Reflecting on the 100 Worst Anime Openings

100 Worst Anime Openings

K at the Movies had a great idea – though one that probably cost them a lot of time and effort – to rank the worst anime openings of all time and to collaborate with a large number of bloggers.

The project completed I am now reflecting on the experience of being involved in such a large project.

Admittedly, I actually did keep an audio recording of my reactions while listening to and ranking the majority of the anime OP’s on the list and I intended to put together a podcast with some of the highlights. Turns out, listening to and discussing that many songs left me with a lot of audio and to be honest I haven’t had the time to go through it and put together something cohesive.

I’ll get there.

Anyway, if you didn’t get to see the finished project when it came out early in June you can check it out on K’s blog or on YouTube. I’ll try to embed here and we’ll see if it sticks. But seriously, go visit K’s blog as they put a lot into this project plus have links to all the ‘experts’ who contributed to the voting and ranking of these songs.

100 Worst Anime Openings Of All Time!

Anyway, even though we ended up with a list of the 100 worst anime openings, we actually listened to and ranked about 150 different openings. I ended up breaking the play list into batches because after about thirty openings they all kind of started blending and I found my attention wavering and giving lower scores more from fatigue than actually disliking the song.

While we were allowed to score things using part numbers (so 1.5) I stuck to whole numbers between 1 – 10 because otherwise it may have taken literally all year for me to have gone through this list and actually scored the openings.

Weirdly, I only gave 6 anime openings a score of 1 and looking back now I’m pretty sure all of them deserved it though if I had to personally choose the worst anime opening from the whole list I’d probably give it to Honey and Clover. I actually had to double check that I’d opened the right link because I just couldn’t believe that was the opening.

My reaction to watching Honey and Clover opening - nominated for worst anime opening of all time.
What is this that I’m watching?

I was far more generous with scores of 2 with 20 anime openings earning this fairly low mark. Usually that meant I couldn’t stand it but I suspected that someone, somewhere might have appreciated something about the anime opening. For me, the squeakiness of the Squid Girl Opening had me wanting to exit out of that video fast and yet I was committed to listening to the whole song for each of these prior to giving them a ranking.

Unsurprisingly I ranked a lot of the anime openings on the nominated list at 3, 4 or 5 out of 10. It was after all a list of anime that people had suggested were the worst anime opening so it really isn’t surprising that the majority of my scores fell below the half-way mark. Though, that said, a lot of the songs were tolerable even if not actually enjoyable.

K actually calculated each panel members average score and mine came in at 4.3 with a whole pile of decimal places after it.

I did however give two anime openings on this list a perfect 10. They were both anime OP’s I’ve loved forever and I was kind of surprised to see them even nominated for a worst anime opening of all time list (though given some of the discussions that were had in the chat, clearly musical taste is highly subjective).

The first was Elfen Lied. I know it isn’t exactly a boppy dance number but it perfectly fits the anime and it stands out from the crowd. Besides I love creepy horror openings and endings and Elfen Lied kind of fits that group nicely.

Wolf's Rain nominated for Worst Anime Opening? I don't think so.
This may be one of my favourite OP’s of all time.

The second was Wolf’s Rain which is an anime opening I’ve always loved. From the opening lyrics to the grey visuals and emotional tones, I think it is perfect and it really fits the anime.

That said, I won’t argue with people who don’t like these openings. I’m well aware my musical taste is a bit off to begin with and sometimes odd things catch my attention sometimes while other songs pass almost without notice.

Anyway, I want to thank K at the Movies for inviting me onto the project. I hadn’t done something like that before and I certainly didn’t realise how much of a time commitment it was going to be and I didn’t even have to find the songs or put the video together afterwards. But it was great chatting with the other panellists during the week we were listening as we all kind of scrambled to get finished.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

15 thoughts on “Reflecting on the 100 Worst Anime Openings

  1. Interesting. I’ll have to watch this later when I have the time.

    Off the top of my head I can’t think of any anime OPs that I outright disliked. I know there have been a few, but since I always skip OPs that I don’t care for they don’t tend to stick in my memory. I do agree with you on not being the biggest fan of Squid Girl’s, though I didn’t completely hate it either. That was more like the kind of OP I’d watch once at the start of a viewing session and then skip over for the rest of the night (though frankly I was never able to sit through more than two episodes of that series at a time anyway, and I didn’t finish it).

