Best anime openings for Christmas insanity (part three)

>I had a tough time narrowing down the next 15 entries in my favorite anime openings list. Some of the more obscure shows started to pop up in my head, so I had to reorganize the order.

Don’t worry. I’m still keeping numbers 26-16. Now then, lets continue the countdown, starting at…

15. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

I just started this series. Beck has one of the catchiest tunes I’ve ever heard. Once people hear it, they can’t stop thinking about it. They’ll hum it in their sleep. They’ll sing the words.

The video is a fun montage of a road trip across the United States. It looks pretty cute too. When the main characters sing “I was born to hit in America,” the cinematography reminds me of “A Hard Day’s Night.” The camera cycles through head shots of all the characters, as if they were going to be the next big Japanese superstars.

All 26 episodes of the series are available in a box set for only $13. It’s a really entertaining series, if rock music is your type of thing.

14. Fullmetal Alchemist, fourth opening

As much as I liked all the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood intros, the fourth opening of the original series truly captures the dramatic scope of the Elric brothers’ journey. I like to call this the epic standing-in-place intro, because most of the characters are just staying in one place, as the camera pans around them.

Yet, the animators make it look incredibly cool. They put in all these warm lighting effects. Sometimes the characters’ hair is blowing all over the place, just to make them appear larger than life. The animators also put in all these quick panning effects on the background, to make everything look even more intense. It’s a cheesy opening, but all the effects can really hook people in.

With all that said, I’d prefer to watch the remake, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It’s a show that lasts over 50 episodes. It’s available for only about $35 per box set on amazon.com.

13. K-On!, second opening

This is probably the flashiest intro, with special effects and computer animation all over the place. During the chorus, the camera literally rotates at 100 miles per hour around the band members.

For whatever reason, the director wanted to capture the hyper-kinetic power of cuteness in K-On with a whole bunch of insane computer animation shots. Honestly, he’s overdoing it a little. However, the video is so manic that it lures anime fans right into it.

The American anime publisher for the series hasn’t announced any new information, but fans should expect Bandai to release it next year. Hopefully.

12. Spice and Wolf, season one opening

Although many shoujo shows tried to capture people’s attention with a wide variety of computer animation tricks, my favorite shoujo opening is from a recent series, called Spice and Wolf. For an animated music video, this is a surprisingly simple montage. It’s set to one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

Most of the imagery relies on the marvelous landscapes in the series. It includes old European villages and beautiful grassy meadows. If that didn’t catch anyone’s attention, there’s quite a few interesting fan service shots of a naked wolf girl.

The season one box set is still at an expensive $60, but on Black Friday the price fell to $25 on rightstuf.com. I guess the website is keeping the price low for the holidays, because it’s still at the same price. For an epic 13 episodes, this is a great bargain. Check it out.

11. Wolf’s Rain opening

This intro has an 80s-style smooth jazz tune that sounds pretty stylish with Wolf’s Rain. It  is still one of the best intros by the anime studio Bones, complete with flocks of black crows and towering skyscrapers.

The background images of overcast skies and heavy rain truly reflect the melancholy, murky tone of this show. Even the wolf characters’ have an 80s fashion sense that really fits their tough, loose lifestyle. The main character wears a leather jacket to protect him from the changing weather. The other characters dress in black, as if they are anticipating a funeral at any time.

The Wolf’s Rain perfect box set is available on amazon.com for only $33. It’s probably the best Bones series that anyone will ever see.

Image courtesy of photobucket.com

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Filed under Beck, favorite anime openings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, K-On, Spice and Wolf, Wolf's Rain

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