|Cartoon by Christopher McElfresh|
20 - Happy Lesson (OVA)
Thundering music stings and crazy-looking characters are prologue to a poppy, squeaky, almost choral J-Pop anthem to a show that is both insane and endearing. We see our lead character Chitose constantly abused (mostly accidentally) by his overbearing but well-meaning teachers all while the perky song bounces in the background. Happy Lessons’ intros tend to show all of the story characters in flashes and stances, sometimes so frantically that if you don’t know who to look for, you just might miss them. This is a fun intro, but hardly ranks among my all-time favorites. Still, it rated high between us, so somebody loves it.
NOTE: I was having trouble finding a copy of the opening I could embed, I embedded the song instead. The original intro (low quality) can be found here.
19 - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
"Boken Desho Desho? (It's an Adventure Right, Right?)"
For a show about a girl who has no time for “normal human beings”, this intro is pretty pedestrian stuff. That said, I cannot think of a better way to present this show. It starts with the title character approaching school, where she then becomes the very center of everything, a position she asserts herself to in the show. Running through a tunnel of stars, she is orbited and surrounded by friends and acquaintances. The biggest strength of the intro is just how well the animation flows with the song. The rhythm is almost seamless.
18 - Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
"Perfect Area Complete!"
This intro is another one of those that shows a lot of bare backdrops, introducing characters one at a time. This show, about a school of magic users that comes under siege by its underachievers through a series of challenges to their upperclassmen, is a little weird, and structured a lot like a video game. This intro, though, is all anime, and is really only okay to me. Though, I do kind of like the song okay.
17 - Neon Genesis Evangelion
"Zankoku na Tenshi no Tēze (A Cruel Angel's Thesis)"
The classic anime powerhouse lands at number 17 on our list. I am honestly surprised it was so low, as it is considered by some to be the greatest anime opening of all time, however, I have to admit, it is not hard to see a little fandom in that assertion. Still, this is a great intro, flowing with the music and full of original animations as the various characters are presented. I do get a little tripped out by this intro though, considering what these characters go through throughout the course of the story. The famous song, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis, has become somewhat of an anime anthem as Evangelion is considered one of the all-time greatest anime and ranks very, very high on my list of favorites.
16 - Chobits
"Let Me Be With You"
Round Table feat. Nino
How do you introduce a show that overtly sexualizes an android? With a romantic opening styled as a traditional television show credits scene, that’s how! Chobits is one odd show but it also has some good-natured qualities that are present in this opening scene. Despite the slight repetitiveness of the song, this is still one of the better intros out there and an obvious fan-favorite.