>After the Black Friday madness, it’s time to continue with my list of the top 26 opening sequences for anime shows. Moving onward to number 20…
20. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, first season
This opening looks more like one of those 70s romance shows, like “That Girl” or “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” The characters dress up with considerable class. Even the juxtaposition of the drawings make them look like high-end individuals. It’s still a classic for me.
No moe show has stirred as much controversy as the second season of Haruhi. This show isn’t an ordinary experiment in shoujo anime anymore. It is guaranteed to test your toleration for anime boredom.
Yet, this is also why it’s one of the more important shows of the decade. There’s no other show that will amuse you and disgust you as much as Haruhi. If you’re into camera tricks and classy cinematography, get season one for $35. Season two is also available at a more expensive $49.
This is another one of those really corny intros where the singer has to sing the name of the show. The epic scale of the orchestra and the electric guitars makes the show much larger than life. The hero of the series, Rick Hunter, also looks incredibly cool as the star pilot of the series.
Most of the DVDs are still available on amazon.com. You have to make sure to buy only the grey copies with the words “Super Dimensional Fortress Macross,” though. This was one of the shows that was first released with a terrible English dub and none of the original Japanese audio, so make sure you find the proper version.
18. Death Note, second opening
People don’t usually hear about death metal bands in Japan, so this was an excellent intro that showed off the random, schizophrenic sound of Japanese metal. It also included some of the edgiest visuals for an anime opening.
It doesn’t make much sense, but it truly captures the dangerous atmosphere of “Death Note.”
In case anyone is wondering, Funimation recently released the Death Note episodes in two box sets. Each part is available for only $28.
17. Hidamari Sketch x365
I didn’t even consider putting “Hidamari Sketch” into the list until I saw the second opening. The show easily trumps Haruhi and “Lucky Star” with a cheery, hyper intro that captures everything that makes it so special.
This intro included everything. The characters show off their name stamped on their faces and arms. We get to see all the characters, from the weird principal to the caterpillar mascot. Panels from the comic are even flashing by at high speeds.
Sure, this intro copies the flying character sequence from Azumanga Daioh. Twice. Yet, no one can argue about how the animators neatly synchronized all the letters, numbers and character motions to match the fast music.
Seasons one and two are available on amazon.com for $36 each.
16. Xam’d – “Shut Up and Explode”
Xam’d is one of those shows that you have to watch, just because it looks cool and surreal. This opening happens to have the hardest-hitting post-punk song I’ve ever heard in an anime.
There’s plenty of things that just look great. The giant Xam’d monsters that are destroying buildings. The unique motions of the characters to the hip music. The person who probably lured people in the most is the girl who looks like a cross between Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa. Come on, you have to watch a show just because this girl’s image was inspired by two of the best Hayao Miyazaki films of all time.
Xam’d is available in two box sets. The first box is available for $37.
In another week, we’ll look at numbers 15-11 on the list.
Images courtesy of photobucket.com.