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Anime and Manga, Impressions, Music

Monthly Music Muses: Best OP/ED of Autumn 2012

Now I wish for an Attack of Cerberus-currawong anime.

Yes I know this has no relation at all, but it’s just as a shoutout to warrenpchi’s awesome work. It would make an awesome album art though.

This season is coming to a close. Not the best one I could think of, but not the worst too. But this is not a post about what I think is the best of the season (of the anime I watch/follow, and I’m not going to judge the ones I don’t watch, despite the urge to do it), it’s about the music.

To me, the OP and ED of an anime is almost as important as the main parts of an anime; I’d say that it’s at least 30% as important as an engaging plot or an interesting background of an anime. I’ll also do this is two sections: purely by sound, where I enjoy listening to it; and by visual and animation, where I even keep watching the OP/ED and not leave the anime in the background while I check out Head-Fi for the umpteenth time that minute. It goes to say that this is all IMO.

Before I go on though, I will list what I’m watching from this season, to give you some expectations:

  • Girls und Panzer
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012)
  • Jormungand: Perfect Order
  • Magi
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Robotics;Notes
  •  Shinsekai yori

OP/ED by music.

This is kind of hard for me to choose actually, since from among the 7 shows that I’m truly watching, most of them have gripping songs to match the feel of the show, but also does it best without the frequent context of the source. Despite that, I tried, and the best OP are from Psycho-pass.

Sure it has some Engrish in it, but other than that, it’s quite catchy and pretty much up my alley.

Honorable mention goes to Robotics;Notes and Magi.

For Robotics;Note (R;N), it does hit the right spot for me as a J-Rock or some such, but I just love Psycho-Pass’s more because, at one point in time, I thought that it sounds similar to Bloc Party’s style. Still, R;N OP has always left me humming it almost everywhere when I felt happy and charismatic.

Another upbeat J-Rock or maybe J-Pop or some such song. Frankly it also has the same reason as R;N’s, so I don’t feel the need to repeat myself.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s (JJBA) OP is great too, I’ll give it that, but it has more to do with it’s animation more than it’s song alone. Whenever I hum it, it’s always accompanied by the animation in my mind, and never standalone. Don’t have much to say for Jormungand: Perfect Order’s (JPO) OP, since the first three mentioned just eclipse it, but whenever I watch a new episode of it, it’s kind of great. Girls und Panzer’s OP was definitely a disappointment, mainly because I expected that it would be GLORIOUS TANK BATTLE-esque. It is fitting for a show that has cute girls doing tank battles in a high school setting, but that’s just not my cup of tea. Still I enjoyed it a bit, but mostly I’ll be skipping it. Too bad Shinsekai Yori (SSY) doesn’t have an OP as far as I know.

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Now for ED, this is quite a different beast. For starters, JJBA’s ED is a cut of an old song by Yes called Roundabout. Thanks to it, I now have another awesome band to hunt its music for. But for this post, I can’t consider it since I’m focusing more on how it’s born from the anime.

So for the best ED song goes to SSY’s.

One thing I like more in my J-songs is sublime female vocals, and this one just hits it nicely for me. ‘Nuff said.

Honorable mention goes to Psycho-Pass’s and JPO’s.

Does the same thing with the OP, but then the OP is slightly better for me.

Has a good start and some good piano work but I just like Psycho-Pass’s more, and of course SSY’s.

As for the others, like I said earlier, JJBA’s is not really an anime original, but I do enjoy it quite a bit. Especially how the studio works the song into the ending scene very very well done. R;N, Magi and Girls und Panzer’s ED are just not my cup of tea, but not that they are bad songs mind. Again, I have to point out that my expectations for Girls und Panzer is misplaced again, since I thought that it would be GLORIOUS TANK BATTLE-themed.

OP/ED by visual and animation.

A different beast altogether, this is where I’ll just sit staring at the song in utter admiration. So for the best OP animation goes to JJBA’s.

Oh. My. God. This is just too awesome of an animation married with the song, and suspiciously too fitting for the obscenely stylistic source material. The use of CG in this doesn’t look awkward or weird at ll, as it took some sort of cel-shaded style to me, and it doesn’t dwell too long on any particular moment. The most awesome moment for me is at 0:27. That synchronicity of the song and the scene is just, ugh! SO good. As anyone can guess from this by now, I am a great fanboy of this show.

Honorable mention goes to Psycho-Pass.

While the song by itself is already damn good, coupled with this animation, it’s just sublime. The song fits like a glove with the cyberpunk setting of the anime, and the scenes in it are match made in heaven. If I weren’t such a big fanboy of JJBA, this would be the best.

The others don’t do well so much to me. Sure JPO’s might sometimes inclined me to watch it, and R;N too, but for them I’m content with just listening to them. But a note on R;N, I just love love love Aki-chan so more often than not, I’ll watch the OP just to see her all hot-blooded and happy. :3 They are what they are, in that I think they match pretty well for what they’re intended, but JJBA’s and Psycho-Pass’ OP just stands out more.

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This is a tosser between two great ED IMO. After mulling about this way too much in my head, I just have to give it to SSY.

Too bad there doesn’t seem to be one with the credits, since the pastel style that it uses is just married well with the atmosphere of the show. I’m always on the look out for simple art style like this, and this one just tickles my fancy enough to declare it the best in animation.

On the other hand, its opponent is JJBA’s ED. Sure I said that it’s not actually anime-first song, but as a whole the studio works the ED too well enough with whatever scene that particular episode is ending on. Want to make the next episode as foreboding and grim as possible? Sure. Want to make the ending of the current episode triumphant and victorious. No problem. Want to make the ending as melancholic without going too overboard? Done. It works as a whole, but not as an ED on its own. And with the new arc started in the latest episode (10) they are continuing that trend, and I love them even more.

Psycho-Pass’ does what JJBA’s did, to a point, but JJBA does it better.

The other ED doesn’t need mention much at all IMO, since they are just normal ED to give the viewers some last satisfaction to stymie any frustration that we have to wait a week for the next installment.

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Music-wise, this is one of the strongest seasons in recent memory I’ve had. And the best part is that most of the winners and special mentions are going for a 2-season period, so I can expect more great OP/ED if and when they change to newer ones.

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About fEast91

A foreign student who happens to like manga/anime and headphones.

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