78 CommentsLists / By Scamp /

Top 20 Favourite Anime Openings

Not writing episodics this season has left me with a dearth of stuff to write about. So I’ve had to break into ye trusty olde vault of classic anime themed lists when your mind is completely devoid of any originality. So here we go, a big fat list of my favourite anime openings of all time. Note that there’s a bunch of embedded youtube clips here, so if you’ve visited here about 5 minutes after it was originally posted, some of them are bound to have been taken down.

20: Persona 4

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Since Sony is incredibly fussy about letting this song on Youtube, I decided to put up the trailer for the anime instead. Besides, I fell in love with the song originally because of the trailer. This opening made yellow cool. That was something I never thought was possible. Also to any game fans, yes I have seen the opening to the game. It’s pretty awesome too.

19: Umineko

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Umineko was such a stupid anime. The characters were irritating, the plot twists were farcical, but what made it amusing was it didn’t seem to have any clue how dumb it was. It genuinely seemed to think it was the cleverest thing ever. This opening is that hubris distilled. If Umineko is the fat kid coming last at the 100 metres, then this opening is the fat kid’s victory lap and spraying champagne over the onlookers.

18: BECK

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One of the problems with anime openings is singing along is rather difficult. For all the stupid karaoke effects flying around, I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention to what they were saying. I guess singing Japanese out loud makes me feel like an idiot. Actually all singing about loud makes me feel like an idiot. This is why I kinda like engrishy openings, because I can place the idiocy on the lyric writers rather than my inability to sing it properly. So all together now: I WAS MADE TO HIT AN AMERICAN!

17: GTO

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I may not be the biggest fan of GTO, but just look at that opening! Artsy monochrome graphics. Wailing guitars. Engrish with Love and Piece, and I’m still not sure if that’s deliberate or not. Also it starts with the main character flushing a toilet, and it makes that image look cool. That, if nothing else, deserves some sort of recognition.

16: Trigun

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Because I am physically incapable of listening to this opening without breaking out into an intense air guitar session.

15: Outlaw Star

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For what it’s worth, I don’t think Outlaw Star is very good. Its good reputation amongst anime fans comes mainly from it being on TV next to the likes of Bebop, Big O, Ghost in the Shell and so on. It also helps that whenever someone wants to recapture that nostalgia from watching the show, they can go watch this opening and wallow in squealing electric guitars, echoing backing vocals and one of the most kick ass anime openings of all time.

14: Durarara

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That opening beat. I don’t think I’ve ever been as hyped for an upcoming anime as I was for Durarara. No, before you lot ask, not even my hype for Guilty Crown matched how worked up I got for Durarara. But hype is a dangerous weapon that can create massive expectations that can never be fulfilled. But then that opening beat started playing and I stopped giving a shit, because Durarara was awesome.

13: Welcome to the NHK

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Round Table have this weird hold on me, and this won’t be the last time you see their names pop up on this list. I’m really not sure why either, it’s nothing like the kind of music I usually listen to. Their opening to Soremachi would probably have been on this list too if I had actually liked the anime. It’s not even like the opening is that connected to my feelings for Welcome to the NHK. I just get oddly melancholic listening to it.

12: Xam’d: Lost Memories 2

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Interesting fact about this opening song is that it never played when I was watching Xam’d. You see, Xam’d was originally released weekly on the Playstation Network, a good two months before it was broadcast on TV in Japan. I kept up with the PSN version (illegally of course, since I neither owned a PS3 nor lived in America), and they kept the original Boom Boom Satellites opening for that the entire way through. The Japanese TV broadcast changed openings halfway through, to another song by Boom Boom Satellites. While not quite as good as the original, it’s still pretty damn cool.

