We are reaching the middle of the Spring 2013 Anime Season! It is time to look at all the best anime openings of the season and to compile them into this Top 5.
This season had some pretty solid openings. We’ve seen fiercer competitions in the past, but as you climb this Top 5 you will see that some of the top spots have some very interesting openings that are well worth the watch even if you never saw the actual anime. We also have a special horrible mention this season, because while overall the season had some great opening, there was one show who managed to outdo itself in term of how bad an opening can be. Look forward to it!
Number 5: Arata Kangatari – GENESIS ARIA by Sphere
We begin this Top 5 with a very generic Shounen opening; but shounen have such an advantage when it comes to opening themes. Even if they are hardly original, they always manage to somehow make it into our Top 5 if they just make it pretty and if the song is not half-bad. This opening might not look like anything special in terms of animation and you would be right to think so. The opening is pretty and it is able to portrait accurately the characters and the beauty of the show. It also manages to visually create a contrast between the two worlds the show takes place in; it is easy to notice when the show is entering which world by the way the art is drawn. It is interesting when a show concept can be analyzed by the opening alone; it is after all the purpose of the opening to properly introduce the feeling and way of the show, and Arata Kangatari‘s opening theme conveyed that feeling very well. Having said that, the opening isn’t anything really special; it is a generic, but well executed opening.
Then why would this opening be in the Top 5 you may ask? Well, the song is really catchy, and the first few seconds have pretty sparkles…and yes those are pretty much the only reasons. Just listen to it a couple of times and you’ll understand. This opening is enjoyable to listen to, it is catchy and gives a feeling full of energy. For those reasons, it came in fifth place of our Top 5. Although you have not to worry, every opening from here on will keep on getting more and more incredible.
Number 4: Karneval – Henai no Rondo by GRANRODEO
Karneval’s opening makes it into the fourth spot of our Top 5 and with only a quick glance at it you can already see why this opening would have a claim to this spot. The style used in the opening is something that is not seen often and it is very well done. It has a way to really express the general feeling of the show; after simply watching this opening you already feel immerse into the spirit of Karneval, especially during the very first 15 seconds of this opening. Those first 15 seconds are the very thing people see when they start the opening and it just gives you the curiosity to learn more about the show; sometimes it takes only a few seconds to make sure that everyone is all eyes and ears on your show.
The character presentation was well done and the constantly changing backgrounds to represent the different personalities, while they were nothing new, were definitively well done. The backgrounds were so pretty and the different effects mixed in were so shiny that sometimes it made the characters actually look bland compared to their surroundings. The visually impressive and unique artwork was not the sole reason for this show to get into the fourth spot of our Top 5 however; the song is catchy and is able to give a mixture of feelings between action, melancholy and beauty, which this show gives. A great match which produced a great quality opening worthy of the fourth spot.
Number 3: Devil Survivor 2: The animation -Take Your Way by livetune adding Fukase from SEKAI NO OWARI
We are already halfway through our Top 5, and the opening are already significantly richer in originality and presentation than what was shown so far. Devil Survivor 2 makes it into the 3rd place of our Top 5 with this powerful and beautiful opening. The opening has backgrounds just as pretty or prettier than Karneval and the character presentation starting at the 20 second-mark was the best of the season to me. The introductions were simple, yet effective, The amount of effects was limited, but the simple look of the character introduce made it look more professional and good looking in the end. Meanwhile the animation of the opening is really dense and complex. There is rarely a second where nothing is in motion, the opening managed to mixed a simple approach to character presentation and a very complex and expressive background and they managed to make the two match very well.
While the animation of the opening is really great, the song has some issues. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the song, it is catchy and it has a great vibe, it could have been used to make a great opening…but it shouldn’t have been used in Devil Survivor 2. The show and the song simply don’t mix well. Yet the animation works really well with the song, so I am a bit divided on the subject. Overall a great song, I just would have hope for something more serious in term of music.In the end, a third position still isn’t half bad and the show still deserve the spot. It is of such great quality that it is difficult to imagine it missing reaching such a high spot.
Number 2: Suisei no Gargantia – Kono Sekai wa Bokura o Matte Ita by Minori Chihara
We are already nearly at the end of this top 5, and this time again a high budget production will get the spot (I guess it is to be expected). Suisei no Gargantia is a beautiful show to begin with, and since the opening is completely animated just as if it were part of an episode, it easily gets top points for its first look appearance. It also scores high when it comes to the animation because not only is every second of the opening a complete animation, but it actually tells a story and introduces all the characters at the same time. The opening manages to have a narrative that displays the whole world of Suisei no Gargantia and the relationship and personality of most characters; it is pure genius, and completely gives the exact same feeling that the show does. While the “story” and animation of the opening is flawless, it is not that original. The art is completely similar to the anime itself and while it is beautiful and well done, it just lack anything to set it apart from the rest. A classic perfection is the best way I could describe this opening.
Meanwhile the song Kono Sekai wa Bokura o Matte Ita by Minori Chihara matches the animation really well. The atmosphere and feeling of the song is timed perfectly with what we see, and it helps to create the “perfection” sentiment that you can feel while watching this opening. It just feels like everything is done perfectly and that there is nothing to complain about really in that opening. The only things that could have been done better is the song itself. I feel like the song is not that great, after listening to it for a while it started bothering me more than it got stuck in my head. Sometimes there are some really shitty opening that have great song, but in this case I feel like the song wasn’t doing justice to the opening. Still, not everyone agrees with me and some people really like the song, Myst for example had the song stuck into her head for several days at some point and she doesn’t seem anywhere close to be sick of hearing it, I guess that it is all a question of preference. This concludes why Suisei no Gargantia ends up in the second place of our Top 5.
Number 1: Shingeki No Kyojin Opening Theme – Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon
We have finally reached the first position of our Top 5, and I think it really is no surprise to see the best show of the season (and probably of the year) win the award for best opening. Shingeki no Kyojin’s opening cannot be described in any way without inserting epic somewhere in the description. The animation manages to mix in multiple different style throughout the opening which control the pace of the visuals to mix perfectly with the slowly intensifying music. The music starts calm enough and slowly ramp up until the ending where the epicness reaches for the sky and blow right past it. At the beginning the visuals consist mostly of the characters staying still with few animation, and as the opening progresses the animation begins and eventually everything cumulates in rapidly changing manga frames. This gives the opening a real sense of speed and since at the same time it makes uses of multiple techniques that are all very well executed. I gives big point for this show for the visual art.
Meanwhile the music is simply epic. I think there is no better and simpler word to describe it. I could listen to this song in repetition and never get bored; it would make everything I do that much more epic. I’m currently listening to it while writing this review and it seems like every time I’m writing a letter on here my fingers are on fire and I’m doing motion that would put Light Yagami to shame. This show is already a favorite for many people and parodies are already available on the internet. It is easy to make everything and anything look epic when this is playing in the background.
For those reason Shingeki no Kyojin is the winner of this Season Top 5 Anime Opening and it sure deserves it. It is as epic as it can gets and the show is even better. (I highly recommend you watch it).
This makes it into the honorable mention for one reason and one reason only. It is the worst opening I’ve seen…EVER. Just look at this and wonder how cheaper an opening could be made and still be an opening. I mean at this point you might has well just have a black screen with some credit; at least you won’t insult all the viewers by pretending you are actually showing an opening. Oh wait – There actually is something different tosay about this opening. After a few episodes, they make Nakamura’s voice actor sing the song… And it sounds even worse than this. This is such piss poor that I would have much rather just not have it and have the show be opening-less. I really don’t see the point of having characters sing horribly and stupid still images in front of me for a minute and a half.