A look at some of summer ’14’s anime openings

Aldnoah Zero OP 02

Every so often, someone will ask me what my favorite anime openings are. The truth is that I don’t really care about them. Still, that doesn’t stop those questions from regularly appearing, so let’s do this… I’m going to go through some of what this season has to offer (I won’t do them all ’cause that’s just boring) and tell you guys what I think of them. In doing so, I might just give you guys an insight into how I react anime openings, and we can lay this opening question to rest for good.

Aldnoah.Zero

Aldnoah Zero OP 01

I really like how the song starts. It lends a sense of urgency to the visuals, which fittingly features Inaho and Slaine looking as though they’re preparing for war. But once the ballad part starts, the rest of the opening kind of fizzles out into a generic montage. Nothing egregious here, but nothing to write home about either.

Akame ga Kill!

Akame ga Kill! OP 01

For one of the more hyped up show this season, this opening is really lazy. For a good chunk of it, the characters strike a pose as they pass by somewhat of a transparent bar. Whatever the bar touches, the stuff behind it becomes a negative. What is this supposed to accomplish? Does it tell me anything about the show? No. Does it even look cool? No. So I don’t really get it. Eventually, we get a montage of the characters in combat. Ho-hum. The song, like most songs you’ll find on this list, is whatever to me.

Ao Haru Ride

Ao Haru Ride OP 03

It’s one of those generic shoujo openings where cute feminine things litter the screen for no reason. Cute bear thing? Sure! Nail polish? Double sure! Then everything has a slight watercolor look because gosh darn it, that’s just what shoujo anime has been for God knows how long. At one point, we even get a background of spinning jelly beans. Spinning jelly beans! What am I supposed to think? Also, the opening makes me think the heroine is caught in a tornado, because her tie is just going fucking nuts. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d make a gif of it, but sadly, you’ll just have to dig up the opening for yourself if you’re that curious. I guess my point is that the opening makes me laugh but not in a good way. At one point, the hot bishie looks positively fucking bored with everything — life, girls, family, etc. — but the girl is looks up at him like an overeager puppy. How can I not laugh at that? So yeah, I guess if Ao Haru Ride set out to make me laugh, it worked.

Captain Earth

Captain Earth OP 01

I much preferred the first opening to this one. Still, I’ve always tolerated Bones openings more than others and I’m not exactly sure why. I think Bones just tends to pick songs I don’t mind listening to as much, and that plays a large factor. And hey, Captain Earth‘s opening makes the show look exciting. Man, look at all these mechas dynamically doing battle with each other! Look at all these characters screaming at something offscreen. Man, that looks like an anime I want to watch! Too bad the actual show itself has less action than opening itself. Whoops.

DRAMAtical Murder

DRAMAtical Murder OP 01

Lazy opening. We get mostly still shots of all the hot bishies. Only the main character gets to do anything, and since this is an opening, he’s running. Running towards what? Who even knows… at one point, he enters some cyber world and starts flying ’cause running by itself is just boring. This time, the main character is flying towards a bright light. But yeah, I think this opening sucks ’cause the characters just don’t do anything. But if this is a sign of things to come, i.e. the show’s rather poor animation, then I guess the opening serves as ample warning. I’m also not a big fan of the song.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun OP 01

I think this opening is decent. I like how the characters are introduced. They start out as sketches then quickly become manga panels. Does it blow me away? No, but it’s a neat effect. The opening is a bit generic at time, especially when it has its characters just randomly walking to some location — which practically every anime opening is guilty of — but oh well, it’s tolerable. The song’s okay. It reminds me I’m not watching a standard shoujo.

