Taku’s Top 20 Anime EDs (As of 6/2/2017)
Part II: #15-11
(All videos linked from reddit.com/r/animethemes [except Persona 4])
It’s quite fitting that Haifuri, while not being featured within my Top 15 anime, would make its way into both my Top OPs and EDs ranking. The show was an absolutely great surprise for me and its two main themes were absolutely wonderful pieces of both music and animation. The visuals for Ripple Effect are much simpler than its counterpart in High Free Spirits, but go with the calming melody of the song for a beautiful combination. The visuals feature the members of the main cast in a watercolor art-style that looks really good and goes well with the sing-song lyrics brought by Luna Haruna. The trumpet-driven instrumentation complements the smooth flow of Haruna’s melodic singing and make the ending a really soothing wind-down after a particularly intense episode of Haifuri. The ending also has one more spoilery use within the series that fits the scene to a T and really does a great job of conveying said scene’s emotion.
Madoka Magica is a very special anime for me. It was the show that brought me into the medium as a whole back in 2014 and it still stand as one of my favorites to this day. Connect worked its way into my Top 20 OPs, so it is only fitting that Magia would make its way onto the Top 20 EDs list. Magia is a moody, breathtaking fantastic sequence that symbolizes a major turning point in the progression of Madoka Magica. The visuals are dark and moody, accompanying the overall feel of the series, as a silhouetted Madoka runs against a dark backdrop past the silhouettes of the other main members of the case. To speak of the absolutely spectacular vocals of the ED wouldn’t even to begin the masterful performance Kalafina delivers. Yuki Kajiura and Kalafina outdo themselves once again with a deep, striking vocal performance that stands out with the somberness that the orchestration sets up. Magia is a piece of work that deserves much more analysis than I could give it in such a short period.
Speaking of personal bias, we come to the first ending sequence to the anime adaptation for my recently new favorite game of all-time, Persona 4. I absolutely adored both the game and anime adaptation for Persona 4 and it carries with it the same level of quality and love that made Persona 4 so special. This extends to the music as the opening and ending sequences for Persona 4 the Animation has a set of fantastic OPs and EDs and really either ED could have made this spot. However, I ultimately decided on Beauty of Destiny for its more moody, driven rhythm, letting Hirata Shihoko’s heavenly voice carry the musical aspect as the ending sequence is a simple animation of Persona cards falling towards Yu Narukami. “Beauty of Destiny” is one of the more under-stated ending sequences on my list, with a lot of quality and care going into it from the crisp yet simplistic animation to the fantastic musical accompaniment.
Oh, JoJo, where do I even begin with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure? What more fitting ending could there be than a sequence filled with Aztec imagery accompanied by one of the greatest songs by classic rock band Yes. I will admit to quite a bit of personal bias towards this ending in particular. Before I ever even started watching anime, I loved classic rock and Roundabout was one of my absolute favorite songs. It is a fantastic piece of music and deserves every bit of the legacy it has in the rock world. JoJo’s has a trend of using classic songs for its endings, with Walk Like an Egyptian, Last Train Home, and I Want You being featured in the endings for later seasons. However, Roundabout was the one that started them all and at the same time, stands as one of my favorite songs to come out of the 1970s. Roundabout has gained massive notoriety in recent years because of the “To Be Continued” memes that have taken rise in the wake of JoJo and for good reason, as it is an absolutely spectacular piece of music.
Rolling Girls was, for many people who watched it, wholly underwhelming as a whole. Though I personally appreciated the show as a coming-of-age story for the four girls of the main cast, the series after Episode 3 is notably different than how it would have seemed from its initial episodes. What doesn’t change throughout the series is the fantastic musical accompaniment throughout the series, with several classic Japanese rock songs covered by the main cast. Among all of the great tracks featured in the series, Rolling Girls’ ED “Tsuki no Bakugekiki” is the one that stands out for me the most personally. Poppy, upbeat guitar drives the song forward with a fast-paced energetic drumline giving the entire song an uplifting and catchy tune. The vocals themselves aren’t exactly as high-flying as the instrumentation that accompanies them, but they have a more mellow sing-songy flow that smoothly transitions between different sections of the song, giving it a flow from one portion of the song to the next without having sharp contrasts between verse and chorus. The visuals are simple but share the same flair of the series, with each member of the different arcs being featured in colorful drawings similar to that of a storybook.