Best New OP of Fall 2010

Subtitled: I need an excuse to talk about my favorite OPs of the new season and might as well try to wring something worthwhile out of it. Therefore, I’m creating a new poll (in the navigation bar to the right) to ask the readers of The Null Set the question – What is the best new OP of the fall 2010 season?

Since I’m not trying to scientific, let’s start with my two favorite openings.

The first is the latest hit to grace the Noitamina anime block of programming – Kuragehime. Sure, it’s only aired one episode so it’s really a little early to say it’s a hit but that one episode was the most impressive first episode in recent memory. I think Bakemonogatari was the last time I was this excited over an anime. I absolutely love the song used here and inventive use of famous movies was just mind-blowingly awesome.

As a sequel, I thought I knew what to expect with Arakawa Under the Bridge 2 but there I was watching the OP for the first time and getting my mind blown away by Shaft. Calling it perfect would sell it short; slapping epic in front to say it was epically perfect still isn’t enough. It’s perfection is to great openings as Galaxy-sized version of Gurren Lagann is to the original version of Gurren Lagann.

No matter how Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru turns out, the opening was worth giving the show a shot. It felt weird that Shaft actually had both openings ready for the first episode. It kinda leaves me feeling nostalgic for the days when Shaft would use a place holder animation sequence for the first few episodes.

For some reason the start of the OP to Shinryaku! Ika Musume reminds me of the sound effect that went with the old video game Space Invaders. It’s also my favorite part of the OP with the rest of it being just okay.

The OP to the first episode of Sora No Otoshimono Forte was a great way to give tribute to the first season but I think in the long run I’ll enjoy the real OP more. Judging from how it contained a short sequence that went on to occur in episode 3, aka the American Sumo episode, I think most of what we see in the opening will eventually happen which means we’re set for another great season of Sora No Otoshimono.

In a rare turn-of-events, I’ve actually read a bit of the manga to The World God Only Knows before it was made into an anime. I figured the anime would end up in the “decent” category but, if the OP will be an indication to the work Manglobe will be putting into the anime adaptation then it might just become a compelling anime to watch.

Being an original production, Star Driver gives a peek into what goes on in the minds of the animators at Bones. The opening makes me think that the people at Bones have definitely been watching their share of Shaft shows. That’s not a problem to me and Shaft should be happy since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I’d like this OP more but the song hasn’t clicked yet for me.

For Ore No Imouto to get listed here is quite the accomplishment since I was almost positive about skipping it. I liked the OP but if I look at it critically, I think my surprising enjoyment of the series is adding to my opinion of the OP.

If you’ve watched J.C. Staff’s more action orientated shows like Shana or Railgun in the past then the OP to To Aru Majutsu no Index II fits right in and performs at relatively the same level as those OP that have come in the past. Which makes it hard to get really excited over it. What did excite me was the inclusion of Uiharu from Railgun because I hope that means J.C. Staff will figure out a way to give the crew from Railgun some air time in Index.

I have high hopes for this season of Shiki and the new OP for it seems like a good first step. The visuals are an big improvement over the first OP but the first one still has the edge in the song department, at least for now.

So that’s my list of the best OP of the season with Kuragehime and Arakawa Under the Bridge 2 fighting for the top spot at the moment. If I missed one that you think deserves recognition please leave a comment, I value different opinions and also there has been a few shows I haven’t watched yet and would prefer not to miss a worthwhile anime.

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13 thoughts on “Best New OP of Fall 2010”

  1. Actually, an interesting fact is that the OP of Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge was directed by Ryousuke Nakamura, the director of Mouryou no Hako and Aoi Bungaku’s Hashire Melos, and who usually isn’t affiliated with Shaft at all. In the meantime, it was Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo who directed the OP for Star Driver. I’m not sure why, but the latest trend seems to be to hire really good directors for OPs.

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  2. Check out the Yumeiro Patissiere Professional OP. I swear the whole thing is heavily influenced by Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.

    As for the other OPs I personally think the clear winner is Kuragehime but I can def see Arakawa and Soredemo giving it a run for it’s money.

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  3. Can’t say I’ve been impressed with Arakawa II since the music used during the OP just didn’t have that same entrancing effect that I’m used to from her. I guess that if I were to pick up shows based on how musically enjoyable they are, Soredemo would be at the top of the list followed by Kuragehime’s.

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  4. While Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee) may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the second season Reverse’s OP is the best I feel of all the OPs so far, by Stereopony, who also did Namida no Mukou (Gundam 00) and Tsukiakari no Michishirube (Darker than BLACK), you should go check it out

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  5. @psgels: Thanks for pointing that out, I’ve been impressed by Ryousuke Nakamura’s Madhouse work but I think I’d like to see a Shaft/Ryousuke Nakamura series now.

    As for getting really good directors to do OPs, maybe they’ve realized it’s an opportunity to experiment with animation without having to worry about sinking tons of work into a series.

    @Taka: It was a little short on Russian mobsters but, yeah, I see your point.

    @zzeroparticle: Looking it up I didn’t realize Etsuko Yakushimaru was not only the singer for the OP of Arakawa 1,2 but also did the OP for the second season of Natsu no Arashi and the ED from The Tatami Galaxy (if wiki and ANN is correct) – she has a very wide range of music style.

    I sometimes wish I could listen to the songs used in anime before I see how they’re used because it becomes difficult to separate my feelings for a song from my feelings for the OP or ED.

    @deuterionaxium: That was a pretty good OP, thanks for the heads-up. At one time I wanted to see Tegami Bachi but it never happened. The animation in the OP looks pretty good, I might pick this up when I have the time.

    @Janette: Again with mentioning of anime I’ve yet to see (and probably should) 🙂

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  6. This season’s openings are pretty good, and I really enjoyed Ore no Imouto’s opening, though I tend to ignore what’s on the screen. Bakuman has a pretty nice sounding opening, as well.

    On another note, the song that plays when Zakuro and company begins killing youkais is awesummmm.

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  7. @azauraa: Yeah that insert song is awesome.

    @ymarsakar: I faded from Pandora Hearts about halfway through when my preferred sub group started slowing down. I liked it more then I thought I would but I try really hard to be loyal to a sub group. I just checked and they finished subbing the series about a month ago so maybe it’s time to watch the rest of the series.

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  8. I wonder why it is you stay to one sub group. I understand enough Japanese now that I can figure basic conversations. So the style of the subs matters less and less. After all, I now know the meaning of many Japanese words and can check the translation of much. Not all, but much.

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  9. People who wanted to see the japanese take on Alice in Wonderland… probably should see Pandora Hearts. It is quite lovely.

    It’s actually not about fighting, even though the earlier episodes feel that way. Heh.

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  10. The easter egg, as I like to think of it, is the beginning theme song.

    After awhile, near the end, I was feeling as sad when I hear the song as I was at the plot twist in Air anime.

    It was just so bitter-sweet. Half nostalgic, half post-apocalyptic.

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