Well, this is it. The twelfth and final part of the Twelve Days of Anime Series for 2013. Working on these has reinvigorated my aniblogging juices, so I guess the project did its intended job. I hope everyone who is reading has enjoyed consuming these posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them and thinking about them. Here’s wishing you all the merriest of Christmases and hoping that 2014 is as good a year for anime as 2013.
Now, here’s numbers five through one of my favorite OPs/EDs of 2013.
Disclaimer: these selection do not necessarily represent how I feel about the actual shows to which these OPs/EDs belong.
5. Samurai Flamenco ED 1
Song: “デートTIME” (Date TIME) by Mineral Miracle Muse
It’s raining shapes! And eventually, candy. This ED spends its first half displaying shapes strictly organized in rows and columns. Suddenly, about halfway through, the shapes break free from their structures and begin to rain down upon the Flamenco Girls. It’s a neat little sequence. I like its color palette and the way the ED sticks to it (until the end). The MMM track is one of my favorite J-pop tracks of the year as well.
4. Planetes OP
Key Animation: Eiji Nakada, Eiko Saito,Hisashi Saito, Masahiro Awao, Shou Matsui, Takahiro Kimura, and Takashi Hashimoto
Song: “Dive in the Sky” by Mikio Sakai
This OP inspires me. It absolutely makes me want to go into space! With its diagrams, test flight videos and milestone pictures, I feel like I’m inside a space-nerd’s head and can feel her desire to go to the stars. Then, at 0:41 when light from the sun bursts into your field of vision, Sakai begins to sing the chorus and the OP begins to feature more of the show’s cast of characters. Now, I want to get inside the heads of these people and see space through their eyes.
3. Zetsuen no Tempest ED 1
Director & Storyboards: Kotaro Tamura
Song: “happy endings” by Kana Hanazawa
What a beautiful song for an ED. Something about this song is so imminently listenable. Hanazawa provides a stellar performance here, making the end credits essential viewing each week. Her delivery is breezy, but there an undercurrent of longing that gives the ED commonality with the show itself. In terms of the visuals, I am reminded a bit of the Samunenco ED. The visual design features mostly white backgrounds with objects outlined in oranges, purples and greens. The full-color images spliced into the video also lend a nice touch.
2. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure ED
Director: Yasufumi Soejima
Song: “Roundabout” by Yes
“Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there.” I struggled with whether or not to make this my number one. In the end, I chose to give it the slightest bump down, but, trust me, this is a fine, fine ED. “Roundabout” is an awesome song, and it fits right in with the schtick that Jojo’s so effortlessly does. I love the way the episode cuts to a black and white image, then transitions to the ED. I love watching the blood work its way through the maze to reach the mask. I love how the ED footage evolves as the show progresses. I love everything about this, and any other year it would probably be the winner.
However, the winner is…
1. Shingeki no Kyojin OP1 (aka Attack on Titan OTOP)
Director: Daisuke Tokutsuchi
Song: : “Guren no Yumiya” (紅蓮の弓矢) by Linked Horizon
Again, I thought about putting Jojo’s ED here, but this OP would not be denied. Out of all this year’s OPs and EDs, this is the one I watched the most. It doesn’t get much better than 0:47-1:07. I could watch that shit for hours (and have in several occasions). Now, I may have listened to songs from others more than Linked Horizon’s epic rocker, but, when it came to experiencing the totality of one of these, I went back to Shingeki‘s again and again. The music and footage sync together perfectly. In fact, whose bright idea was it to get a new OP anyway? I don’t get it. Sure, there is the short term gain of commissioning a new song, but that approach stymies the possibilities of building brand recognition. “Guren no Yumiya” could have been Shingeki (and vice versa) now and forever! Ah, what could have been…
Thus ends Twelve Days of Anime! Thanks for reading! We now return to regularly unscheduled programming.