Taku’s Top 20 Anime OPs Part IV: #5

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(Check out #20-16 here#15-11 here, and #10-6 here)

(All videos taken from reddit.com/r/animethemes)

#5: Great Days – Karen Aoki and Daisuke Hasegawa (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable)

(THERE WILL DEFINITELY BE JOJO PART IV SPOILERS) And, so, we finally break into the Top 5. We’ll be taking it one a day from now until the end of the list and we start the Top 5 off with what is one of the most interesting entries for me. My experience with JoJo is a bit of a story. I started the anime back in May of last year, watching the first season of Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency with a friend. I wasn’t really that impressed and as far as I knew at that point, that would be the end of it. I wouldn’t come back to JoJo until almost five months later, upon finding out one of my friends and also my new suitemate is a huge fan of JoJo. I slowly started Stardust Crusaders and it took me almost two months. Then, all of a sudden, I fell into JoJo hell. Over my Thanksgiving break, I binged the last ten of Stardust Crusaders S1 and the entirety of the second season, then moving on to binge Diamond is Unbreakable in the first week of my winter break to be caught up for the finale. I can now definitely say I am a JoJo fan and I’ve started reading Vento Aureo slowly too.

I was originally drawn to Diamond is Unbreakable from the first OP, Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town. While I would binge it constantly over my time working through JoJo, it would be trumped by what I can easily call one of my favorite OPs of all-time: Great Days. From a visual standpoint, the OP is an absolute spectacle. There are several things throughout the OP and themes that carry through Part IV’s OP that are represented within Great Days: the “heart of Morioh”, the “breakdown” intro and the similarities to an explosion, referencing Kira’s Stand, Killer Queen, and these visual effects only become enhanced in the second and third “Bites the Dust” versions of the OP. The sequence is packed with instances of JoJo’s unique artstyle and it packs a flair that is purely bizarre. I could go on and on about the different visual nods and references, but I will direct you once again to the anime YouTuber Mother’s Basement who did a “What’s in an OP?” episode on all the Diamond is Unbreakable OPs. He does a great job of breaking down the visual nods and references within the sequence.

Moving onto the audio aspect, Great Days is a song that immediately captured me. The percussion rolls and twangy guitar sound of the song’s intro is immediately striking and does a great job at leading into the initial intro. The “Breakdown”s in the intro can also be heard in Josuke’s main OST theme, “Diamond is Unbreakable ~Main Theme~”, which leads to an interesting tie-in between Josuke’s character and the sound of the OP itself. Karen Aoki’s vocals are silky smooth and really flow well with the strong instrumentals for the OP. The sound of the OP really feels like it has a great mix between the ominous feeling of the Kira scenes within the OP, and a triumphant, high-flying sound that meshes perfectly with Josuke’s bright personality. The “Bites the Dust” arrange used later in the series makes for a really interesting tie-in between the series and the OP, with time seeming to be turned back and the OP goes into a rewind before flowing perfectly into the final chorus of the full version of the song. All in all, Great Days was a fantastic OP that worked perfectly to bring my personal favorite part of JoJo to a close.

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