More EDs! These ones missed the first list for one or more of these reasons: I forgot about them; I didn’t want to include two from the same show; I counted it as not awesome enough because I was being a lazy dick; I haven’t actually seen the anime it comes from but know the ED by reputation.
TO MAKE THIS LIST, if I can actually think of how the song or video goes, it’s got a good bet.
.hack//SIGN — “Yasashii Yoake” by See-Saw
I may hate Bee Train and find this show utterly boring, but the OP and ED are good, and I don’t just mean the songs. Bee Train can pat themselves on the back for those (and then immediately commit seppuku for being such failures at all other times).
Air Master — “Rolling1000toon” by Maximum the Hormone
Clearly, this is not the video. The video doesn’t exist on youtube except in the background of this karaoke video, which I find hilarious so I posted it anyway. If you want the effect of the video without the actual video, there’s a bunch of parodies available, such as this one using Vocaloid characters which is pretty spot-on. (There’s also a Touhou one, which is kind of terrible.) The video itself is pretty WTF, the best scene by far being the skipping loli’s facial expression. I’m a big Maximum the Hormone fan too, which is why I’m going so far to include this lol.
Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzoo — “Clap Your Sunday!” by Neko Jump
Kiruminzoo’s addicting, bizarre Thai OP overshadows its slightly less addicting, equally bizarre Thai ED, but both are good songs. Note that above is the Japanese version of the song, which is the second ED, because I like this version more, unlike the OP. The video is cute of course, like everything else in the show. Be warned: this shit will be stuck in your head.
Ao no Exorcist — “Wired Life” by Meisa Kuroki
I literally just found out about this ED. I’d found the first ED disappointing because it spent way more time on lame CG driving than it did on potentially awesome dudes dancing, but this is much better. Really digging the color scheme and geometric shapes, and I wouldn’t mind getting the full version of this song.
Bamboo Blade — “STAR RISE” by Bamboo Blade girls
“I’M CALLING THE STAR RISE!” The chorus of this song holds a lot of significance for me because it kicks off the Nico Nico Douga Ryuuseigun, which I used to watch like every god damn day when I was into Nico Nico Douga. It’s a very cool, smooth song, and the video is quite well done, with tasteful use of CG and some truly stellar character art. This video might have been on the first list had I seen Bamboo Blade in the past three years.
Beelzebub — “Tsuyogari” by Shoko Nakagawa and “Nanairo Namida” by Tomato n’ Pine
I don’t watch this show, but I saw part of an episode when I was staying with ghostlightning and I got to see the second ED, which floored me. The animation in this video is off the chain. The third ED is also gorgeous and has a great song to boot. After watching these, I went and looked up all of the key animators that ANN lists for each to try and find animator videos—sadly the best I could do was finding Tanaka Takahiro in like 2 seconds of this 11-minute Sword of the Stranger sakuga expose (watch this fucking shit). Ah well, just have to rewatch these again and again.
Betterman — “Chin ~Requiem~” by Mai
This video has the WTF factor in spades with the spinning pink-haired loli. The song and video are dark in a really goofy way that reminds me of Ootsuki Kenji. I like the song even though its composition makes no sense.
Bleach — “Thank You” by Home Made Kazoku
Cheating: I saw this song live. I don’t watch Bleach, but I count myself as a fan of the manga, and I think the anime has a lot of great OPs and EDs. I just don’t want to go through them all because there are literally twenty-eight fucking EDs. Let’s stick with the one I saw live. The video’s not really good or bad, but the song is nice.
Durarara!! — “Trust Me” by Matsushita Yuya
The illustration that makes up this video is legendary and spawned endless parodies with the cast of everything you can think of. I think the image gets boring after a while because I’ve seen it so many damn times now, but the song is still very hip and cool.
Excel Saga — “Menchi Aishou no Bolero” by Excel Girls
I’ve seen other joke EDs that went for comically-sobering, and of course a great many comedy EDs that just go for wacky hijinks and laughs, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It’s simply a hilarious idea that works. I laugh my ass off at this, but it gets old pretty fast.
FullMetal Alchemist — “Kesenai Tsumi” by Nana Kitade and “Tobira no Mukou e” by YeLLOW Generation
Both of these are great songs that I was always mad about not hearing all of when the show played on Adult Swim. Kesenai Tsumi has a cool video, helped a lot by my strange fascination with junkyards and moonlight. There’s also a pretty cool fight, as typical of Bones OPs and EDs. Tobira no Mukou e was most notable to me for the way it cut in at the end of each episode with that first line. I like the animation of Ed’s hair at the end—I swear between the two shows’ OPs and EDs, they found every way for Ed’s hair to move.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood — “Uso” by SID and “Tsunai Da Te” by Lil’B
I don’t particularly care for either of these songs, which is why I don’t list them as top-tier EDs, but the videos are excellent. Uso obviously for the cute, blocky animation that pushes the style to the fullest by looking amazing. The fight also seems like a callback to the one from Kesenai Tsumi above. Tsunai Da Te is pure Winry fanservice that makes ghostlightning’s nuttbladder explode. Excellent stuff.