Hanayamata

Hanayamata OP 01

The animation looks nice. I can’t help but roll my eyes at the girls dancing in a line, but that’s literally what the show is all about. So if I have that much revulsion to just the opening alone, then I know the anime itself won’t suit me. So the opening works; I don’t love it, but I gotta say it was effective in warning me to stay the hell away from the actual anime itself. Kudos to you, Madhouse. The song is whatever. It fits the anime, I guess.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures – Stardust Crusaders

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Stardust Crusader OP 01

Visually, I think it looks amazing. There are some really cool stuff being done here that I just can’t describe with words. It’s just too bad I don’t like the show at all, but the opening is cool. So JoJo has that going for it.

Mahouka

Mahouka OP 01

People keep telling me there’s no incest in this anime, but it seems like the number one objective of the opening — and this is the second one — is to tell me all about Tatsuya and Miyuki’s creepy relationship. Oh, they’re naked and reaching for each other. How nice. Afterwards, the opening tries to introduce us to the anime’s zoo of the cast, and because the anime has so many characters, their personalities can’t really come through in such a short amount of time. But it’s okay. If you watch the show, you realize they have no personality anyway. I mean, shit, I don’t even remember who half of these people are. Eventually, the opening opens up to some action scenes. But since the actual show itself is full of boring talk, I gotta say the opening sucks for trying to mislead its audience! Naturally, the opening comes to and end with those two creepy siblings staring at each other again. But hey, no incest!

Rail Wars!

Rail Wars! OP 01

After introducing the characters of the show, the opening then has a bunch of blue and white train models just rotating in front of us for God knows why. But funnily enough, the opening has a higher train to T&A ratio than the actual anime itself. There are random shots of buildings for some reason. I know these are important train buildings, but even if I was a train otaku, I can’t imagine myself getting too excited because I saw some random government building. Also, every time Haruka appears, her breasts just have to bounce once. It’s so stupid. The music sucks too.

Re:_Hamatora

re hamatora op 01

Man, I think the visuals are a mess. There are just waaaaaay too many things going on at once. At one point, we’re careening through a tunnel and the walls are full of clips from the actual anime itself. Even the little character vignettes are full of visual noise. As the characters stand there and pose, random patterns overlap them. I just don’t see the point. It makes me think the show has ADD. As for the song, it’s tolerable. I guess it gets the heart pumping for some decent action. Too bad the actual anime itself kind of under-delivers on that front.

Sabagebu!

Sabagebu! OP 01

I hear a lot of good things about this anime, but the first episode failed to draw me in, so I’ve never bothered with it since. The opening really sucks too. First, the girls are introduced with gun diagrams behind them. Okay. Then we see the main character run as words scroll by behind her. Words on a completely blank background, I must add. Again, it’s just boring and lazy. Then we get some close-up of guns being loaded or fired. Then finally, each girl shows up one by one, firing their gun(s) as they rotate with a completely pink and white mesh behind them. It’s literally just girls and guns. You can argue that this is what the show is all about, but at least have them shoot those guns with a pretty background behind them or something, jeez.

Space Dandy 2

Space Dandy 2 OP 01

It has style. I like Dandy’s silhouette dancing to the song as the visuals slowly scroll by. I chuckled as his tears turned into a stream of stars. Space Dandy isn’t my thing, but I appreciate the fact that right from the very start, I know what I’m getting into. I even get a feel for the main character’s personality. Maybe it’s just a reflection of how boring other main characters can be, but in a lot of other anime openings, the main characters don’t do anything but strike a generic pose. If there’s ever a time to showcase what you’re all about, however, why not in the opening? So yeah, Space Dandy 2 has one of my favorite openings of the season even if I don’t watch the show.

