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Because some people complained about it, I’ve threatened to do a series on Anime Even Haters* Should See. However, I’m not quite ready there. To hold us over until I start, I’d like to talk about how they open. I love Anime openings for many reasons. In several cases, there are story reveals and visual expositions within them that when you later watch, you can be surprised with or give yourself a pat on the back for cleverness. A good example of this is Your Lie in April.**
Care is frequently placed in these, and for some anime, the opening title sequence is an important part of the show as a whole. In fact, much of Your Lie in April‘s story is presented in this opening, though we might not catch it first until you’ve seen the series. And to warn, I can’t watch this opening any more without going to tears. I’m such as sentimental sap.
I’ve just started “Hero Mask” and its opening is different:
There are no characters, but the music is perfect for a James Bond-esque mad science thriller. I remember so little of origami, so I don’t catch what each folded piece is, but the Numbering on each is most likely references to parts of the story. Again, I go back to the music. As much as I love the J-Pop that comes with a lot of shows, the minimal tense theatrical song adds to the opening and the show as a whole. It primes us for the show in ways a more familiar J-Pop opening wouldn’t.
In a similar vein is the title sequence for Cowboy BeBop.***
Again, little of the story, though you do meet the principal characters in the scenes and their respective spacecraft. What really sets this apart, of course, is the music, something that sets this entire series apart. That full-bodied walking bass and flashy jazz song prep you far more for this show than just about anything else. I should know, having actually purchased two of the soundtracks for this album back in the ’90s when legal streaming music was not as prevalent.
Of course, there are many openings to Anime, and the longer-standing programs with multiple seasons will have multiple title and credit sequences, creating a wealth of material.
So, enjoy it. You’ve been warned. This is an opening salvo to my upcoming series as I break back into writing at Ricochet. Take that, haters.
*I was going to call out someone specifically in this, but that would be rude. You know who you are!
**I will definitely write about this one. I will probably cry hard enough there will be teardrops on my computer screens.
***I will most certainly write on this one too. No tears though.