Anime openings are some of my favourite things about watching anime. Not only does it give you snapshots of what to expect from a series, hinting at some ooey, gooey story goodness, but it’s also a wonderful way to get the watcher into the mood for whatever theatrics shall unfold once the show gets going. Additionally, it helps to spotlight some amazing artists that I may have never discovered otherwise!
Since I’ve really been in a music-listening mood lately, I thought it would be cool to share some of my favourite anime openings from the Spring 2021 season. I’m sure that I may have missed a couple of your own favourites, but to keep things fair, I chose these songs from the list of simulcasts I’m currently watching myself or have had the chance to check out the very first episode at the very least.
BLIZZARD by BURNOUT SYNDROMES (from These Snow White Notes)
Given how much I am obsessed with the artistry of the shamisen, and also how much this series has imbedded itself into my heart, I feel it was a given that its opening number would have made it onto this list. When I listen to it, I feel excited and the beautiful accompaniment of the shamisen gives me soothing seasonal vibes, which is ironic considering the song is titled “Blizzard.”
Aria of Life by Wagakki Band (from MARS RED)
Classical Japanese instruments are so breath-taking to me and combining them with rock music makes me feel pretty giddy, especially when it’s executed phenomenally. Wagakki Band is a band that incorporates traditional instruments like the shamisen, koto, and shakuhachi, and they do it rather effortlessly. I also feel this song is an excellent representation of what MARS RED symbolises, Western and modernisation versus classic customs and traditional beliefs. Plus, it sounds really cool on my headphones.
EXIST by RAISE A SUILEN (from Jōran: Princess of Snow and Blood)
When I listen to “Exist,” it reminds me a lot of my martial arts training sessions with my old shishō. In our later sessions (about a year into training), he would focus on a very unique style of reflex training that involved loud music. The energy of this song from beginning to end reminds me so much of my old training, in good ways and some scary ways, and (not to sound super cheesy) it makes me want to get up and start practising again. Also, I feel like this would be a really bitchin’ awesome song to race to.
Monochrome City by ACE COLLECTION (from Koikimo)
I was surprised by how much I ended up loving this song. It’s whimsical and jazzy and so damn catchy. I love the piano undertones and the overall feel-good energy that “Monochrome City” exudes. It’s one of those songs that I can’t help but get up and dance to whenever it comes on. My body relaxes and I feel light and happy. When I think of the spring season, something akin to this number instantly comes to mind, and it’s done so damn well too. I absolutely adore it.
Theme of the Nomad composed by mabanua (from NOMAD: Megalobox 2)
My number one favourite anime opening for the Spring 2021 season is “Theme of the Nomad.” I’m a lover of instrumental music before I’m a fan of anything else, including cats (I know) and this piece is exceptional, just incredibly brilliant. It gives me motherfucking chills every single time I listen to it. Unlike other openings, you don’t need words to understand what this song is trying to convey. It’s about the heaviness of life, the burden on our shoulders that always keep us looking back with a strange combination of wanting and fear. Every note instils into my bones that life is fucked-up and tough, but no matter what happens, no matter where you go, nor how many places life drags you, you have to keep going forward. The only way to truly live is to never stop looking to and reaching for that horizon.