Sword Art Online II

Sword Art Online II OP 01

Every week, I try to skip through this opening as fast as I can because I just hate how the singer sounds. Her singing just sounds so goddamn tortured right from the very first note. Mayowazu ni imaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa~!!!! Lady, please. Still, I think it’s fucking hilarious that the opening so far has captured the spirit of the show to a tee. First, we see Kirito and Sinon looking positively bored with real life as figments of their online selves randomly appear around them. Eventually, the two of them enter GGO while the rest of Kirito’s harem are seen in ALO. And hey, that’s exactly what we see in the anime! The side characters don’t do jack shit. They just sit in ALO and talk about the main character. So I gotta commend the opening for at least capturing that. But anyway, if you can strip the song away, the opening is probably the best thing the anime has going for it. Why? It’s got all the action you’ll ever see. Go ahead. Watch the show. The superfluous sword attacks that you see in the opening are the same shit you’ll see in the anime itself, but at least everything’s condensed in the former. The latter makes you sit through episodes upon episodes of overwrought character drama before you get to any juicy action scenes.

Terror in Resonance

Zankyou no Terror OP 01

As much as I like the show, I’m not a big fan of its opening. The song does nothing for me, but more importantly, the visuals are kind of a jumbled mess.

Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul OP 01

I actually wrote about the opening in one of my posts on the show. Basically, I liked the way the opening echoed the show’s themes on duality. This is mostly accomplished through the use of mirror surfaces and reflections. Also, I like how the song starts. Then once the electric guitars come in, then it’s whatever. Still, I think the opening is overall pretty decent.

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8 thoughts on “A look at some of summer ’14’s anime openings

  1. mrfatso

    Now that u have done Opening songs, it’s only a matter of time before people start to ask u to do do ending songs as wel.

    Will part 2 feature that other mecha whatsitsname or how about hero bank, it did an okay job with introducing what is this show about and their main objective.

    Reply
  2. Ax_v

    Where’s Tokyo ESP? I know it’s just another opening where people are running and doing some skydiving, but I just noticed it wasn’t on here.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I said at the start of the post that it wasn’t going to be a comprehensive list. Some OPs aren’t worth talking about, and Tokyo ESP’s OP is one of them.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    The only show so far that I actually liked most of the openings for were Gintama. It’s mostly because of the dumb silly bullshit that they do and most importantly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. For the most part, the song selection is pretty good also. Sure, they do some cliche anime opening stuff, like riding off into the sunset, but again it’s being self-aware of being cliche. The ending credits are pretty much the same too.

    One opening that I absolutely adore is Samurai Champloo’s. While I’m not a big hip-hop and rap fan, Nujabes of course captures the whole premise of the show pretty well. It’s got a very nice aesthetic with mixing the “old” and new.
    JoJo’s manga frames are very nice too, but of course it’s already up in the post.

    As for openings I absolutely hate? Pretty much every ecchi/harem show’s out there. There are probably one or two that are semi-interesting but I can’t remember any (if there are any). Like I get it, you want to show the sexy girls and shit because that’s essentially the show, but there’s only so much that can be thrown at the audience before the tedium bleeds into the actual episode. And it probably doesn’t help when the special visuals are lazy and cheap (psst, the gratuitous amounts of T&A are supposed to take attention away from those). And FUCK, if the setting takes place ANYWHERE on a high school ie, the classroom, boom I’m gone. Great job beating on the same horse until its bones have been ground to a fine powder.
    Oh, and don’t forget the shots of each of the haremettes doing their “unique” and “characteristic” that befits their character archetype. Oh tsundere-chwan, can you get even more tsun-tsun?
    Yeah, smush your gravity-defying boobs on the MC and just in the right angle to still show off an outrageous amount of cleavage.
    Oh, and the music. Don’t get me started on the Goddamn music.

    Other than that, shounen fighters have some not so great ones. They don’t have a great track record. “Show Cast of Characters” – “FIGHT Montage (often against that arc’s major baddies)” – “Face-off between Good Guys and Bad Guys (Over-arching villain)”. Even when it’s illustrated to be epic, the formula gets worn over different shows even. The music’s pretty hit-and-miss too that I found.

    PS: Gundam SEED and Gundam:00’s openings are pretty meh themselves.

    Reply
  4. E Minor Post author

    It doesn’t matter to me how much an OP drops hints or foreshadows if it isn’t aesthetically pleasing to look at.

    Reply

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