Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anime's Greatest Openings

Ahh, anime openings, a staple in the anime diet. Watching our favourite anime just wouldn't be the same without first getting things rolling with a minute and a half of watching characters dance or fight to some manufactured tune churned out by whatever musically untalented seiyuu turned singer is popular at the time.

Now despite that, we all still love these opening segments and rightly so; they're a fun, enjoyable little piece of fanservice before kicking into the show. Obviously we all have our personal favourites, and here are mine;

Black Lagoon - Red Faction

The Black Lagoon opening, a badass song for a badass anime. Despite the hilariously mangled engrish, this opening is a surprisingly apt descriptor of both the nihilistic pseudo-philosophy and the over the top action of Black Lagoon.

Cutey Honey - Cutey Honey Theme

It was exceedingly difficult choosing between Cutey Honey's opening and that of Mazinger Z, but since I didn't want Go Nagai to be everywhere in this post, one had to win out and it was Honey. Since the first Cutey Honey anime aired in 1973, this theme has been the definitive Cutey Honey song and has played as the opening for every iteration of Cutey Honey since.

Evangelion - Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis

Even though I'm not an Eva fan, I must admit, this is one of the definitive openings in anime. Pretty much any anime fan worth their salt knows the tune of Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis, and more then a few of them can sing the whole damn thing.

Kotetsushin Jeeg - Stormbringer

Wanna know a cool piece of trivia? Ever since I first saw Kotetsushin Jeeg, it's been my goal in life to make love with this song playing.

King Gainer - King Gainer Over!

Aside from having a massive ear worm of a song, this opening features dancing robots, what more could you possibly need?

And finally, last but definitely not least, the opening that is to me, the greatest anime opening of all time...

Shin Mazinger Shogeki Z-Hen - The Gardian

OH MY GOD. Never before have I seen a single opening so perfectly capture the very essence of super robots! From the hotblooded action to the manly determination, Shin Mazinger's 2nd opening is quite easily the grandaddy of super robot openings. What else would you expect from a song called 'The GARdian'?

Well then, these are my favourites. Now feel free to share yours!


  1. Wow, I can call all of these openings to mind instantly, and several are favourites of mine too! 'Stormbringer' is my standard 'getting ready for the day' music.

    Though personally, I'm not convinced by 'The Gardian' as a song; it's decent JAM Project fare, of course, but a little underwhelming after 'Kanjite Knight'. I love the second Shin Mazinger Z opening animation, though, and I think it meshes really well with the music, so there you go. No disputing about tastes.

  2. Black Lagoon - susprisingly, I expected MORE for it's opening, lol.

    Cutey Honey - HOLY FTW!!!!1111 simply creative in an ecchi way HAHAHAHA. such radical retro opening :D

    Eva - classic, I esp. love every Rei (& EVA-01) frame in it, pfhhhht ;P

    Stormbringer - now it's the ONLY song out of all the themes which I find very interesting, not bad for first time listening XD (rofl to your love making theme comment. mine is Burning Desire from Initial D, sadly, it's a soundtrack & not a theme =/)

    King Gainer Over - I love the choreography in this, simply splendid :D

    The GARdian - gawdammit, the title is just TOO coincidence XDDDDDDDD

    To me, to choose opening clips or opening tracks are totally different. XDDDDDDDD;; And clips usually are won by nostalgic type of song and anime style, LOL! as for songs alone, usually the very "semangat"/gar/bursting energy type. XDDDDDDDD;;

  3. Not a bad list at all. Especially with King Gainer Over! More people need to watch that OP. :3

  4. Honestly, in most cases I fast-forward past openings. I like watching anime for 6-10 hours straight when I do, or else I'm on a time-table. Some series I actually like them.

    Though the last time I've watched NGE was about 5 years ago, I think I can still do like half the song by heart, without music playing in the background or anything.

    I also like the Ali Project, say, Shigofumi, Rozen Maiden... and I really liked Fate/Stay Night. I also liked the rockish Bleach opening Ichirin no Hana.

  5. Ah, yes, to me an anime opening is a lot more about the song/music than the video.

    So how could I forget? BoA's Duvet, she was 12 when she sang it!

  6. My favorites are Chobits (catching song), Last Exile and Lucky Star. ^^

  7. Haven't heard or watched many of these, but I do like Black Lagoon OP. I liked it even more after I realized it was in English.

    Also, agreed with geekorner that my fave OP I think has to be Boa's Duvet.

    And I've added you to my links if that's OK. ^^

  8. King King King Gainer!!! *monkey dance* oh man im addicted to this song 2 years ago lol. Shin Mazinger Z... Gah i need to get that. It looks so good!

    btw, try Soukyou no Fafner This is very well done.

