Best Anime OP’s 2018

Taking a look back at the Best Anime OP’s of the whole year of 2018

So as you might be aware I’ve been listing my best and worse OP’s and ED’s of each season this year. But rather than just pick my 10 favourites from all the previous ‘top’ lists, I’ve decided to do something a little different for the final best of OP list of the year. I’ve decided to break it down into categories, almost like an awards show (albeit a bit less rigid than most). Also unlike the previous seasonal lists I’m taking into account the visuals as well as the music and whatever bias I have towards the show will be fully on display–where applicable. So with that out of the way let’s take a look at what I consider the Best Anime OP’s of 2018!

Coolest Anime OP

What’s cool for one person may not always be cool for another, but as far as straight up stylish and flashy visuals mixing with a rocking song, nothing comes close to “Break In To Break Out” by Lynn from ‘Persona 5 The Animation’.

Anime OP That Best Represents The Tone Of The Show

Sometimes an OP can give a good visual representation of what a show is like, but fails to capture the quintessential essence of the series–the ~feeling~.  However, “Iwanai kedo ne.” by Yuiko Oohara from ‘Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san’ embodies not just the characters, the setting and the tone perfectly but also the youthful innocence and charm of youth and young love.

Best Vocals In An Anime OP

I know I shouldn’t be so surprised when are Voice Actor has a good singing voice, after all most if not all of them do in-fact sing anime OP’s and ED’s as a part of their jobs, however sometimes a vocalist will blow you away as was the case with “Touka no Manimani” by Nao Toyama from ‘Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits’. Not only are the vocals sublime but the song is terrifically beautiful and matches with the ethereal and mysterious vibe of the visuals too.

Sexiest Anime OP

Along with what’s “cool”, what’s “sexy” is subjective too. But this is my site so you all have to deal with my opinions! For me, obvious things are sexy, boobs are sexy, skimpy outfits are sexy, pin-up style still poses are sexy and apparently now I can add vaguely animal girls to that list too thanks to “killing bites” by fripSide from ‘Killing Bites’.

The “I can’t speak Japanese but I’ll try and sing along anyway” Award

It’s hard to sing along to a catchy song, even harder still when the lyrics aren’t provided on screen but sometimes a song is so damn catchy you just try your hardest, even if it’s just in your head! Few songs in 2018 were just as joyously infectious as “Mission! Ken Kou Dai Ichi” by Sekkekkyuu (Kana Hanazawa), Hakkekkyuu (Tomoaki Maeno), Killer T Saibou (Daisuke Ono), Macrophage (Kikuko Inoue) from ‘Cells At Work!’

Anime Is Art, OP Edition

We all know anime is art, but sometimes an OP can be its own little piece of art both with regard to visuals and audio. “Kimi ni Furete” by Riko Azuna from ‘Bloom Into You’ more than meets the criteria to be called art with its contemplative and evocative music and vocals accompanied by a simply stunning set of imagery–put this in a museum or something!

Sadly there’s no version of the OP on Youtube with the actual visuals so enjoy this still image.

Most ~Angsty~ Anime OP

Gotta love that teenage ~angst~ and you know what’s even better? When an OP can convey a series’ angst through the power of music and visuals alone (and maybe the lyrics, I don’t know, I didn’t get a chance to see the lyrics for this one, but we can only assume). “Azalea” by nano.RIPE from ‘Citrus’, is ripe (pun intended) with the gay teen angst and I love it!

The Anime OP that gives me the “feels”

“The Girls Are Alright” by saya from ‘A Place Further Than The Universe’. This is a great song, with great visuals but what makes it even better is just remembering how excellent this show was and how powerful so many of the emotional moments in this show were, even just listening to the song brings a tear to my eye.

The ‘Two Sides Of The Same Coin’ Award

I’m not even sure I’m using that term correctly, but basically this pick is for a show that has two OP’s (one for each cour) and they are ostensibly the same song, but I feel like each one has enough differences (both musically and visually) that they both deserve a mention. They are “KISS OF DEATH” by Mika Nakashima x Hyde from ‘Darling In The FranXX’. Listen to both below, if I had to pick a favourite I’d say it’s the second cour OP, while I enjoy the “sexiness” of the first, the second is too beautiful to ignore.