11: Eden of the East

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I grew up listening to Oasis. My parents were big fans and their albums were a permanent presence during our stupidly long car trips across the country. This was Ireland before they built motorways connecting everywhere, so I’d be listening to Don’t Look Back in Anger as we drove down a road with grass growing in the middle while my parents yelled at each other while turning a map upside down (bit of an ironic song choice now that I think of it). So I was always going to love an anime opening by Oasis. The fact that it was connected to a great anime and had fantastic imagery associated with it was just a bonus.

10: Baccano

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You know the way sometimes there’s a specific moment where you’re sold on an anime? I remember being sold on Samurai Champloo when they did that ridiculous timeskip about 5 minutes into the first episode. Well, for Baccano I was sold about 1 second into the opening song. Baccano also wins the award for the most useful opening of all time. Trying to keep track of all the characters was made that much more useful by listing them in the opening.

9: Chobits

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Round Table again. I think my love of their music might be connected to my experience watching Chobits. I watched it fairly early on in my anime fandom, and it played a large part to cementing my existence as an anime fan. It also still holds the record for the most amount of episodes of an anime I marathoned in a day, something I really don’t do anymore. It was about 20 episodes in a row. Having an addicting opening certainly helped achieve that.

8: Hellsing

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I have been caught dancing to this opening by a girl not once, but twice. The second time I was shirtless too. Perhaps this should be a lesson that I shouldn’t dance about in my room when my door is unlocked/open. What lesson we should really be taking from this is that when the Hellsing opening song is playing from my room, you should know to leave me alone. Also obligatory fuck Hellsing Ultimate.

7: Cowboy Bebop

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It’s a classic for a reason, although it certainly helps that I’m a big fan of jazz. I watched Cowboy Bebop with my sister, so of course we’d sing along to the ‘3 2 1 let’s jam’ part. One time during the opening, I plonked a jam jar on the table at exactly the point he said “let’s jam”. Oh boy I crack myself up.

6: Bleach

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Once upon a time, Bleach was cool. For the first 20 episodes, Bleach had more in common with Durarara than it did Dragonball Z. It was a bunch of kids in incredibly fashionable clothes, going around town fighting supernatural monsters that were the spirits of dead people who couldn’t be put to rest. But then Rukia was captured, they all ditched their fashionable clothes for black dresses and it became a load of shounen power fighting bullshit. But look at that opening. Look at it damnit! Bleach was so fucking cool.

5: Black Lagoon

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Sweeps the  award for the most successful opening to get you pumped up for what you are about watch. Also sweeps the award for the opening in which subtitles totally ruin it for you. I’m generally cool with dumb engrish, but not for Black Lagoon. I want to continue to pretend she’s speaking in some kind of foreign tongue about blood and suffering and guns and shit. I don’t want some garbled engrish.

4: Last Exile

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What’s the genre of this song? I’m no expert on music, so it’s some kind of tencho celtic bagpipes…thing? Whatever it is, it’s still one of the best and most original anime openings songs ever. Then Last Exile Fam came along and had some generic crappy girly jpop nonsense instead and I was all ready to rage, only for them then to play a version of this opening during the opening scene in the first episode.

3: Pokemon

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2: Xam’d: Lost Memories

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Oh Xam’d. I have never been more let down by an anime than I was by you. The first half of you was so good. Loading up a new episode and being greeted by that beating foot was the highlight of my week. But then your second half was just episode after episode of disappointment. At least Guilty Crown had the decency to crush my hopes right at the start. You suckered me in with fantastic early episodes and what was at the time the best anime opening I had ever seen. Watching both this opening, and the other one listed earlier, just serve to highlight how good you could have been. I felt somewhat relieved when I could finally replace you with another anime opening for my top spot.

1: Legend of Black Heaven

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Easily my favourite opening of all time, and will almost certainly remain that way until the day I die or develop serious Alzheimer’s and forget it exists. Or perhaps I’ll develop video game amnesia and all my memories come rushing back to me when I hear this song. Or maybe another anime opening song will come along that replaces it as my favourite? Nah, amnesia and Alzheimer’s sounds more likely.

