7 Anime openings that ROCK

Posted by Ten under Music, Random
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Taking pages out of Os and Newt, this blogger shares some of the animu world’s awesomest opening music evah.

Okay. Maybe not. But still, they rock.

Never mind the animation sequence. Sure, they are shiny, and they set the tone of the show. Forget that. We’re here to focus on the music tracks.

From bubble gum to punk, from instrumentals to alternative, anime openings are dime a dozen. Most are crap. A few are true gems. Some are forgettable competence. Some are catchy as hell. And then some are musical head-turners, pregnant with unidentified emotion, where one delves further to unlock its mysteries. This is not that list. With a notable exception, I listen to these tracks while I sit back, relax, and enjoy a cold bottle of beer. Think bars with live bands.

Mood and personalities direct our responses to otic preferences. What I enjoy listening while driving differs from the work playlist or from gym music. Keep in mind, what works for me may not work for you.

Tracks are listed in no particular order. More after the jump.

1. Nantoka nare (Furuido): Akagi

Let’s start with the notable exception. Notable, in the sense that this is not merely a track relegated to background noise to sooth one’s stress.

Nantokanare, roughly translates to “I’ll manage”, gives the impression of indifference and cynicism. Yet the riffs and vocals convey misery, grief, and the unidentifiable emotion I mentioned above. Raw and unpolished, Nantokanare is one hell of a song. Arguably, it is one of the best tracks to grace anime haven.

I skip a majority of opening sequences. Yet with Akagi… Never.

2. Zen (Attack Haus): Otogizoushi

Tabibito yo… The only line I know in Attack Haus’ Zen. But I always blast the volume up when my player hits the track when I’m driving.

3. Red Fraction (MELL): Black Lagoon

My favorite Engrish openings evah. The vocalist rocks.

4. 19sai (Shikao Suga): xxxHolic

A toss-up between Boogiepop Phantom’s Yuudachi or 19sai, the latter won.

Dark, provocative, and sensual, 19sai is simply irresistible. Lost somewhere in the metaphor of transformations, sexuality, black swallowtails, and lusts, it sealed my love for Mr. Suga.

Two words: Awesome stuff.

It’s official music video contains potentially disturbing images for young minds and some adult. Truth be told, I liked the concept of the MV. Yet the actors involved seem too green to actualize the intense scene.

5. My-pace Daiou (Manzo): Genshiken

I so want to attend a live performance of Manzo, except I can do without the succint directions for the audience members. I find structured responses too unappealing.

Musically, My-pace Daiou sounds like a song from a friend’s friend’s garage band. Loopy, dorky, and funny.

6. Yuragu Koto Nai (Naomi Tamura): Getbackers

Nailing tough vocals, Ms. Tamura deserves applause for this track. It manages to be catchy, appealing, and fun, despite its ballad-y lyrics.

For fun, here’s a nice cover. And the girl is even slouched down while hitting those high notes.

7. Shell (Bana): Witch Hunter Robin

Sixteen seconds into the Shell, Bana enraptures listeners with her intense vocals. A glorious mix of melodious vocals, guitar riffs, and compelling drum beats, Shell impresses grief, longing, and pain that a lyric translation seems redundant.

It’s a thing of beauty, really.

Honorable mentions:

* Cautionary Warning (John Sykes): Black Heaven – disqualified for being a John Sykes song.
* Duvet (BoA): Serial Experiments Lain – disqualified for not being Engrish.
* Unlimited (Nanase Aikawa): Samurai 7 –
* Asterisk (Orange Range): Bleach

11 comments to “7 Anime openings that ROCK”

  1. Comment by SasaNo Gravatar:

    disqualified for not being Engrish — hahaha! I think BoA really is actually good. Same for “Girls on Film”, the Speed Grapher OP.
    Honestly, I was so surprised when you brought up “Nantoka nare”, that’s just wow. I really thought nobody knows and cares of Akagi, much less its opening. O.o

    Hm, what are noteable OPs for me, let’s see. They are mainly aimed at women/girls (Honey & Clover, Simoun, Karekano), or comedies and slice of life (Kyou no 5 no 2, Ichigo Mashimaro, Hidamari, Patalliro). Or jazzy things without vocals (Cowboy Bebop, Baccano). Or slow songs with a calm singing voice (Spice & Wolf, Allison & Lillia). There are too many songs I like, ugh O.o

  2. Comment by kiwiishNo Gravatar:

    FYI, Duvet was not sung by the Korean BoA, but by a British band of a similar name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%B4a

  3. Comment by TheBigNNo Gravatar:

    You neglected to mention “King Gainer Over!” from Overman King Gainer.

  4. Comment by Baka-RaptorNo Gravatar:

    19sai is an all-around fantastic intro. Great song, great visuals, and each scene contains a spoiler-free reference to the series.

  5. Comment by L-chanNo Gravatar:

    How could not one of OP’s 8 great openings not be on that list? I would think that Believe or Kokoro no Chizu would be contenders! (actually I’m just now beginning to like Crazy Rainbow Star)

  6. Comment by TenNo Gravatar:

    @Sasa: No qualifiers for Nantoka nare. It is just one awesome song. Loved that track ever since I heard. And Akagi is also a favorite of mine. I’m glad that someone’s also familiar with that show. Too under, erm, watched.

    @kiwiish: Oh, thanks for the clarification.

    @N: Apologies. ;p

    @Baka-Raptor: I love that intro. But Shika’s music vid was surprising to me. No subtleties there, so unlike xxxHolic’s OP animation.

    @L-chan: Sacrilege, I know. Hee. But truth be told, ‘We are!’ is my favorite OP, erm, OP. Oh, and have you heard the Straw Hats version. Loved that one. =D

  7. Comment by OsNo Gravatar:

    Ahhh, Bana and My-Pace Daiou brings back nastukashii memories. I was watching bana on regular television and Genshiken was one of my favorite series way back when -it still is, it’s just not better than H&C now-. I tend to listen to anime OPs more just because I’m too lazy to get up and move the time marker on my video player. I appreciate OPs more than EDs.

  8. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    I’m guilty of skipping a lot of openings too but I too listened to each and every one of the Akagi and Witch Hunter Robin openings. Those two songs somehow carried such strong emotions that fit perfectly with their respective show. I still get shivers whenever I hear Shell and think of the melancholy feeling I had when I was watching WHR.

    The OP’s that usually stick with me are the ones that manages to catch the feelings and emotions I go through when watching a particular show. A good example would be all of Eureka 7’s OP’s and ED’s. I listened to them every single episode because I thought they perfectly brought forward the energy and positivity that ran through the show.

    TheBigN – That song was awesome, in its cheesy glory. 😀 In fact it was the best part of the whole show!

  9. Comment by macdataadvantageNo Gravatar:

    wow, cool songs!

  10. Comment by PasserbyGuyNo Gravatar:

    I’ve been waiting so long for somebody to post my Akagi video on the Natsukashii Anime Blog. Sure, I didn’t create the music, but at least I can know that by uploading it, I helped somebody out somewhere. I can finally die happy.

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