You know that feeling of watching an opening and feeling a certain emotion, and expecting that emotion to be the tone of the entire series? Well, today we’re gonna talk about all the times we were completely wrong about that, in no particular order.
Watamote – No Matter How I Look at It, It’s Your Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!
This is likely most people’s first taste of this kind of opening. Watamote’s opening is a violent and L O U D metal song that immediately ruptures the ear drums of any normie who was expecting some sort of slice of life anime like K-ON.
To be fair, they’re kinda right, but the intro could have fooled anybody who hadn’t watched the show or just happened to tune in on the opening. It’s a bit of a jarring contrast to how quiet and awkward Tomoko is through most of the series. As the series plods along, it becomes clear that the opening is merely Tomoko’s inner frustrations at her social awkwardness. In any case, it really gets that inner teenager still inside all of us who is mad at society and anybody who takes part in it.
Death Parade – Flyers!
How could we possibly convey a story that focuses on the futility of the human existence and our inherently flawed morality through our opening?
By using award-winning Japanese funk rock band B R A D I O of course!
Of course, this is one lie I am super down with. I’d argue that the payoff for why such a depressing series has such an upbeat opening is well worth it by Episode 12. I adore Death Parade to this day and consider it one of the best original anime of the past decade, if not of all time. Death Parade may be a somber reflection of our accumulated value as human beings, but hey, we’re all gonna die anyway, so let’s dance!
Asobi Asobase – Surprise!
In sharp contrast to the first two shows which had bombastic openings and relatively “slow” episodes, Asobi Asobase does the opposite with a slow and sugary sweet opening.
I adore Asobi Asobase, and part of that is because it got me so good. If you have never seen this show, watch this opening and then watch the first episode. The shift in tone is more sudden than an Isekai MC’s untimely death.
You could argue that the two openings above for Death Parade and Watamote had some narrative significance to the character’s motivations or at least the overall message of the series.
Asobi Asobase just straight up lies to you, and I have to respect that hustle. The lies actually make the show so much funnier, and in a way, I guess it IS thematically significant for the opening to lie to you. I won’t be putting the song onto my playlist or anything because it’s so saccharine and soft, but the contrast is still worthy of discussion.
Gakkou Gurashi! – Grateful Friends
I lied about Watamote, THIS was probably your first anime OP betrayal. If I were making a list based purely on how much I liked the theme of the OP in contrast to the show, this goes straight to the top. Everybody and their mother already knows what this show’s all about, but in case you don’t, stop reading right now and go watch this show. It’s easily one of the best CGDCT shows out there, and it’s not even REALLY that.
I’m lying, this is a blogpost, I already finished typing this out by the time you’re reading.
Unlike all the three other openings, Gakkou Gorashi’s openings stop lying by the time it comes to the end. The song is the same, but it takes on a melancholy feel when the reality of the situation has finally set in.
Comparing the first opening to the last opening is like night and day. It’s such a gradual change that a few intrepid fans have actually put a side by side comparison of each episode’s OP and how slowly things go to hell.
I could analyze this, but really, the openings already do a great job of conveying a lot without saying very much. It’s a concise way to visualize the descent of the story, and while I was never the biggest fan of Gakkou Gurashi, I always loved the way they did this aspect.
That’s all for today. I hope to see all of ya’ll again when the quarantine is over and you’re not all just delusions brought on by the trauma of the world ending due to a virus-