|Cartoon by Christopher McElfresh|
15 - Baccano!
"Guns and Roses"
Another instrumental opening, Baccano’s intro is smooth, stylized and tongue-in-cheek and has a nice, old-school TV intro with the character names popping up over their faces as they pose for stills cut during the action. This is one of my personal favorites, and definitely stands out as one of the more unique intros on this list.
14 - Working!!
Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, and Eri Kitamura
The theme song for Working!! is a funny one for me, as I am not really a fan of the whole squeaking J-Pop genre about 95% of the time but there’s something about the blend of J-Pop, Ska and an anthemic pre-chorus that makes this one irresistible for me. Working!! is a great show and this intro does it justice with its energetic and brilliantly-simple opening.
13 - Full Metal Panic!
This is another one of my favorites. FMP!’s opening promises an adventure and the possibility of a romance to come. The show’s bright, colorful art displays joyfully, despite the story’s dark turn and the flowing mix of original animation and the occasional piece of show footage moves with the music (most of the time). In my humble opinion, Full Metal Panic! is one of the most well-animated anime out there and this intro shows off every second of its fluidity.
12 - Paranoia Agent
"Dream Island Obsessional Park"
Perfection. This is another one of my all-time favorites. If you have never seen at least the majority of Paranoia Agent, this intro probably means little to nothing to you. The striking vocals are ear-catching, but the imagery and characters just standing around in random locations laughing has to just come off as... strange. That said, knowing WHAT this show is and what these characters go through (and what these characters do to themselves, each other, or have done to them), this is the epitome of dark. It brings to mind, to me, images of the music video for Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun, with a powerful song with incredibly dark undertones playing over images of a very twisted version of suburban Americana. This juxtaposition is the perfect way to present dark images to the uninitiated. Oh! Right! And I freaking LOVE PARANOIA AGENT!
11 - Ouran High School Host Club
Ouran High School Host ClubAnother intro that works perfectly. OHSHC is a show that mocks the very effeminate, androgynous nature of some anime in an overt, hilarious way and it is easily a strong candidate for funniest anime. It may not top the list, but it would be up there. The intro mimics the style of the show, where characters are suddenly, for comedic effect, surrounded by a border of roses with a twinkle in their eye, or sent into poses for no real reason. The lead character, Haruhi, is prominent throughout the intro in all of her gender-bending glory and the song fits nicely too. The 90’s-style rock blaring over the opening is both fitting and contrasting. This show definitely does not take itself seriously and the intro sets the stage for a fun, crazy comedy that also has a fair amount of warmth.