  9. my bad. the audio and video is not sync. try this one instead

  10. BoA's Duvet is the OP for Serial Experiments Lain, for the record.

  11. ops, I forgot to share my top fave anime openings. they are probably very underated, but here goes:

    1. Magic Knight Rayearth - Unyielding Wish
    ALL TIME fave, I can relate to this theme very much, lyrics & music wise. plus the clip is about magical warrior girls with mecha of parallel worlds. :D

    2. Montana Jones - The Adventures Begin
    fury cats, world travels, adventures, romance, mechas, whee~!

    3. Saber Marionette J - Successful Mission
    Hayashibara-sama's vocal to powerful marionette girls, hahaha!

    4. Wedding Peach DX - Merry Angels
    CAUTION: claustrophobic inclined beware (some flashy frames might trigger your system)

    5. Ghost Sweeper - Ghost Sweeper
    series about supernatural & sex, HAHAHAHA.

    I obviously love Busou Renkin, Kenshin, Card Captor Sakura, Inu Yasha, Dragon Ball & Slayers themes, but they're so popular, so I don't need to list them with details. ;P

  12. As a fan favourite in anime OP, I indeed have my own share of favourites. A few i can name from the top of my head includes, KOTOKO - BLAZE, the 2nd OP of Shana S2, HIMEKA OP of VC, YUI - Again from FMA Remake and the list continues.

    Speaking about Black Lagoon, I gonna pick up the 2nd season at SMASH!
    Ur coming right?

  13. Gawdamnit, I could have sworn you put Kanjite Knigth, still GARdian is pretty much GARfect.

    Lists my op anyway...

    Berserk-Tell me why (Icommand u to watch this gar/gore fest)

    Macross F- Lion

    Voltes 5-(Pinoy ver is LOL)

    Blassreiter- Unripe hero(Awesome fight closure)

    Basquash-Boku ga Boku no Mama

    Gundam 00-Ash like snow

    Outlaw star-Through the night

    The rest is filler

  14. @ iknight
    Hey! Haven't seen you round in a while >=D

    But yeah, it was a tough call between Kanjite Knight and The Gardian, Knight is probably the GARer song, but Gardian had a sweet ass opening that sealed it top spot.

    And good to know we both have the same, awesome tastes ;)

    @ Anna
    Heheh, I remember Successful Mission! One of my favourite Megumi Hayashibara songs >=D

    @ TheBigN
    King Gainer had such a fucking cool opening; I remember rewatching it like 10 times straight when I first saw it.

    @ Geekorner
    Heheh, I remember Lain's opening song. Was pretty fitting for the show, but wasn't really my cup of tea -_-

    @ Phossil
    Have you heard the Lucky Star cover by JAM Project? Manliest moe song I've ever heard.

    @ Yi
    Black Lagoon's opening is such a delicate mix of badass and silliness due to that engrish XD

    @ B-Mecha
    The fuck!? YOU HAVEN'T SEEN SHIN MAZINGER!?!? GO! Watch it! WATCH IT NOW!!!

    @ Optic
    Heh, the Shana series have pretty decent songs all round.

    And yeah, SMASH is this weekend right? I'll be there! Are you going both days?

    @ GunStray
    Yeah, it was a really hard pick between Kanjite Knight and Gardian -_-

    And the Basquash opening was tits; I really need to get into that show!

  15. I will now pass judgment on the anime OPs listed in the OP (original/opening post) :D

    Black Lagoon: Ace. It was so good that I found the song and got it, and listened to it on repeat for an hour or two.

    Cute Honey: I have been traumatized. I will neither forgive nor forget, Snark! Ever!

    Neon Genesis Evangelion: Probably my favourite anime opening of all times.

    Kotetsu Shin Jeeg: Way too much pathos, too much rock-metal wannabe. Meh.

    King Gainer: Silly, and I'm sure no one would disagree. But this was a lot of fun, you can sense the enthusiasm. The animation has a lot of silliness, but also some cute bits.

    Shin Mazinger: I don't really like the animation style of the characters, and especially the mecha. Very archaic, except that the colouring is much better, as befitting a modern anime. I know it's meant to be that way, as it's a new incarnation of a series running from 1972, but still.
    As for the song, there's a combination of pathos and orchestra, and it's actually not bad. I think it reminds me of the anime of Blade Braver from within Bamboo Blade some.
    Also, around 0:50 to 1:15, a lot of excitement and energy, which I loved.

    OK, another suggestion, this anime's OP took some time for me to get used to. The first 5 seconds are ace, and then it has a bit you need to get used to, especially the repetition. Pumpkin Scissors, which also has one of the silliest and most adorable endings.
    And as always, it's so sad the OP/Endings on youtube don't have the subtitles, because often I love songs for their lyrics, like the Fate/Stay Night song.

  16. New Jeeg huh, I haven't been keeping up, but this new Jeeg doesn't transform into a head?

  17. First thing I had to comment was... OMG Mazinger turns into a giant roketto panchi! I still prefer the original Mazinger song, but that's my nostalgia talking.

    Red Fraction is actually one of Mell's better Engrish songs... Rideback is a kickass song, but what she's singing doesn't make a lick of sense. It's sorta English XD

    And I'm one of those who memorized the TV Size Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis lyrics ^^; King Gainer is cool too :D

    I should make my own list too. I've got so many though...

  18. Off the top of my head my favorites are the first Genshiken, first Jigoku Shoujo, Saber Marionette J, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Evangelion, Tenjho Tenge, first Sayonar Zetsubou Sensei, and 2nd Sailor Moon openings. I love Black Lagoon...but not the opening, dunno why it just doesn't do it for me.

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