Its not just Anime that have wonderful Opening and Ending scenes. Shows all over the globe have had all sorts of approaches to introducing themselves. If you’ve watched shows like the American Television sitcom “Friends” or Cartoon Network’s hit series “Ben 10” (don’t judge me, you), there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to recognise them from just their opening theme songs alone. Likewise for Anime, if you’ve watched Neon Genesis Evangelion, its pretty likely that you’re going to be able to recognise “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis“. And for those of you that for whatever reason has yet to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion (what are you waiting for?), I’m convinced that you will at least be able to recognise the iconic shout from One Punch Man’s Opening theme. But for Anime specifically, the Openings and Endings have become so iconic that its inherent in almost any series.
Anime Openings and Endings, I would say, are as important to an anime as the characters and the plot are themselves. Here’s 3 main reasons why.
1) First and Last impressions.
The first episode of an anime series is where viewers would have the least information of how good an anime is. It is the period where the audience is most critical of an anime. If they don’t like what they see or hear, there would be little incentive for them to continue watching. But if there’s a cute girl dancing to moe music every opening sequence, disregarding the anime’s content, that alone could be enough to bring back viewers for episode 2. Speaking of cute girl dancing, have you seen Kaguya-sama: Love is War? Now there’s a good example of a last impression from an anime Ending (episode 3 credits) that fascinated me so much, even thought I hadn’t watched the show, I decided to simply because of that Ending.
P.s, due to videos being taken down for copyright, I won’t be linking any videos. So if you haven’t already seen it, look up “Chika Dance” on Youtube and thank me later.
2) Setting the tone.
For Anime Openings, when we hear an Anime with a rock themed opening, chances are there’s going to be action. When we hear melodramatic music, chances are there’s going to be drama. When we see Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin and Darkness, chances are there’s going to be comedy. Notice that the phrase “going to be” is being said repeatedly. This is because these Openings can help us with our expectations of what’s to come or set the mood.
For an anime’s Ending theme, it has the potential to greatly assist the natural flow of the anime. In the anime Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai, the ending scenes would change in each mini arc and be sung by the respective voice actors who played a huge role in that arc. What this does for the anime is that, we hear the voices of the characters sing about their problems at the end of every episode, providing a more direct and personal voice that intensifies the emotions at play. Thankfully, the ending of Bunny Girl Senpai didn’t make me cry. There was an anime that used the ending theme song so well such that I did cry though. Yes, I’m looking at you Angel Beats!!
3) Hyping up the series.
We all know by now that whenever we watch a new anime and see its Opening theme, there’s always that one character beside the main character that looks awfully close to the protagonist and yet, we know nothing of. Or maybe there’s that insanely tough looking villain-like person that is seen facing off with the main character, but has yet to make an appearance in the anime. We typically use these as clues to guess the events that would likely happen that would introduce these unknown faces to the anime’s plot. Essentially what it does is that it gets the viewers to be interested in what’s to come, keeping us invested to continue watching the series. Well, unless you’re watching Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken.
Of course, when the anime Opening and Ending music is great, they’re also great tools to hype up the series.
In summary, there is too much potential for our beloved anime Openings and Endings to influence a show for it to ever die out. No matter how hard Netflix tries its best to kill anime Openings and Endings with its “Skip Intro” or its “Next Episode”, us anime fans know better, right? Right?? Then again, if you’re watching anime on Netflix, something is already wrong (they have inaccurate subs that ruin the true sentiments of certain dialogues). I had a lot of fun writing up this post, so thanks for reading! What’s your favourite Anime Opening or Ending? Do you disagree with my views? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!