Photo by gavin bloys/Flickr
By Kevin Matyi
With another round of new anime airing for the summer 2015 season, it is time again to decide which 10 have the best openings.
One small change from previous seasons is that instead of viewing the openings from whatever episode they are first shown in, this time every opening was viewed from the second episode of their respective series.
This list does not judge the subject matter of the shows, only the quality of the opening:
10. ‘Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen’eki (Red Dragon Campaign)’
This opening feels like it should have been better. The song fits the general mood, sounds good on its own and the visuals tend to be striking. The problem is that the action says very little about the show as a whole, other than that there will be conflict. After the opening, the viewers know almost nothing about any of the characters, their world or specific details about the show.
Much like “Chaos Dragon,” this opening says almost nothing about the show other than introducing the cast and showing them fight. The two differences are that “Overlord’s” song is more enjoyable and the main character looks much more interesting.
8. ‘Sore ga Seiyu! (Seiyu’s Life)’
In stark contrast to the previous entries, this opening gives more information about the characters by showing aspects of their lives. By the end, it is clear what the drive of the show is likely to be, and the characters seem to be more complex, having more than just one trait. The song is not as good as the previous entries’, but it does not detract from the rest of the opening.
7. ‘Ushio to Tora (Ushio and Tora)’
This show’s song is so enjoyable that it would probably still be on the list even without any visuals. Whoever the singer is deserves an award for his over-the-top performance. Aside from the song, the visuals are striking both in their scale and the interesting derivation from the standard anime art style, adding to the visceral feel of the action.
6. ‘Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou (Everyday Life With Monster Girls)’
The first few seconds of this opening clearly set the premise of the show. About half a dozen women, all of whom are half animal, are in love with the main character. The song is not as good as the previous entries’, but this is more than made up for with the amount of information about the show presented during the opening’s short run time.
5. ‘Kangoku Gakuen (Prison School)’
Much like with “Ushio and Tora,” this show is on the list because of its visuals and song. “Prison School” has an even more unique art style and character designs. The song is less over-the-top, but more complex and structurally sound. Based on the opening, the premise of the show is confusing and strange, but still manages to draw and keep interest.
4. ‘Himouto! Umaru-chan (My Little Sister Umaru)’
This show is on the list because of how much it reveals about the main character. The animation style and music change to show the character’s two personalities. When in private, the music is hectic and energetic, while the animation is a simple, chibi style. When in public, the music slows down and goes in to triple, while the animation is the standard anime style.
3. ‘Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!)’
This show’s song gets it on the list mostly because of how memorable it is. A week after watching the opening, you will randomly find yourself humming part of the song. The visuals of the opening clearly show the main cast, and more subtlety show extra character traits with the images on the border of the screen and the premise of the show in some of the background images. This works surprisingly well, given how important character personality and premise tend to be in the opening.
2. ‘Gate: Jieitai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakaeri (Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There)’
This show has the most interesting premise of the entire season, and shows it off remarkably well. The song is not distracting, but not particularly memorable either. The unique factor of this opening is that it shows the nuances of war. The side being attacked in the opening attempts diplomacy, and the attacking side is shown helping victims of the war.
1. ‘Aoharu x Kikanjuu (Aoharu x Machingun)’
Unlike with some previous seasons, this show is not at the top because its song is amazing or its visuals are too striking to ignore. Instead, this show combines everything more competently than any other this season. The song is good and draws the ear, but probably would not work very well outside of the opening. The visuals are eye catching, but not at the level of “Prison School.” The characters are given some depth and interesting moments, but not as much as “Himouto.” Instead, all of the elements are slightly above average and are brought together to make an opening that brings viewers back to see the show.