I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but my rational factor usually kicked in and took over sort of preventing me from doing something so nerdy and radical as talking about anime. It may or may not come as a surprise that for many years I’ve taken a keen interest in Anime which is going back nearly two decades now. Anime is kind of unique in that they have opening credits that are approximately 80 to 100 seconds in length which is an eternity compared to the 30 seconds that regular cartoons/ regular shows get. So it’s a little important to keep your show’s opening both interesting and with a decent song (think Dawson’s Creek). Anime shows can help to push one’s musical career into stardom or make a show a classic. So for this week, lets take a peek into how the far east likes to open a show.
Boom Boom Satellites – Shut up and Explode
Anime show; Xam’d: Lost Memories. This is the song that got me more into the Boom Boom Satellites. They were popular before given they did a lot of the music for the movie Appleseed, but I don’t think doing the intro to Xam’d hurt them at all. This is probably the closest there’s going to be to a music video as well this is an extended version of the opening credits (a longer version is available to view here). A good studio will more or less animate the credits to the music as is the case with Xam’d and that extra effort does a lot to make it stick out and memorable. And Xam’d is fucking awesome to boot. Check it out if you get the chance, no disappointments to be found.
The Seatbelts – Tank!
Anime show; Cowboy Bebop. This is basically the coolest of the cool that you’ll find for anime openings. This show basically had an entire jazz band assembled under the guidance of composer Yoko Kanno. The result was multiple CDs and a world tour way back when. To date, I don’t think any other show has had so much done musically, but then again, no other show to date has demanded so much musically. Kanno and The Seatbelts were able to deliver and Tank! resulted as the kick in the face the opening needed to forever make Cowboy Bebop stand out from everyone else.
Nujabes – Battlecry
Anime show; Samurai Champloo. And what better way to follow up Cowboy Bebop than it’s younger more fresh brother Samurai Champloo. This show had the same director and again the show was very much focused around the music as a device that helped guide and co-exist with what was going on in the show. Instead of a jazz/ blues / bebop focus, Samurai Champloo took on a more R&B, hip-hop and a bit of rap. The soundtracks are worth taking a listen to if you have the time to search for them. Other artists involved in the Champloo project are Tsutchie, Fat John and Force of Nature.
Kiri – Monoral
Anime show; Ergo Proxy. Not entirely a bad opening and song choice. Looking back it could be a bit stronger, but it gets the point across nicely. Ergo Proxy is an odd cryptic anime series dealing a lot with psychology and mythology and almost anything to do with the mind and your self hence the ‘Ergo’ part of the title. And this wasn’t a bad song choice, it’s not super hardcore and in your face, but it’s also not soft enough to lose focus and drive in relation to the opening imagery. Interestingly enough the closing credits to Ergo Proxy uses Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’, but as to the reason, you should watch the show to find out.
Yuki – Dramatic
Anime Show; Honey & Clover. One of the more unique intros to an anime show’s I’ve come across. This opening managed to combine decent pop music, the asian love of making food look pretty and playing with your food. The little surprise at the end wasn’t all that bad either. Realistically it may not have all that much in common with the events of the show (aside from the song called Dramatic and the show being a drama shit storm), but it’s light-hearted and enjoyable to watch and listen to. Hell, I think while watching Honey and Clover I rarely skipped watching this since it’s so damn entertaining.