|Cartoon by Christopher McElfresh|
30 - Sword Art Online
LiSAOne of the more rockin’ intros of the list, Sword Art Online’s gives a nice mix of electronic and fantastic elements, and considering this is what the MMO world is all about (usually), this fits nicely. In what may be the newest anime in this countdown, Sword Art Online is the story of gamers who are trapped in a digital world that is fed to them through VR helmets that uses thought control. This intro feels like being dragged into a world and also does a good job of introducing the two leads.
29 - To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
"My Only Railgun"
Another anime I have not seen, this intro, featuring artwork from Yuichi Tanaka (who did animation for Last Exile, X, Neon Genesis Evangelion and FREAKING Spirited Away!) looks amazing. The flow of the characters’ hair, the expression, the flow with the music, everything looks stunning. The song is pretty much anime J-Pop but is still pretty catchy, with a nice melody and a pretty heavy pace.
28 - Ai Yori Aoshi
"Towa no Hana (Eternal Flower)"
I have not seen this anime, but I must say, the intro is quite beautiful. Presenting a very traditional-looking Japanese setting Ai Yori Aoshi softly introduces the characters with a charming song that rings of romance and a pleasant Asian sound. This is one of the simpler intros of the bunch yet it really does have a soft touch that conveys a sense of calm. I do not know, honestly, how this relates to the show, but the intro is quite nice.
This one I’ve read the manga for, but haven’t gotten around to seeing the anime. The intro is quite nice, it introduces the characters very well, which is what an opening should strive to do in some way. The less time it takes to introduce the characters the more you can spend really digging into the core of the plot.. which in this case is “I’m your childhood friend, Marry me.” to put it simply. Both are the children of rich families and it was intended for them to marry but “things happened”. Watch it if you want to know what kind of “things” occur.
27 - Excel Saga
So. This exists... Excel Saga is a psychotic, irreverent, fourth-wall-breaking bizarro fest and this intro is absolutely perfect. It is just as crazy, weird, and shameless as the show. The intro song is performed by the voice actors who voice the leads, as they are singing their intro song that is... well... odd. It works perfectly for this show though, and Excel Saga is one of my favorite openings of any anime for this very reason.
Christ if I had a nickel for every batshit crazy anime out there that turns an anime intro into a comedy I’d have... .25 cents. This is one of those intros. Excel Saga is nuts. Completely, batshit crazy. If you want a laugh, this is your choice. Each episode has a theme, and that theme comes in the form of the artist of the anime “selling out” his anime. That, coupled with the fact that Excel, during a flood finds a dog, and names it menchi (Emergency Rations), and Pedro, who has everything that could go bad, happen to him, insure that this anime will keep you laughing for a while.
26 - Ranma ½
"Don't Make Me a Shrew"
Jajauma Ni Sasenaide
Gender-bending, unhindged and always funny, Ranma ½ is a classic anime referencing aspects of Asian culture that are often left untouched by modern fare, though now they do seem a little cliche in the grand schem of things. Thie intro though is a fun, traditional romp and takes us back to a different time in anime, where things were still as crazy as they are today, but with just a little more heart. It could be argued that this anime’s opening helped to set the stage for the style of anime openings we see today as well.
Boy oh boy.. Wow. What isn’t there that I can say about Ranma.. Its a great anime about a guy who fell into the Cursed Jusenkyo springs, in the spring of drowned woman, while training martial arts. Now whenever he gets splashed with cold water or wet, he turns into a girl. This is a Kung-fu anime / romantic comedy at its core. It contains lots of chinese culture, and its definitely worth a watch. The opening is addictive in its style, as the song is catchy, and matches the art really well for the majority of the song. It slows down as it goes towards the end, but its very good stuff.