Posted by psgels on 7 December 2010 with categories: Top 10 Anime, Yearly Summaries

For my 2010 Summary, I’ve been planning four posts: three small ones and one big one. Here’s the fist small one, the rest will come at the end of this month.

2010 saw an intereting trend for OPs and EDs: there were a lot of well produced ones with very detailed animation and that went beyond simply showing a bunch of characters in cheesy poses. For me, a good OP is original, has a great song, and has something with which it captures my attention. Likewise, I consider an ED a great one when it can retain my attention even when the episode it closes off is already finished.

#20: High School of the Dead OP

Anyone familiar to a series directed by Tetsuro Araki know that the OPs for these series can get really hardcore. HSotD’s OP is rather tame (excluding the fanservice of course) compared to Death Note and Kurozuka, but it’s still a very stylish intro for this series. It pretty much summarizes all that you are going to get: slick visuals and lots of guns, zombies and boobs, The colour scheme in this one also rocks.

#19: Arakawa Under the Bridge OP 2

I did not watch this series, so I don’t know its context or for how many episodes it appeared. I still wanted to include this in this list though, because I love these gimmicky OPs that are based on some weird theme other than “let’s introduce the characters here”. I love the weird goats and other animals, plus the melody itself is ridiculously catchy. I don’t like Arakawa as a series, but I have to admit that it has the most impressive array of OPs and EDs of the year (yes, that’s a hint).

#18: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru OP

Shaft’s strategy for Autumn 2010: hire some really good directors and spend a lot of money on your OPs. As a result, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru had its OP directed by Yaomi Umetsu (Robot Carnival’s Presence, Mezzo). This one is fairly low on this list because I don’t like the music and the vocals half of the time, but the animation and the choreography really is gorgeous. The entire OP just screams the themes of old fashioned cafeterias.

#17: Arakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge ED

Arakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge’s second ED in contrast is as simple as you can get, yet it’s far from cheap and uninspired. The characters are in no way stylish and instead drawn really roughly, but that does have its charms. The song is simple yet catchy and easy to listen to and overall it’s a great way to end an episode with.

#16: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei ED

Overall, 2010 was a year of ambitious, complex, well animated and well detailed OPs, but I still do have a number of simple ones that made this list. The biggest reason why I love this ED is because it ties in so well with the general messages and themes of this series. I refuse to spoil in what way it does so, however. Apart from that, it’s a captivating song, especially in the way in which each episode ends with a bang, this ED always managed to retain my utmost attention with this series.

#15: Kaidan Restaurant ED

This one is on this list for the cool factor. I mean, it has the announcer of the series, who usually acts like this perfect butler dancing his legs off in some disco. On top of that, the song is that rare kind that just got catchier and catchier every time I listened to it. I mean, kids’ shows usually have these sickeningly catchy or generic opening tunes, but this one actually rocks. In many different ways.

#14: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru ED

Yes, yes. I know that Shaft is currently dominating the lower half of this Top list. I promise, after this one I only have one OP by them left. I just have to admit here: they came with another great song here. The main reason why this isn’t higher on the list is because the voice actress of the lead character is trying too hard at times with her random yells. Apart from that, even the fact that half of the cast can’t sing will make sense once you watch the episode that explains this ED, tying it very neatly in with the rest of the series. The animation here is again quite detailed, especially for Shaft’s standards, and yet things remain simple and effective.

#13: Senkou no Night Raid OP

This probably has to be the most minimalistic OP since Ghost Hunt, and yet it’s very artistic with the different numbers, letters and transitions. It’s another great example of an OP that is very simple, yet very effective, and it always was interesting to watch this OP in front of every episode. I especially like the shots in which the lead character appears.

#12: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo OP

This does have some of the elements that make an OP boring and generic (people slowly walking/looking into a random direction, a slide-show of the major characters), but it’s got enough to make up for that. It’s especially the song itself, composed by R.O.N. The autotune creates this dark atmosphere, and I especially like how well this entire song builds up to the final third part.

#11: Gag Manga Biyori ED

For those who haven’t watched the series: Gag Manga Biyori has also had these… unique EDs (just click here for a little medley), but with every season they actually became even weirder. And really, it’s so hard not to love these EDs, I’m always imagining what it must have been like to record these things: for one guy to just continue singing the same tune with all kinds of silly voices (and mind you, every single episode has a different ED, which totals up to 52 different “lalalalalala”s so far). Not to mention that they probably needed to do a few retakes for every iteration…Gag Manga Biyori has been going on for four series now, and they still have some of the most unique EDs out there.