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  1. Karry
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    “”1: Legend of Black Heaven”

    You poor bastard…

  2. Flawfinder
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully, the new Moyashimon will give u something to talk about.

  3. Anca
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    “I WAS MADE TO HIT AN AMERICAN” what are you talking about, that’s brilliant.

  4. Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Normally top lists make me turn my flame on, but there’s too many boring guitar riffs to bother with it. Having Baccano in there next to Cowboy Bebop is rather redundant too. And by the way, Utena made yellow cool long before P4.

  5. Chipp
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Almost all of Gintama openings and even endings are great. Hell, even the OST is awesome.

    • Chipp
      Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Also the Black Lagoon have great opening theme but the visuals in the video are almost absent.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Really? I like Gintama and all, but I thought all the OPs and EDs were pretty shit, especially next to the ones Bleach have. The only one I liked was Mr. Raindrop and even that one I like because it’s sorta dumb yet catchy

  6. Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I knew you’d mention finding yellow cool somewhere in your paragraph on the P4 OP…
    I think I know you too well!

    Some great choices. Surprised to see a lack of Code Geass though…

    • luffyluffy
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      JIBUN WO

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Not sure if anyone realised, but this isn’t exactly a list of my favourite openings. It’s just the ones I can write interesting/funny stuff about

      • Walao
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Ah~ I see now. I’ve had this hunch while reading some of your post. I’ll have to ignore it when you bash something and scrutinize it whenever you praise something then.

        Wait a minute… At least tell me you didn’t do the same thing to your top 60.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Nah, the top 60 is legit because I want people to actually watch those shows. Also it’s not like I don’t love all the openings in this list. It just means that some of the ones that I didn’t list I still love but couldn’t think of anything interesting to say about them, like the Scrapped Princess OP

  7. Anne Onymous
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Everything is better with german techno: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCC_-1gVE5Q
    Everything is better with slow motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn3GDzFSaXc

    • Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink


    • Posted June 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      My childhood.

  8. appropriant
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Xam’d. I was only emotionally invested in the series and can understand that the plot is pretty much still burning in hell. I chose to forego any sense the story was trying to make and was better off because of it, and ended up enjoying the second half more than I would have.

    I suppose being forced to make that transition would make it a fatal flaw in your book, though.

  9. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Best anime OPs you say? I’ll just leave this here:

  10. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Holy fuck why is my link half-embedded like a janky-ass GIF artifact in that flouder gigging site?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I don’t know how most of the design stuff on this website works :|

  11. Kagamihime
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    You didn’t feel not even one Gundam op was worth the list? I thought daybreak’s bell was pretty nice and uver world’s song made the entire show pretty much worth it, but I guess that’s just me.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      From the AU stuff I’d have to say the AGE-2 op/ed set and I guess the first ending from 00.

      • Kiseki
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        The second AGE OP sucked. The third was the only one that could excite me. And the ED paired with it broke my heart until the second version with Captain Ash(em) WHO ABANDONED HIS WIFE AND SON appeared.

        But if we’re talking about Gundam…
        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlhtVgB7QuY&w=420&h=315%5D
        Nothing beats SHINING FINGER.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

        Oh god the second AGE-3 ending got to me in the worst way, but I really love AGE-2 and Asemu in all his Kamille clone glory so nothing makes me smile like AAIIIIIIII JA NAAIII SAWARANAAAIIIII

        (but the ending is better because it has asemu butt teehee)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      No way, the Gundam openings I saw were almost all universally generic and dull

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Becuase you’re not fucking watching the right stuff, duh

  12. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I was expecting the first brotherhood opening on this list… I wonder where is it? place 21?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      It was in the original 50-odd and then cut because I had nothing witty to say about it

  13. lmm
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    The only openings I remember as things in their own right (rather than just remembering the song) are the higurashi ones. Consistently atmospheric, even the one for the silly OVAs. From your list I remember Black Lagoon and Eden of the East, but I really can’t think of any more on my own.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink


      • lmm
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Ok, I’d forgotten about the second round of OVAs

  14. langer
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    would have thought there would have at least been one Shaft OP mentioned


    Apple Picking Beam!

