So, every year I start my summary with a list of my favorite OPs and EDs of the season. This year it’s a bit smaller than last year though, but that is simply because last year was simply amazing in terms of how many awesome OPs and EDs it had. This year instead stands out through its soundtracks, but there were much more generic openings and endings than usual. So therefore, I use this list to honour the ones that did go the extra mile for me and really resonated with me. Enjoy.
And in advanced I apologize for the people who read this half a year from now when half the videos are taken down…
#15: Kill Me Baby OP
The mind-numbingly guilty pleasure of the year is Kill Me Baby… this requires a bit of explanation. The thing is, that I dislike generic openings. The kind that all look the same, or the ones that use boring songs that all sound the same to me. The OPs that I really appreciate are the ones that try to be different. Even though it’s un-listenable, this OP really tried to do something else. It’s so bad on purpose, and yet it got its own charm because of this. I would not recommend listening to this one when you’re high on sugar at all though.
#14: Tsuritama OP
What also does very well with me is OPs that are based on some hidden reference that you’d only get if you’ve seen the show. It may seem like the characters are just doing some silly dance, but that dance is actually vital for something that happens later on in the series. Also, the song here is very good and cheerful, just like what the series is.
#13: Fate Zero OP
No list of best openings can be complete without an entry from Yuki Kajiura, and this year her entry comes from Fate/Zero, although I do have to say that 2012 has not been a good year for her. It’s this year where it became clear for me that I like her older stuff much more than her newer stuff that all sounds the same, but nevertheless this is one heck of a solid OP. Her vocals still work very well in bringing out emotions, and the production values are rock-solid for this opening as well. This perfectly shows the despair that the characters in this show are thrown in.
#12: Uta Koi OP
This one gets my vote for its artistry. Great images, as the creators try to stuff something like 13 different couples into just one opening (Uta Koi consisted out of many tiny stories compiled together). It all looks very traditional and despite the jerky animation and still frames, it still has a lot of eye candy and it was always fun to try and pick out all of the different characters that appeared. Not to mention, great song when it starts going.
#11: Zetman OP
I just love the song here. It’s just so catchy, and it was always fun to listen to it, not to mention how well the animation makes use of it. It’s also the kind of song that really does not get used often, making this really a unique OP that differs from the J-Pop that you usually hear used. I like this a lot here. In terms of content though, it’s fairly standard: you see the characters all make an appearance, they fight, show cool powers. Because of that it’s fairly low on this list.
#10: Mouretsu Pirates OP
When the series starts, you might wonder whether or not this is the best opening. The series is laid-back and allows its characters to play out and all. But as the show goes on, it just fits more and more and more: a very girly yet epic science fiction series that just gets more and more out of control as it goes on. This was a hint of this series’ true colours before they even appeared.
#9: Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou ED
This year there were only four EDs that really caught my attention. Most of them were just simple ballads that were just there to show the credits. Some were ambitious, but none really got to me aside from these four on a consistent weekly basis. The creators of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou just had a wonderful idea, and just went with this weird depiction of a school play that has the most nonsensical plot. It was fun.
#8: Thermae Romae ED
DLE. Their animation is utter crap, but they do make great EDs. And with a series like Thermae Romae, it’s really easy to do something creative. This ended up as an ode to bathing, celebrating everything about taking a bath. It’s hilariously cheesy, with a lot of creativity in the visuals, and a great catchy song. It really was glorious to end this series with for the brief period that it aired.
#7: Psycho Pass OP
Psycho Pass just has a unique OP. The watered down colours with lots of black made it instantly stand out. The visuals also try to do more than just show the main cast off, and they contain a lot of symbolism about the show’s content. I also really like the vocalist here: finally something different from the same voices you hear everywhere.
#6: Shirokuma Cafe OP
Every year, there is an OP or ED that I just cannot find on a video streaming site no matter how hard I look. It’s really such a shame, because the visuals for the OP for Shirokuma Cafe just scream awesome: a polar bear riding a car that gradually turns into a rocket. It’s incredibly charming, and it’s a shame that I can’t share this as how I would have liked it. At least I managed to find the song for it, which is just one of those delightful exceptions in my dislike for J-Pop.
#5: Kamisama Hajimemashita ED
This ending is just amazing. I know that it is just a slide-show, and I normally dislike those kinds of EDs and all, but this… this just fits so incredibly well. It’s just the perfect way to end each episode. It always matches the feeling for the end of each episode of Kamisama Hajimemashita perfectly, unlike any other show I have seen do in years. It fully captured the whimsical yet genuine nature of this series.
#4: Sakamichi no Apollon OP
I picked this one so high due to how polished it is. It just feels perfect, and the visuals are particularly striking in how the whole song just builds up to the part where they start playing their instruments. With a series that has such a strong theme in music, they made perfect use for it. There are so many beautiful images in this OP that say so much about the characters. It’s both relaxing and exciting at the same time.
#3: Uchuu Kyoudai ED 2
This year, there were thee OPs/EDs that just blew me away, and stood miles above the others, and made it into my favorites. This ED is by far my favorite ED of 2012, simply because of how it nearly brings me to tears, every time I try to watch it. Space Brothers is such a beautiful and uplifting show, and this episode is all about the dream that the two lead characters had when they were children, to make it into space. It is absolutely brilliant how the rocked subtly changes into this kids’ version of what a spacecraft should look like.
#2: Lupin the Third – Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna OP
Over the past years I have watched so many anime, and therefore so many OPs and EDs. With that in mind: this was one of the most original OPs I have seen appear in something like half a decade, and possibly even more. They just completely went into different directions here from all conventions, breaking so many barriers. The way the creators portrayed the sensual nature of this series was just perfect, using the theme of the Wuthering Heights to its advantage, and I love how the vocalist isn’t really singing, but rather whispering her lyrics. This is why I love experimentation.
#1: Uchuu Kyoudai OP 1
I’m sorry! I’m really sorry! But I just can’t help it: Uchuu Kyoudai simply had both the best OP and ED this year for me. I just cannot see it any other way. But this song is by far the best I have heard this year, and the way the creators play with their visuals here to make it such an explosive show only sealed the deal for me: this just had to be my number one of the year. I’d love to e a bit more diverse, but this show just completely sold me over in every single way.