#10: Giant Killing ED

Giant Killing loved cliff-hangers. In fact, it had some of the most aggravating cliff-hangers of the year. This ED was just absolutely perfect for carrying on the adrenaline of these cliff-hangers with its incredibly fast-paced beat, and ridiculously energetic chorus. The entire ED is focused on those details that also made Giant Killing great, in this case the supporters. The pictures are vague on purpose, and it really feels like a little trip to an adrenaline filled soccer match.

#9: Full Metal Alchemist OP 4

Full Metal Alchemist, if I’m not mistaken, has been running over the course of a total of nine different seasons, resulting in a total of eighteen OPs and EDs. Out of all of those, this one ended up as my favourite. It has the best melody, the singer is pretty good as well, and there is hardly any boring moment in the song as it’s constantly building up. The animation looks as gorgeous as it did in the series. There is plenty of symbolism towards the series that at the same time doesn’t try to shove its messages down the viewer’s throat. It always was a wonderful way to start out this series with this OP.

#8: Kuragehime OP

Granted, the song itself has some weak moments, especially near the beginning when it has trouble to get started, but I still just love this ED for all of the references it put in to famous western movies, and when the song gets started it really brings this animation together. Mary Poppins, ET, Singing in the Rain, James Bond, Star Wars, and that only includes half of the different homages here. It’s a great little music video. That ends up relating a surprising amount to what actually goes on in the series.

#7: Shiki ED 2

Buck-Tick are some amazing artists, so I’m really glad that Daume got them to perform an OP and an ED for them. Shiki’s second ED is haunting beyond belief. Little goes on in the scenario, but the images speak for themselves, really: they’re utterly gorgeous with some really neat visual effects. It totally fits in with the atmosphere of the series.

#6: Shiki OP 1

Continuing with Buck-Tick, it’s really that both the singles they composed for Shiki are amazing in their own ways. While the above ED was slow and depressing, this one is really up-beat, and still depressing. I chose to lump these two together because they very neatly show the change this series makes throughout its airtime. What that change is, you’re going to have to find out by yourself by watching it.

#5: Arakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge OP

Pretty much the only reason why this isn’t on number one is because the song could have been better. It has BY FAR the best visuals of any OP I’ve seen this year. Seriously, an absolute dream team has created this one: it was directed by Ryousuke Nakamura, the director of Mouryou no Hako and Hashire Melos, the animation director was Mieko Hosoi, and to make things even more perfect, it was storyboarded by Sayo Yamamoro, the director of Michiko e Hatchin. And this ED still feels like nothing these people have ever done before. Every second is meticulously detailed and imaginative. Seriously, these people need to start making another actual TV-series again.

#4: Sora no Oto OP

Those who have seen Elfen Lied will probably remember its wonderfully artistic OP. With Sora no Oto, it’s obvious that they tried the same thing (because yes, the director of Elfen Lied was in charge of this OP), but instead of the depressing Elfen Lied, this is a much more uplifting OP. It still looks gorgeous in its own way, but Yuki Kajiura behind the song gives it an entire new layer of awesomeness. It’s really a beautiful song, reminding me once again why she’s one of my favourite composers.

#3: Giant Killing OP

I think it’s going to be obvious what my top two choices are going to be, especially when I say that I got really bored of Hetalia’s EDs since June, but first I wanted to show Giant Killing’s OP, which is pretty much perfect: it’s entirely in line with the things that the series tried to make important: what we see here isn’t just a football match, we see every detail around it, ranging from the players, the coaches, the supporters and the adrenaline that’s in such a match. It introduces the characters, not in the usual cheesy ways of “here is a frame with character X trying to make a cool pose”. Instead, it introduces them by just showing them play a game. It’s excellent as a first taste, and the more I watch it the more details I find here. The song itself is also brilliantly energetic and unconventional that perfectly captures the spirit of football. Definitely my favourite OP of 2010.

#2: Hanamaru Youchien ED 10

I’ve raved about this one before. It’s nowadays fairly common for series to have multiple EDs, but none went as far as Hanamaru Youchien: it had 12 distinct EDs, all of which were completely different and had completely different themes. By far the best was the tenth one, which takes the happy atmosphere of the series, and turns it completely upside down by making it a very effective horror music video. It’s almost scary how well it works, the imagery is very creative and the haunting song really grabs you.

#1: Letter Bee ED 2

This one is so good that it also made it into my top 10 of favourite EDs. I’m still not exactly sure who in Studio Pierrot drew this, but it’s utterly gorgeous. This isn’t an ED of fancy animation, but the art that’s there is completely captivating and only gets better and better as the ED goes on, and the song does a wonderful job of strengthening it. I usually don’t like those cheesy male voices, but this is one major exception.

So, that concludes this list. What were your favourite OPs and EDs of 2010?

