Anime openings tell a story. Music combines with the animation to give us just a taste of the adventure to come. Most of the time, that taste comes with a helping of Japanese lyrics that I don’t understand. But I’m a true believer in the power that music can communicate virtually anything. Maybe that’s because I was lucky enough to play music nearly every day for 18 years.
I think that the best intros reflect the spirit of the image above. I may not know what they are saying, but I know that the message reaches my soul. That is part of what gets me hooked into the anime. My iPod playlist may be full of intros that I am unable to sing along to, but the meaning gets translated from my ears to my soul. And I’m hoping that after you hear them that you’ll be interested in them too!
Log Horizon — “Database”
“The wall of pure fiction’s crackling in my head / And the addiction of my world still spreads”
“Database” drops you into a #jackedup world from the first keystrokes. Luckily, parts of the lyrics are in English so you don’t have to depend on just your soul knowing what story the opening is telling. If you aren’t rocking out to this intro, then you better check your pulse because you might be dead.
RWBY – “Time to Say Goodbye”
“There’s a point where it tips, / There’s a point where it breaks, / There’s a point where it bends, / And a point we just can’t take, anymore”
“Time to Say Goodbye” will tip, bend, and break bend you over and over. This intro to Rooster Teeth’s RWBY is all in English so no translation needed – you can just let it flood into your soul. It ties together the image of falling in the animation and the driving rock.
Fairy Tail – “Strike Back”
“Past, present, future / it’s the world we live in”
Fairy Tail has dozens of fantastic intros so it made my job of picking just one to highlight a near impossibility. “Strike Back” stands out to me because of the way the snare drum ties together with the image of the clock. Once you’re this far into the series you’ve been introduced to so many characters and types of magic that it is impossible to guess what is next but you get rewarded with DRAGONS!
Durarara!! – “Complication”
“Fearing a tomorrow where I embrace the anxiety that everything’s about to shatter”
“Complication” is probably the most subdued of my selections for this collection. It is also probably the one you have to pay the most attention to the visuals. One thing I struggle with is remembering all the names that pop up with large casts of characters – this opening gives you a clear name and face combination which is absolutely necessary in this character rich anime.
Attack on Titan – “Guren no Yumiya”
“They are the food and we are the hunters!”
If there’s an anime intro out there that drives intensity better than “Guren no Yumiya”, then I haven’t found it. Also bonus that I get to break my rule again in that this song has German lyrics in it rather than being all in Japanese or having English lyrics sprinkled throughout – one language is tough enough but this one complicates things. Still it ramps up from start to finish and doesn’t give you much time to rest. It feels bigger than a titan!
So these are just a few of the anime intros that speak to me. I’m hoping that when you listen to them, they’ll light a fire in you to check out the animes and give them a chance. I also encourage you to leave me a comment here with any suggestions you might have of other intros I might enjoy!