. I just really like it. It's upbeat, fun, a little bit dramatic, and the visuals have everything I love about anime openings, by which I mean they have slightly overwrought shots of all of the characters posing together, and various shots of fight scenes that never, ever actually happen in the show.

I mean, what more could I ask for, really. It's also the only one on this list with lyrics that actually seem to relate to the show in question, being about two people vowing to find each other. 

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