Taku’s Top 20 Anime EDs (As of 6/2/2017)
(Video taken from reddit.com/r/animethemes)
Ah, K-On!, it was only a matter of time before you made your grand entrance onto my Top 20 ranking. It only seems fitting that the top entry on my list of personal favorite ending sequences would come from the show that introduced me initially to the concept of music anime. Without K-On!, I likely never would have discovered some of my other favorite shows like Love Live! and The iDOLM@STER and I would consider it one of the most important shows for me as an anime watcher. K-On! has held a very special place in my heart for a very long time and ranks right up there with my favorite shows of all-time, as can be seen by April’s Top Anime ranking. Arguably any one of the ending sequences from the K-On! franchise could have made its way onto this list, but “Listen!!” struck me from the first time I listened and it has completely captured me as both an audio masterpiece that captures the very best of what a Mio-led HTT has to offer, while also providing interesting and vibrant visuals to back it up. “Listen!!” has become one of my favorite Japanese songs for good reason and there’s a lot I could say about both the song and the ending sequence.
Starting right from the beginning of the visuals, we’re met with a rotating cake with the “HTT” emblem on the top as it swirls and zooms out before being met with images of strawberries and the cake as a side-profile, showing off the relaxed, carefree attitude of K-On! as a show. As the verse begins, we see a lone Mio sitting inside a small compartment within the cake, wearing a stunning black dress and hair adorned with a large red ribbon. As the verse continues, we see the full group of HTT wearing, in my opinion, the best outfits we ever see them in as they meet up with the black-dress Mio. Each of these outfits carry so much flair and personality in their design and they are really iconic and striking designs. As the group Mio extends a hand to the dress Mio, we are thrust into the song’s chorus featuring the full band playing along with the ending. The entire ending sequence is really a spectacle to watch because of the use of colors in the animation. Each different scene is vibrant and eye-catching and keeps the viewer enthralled through its unique scene transitions and interesting designs.
If I had to pick one track that I feel shows the very peak of both Houkago Tea Time’s music as a whole and also the vocal work of Yoko Hikasa, “Listen!!” would be my absolute number-one pick. I fell absolutely in love with “Listen!!” as a song and I would consider it among my personal all-time favorite anime songs. It’s a fantastic piece that blows me away not only in the impressive vocals, but also in the silky smooth and almost funky instrumentation. The song begins with an instantly recognizable and extremely memorable piano riff that still runs through my head constantly even now two and a half years after my first time watching the show. Repetition is a very common theme throughout the verse of “Listen!!”, as the first syllable of a verse will be repeated consecutively two or three times before going into the rest of the verse. The song is used rhyme frequently in its sound throughout the verses and it serves to the song’s strength, making it bouncy and catchy. Yoko Hikasa belts out some of her strongest vocal work I’ve heard and each verse seamlessly flows into the next as the keyboard dives in and out to connect lines of the verse together. For me, “Listen!!” is a very easy choice as my personal favorite song from Houkago Tea Time as a whole and it gives a big impression of how the group’s music has grown throughout the first season of the anime and into the second.
With that, we conclude my ranking of my personal Top 20 favorite anime ending sequences. At times, this was a really difficult list to put together, as I really adore a large number of songs featured throughout this list and it was hard to rank one over the other. In the end, I feel I was able to walk away from this list without any regrets. In general, I’ve found that with the endings I like, I tend to like them far more than some of my favorite openings and it shows in this list. “Listen!!” and “Hametsu no Junjou” are two songs I would consider at the very top of my favorite music to come from my adoration for anime and they deserve every bit of the spot I gave them. I hope everyone enjoyed this journey through my personal favorite endings, I certainly had a lot of fun going through it and there are a whole lot more I couldn’t even talk about. So, I’ll end this series with a short list of “Honorable Mentions”.
100% Chuugakusei – Yuru Yuri♪♪
Daisy – Kyoukai no Kanata
Honnou no Doubt – Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
Girls, Be Ambitious – So Ra No Wo To