Well? The year is coming to a close, and considering all the trials and tribulations we’ve been through, I think it’s safe to say we deserve a reason to smile. My team and I have compiled our favorite themes from 2020—a list that includes the Kaisen ED, don’t worry—so we can jump around and celebrate the end of an unforgettable year.
“Navigator” by SixTones – Millionaire Detective OP
We’re not allowed to skip this opening when it plays. It hits the mark for visuals and sound. Daisuke Kanbe was an interesting character and what would fit him more than raining money, shiny cars, and suited fight scenes? It works and it gives us a taste of the increasing mix of kpop-esque openings—a theme that took the stage quite a few times this year. (Apologies for the shoddy Pinterest embed, this is the only version available).
“Easy Breezy” by chelmico – Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! OP
Wobbly is not the right word for this opening but if you have trouble not spinning around the room for this one then maybe it is. It’s too fun to resist. The colors are a psychedelic splash of silly silhouettes wiggling this way and that to the cool voice of chelmico. It’s a hit for me, Gaby, and Mitch (so triple tally and for good reason).
“LOST IN PARADISE” by ALI feat. AKLO – Jujutsu Kaisen ED
Best ending of the year seems to be our general consensus. It’s jazzy (so of course it sticks) but it also has that slice of life quality to it. MAPPA never disappoints in animation so it’s no surprise we love this one so much. For the animators, rotoscoping has always been a neat way to get that cool, sketchy quality. It was nice to see something like that for such a great show.
“Daddy Daddy Do” by Masayuki Suzuki – Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? OP
It’s almost impossible to compare this one with the first because honestly, they’re both great. This one captures the crew super well with the shot of Chika and the team sneaking through the hall and Kaguya preparing lunch in the morning. It was a hit for months on end, and I think it’ll continue to be one of the best for years to come.
“My War” by Shinsei Kamattechan – Attack on Titan Season 4 OP
This one really grew on me. At first it felt like an ending, but after the first few listens it works. The marching soldiers really match the rising tension. The mix of song, drum, and opera—a quality that Attack on Titan seems to love—takes a new form here that I personally love. As a final opening, hopefully it stands up against the test of time.
“Pheonix” by BURNOUT SYNDROMES – Haikyuu OP
Pheonix was the right title for this one—you can feel the urge to rise and fly watching all of our year-long favorites soar over the net. It’s a song that fills you with hope and conviction. Better yet, this opening is the third gift from BURNOUT SYNDROMES! (Fun fact shoutout to Mitch.) They capture the spirit of the boys and they do it really well.
“No.7” by Jibaku Shounen Band – Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun OP
Visuals, visuals, visuals. Really, “stunning” doesn’t capture it. It grips the quality of color in a dark but vibrant way. The lines of Iro Aida’s art are uniquely thick and rugged in a way that highlights the gothic paint style. Paired with rock, it makes sense and sounds great.
“WIN” by CIX – God of High School ED
Continuing with the theme of linking kpop and anime, this one matched God of High School really well. Considering its background as a webcomic published by Yongje Park, it was nice to see the styles (and communities) come together on screen. It’s chill and summery which is a nice way to wrap up our list.
Did we miss any? What were your favorite OPs and EDs of the year? Let us know in the comments.
Lauren is a 23-year-old cosplayer and writer from Chicago. Her favorite shows include Wolf’s Rain, Terror in Resonance, and Samurai Champloo. If you can’t reach her for whatever reason, she’s probably reading or figuring out how to turn her kendo skills into functional ones. She’ll be back in a minute.