Taku’s Top 20 Anime EDs (As of 6/2/2017)
Part VI: #3
(Video taken from reddit.com/r/animethemes)
It’s no secret that I am a very big fan of the Love Live! franchise. The characters are memorable and relatable for me, I connected with the themes and ideas the show pushes throughout, and I was completely drawn into the fandom through the music and the seiyuus. Love Live! is a very major part of my life today and I wouldn’t be the same person without the franchise. So, it only figures that Love Live! is going to rank highly on many of my personal rankings and my top EDs is no different. “Donna toki mo Zutto” has actually dropped a bit on my rankings since the last time I ranked, but it stands to this day as one of my absolute favorite ending sequences in anime. It’s a sequence that holds a lot of meaning for the franchise and it has one of my very favorite songs from the discography of μ’s in “Donna toki mo Zutto”. There is a lot about the second season’s ending sequence that I really love in both audio and visual elements, so let’s not waste any more time and dive into why I think Donna toki mo Zutto is such a great ED.
Starting with the visuals of “Donna toki mo Zutto”, artistically, it doesn’t stray far from the series as a whole. It has the same cutesy, bright and colorful style that Love Live! carries throughout the entire franchise and into the Sunshine spin-off. The sequence opens with a set of legs running along the tiled pathway, eventually being revealed to belong to Honoka as she meets with Umi and Kotori. As the rest of the cast is introduced, with the first years leading into Eli and Nozomi and finishing with Nico, you can get a glimpse of each character’s personality through their movements and facial expressions. Switching scenes, we see Honoka atop the famous steps of Kanda Shrine with birds flying into the distance and leaving behind the feathers that are symbolic to the Love Live! franchise. The song’s chorus follows suit with other Love Live! EDs with the cast singing and dancing along to the music with feathers falling from the sky and a different member of the cast catching a feather in each episode, depending on who the episode was focused on. There are a lot of things that hold symbolic to the series that are presented within the visual sequence, like the feathers that carry throughout the entire series and follow the maturation and growth of μ’s and eventually carry into Aqours. At the very end of the sequence, a wide-shot is shown of the water-marked “μ’s” on the rooftop, drawn by Honoka that holds symbolism to the nature of μ’s within the series. While they won’t be around forever, the memories they create will last even after the water dries and evaporates.
Moving into the audio section, Donna toki mo Zutto, as I mentioned, is one of my absolute favorite μ’s songs, sitting in my top 3 alongside songs like “Yume no Tobira” and “Angelic Angel”. The piano intro that bleeds into the sequence from the end of the episode preceding it is instantly memorable and recognizable to the ear when it begins. As the strings come in, the voices join, sometimes in harmony and sometimes on their own, and the song has a bouncy, upbeat and uplifting tone to it, promising a bright tomorrow and giving off a very hopeful and promising tone. The chorus is extremely memorable for me and I’ll often find myself humming it at random as it is an absolute ear-worm and the kind that will get stuck in your head for days. “Donna toki mo Zutto” is one of the very best examples of μ’s at their strongest, with its orchestral accompaniment driving the song and the vocals keeping up with a cheerful and catchy melody.