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

Another season of anime is behind us! We are already one-quarter into 2019…

Just as I did at the end of the Fall 2018 anime season – I’m gonna go through all the anime I’ve watched in Winter 2019, be it seasonal, non-seasonal, or a rewatch.

Seasonal anime

Boogiepop wa Warawanai

I do enjoy watching Boogiepop but it’s really not an anime you would watch weekly. After watching the first 2 episodes that way, I already felt confused with the events and characters so I decided to restart my watching.

Now I’m just at the start of the second half of the series and I’ll get to finishing the remaining episodes soon.

It’s also not an anime I’d watch at any time other than late night. The music and the whole mood just fit that time so well. But I guess that’s expected from something with the Horror tag isn’t it?

Circlet Princess

If you’re into ecchi you’ll love this, but don’t expect anything high quality in the other aspects.

I gave Circlet Princess the famous ‘3-episode rule’ chance but I haven’t continued it since, and I doubt this will change.

Here you can read my first impressions post for this from January.

Dimension High School

Unlike Circlet Princess, I actually finished this anime.

And I actually… dare I say it… kind of enjoyed it? It was so different that it was interesting enough to keep me for the full 12 episodes.

Although pretty much everything about this was bad, at least I ended up discovering a great ending song. And the ability to say that I’ve finished something that had a score of under 5 on myanimelist for most of its airing time.

My first impressions on Dimension High School from January are here.

Sword Art Online: Alicization

Sword Art Online: Alicization is coming towards the end of its part 1.

At the time of writing, the latest episode aired is episode 23. And I have to say that the events of that episode have left me disappointed with certain things.

All I’ll say is that, spoiler alert:

Eugeo deserves better.

This is my breakdown of the second Alicization opening. Recently they updated the opening, which I covered here.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

I’m still enjoying The Rising of the Shield Hero even if its an anime that makes me annoyed in pretty much every episode.

Annoyed at all those characters that are constantly undermining Naofumi.

Rarely is watching someone being a jerk to others as satisfying as it is seeing Naofumi treat the others in a similar way that they treated him.

The Rising of the Shield Hero was the very first Winter 2019 anime I wrote my first impressions on. You can read that here.

The Promised Neverland

This really had everything – the story, the suspense, likeable characters, music, impactful scenes…

And I’m so happy that in this time of awesome anime announcements, we’ve been informed there will be a second season.

Still, I’m very seriously thinking of buying the manga volumes. I need more of this and I need it fast.

My first impressions on The Promised Neverland from January are here.

And my episode 10 review is here.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Imagine if Chika Fujiwara’s dance didn’t blow up on the internet and various funny screenshots from every Kaguya-sama episode weren’t on my twitter timeline.

I would probably never start Kaguya-sama: Love is War, and I would miss out on what is honestly turning into one of my favorite anime in general.

That’s how much I love it. And my Saturdays are about to feel really empty without this anime.

Till a second season hopefully happens, this is another anime I’m probably gonna buy the manga for when possible. Apparently some Hayasaka chapters have been skipped and I just can’t keep living without reading those.

I have no first impressions post for this but I do have a breakdown of the ending sequence which you can see here.

W’z

Looking back on W’z, its an anime with very nice visuals and sound but hugely lacking in the story.

And the fact that its a sequel to something I didn’t saw before doesn’t help matters.

You can read my first impressions post on it here. But this anime also appears in my post where I listed my dropped anime…

Non-seasonal

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

March has seen me return to watching more non-seasonal anime, and one of them was Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

I really liked this. In terms of comedy its actually one of the better anime I’ve seen. It actually gave me slight Kaguya-sama vibes because of the comedy and random emotional moments with beautiful music…

I barely see anyone talk about this anime but I’d love another season.

Bungou Stray Dogs

How is this rated under 8 on myanimelist? And why am I even surprised with the myanimelist ratings anymore?

Anyway, Bungou Stray Dogs is awesome. But it’s probably another anime I’d put on my list of shows with better side characters than the main one. Before starting it, I actually thought Dazai was the main character.

I have more than enough time to finish season 2 and jump straight into the upcoming season 3.

Sakura Quest

When searching for an anime that would give me a similar feel to the amazing Shirobako, I saw Sakura Quest mentioned along with Hanasaku Iroha.

I think I understand why. Sakura Quest does have slight Shirobako vibes, not to mention the art style. But they are from the same studio anyway.

I’m really enjoying the aspect of living in a smaller city. Although if I remember correctly, they stated that Manoyama has 55 thousand inhabitants, which is actually even more than the city I lived in till very recently.

I’m now sort of living in a village so I can relate with the ‘moving from a city to a smaller area’ aspect.

No Game No Life: Zero

No Game  No Life: Zero could have been amazing if it wasn’t for my main problems with the series reoccurring.

In lack of a better word – it’s the asspulls. I was yet again left wondering how exactly were the events made possible and what did actually happen.

Maybe I’m just too stupid for this series? Probably.

Noragami

Noragami was fine. But not without its issues. Mainly I’d say the predictability and a few moments of the characters getting out of situations that looked too hard to be saved from.

How do I say it? I guess some resolutions to the events didn’t feel satisfying enough.

ReLIFE

ReLIFE was really worth watching. The concept was simple, and it’s essentially just a school anime with a twist, but it was a really unique twist and it felt strangely nostalgic.

Even if I’m still only the first year of college and I was in high school just last year.

I reviewed this anime, but as a guest post.

Accel World

Accel World has left me in that awkward situation of starting a series and then simply not returning to it with no definite reason why.

I saw the first two episodes and they weren’t even that bad. Yet for some reason I just didn’t return to it since. It’s already been two months.

But at least it’s not been on my on-hold list since June 2018, as Mushishi currently is.

