OP/ED Op-Eds: The Best of Winter 2015

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We’re only just over halfway through this season, but I guess some people just couldn’t keep in their praise for the above pictured funky bunch, now couldn’t they? In case you couldn’t tell already, lots of people are picking Death Parade’s opening theme as their song of the season, and even more people are acknowledging they only picked something else because otherwise this feature’s be getting pretty pointless. With the addition of colons to The Glorio Blog, I’m even officially no longer the only hipster on the crew, so prepare yourself for twice the amount of pretentious technobabble you’re used to. Without further ado, here are our favourite anime songs of the current season.

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“Ano Mori De Matteru” by Bonjour Suzuki (Yurikuma Arashi)

There’ll be more than enough praise for Bradio and the cast of The Rolling Girls in this feature already – although  few repurposed themes songs have ever invoked the same manic energy and riot grrrl shine of their respective show as “Hito ni Yasashiku” – so I’ll highlighting a talent I’d love to see break out of the net label anime scene. It’s hard to talk about Bonjour Suzuki’s contribution to Yurikuma Arashi without pointing out just how eerily erotic the song itself is; from its suggestive lyrics to its sultry vocals. With her distinct husky, waifish timbre, gratuitous French and half-rap half-whisper delivery, the enigmatic singer-songwriter fancies herself a new Vanessa Paradis or Charlotte Gainsbourg, which given the somewhat questionable implications of especially the latter’s early career, can’t be anything but intentional. “Ano Mori De Matteru” is the clear result of a song being written specifically for a show by a hand-picked talent, rather than a derivative idol pushed forward by sponsoring record labels. Bonjour Suzuki  is more than just a pretty voice, she also arranged and produced the song’s wonderful music. Combining the enchanting simplicity of a music box with lush orchestration and trip-hop beats, she has created a style that fits the sensual fairytale world of Yurikuma Arashi to a T. It’s an essential part of the lesbian bear experience, but no less haunting when listened to on its own.

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“Flyers” by BRADIO (Death Parade)

This might be the easiest decision I’ve had to make in the history of The Glorio Blog. The super talented, super funky dudes of BRADIO have become a bit of a sensation with this song, and deservedly so. The triumphant brass, irresistible falsetto chorus, and scenes of the cast partying all clash wonderfully with the show’s macabre premise, immediately grabbing your attention and making you want to find out more. It worked on me at least – I wasn’t planning on watching the show until I saw it, so mission accomplished. I’ll give a special shout out to The Rolling Girls as anime covers of 80’s punk rock is one of my favorite things, but “Flyers” is one of the best OPs in years.

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“Hito ni Yasashiku” by The Rolling Girls (The Rolling Girls)

It’s always a rare and joyful moment when we get a blast of pop-punk energy into the normally predictable anime opening world. ‘Hito ni Yasashiku’ is full of marvelous get up and go attitude, with an undercurrent of scratchy rock but still enough tunefulness to infuse it with J-pop styling. Paired to a gorgeous multicoloured intro that fits perfectly to the tune, the result is a highlight before the show even begins.

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“JoJo, Sono Chi no Kioku ~end of THE WORLD~” by JO☆STARS ~TOMMY, Coda ,JIN~ (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders)

Death Parade‘s got plenty of representation already, but what about the latest in the string of JoJo‘s incredible OP sequences? This one’s got all of the same touches we’ve come to expect from JoJo OPs: great CG, a bunch of guys shouting lyrics (all three singers of the previous OPs!), and tiny details in the animation that only a manga reader would get. Top it all off with a chorus of “ORA ORA ORA ORA” and we have the perfect ending to represent the home stretch of JoJo‘s most famous story arc.

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“Headhunt” by OKAMOTO’S (Durararax2)

Ryhogo Narita’s adaptations are known for two things: Outlandish, monstrously huge casts and openings that homage Snatch so closely you’d think Jason Statham is going to pop up one of these days. Headhunt continues in the long tradition of having peoples names flung in front of their face as the camera zooms across the busy streets of Ikebukuro, and once again it’s an opening that has all the energy that one needs to get back into the best light novel series of all time. This opening has a special place in my heart for shifting into some sweet guitar riffs just as my main man Kadota gets out of his unfortunately Mahouka sided otaku van. I love the chase between Izaya and Shizuo that ties the whole thing together, and while the English of the second op made remembering names a lot easier, there is a style to the Japanese typography in this op that really blows it out of the water.

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“Hito ni Yasashiku” by The Rolling Girls (The Rolling Girls)

While the show itself is proving to be less impressive than its bombastic debut promised us, its opening has gotten no less appealing. A charming cover of an already kickass song, The Rolling Girls‘ OP is accompanied by some fantastic visuals that really set it apart from the rest of the crowd. It’s got a kind of style and flair that catches your eye immediately. Perhaps the only mark against it is that quite honestly, the original is better.

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“Seven Deadly Sins” by MAN WITH A MISSION (Seven Deadly Sins)

First thing’s first: ‘Flyers’ by BRADIO is the best OP this season. However, in favour of not parroting what everyone else may be saying about it, I’ll point you towards an opening you probably haven’t heard (because who’s still watching Seven Deadly Sins?) and is also pretty good. The English isn’t garbage, which is a good starting point, but there’s something really catchy about this song that I can’t quite put my finger on. The best I’ve got is that the chorus reminds me of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger, which might very well be the oddest thing I could say about it. It also helps me forget that Seven Deadly Sins could be so much better without the Moments of Spontaneous Fanservice™ but that’s a discussion for another time. This song is good, listen to it some.

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“Territory” by Hachioji-P (Yurikuma Arashi)

I’ve been on a bit of a Camellia/y0c1e tear lately. Call me shallow, but if your song has ridiculous sidechain compression on everything, I’m probably gonna be into it, and ‘Territory’ has sidechain compression by the boatload. I don’t want to get too much into production nerdery, but gosh darn every track is pretty much perfect and the drops are positively righteous. That snare! That bass! That arp! That snare! Those pads! Cripes, that snare! I could just die. Also, golly, it’s catchy as heck. And that bear is so into it and so adorable.

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“Flyers” by BRADIO (Death Parade)

I hate to be repetitive, but in all honesty the only winter OP/ED I have any major attachment to is Death Parade’s (well, aside from the ED to Yurikuma Arashi, and I put that down mostly to the dancing bear). The song itself is pretty catchy – I dig the funk-rock vibe, and it feels well-crafted yet fun and carefree – and it’s always nice to see some fresh blood. It’s not just about the music itself though; I also really like that the accompanying visuals don’t simply introduce the characters one by one in the usual routine, but rather appear purposefully designed to match the rhythm and general tone of the music. I don’t doubt plenty of other OPs aspire to do the same, but very rarely is it pulled off with as much flair as it is here.

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Did your favourite make the cut? Did we overlook a massive hit? Do you also point towards the sky whenever a new episode of Death Parade begins? Make sure to let us know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “OP/ED Op-Eds: The Best of Winter 2015

  1. Durarara x2 OP did not impress me much at first, but it grew on me after a few episodes.

    Though, Tokyo Ghoul has some of the best music this season. Shame the anime itself was not good enough for you guys. Here have a listen, if you don’t mind:
    -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17AQGwFVfWM
    -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtJcLWeY114 (actual ED, video’s kinda weird)

      • No matter what happens to The Rolling Girls, I owe it my gratitude for reigniting my old flame for The Blue Hearts. I had honestly forgotten about them for years until The Rolling Girls brought it all back.

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