Music can either make or break any experience, and this is particularly true in anime. Think back to your favourite series and, while I’m sure that it has some amazing moments, I’d almost bet that the OP is one that gets you hyped for the episode to come! So, this week on the Otaku Rabbit Hole, we’ll be taking a look at three anime openings that are so good that they should find themselves a part of any otaku’s playlist! This list isn’t in any particular order and is my personal opinion, so I’m sure there will be a lot of OPs missing from this list that deserve to be here (sorry Evangelion fans). Without further ado, however, let’s jump right into it!
LiSA – ASH (Fate/Apocrypha)
Lets start off strong with the incredible OP, “ASH” by the legendary vocal powerhouse of anime OPs, LiSA!
Fate/Apocrypha, while a great anime in its own right, had some massive boots to fill. With such an iconic and successful anime franchise as Fate/Stay Night, any sequel series will face the unenviable task of providing a fitting legacy to what came before, while continuing to carry the mantle long into the future and holding it’s own identity as a strong member of the beloved franchise. Sadly, Fate/Apocrypha missed the mark on a number of these points for the first half of its 24-episode run, stumbling through haphazardly due to an excessively large cast list and an OP that, while interesting, lacked that essential punch to draw you in, both musically and visually.
However, at the half way point, where the anime had finally found its feet, the OP was changed to reflect that. Gone was the lacklustre music and vague inferences, and in their place was a punchy song and vastly improved visuals. Battles and foreboding are finally front and centre, and LiSA makes a welcome return to the series in a song that, believe me, will get you hyped up for the action to come!
FLOW – Go!!! (Naruto)
After such a strong start, where else could we go but up from here with one of the most iconic OPs from the Shonen Jump titan Naruto, with “Go!!!” by the incredible FLOW.
Naruto is by far one of anime’s most identifiable characters alongside One Piece‘s Luffy and Dragonball‘s Goku, so it’s only fitting that he receive some incredible OPs to help bookmark his adventures. This entry in particular is tinged with a moderate helping of nostalgia for me, as I have some very fond memories of watching Naruto as a kid and bopping along to this OP in my living room!
At first glance, from a visual perspective, this OP isn’t anything overly remarkable but does offer its fair share of foreshadowing and subtle nods to what’s to come. However, on closer inspection, the more muted colours and less action-heavy nature of the animation cleverly allows viewers to enjoy the music to its fullest while showcasing the incredible art and interesting moments we haven’t seen before, before colours brighten and lines sharpen to emphasise the key moments to look forward to in the coming episodes.
I can’t deny that there have been better Naruto OPs. But, what this one does well is provide an OP that boasts an infectious punk-rock vibe thanks to FLOW’s vocal stylings, which is then infused with a unique and gorgeous scroll-like aesthetic to make for an experience that builds excitement without relying on dramatic action set pieces, something that’s no easy feat, but something that this OP executes in style!
ZAQ – Serendipity (Flip Flappers)
The final entry in this list has to go to an underappreciated little anime gem, Flip Flappers, with its OP “Serendipity” by ZAQ!
For those of you who haven’t checked out this anime, Flip Flappers is an often overlooked Magical Girl anime that aired back in 2016, around the same time as the smash hit Yuri On Ice. More closely resembling magical girl anime of old, Flip Flappers presents a melancholy experience that, thanks to the exploration of another world and the promise of wishes granted, has its characters bonding and blossoming into far more robust people than they once were, with love and self discovery playing key parts in the overall narrative. Well, then, with such an interesting anime, how does its OP measure up? Well, in answer to that, it does a spectacular job of setting up what’s to come and capturing the experience overall.
The OP can be divided quite cleanly into two distinct sections. The first half has a muted and melancholy grey-scale colour palette, with characters in the real world, separated and alone. The second half, however, is where the chorus hits, with a kick up in tempo and intensity, mirrored by a burst of colour in the visual department alongside massive explosions and battle sequences. It offers ample insight into the excitement that’s to come while remaining vague enough to keep viewers guessing in what I can only call an incredible OP from start to end. Flip Flappers‘ OP stands as a phenomenal representative of the anime as a whole, and the song is such a perfect fit, aided by it being a track that’ll worm its way into your mind and keep you humming it long after you’ve finished watching!
Well, guys, that’s our list for this week and I hope you enjoyed this enough to check out the tracks and anime they come from! If you guys like this sort of content, then please let me know as there’s so many amazing anime OPs out there that deserve some love, that I might need to revisit this topic in future with a few more amazing anime openings. With that being said, if you guys enjoyed, then please consider sharing by clicking one of the buttons below and, until next time, keep it weeby everyone!