Top 10 Anime Openings of 2015
Written by: ClayDragon & Shiggins
Openings are an often-overlooked aspect of anime, which is strange considering that their main purpose is to introduce you to the show and get you ready for the episode which follows. Of course, everyone has their own opinions as to what the greatest opening of all time is. But since it’s the end of the year, we thought we’d rank our favourite anime openings from 2015. Like with our other Top 10s of 2015, as long as the opening debuted this year, it’s eligible for this list.
Side note: Whilst we made an effort to watch lots of shows that started airing this year, we couldn’t see them all. So if there’s an opening that you think should be on this list but isn’t, then it’s probably because we never got around to watching it, as opposed to us not liking it.
As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.
10.) “Seven Deadly Sins” by MAN WITH A MISSION (Nanatsu no Taizai) (Written by: Shiggins)
I should probably state how much I love Nanatsu no Taizai's anime. A lot. I love it a lot. Not that the series itself is a masterpiece or anything, but the way it's been adapted is what gets my motor running. The smooth, clear animation and strong rhythm of the music really help it standout, and in a way the opening is the perfect example of both these features.
Lots of bright, vibrant and emotional visuals are shown in the span of this opening, with the song giving us that rare combination of English and Japanese lyrics that somehow doesn't come across as horrendous and instead is somewhat charming. Brief glimpses into the future of the arc, some nice images of the cast being the lovable cretins they are and of course, an adorable smile from Diane, and you've got a wonderfully enjoyable opening.
9.) “Chozetsu Dynamic!” by Kazuya Yoshii (Dragon Ball Super) (Written by: Shiggins)
Dragon Ball is back and why aren't you people cheering every damn day about it?! Super is tons of fun, action and potential that will soon be at its peak once we move past the arcs based on the already-released films, so let's enjoy ourselves and rock to the beat that is Dragon Ball Super's only opening of 2015, despite the fact that there have been almost 30 episodes.
What do we need in an opening of Dragon Ball? A Super Saiyan transformation? Check. Shots of everybody flying around Shenron, despite the fact he's never actually done anything like that in the series? Check. Epic thrilling music? Check. Some changes to the visuals later on when we enter a new arc, so as to highlight the new villains? Check and check! Oh, and is it awesome? ...Yes.
8.) “THE HERO!” by JAM Project (One Punch Man) (Written by: Shiggins)
The series that set everyone on fire, One Punch Man being only 8th might be somewhat controversial, but that doesn't mean we're calling it anything short of badass. Crazy music accompanied by explosive visuals filled with guts and blood and destruction and everything else that real men like!
|It's like if Guts from Berserk shaved his head and was directed by Peter Jackson back in his Braindead days.|
Honestly, the only real flaw of the opening is how poorly it portrays the majority of the tone that One Punch Man has. Yes, it's got badass action and chaos, but it's lacking anything comedic... unless you count the star that gets annihilated, but I just feel bad because it wanted a hug and all it got was death! Still, if this doesn't get your blood pumping, then I urge you to call your next of kin because you have clearly died!
|Damn, those are some scary villains... What was that?... OH COME ON!|
7.) “NEVER-END TALE” by Tatsuyuki Kobayashi & Konomi Suzuki (Fairy Tail) (Written by: Shiggins)
Do you like spoilers? Well, we got plenty! You deserve a spoiler! And you deserve a spoiler! You all deserve so many damn spoilers, because this anime knows you should be reading the manga and therefore is literally going to start episodes by showing plot points you'd already know if you had read it instead! It's a good thing these openings are fantastic or I'd be mad!
We see Mard Geer, Lucy's tears, a shot of Igneel, Jellal blind for 3 seconds (which is twice as long as he actually was in the manga), Gray about to fight Silver in a rage, Juvia about to fight Keyes, Erza in a threeway with Kyouka and Minerva... It's all a fun crazy ride. Honestly, if we only watched the anime, this opening would probably not be very high, but it's emotional and fast and fun, and that's what matters.
6.) “Renegade” by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (Gangsta) (Written by: Shiggins)
Yes! Gangsta made it into the top 10! And while we won't let it get any higher, can anybody really ignore it's unique aesthetic and style? And no, I don't just mean the breasts. It's all very coloured in appropriate lengths and circumstances, keeping a noir feel while still managing to maintain a modern image. Oh and it's got babes. That's important.