33 Responses

  1. dthiswhtuseek says:

    haha

    it’s great to arakawa up there, but anyways, the dream team staff behind the second season’s op did a great job covering almost all of the varying inter-relationships in the series. Not to mention the various characters’ positions inside arakawa itself.

    i get don’t what you don’t like about the series, but it’s really worth a watch, a funny and surprisingly thought provoking series, especially the first season, the second one, not so much.

  2. Azule says:

    For me, the Letter Bee reverse ed is one of the best, along with the second Densetsu op. The rest..hm.

  3. CRT says:

    Hanamaru Youchien ED 10 is pretty good, but I love ED 7 (which is directed by Osamu Kobayashi) most.

  4. Zizhou says:

    @CRT
    Agree with ED 7 as my personal favorite of the bunch for Hanamaru.

  5. Solaris says:

    I usually skip poth ops and eds as i’m eager to watch to the anime, but am seldom doing anime song appreciation session nonetheless. After that if i find some good song i … well borrow … it from the net an put on my pendrive to listen to it while driving or such :P

  6. Tomtom says:

    Why does only your #1 choice use a different videoplayer (that barely works)?

    I like your top 10, although giant killing OP is noise to my ears.

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Tomtom: because it’s impossible to find. It’s really nowhere to be found on youtube, dailymotion, or any other kind of reliable web player, so I had to go with this random chinese player that happened to have one.

  8. panda says:

    my list would be:
    op & ed for kuragehime, letter bee &/ reverse, durarara!!, and kuroshitsuji 2

  9. treble89 says:

    Wow, i’ve been waiting for this. Haven’t seen all top 20, but my fav of this year are Star Driver OP, Shiki, Durarara!!, and Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru

  10. Tan-Tan says:

    2nd Densetsu opening is awesome. I’m glad you put FMA Period there :D Though I thought Rain and Again were awesome, I think Let It All Out deserve a place there too. Still, Period, I so cannot deny.

  11. Sapphire says:

    Star Driver’s OP, no doubt. I love the visuals and the song, equally.

    I’ve also liked Kaichou wa Maid-sama’s 2nd ED, even though the anime sucks.

  12. Maik says:

    I don’t know how FMA did it, but I can’t think of a single bad OP or ED… They’re all really good!

  13. fathomlessblue says:

    I’d have put the Arakawa OP’s/ED’s much higher, but I gotta give you a lot of respect for putting them up, despite being lukewarm towards the series. That singular Maria-centric OP was definitely a highlight of the year.

    I personally don’t like the Yakumo OP but the song that plays the show out has to be one of the best tunes I’ve heard in an anime. Enough to warrent a stop at Amazon.jp in order to find it.

    Other than that I too loved both Giant Killing songs, plus that Harumariu Kindergarten Ed (plus a few others), it’s almost criminal they created it for one particular episode.

    My ultimate faves of the year are definitely the OP and ED to Sora no Woto. It’s the feel good facter they generate, amazing!

  14. Kurara says:

    What, no World God Only Knows?

    I know it isn’t a series you’re interested in blogging, but…that opening! I’m captivated every time I watch it. :)

  15. ama-ri says:

    Yay for Period. It’s one of my overall favorites as well. My all-time favorite is the Digimon Adventures OP (Butter-fly), tough. Sounds funny, but that song… I could listen to it endlessly.
    So for 2010 it’s somewhat around the lines (no real order because I didn’t really think about it yet)
    FMA 4th OP
    Break Blade OP (this song always gives me goosebumps.)
    Durarara OP 1
    Soranowoto OP (It’s Kalafina/YK. I love her.)
    Angel Beats OP (I especially love that piano scene at the beginning. and the song.)
    Pokemon BW OP (not kidding, I really like the visuals, the song makes me happy (not as much as the ED though)
    FMA OP 3 (I don’t like the song that much but I really really like the visuals and the atmosphere)

  16. M says:

    Im quite surprised, I thought you would have Rainbows OP up there for sure.

  17. evolstar says:

    Giant Killing OP was my favorite this year. I also liked Durarara OP 1 and 2, Letter Bee reverse OP and ED, angel beats OP and ED, armed librarians OP, and darker than black season 2 OP

  18. Hogart says:

    There were too many to choose from this year. My favorites are Hanamaru ed #2, Tatami Galaxy’s ED, and probably Occult Academy’s OP.. but there were a lot of really good tunes and animations. Panty and Stocking, Durarara, heck even Working all had great OP/EDs that suited the series, and as you pointed out even spotty series like Arakawa and Soredemo at least had good OP/EDs (though with Shinbo that’s expected).

  19. DP says:

    The tricky part is that often people will overpraise an OP or ED because of the show’s merits.

    My criteria is “do I enjoy watching it after I’ve seen it a half-dozen times arleady, or do I want to fast-forward through it.”

