As the Summer Season is ending, I’m in the middle of ranking my favorite opening and ending songs and their music videos for the next Tuesday Tunes entries. I do this at the end of each season, but I thought today I’d talk a little bit about openings and endings and what they mean to me. (Though from here on out I’m going to say OP and ED. Just because that’s so much simpler. XD )
I general pay attention to these few things when it comes to them, especially the OP: the song, the animation sequences, and how well they work together to create an emotion. We all know a good OP when we see one. Just above is the the classic first OP from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Most of you didn’t even need to click on it to remember how awesome it is. Attack on Titan’s first OP is another classic. This music video is an adventure all on its own.
These two are classics for a reason. The animation is timed perfectly to the song, making it hard to look away; the song itself stirs some type of emotion in you as you watch whether about the characters or the story. With FM:B, you should feel the angst of the brothers predicament and life, while with AoT, you should feel the desperate determination of humanity wishing to survive that titan invasions.
For me, the most important thing a OP or ED needs to accomplish is be memorable. If a melody and its visuals can get stuck in my head, and then pop up out of nowhere in my head later on, my entire mood can change and I’ll be drawn back to a hopefully powerful, impactful story. That’s what makes it powerful.
An OP doesn’t always have to to represent the anime well to be good either. I know that might bother some people, but again, for me, if it’s a dope song with stunning visuals that I can remember easily when I can’t be watching anime, that’s a great opening for me. Just being lots of fun is important too! 😛
This year’s Death Parade is a great example of a misleading but incredible anime OP. I’ve yet to see another OP the past year even come close to matching it. And haha, you’d never know this show is all about death and judgement with lots of gross crying. XD
As for EDs, they’re also powerful, because they can help ease you back into the real world as an episode or show ends without being too harsh. But if they’re awesome songs doing their job right, they might actually cause the opposite effect and keep you watching! One of my favorite anime EDs of all time is Free!‘s, because the song was hypnotizing and the visuals created a great parallel comparison to how our MC Haru felt about water and swimming! I always wanted to watch the next episode after getting hyped by the song!
The cool thing about an ED is that they don’t have to be as visually stimulating as the OP’s to be just as memorable. Often times they’re simpler with a stronger focus on the song than the animation, bringing out the emotion of the show or a specific character………… OR sometimes the cast of characters all come together and just dance some choreography together because that’s just…that’s just always so much fun. XD Here’s a famous one; you’re welcome, Hahuri fans.
For some reason I’m personally more focused on the song choices for EDs and how they stand on their own, than I am for OPs. While I like my OPs to be unified and a well-made package, sometimes all the ED needs is a darn good song and I’m happy. Like the first ED for Nagi no Asukara (a show I desperately need to finish.) That song is so mesmerizing all on its own.
Gah, just wow. I love OPs and EDs. They’re pieces of my favorite anime that I can actually pocket on an iPod and take with me wherever, reliving adventures and emotions and stories whenever I want. That’s power!
Well, what do you guys think? What do you think openings and endings bring to the anime table? What’s most important about them to you? What is one of your favorites? I’m looking forward to sharing my favorite OPs and EDs of this past Summer Season with you!