Tuesday’s Top 5: Opening Themes in 2018

Tuesday's Top 5

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.

Cells at Work Episode 7 Red and Platelet

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.

Attack on Titan Episode 9

Alright, over to you. What have your favourite opening themes been this year?

37 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Top 5: Opening Themes in 2018

  1. I LOVE Banana Fish’s opening and the new ones also are great too. AoT3 really kind of threw me off but it grew on me with the tone of the season.

    1. Yes, I also really like the new Banana Fish opening. It isn’t quite as memorable as the first one, but still a pretty good match for the show.

  2. I didn’t watch any of those shows, so I’ll have to look at those vids later when I have time. My favorite OPs so far this year (keeping in mind that I haven’t actually watched that many new shows) have been for Encouragement of Climb 3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGJUjfy_rJw) and Hi Score Girl (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wew9zHCJYyI). Both of them give a really effective feel for what the series and the main characters are like in their short space of time. I’ve liked Bunny Girl Senpai’s OP too, though I’ve only watched the first arc so far so I haven’t totally absorbed it yet.

    1. Bunny Girl Senpai is a great song. As I mentioned in another comment it didn’t end up on the final list because I’m not a fan of the visuals that go with it.
      Thanks for sharing your picks.

      1. Hmm, it’s really hard for me to say… Attack on Titan season 3 opening is definitely up there, but I’m not sure if it’s number one for me. I do like the opening songs for Ace Attorney and Middle Manager Tonegawa from this season, but I’m not sure if those are number one either. Ah, it’s hard…

        1. I know. It is hard to remember all the openings for the year and then to decide which ones you liked the most… I think shows that come out later in the year have the advantage here because they are fresher in your mind.

          1. Exactly!! I’m struggling to remember what came out last season, and if that season was part of 2018 or end of 2017! I do agree that the newer season’s stuff get picked more for sure.

  3. The ones I should remember from this list are Banana Fish and Cells at Work…but nope, they’re not reminding me of much.

    Can’t really remember any 2018 OPs off the top of my head except Braver from Angolmois, Shiny Days from YuruCamp, Flashback from Kokkoku, Get Into My Heart from Tsukumogami Kashimasu and Stereo to Monologue from Double Decker. (The only thing they have in common was that they were all saved on my Spotify playlist so I could access them quickly.) I’d need to listen to all the OPs I watched the shows for again to pick some serious contenders…keeping in mind a song I really like can be attached to a show I didn’t really care for (I do seem to recall liking the ID-0 OP back in spring, for instance), that’s probably a job for December.

  4. I really liked the Overlord III opening song, although the opening itself wasn’t that amazing. I haven’t actually seen a single opening from your list though!

    1. Fair enough. I think that’s why I like these sorts of lists because they’ll vary greatly depending on what people have watched for the season.

  5. I’m with you on Cells… Not so much on Titan. The style of the song and the OP sequence itself are just at such jarring odds with the show. (That’s all from your list that I watched.)

    I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, but if “Girls are Alright” isn’t my #1 pick it would certainly be in the top 5.


    1. That is a fairly quality opening. I didn’t end up following the show so that’s why it is absent from my list but it certainly is a solid opening for the anime.

    1. I know, they take awhile to grow on you each time because each opening so far has been quite dramatic in its own way, but usually by the mid-season mark you can see how it works with the show.

  6. Glad to see someone likes Red Swan, for an Attack on Titan opening theme. Feels like it’s gone unnoticed since people were like “if it’s not Linked Horizon for the opening theme, it’s not an AoT opening theme.”

    1. You can kind of see where they are coming from if you look at the show as a whole. It was a very different choice for an opening theme. I think it worked, though I did mention at the start of this post my taste in music is a bit odd sometimes. Still, it ended up being the theme song I most remembered and I certainly enjoyed it throughout its season.

    1. I think that’s why I liked it. It was different from the previous themes but then the season felt different from previous ones as well and while at first it was an odd fit by the end of the season I really liked it.
      Still, I can definitely see where you are coming from.

        1. I still haven’t written my final season review but the more I think about it, the more I think season three is my favourite so far. It just kind of hit the points I had really been wanting and I really enjoyed it.

          1. I msut admit, it took me a little while to get used to it, due to the early lack of human vs titan action, btut he story was such that it really drew you in and started to fill in some blanks.

          2. It did take awhile before Attack on Titan season 3 actually had titans, but I think it allowed for some fairly interesting world building and character development.

          3. Which is definitely important. You can only survive on hints at things for so long, so to move things forward the way they did was a good move.

  7. Okay: two things happend while I was reading this post:
    One: OMG I completely forgot about Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. As you know I loved that series, but I was watching it just before I went on my hiatus. And I am not even kidding when I am saying that I completely forgot about it. So…this one serves as a great reminder. Actually…this has now become the second series of my new feature 😊 (I had planned on Captain Earth..but I just don’t have time for 28 episodes this month)
    Second: I also have an odd choice in music, pretty much the same as in my comedy 😂😂
    As for your question: I’m going to go with Bunnygirl Senpai. I just love that song, and it’s been my favorite of this season (closely followed by Cells at Work, because that song is just so much fun…and like you said brings a smile to my face every time I hear it😊😊).
    Great post! 😊

    1. Bunny Girl Senpai is enjoyable to listen to. I less like the visuals, or maybe it is that first shot of Sakuta running where he seems to not be getting anywhere that just kind of rubs me the wrong way, but yeah, there’s just something about that…
      Still, it really is a great song for the anime and I do enjoy listening to it each week.
      Also, glad you remembered Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens because that is one anime that is seriously underappreciated. It may not be perfect, or even close, but it certainly was fun.

      1. Haha…yeah..Bunny Girl does seem to have trouble with characters running 😂😂 They never seem to be able to get anywhere 😂
        But definitely it’s a terrific song 😊
        I honestly can’t believe why I totally forgot about that one. I think it’s pretty much been that the Hiatus was such a hectic time, that I just blocked it all. Glad to have remembered now though. And as you say it’s highly underappreciated as well as not really well known I think either (seeing as it wasn’t covered on many blogs), so…perfect for volume 2 of the best/worst anime you might never have heard of 😊😊

  8. Don’t worry, mine is weird too. And, lol. It’s now blocked at my school cuz the website name has anime in it. Bút I can still read and comment on the WordPress reader.

  9. Only have seen the first two, but they are certainly good picks for this 🙂

    I have no idea what I’d put down for mine at the moment. I’d need to listen to some again.

    1. Yes, I’d been noting OPs I’d liked down all year but when it came to making this list, I was struggling to really remember the details of some. I went back and listened to all the ones I’d noted before deciding on what would make the final cut.

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