The tag line for this blog was originally going to be ‘Anime for the goldfish crowd.’ I swear this relates to this post, albeit, very vaguely…
By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with that above picture, that is a goldfish. No, really.
Ok, so I’m a wee bit out of order – I somehow brainfarted and missed the second CCs OP, Tobira wo Akete. One of the things I liked about CCS was the animation, and it is always best in the three different OP’s. The colors are at their brightest, and the brief moments of movement are sharp. Looking a this, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t believe that this specific OP was animated in 1998 (the show ran from 1998 to early 2000).
But what I like best about the OP is the song itself, which got itself a full version aired as the closing of the second season. The song practically begs to be sung along with, and I have had a copy of it in CD or mp3 form from the moment I first heard it.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any higher-quality versions of Wapiko Genki Youho – you’ll notice that the colors are very washed-out in this video. But what should be clear, nevertheless, is what I can only describe as the sheer genkiness of this OP. The animation shows Wapiko, our always energetic lead, looking for her friends and classmates during a game of hide-and-go-seek. Its set to upbeat music about an emotion weather report, with a promise of smiles and fun. It fits the show perfectly, and I struggle to frown when I watch it.
So that’s why I like it, really – it’s infectiously upbeat.
I don’t know it Two-Mix exists any more, but it did a lot of theme music for Gundam Wing, and it was all kind of awesome in that mid-90’s mecha show music kind of way. Just Communication is just like that, and hearing it gives me nostalgia for the older mecha shows. While Gundam Wing is far from my favorite show, or even my favorite Gundam incarnation (Turn A totally kicks ass), I really enjoy the first OP for it. We get standard shots of all the characters, but we also get awesome scenery shots of the different Gundams standing in various scenes of destruction – its too bad the animation wasn’t better, or I’d be tempted to pause the video, screencap, and expand for the computer background.
However, while the good shots of the Gundams help, I probably like the part with Relena standing in a destroyed place in the snow, where she then leans over to brush some snow off of a teddy bear and gives it a pensive look. Again, though, the music is my favorite part.
If the last one was one which everyone has already seen, I’m willing to bet that nearly no one has seen this one. Kokoro ni Watashi ga Futari Iru is a song which, honestly, doesn’t fit this show at all, which you can probably tell by the fact that we have a girl blatantly baring her breasts in the first second of the OP. But it is a good song, even though it fits poorly.
I honestly can’t say why I like this OP so much. The animation isn’t very good, although it is leagues ahead of the show itself. I love the song, but I usually have to like the animation, too, to list it as among my favorite. And I do like the opening animation, although I really can’t explain why. We might have to mark this one up to nostalgia – this was one of the first anime I saw subbed, way back in 1999.
NightmaRe improves upon the first Jigoku Shoujo OP, Sakasama no Chou, in that it doesn’t lose its steam twenty seconds before it ends – we don’t get this silly switch over to a weird pop-ish, Engrish mess unsuited to the former tone of the song like the first one had. So definite points for that, because I had liked that song until it hit those last seconds.
I like the animation effects used in the OP animation, particularly the shifting lines across the screen which conveyed a feeling of being trapped (which makes sense given that futakomori can be translated as either ‘The Second Prisoner’ or ‘The Second Cage’). We also get air bubbles floating past the screen on two different points, lending a further impression of being stuck in a bad situation. The shot of the spinning wheel behind a paper screen further emphasizes the whole bad fate vibe we’ve got going. And when we’re shown Ai sitting by herself as crowds walk past unawares, with the song saying, “I’m standing next to you, but I think you’re seeing a different dream.” we just get further emphasis of being alone and trapped. It all fits perfectly with the show.
Anyway, if you can’t already tell, I really do love this OP. I also think the animation is very well-timed to the song. I wouldn’t say this is definitely my favorite OP ever, but its certainly competitive for that slot.