5. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
I believe that starting up Haruhi was the first time I felt actual fear upon starting an anime. I was freaking out, wondering if I was watching the right show, or if I’d been a victim of some massive troll, and I was confused as all fuck. Then I started to realize what was going on, and I was simply in awe. Haruhi takes the cake for the most mind-blowingly WTF anime beginning, and managing such a thing took titanium balls.
4. Futakoi Alternative (first 4 minutes of above video)
I once declared Futakoi Alternative to have the second-best opening episode ever, and this extends to the opening scene as well. It all starts when the opening video blows a massive hole in expectations by being the zaniest, most action-packed opening video in existence, and then it immediately launches into two and a half minutes of ridiculously well-animated and godly choreographed fighting with a pair of adorable lolis packing serious heat. Before you have time to pick your jaw off the floor, little girls are covered in white goo and shit is blowing up again. The best part? The entire scene is totally irrelevant to the show. UFOTable brings it god-level here.
3. Taishou Yakyuu Musume
After about a minute of rather unassuming dialog that would lead one to the astute assumption that Taishou Yukyuu Musume was a slowly paced slice-of-life series, all of a sudden the lead character breaks into a zany and utterly hilarious musical number. I don’t think anyone can say that they didn’t finish the first episode after witnessing this!
2. Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen
Tsuiokuhen takes off with one of the most brutal, violent, and thoroughly intense anime scenes I’ve yet to witness. A young Kenshin (then Shinta) watches as the various women being sold into slavery with him are slaughtered mercilessly by bandits, and then those bandits being mercilessly slaughtered by a passerby swordsmen who just happens to cut one of the men into fucking fourths. The passerby then tells Kenshin not to bother begrudging those men as they are dead, and his companions avenged. The sheer cutthroat brutality of this scene has long made it one of my favorites, and made it unforgettable.
WARNING: THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY UNSAFE FOR WORK
1. Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied has the most famous opening scene of any anime for a damn good reason. After a gorgeous opening video, for seven straight minutes we watch a nude woman with a helmet over her head wander around a facility slaughtering 50-some anonymous hostiles in the most gruesome ways imaginable. Sure it’s trash. Sure it’s completely ridiculous. Sure it’s largely pointless. But I’ll be damned if this isn’t the most memorable opening scene of any anime in existence.
That covers my top 10, but I’m sure that there are some great opening moments out there that I haven’t seen yet. But maybe you have – share your favorite opening scenes in the comments section below. Bonus points if you link to a video, and extra bonus points if the moment happens in less than 1 minute of the show beginning!