    1. It is an interesting watch and looking at the different scores people gave is kind of intriguing. K’s follow up post was also worth the read.

  2. Context or not, I found it painful to my ears. Thank god for the skip button! >.<

    Truth be known I tend to skip OP themes unless they catch me in the first few seconds or I know the artist. Rare examples are the Bleach theme tunes – they picked a number of cool tunes for their OP/EPs. 🙂

    1. That is one I appreciate because it grew on me while watching the anime. If I listened to it without that context I might agree with you.

  3. Unless I missed them, neither Elfen Lied nor Wolf’s Rain made the top 100? Neither of them deserve to be anywhere near such a list. And Elfen Lied is iconic and obviously influenced other opening such as Sora no Woto’s.

    I tend to like the weird ones better than most. I love the openings for Denpa Onna or Kill Me Baby, and find them perfect for the respective show. Similarly, I think the Mushibugyou opening is a perfect fit for the show, with the too-fast song and the non-professional sounding vocals. Similarly, Seton Gakuen. And so on. A lot of those openings represent their shows really well. I mean Kill Me Baby gives you an entire chuunibyou story in the opening…

    The Honey and Clover opening I found pretty puzzling when watching the show; I guess it’s an alusion to them being in an art school? I’m fine with the song, though.

    Similarly, I don’t particularly like the Brynhildr in the Darkness opening, but I’d say it’s actually pretty fitting for its show and has enough of a tongue-in-cheek feel for me to sort of work.

    I also found that I rank openings differently depending on whether I’ve seen a show or not. I tend to relate the opening to the show, and even if I like nothing about it, I tend to respect the opening more if I feel it fits. (Example: the Tokyo Ghoul opening. I don’t like it, but it’s okay for the show.)

    I found surprisingly few here genuinely bad.

    1. It is definitely true that even a ‘bad’ song can grow in you if you like the show and feel the songs fits in some way. I definitely found that anime songs I were already familiar with had a higher score?

  4. Thank you, thank you I am beyond flattered and enjoyed this it was great to see. I’m glad to see you and a lot of people had fun with it. Thank you for being a part of it, I mean I had a good chunk of people already on board with discussing it in the JS discord, but you and Irina were both the first two people I asked to bring in.

    You’re both incredibly busy and doing great stuff on your own but I wanted there to feel that there was a good deal of community representation. I think I value your opinion as do a lot of people around here, and you’re someone who has distinguishable taste that you’d add a unique contribution and voice to the cast. Asking people was a mix of distinct character, representation of trying to get limit genre bias maybe even gender bias a bit, and dependability that I trust them reliable communicate and do what they need to do. So good on you for being all of that though personality quizzes in the past tell me I’m not the best of reading people to a T.

    So thanks again, it was a big get to get someone who’s earned such a larger audience and is respected so much by their peers to collab/cameo in my small time nonsense. Very grateful to so many willing people join me for something like this, I know I’m not the most noteworthy blogger around maybe I’ve been crafty and innovative and friendly enough to earn the spot I’ve carved out for myself.

    Sorry for putting Elfen Lied on the list, it’s probably one of my favorites OPs ever, but I put it on their for science. I talked to a good 1/3 of the panel and there was a lot I was confident would not be rated so low by majority some of those being: Another, K-on, Parasyte, Lucky Star. Enough people in forums and anime discussions throw them out that a larger sample size most likely would have seen them on ballots and it was nice to prove that “popular” bad isn’t as bad as “bad” bad. I don’t know because some times you never know, I threw in Dinosaur King just from looking up 4Kids dub openings and I though it was funny and very “4Kids” and I didn’t think it would be bad enough to make it but… I was wrong.

    We’ve all been questioning Iniks for putting up Wolf’s Rain and whatever vendetta he has again it.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but thanks again and If that podcast happens I’ll be sure to give a listen but this was a cool read so thanks for writing it.

    1. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Though he really does hate Wolf’s Rain’s opening for some reason.

      If you are ever doing another project like this hopefully you’ll ask me because I did have a lot of fun with this.

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