You may be asking why in November I am starting my top 5 for the year lists. There’s a really simple answer to that. I want to have them all finished by the end of January but with only one list coming out a week in order to get through all the top 5’s I want to do I needed to start at the beginning of November. That said, I’m holding off on best character lists until the season is almost done because I’m trying to give the Autumn characters as much time to develop and show us what they can do as I can.
Now my 2016 and 2017 lists are both available if you want to see what OP’s have grabbed in previous years though it will be fairly unsurprising to see that History Maker (Yuri on Ice) took out 2016 and The Other Side of the Wall (Princess Principal) landed a top spot in 2017. I’m kind of looking forward to when my blog is five years old and I can see the five top choices over the years of blogging and whether or not I’ve completely changed my mind.
Anyway, much like my taste in comedy, my taste in music is a little odd at times. Sometimes songs just grab my attention for reasons even I can’t explain and other times music that works perfectly well for everyone else just seems like noise to me. I think for me, what makes a great anime opening is music that gets my attention but has visuals that also draw me in and they work together to set a tone or a mood for the episode to come.
However, that more or less means my list is entirely my own opinion so as with all of my lists I welcome your comments telling me what you would have picked. So check out my list below and then I’d love to know, what are your top 5 openings for 2018?
Please Note – There probably won’t be any spoilers in this list.
Honourable mentions this week go to: GeGeGe No Kitaro, Goblin Slayer and Sword Art Online Alicization. And a double special honourable mention to Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. That opening is awesome though I’m not so sold on the visuals.
Number 5: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – Stray by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets
Now, this opening sounds fairly generic when just listened to with the audio but for this show, it works perfectly. The pace changes and the overly dramatic moments interspersed between quieter and more contemplative moments really does capture the nature of the show itself as though there was always a tug of war with the tone. I also love the way the characters are each introduced through the visuals in the opening. This actually kind of helped early in the series as a lot of the characters didn’t get a lot of screen time until later and the OP just set you up to enjoy the show and know who everyone more or less was (kind of similar to Baccano except that they don’t bother to float the character names around the screen). All and all, this was one OP I didn’t skip during the season.
Number 4: Cells at Work – Mission! Ken – Kō – Dai – Ichi by Kana Hanazawa, Tomoaki Maeno, Daisuke Ono and Kikuko Inoue
I shouldn’t really need to explain this one. With the main cast singing along, this opening is just pure fun and energy. It is impossible to listen to it and not have a smile on your face and watching the characters get up to their usual antics as they run about in the opening is a great time before the episode even gets going. This is what all OP’s should be about; capturing the tone of their show.
Number 3: Banana Fish – Found & Lost
And speaking of OP’s that perfectly capture the tone of the show, Banana Fish’s first opening Found & Lost did a truly excellent job. Despite being relatively energetic there’s some real pain and longing in the sound and when coupled with the visuals the tragedy surrounding the characters is very clear as is a sense of trying to move forward and through the situation. There are some beautiful visuals in this OP and it really does suit the show so very well.
Number 2: March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 – We of the Coming Spring by Unison Square Garden
This is an opening that made me smile each and every week but not for the same reason as Cells at Work. After two season of two cours each, this fourth OP brings so much hope and warmth to the characters while still holding onto the visual symbolism that has dominated all the openings. Wind, water, and light are used beautifully to showcase the progress the characters have made and the tone of the story and it is just a delight to listen to and watch. Of course, I’m pretty biased when it comes to this anime in general but I absolutely loved this OP. The only surprise is that it isn’t number one on my list.
Number 1: Attack on Titan Season 3 – Red Swan by Yoshiki
Seriously, even I don’t know how this happened. The first time I heard the opening to Attack on Titan season 3 my reaction was stunned silence, a head shake, and then a ‘what was that?’ before replaying it just to check that I’d heard right. Where was the dramatic tension and the terror of the titans. However, I did say that my choices are based on how well the music fits the show and having watched season 3 of Attack on Titan with its heavy focus on politics and characters and bringing all of those old secrets out into the open, reconnecting characters with their past whether they like it or not, I really feel this opening fits perfectly with what the show delivered. I do know that by the mid-season I was very into this song and found myself listening to it even when I wasn’t watching an episode. Ultimately, I just really like it and that is why it is my number one pick for the year.
Alright, over to you. What have your favourite opening themes been this year?
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