(image from Giphy.com)
In a world of ever-shortening attention spans, a good anime-opening is crucial.
Good animators know they have a finite amount of seconds to impress both the average Otaku and the anime new-comer. They will spend painstaking hours to make sure their opening is a sample of filet mignon, just scrumptious enough to make you wanna dive in and eat the whole thing. Without this attention to detail, we wouldn’t have the fast-paced, rock n’ roll opening to Attack on Titan, or Ghost in The Shell‘s haunting opening melodies.
However a larger, sadder chunk of the industry underestimate how important it is, and the results can be devastating. After all, if your opening reeks of lazy crap, then how should the audience know the rest of didn’t come from the toilet? Below we have the worst offenders, ranging from bad intentions to just plain lazy. These are the worst anime openings.
Remember, these are just from my experience. If you know one worse, feel free to share the pain.
#5) Ikkitousen First Opening
Ikkitousen is about an underage girl fighting other underage girls and losing her clothes in the process. Yes it’s ecchi, yes it’s known for being one of anime’s cockroaches, but it still had potential. But, after watching the very first opening, it’s clear to me that the animators just didn’t care.
There’s nothing wrong with Pin-Ups, but no amount of rock and roll can make them exciting. You also can’t distract everyone with underage panty shots, but you can insult them with one or two animated shots. This opening is the epitome of lazy. Anyone who actually liked this show is sure to walk away feeling insulted.
Why is it so high on the list? Because what you see is what you get with Ikkitousen, and at least it wasn’t taking attention away from a good show.
And then we had a good show with a bad opening.
Zatch Bell had a fun concept: people using spellbooks to control puppet-like creatures called Mamotos. It’s opening sounds like an overrated slog through the mud.
Short and anything but sweet, Zatch Bell’s first opening number is proof that the music you pick is everything. In what was an attempt to sound edgy and high energy, Z.B’s opening sounds like someone dropped a pile of rock band instruments into an echo chamber. Discordant, off-beat, and boring, you’d have never know that this show was funny and action-intense.
At least The animation is snappy and action-packed, and the music doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. If they’d pick a better song, this one could have been saved.
#3) Ranma ½
The same cannot be said here. We’re going slightly obscure here, into the deep waters of the oldies.
For anyone who missed it, Ranma ½ is comedy Manga, where martial artist Ranma Saotome is cursed to turn into a girl every time he’s splashed with cold water. His grandfather, an insufferable old man who constantly gets in trouble, affiances his son multiple times throughout the show, and several guys keep falling for Fem!Ranma. It’s funny, it’s chaotic, and it saddens me greatly that the anime opening is anything but that.
They picked a generic J-pop song, and the singer sounds bored out of her mind. They couldn’t be bothered to animate any backgrounds for the opening, and instead stuck to the characters running in the nebulous void for an eternity. Granted, a perky little love song wouldn’t be wrong for this series, but a better one is sorely needed.
#2) Rurouni Kenshin (Japanese and English.)
Yes, it’s a historical romance, but this opening forgets that it’s also a badass samurai anime as well.
Rurouni Kenshin follows the trials and tribulations of former assassin-turned-wanderer Kenshin Himura. It’s a very action-tense, comedic piece, with an opening that couldn’t be more boring.
You took a show with some of the best swordfights ever animated, and a cast of well-written characters, and you gave it a limp, lifeless opening. This easy-listening number belongs to a slice of life, a drama, anything but an action anime. It’s forgettable and pathetic, with only a smattering of action scenes to perk it up. This is one I recommend skipping every time.
Yeah, it’s predictable, but sometimes the truth hurts.
Yet another show close to my heart. This opening is a prime example of why so many people were angry at 4kids. They didn’t care that 4kids was bringing anime to the west, they were angry that 4kids was “westernizing” and dumbing down anime, and this god-awful rap is exhibit A.
Ignoring the annoying exposition dump in the beginning (because the original one does that too), I don’t have to tell you how stupid the lyrics are, or talk about the clunky character-exposition therein, but I will tell you just how phoned in it feels. The energy attached to this one feels so fake it’s painful. If 4kids doesn’t care, why should their audience?
What do you think is the worst anime opening? Feel free to comment below, and don’t forget to check out my other posts.