Openings are those wonderful (or terrible) songs that get us pumped up for the show. I use to watch anime all the time back when I was a teenager, and I still have fond memories of some themes I heard. While there are plenty of bad and so-so openings, many anime openings are much better than the ones I’ve heard from American series. Here are some of my favorites.
Lilium, the opening song for Elfen Lied (I don’t recommend watching it…), is actually based on a Biblical Psalm and sung in Latin by a Japanese opera singer. It’s a hauntingly beautiful opening with some interesting background imagery based on Gustav Klimpt paintings. The song I linked above is actually the full version instead of the shorter T.V. version. I didn’t link the original because the imagery has quite a bit of nudity in it. Still, great song.
I’ve never seen this show (Lunar Legend Tsukihime), but it’s another haunting and beautiful opening. The beginning of it shows a girl falling off of a tall building, which immediately draws me in. Despite that, I’ve never been quite interested enough to watch the show, but I like to enjoy the opening on occasion.
This opening for Paranoia Agent is just brilliant, but you kinda need to see the show to understand why. Seeing the people laughing manically as if nothing is going on while underwater, or falling, or standing on the edge of a tall building, or standing in the middle of a street, or in a wrecked house, etc, is just creepy, but fits the dark humor of the series really well.
Here’s the opening for Monster. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the regular opening with the animation as well, but this is the regular T.V. version of the song. I seem to like these “hauntingly beautiful” songs. Makes me want to watch the series again.
The first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex probably has my favorite opening ever. The 3D animation isn’t very good, but the song, written by Yoko Kanno and performed by Origa, is really beautiful. The fact that much of it is sung in Russian and Latin makes it sound even cooler.