Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top 5 Anime Openings

For our first Top 5 list, why not begin with beginnings? Sure, okay! We hear that the beginning is a very good place to start . . .

Openings are critical to draw the viewer in and make him or her want to see more. An outstanding opening has the perfect combination of catchy music, clever credits, and awesome animation to keep us from skipping over it during our DVD viewing-marathons.

Here are our top five favorite anime openings with comments and courtesies of YouTube (no ownership or copyright claims here, just showing what's available):

#5 - Baccano!
A relatively new anime with a cast list longer than the show's death toll (poor gangster thugs), this show's opening gives a deftly woven roll call of the main players accompanied by a stylish jazz tune called "Gun's & Roses." (That's how it's spelled, too. Even so, Axl called; he wants five bucks for royalties and an apology from Slash.)

#4 - Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
We dare you to watch this opening and not get chills. Who knew flower petals in the wind could be so invigorating? Unfortunately, this magnificent opening only sets you up for major disappointment when you watch the actual show. The episodes are so stiff and sappy that it makes the 1980s Saturday morning cartoon Dungeons & Dragons look like Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.

#3 - His and Her Circumstances
File this one under "fun." The zany opening encapsulates this teen romantic comedy/dramedy with some of Studio Gainax(Neon Genesis Evangelion)'s unconventional animation techniques.

#2 - Cowboy Bebop
"Tank!" = the classic opening that exudes cool. Everyone remembers where they were when they saw this opening late Thursday nights at the dawn of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. As a testament to maestro Yoko Kanno's utter greatness, she composed both this toe-tapper AND the epic opening to Lodoss War: Heroic Knight (#4 above).

#1 - Read or Die: OAV
You only have three chances to enjoy this opening during the OAV's trio of episodes, but it's worth it! The animation is top-quality with some of the best cityscapes in any anime. No cheap shortcuts here. We get to see the main characters in original action sequences, enticing you with more story beyond this all-too-brief mini-series. (And the =ahem= shapely silhouettes displaying the credits do some enticing too.) Top it off with some funky/classy spy music and you've got a winner!

So what are your thoughts? What openings do you love? Share below!

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