Don't be mistaken though. This is an opening for everyone to enjoy. If seeing girls inject themselves with drugs and... draw on a prisoner for some reason... isn't your style, you do get naked Worick waking up in bed. Or you get Nicolas running along rooftops as if he's trying to break free. Hell, watch him run and replace it with romantic music. It works! Or just shut up and enjoy the sexy, cool style of the entire opening in general. If this is how it feels to take these drugs, sign me the hell up!
|I know they're syringes, but all I see are highlight pens.|
5.) “Butter-Fly” by Kouji Wada (Digimon Adventure tri.) (Written by: ClayDragon)
If you’re around our age, chances are that you grew up watching Digimon Adventure on television. And it’s fairly likely that you’d have been watching the dub, which means most people remember the English version of the opening, which pretty much just repeated the word ‘Digimon’ over and over again. But the Japanese opening is so much better (although a little outdated), so thankfully the original singer came back to cover the iconic opening.
|Hello again, childhood.|
Whilst it may not be as action-packed as the original, tri’s opening still manages to capture the nostalgia of the first series. The animation is sharp and colourful, the song is as catchy as it ever was, and seeing the characters that we grew up with back on the screen is just wonderful. Plus, Kouji Wada recorded the opening whilst he was recovering from treatment for cancer. That’s worth some serious points.
|The nanosecond this show comes out on dvd, I'm buying it.|
4.) “Brave Shine” by Aimer (Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works) (Written by: ClayDragon)
Confession time: neither of us have actually seen Unlimited Blade Works yet. But put down the torches and pitchforks for a moment and let’s talk about the second opening for this series. Firstly, it’s pretty – very pretty. From Illyasviel running across the roof of an ancient ruin to Lancer fighting Caster on a motorway, everything is fluid, colourful, and just generally gorgeous to look at.
It doesn’t appear to spoil anything either (except for one weird image near the end that may or may not be a spoiler). The song manages to be paradoxically be both exciting and serene at the same time, and the animation that appears to show everyone gearing up for the final showdown. The two aspects of the opening come together incredibly well, to the point where even someone who hasn’t seen the show can tell how good it is.
3.) “Hello, World!” by Bump of Chicken (Blood Blockade Battlefront) (Written by: ClayDragon)
I have said a number of times that everything Blood Blockade Battlefront-related is amazing, and the opening is no exception. From the first image of a beautifully accurate scene of New York City’s skyline, you know you’re in for something special with this one. For the first half of the opening or so, not much happens. But then the song kicks into high gear, the animation becomes rapid-fire chaos, and it goes by so fast that there’s no way you’d be able to see everything in one viewing.
|No matter how many times I see this, it's still amazing.|
From photo montages of Leo’s daily life, to the cast pulling funny faces, to everyone standing on a stage surrounded by flashing lights, this opening is a cavalcade of bright, vivid moments. It’s the perfect way to hype yourself up for an episode of Blood Blockade Battlefront, and it can be viewed again and again without becoming boring, just like all the best openings out there.
|With eyes like those, who needs torches?|
2.) “Flyers” by Bradio (Death Parade) (Written by: ClayDragon)
There are some openings that suit an anime perfectly. The animation and song let you know exactly what you’re going to be in for if you watch the show. Death Parade’s opening is not like this. Aside from one or two blink-and-you’ll-miss-it frames, these credits give absolutely nothing away about this show. From watching them, you’d think Death Parade is set in a normal bar where lots of fun games are played and people chill out whilst striking funny poses.
|Ginyu Force, assemble!|
But no. Death Parade is an emotional rollercoaster, and the contrast between the show’s opening and its actual content is what makes these credits stand out so much. The music is upbeat and catchy, the animation shows the characters doing things that they would never normally do (like Nona playing Dance Dance Revolution), and overall it lulls you into a false sense of security before the show sucker-punches you in the feels.
|Where did Decim learn to dance?|
1.) “Kyouran Hey Kids” by The Oral Cigarettes (Noragami Aragoto) (Written by: ClayDragon)
Noragami’s original opening was instantly recognisable due to its unique art style, and thankfully Noragami Aragoto stuck to the same style for its opening. For the first part, the animation is mostly coloured in greys, whites and blues, except for each character’s eyes and, were it not for the fast-paced music, it might seem a little depressing. But then the chorus starts up, and the scenes are rendered in vivid oranges and pinks.
Whilst Yato’s fight with Bishamon in this opening is very similar to that of the first season (and some scenes are damn near identical), it isn’t an issue because this opening builds on what made the first one so great. The memorable animation style, the intense music, and a couple of well-animated fights all come together perfectly to make this opening an immediate standout.
|Don't worry, little Yato. You'll get a shrine someday.|
|"Kaze" by Yamazaru (Naruto Shippuden)|
|"DAY X DAY" by BLUE ENCOUNT (Gintama 2015)|
|"Rally Go Round" by LiSA (Nisekoi:)|
|"Bravely You" by Lia (Charlotte)|
|"Headhunt" by Okamoto's (Durarara x2)|
Is there an opening you feel we missed out? Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10 list? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
|"Saitama, why have you forsaken me?"|
Thanks for reading!
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at email@example.com. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He started watching Nisekoi. Pity him.
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere.