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

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We’re back a bit earlier this season with that feature where I can pretend to write for Pitchfork again, and in grand music industry tradition, we’ll start picking the best song of the season already when the season’s still going on, just to get it out of the way before the yearly wrap-up content. As usual, songs we’ve heard before are ineligible, so quit living in that database and catch up with the times, bucko! This season has more than enough great songs of its own, including something about angels and demons being once the son of God I praised. Merry Christmas, or something?

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“Fallen” by Egoist (Psycho-Pass 2)

I’ll take Aqua’s word for it on Psycho-Pass turning into a hot mess and I’m still refusing to acknowledge Egoist isn’t just Supercell, but those things aside this is pretty cool. It’s another good showcase of songwriter ryo’s ability to smash together musical parts that probably shouldn’t go together as well as his knack for building huge choruses into his songs. It’s a safe pick from me as I tend to hand this award to ryo any time he’s up for it, but most of the time he deserves it.

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“Honō no Kokuin -Divine Flame-” by JAM Project (GARO: The Animation)

If there’s one thing getting JAM Project to do your theme guarantees, it’s that it’ll make an impact. The band more than deliver for GARO, serving up a sweeping synth-rock power ballad that effectively conveys the massive mythical weight of its subject matter. By turns epic and cheesy, it never feels anything less than impactful, and it’s ably accompanied by stunning animation that brings artistic flair to the otherwise grubby world of the Makai Knights. Shout it out to the night sky!

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“G no Senkou” by Daisuke Hasegawa (Gundam: Reconguista in G)

G-Reco is a fantastically odd show that flips between being silly and plain incomprehensible. This ED perfectly captures the anime’s sense of weird, colorful energy and overall goofiness, and is always a great way to cap off the latest episode of Belri’s baffling antics.

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“Honō no Kokuin -Divine Flame-” by JAM Project (GARO: The Animation)

A bit of a weak group of OP/EDs this season, so my vote automatically goes to GARO for its presentation. The song is the kind of triumphant “shout the show’s name” theme that I really dig, and really wish was more common these days. The animation is also in a beautiful style, with bold colors and incredibly literal imagery. My favorite part is how the zygote is animated all the way to a fetus and then we see its point of view as it literally gets born in front of us. I kind of wish there was more shouting, but the crooning in the middle works in its own way. I’ve also actually heard that the show is good! Unfortunately I’ve been watching so much stuff that I honestly have to be really picky (well, relatively considering how much I watch), so actually learning about GAAAROOOOOOOOO will have to wait.

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“Hikaru Nara” by Goose House (Your Lie in April)

Goose house are a quirky collective of always impeccably-dressed hipster friends who post often creative and always adorable covers of well-known Japanese songs on their YouTube channel every week. Aside from that, they’ve also got a few catchy folk songs of their own, with their latest ‘Hikaru Nara’ being a nice fit for a summery, melancholic show like Your Lie In April. So densely arranged with guitars, horns and pianos the seven members of Goose House aren’t even enough to cover all instrumental duties, ‘Hikaru Nara’ rides on an infectious hook, with vocal duties constantly switching between members until they tackle the chorus in unison. The lyrics take a sweeter, more poetic approach towards Kousei and Kaori’s manic pixie dream romance than the show itself usually manages to deliver, with the bullying and emotional manipulation replaced by twee lines such as ‘If we can make the darkness shine, it’ll become a starry sky”. The acoustic live version especially shows that Goose House is far too good of a band to be a mere anime song machine, so go check out their YouTube channel — Chances are likely they’ve covered another J-pop hit you love.

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“Cerulean” by BACK-ON (Gundam Build Fighters Try)

GENKAI NANTE NAI

As my previous choices for this have probably indicated, I’m a sucker for OPs with a strong vocal opening. BACK-ON returns to do yet another rousing fist-pumping OP for the best kids show around. While Try itself isn’t perfect, its opening is does an amazing job of getting its audience excited and ready for some crazy robot martial arts and extremely obscure cameos. It’s a perfect example of the exciting kids show OP to get its audience hyped for the episode, and it does a great job at it.

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“EXiSTENCE” by SiM (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

Hands down my favourite tune from this season’s anime selection. It was already pandering to my tastes with the focus on electric guitar and the stop-start motif in the main verse, but I think the reason why I can so confidently point at this as my favourite and be so sure about it is the animation. I mean, just look at it! It’s got so much flavour for the show, it’s not super gross, it teases a lot about the show without outright spoiling anything… the list goes on! I’d like to hope that viewers that don’t typically listen to music of this genre are at least tapping their feet to it.

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Did your favourite make the cut? Did we overlook a massive hit? Does shouting the name of the show make your OP automatically better? Make sure to let us know in the comments!

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

  1. I don’t like the show itself and stopped watching it after the first handful of episodes, but the OP for Your Lie in April is indeed fantastic – if it’s purely a fall season thing, that would surely be my own nomination. It’s just got such an infectious energy about it that I couldn’t help but be instinctively hooked.

  2. Is it me or was 2015 the hardcore/screamo OP year? I loved the Bahamut OP. The only redeemable thing about PP2 was the OP and ED.

    • Yep, and I loved it! I’m a Fear, and Loathing fan anyway, so both the Sengoku Basara: Judge End and Parasyte OPs are great for me, and of course there’s Bahamut, too. Would love to hear more next year!

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