We are more than halfway through the season, and it is definitely time for us to take a look at the Top 5 Opening Themes of this Spring 2014 Season. We had so many good and great openings this season that it turned out to be really difficult to fit only 5 and to decide which ones were the best opening. The competition was ferocious and do not take it personally if your favourite opening isn’t on there; just assume it was the next one on the list (it really wasn’t though – you have terrible taste).
Number 5: Sidonia no Kishi – Sidonia by Angela
We love Angela here at 0-gate, so it really comes to no surprise that we would have once again an opening using one of her songs get to the Top 5 of this season. This opening didn’t only make it up here on preferential basis though; it really deserved it. To begin with, the music selection for the opening is both powerful and beautiful at the same time. The song is super epic and fits really well with the “survival” and “duty” theme of Sidonia no Kishi, and the small techno vibe to the sound also worked well with the sci-fi genre. All in all, everything sound related for the opening of Knight of Sidonia is simply perfect, from the theme to the timing of the song with the visual montage. If it was not for a major flaw, this opening could have been in the second place of this Top 5.
Yet nothing is perfect, and this opening is guilty of reusing scenes from the show. As far as I could tell, not a single frame of that opening was original, and everything was re-used from the first few episodes of the show. This unfortunately makes the whole opening feel much cheaper than it should; although everything else was so perfect that it is disappointing to know that no efforts were made to create original content for the opening. For this reason, Sidonia no Kishi falls to the bottom entry of our Top 5 Opening of the season.
Number 4: Hitsugi no Chaika – Darakena by Iori Nomizu
Onto the 4th place of our Top 5, we already have something good enough to be worthy of winning the last Winter Top 5. We have a ton of great openings this season, and Hitsugi no Chaika has one of the best among them. It is a great example of what makes for impressive opening themes. It has a solid song and original animation that covers the whole opening without any simple pictures or long drawn out shots. There is constantly something to see and the video works well with the chosen song. This might be an example of what an opening should be, but it is not a perfect one either.
The major problem with Hitsugi no Chaika‘s opening is how unimpressive it is both visually and in term of the story and character presentation. The character presentation is uneventful and rather generic: we see them swing weapons a bit and fight as shadows, but the animation looks rather weak and doesn’t really give a good impression of who the characters are and their personalities. This is why that despite being an amazingly well executed opening, Hitsugi no Chaika didn’t make it farther than the fourth position of this Top 5.
Number 3: No Game No Life – This game by Konomi Suzuki
No Game No Life is the show of the hour this season; it is incredibly popular, and doesn’t lack reason for it to be. The quality and intensity of its opening is just as great as the show itself. The opening has nice transitions between rapid and slow paces which follow very well the song that plays with it. The character and universe presentation is great in the opening, and we really get to immerse ourselves into the fantasy world and the grand conquest at hand.The characters are presented with emotion and are expressing their personality and purpose clearly. With only the opening, one could be able to give rough description of the personalities of the characters and get most of those right.
There is really no negative to this opening; in a better world it would have been at the top of this list, but unfortunately No Game No Life was too “ordinary” in its lack of flaws. It followed the norm and although it came up with something amazing, there were some even better openings out there for this season, leaving it sad and lonesome at position No. 3 of our Top 5.
Number 2: Gokukoku no Brynhildr – Brynhildr in the darkness -Ver. Ejected- by Nao Tokisawa
We are already at our second position of our Top 5 and finally we get to see those anime openings that manage to be even better than the best. We really value originality and uniqueness in our openings, and this is the main reason why Brynhildr in the Darkness made it so high up our list. The opening is very different than the norm in many ways. First of all, the character presentation is done in a fascinating fashion as we see the characters both in their living and dead form, with only a sweep of dust separating both sides of their existence. The opening, just like the one of No Game No Life previously, manages to define its themes, concepts and characters very clearly in the 90 seconds of the opening.
The one major element that definitely put this opening apart from convention is the choice of music. Anime openings usually use certain types of music for certain types of shows, but Gokukoku no Brynhildr instead decided to go with dubstep, of all possible choices. It is not the kind of music I would expect in my anime opening: there is no singer, no lyrics, just an electronic beat. This is something which I never witnessed before, and it was done very well. Despite all prejudices against dubstep, it is difficult to dislike the choice of music for this opening and it is because of that ballsy choice that it made it as the second best anime opening of this Spring 2014 Season.
Number 1: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders – Stand Proud by Jin Hashimoto
Having a feeling of Déjà Vu? It seems that every time Jojo is on air, it monopolize the top spot of our opening themes every time. The show simply has this weird style to it that makes it look so unique, and the animators put so much effort into the opening that it is very difficult to ignore its originality and quality. The animation is fluid, the songs are well done and there is just so many little details that make their opening incredible that it would be impossible to name them all in this paragraph.
While I must admit that this opening is by far the least interesting Jojo opening I’ve seen so far, it remains so much better than anything else which aired this season that it still manages to snap the first position of our Top 5 despite the extremely fierce competition we had this time around. With this we conclude our Top 5, where the five anime featured definitely deserve their fame and greatness as they were picked out of all the other amazing competitors.
Ping Pong the Animation – Tada Hitori by Bakudan Johnny
While definitively not as good and great in quality as our other competitors, we wanted to feature this opening of Ping Pong the Animation because of its originality. It was quite different than what we usually see and had a really creepy feel to it which made watching the opening quite interesting.