This is an exceptionally good season when it comes to theme songs. Unlike last season when Ushio to Tora swept the awards, I actually had to think for a while before deciding this time. Almost every show I’m watching has an OP and/or ED that is remarkable in one way or another. Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider, for instance, has both. The OP song is catchy and has cool rotoscoped visuals while the ED is more of a traditional anime theme song but improves it with interesting computer-related imagery. The OP and ED of Owari no Seraph S2 are not as noteworthy, but they’re not bad. The OP is by fripSide, which is good because I like them, and the ED is by Yanagi Nagi, which is even better. Also, the ED of Seraph has rotoscoping too. Another show that has a memorable OP and ED is Gundam Tekketsu. The OP is by Man with a Mission, which is notable in and of itself. The song itself is divisive, but I happen to like it. I like the ED more, though. It’s very… Gundam, if that makes sense.
But being noteworthy or interesting isn’t enough to win my prestigious(?) award. The OP or ED needs to remain in my mind, become an earworm, move me. Themes that came close to that level were the ED of Gochiusa S2, the OP of Hackadoll, the OP of Lupin III, the ED of One Punch Man and the ED of Yuru Yuri S3. The EDs of OPM and Yuru Yuri in particular are songs that I just really like listening to. Anyway, all of that said, here are the shows that actually ended up on top:
OP of the Season: Noragami Aragoto
First of all, this song has a very catchy part. It’s the part of the chorus where something similar to the title of the song is sung, with a very high note in the middle of the first word. Other than that, the lyrics aren’t the best, but I still like the singing voice. As for the rhythm of the song, I really like the drums in particular. That part with the pause where it feels like the song is over and then it continues, that’s probably my favourite part.
It’s not just the song that I like, though. Visually, the OP of Noragami Aragoto reminds me of the first ED of Ushio to Tora, especially the part where, so to speak, “the camera moves along the z-axis and rolls back and forth”. There’s also some decently animated fighting, which is always nice to have. Other than that I like the colour scheme with its emphasis on grayscale(which is also somewhat similar to the first ED of Ushio to Tora) and coloured highlights. Visually, it’s cooler than almost every other OP this season, perhaps with the exception of Lupin.
ED of the Season: Owarimonogatari
This song, too, has a hook. It’s that long drawn-out vowel at the start of the chorus. Beside that, I really like the other drawn-out vowels as well. This is my first experience with a song by Alisa Takigawa, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan now. Song-wise, she’s managed to almost reach the level of Yanagi Nagi’s work in Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari, but only almost. Still, I’d say that’s a pretty big compliment.
As with every other Monogatari ED, this ED is packed when it comes to the visuals. I say “packed” instead of “stacked” because the visuals are fairly simple but still contain a lot of information and symbolism. However, I think this is now my favourite Monogatari ED when it comes to the composition, because I really like the way the draisine travels on the tracks through the scenery(and through time). It, along with some parts of the scenery, give the ED a very steampunk-y feel that I really like. As for the specific symbolism, I’m still trying to figure out what the window and desk mean(if they don’t just happen to be remnants of the classroom in the first shot), but I love everything about how it looks. It moves me in that weird way that I can’t explain.