Though I haven’t seen Elfen Lied, I’m not about to forget the OP theme “Lilium” which delivers the operatic flair really nicely. I remember the first time I saw it, the hairs at the back of my neck stood up because of how breathtakingly beautiful both the melody and the singing was. When people write their favorite OP/ED lists, this song inevitably makes it on the list and it’s not hard to understand why.
[spoiler show=”Elfen Lied OP”]
And if you’re looking for something that’s also hair-raising, but in a different way, Monster’s OP, “Grain,” fits the bill. The haunting vocals are a big part of what makes this song so creepy. It depicts that deranged killer out on the loose and the urgent aura lurking about demands the protagonist find said killer before it’s too late and more people end up dead.
[spoiler show=”Monster OP”]
And for something completely different, I’d have to say that Genshiken wasn’t a show that really appealed to me all too much. But its OP exposed me to manzo and does a good job of injecting that big dose of enjoyment that you get when you’re really involved in something that you really love doing. As for the ED, the music is much quieter and it’s just an enjoyable pop song. I don’t think there’s any major tie-in to be had through this, but I like it all the same.
[spoiler show=”Genshiken OP”]
[spoiler show=”Genshiken ED”]
I have not yet been able to come up with an instrumental-only OP that I dislike and Maria-sama ga Miteru’s “Pastel Pure” is no exception. Like I discussed in my previous post, this one would be a good example of an OP that sets the tone for what the show entails. Somehow the whole strings, piano, and woodwinds suits the feeling of the series perfectly in its depiction of blooming love, even if it’s (maybe) that of a sisterly variety. Also, I think it was composed by the person from Ali Project, but someone can check me on that.
[spoiler show=”Maria-sama Ga Miteru OP”]
Paranoia Agent is just… strange. At least, the accompanying animation is. The song, I have no issues with since it does a good job of getting you to wake up from a surreal dream and enter a world of chaos, and the OP only reinforces that with the settings in which it places the characters. I really do like what it has to offer here though and it shows once more that Susumu Hirasawa is awesome when it comes to instilling madness and chaos in his music.
[spoiler show=”Paranoia Agent OP”]
School Rumble’s OP is a bit more bombastic, conveying the boundless energy that it serves up in every episode through the characters’ misadventures. There’s a lot of energy to be had in the song and that Yui Horie’s performing doesn’t hurt either since her fun, pop delivery is very easygoing on the ears.
[spoiler show=”School Rumble OP”]
Tsukiyomi Moon Phase gets a mention since I loved its quirky nature, so why not. It was 2DT that gave an identity to this OP as part of the Shibuya-kei mold and though some may hate it, its whimsical nature is enough to win me over.
[spoiler show=”Tsukiyomi Moon Phase OP”]
I’d imagine that on a list of “old reliables,” you’d be able to find Shiro Sagisu’s name on there since his efforts on Evangelion and Kare Kano were pretty memorable. So the fact that I’ve yet to listen to Bleach’s soundtrack despite having watched 60-odd episodes of the series means that there’s quite a hole that I really need to fill. Same goes for Toshihiko Sahashi’s efforts on Gundam SEED Destiny. Though I might not have been a fan of SEED, its music was good and I’ve yet to hear Sahashi really screw up, so I figure this one’s worth a shot too. While I’m at it, I’ll also confess to needing to give Le Portrait de Petite Cossette a few more whirls. Somehow, I’m not remembering all too much from that soundtrack.
As for old reliables that aren’t enjoyable? How about Taku Iwasaki’s compositions for Yakitate! Japan? Those pieces were drab and dull, which would foreshadow a similarly lackluster effort on Black Cat’s soundtrack.
When it comes to style, and by that, I mean a departure from the orchestral/classical flavor, you can’t go wrong with Samurai Champloo’s hip hop atmosphere. The ED’s R&B feel and the OP’s rap are a huge departure from most anime series and while I don’t think that a similar setup can be applied to other shows, it complements the series perfectly. Samurai 7 also differs from your normal anime soundtrack with its focus on rhythms that are readily identifiable as being Japanese. It’s not my kind of music since the tracks are overwhelmingly rhythm-based, which does a great job of channeling the action and conflict, but leaves little room for melodic pieces. There’s only one that comes to mind that I really like and that would be Kirara’s theme.
Stuff that I hear is good but that I really cannot claim to really know since I haven’t explored them? Well, people have told me to give Kannaduki no Miko a try. Same goes for Howl’s Moving Castle since it’s Joe Hisaishi, but after listening to snippets of the soundtrack, I’m not completely sold compared to his work on Spirited Away and Ponyo. Maybe I’m just lacking the context needed to really appreciate the sort of imagery that Hisaishi was trying to sculpt for that movie.
And last, but not least, if I didn’t mention Gankutsuou in the previous post, I’d have mentioned it here since the OP is still among my favorites.
Thanks to ottocycle for prodding me with two OP themes that deserve a mention. The first is Koi Kaze’s OP which carries the characteristic softness that you expect from Ritsuko Okazaki. Her passing is a huge loss since I loved her themes so much. The second is Diebuster 2’s “Groovin’ Magic” which only confirms that there’s no such thing as a bad Round Table feat. Nino track.
[spoiler show=”Koi Kaze OP”]
[spoiler show=”Diebuster 2 OP”]