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So I’ve just recently finished Aria the Origination and the thing that disappointed me the most was the ending theme song. Not only was it NOT by Round Table feat. Nino, it was abrupt and in your face unlike The Natural’s. But the point of this post is not Origination, it is about ED themes in general.

I usually dont watch/listen to the full ED themes much, even if I really like ’em and despite the fact that they’re only 1:30 long or so. In the cases where I do like the ED song, I’d listen to them a few times, and look forward to when the single comes out so I can grab it -eg: Soul Eater’s I Wanna Be by Stance Punks-. Usually when I reach the ED theme, I just close the window and go on to the next show or whatever I’m doing.

Sometimes though, the ED can really hit you hard, but in the good way. The “My goodness. Natsukashii~. I love this song” way.

So let’s stick with Aria for a moment as I use that for my first example. Episode 26, the final episode. It’s one of my favorite episodes because not only was it very beautiful -I LOVE any episodes with snow- but they brought back Rainbow by Round Table + Nino. I got into Aria late so I downloaded a batch of the series. When I went to go watch episode 26, I thought there were two more episodes afterwards -because in the batch folder there were 28 files, the 26 episodes + one extra CM and a trailer or something-, and I had no idea it was the final episode when I went to watch it. So when it came to an end, I was breathless. The episode was not only visually great, it was great to hear and nostalgic too, thanks in part to hearing Rainbow again.

Hearing Rainbow, I remembered watching the first series one summer ago and all these memories of that summer came flooding back. It was a pretty good feeling, and it’s times like those that cement a series as one of my personal favorites.

But it’s not only Aria, but my favorite show of all time, Honey and Clover did the same too. Episode 13, about halfway into the series, the ED theme changed from Waltz by Suneohair to Mistake by THE BAND HAS NO NAME. Though I eventually grew to like Mistake, it did not have as much impact as Waltz.

For 12 episodes, you’ve associated their heartfelt pains with the ferris wheel seen in the Waltz ED… Then they go and change it. Lo and behold, when the last episode (24), came, Waltz was the ED theme and it was POWERFUL to say the least. Not only was I then remembering how awesome that series was mere seconds after finishing it, I will always that feeling whenever I hear Waltz -note: I’m actually listening to it right now as I write this post. I listen to a show’s OST if I write about it. I started off listening to Aria’s OST-.

So what made those songs so important to me? I guess it’s like the saying that goes something like: “You only appreciate something once it’s gone”. I disliked it when the animation companies changed it up for me, but I grew to like the replacements. Yet, NOTHING can take the place of the original.

Now I know I only have two examples. But I’m sure it’s happened in others? Anyone got any other examples? I’m drawing blanks at the moment.

13 comments to “Natsukashii~ ED Themes in Anime”

  1. Comment by EzNo Gravatar:

    Waltz was awesome. It just had honey and clover written all over it. Mistake was quite nice too, but yeah, once you’ve associated some theme song with that particular anime, accepting a new one can be quite hard. xD

  2. Comment by Baka-RaptorNo Gravatar:

    I love Rainbow. I don’t even care that it has the sissiest lyrics ever.

  3. Comment by coburnNo Gravatar:

    I’m more likely to skip the OP than the ED. With the good EDs it’s part of the experience for me to leave it playing as a kind of ambient deelie, while I readjust to real life and ponder anything that needs pondering. So it gets to be part of the experience even if I don’t like it enough to pay it real attention, a mediocre OP just sees me skip away to get to the show. I liked the first Bleach ED a fair bit, and missed it at first, but I guess there’s less of a feeling of loss with changes to style in a show like that.

  4. Comment by omoNo Gravatar:

    Half the time I comment because I have an opposite perspective, although in this case I share and agree the concept about ending songs as a vehicle for nostalgia, that it is one use of it. My favorite use is not so much nostalgia but with working off the dramatic climax at the end of each episode. Starship Operators is a good example, as well a couple episodes of Aria and H&C.

    Then again H&C was born and bred from nostalgia…from Spitz.

    But I also have to disagree:
    1. Sorry, but Origination ED is by far my favorite OP/ED of all three seasons of Aria, including the OAV. Akino Arai just blows Nino and Yui Makino out of the water. I think there’s a big difference in the emotiveness of the sounds in general and quite frankly each iteration of Yet Another Round Table + Nino Theme Song seemed no different than the one before. If you want to hedge your bets on a good song to reuse 36 episodes later use one that is more memorable please…

    I always make a point to watch the ending for Origination.

    2. Aria is not an uniform experience. There is a sense of progression and build-up. However nostalgia is part of the process to appreciate all that build-up, and nostalgia itself is a theme in the show. It is a good choice to revisit some old theme. However it also made sense to actually use something different from season to season. Season 2 was More Of The Same so it made sense to stick to the formula from season 1, but a gem in the rough can’t remain in the rough the whole time…

    Just for your reference, I don’t skip OP/EDs when I watch anime unless it’s something I hate, or when I’m in a hurry.

  5. Comment by ED Fever « Claiming Ground:

    […] ED Fever The prominent OP and ED are pretty distinctive calling cards of anime in general, and seem to play a fair part in the mystique of certain shows. As such, it’s unsurprising that when the time comes for comparing and criticizing, we hand out our imaginary awards to the best of these sequences. Which at least leads us to think about what we like in OP/EDs – and since I’m still composing my thoughts on the recently concluded Druaga and Kurenai, that’s today’s topic. And since it’s a massive topic, I decided to arbitrarily narrow it down to EDs. […]

  6. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    While it didn’t give me that natsukashii~~ feeling one of the more recent songs that had a strong emotionall impact on me was Ash Like Snow by The Brilliant Green that was the second OP song for Gundam 00. The song gave me such strong feelings of melancholy and sadness that fit the later part of the show perfectly and it sent shivers down my spine everytime I was watching the OP. Having a strong OP or ED song can really help engrave a show in your memories I think.

  7. Comment by wasdNo Gravatar:

    the only ED i willingly listen to is ergo proxy’s because it’s freaking radiohead. jpop sucks, especially the type whose singers sound like their ovaries are being squeezed.

  8. Comment by Natsukashii Anime Blog » 7 Anime openings that ROCK:

    […] Anime openings that ROCK Posted by Ten under Music, Random Taking pages out of Os and Newt, this blogger shares some of the animu world’s awesomest opening music […]

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  13. Comment by Heterochromia - Looking back at one (actually 1.5) week the blogosphere #5:

    […] response to Osu’s recent posting on ED themes, mainly Rainbow and Waltz (two of my favourites!), there is an analysis on Claiming […]

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