And that’s pretty much what I watched in Winter 2019. Here is to an even more fun Spring 2019 anime season!

The Winter 2019 anime season is well and truly underway.

As is always the case, there are a few anime that have had pre-aired episodes even before their respective seasons have started. One such case is The Rising of the Shield Hero, with a 45 minute long first episode that has pre-aired in late December.

It is my first isekai since the summer, when I watched Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu. And I already feel like it’s gonna be a much better experience than that ecchi, to say the least, anime.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

The story follows the 18 year-old student otaku Naofumi Iwatani, who spends his days at home and likes to go to the library from time to time. At one such occasion, he stumbled upon a book which ended up summoning him into a fantasy game-like world.

Doesn’t really sound like the most original premise so far, I know.

This fantasy world is in danger and the kingdom, called Melromarc, had no other choice but to summon the four legendary heroes that wield a sword, spear, bow and a shield. It turns out Naofumi is one of those heroes, and he is the one wielding a shield.

Naofumi was excited to live in a fantasy-like world. But it turns out the “Shield hero” has been looked down upon and considered useless, because the shield is its only weapon. Even if the shield hero tries to lift a sword, the game-like system wont’t allow him to use it.

When each of the heroes was given reinforcements before they left on a trip, Naofumi was left alone, no one wanting to go with him because of the bad reputation of the shield hero.

But then the girl called Malty decided to accompany him. She took him to a weapon shop and they fought monsters.

Until she ended up deceiving him, taking everything he owned and even accusing him of sexual harassment. Naofumi wasn’t just faced with the task of fighting without an actual weapon, he was now falsely accused and known by everyone for all the wrong reasons.

The episode ends as Naofumi gets offered to buy a slave. Let me take a wild guess and say he will buy her.

My thoughts

A really enjoyable first episode. An interesting take on the isekai genre, with the main character being viewed as the antagonist by everyone around him.

The anime did a really good job at making me hate Malty and Motoyasu. Even if his name is Kitamura, just like one of the main characters of Toradora.

Seeing how Naofumi will grow and interact with his “fellow” heroes in the future is really gonna be exciting to see. I love the concept of being put down by everyone but picking yourself up and coming back stronger than they could ever imagine. I expect we are in for something like that.

Naofumi’s voice actor is Kaito Ishikawa, who also voices Sakuta in Bunny Girl Senpai. Ren is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, who voices Kirito from Sword Art Online. Matsuoka is really a fantastic choice for an anime based within game-like worlds.

The game-like world with a beautiful interface, by the way.

The studio for this anime, Kinema Citrus, has produced Made in Abyss and Revue Starlight in the past, and it shows in the quality of the animation and art.

Good music so far, but I’m yet to hear the opening and ending songs, which will allow me to make more judgement on this side.

All in all, a good way to start the new year of anime. Looking forward to see how this series will play out.

If you’ve also seen the first episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero, please let me know what do you think of it!

With Fall 2018 behind us, it’s time to focus on the new season of anime that is ahead.

Last winter was my favorite anime season to date, with series like A Place Further than the Universe, Yuru Camp and Violet Evergarden all airing at the same time. Can this year’s winter season compare to that?

Make your own conclusions as I will list the anime I am most likely to watch in Winter 2019, based on their PV, synopsis and genres.

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (MAL link)

This is an anime whose first episode I have already seen, as it has pre-aired at the end of December. The first episode is 45 minutes long.

It’s an isekai with a twist – the main character has been falsely accused of assault and is known by the world for all the wrong reasons.

He lacks the thrust of others, and lacks a proper weapon due to his status as the “shield hero”.

How is he going to fight with the weakest equipment and defend the same people that have deceived him? It’s gonna be fascinating to find out.

Here you can read my first impressions on this anime.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (MAL link)

It’s time to watch another anime that involves angels of death…

This has already been adapted back in 2000. I don’t know anything about that adaption, other than the fact that it exists. Hopefully this won’t be a problem going into the series.

All I know about Boogiepop is that the trailer looks amazing – as you would expect from something made by Madhouse.

Horror is one of the genres listed for this anime which should make it extra interesting because I don’t have a lot of experience with horror anime.

W’z (MAL link)


Probably the reason I took an interest in this is the main character’s wish to “convey something to someone” and become “recognized”.

As a blogger, I can relate to that.

The genres are music and action. Revue Starlight flashbacks, anyone?

Dororo (MAL link)

This is another anime that has already been adapted before, but way back in 1969.

The premise is intriguing and the music. Oh my the music. I believe the song in the PV is the ending song, and I can already say I really love it.

Everything I’ve seen from this so far makes me think it is well worth watching.

Circlet Princess (MAL link)

I’m just gonna be honest here. This anime is on the list because of the eyecandy.

I’m not quite sure what to expect in terms of the story, or any other aspects.

All I know is that I like how the anime looks xD

Dimension High School (MAL link)

Probably one of the strangest things I’ve ever put on my plan to watch list.

Isekai is reaching new heights. Never has it been made in a more realistic way.

I honestly can’t wait to see where will they go with this groundbreaking concept.

The Promised Neverland (MAL link)

Every season has that anime with a well-acclaimed source material that a big part of the community is excited for. For Winter 2019, that’s The Promised Neverland.

I’m excited for it too. The synopsis is more than intriguing and any series where one of the main characters is voiced by Mariya Ise is bound to be fascinating.

At least that’s how I feel, since it’s the same voice actor for Hunter x Hunter‘s Killua and Made in Abyss‘s Reg.

Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka (MAL link)

A mahou shoujo anime with guns?

For some reason I’m interested. After all, Madoka Magica is among my all time favorite series.

And I haven’t actually seen a mahou shoujo anime since Madoka so why not give this a go?

What anime this winter are you looking forward to? Please let me know!