As those of you who have been around might remember, back in February, I went through and did a full Top 20 ranking of my favorite anime openings. That list was a ton of fun and I had a great time going back through OPs in order to rank them and talking about each particular OP on the list. I had meant to do an ED ranking much sooner than now, but I figured it would be wise to give a little downtime between rankings and with the favorite anime ranking last night, it got pushed back even farther. But, I’ve been mulling and comparing EDs and thinking about what to include and I think I’ve finally come up with a decisive list for me. So, after much delay, sit back and enjoy the ride as we dive into…
Taku’s Top 20 Anime EDs (As of 6/2/2017)
Part I: #20-16
(All videos linked from reddit.com/r/animethemes [except BanG Dream!] )
We start off our countdown with the ending from Episode 11 of Mikagura School Suite, a lesser-known anime adaptation of an inter-connected set of songs from Vocaloid unit Last Note. Seisa’s episode-ending ballad makes it onto this list for one particularly huge reason: This ending absolutely oozes style out of every corner. The instrumentation is low and funky with a bouncy rhythm, Saori Onishi’s vocals are smooth and silky flowing from one verse to the next accentuating the funkiness of the song, and the visuals just take it over the top. The colors are simple but vibrant and the shifting palettes between each character makes the entire ending a spectacle for the eyes. These three things combined create for an unusual spectacle of an opening from an un-assuming anime which was met with less than rave reviews.
Moving into our #19, we have what is probably the least visually appealing of the EDs that will be featured in our list. Most of the visuals for the ED are stills of the girls of Poppin’ Party in various situations, without much movement in any of the individual frames and an art-style that doesn’t stray from that of the anime itself. Where Kira Kira Datoka wins for me as an ED comes through the ED’s audio aspect. While I wasn’t a big fan of the music of Poppin’ Party featured before the premiere of the anime, this is where I began to grow interested. I adore Kira Kira Datoka as a song, the instrumentation comes off as a more driven, fast-paced variant of a lot of the music featured within similar shows and Aimi’s vocals carry the song to the next level. While its visuals may be subpar, the song is definitely what carries Kira Kira Datoka Yume Datoka ~Sing Girls~ to my #19 spot.
So, DAYS of DASH is one of two entries in my personal rankings where I will admit to not having finished the show yet. While I haven’t finished Sakurasou, I fell in love with its ending theme, DAYS of DASH, from my first time hearing it. To start, the song has the blessing of extremely talented singer Konomi Suzuki bringing one of her best performances to the vocals and delivering a spectacular song, accompanied by soft vocals that grow and explode once the chorus strikes. The ending is visually appealing to look at too, with everything but a small section on Sorata’s shirt being faded out with little color aside from the vibrant piece of shirt as each of the characters make their way through the small colored section. As the song moves into the chorus, the color floods out and accentuates the main cast as the ending moves to its close. The bubbly happiness of the vocal performance mix with the cheerful colors of the chorus to make a great feelgood ending sequence.
So, Inside Identity holds a little bit of a special place in my heart. I heard the ending long before I had ever actually seen Chuunibyou through a mash-up video, Poolside Identity | Chuunibyou x Kendrick Lamar. I was pretty quickly interested in the original song and ended up listening to it for week before eventually starting the show. Once I started, Chuunibyou quickly became one of my favorites and still hold a special place to this day. As with the second season’s ED, Vanishment This World, Inside Identity takes a harder sound than that of the show’s opening theme songs. The instrumentation features a more rock-and-roll sound with each member of the main cast exchanging verses before joining together in the chorus. The visuals have that Chuunibyou feel to them, with the elaborate costumes and imagery in force, and really accentuate and drive home the unique feel and motif that Chuunibyou pulls off so well.
Pride, as an ending, embodies everything that Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto executes well. It is loud, proud, flamboyant, overt, and it is proud of all of it. The visuals, especially in the beginning of the chorus, are flashy and over-the-top during its action sequences which act as the perfect depiction of the fast-paced and energetic mech fights featured within the show. SCANDAL delivers a performance that stands up there with one of their best. While I had heard their music before and I considered myself somewhat a fan, Pride was what really sold me on the group and got me interested in more. The vocal performance within the ending sequence is absolutely spectacular and the instrumentation doesn’t fall behind, as both combine for a fast-paced, driven rock sound that really captures the energy of what makes Star Driver stand out among the crowd. Pride lives up to its title, the entire sequence is a love song to the show it serves.