The OP is the theme music and opening introduction for an anime series, and is supposed to set the tone for the whole show. Some fall flat in that task, and most are simply alright. Some, however are simply excellent. I am reminded of Binary Star last year from the Legend of the Galactic Heroes reboot. This year, we’ve been gifted with no less than 5 truly excellent OPs in one season. An event worth documenting. As the Summer 2019 season comes to a close, let us reflect on the best OPs we’ve been privileged to see every week.
Good Morning World
The OP to Dr. Stone, one of the most well thought-of anime in recent memory, is equally good and perfectly sets the tone for the show. Upbeat and positive, yet intense, it’s an Anthem in the truest sense, for a stone world. It’s the kind of song you’d imagine the main characters waking up to every day.
Vinland Saga as an anime is visually striking and intense, as is the OP. Songs by Survive Said the Prophet have previously been used for the OPs of Banana Fish and Code Geass, so we know they have a good line on the ‘OP sound’. MUKANJYO perfectly fits the tone of Vinland Saga. My only complaint about Vinland Saga is that the title is misleading, and they’re never going to get to Vinland.
Cop Craft is a sort of medium-fantasy noir-esque detective story, and the OP is a real nostalgia fest for anyone who used to watch those movies. I would almost say the OP is campy, but not in the way 1960s Batman is considered campy. It’s an unusual experience fitting the unusual tone of the show itself.
Tsuki o Ou Mayonaka
Granbelm is a prime example of the potential of original anime, and here’s hoping we all remember that. The OP is also a masterpiece, setting the tone for an anime with both action and solemn reflection. The OP, like the show itself, brings one back to the first time watching Mai HiME and My Otome. Here’s hoping for more like this!
Enen no Shouboutai‘s OP is uncharacteristically upbeat considering the show’s setting. But so is the show. Despite initial appearances, knowing that the show is about a world where spontaneous human combustion is a real thing, the OP fits the tone of the rest of the show. It also has the rare property of being easily translated to English without losing any of its’ considerable impact in translation.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. And if you’ve been brought back in time to some of your old favourites, write and/or link them down in the comments. I’m curious.