    My top five shares only some similarities to our hosts:

    1. K-On!! Ed. K-on’s first season ED was fantastic; the second series is also very good, far more than the bland Op.

    2. Kuragahime Op.

    3. Durarara Ed, for the visuals.

    4. Shiki 2nd OP. Nicely shows the increase in energy of the second half of the series.

    5. High School of the Dead OP.

  20. blah says:

    The only ones missing are:
    Angel Beats
    Kuroshitsuji II

    Kuragehime and Angel Beats tied for first. I love ops that make you feel more emotional as things are revealed in the series. Kuragehime op is more emotional for me after you learn that *spoiler sort of* the main girls mother is dead. I sort of read into the lyrics at the end of the OP.

  21. Will says:

    Totally agree with Sora No Woto being in your top 5. Nevermind the great opening, it was sad to see such a great show ruined by marketing ideas.

  22. Amy says:

    Tatami Galaxy’s ed won it for me. Love the song, love the symbolism, love the concept.

  23. Taka says:

    My list in rather fuzzy order:

    1. Cobra the Animation ED – Kimi no Uta
    2. Sairaiya Goyou OP – Sign of Love
    3. Mitsudomoe ED – yumeiro no koi
    4. Sora no Woto OP – Hikari no Senritsu
    5. Giant Killing OP – My story
    6. Omamori Himari OP – Oshichau Zo!
    7. Tatami Galaxy OP – Maigoinu to ame no beat
    8. Angel Beats OP2 – My Soul your beats (yui Rock version)
    9. Seikon no Qwaser ED1 – Passionate Squall
    10. Shiki OP – Kuchizuke
    11. Fortune Arterial ED – “I miss you”
    12. Pokemon Best Wished ED – Kokoro no Fanfare
    13. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt ED – Fallen Angel
    14. K-On OP 3 – Utauyo Miracle!!
    15. Fortune Arterial OP – Kizunairo
    15. Giant Killing ED – Get Tough
    16. Katanagatari ED 07 – Mayoigo Sagashi
    17. Kuragehime ED – Kimi no Kirei ni Kizuite Okure
    18. Highschool of the Dead OP
    19. Arakawa Under the Bridge ED 1 – Sakasama Bridge
    20. Nodame Finale OP – Mazanashi Daydream.

    Generally this is based purely on music as I don’t really remember most of the visuals. Tatami Galaxy/House of Five Leaves were best OPs for me and Cobra/Mitsudomoe best EDs (or I should say most soothing because that is what I like in an ED)

  24. Shippoyasha says:

    Letter Bee anime will be missed when it ends.

    Because the staff knows PRECISE what kind of melancholic songs to pick for OP/ED.

    I loved ALL Letter Bee OP/ED

    Great plug for Yuki Kajiura too. Sora no Oto OP still gives me shivers.

  25. red CODE says:

    My top 10:
    1. Break Blade OP – Fate
    2. Case Closed OP 29 – Summer Time Gone
    3. Seitokai Yakuindomo ED – Aoi Haru
    4. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood OP 4 + 5 – Period + Rain
    5. Fortune Arterial OP – kizunairo
    6. High School of the Dead ED 5 – Memories of days gone by
    7. Seitokai Yakuindomo OP (only in ep 6) – Jounetsu no Hana
    8. Shiki OP – Kuchizuke
    9. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo OP – Key
    10.Yosuga no Sora ED (the 1st ED – not the 2nd one) – Tsunagu Kizuna
    I really really love the visual in “Aoi Haru” & “Kuchizuke.”

  26. Fireflyfu says:

    Surprised Durarara OPs didnt make it to your list. Igd place the 2nd op in my tope ten definitely.

  27. Watcherzero says:

    I would have put Index, current One Piece OP and Panty and Stocked Ed in that list for great tunes and good videos.

  28. Blade says:

    pg, if you liked Hikari no Kioku (LB ED2), then what did you think of El Dorado, Sengoku Basara Two’s ED?

  29. Xt says:

    @psgels — December 7, 2010 @ 15:43
    the player for #1 song was from some Korean site.

  30. marry says:

    i love all this good job thank you

  31. ZoboCamel says:

    I like a lot of the ones on your list there, even though I’ve never seen most of them before. Some of my favourites weren’t on there, though:

    Durarara – OP1+OP2
    Fairy Tail – ft. (I never really see anyone mention this one, but personally I love it.)
    To Aru Majutsu no Index II – No buts!
    Angel Beats – My Soul, Your Beats + Brave Song

  32. BoozerX says:

    The last ED of Nurarihyon was great, in my top 3 with Kuragehime OP and Durarara 1st OP

  33. BoozerX says:

    The last ED of Nurarihyon was great, in my top 3 with Kuragehime OP and Durarara 1st OP

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