I love anime openings. They are cool and most of all, visually astounding. Some of them at least. There are always hits and misses when it comes to anime openings, but if you end up watching the opening sequence every time while watching a series, you can most likely count that as a good opening (unless you are just too damn lazy to skip it). A good opening theme may be enough to make a good opening, but I like to watch some nice visuals while listening it. This is my Top 10 anime openings.
#10 - Black Lagoon
What can I say about this opening? It has kickass music and some nice visuals to match it. Red Fraction is to this day one of my favorite opening songs. Visually, it’s nice to watch, but lacks the power. Instead it just decides to show us some random screens and lets the music do all the work. Luckily the screens they show are at least artistic, otherwise it wouldn’t be here on my list. I found it especially funny that they chose to censor out the gunshots. It always reminds me of the stupid censoring of some animes, to make them more kid friendly. Poison suction cups anyone.
#09 - Naruto (2nd opening)
Ah, Naruto at its finest. When things were still fresh and the new, and the goddamn filler episodes were unknown to us. Well, for me at least. Naruto's first opening wasn't really a good start, but its second attempt hit a jackpot. Awesome rock gets you pumped up and the visual introduction of the other main characters make it hard to skip it every time you start watching some Naruto. It’s especially pumping when the visuals match the thumps of the music, making it even more of an adrenaline rush.
#08 - Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (1st opening)
Some people may prefer the opening of Second Gig, but I'm going to go with the first one because of its different and rather unique visual style. Inner Universe is an excellent song with an awesome chorus. It’s also one of the few opening themes that are actually not in Japanese or English. That gives it more unique feel and a gives it a longer lasting impression.
#07 - Lucky Star
This thing caught me off guard when I first saw it. While some animes don't even include an opening until after the first episode when they have already hooked us in, Lucky Star made no attempts to hide its craziness. When I first saw it, all I could think of is WTF. I kid you not, I had to turn down the TV, so that no one can possible hear the weird shit I’m watching. There is only one word you can use to describe this opening - RANDOM. And later, when I started to notice that I actually liked this weird ass opening, I felt embarrassed and told no one. Until a friend told me he liked this opening as well. Talk about an opening that really sticks out.
#06 - Code Geass Season 1 (3rd opening)
I’m sure some of you don't even know or remember this opening. I can't really blame you, since it only appears in the last two episodes of the first season. I actually had to scroll through all episodes until I found this opening. But it was well worth it. While it's not visually really impressive, the opening theme song totally makes up for it. This music is so kick-ass that it could make anything on screen look awesome. This music is my all time favorite and I don’t think I'll ever get tired of listening it.
#05 - Soul Eater (1st opening)
From the first two seconds it's obvious that we are dealing with some awesome stuff. With a unique visual style, Soul Eater opening is a nonstop stuff-coming-to-your-face joyride that keeps you staring the screen until the end, with awesome music pumping you up as you go along. The music itself is not that good, when played alone, but the visuals that match it in the opening give it so much more impression that it’s one theme that is surely stuck in your head for awhile.
#04 - Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
This seems like a really tasteless opening, but when watched with the context in mind, it gains whole new level of awesomeness. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is a weird-ass black comedy and this opening really shows it. It's like a guilty pleasure watching this opening. With somewhat "shocking" images coming forth, you start thinking: "should I be watching this". But when you bear in mind the sort of anime this is and the style of humor is harbors, it makes a whole lot more sense. Either that or I’m just a closet pervert.
#03 - Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
It still haunts my dreams, turning them into nightmares. Higurashi was something I was not expecting when I first saw it. One minute it's all cutesy and funny, the next someone gets their head cut off. The extreme contrast of the two themes intertwine together in this anime so well that even it's opening will eventually haunt you. The first 15 secs is slow anticipation of the horror that slowly creeps up and then, BAM. The music is by far the spookiest in anime ever, and coupled with the dark and twisted scenes in the opening, Higurashi won't be leaving your mind (nor mine) any time soon.
#02 - Ergo Proxy
Now this is an anime with so many references that one could even write a thesis on the images and their symbolic meaning appearing in its opening alone. I’m not joking, there is like a million things that could be symbolically referenced with this opening. With such an artistic style that even still images look like paintings and with the fact that everything is constantly moving and twitching in this opening(even the credits), this is as close as possible to pure visual art. Oh and if that's not enough, the awesome opening music escalates the experience to a whole new level. One must be cautious though, this is an opening that you really have to "watch" in order to get it.
#01 - Silver Fang (Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin)
I’m sure many people will not understand the reasoning behind having Silver Fang (or more commonly known Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin) on top of my opening list and I can perfectly understand why. It’s not as great of an artwork as Ergo Proxy nor is it visually as astounding as Soul Eater, or even as memorable as Lucky Star, but what it does have beats all of that. It has nostalgia: the power of time and memory. As we all know that animes/movies/games you’ve seen or played as a child have a special place in your heart, no matter how stupid or bad they actually were. Silver Fang has that place in my heart that cannot be replaced by anything ever again. All I need is that shooting star in the beginning of this opening and I get goosebumbs.
Sure, as an objective point of view, Silver Fang has no place in the top 10. But this is not an objective top 10 list; it’s my personal view and opinion. I’m sure that those of you who watched Pokemon or Sailor Moon as kids have a special place in your heart even though the rest of us know they weren’t that good of a series. Also, considering the fact that in Finland, we didn’t have anything else with such deep emotional scenes and music as Silver Fang in our childhood. That makes it have more of an impact to us. I know I’m not alone at this. Everyone I know here in Finland knows and remembers the Silver Fang theme (apart from the older generation). You can type hopeanuoli (the Finnish title of Silver Fang) to Youtube search and you get loads of covers made by Finnish people of this song (or the death of Riki theme). I don’t know any other theme that has had such an impact over a nation.
But enough of my rambling. That was my personal Top 10 Anime Opening themes. Thank you for reading and if you actually managed to read all of this and not just look at the entries, I compliment you. I’m not really a good writer, but I’m satisfied with this article and happy if anyone else finds it a nice read. Remember that this is my personal opinions and if you think some entry should be here, most likely I haven’t either watched it or found myself in a disagreement with you.
- Mark Lair