I think I’m going to start doing highlight posts on some of anime’s greatest OPs and EDs, since it’d likely be a lot of fun. As a way to sort of kick that off, this post is about some of the best EDs I’ve seen. EDs have a high tendency to be slower than OPs and feature less exciting videos, so I’ve had a long-time habit of skipping boring EDs after each episode, especially because I hate seeing the next episode previews. However, these are some EDs that are too great to skip. Now, while I never skip the ED when I like the song, it’s also rare that I stick around for the video, so to make this top 5 listing, it has to be a great song AND vid. Shows like Lucky Star with a different ed every ep don’t count.
10. Clannad – Dango Daikazoku – This is one of the strangest but most memorable EDs of all time. We have a song with lyrics so cute and childish it gives you cavities, but it’s sung and performed in this hyper-dramatic and soul-moving way. The video is adorable to the point of insanity, and yet somewhere in it’s simplicity it is also very beautiful. It’s the ultimate bittersweet song for such a bittersweet show.
9. Shakugan no Shana – Yoake Umarekuru Shoujo – Admittedly, the video isn’t much. The song in it’s infinite awesomeness is the real reason to stick around here. However, I did always love Shana’s design and the images here are great and their dramatic timing sticks in the mind. None of it would be possible though without the single greatest intro to an ED ever.
8. Generator Gawl – Kore wo Koi to Iemashou ka – This is outright one of the most endearing video/song combos ever. It’s like the show in slice-of-life mode with awesome crayon animation, tons of fun, tons of laughs, and one of the funnest songs ever written. Even when the show was getting really exciting towards the end and my brother wanted me to skip the op and ed, I couldn’t bring myself to.
7. Red Garden – Rock the L.M.C. – Definitely another product of Matsuo Kou’s immense brilliance, it features all of the characters rocking out at a concert for some fucking hilarious nu-metal j-rock bullshit music that just makes you smile and laugh your ass off. It’s a song I’d never listen to by itself, but magically becomes awesome with this video.
6. Welcome to the N.H.K. – Odoru Akachan Ningen – Both the song and video are just made of pure fucking insanity. It’s heavy, it’s got Kenji Ootsuki, and the video is tripping as much acid as the main character. Even without the hilarious dancing things, though, this ED rules just because of how fucking awesome the first 4 images are. I had to make sure I fully took them in each time.
5. Spice and Wolf – The Wolf Whistling Song – I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s definitely the most unique ED song around, and the video is so cute it makes your face hurt from smiling too hard. Overall, it’s just perfect. I love everything about it.
4. Cowboy Bebop – The Real Folk Blues – This song and video are pure fucking style. It’s a classic without a doubt, and one of those that just about everyone knows by name. I used to sing this song at least once a day, period. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing, and it’s absolutely fucking unforgettable. Definitely a legend.
3. FLCL – Ride on Shooting Star – Gets bonus points for being 2 and a half minutes long! This video is an absolute masterpiece, with some hilarious animated bits, a totally awesome stop motion go-round of a city, and the most adorable vespa of all time. It totally flirst with some girl!!! And also, there are sexy pictures of Haruka thrown in, which is a super-bonus. And the Pillows rocks as hard as they do through the whole show. Yet another absolute classic.
2. K-On! – Don’t Say LAZY – Yeah, I completely went there! This ed is an instant legend. The animation is so up there it’s ungodly. The style is incredible, perfectly capturing the attitude of a J-rock girl band group. Every second of it is brilliant, from the listless playing (makes me think of Gallhammer) to the fucking KEYTAR and little background things going on. Miu is the most stylish vocalist ever, and things like the way her mouth moves when pronouncing certain words just make it that much more awesome. No one looks at the camera. UNTIL THEY DO. I could watch this video all. fucking. day. The song is pretty good too, even if almost in a subversive kind of way.
1. Soul Eater – I Wanna Be… – This is easily my favorite ED video ever. It’s punk, it’s in your face, and it’s plain fucking badass. There’s a bunch of Japanese dudes yelling and there’s a bunch of fucking explotions. The intro is awesome, the IKOUZEEEEEEEE!!!!!! is awesome, the animation is Z O M G, and of course, THE EXPLOSIONS. No other song-video combo has ever tapped into my raging punk spirit like this one. Even when I wasn’t watching Soul Eater, I would just watch this ED over and over again, in the rare instances it wasn’t being deleted from youtube.