Saturday, February 1, 2014

Otaku's 10(ish) Anime Openings

RPG challenged us to do a top 10 list, but I just can't do that. For starters, I would never take it seriously. Chances would be high that I would just list 10 variations of the Sugoi yo! Masaru-san! opening to make my point that it is the greatest opening ever. However, since I want to share some openings, I've decided to limit myself to the following criteria:



1. No Cowboy Bebop, because we all already know it's the best.


2. No posting openings just because I like the show (but it certainly helps).

3. No posting shit openings just because it's carried by an awesome song (AKA, the only reason I liked the Samurai Deeper Kyo opening).

4. No Ruin Explorers. I'm too biased.

5. NO RANKINGS.



So this is just a list of openings, with no opening better or worse than the one before it.



#GREATEST USE OF GRATUITOUS ENGRISH

Maze: The Mega-Burst Space



Maze: The Mega-Burst Space is an overlooked TV series about a modern-day girl who gets transported to a fantasy RPG world, transforms into a guy (who may or may not molest supporting characters) at night, and pilots a mecha. It's awesome.



#MAGICAL OPENING THAT MADE ME BUY THIS SERIES DESPITE NOT KNOWING A DAMN THING ABOUT IT

Someday's Dreamers



Maybe it's the soothing song, the soap opera-style cuts, or the fact that there's a magical dolphin mere seconds into it, but something about this opening just compelled me to look into the show. It has an interesting setting in which magic exists and is acknowledged, but otherwise everything else is the same. The manga remains one of my favorites, though I'm more interested in the spin-off manga that I never finished.



#YOU ARE NOT READY FOR THIS LEVEL OF ROCK

Ushio & Tora



Ushio & Tora is one of those classics that seem to have been forgotten, but it really shouldn't. If you look carefully, you might be able to spot where Bleach got some inspiration (y'know, outside of the inspiration it got from Yu Yu Hakusho). It's a story about a boy who unwittingly releases a 700-year-old sealed demon, but it's totally okay because he owns the Beast Spear, which keeps the demon in check. It's kind of like Inuyasha, only manly.



What I especially love most about this opening is how freaking MUSIC VIDEO it is. Plus the part that looks like sperm.



#IT BREAKS YOUR HEART IF YOU WATCHED GATEKEEPERS FIRST

Gatekeepers 21



If you have never watched Gatekeepers and/or Gatekeepers 21, wellthis is gonna be interesting. It's your choice whether you want to watch the original (listed below) or 21 (above) opening first, but this explanation depends on you watching both, even if it focuses on 21. You see, Gatekeepers was a fun, lighthearted series set in 1969. It was about a group of teens who had special powers: the ability to summon "Gates," which have a variety of effects, and use them to defend the world from Invaders.



Gatekeepers 21 is set 31 years later (not 21, because that would make too much sense) in 2000 (Oh21st centurynow I get it ). A majority of the original Gate Keepers have died terrible deaths, and the Invaders have made inroads into human society by changing humans into Invaders. Basically, all that hope for the future at the end of Gate Keepers? FUCK THAT. THIS IS GATEKEEPERS 21. But despite that, the opening also gives a different sense of hope that there's a way out of the darkness the world is currently in.



#THIS OPENING ROCKS SO HARD IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT WATCHING A SHOW THAT SELLS YOU ON BLATANT FANSERVICE

Witchblade



The first opening of Witchblade rocks especially hard after you've had to sit through the awfulness of the second opening. When it comes back for the final episode, much rejoicing was had. By me at least. The action of the song and visuals and the sexual overtones makes this an absolutely perfect complement for the series, which is an underrated quality given how many openings are unoriginal character showcases.



#BLACK PEOPLE ARE SCARY

Yoroiden Samurai Troopers: Legend of the Inferno Armor



There is just something undeniably amusing about this. They have taken down powerful dieties and come back from the dead, but what REALLY scares the shit out of them? A black man with a giant boomerang.



Oh crap, did I just waste a slot on a joke? Better inject some quality into this list



#THE PERFECT ENCAPSULATION OF SPY FLICK STYLE

Read or Die



If I were ranking openings, Read or Die would probably be close to the top. Some days I rank it higher than Cowboy Bebop. It's just so bloody perfect at what it does. It gives you that spy flick feel, it does a character showcase without being too obvious about it, it shows you what the series is about, the animation quality is brilliant, and it gives across the theme of the series without relying on a song with lyrics.



#THAT OPENING THAT PREDATES COWBOY BEBOP BY 5 YEARS

Gunsmith Cats



Gunsmith Cats is one of my favorite manga, and the animealso exists. It's not bad, just not as good as it could be. But it makes good use of the cast and has them in a story that doesn't just retread already-written manga chapters. In case you didn't know, Gunsmith Cats is about two bounty hunter girls who live in Chicago, and the visuals and music really help set the tone for that setting, as well as Sonoda's obsession with cars and guns.



#EPIC BAIT-AND-SWITCH SUPERHERO OPENING

Moldiver



Watch both of them in order. The first opening MIGHT give you the wrong impression about what the series is about, but it still has some hints about its true nature. Not that it's all THAT hidden, just that there's exactly one important twist. The first opening is kind of a joke because it only applies for the first episode. Personally, I would take out two scenes in the first opening to REALLY make it work.



The second opening is much better because it's not trying to hide anything (ANYTHING), and it looks like a straightforward, pure superhero intro with Moldiver doing some of those classic generic Superman-ish feats like saving people and flying off with a smile. Just something about the purity of that really puts a smile on me.



#PICK A SAKURA WARS. ANY SAKURA WARS.

Sakura Wars



All Sakura Wars games and shows are essentially the same. A group of girls are part of a performance troupe and also protect their country from evil demons while piloting mecha. Pretty much every intro is a generic character showcase with clips of them performing mixed in. Despite this, IT ALWAYS WORKS. That's how strong the core this franchise is built on is.
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