So, I’ve always loved making little rankings for myself. Outside of the normal character rankings, I’ve been known to love making rankings for favorite songs, live performances, and several other things within anime. Recently, I decided I wanted to take another look at my personal favorite anime rankings. It’s been about 7 months since the last time I did a ranking for myself and I’ve watched plenty of shows since then and I’ve had my opinions change of many different songs and openings. So, I figured it would be fun to take another look and talk a bit about…
My Top 20 Anime OPs (As of 2/19/2017)
(All videos linked from reddit.com/r/animethemes)
#20: Namida no Mukou – STEREOPONY (Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season)
Our first entry takes a look at my personal favorite OP from my favorite Gundam series. BE WARNED, THERE MAY BE GUNDAM 00 SPOILERS AHEAD. Namida no Mukou combines a lot of great things into one complete package: A great, driving instrumental track that starts mellow in the verse and builds into a bombastic guitar-laden hype piece, fantastic, silky-smooth vocal work from Stereopony’s Aimi Haraguni, and beautiful visuals with both symbolic portrayals of the characters and some great gunfight scenes. While the verse’s visuals portray many of the major plot points carrying throughout the second season, with particular focus paid to the Innovators, the chorus explodes into some powerful fast-paced vocal work and visuals filled with bright colors and the flashy Gundam fights Sunrise is known for doing so well. The entire OP is a visual trip, while also being a pleasure for the ears and easily earns the opening spot in my Top 20.
#19: Connect – ClariS (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
BE WARNED, THERE WILL DEFINITELY BE MADOKA SPOILERS. Connect was one of the first things to welcome me back into the anime medium back in 2014 and it’s something that has stuck with me since then. While I could talk all about how much I love ClariS and they were my original favorite anisong group, I want to take a moment to applaud Connect’s use of “deception”. For those who have seen the show, Connect comes at a great contrast to the whole of Madoka Magica, with the bright, happy and cheerful tone of the OP greatly contrasting the darker themes of the show. It plays on the minds of fans of the genre, promising a light, fluffy adventure filled with cute laughs and completely masking the deep psychological themes Madoka looks to portray through its characters and storytelling. While being a visual spectacle and a nice, fluffy song on the surface, it serves to aid in the misdirection applied by the show throughout its run.
#18: Sister’s Noise – fripSide (A Certain Scientific Railgun S)
I love the openings to A Certain Scientific Railgun. There wasn’t a single opening for the series I didn’t adore, but while we talked a lot about the visuals for the previous openings, this one is more about the music. I have to admit a bit of personal bias. I love Nanjou Yoshino, the vocalist for fripSide. She is my personal favorite seiyuu and has one of my personal favorite singing voices. Because of this, I’ve developed an adoration for fripSide and their trance-techno sound. This plays a big factor in why I love the Railgun OPs so much, Nanjou’s voice is like a choir of angels singing in my ears and fast, bouncy songs like Sister’s Noise are where she shines the greatest. One of my personal dreams as a weeb is to see fripSide perform live and Sister’s Noise is a song I would kill to hear live.
#17: Takarabako -TREASURE BOX- – Masami Okui (Shirobako)
YOU KNOW THE DEAL, SHIROBAKO SPOILERS AHEAD. When I was first putting together a list of potential OPs for this list, I had a very hard time deciding between Takarabako and Colorful Box from Shirobako. Both are fantastic OPs in their own right for what was a very pleasant surprise and well worth the hype it had received in Shirobako. Ultimately, I felt I had to pick Takarabako for a few reasons. A couple things really put the second OP to Shirobako over the top for me. For one, the song has a nice, mellow sound that is also uplifting and has this feeling of being hopeful towards the future. The visuals of the opening sequence greatly tell the story, symbolizing and foreshadowing the penultimate conclusion to the series with the five main girls all getting to have a part in the development of “Third Girls Aerial Squad”. The entire OP serves as a great introduction for the fantastic second half of Shirobako.
#16: Miracle Rush – StylipS (Saki Achiga-hen)
Speaking of pleasant surprises, I can safely say I never expected myself to enjoy an anime about Mahjong as much as I did Saki. Going in, I had absolutely no prior knowledge of mahjong, but the show itself knew how to use hype just right and give the viewer just enough knowledge of the game at each moment to not overload. While the series has plenty of great moments and would earn itself a high recommendation from me, I particularly love the opening sequence to the show’s second season/spin-off, Saki Achiga-hen. Miracle Rush does a lot of what the first season’s original OP, Glossy:MMM, does but in a more refined manner. It has a fast, bouncy, lighthearted tone to its music, with lots of colorful visuals and cute introductions to each member of the main cast, and gives just enough hinting and teasing of the hype to come to pump up the viewers and get them ready for each episode. It’s one of the best parts of what I can definitely call a personal favorite and one of the best game-themed anime.