Time to continue my little anime look back on 2019. This time I’ll rank my favorite opening sequences. The concept remains the same, I’ll pick 3 of my favorite openings from each season, and then I’ll rank the 12 picks in a final top list. Only this time I’ll skip the part where I’ll separate the list into sequels and non-sequels because honestly in the context of anime openings it doesn’t really matter too much if its a sequel or non-sequel…

Winter 2019

The Rising of the Shield Hero Opening 2

Shield Hero may have missed out on a spot in my top 12 anime of the year, but the same is not the case when it comes to anime openings. Both of the openings from this series would be a great pick, but I’ll limit myself to picking just one opening from a single series. This second one takes the first spot because of the feel of the song as well as the context of the anime… At the point when this opening was first shown, the characters from the series have started to realize they were wrong about Naofumi, and suddenly there was this increasing need for the four heroes to finally start working together. Basically this opening was like an indication that things could finally start getting a bit better.

The Rising of the Shield Hero first impressions.

The Promised Neverland Opening

This opening song is incredible, catchy and memorable. It works so well to increase the hype levels, especially when Ray, Emma and Norman gather their hands on top of each other, with Emma’s confident facial expression. Just that scene alone made me so excited to see what is their plan to escape, even if literally the next few seconds after that moment actually serve as a good way to foreshadow what happened. Another thing is something that could just be a coincidence, but around the 20 second mark, when the title of the anime is shown, Norman is the only one crossed by the line, and his head is perfectly aligned with the Japanese letter “no”, and guess what, his name starts with “no”. You could even think of it as them telling you that “no”, he won’t be among those who escape. Ok I’m probably looking too much into the whole “no” thing but in terms of Norman’s body being crossed by the line… I could see that being a nice little deliberate touch.

The Promised Neverland first impressions from January.

Episode 10 thoughts.

Manga Volume 5 review.

Mob Psycho II Opening

It was hard not to pick Kaguya’s opening or even the Boogiepop opening, but Mob Psycho II takes the final spot here. I just couldn’t ignore the cool visuals from this opening, which is basically entirely filled with those. My favorite moment is probably around the 43 second mark, with the Body Improvement Club in action. I also love how the sequence ends with the message “Your life is your own” written out. It doesn’t seem to be a common thing to write out the song lyrics in an anime opening, and I’m very welcome of the idea.

Spring 2019

Fruits Basket Opening 2

If you read my post from a few months ago, 7 more openings and endings that make you feel everything will be alright, you may recall that Fruits Basket’s second opening was on that list. Allow me to be a bit lazy and just quote myself from that post, because I don’t have much to add to my previous words on this sequence.

This makes me smile all the way through every single time. To put it simply, everything from the song and the visuals just makes me so happy. I love the umbrella theme and the different designs each character has. I love going through the sequence and seeing each character being introduced.

I also love how it ends with Tohru running towards all of the characters and then all of them throwing their umbrella in the air. To say I don’t mimic some kind of an umbrella throwing move every time at the end would be a lie.

Except a comment about the colors. Pink background around the 56 second mark. Each character is represented well with the color of their umbrella. Brief checkboard segments with pastel colors. So much things to love about this sequence.

First impressions from April.

Saki Hanajima analysis.

Fruits Basket AMV.

Saki Hanajima AMV.

Shingeki no Kyojin Opening 5

You couldn’t really get a bigger contrast between the themes of this anime and the previously mentioned Fruits Basket. And yet they both have the same thing I will comment on: colors.

There is a notable colder tone of the colors in this sequence. The transitions (through the first part) have a gradient of the colors that are “splashed” on the screen. I love this because it works so well with the mood of the song at that part of the sequence. This song is like a mashup of the previous Linked Horizon openings and endings and I can’t deny I’ve had a period of playing this opening non-stop. The way the song picks up and runs towards the end is incredible – and all those flashing scenes before a final cut to the basement with those guitar notes… What a way to hype the basement reveal.

Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO

The reason this opening is here is simple – the way the song picks up around the 50 second mark. The series itself had potential at the time travel part of the story, but it wasn’t without its issues. And with the emphasis on fanservice, it’s understandable why Yu-No kinda fell off the radar.

YU-NO first impressions.

Summer 2019

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo Opening

This is another opening from 2019 that was included in that post I mentioned. (7 more openings and endings that make you feel everything will be alright). Can I cheat once more and just quote myself?

There is a hint of melancholy in this song as well as a feeling of empowerment and liberty. I also love the way that instrumental part at the beginning was used, with the characters reading out lines as they would in their school literature club. That same instrumental is, by the way, how do I describe it, heavenly. Full of lovely visuals as well, there is so many things to love about this opening sequence.

It reminds me of that time when I went on a multi-day solo trip and I smiled in the bus with this song playing. This song also got me to check out other songs by the artist, CHICO with Honeyworks, and let me tell you, they have some lovely music. And music videos, not the least the one for this particular song. It’s actually a part of an ongoing story told through their music videos and I really love that concept.

