The first season of Yuru Yuri was one of the first anime I watched. I was enthralled. I didn’t realise there were shows out there with cute girls doing cute things of very little significance. Because that’s basically the essence of Yuru Yuri, and it rarely tries to do anything else, for better or for worse. But I loved it a lot.
I know, I know, I said I wasn’t going to write something like this, but screw it. It’s not like retrospective posts have to come out either on January 1st or never.
Note: I’ve tried to link to as many as possible of the songs I mention, but some of them may be unavailable, of bad quality or had their pitch changed. But I tried my best.
It’s not like I hadn’t been paying attention to OPs and EDs in 2013 and 2014, but I really only started taking my internal rankings of them seriously in early 2015. The reason for this was probably that Winter 2015 featured so many good OPs that I had a very difficult time trying to decide which one I liked the most. And, because I had not yet started blogging at that point, the decision was left unmade. It also doesn’t help that since Winter 2015 ended I’ve listened to and really liked a few more of the OPs from that season. And when it comes to the EDs, you guessed it, most of the shows with good OPs also have good EDs, at least in my opinion. But, maybe saying what I actually think out loud(or on paper, or on a blog) will help me make a decision, so let’s try that.
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:
Overall, this season ended up being better than I expected. My expectations were low, yes, but I still didn’t expect that I’d enjoy so many of the new shows(and the sequels in particular). Young Black Jack and Lupin III were two shows that I was cautiously optimistic about, but they both ended up exceeding my expectations. They aren’t fantastically impressive, though, and neither is Subete ga F ni Naru. However, it’s interesting in its own way. Classic murder mystery stories are less common than one would think. The only new show that really surprised me was the new Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. After the insanity that was G-Reco, I thought I’d never like a non-UC Gundam show, but here we are. Orphans is everything I wanted Aldnoah Zero to be.
So, the biggest surprises were not the new shows but the sequels, because pretty much every one of the sequels one-upped their predecessors in some way. The new season of GochiUsa has a wonderfully cute ED and I’m generally enjoying it more than the first season. Yuru Yuri is somehow even better than I remember the first two seasons being(seriously, I don’t understand how that’s the case). Owari no Seraph is a sequel of a show only 2 seasons old, but it has improved a lot since the first season. There’s less fooling around and more action and story in the second season, and the visuals are pretty damn impressive. But the most surprising out of all the sequels was…
Teekyuu is Teekyuu. There’s not a lot to say beside the fact that I think I spotted a few new characters in the OP. Knowing the show, however, those could very well be red herrings… or literal red herrings, or whatever the Japanese equivalent of that idiom is. Anyway, the gags are still the same, and they’re still kind of funny. How does Teekyuu keep doing it?