OP/ED Op-Eds: The Best of Winter 2014

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It’s the end of yet another anime season, so amidst all the final impressions, we also try to choose our favourite anime theme songs of the season. As usual, we get a wide variety of crazy songs from a wide variety of crazy shows, but to my giant distress there’s an awfully scary amount of weird early noughties synth metal. Oh my.

jel

“Overnight Appointment” by Hello Sleepwalkers (Noragami)

This wasn’t even a question. With a killer guitar riff and super stylish visuals, the Noragami OP is one of the coolest songs to open an anime in a good long while. It supports the trend of Bones creating series that feel like they were made in the early 2000s, and I am totally okay with that.

zigg

“Viva Namida” by Yasuyuki Okamura (Space Dandy)

Here’s an opening that’s as weird, funky and mixed up as the show it accompanies. Just as Space Dandy is a fusion of many different genres, so ‘Viva Namida’ blends pop, hip-hop and disco into a messy but never less than enjoyable mix, with a thumping beat that’s easy to groove along to. Beautifully animated psychedelic visuals complete the package, and we’re left with an opening that’s a serious statement of intent about the show’s dippy style.

iro

“database” by Man with a Mission feat. Takuma (Log Horizon)

This is probably cheating since Log Horizon had the same OP for both seasons, but it’s so iconic and attached to the show that I couldn’t help but choose it. Well, that and I wasn’t terribly impressed by any of the other OPs or EDs from the other shows I was watching… Look, point is, I hope that we keep DATABASE DATABASE when Log Horizon has its second season a couple seasons down the line.

aqua

“The Wind Knows” by Akai Ko-En (The Pilot’s Love Song)

I haven’t watched a single second of The Pilot’s Love Song. It’s only upon scouting for cool new bands to cover for Jukebox — which is still a thing, I promise! — that I found this beautiful song, and only afterwards I found out it was the ending theme to an anime that happened to air this season. Akai Ko-En is an all-female, genre-busting band with some outstanding talent, and “The Wind Knows” mixes a haunting piano melody with gripping guitar textures and vocalist Chiaki Satou’s — not to be confused with Kinoko Teitoku‘s Chiaki Satou — husky vocals in a song both melodic and euphoric. Sadly enough, the anime edit doesn’t include the gorgeous marimba solo, so I included the theatrical full version for your listening pleasure. You’re welcome.

marlin

“Respect For The Dead Man” by Pay Money To My Pain (Nobunagun)

Respect For The Dead Man is a lot like the show it accompanies. It’s so over the top and ridiculous that normally it wouldn’t work, but there’s just something about it that you can’t get out of your head. Style is the name of the game for Nobunagun, and the metal theme that we were given certainly does the show justice. Every E-gene holder just looks out at the audience oozing with confidence and accompanied by these stylish silhouettes of their past lives as the music blares behind them. Every time you hear it you just get energized for the new episode at hand.

gee

“Ambiguous” by GARNiDELiA (Kill la Kill)

This season brought some pretty good OPs and EDs to the table, both new and old. We had some great ones returning like the notoriously catchy “Database,” which I praised plenty in my 2013 end of year post. However for me, I have to give a shout out to the second opening for Trigger’s debut darling, Kill la Kill. “Sirius” was a rather mediocre OP, and while it did a decent job of maintaining the Kill la Kill brand of energy, it was too generic to really stand out. An anime as bombastic as Kill la Kill deserved better. Thankfully, the second half’s opening delivers with a song that really manages to create its own unique voice. Sure, the animation in the OP itself is almost nonexistent, but the little flairs it does have do it great favors. If nothing else, the two blades squishing into the Kill la Kill logo is a ridiculously stylish transition and I have to give it props.

timmy

“Tomadoi→Recipe” by Mikakuning! (Engaged to the Unidentified)

Most of the time I find my self skipping the OPs and EDs after a couple episodes into the season but Engaged‘s “Tomadoi→Recipe” was one I don’t think I skipped once this season, and with good reason. The song is all sorts of fun to listen to with its upbeat and dynamic track with the full version being even better with a fair bit more instruments and style thrown into the mix. The animation is really fun too, and I especially love the bit with them in front of the chalkboard. Its a really fun, catchy OP to go with a fun show and I think they did a great job with it.

3 thoughts on “OP/ED Op-Eds: The Best of Winter 2014

  1. I didn’t end up watching anything at all of Engaged to the Unidentified, Log Horizon, or Nobunagun, and the OP for Pilot’s Love Song felt pretty typical to me, but I really liked the Space Dandy and second Kill la Kill OPs. I’m with Jel though – Noragami is my OP winner, no contest.

    • Haha, wow that is harsh. Like I said, I enjoy the Nobunagun OP for much the same reason I enjoyed Nobunagun in general, it’s a fun, stupid piece of music that gets you in the mood for some alien hunting.

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