Gintama — “Speed of Flow” by The Rodeo Carburattor
Not only is this video about Elizabeth, but it successfully makes him look badass with an awesome trenchcoat and motorcycle against the sunset. The song is really cool, too, like most Gintama songs. I have a really hard time keeping up with all of them because there are so many, but this and Mr. Raindrop are definite favorites from the pack.
Hajime no Ippo — “Endless Loop” by Saber Tiger
Simply put, this is probably the manliest ED of all time. And the full version is a nine-minute opus that plays through the final fight—legendary.
Hanamaru Youchien — “Kigurumi Wakusei” by Takagaki Ayahi
Totally forgot about this! So great. I feel like for the past two years, GAINAX has been proving that they can do whatever the hell they want and it will be awesome and full of remembering love. All of the Hanamaru EDs are pretty great, but there are twelve of them, so no way am I listing them all. If you have time, check them all out.
Hidamari Sketch x 365 — “Ryusei Record” by Marble
Another season of Hidamari, another relaxing Marble song. This one’s video is a lot more on the artfag side, which in no way reduces its reflection of the soul of Hidamari Sketch lol. I prefer Mebae Drive, but this is nice. I particularly enjoy the use of the four emblems that represent each of the girls.
Inuyasha — “Fukai Mori” by Do As Infinity and “Every Heart – Minna no Kimochi” by Boa
Holy fucking nostalgia! Inuyasha sure had some great EDs, which Otakon karaoke makes sure to reminds me once a year. I remember loving Fukai Mori because I was a total Sesshoumaru fag back in the day. Every Heart I remember for having a sick beat that I’ve probably beatboxed more than any other. EDs 5 and 7 are great too, but I remember them less (well, I never actually saw 7 in the show, I just know it from fucking karaoke).
K-On! — “Don’t Say Lazy” by Houkago Tea Time
It was cruel of me to leave this off the first list. Without a doubt, this is one of the coolest EDs of all time, and it’s only because one this good existed that it had to be topped in the second season, if not by Listen, than by No Thank You. It’s still a triumph of animation and directing with an addicting song that I’m only sick of because I’ve listened to it five thousand times.
K-On!! — “Listen!!” by Houkago Tea Time
It would also be wrong to forget about Listen!! which even if it’s not as great as the other two is still one of the best EDs out there, and since that doesn’t seem like sufficient competition for the K-On EDs, I’d call them in the top percentage of OPs and EDs combined. My favorite part of this video is the line “Listen” and the hand gesture Mio makes before the lights go down. Class.
Kaiji — “Makeinu-tachi no Requiem” by Hakuryuu
This is music to make men weep. It’s neither a song of defeat nor of victory—it’s a song of survival, and Kaiji is the ultimate survivor. That vague sense of hope is the beautiful irony in the depth of despair at which you can only smile. I’m cracking a beer to this right now. It tastes like my tears.
Kamichu! — “Ice Candy” by Mako
Oh god, my poor nutbladder. I could probably watch Yurie playing those maracas all day with a big dumb grin on my face. Mako’s singing voice is surprisingly nice and this is a great song.
Kare Kano — “Yume no Naka e” by Enomoto Atsuko and Suzuki Chihiro
I should’ve put this on the first list. I didn’t because the videos, while interesting, aren’t very exciting—but whatever. The song is amazing in every iteration, and much has been said about its emotional gravity in conjunction with the show. Very much a classic.
King of Bandit: Jing — “Sha la la” by Scudelia Electro
Lovely winding-down song. The video is just character art, but it’s really damn good art. Jing is sexy enough for the ladies and cool enough for the guys. (Not that I don’t appreciate his sexiness.)
Kodomo no Jikan (NSFW) — “Hanamaru Sensation” by Little Non
Kojikan is a show that’s extremely up-front about being unashamed loli fanservice, and this ED shows how it constantly jumps over the line from “aw, cute,” into, “uh… am I allowed to watch this?” Like the Bamboo Blade ED, I know this song best for its place in the Nico Nico Douga Ryuuseigun.
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? — Kizuite Zombie-sama by Yamaguchi Rie with manzo
A few things make this ED stand out that I really enjoy. First, the song is unexpectedly a duet with a male singer. Second, both the song and video accomplish simultaneously being exciting and fun while also being relaxing and ED-like. The perplexing changes from a regular-sounding song to an 8-bit one sort of reflect the bipolar nature of the show. Also, the nipple fake-out moment gets me every time.
Level-E — “Yume~Mugen no Kanata” by ViViD
(could only find a video on this russian youtube variant: http://rutube.ru/tracks/3974725.html?v=9f9afcb3aae3616e61b5fb4dcdc33dc6)
I’m not gonna lie—the whole great part of this video is the prince saying “are you ready” at the start. I fuckin’ melt. This show always knows how to bring out the gay in me. Anyway, the song is pretty good too. The video makes UFO spotting feel even more intense than Maximum the Hormone-driven mahjong.
