Best OP/ED Songs of Winter, 2021

The coronavirus so mixed up scheduling for anime in 2020 that I decided to just wait and start over in 2021. So here are my top choices for the current Winter season. All three anime themselves top my list for this season as well.

Shake! Shake! Shake!
Dr. Ramune – Mysterious Disease Specialist 
Performed by Uchida Yuuma

I like jazz and jazzy openings. One of the first things that caught my attention in the anime Oh! Edo Rocket was the big-band sound used by Honma Yusuke in the score for that show. This OP is more modern than the Goodman-like sound Honma used, but the brass parts are terrific.

Full version is here.

Wonder if King Records funded the anime to promote this song?

 

Iru Kosui (“Color Perfume”)
Horimiya   
Performed by Yoh Kamiyama

Horimiya may be the best high-school romantic comedy I’ve seen despite going off the tracks a bit in episode seven. Given that high-school rom-coms are the bread-and-butter of anime these days, that’s a high bar.

Both its OP and ED make my list.

Yakusoku (“Promise”)
Horimiya 
Performed by Friends

Removed from YouTube. Again, you can watch it in context here:
https://www.funimation.com/shows/horimiya/a-tiny-happenstance/

 
Kemono Michi (“Animal Path”)
Kemono Jihen 
Performed by Ono Daisuke

Kemono Jihen has more visibility than Ramune, but it’s hardly on everyone’s lips. Too bad since it could be the top show of the season. Ono appears in the series as a mischievous Romanian vampire.

Another strong contender for best OP/ED of 2020

My earlier post cited Miyano Mamoru’s “Last Dance” as my contender for best OP/ED of 2020. I’m not sure my opinion has changed, but the ED for Jujutsu Kaisen, “Lost in Paradise,” has become a solid contender.

Lost in Paradise  
Jujutsu Kaisen 
Performed by ALI featuring AKLO

I always watch this closing number.  The integration of the musical themes with the characters’ personalities is terrific. I might enjoy this song more than the anime in which it appears.

The live-action music video is okay. The bridges are a bit too long. Like the dancers though.

 

Best OP/ED Songs of Winter, 2020

Last Dance  
Kyokou Suiri (“In/Spectre”) 
Performed by Miyano Mamoru

Never really heard Miyano sing before. What a great crooning tenor voice he has. Kotoko’s prosthetic leg doesn’t really seem to interfere with her dancing. Certainly my top OP/ED of 2020 so far. It’s going to take something special to knock “Last Dance” off its perch.

The live-action music video is pretty cool, too, even though I have no idea what the business with the chess match is all about. The director doesn’t know much about chess either it appears, since the male player moves his king into check which is forbidden.


Easy Breezy 
Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! (“Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken”) 
Performed by chelmico

Not the biggest fan of rap, Japanese or otherwise, but I came to enjoy this song more and more as the season wore on.

The live-action music video is also a lot of fun.


A.M.D.J.K.
GeGeGe no Kitarou (2018) 
Performed by SCANDAL

The 2018 version of Kitarou used the same 1968 OP that all its predecessors have used, but there were eight new EDs of varying quality. To me, Toei saved the best for last with this song.

ED version no longer available. Here’s the music video.

Or you can watch the ED in context in a complete episode. Here’s a good option:

https://www.crunchyroll.com/gegege-no-kitaro/episode-88-rollo-cloths-romance-792723


Kago no Naka no Bokura wa 
Hoshiai no Sora (“Stars Align”) 
Performed by AIKI from bless4

Director Akane Kazuki was badly treated by his production committee who canceled the last half of this otherwise excellent show. I love how only some of the kids here take the dancing seriously. I also liked how the chunky iincho girl was the star performer.

Welcome to Taking Anime Seriously

I’ve owned this domain for many years now but mostly used it as a place to dump images that I wanted to link to on other sites like AnimeSuki.  I also archived many of the avatars that I have created over the years.

I never intended to use this site to blog about ongoing series like GuardianEnzo does at his excellent site, Lost in Anime. I’ve thought about writing more synoptic pieces about broader themes. I begin with a posting of my favorite OP/ED songs from Winter, 2000.