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

      BURE > RUMBA

      • Scamp
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Bure is indeed better than Rumba.

        The closest Shaft to making this list was the SoreMachi one because Round Table

  15. luffyluffy
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Personally my favorite anime opening of all time is the N-A version of Zeta Gundam. Shh, just listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISwoD4hkl0s

    I managed to watch Zeta in 4 days (i’m not kidding) so when you hear this 50 times in four days it really sticks with you. Every time I watch I get a weird feeling in my chest and I get all teary eyed ;-;

    followed by the third Legend of the Galactic Heroes opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEeifsmqJ8M

    Because I watched the series on youtube the first time, almost all of the openings and endings were cut out, except for the third one which was in a for about 5 times. Just everything about it is so simple and yet so stirring aND THEN THE WAY HIS CAPE DIPS AND YANG WALKS BY AND THE MUSIC SWEELLS AND NOTHING CUTS ME UP MORE except for the fourth logh ending which just induces emotion vomit so yeah

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The LOGH openings? They were all shit! This should have been the LOGH opening

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Yeah. The only parts about the LOGH soundtrack that were NOT absolutely amazing were the openings.

      • Walao
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        How dare you, Scamp!

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        You’re kidding me, right?

        Yeah okay, Two is a fucking snooze, but three and four are just perfect. Maybe it’s because I only got to see them a few times and not every episode, but I just really love them!

      • tatsumaki
        Posted June 6, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

        LOGH OP 4 ? Perfect ? Not only 1 but 2 singers unable to remain on key while singing in Engrish about the “blightest sta” etc. The only good thing about that OP is that we didn’t have to sub it, so we didn’t have to listen to it during editing runs. Ears would have bled.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        It’s not the lyrics, it’s the way the music swells and then the imagery behind reinhard and then and then ;-;

        three is better tho

      • Scamp
        Posted June 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Hey cool, a central anime subber reads my blog. Serious kudos for subbing LOGH, and Touch when I eventually get around to it

      • tatsumaki
        Posted June 13, 2012 at 2:55 am | Permalink

        I very much enjoy reading your blog – and showing Todd (Central Anime’s Lord and Master) your Terribad reviews and other reviews of interest. And thanks for the kudos – they were very much a labor of love, LOGH and Touch.

  16. Erif
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    I noticed a particular trend among this, in that most of these openings really pump you up before the show starts, or are just cool. Kinda reflects upon what you look for and value in an anime, maybe?

    • Kagamihime
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      If that’s the case, then I’m surprised the first Mirai Nikki Op isn’t on here :<

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Yup, that’s exactly the types I look for. Future Diary was on the shortlist

      • Erif
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Also, I don’t know why I made that last bit in italics. Makes it seem like I’m criticizing you or something. :/

        Why did you decide not to blog anything this season, if you don’t mind me asking? With such a plethora of shows to choose from, too?

      • Scamp
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Firstly because the big hiatus put a halt on any sort of regular posting. Also because Space Bros became very boring to write about very quickly. So I ended up with nothing

  17. SQA
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Amazingly enough, I was having a discussion with someone just the other day about the Last Exile OP and how it really was one of the best of all time. The combination of unique sound and brilliant visuals just worked so well.

    The song is, itself, very interesting. If you’ve heard the full song, you’d know that the OP is more like a remix than a cut down of the original. Very interesting experience, that song.

    I like the list, but, with all of these things, it goes to personal tastes.

  18. Mr. Anon
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:37 am | Permalink



    This list needs like 40 more entries.

