Canne’s Ten Favorite Anime Openings

Favorite Anime Openings represent many things about one’s taste, personality and probably one’s level of elitism (>_<). This post in directly triggered by Caraniel’s post on the same topic. I am not saying ‘inspired’ because this kind of post seems to be more or less obligatory for any blogger. I have been planning to do this for a while and thanks to Caraniel, I finally sit down and do it.

The chosen OPs displayed here are not perfect because I am not looking for the perfect OP. Instead, the ones I choose are those that strike me the hardest and have left irremovable impression in my mind. Looking at the list, it is all too obvious that I love new-age, classical and electronic music. But actually, I love any kind of music as long as it sounds unique. On the side note, I deliberately leave out Last exile, Eden of the East and Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex’s OPs because you can listen to them in Caraniel’s post.

Here’s the list arranged in alphabetical order.

1. Cowboy Bebop the Movie: Ask DNA by The Seatbelts

I always feel that Yoko Kanno’s musics are so diverse in style. They constantly give me surprise and Ask DNA does so as well. The music is fun, playful and solid at the same time. The animation sticks to basic black and white depicting daily activity of normal people, letting the music dominate for a while until the very last scene in which Spike stands on an empty street. It is simply awesome.

2. Daughter of Twenty Faces: Kasumi by 369 miroku

This one sounds generic and quite subtle at first but after repeated listening and paying more attention to the lyrics, I just cannot get over it. The song talks about the longing and the search for someone important which matches perfectly with the anime. I also love how the animation plays with lines and shadows making this OP the best part of the show.

3. Elfen Lied: Lilium by Kumiko Noma

Do I have to say anything about this one anymore? I don’t think so. The music breaks my heart every single time I listen to it and the animation is breathtakingly beautiful.

4. Ergo Proxy: Kiri by Monoral

This OP is all about building the atmosphere and it succeeds on that part without any doubt. The OP is depressing, sad and it deftly obscures the lines between sci-fi and fantasy. Ergo Proxy wouldn’t be able to achieve what it has without this brilliant OP.

5. Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Link by L’Arc-en-Ciel

‘Link’ is straightforward and blunt. The animation is very simple with images and texts. But it is also extremely fun to watch thanks to the way the images and texts move around the screen in the same pace as the song’s rhythm. It helps the viewer recall the original series and successfully rekindle the need for more of FMA.

6. Gun X Sword: GUNXSWORD by Kotaro Nakagawa

GUNXSWORD is unique with the combination of western feeling, exciting beats and chants. The animation also shows creativity by hiding the characters who are not yet introduced in the shadow and revealing them when they appear in the show.

7. Infinite Ryvius: Dis by Mika Arisaka

Dis display the power of the singer and nothing else. The animation sequence is generic with various characters showing up one by one. But the shear power of the song keeps it ringing in my head all the time.

8. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom: Karma by Kokia

This OP is one of my absolute favorite! As I have told you before, I am weak against chants and chorus. Karma pierces me with Kokia’s haunting and sad voice. The sequence with Zwei running and struggling while the female characters of the show, all masked, loom in the background subtly represents the anime’s main storyline; Zwei is helpless and he is manipulated or affected by these women.

9. Read or Die the TV: Opening theme by Taku Iwasaki

Contrast to Infinite Ryvius, the looks dominates the sounds in R.O.D the TV’s OP. With flashy editing and constant insertion of nude women and their painted bodies, this OP is already unforgettable. The music helps add the ‘spy flick’ feeling to it and the end result is the OP unlike anything I have seen before.

10. Tsukihime, Lunar Legend: The Sacred Moon by Toshiyuki Omori

Most OPs try to impress the viewers with movements and exciting sounds. Tsukihime does the opposite by emphasizing on the stillness and slow motion. Consequently, I was totally absorbed by this OP. Honestly, Tsukihime’s OP is far better than the anime itself.

I had fun making this post because I got to listen to all my favorite songs again. This post has already paid off before it was published.  Feel free to share your opinions here :)

32 responses to “Canne’s Ten Favorite Anime Openings

  1. Daughter of Twenty Faces is high on my To Watch list! As for my favorite openings…every time I try to come up with a list I end up with about 20 candidates and can’t cut them down to just 10. But maybe I’ll give it a try at some point. For some reason I disliked the Elfen Lied opening, I’m not sure why but I really couldn’t stand watching it. On the other hand I liked Tsukihime and Ergo Proxy a lot. Also overall I was disappointed by Toradora, but I really liked the opening.