My very own Araburu Kisetsu AMV using the Araburu Kisetsu opening song.

Dr. Stone Opening 2

How do I put it. This song feels like the embodiment of rising from the ashes, or building everything from zero. Which, guess what, Dr. Stone very much is all about. It’s motivating and empowering. There are cute visuals of Kohaku and Ruri around the 30 second mark. I love how they added the scene from the 1 minute 22 second mark. And I don’t really know what else to add, I just really love this sequence.

Fire Force Opening 1

Back in the time when I still watched Fire Force every week. Not that I dropped it, but I still haven’t seen its new opening sequence, that’s how behind I am on it. As for this particular opening, I don’t really have much to say, other that it’s just a great song.

Maki Oze AMV.

Fall 2019

Boku no Hero Academia 4 Opening

In my top anime of 2019 post, BNHA suffered from my “3 from each season” system. Without that, I think it would find itself on my list. But in terms of openings it managed to avoid this problem. It’s a really good song, fitting for the mood of the season. I especially love the scenes from around the 1 minute 8 second mark, with Deku trying to catch Eri during the dusk. I’m still not the biggest fan of that scream at the end though.

Hoshiai no Sora Opening

Since the last time I wrote about Stars Align, the final episode aired and we found out the anime was actually supposed to be 2-cour if it wasn’t for some really unusual circumstances. It’s really a pity, because this anime had amazing potential and I really wanted to see the rest of the story for these characters. Maybe one day, hopefully, I guess.

During the last episode, they abruptly stopped the opening around half-way through. At first I thought it was to indicate that things are about to go bad in the story, but now when I know the situation in terms of the anime, I think it could be a way to symbolize the situation. It makes sense – an abruptly cut opening for an abruptly cut anime…

Why is this opening one of my picks though? It’s just a nice calming and kinda motivating song. I also love how they played with the colors and the silhouettes.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Opening

Always expect great songs from SAO. Alicization WoU did not disappoint in that respect. Haruka Tomatsu, the voice of Asuna, fittingly sings the opening song. I just really enjoy her singing voice. In terms of the visuals from this opening, I especially like Asuna reaching out around the 12 second mark, the old SAO crew joining in around the 46 second mark, and the whole mood at the end, with Alice walking towards the red sky.

SAO Alicization WoU AMV.

My top 12 anime openings of 2019

And so it’s time to rank those 12 picks. Before that though, the best season for anime openings in 2019? This is probably another title that goes to Summer. Although this is a bit trickier because a few of those openings have actually been first shown during a different season than the anime started in. For example, Fruits Basket’s second opening was first shown during the Summer season instead of Spring when it first started airing. Would this then be a point for Summer? I’m not really sure, but just looking at the three picks from each season, Summer takes the win.

One last thing: Happy New Year (and decade) to everyone reading this! This is my 80th post, 57th in 2019. That would mean I did almost 5 posts on average every month. It doesn’t say the full story on my consistency ofcourse, and in the recent months it’s been less than at the start of the year (sorry) but it’s still a decent number in my book. I hope I could bring you something of value through these 57 posts in 2019!

And now, the ranking!

Top 12 anime openings of 2019

12. Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO OP

11. The Rising of the Shield Hero OP 2

10. Hoshiai no Sora OP

9. Mob Psycho II OP

8. Boku no Hero Academia 4 OP

7. Sword Art Online: Alicization – WoU OP

6. Fire Force OP

5. Attack on Titan OP 5

4. Dr. Stone OP 2

3. The Promised Neverland OP

2. Fruits Basket OP 2

1. Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo OP

Time to start off with the Spring 2019 anime season and the first impressions for the new anime.

Some series like Fruits Basket 2019 and Kimetsu no Yaiba have already had screenings of their first episodes, but they are nowhere to be found for streaming.

That’s why the first Spring 2019 anime I’ll talk about in more detail is Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO or
YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world in English.

The first episode of this visual novel adaptation has aired on the 2nd of April.

The story

Takuya Arima’s hystorian father has disappeared, and Takuya believes he died in a cave-in during his research. But is that really the truth?

Just as summer vacation is about to start, Takuya receives a strange package with some kind of unknown item.

His stepmother is in charge of a construction project. When the TV station films the location of the construction project, a strange lighting strikes the area.

Mio Shimazu, one of Takuya’s friends describes it as “unnatural”. A blue-haired girl appears and tells them to stay away from the area.

The next day, Takuya receives another package which gives him more details on what he received yesterday. Turns out the item from before is a device that can travel through dimensions.

The package has a letter from his father. It turns out he is still alive along with his mother. The letter specifies a time and place for Takuya to arrive to.

When he arrives to the place, he finds a yellow-haired girl with strange ears. Lying naked.

