Taku’s Top 20 Anime EDs (As of 6/2/2017)
Part IV: #5
(Video taken from reddit.com/r/animethemes)
(POTENTIAL HAIKYUU SPOILERS) And so, today, we begin our dive into my personal Top 5 Anime EDs. There’s been a lot of amazing selections up to this point and we’ll kick off the Top 5 with a bang by featuring a show that recently skyrocketed its way, with a leap even higher than Hinata’s, into my favorite shows of all-time: Haikyuu!! I had originally started watching Haikyuu!! long ago when /r/anime held a rewatch leading into the show’s third season, but I was unable to keep up with the rewatch and it fell by the wayside. Finally, off heavy recommendation from several friends, I finally made right and watched through the series last month. I was in for an absolute surprise as I was met with a show filled with intense and hypey matches, deep and interesting characters, and tons of amazing themes and character stories that tugged at the heartstrings. Of course, with such a great show, it was accompanied by some absolutely fantastic opening and ending sequences that made it hard to choose just one. However, “Mashi Mashi” came in with the show’s third season and captured me immediately with simple but really pleasing visuals and a ridiculously catchy song to go along with it.
From a visual and animated aspect, the ending sequence to Haikyuu’s third season is relatively simple. The ending features a horizontally scrolling stylized panorama of all the members of various prevalent teams throughout the series, such as Aoba Jousai, Nekoma, Shiratorizawa, and eventually the Karasuno gang. While it may be simple in terms of animation, the visuals of the ending and the featuring of all the different teams means a lot in terms of the development of the story to that point. Season 3 acts as the culmination and the big “final boss” of the Miyagi prefecture in Shiratorizawa. The ending does a lot to accentuate this by showing all the different teams Karasuno has played against and interacted with throughout the course of the series. By giving all these other teams their spotlight, it highlights how far the young members of Karasuno’s volleyball team have come over the course of the series. Karasuno has come a long way since the show’s outset and “Mashi Mashi” seems intent to remind viewers of the long journey they’ve gone on alongside the “clipped crows”.
Moving on from the symbolism of the visuals, I can’t sing the praises enough of “Mashi Mashi” as a song. I’ve had some experiences with NICO Touches the Walls in the past, through their work in FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and earlier in Haikyuu. However, I would personally consider “Mashi Mashi” the best song I have heard from the group. The ending sequence begins with just the sound of vocalist Tatsuya Mitsumura’s voice and an acoustic guitar to accompany him. As the song progresses, the rest of the band begins to join in and Mitsumura’s silky smooth voice is put on full display. The lyrics of “Mashi Mashi” speak to the drive and ambition of the members of Karasuno and all the high schools featured within the series, as they speak of facing whatever challenges may lie ahead and trusting in your own beliefs to fight for your own dream. It’s the perfect companion to the cumulative look-back on the long, eventful journey of Haikyuu!! that the visuals express. Beyond the meaning of the lyrics, the song itself is just plain catchy. It’s got a bouncy, fun, and uplifting nature that gives a great sense of relaxation and enjoyment after a tense and suspenseful episode.