Summer 2011 OPs – part 1
July 5, 2011
I want to do something a little different this season, so I am going to try to collect many of the OP (Opening credit sequences) for shows airing this season. I won’t provide too much commentary just a few thoughts that come to mind. Anyways, this is an experiment, so listen to some music already! Since I am going to rely on youtube videos, these are partially dictated by the broadcast schedule, and then whether anyone has posted them for linking.
The shows covered in this post are presented in alphabetical order (not personal preference!):
- Hanasaku Iroha (OP 2)
- Ikoku Meiru no Croisée
- Kamisama no Memo-chou
- Natsume Yuujinchou San
- Sacred Seven
- Uta no Prince-sama – Maji Love 1000%
I’m not a fan of metal, so this doesn’t do much for me personally. The visuals were mostly pans over still images of people and monsters trying to look bad-ass (or their weapons). You combine the music and the visuals and it looked like something a 15 year-old would drool over. Makes me think I won’t bother with this show at all.
I haven’t had a chance to watch any of this show so far, but the OP’s visuals do a good job of showcasing the CLAMP character designs, promising some action, and hinting at a dark atmosphere with moments of levity. Makes me want to watch it. Although I have a low tolerance for rock-based music, this isn’t too bad. It has some interesting processing on the instruments, and the intro was intriguing.
Hanasaku Iroha (OP 2)
In a sense this one is pretty impressive, because, both musically and visually, they managed to create something new that was pretty much the same. Personally I like this song better than the first OP, which had harsher vocals, although, possibly a catchier hook. Visually it looks just like the first with all the shots swapped out for something different, but with the exact same feel. We have people bustling about and trains. I guess the message is “more of the same”. P.A. Works sure knows how to make stuff LOOK good. I just hope the show doesn’t end up like this OP, a bunch of running around that LOOKS great, but doesn’t mean much.
Ikoku Meiru no Croisée
Not a great song, although I did like the chorus (where the vocals rise twice in the second half of the phrase), and the instrumentation. The visuals are a pretty good indicator of what you get in the show: cuteness and quaintness, with very detailed background art.
Kamisama no Memo-chou
This is one of the shows I’m watching this season, and the OP is pretty interesting. It starts with an interesting visual pun, with the computer keyboard lighting up as the piano intro plays. I think the (mostly blue) title card that follows looks reminiscent of paintings by Marc Chagall. We get to see a number of characters. Musically we have a competent dance track (nothing particularly astonishing).
Natsume Yuujinchou San
Kind of a light-rock song. The visuals, though not extraordinary, were evocative. We start with the main character alone in the rain, and end with him hanging with his friends (including a bunch of monsters). I don’t know why, but neither of the first seasons really captured my attention, so I dropped them both quite early. In theory the Fantasy/Supernatural aspects sound interesting, but this OP doesn’t really do anything to grab me either.
This is surprisingly good in terms of visuals. The basketball-playing sequences look great, in fact. If this really turns out to be as good a sports show as the OP suggests, I will be very surprised. (Early reviews have already commented on tasteless fan service.) Musically we have a pretty competent J-pop number, complete with separate sections for the different VAs to sing as their characters are introduced, I believe.
This is another (under-whelming) dance track. Visually we have character interactions animated with a different (limited) palate than the rest of the show, which is a good idea. I think the intention was to show it as an action series with a mahou shoujo twist (at least that is what I got out of it). I have to say, most of the characters looked bored, however. Definitely did NOT pique my interest.
Uta no Prince-sama – Maji Love 1000%
Ugh. I hate music like this. This is already more of this show than I needed to see. Normally I don’t really mind reverse harems, but I am afraid to watch this show, for fear that they will start singing again.
UPDATE: Ut-Pri might have reversed the OP and ED for the first episode. At any rate, the second episode have the songs reversed from their position in the first episode. The “new” OP is (IMO) better than the one listed above. I might include the “new” OP in the fourth part of this series as a result.
Faves and Final thoughts
Out of this first crop, there wasn’t anything that really stood out the way Hacking to the Gate did last season. Of course this is less than half of the new OPs, so there is still time to be wowed. The OP that surprised me the most (for animation, not musically) was Ro-Kyu-Bu, although it might have been the beneficiary of EXTREMELY low expectations. I really didn’t expect to see some decent basketball animation, and they had the good sense to keep the fan service out of the OP.
It is a bit early to decide whether I want to do this again next season, but looking across all the OPs at this early juncture did get me to look at some shows with which I otherwise would not have bothered.