Taku’s Top 20 Anime EDs (As of 6/2/2017)
Part III: #10-6
(All videos taken from reddit.com/r/animethemes)
Compared to the rest of my list, “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” serves as a very unusual entry to the Top 10. The biggest and most blatant reason for this would be that I have not actually finished Bakemonogatari. In fact, I haven’t watched more than two episodes of the highly-acclaimed series, for personal reasons. However, I didn’t feel right excluding “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” as it is an absolutely fantastic piece of work in both the visual and audio aspects. The visuals are striking and capture the unique style of the Monogatari franchise, with the paper cut-out appearances of a large portion of the ED and the simplistic designs. Supercell delivers one of the group’s most fantastic performances to date with an amazing driving instrumentation and beautiful piano lines during the song’s introduction. The vocals are silky smooth and flow from one line to the next and in her debut single with the group, Nagi Yanagi shows why she is one of the medium’s most legendary vocalists today.
FullMetal Alchemist is a franchise I have a lot of history with. It was one of my first anime I ever really fell in love with and it stands as one of my favorite works in the medium to this day. The Brotherhood adaptation comes with a whole slew of fantastic opening and ending sequences that makes it really hard to decide on a personal favorite. In the end, just like with the show’s opening sequences, I had to go with the show’s first ending sequence, “Uso”. SID delivers a fantastic musical experience, with a subtle, mellow instrumentation that delivers on some of the more somber tones of the early portions of the series and vocals that flow from one verse to the next and work to carry the sequence along. When going over choices for FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I particularly fell in love with the ED’s artstyle, with 99% of the sequence playing out in a style similar to that of a children’s storybook and revealing a young Edward and Alphonse drawing the sequence in the end.
(Washio Sumi Spoilers) “Tamashii” holds a tough spot on this list. If I was basing the ranking on music alone, the ED to the second Washio Sumi no Shou movie would likely be much higher on this list, as I adore both the song and the meaning behind the lyrics. However, the ending is merely the accompaniment to the credit roll for the movie, with no visual animation going along with it. Due to this, I did rank it a bit lower than I could have based on my adoration for the song. Its lyrics tell a somber, but uplifting story of the development of Gin’s character through the two movies as a whole and acts as her finale in the story. Yumiri Hanamori’s vocals are powerful and carry the listener on an emotional journey and the lyrics hold deep meaning to the story of Washio Sumi as a whole as well as Gin’s personal development. While there may not have been any visuals to accompany “Tamashii”, the song instills images of Gin and her friends through its progression.
(Chaika Spoilers) Moving onto our #7 spot, we have the ending sequence for a show that, while rarely showing up in my Tops lists, is one of my lowkey favorite anime, Hitsugi no Chaika. Chaika was a fantastic show with an amazing moody fantasy world, filled with interesting and gripping subplots and kept me hooked from beginning to end. “Kairaku Genri”, the ending sequence for the show’s first season, captures that same aesthetic in visual form with somber, haunting vocals and a hard instrumentation to capture the seriousness of the show’s plot. The sequence’s visuals are mostly kept to a darker, more thematic color scheme with magical imagery accompanying the (usually) lone Chaika, emphasizing the disconnect between her character and the rest of the world around her. The “coffin princess” group, comprised of the three different Chaikas featured during the season, deliver haunting and moody vocals that mesh perfectly with the hard guitar and synth backing to “Kairaku Genri”, making it a fantastic song both for the show and as a standalone.
It’s rare that an ED manages to hook me as fast and as hard that I will go out of my way to listen to the TV-size version likely hundreds of times before its full release. However, the ending to Winter 2017’s Gabriel DropOut, “Hallelujah☆Essaim”, managed to do just that. The visuals of the ending sequence are relatively sequel, featuring the four main angels and demons from the main cast in their heavenly or hellish attire. It’s nothing too amazing in terms of visual spectacle, but it’s a nice little thing to watch while the ending plays. However, where “Hallelujah☆Essaim” really knocks it out of the park is in the song’s music. The ending immediately opens with a grand, sweeping orchestra and choir, before the main synth-driven portion of the sequence open up with an addicting, catchy, and bouncy beat. The vocals from the main cast are quick and sharp as the angels and demons swap lines before joining together into the chorus. I’ve rarely had a chorus stick in my head as much as that of “Hallelujah☆Essaim” before and it is a fantastically catchy segment. While the visuals of Hallelujah☆Essaim may not be anything outside of the norm for its genre of shows, the music for the Gabriel DropOut ED is what makes the sequence really shine and stand out as the last ED before we reach my Top 5.