I really have too many summary-posts planned for the end of the year. So, here’s a little taste in advanced: my favourite OPs and EDs of the year. Any series or OVA is eligible, as long as they had an episode that first aired in 2009. My list might differ a bit from most people’s lists, but that’s just because I don’t like J-Pop (but of course, there are exceptions in everything. ;))
#10: Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-Hen OP 1
Really: isn’t this the best way to enter a hot-blooded and GAR Mecha-show as Mazinger? This opening always got me pumped with adrenaline for this show, it just screams epic all over. The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but hey: what else did you expect? :P
#9: Bounen no Xamdou OP 1
It’s of course very hard to write a toplist of this year’s OPs and EDs of this year, and don’t have the OP for Bonen no Xamdou included. What I especially love about this OP is how well the music and animation are tuned to each other: they complement each other in nearly every scene. The song is also very nicely composed with fitting vocals.
#8: Birdy the Mighty Decode 2 OP
I usually hate J-Pop, but it’s for songs as this that I’m willing to make an exception. This song really has a wonderful arrangement and a rocking refrain. The visuals also give a small taste of the amazing animation in the rest of the series, and overall it was a great way to enter this series each week.
#7: Zan Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei OP 2
You can say a lot against Shinbo, but the guy at least knows how to create good OPs. While I really didn’t like the series, at least I could enjoy a minute and a half every week of this excellent rock piece with an excellent direction throughout.
#6: Bakemonogatari OP 1
Oh, what an incredible TEASE this one turned out to be. I really was pumped when I started up the first episode of Bakemonogatari, and it came with this visual masterpiece. Even though what the series eventually turned into became a huge disappointment, I still have to admit: this is one heck of an OP that really gets you interested in the rest of the series.
#5: Kuchuu Buranko OP
Denki Groove already composed an OP once before: the very funky one for Hakaba Kitarou. Kuchuu Buranko once again brings nothing but funkiness with its OP, combined with the trademark weird visuals of this show. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an amimated version of this online since Youtube keeps deleting them.
#4: Phantom OP 1
Overall, this is just a very varied song with great dreamy vocals. Phantom was an anime with a huge focus on music, and this piece did a great job of introducing us to the whole series. I really think that it’s among Bee-Train’s best opening songs due to its grace which looks exotic and down to earth at the same time.
#3: Eden of the East OP
For this opening, the creators managed to get Oasis to perform, and it really shows. Noitamina has always been a timeslot of great OPs and EDs, and Eden of the East shows this yet again with not just a well composed song, but it also makes very good use of its sound, and combined with the well detailed and very imaginative animation, I was completely sold when I watched this for the first time.
#2: Shikabane Hime Kuro OP
Definitely and without a doubt Angela’s best work. This song really allows her to get the best out of her voice, and it shows that she has a really wide range and is able to control this really well. Combine this with Gainax-esque smooth animation and a great choice of instruments, and this really is my favourite OP of the year; I can really listen to this over and over without getting bored of it.
#1: Guin Saga ED
Okay, so while the rest of this top 10 has probably shown that I like more upbeat songs, my favourite in the end does remain a ballad. Why? That voice! It’s apparently sung by Kanon, who really has an amazing set of vocals. The full version allows her voice to come out even better, and it really screams epic in a subtle way. It always was a great way to end this series with.