The girl kisses him before disappearing. Was that Takuya’s first kiss? Imagine telling someone that your first kiss was with a random girl you found naked in the middle of night before she kissed you and disappeared right after.

Ryuzoji arrives along with Takuya’s stepmother. Ryuzoji wants Takuya’s special device and he points a pistol at him. Until the device starts working.

Takuya catches a glimpse of Kanna Hatano, the blue-haired girl from before which turns out to be the new transfer student at his school. Cold, stoic female transfer student. Where have I seen this before, I wonder?

After going to sleep with a terrible headache, Takuya wakes up in a world different from the one he was in yesterday. Ryuzoji along with his stepmother, don’t seem to recall the events of yesterday night.

My thoughts

Not too bad of a start I would say. I can’t say I’m hooked to all of this yet, but it’s still only the first episode.

I love the design for Mio Shimuzu. And Rie Kugimiya is her voice actor, so it’s hard not to love such a character.

The main character seems to be a bit of a perv. Which didn’t really bother me, but I did find his way of greeting the new transfer student a bit weird.

And what is it with random people being found naked in summer time with the sea nearby? It reminded me of Island, even if I know this visual novel came decades earlier.

Clearly Kanna Hatano seems to know some things and as always, its gonna be interesting to find it all out. The story does have potential.

The art & animation are all fine but I would describe them as average. There isn’t really anything that I could point out other than Mio Shimuzu’s beautiful design.

Similar for the audio. The opening song isn’t too memorable.

However, if the story and characters won’t fall flat, it’s still gonna be an anime worth watching and the first episode did show some potential.

Small update after episode 2 aired:

There was time leaping. Now this anime really has my attention. And a Steins;Gate reference?!

I mean look at it, it’s the Steins;Gate metal oopa.

You can hear an excited Mayushii in the distance.

But seriously, why is there a Steins;Gate metal oopa in YU-NO? I would really like to know.

If you’ve seen the first episode of Kono Yo no Hate, feel free to tell me your thoughts on it in the comments!

With the first anime season of 2019 behind us, it’s already time to focus on the upcoming Spring 2019 anime season.

I checked out the synopsis and available PVs for each of the titles offered, and these are the anime I’m most likely to watch:

Isekai Quartet (MAL link)

Yes, really.

I usually don’t really watch the chibi spin-offs of anime series. I think the only one I’ve seen was Toradora SOS, and as much as it pains me to say it, it wasn’t really good.

But a crossover of isekai anime sounds like an interesting concept so I want to see what they will do with it.

Even if I haven’t seen Youjo Senki nor Overlord, which will feature in this along with Re:Zero and Konosuba.

Bungou Stray Dogs Season 3 (MAL link)

I started watching Bungou Stray Dogs right on time to finish the first two seasons before the third one starts airing.

Season 1 was hugely enjoyable, and I have no doubts the second season and this upcoming third one will be the same.

Fruits Basket (MAL link)

I don’t know much about Fruits Basket and its 2001 adaptation.

But I do know the manga seems to be highly rated, and the PV has convinced me that its worth checking it out.

Shoumetsu Toshi (MAL link)

Not sure what to really say here.

The story looks good, the PV is very well made, the music is very cool. And it’s made by Madhouse.

All good enough reasons to check this anime out.

Senryuu Shoujo (MAL link)

The Senryuu Shoujo synopsis sounded a bit too silly for me to watch.

But then I looked at the PV, realized Kana Hanazawa is voicing the female lead, and already fell in love with the ending song.

And besides, I thought Kaguya-sama: Love is War had a too silly synopsis at first, until I watched it and ended up loving it a lot more than I expected.

Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO (MAL link)

An anime exploring parallel worlds and alternate dimensions with the legendary Rie Kugimiya as part of the cast?

Count me as interested!

Plus, I’ve seen some comparisons of the visual novel to Steins;Gate and Clannad.

If this will be even slightly as good as Steins;Gate, it’s gonna be worth the watch.

Gunjou no Magmel (MAL link)

I like the concept of exploring a new continent, and I like the music from the PV.

But I do hope there will be more to this than simply killing off the creatures of the new continent.

If anything, apparently Yoshihiro Togashi, the mastermind behind Hunter x Hunter has recommended this manga. At least I’ve read so in a MAL forum thread.

Kimetsu no Yaiba (MAL link)

This seems to be the Spring season’s title that many manga readers are hyping up as the “next big thing”.

I’ve already seen people putting this among the next ‘big 3’ along with My Hero Academia and The Promised Neverland.

I’m not gonna comment on that but I am gonna give this anime a go. It’s always risky to start something due to its hype but it payed off with The Promised Neverland and Kaguya-sama: Love is War…

I just wish the actual anime PV is available in my country. The one I linked here is VIZ media’s trailer for the manga.

Do you agree with my picks for Spring 2019? Is there a hidden gem that I’m gonna miss out on? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!