  19. Kamui
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Heck yeah GTO and Cowboy Bebop, the OPs I will always remember from back when I was a young’un.
    By the way, why does no one ever seem to comment about REMORESE in the Eden of the East opening?I even checked the dictionary for the word because I just couldn’t believe they would botch up the spelling (they got it right the other times though, when remorse was written in small miniscule letters). Is it some sort of unspoken rule to not talk about it so as to not ruin the awesomeness of it all?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I don’t think I’ve ever even noticed the mispelling. Oh well~

      • Kamui
        Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        …IT’S A CONSPIRACY!!

  20. Anne Onymous
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    This guy on YT condensed anime OPs into a single one. Well… two:


    • Mr. Anon
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Dat eurobeat

  21. Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink


  22. Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes!! Pokemon!!! I am so glad that this made the list, haha.

  23. diz1776
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    No Buso Renkin OP?

  24. baśbaś
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for reminding long time ago in the galaxy far far away Bleach was cool ^^

    • Kyouma
      Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Me too. I forgot Bleach used to be cool until this post reminded me. Scamp, I’d have to agree with you completely on this. I try not to think about the show it turned into.

  25. Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Nice job Scamp :D I’m half-upset because I was gonna do a top 5 or top 10 OP/EDs for me, but now it’s eclipsed by your gargantuan post :( it’s all good :p btw, for the 1st episode of persona w/that opening, I remember that, but I watched it somewhere else for the first episode and it was totally different. You know why…?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      You probably watched Persona Trinity Soul instead

  26. Thrashy
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I’m guessing from what’s on the list that Scamp has a preference for rock music, but even so I’m shocked at how sparse Yokko Kanno music is on this list. Personally, “Tank!” is my ringtone, and “Rise” is my morning alarm. Anything that woman touches is musical gold, and if Origa is somehow involved it turns into double-rainbow-platinum.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      I guess I like rock music, but I’ve never really identified with any particular genre of music. Jazz, rock, techno etc. I all like. Even some more poppy music I like, just Japan does dreadful pop music

      • Thrashy
        Posted June 7, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

        I while ago I stumbled across an article from some news magazine or other talking about how J-pop is declining in popularity even within Japan. Groups from Korea have been taking up most of the slack. One of the big reasons, according the article, was that J-pop producers didn’t have any sense for dynamics — it’s just wall-to-wall synths and sugary vocals from start to finish, every song. Frankly, that article ruined a whole lot of OSTs for me, but damned if it wasn’t spot-on in its critique!

  27. DarkEnergy
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Other good ones: Clannad AS, Higurashi, Bokurano, Evangelion, and Gankutsuou.

    <3 Pokemon!

  28. DarkEnergy
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Also, surprisingly, only the Xam’d OP is borked so far.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Maaya Sakamoto sang Soremachi’s OP. Round Table was involved in the ED though.

  29. Jake & Finn
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Chobits? That’s so messed up. No wonder I can’t ever agree with anything in this blog.

  30. Jump
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Here are a few picks I really enjoyed:
    Ergo Proxy
    Deadman Wonderland (about the only thing good about the show)

    and my all time favorite:


  31. Anonymous
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Don’t hate on Mell’s engrish man, it’s classic.

  32. Sarif
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping to see the shrimp fingers from honey and Clovers opening. Never has food been so funny or horrifying.

  33. Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Bravo. You have the most outstanding and agreeable choice of anime OP of anyone that I have seen. Abso-fucking-lutely brilliant.

    Also, thanks for including that link to the Soredemo Machi BD OP. Shaft naturally updated the animation in it, so now it looks even better (and has fanservice to boot).

  34. hint
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    wolfs rain op is also good!

  35. TheHouseholdWarrior
    Posted July 22, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    This list would be perfect, but you’re missing what is probably the greatest anime opening of all time.
    Cromartie’s OP is the best.

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  • By What’s in an Opening? | Lain's First Law on July 24, 2013 at 8:03 am

    […] There have been a plethora of different groups with large followers who have posted their various opinions about what openings have been the best (I had intended to put more links in, but I get lazy during […]

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