Top 5 Anime OPs

Top 5 Anime OPs

Introduction

After writing about my top 5 anime OSTs I figured doing posts about my favorite OPs and EDs as well would be a good idea. However, these are much harder to pick between because there are so many more options.

While each anime only has one OST, they can have many OPs; Naruto: Shippuden alone has 20 different OPs. So with so many OPs to choose from since I’ve seen a decent amount of anime, there were some criteria I set up before I started.

First, I decided I’ll only be picking one OP per series. This is important because otherwise there would be multiple Monogatari series OPs since that anime just knows how to crank out high quality ones.

The second criteria is that the music and animation of the OP have to both work together well or just be good enough individually for me not to care. There are plenty of OP songs or animations which I love on their own, but put together they just didn’t make the cut.

The third and final criteria is that the OP must be memorable in some way. Although the second criteria is pretty biased, I think this is where most of the bias comes in.

There are probably many amazing OPs that I’ve seen, but am simply forgetting about because nothing happened when I was watching them to make them stick. I’ll explain this a bit more throughout the rest of the post.

As one final note before we begin, remember that a good OP is often a sign of a good anime, so it’s no coincidence that some of these anime may be familiar to you from my top 10 anime post.

5. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Winry Rockbell from the first OP of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime
Fullmetal Alchemist OP 1 – Winry Rockbell

In position #5 on the list is the first OP from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMA:B) which can be viewed here. While I actually prefer FMA over FMA:B, I can’t deny that FMA:B is still good, and one of the parts I like the most is this first OP.

To start, I just really like the singer’s voice. Besides that, this OP is actually pretty standard; it shows some ominous shots, some action shots, the usual, so why did it make it into the top 5?

Well, the song is good and I really like how they have it sung by Winry. That’s basically it. I just really like Winry as a character and I thought having the song sung by her was a good touch even though it’s not sung by her voice actress like it would be if it was the Monogatari series.

Just something as simple as showing a character singing the OP song was enough to make this OP stand out to me which is why it made it onto my list. There are other great OPs which didn’t make the cut, but they didn’t do something special like this.

4. Owarimonogatari II

Ougi Oshino from the third anime OP of Owarimonogatari season 2
Owarimonogatari Season 2 OP 3 – Ougi Oshino

So before I start with this one let me just explain that while I chose the third OP from Owarimonogatari season 2, this spot really belongs to literally any Monogatari series OP. I just chose one which I happen to like the song for the most currently.

Objectively the fourth OP of Bakemonogatari is probably the best, but this is my list so I’ll do what I want. This is a newer Monogatari series OP which means I haven’t listened to it on repeat as much as the older ones yet which is why I picked it.

This OP can be viewed here.

If we’re considering the OP I chose from FMA:B to be standard, which it is, then from here on out the list has less standard OPs. Owarimonogatari season 2‘s third OP includes much more abstract animation.

In this OP we see Ougi Oshino confronting a shadow version of herself which is also a reflection of herself, hinting at her true nature. The visuals are also in high contrast with Ougi frequently being portrayed as a black shadow against bright white lights.

This artistic choice is undoubtedly referring to both the arc name (Ougi Dark) as well as Ougi’s character being considered an imitation of an entity known as “the darkness.” The animation also features some of Ougi’s sick BMX skills.

We also can’t forget that the song is an absolute “banger” as I think the kids would say, as is just about every Monogatari series OP song.

3. Samurai Champloo

Mugen from the Samurai Champloo anime OP
Samurai Champloo OP – Mugen

Samurai Champloo‘s OP is one that I probably wouldn’t have added onto the list if not for the last time I watched the series.

The OP can be viewed here. *This video has been removed.

It’s a series I love, but I probably wouldn’t have even thought of the OP for this list if not for the memories I have from when I rewatched the series with my roommate in college. While we often skipped OPs, this was one that we always got hyped up for and watched.

Although it’s an anime about samurai, the hip hop music just works with the art style of the show and the OP is no exception.

I think one of my favorite parts of this OP, besides the song, is how it compares the main characters to different things. Mugen is compared to a rooster because he’s wild when he attacks, while Jin is compared to fish because he’s calm and elegant.

Fuu is compared to vegetables.

Honestly I don’t know what else to say other than: you should go watch this OP right now so you can see how beautiful it is.

2. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood

Dio Brando from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood anime OP
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood OP – Dio Brando

I love the first OP of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure so much that it was actually difficult to choose between this one and my #1 OP. The Phantom Blood arc OP is available here.

Let’s start off by saying that the song for this OP perfectly fits the beginning of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. It’s an epic song to fit an epic centuries-long fight between good and evil that all started with two adopted brothers.

However, as much as I like the song and think it fit the anime and OP animation, the OP animation is really what puts this one so high on my list. The OP actually doesn’t even use the same art style as the rest of the series, but that’s typical of JoJo’s until we get to the fourth arc.

Instead, this OP seamlessly switches between 3D animation (I promise it’s works in this OP) and manga-style flip book animation. While you normally wouldn’t think these two styles would pair well together, somehow they did it and the result is a masterpiece of an OP.

No matter what you think of JoJo’s as a series I think if you’re a fan of good animation style this is a must-watch OP. I only rated this series a 7/10 and yet it still has one of the best OPs I’ve ever seen; definitely the best style-wise.

1. Re:ZERO

Subaru Natsuki from the first Re:ZERO anime OP
Re:ZERO OP 1 – Subaru Natsuki

So I know I said that FMA:B was the only standard OP on this list, but honestly, the Re:ZERO OP is pretty close to standard as well. However, this OP leaves out the action scenes and goes all in on the ominous foreshadowing.

The OP can be found here.

But enough about that for now, let’s first talk about the music. I think this may be my favorite anime OP song ever. And apparently the singer is younger than me so I think she’ll be around for a long time to come and will hopefully continue to produce amazing songs like this one.

She’s also the singer of the No Game No Life OP if you’re familiar with that one, as well as a variety of other anime OPs and EDs.

So the art and animation for this OP aren’t as special as JoJo’s was, but there can be more to a good OP than just music, art style, or animation. In this case, the OP tells a story which fits perfectly with the rest of the series.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “But how can this OP be telling a story? It’s just flickering versions of the characters and Subaru suffering.”

Well you’re right, but we have to remember that Subaru suffering is a major plot point for the series so technically that still works into my storytelling explanation. However, it’s really the beginning and ending of the OP which are the important parts.

So the key thing to remember about this anime is that Subaru can essentially respawn after he dies. This is what’s symbolized by the beginning of the OP where his blood goes back into his body and he stands back up unharmed.

This is actually a reversed version of the ending scene of the OP and together they form a loop of Subaru dying and starting over just like in the series.

Further, as the hand of the witch grabs Subaru’s heart at the end of the OP just before the scene of him dying like we saw in the beginning, the background plays the entire OP backwards. This further symbolizes how everything loops for Subaru as he dies and restarts.

Throughout the middle of the OP we also see various stages of Subaru throughout the series. We see him happy, sad, lost, confident, but in the end he still dies and starts over.

The amazing song paired with an animation that tells a story about the nature of the series and the protagonist within it is the reason this is my #1 OP.

Conclusion

And there you have it. Those are my top 5 anime OPs.

Do you think something I picked is a bad OP? Do you think I missed an obvious OP choice? What are some of your favorite OPs? Let me know so I can form an opinion about you and your choice in OPs.

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