    • Maybe opera music is not your style? Lilium is indeed very unique compared to most other OPs.
      A warning: Daughter of Twenty Faces is not as good as the OPs suggests. Speaking of which, I have been working on this anime’s review for over a month now. I should finish that soon . -_-‘

  2. 20 Faces OP was good until they started adding cheesy sound effects to the whole package. The OP was just fine on its own so I have to wonder why they added such an unnecessary accessory to the option.

  3. Interesting choices. The Ergo Proxy OP & ROD-TV OP is making me want to watch those two now! The only one I had on my shortlist was the Phantom Requiem OP – its gorgeous.

    Oh, and you’ve spelt my name wrong :lol:

    • Gomennasai for mess that up. *bow* I’ve fixed your name now :)
      ROD is very entertaining but Ergo Proxy is kind of hard and depressing like the OP suggests.

  4. Ah the Bebop OP. Good selection, though I haven’t seen all of these. Tsukihime OP, love that one.

    Also, just dawned on me that the first FMA had some really awesome OP/ED songs/sequences. :)

  5. Neat list, I might have to make my own soon, heh. Thanks for sharing.

    The R.O.D. TV opening is really cool, though I’ve always preferred the OVA opening sequence. Ergo Proxy is one I hadn’t seen in awhile, but that’s a great pick. How was the series?

    And yay for someone who at least liked something about the Tsukihime anime! I enjoyed it, though I’ve only played a little bit of the game so I can’t compare the two.

    • Thanks!
      ROD OVA’s OP is also great. In fact, it sounds almost identical. I guess one can easily switch between the two.
      Ergo Proxy is one bold anime making. It was hard to get through but it eventually paid off.
      Tsukihime…sadly, the music is its only strength.

  6. Ergo Proxy has one of my favorite OPs ever made. God I want another season.

  7. Kiri is a damn good choice, if I ever considered making a list like that – It would be there for 100%. Nothing is as atmosphere building as that one, not to mention awesome track I can listen to endlessly.


    Other than that, I know only FMA Movie OP (Which is really nice, but still I liked ‘Again’ more :3), and Karma – also great but I wouldn’t indlude it as it stands on the second place for ‘Best Atmosphere Building Theme’ and Kiri is not going to let the 1st one go easily.

  8. “Link” by L’Arc en Ciel for the Conqueror of Shamballa opening was my intro to loving J-pop music – seriously. Like you said, how the music was coordinated with the images of the characters flashing across the screen just enraptured me. I was fairly new to anime at that point and I remember thinking, ‘what is this stuff? this is incredible!’ :)

  9. Some of these are also my favorite OPs. Tsukihime and Ergo Proxy especially. The sequences are all very nice too. ROD has a very James Bond feel to it. Ergo Proxy has a very powerful bleakness. Great selection!

    • Thanks!
      When I think about ROD’s OP, it does resemble James Bond theme but it does not resemble any other anime OP, not that I can think of :)

  10. Good OPs, Phantom and Ergo Proxy are probably the ones that stand out most to me in that list.

    I find that I usually like the OP to the series if I find the actual series good as well.

  11. Very interesting list there! I was half expecting Cowboy Bebop to make an appearance. I just did not think it would be the movie and not the series OP that caught you ears:)

    I seriously did not remember Infinite Ryvius’s OP being in English! Listening to that series again really brings back memories. Just like a lot of old animes I watched a while back, seeing it makes me want to pick it up and watch again. Maybe I have to convince my brother to watch it and do a marathon session with him:)

    Do you have any OPs that with the sheer power of nostalgia alone can threaten to crack your list? Mine’s definitely Doraemon. Such classic should never be forgotten:)

    • Though I did not mention Doraemon’s OP, it was still very important to me. The OP might not have strong emotional power like the ones listed here but it had nostalgic power; a portal to all my fond memories. ^^

  12. bleach opening theme are the best :D and BECK OP really love it.. ” HIT IN USA”

  13. Pingback: Koji Oe’s Ten Favorite Anime Openings « クロス† チャネル

  14. Oy, I’m way late on this, but I wanted to throw in the OP for Toradora. Seeing the picture of Taiga, I thought it might make your list.

  15. i absolutely loved Ergo Proxy and Kiri. Epic series and awesome OP. Personally i prefer Tank! over Ask DNA…. glad to kno someone else likes RoD’s OP~

  16. My absolute favorite emotional anime opening is Vampire Knights’ season 1 opening. I think it’s called “Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi”, I’m not sure. Anyways, when I was laying in bed after I watched the first episode of Vampire Knight, I couldn’t get the anime opening out of my head. The song kept repeating itself, and the animation in the opening only amplified it. I love that opening. It’s so emotional.

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