By Kevin Matyi
Now that the fall 2014 anime shows have had a chance to establish themselves, which had the best openings?
Note, sequels such as “Log Horizon 2” and “Chaika the Coffin Princess: Avenging Battle” and continuing shows like “Akame Ga Kill!” and “Naruto Shippuden” were not considered for this competition. Also, if an opening is like “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” or “The Unlimited- Hyoubu Kyousuke” and changes as the show progresses, then the changes were not factored into this list.
The main draw is the narrative of the opening itself. It manages to balance two stories at once, while keeping a cohesive flow. Unfortunately, the song is not very memorable and doesn’t distinguish itself from the crowd.
9. “Amagi Brilliant Park”
What pushes this show above the general masses is the second half of the song. It suddenly goes from bland and forgettable to energetic and catchy, with the park itself gaining energy and life from the change.
8. “Terra Formars”
The visuals were mostly black and white with the screen constantly shaking. The song fit the visuals by adding chaos and intensity to everything. It was an opening that was teeming with energy.
The music rises and falls with the action. The animation of the opening conveys that this is the kind of fight that’s going to be massive in scale, even though we’re only following a few people. Unfortunately, it seemed like it might devolve into pointless fan service at any time.
This opening has so much narrative that it could almost tell a story on its own. The song used is not a typical opening song either. It is more akin to background music in how it is used to accentuate the images and animation.
5. “Trinity Seven”
One of the best features of this opening is that it fits a huge amount of character information into its visuals and is aided by the music, which is fast-paced and syncopated. This adds to the energy, forcing the animation to keep up.
4. “Sanzoku No Musume Ronja” (“Ronja, Daughter of the Bandit”)
The soft, peaceful melody fits perfectly with the child, Ronja, running and exploring the beautifully-detailed forest. It’s simple, but works extremely well.
The synthesized sound helps to create an alien-feel, even when the opening is focusing on the humans. By the time the aliens show up, the electronic sound has been replaced by screaming, making everything feel more chaotic and giving horror to the creatures. The visuals do much the same, starting out fairly normal with hints of strangeness, growing darker and more distorted as the aliens become more prevalent.
2. “World Trigger”
The song is what makes this opening amazing. Its energy is infectious, the pace fits the animation perfectly and the electronic sound of the voice goes along great with the computer-generated visuals. It still works with the fast paced lyrics.
1. “Ookami Shoujo To Kuro Ouji” (“Wolf Girl and Black Prince”)
I want to make one thing perfectly clear before I say anything else. I hate this show with every fiber of my being.
However, the song is so good that I would actually expect to hear it on the radio instead of as an anime opening. It has a catchy melody, high energy and a strong beat to keep everything going. The visuals clearly tell you the kind of show that you are getting into. The metaphors and character interaction between the male and female leads, as well as the two major supporting characters also add to the opening. It even manages to sneak in a few character development moments, which is exceedingly rare for an anime opening.
So why do I hate this show so much? The basic premise is that the female lead, Erika, needed to get a fake boyfriend, Kyouya, to impress her friends. In public they keep up the act of being a loving couple. In private it’s an abusive relationship, with Kyouya “taking advantage of [Erika’s] weakness to treat her like a dog,” according to the show’s summary on AniList. To make things worse, this show is supposed to be a comedy. To reiterate, I hate this show in its entirety and wish that I didn’t know it existed. Do not give this show your time or attention.