Photo by uwaah/flickr
By Kevin Matyi
With Spring starting, a new season of anime has started, as well. As per the previous lists, only shows in the first season with no prequels are being considered on this list, and if an opening changes throughout the season, only the first iteration is being judged.
This list does not judge the quality of the anime, only the quality of their openings.
10. Show By Rock!!
This opening is so happy that even the music notes on screen are dancing along with the beat. The music is energetic and uses several different voices, presumably the four main characters, and the animation gets the basic idea of the show across clearly multiple times.
9. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)
The opening is fairly simple and uses a lot of still images and looping animation. However, it still manages to show character’s personality quirks that normally would not be shown on a first introduction.
8. Mikagura Gakun Kumikyouku (Mikagura School Suite)
“Mikagura Gakun Kumikyoku” is different because of how much energy is in the opening. Another strength is that you can see the personalities and relationships of the main cast as they interact. The opening also makes it clear that this is not going to be normal when a flying cat shows up and one of the students is seen carrying a scythe.
7. Triage X
If this listicle was only considering the songs used in the openings, “Triage X” would likely occupy a much higher spot, and potentially even be at the top. The animation is interesting at times, such as when the secondary cast fades in to and out of focus as the main character drives by. The aspect of the show that drags the opening down is that it is blatantly a fan-service show.
6. Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium)
The opening’s music is heavily focused on brass and some woodwind instruments, mimicking the band theme of the show. The animation also shows attention to small details and very detailed instrument designs. The last few seconds of the opening also show the silhouettes of likely the entire cast, for a total of over 60 unique character designs.
5. Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End)
Every good opening needs something that makes it stand out from the crowd. For “Owari no Seraph,” this something is a great use of sound, starting with a song with English lyrics. It also has a few seconds near the beginning with very little sound and a striking use of black, white and red to catch both the eye and ear.
4. Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)
The song for this opening works surprisingly well with the subject matter. Even during character introductions, it enhances what would otherwise by simple animations. The opening also does a very good job at establishing the main character and the conflict of the series.
3. Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
This opening shines in its use of color. For the scenes in the city, most things are shades of grey, while the major characters are bright primary colors. When only focusing on the main cast, all of the colors become vibrant and appealing to the eye.
2. Kyoukai no Rinne (Circle of Reincarnation)
This is the only opening whose song could compete with “Triage X.” Outside of the music, the animation shows enough character interaction to get the personality of the two leads across very clearly, while also showing the different factions of the show and finding places to put jokes. Despite putting so much material into so little time, the opening still manages to stay energetic almost the entire time.
“Triage X” has the best song, “Hibiki! Euphonium” has the best details and “Kekkai Sensen” has the best use of color. So what makes this opening better than the rest? It tells a story. The opening shows the main cast, the conflict, the setup and how the anime as a whole is going to be unique. Any opening that can succeed in all of those areas is a great opening.