Lucky Star — “Motteke! Sailor Fuku” by Shiraishi Minoru
I couldn’t not post another Lucky Star ED. The best parts of this are when he starts making up his own lyrics and then when the whole thing suddenly starts fast-forwarding at the end. And WTF is with the scene where it looks like he’s chasing two of the seiyuu in a horse-drawn carriage?
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica — “Magia” by Kalafina
This ED utterly terrified me and brought me to the verge of tears when I first saw it after episode three. It’s definitely the darkest, most hopeless ED I know of. It’s the show dragging you down to hell and making sure you don’t forget the terrible feeling that the episode has left you with. This is brutal.
Neon Genesis Evangelion — “Fly Me to the Moon” by Eva Girls
Is it just that Fly Me to the Moon is a great song? Is it that there’s a different version for each episode, sung by the voice actresses? Or is it that weird image of Rei spinning upside-down? A combination of all three is what makes this ED memorable. And that I got to sing it in karaoke with a room full of drunk Filipino aime bloggers lol.
Overman King Gainer — “Can You Feel My Soul” by Overman King Gainer
Though to nowhere near the extent of the infamous OP, this video is quite strange and trippy. The song, however, is straight-up kick-ass. It sounds like a combination between the Needless and Trigun opening songs.
Rurouni Kenshin — “Tactics” by The Yellow Monkey, “Heart of Sword – Yoake Mae” by T. M. Revolution, “It’s Gonna Rain” by Bonnie Pink
This is serious cheating: I’ve owned the Rurouni Kenshin Best Theme Collection for some eight years now, so I know these songs better than any other EDs. All of them would’ve been on the first list if it weren’t for the fact that the videos are pretty much lame. This in no way means that I ever skip them, though.
Saki — “Netsuretsu Kangei Wonderland” by Saki girls
Wai Wai! For some reason this ED feels really old-school to me. The song and video are cute, but more importantly, they tell a story. And the story is about Yuuki being a lovably adorable brat. That the “wai wai!” actually functions in the story of the ED makes me very happy. The second ED is great too, but this one has a better song. Makes me wanna rewatch the show~
Samurai Champloo — “Shiki no Uta” by Nujabes ft. MINMI
I felt bad about leaving this out of the first post for the fact that the video isn’t very exciting. The song is fuckmazing—Nujabes’ music track is excellent enough on its own (it appears on one of his other albums), but the R&B/rap vocals just kick it up another notch. The song makes the video worth watching.
s-CRY-ed — “Drastic My Soul” by Sakai Mikio
I BELIEVE IN DRASTIC MY SOUL!!! My favorite part of the video is Kaname laying on that log looking adorable. Besides that this song is unforgettable to me because TheBigN named his blog after it.
Seikon no Qwaser II (NSFW) — “Metaphor” by Shoujo Byou
Passionate Squall was a very naughty ending video. Metaphor is a dirty one. The title is funny because this ED is really out with the metaphors and more about straight-up porn. That it’s by Shoujo Byou (Girl’s Disease) is more fitting. I think the video well reflects the change between seasons of Qwaser from lots of fanservice to lots of porn.
Serial Experiments Lain — “Tooi Sakebi” — Nakaido “Chabo” Reiichi
I simply love this song, and Nakaido Reiichi’s stuff in general. The video is just a single panning shot, but it’s of Lain naked, so I’m not complaining at all.
Suite Precure — “Woderful Powerful Music” by Ikeda Aya
No idea how I forgot this in the last post—I even remember thinking about how I needed to include it. Anyway, this ED is my favorite dancing-girls ED because OMG look at those moves! Now that’s a dance that’s worth learning! I love the light funkiness of the song and how good the dance is for it.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu — “Hare Hare Yukai” by Haruhi girls
Speaking of dancing girls videos that I left out of the first post—this one I consciously left out, which was wrong of me. Yeah, I’ve gotten tired of the same old song and dance after four years, but when I actually sit and watch the video, it’s still a damn good dance and a spectacle of animation.
Tetsuwan Birdy Decode — “Let’s Go Together” by Afromania
Afromania is like the ultimate feel-good-song band, and what says feel-good more than bright colors, skipping, and high-fives? Watching this makes me want to go skipping while playing this on my ipod.
Toradora! — “Vanilla Salt” by Horie Yui
Every time I hear this song I feel like it’s 2009 and I’m a gigantic Toradora fag again. I like the colors of the video and the umbrella theme. Even though I love this song, I still have nightmares about the time that I watched the official video for it.
Trigun — “Kaze wa Mirai ni fuku” by Akima and Neos
An excellent desert theme with a hell of a bassline and percussions. The imagery is simple, but effectively conveys that earthy desert feeling.
Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei — “Romance Romanesque” and “Omamori” by Zetsubou Shoujo-tachi
Romanesque: These illustrations are… striking! My favorite is the one of Komori Kiri. The visual effect at use here is outstanding, as well as the insane asylum setting. Omamori: The gorgeous ultra-gothic visuals harken back to The SoulTaker, and there’s even a direct reference to it in the form of a blood-crying virgin Mary statue. This video represents my favorite things about Shinbo’s style.
I’ve probably still forgotten something. I regret nothing.