Weeaboo Wednesday: Top 10 Anime Openings
Anime openings are a very important part of modern anime. They can set the tone for the entire show, and give an idea of whats to come just through music and random scenes. They can also turn people on and off the show before they ever watch any actual content. This list contains my personal 10 favorite anime openings. I could have made it 20 or 30, but I stuck to that good old industry standard of 10, since that’s what the kids seem to like. I also recommend that everyone watch the shows listed here, as they are all, like their openings, quite excellent.
#10 – Detroit Metal City
Detroit Metal City – Satsugai
Detroit Metal City is not for the easily offended, and neither is this opening. That being said, Detroit Metal City is an incredibly funny show that I recommend everyone sees. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more appropriate opening that encapsulates the whole idea of the show. Rape, murder, violence… it’s all included in Satsugai. Of course, the point is to take the graphic nature of the song with a grain of salt; this is a satirical look at death metal after all.
Hit the jump to see the rest of the list.
#9 – Full Metal Alchemist
L’Arc-en-Ciel – Ready Steady Go
L’Arc-en-Ciel is one of those J-pop bands that every anime nerd knows. Their songs have been used in such popular anime as Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Welcome To The NHK. Ready Steady Go, their first single after a 3 year hiatus, was very popular in the J-pop scene, especially when used as the second opening for Full Metal Alchemist.
#8 – Toradora!
It’s no secret to MWN readers that I absolutely adore Toradora!. The first opening song, Pre-Parade, echoes the themes of awkwardness and silliness that the show has. The goofy music and strange lyrics go further in exploring these themes. To be honest, I was kind of pissed when I saw that the latest episode had a new opening.
#7 – Azumanga Daioh
Oranges & Lemons – Soramimi Cake
I honestly can’t count the number of times I’ve watched Azumanga Daioh. It’s strange, but the jokes and humor still crack me up every time I watch the show. The quirky humor extends to the opening, in which Chiyo dances around in a penguin costume, Sakaki gets bitten by the mean gray cat, and The Bonklers dance around with odd expressions on their faces.
#6 – Gurren Lagann
Shoko Nakagawa – Sorario Days
Everything about Gurren Lagann is huge and epic, and this intro is no exception. Sorario Days, Shoko Nakagawa’s rock anthem, is an epic song filled with a great pop-rock melody and excellent guitar riffs. This opening completely captures the feel of Gurren Laggan, with its themes of rising up and destroying anything in your path.
#5 – Mobile Suit Gundam, aka Gundam 0079
Ok, so technically Mobile Suit Gundam’s intro is not a great song, but the nostalgia and classic feel makes it awesome. After watching Gundam SEED, which is a modern re-imagining of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, I went back and found the old 0079 episodes and became instantly addicted. Every time I hear Fly! Gundam, it reminds me of what is, in my opinion, the greatest of the Gundam series.
Tsuneo Imahori – H.T.
I distinctly remember the first time I heard H.T. I saw this opening on Youtube and was blown away. The heavy guitar riffs and fast paced rock’n’roll style made me instantly fall in love with Trigun. H.T. made the show look freaking awesome without ever seeing a scene from the actual anime, so you can imagine my happiness when I actually started watching this space western epic.
#3 – Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yoko Takahashi – The Cruel Angel’s Thesis
A Cruel Angel’s Thesis is just one of those songs that sticks with you. Evangelion was one of the first anime series I ever saw, and it’s still ranks as one of my top favorites. The song was written specifically for Evangelion, and it’s lyrics exemplify the themes of the show. For example, the last line translated reads: “Young boy, shine like a legend, holding the sky in your arms.”
#2 – Cowboy Bebop
The Seatbelts – Tank!
Cowboy Bebop is known for its amazing soundtrack, which is full of jazz and blues. However, the most well known song on Cowboy Bebop’s OST is The Seatbelt’s modern big band song, Tank!. Combined with a stylistic opening credits, Tank!‘s fast paced latin-inspired jazz and technical alto sax riffs exude cool, and set the scene for Cowboy Bebop‘s atmosphere and style.
#1 – Elfen Lied
The intro to Elfen Lied is a work of art in and of itself. The scenes of Lucy and the other characters worked into Gustav Klimt’s paintings is gorgeous, especially combined with the beautiful song Lilium. A friend recommended I watch Elfen Lied because of the excellent story and large amounts of controversial content. I fired up the first episode and was blown away by the opening, and watched it several times over. I sent a quick message to my friend, asking him why he didn’t tell me about the opening. He replied “Uhh… the opening sucked. I hate that opera bullshit.”
…we’re not friends anymore.