OP 1.
OP 2.

Rock Out With Your OP Out

Sometimes a song just rocks too hard for it to be ignored and “found & lost” by Survive Said The Prophet from ‘BANANA FISH’ definitely is one of them! Plus the visuals are just so polished and well-suited that I’d have been crazy not to mention it!

The “I didn’t watch this anime but the OP makes me want to” Award

There were a few top quality OP’s that made me intrigued enough to want to watch the show they were attached to. But none made quite the impact like “Voracity” by MYTH & ROID from ‘Overlord III’, because damn this song is quirky and irresistible and I mean just look at all those good-looking evil girls in the video… you make a tasty proposition Overlord, very very tasty.

The ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai’ Award For Overall Excellence In An Anime OP

No, “Kimi no Sei” by the peggies from ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai‘ isn’t my pick for Best OP. Rather it’s OP is just so well polished from beginning to end and has a song that has the sort of crossover mainstream appeal that were we living in a just universe it’d be on the charts in the West that I decided to create an entire category just so I could mention this OP. It’s my site and I can do what I want!

~Honourable Mentions~

There were just so many top quality OP’s I felt I needed to mention 3 more that were just on the cusp of being included but missed out because, well, I didn’t want this list to get too long to be honest! They are:
“SHINY DAYS” by Asaka from ‘Laid Back Camp’
“Colors Power ni Omakasero!” by Colors☆Slash from ‘Mitsuboshi Colors’
“One Room Sugar Life” by Akari Nanawo from ‘Happy Sugar Life’
All of them worthy of mention to be sure!

The Best Anime OP of 2018

Regardless of this pick it’s probably going to disappoint someone such is the nature of this business of picking a best anything but here we go, my pick for the Best Anime OP of 2018 is “Flashback” by MIYAVI vs. KenKen from ‘Kokkoku’. It’s probably an anime few people remember, I think I enjoyed it more than most people (you can read my review of it here) but what stood out week-after-week was that OP. Does it fit the tone of the show? Not at all. Is it a genre of music I generally listen to? Not really. But is it the most mesmerising, toe-tapping, energetic and all round spectacular OP of the year? You bet it is!

And there we have it, my weird, award style list of the Best Anime OP’s of 2018! What did you think of this different approach to presenting a list? What did you think of my picks?! Leave a comment below and let me know! Thanks for reading!

Previous Seasonal OP & ED Lists:

10 Best OP’s Winter 2018
10 Worst OP’s Winter 2018
10 Best ED’s Winter 2018
5 Worst ED’s Winter 2018
10 Best OP’s Spring 2018
10 Worst OP’s Spring 2018
10 Best ED’s Spring 2018
5 Worst ED’s Spring 2018
15 Best OP’s Summer 2018
5 Worst OP’s Summer 2018
10 Best ED’s Summer 2018
10 Worst ED’s Summer 2018
10 Best OP’s Fall 2018
10 Worst OP’s Fall 2018
10 Best ED’s Fall 2018
5 Worst ED’s Fall 2018

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10 Best Uniquely Japanese Things About Anime

A Listing Compulsive list of the 10 Best Uniquely Japanese Things About Japan

Japan—it’s the reason anime even exists, and undoubtedly there are things so inexorably linked to the Land of the Rising Sun that they can’t help but feature prominently in their abundant animated media. This is a list of the 10 Best Uniquely Japanese Things About Anime (in my opinion). These aren’t specifically anime clichés more that these are things intrinsically linked to Japan as a country, as a culture and its people that have seeped into anime. Also true about this list is that these things might not be 100% ‘Japanese-Only’ things, it’s just these are the kinds of things that feel unique to both Japan the place and the anime the art form, so don’t be surprised if you see some picks that might be applicable to your country too! With that out of the way let’s begin the countdown!

~Number 10~

Seems like nearly every school based anime has the protagonist starting school as the pink blossoms of the Sakura tree fall around them. It might seem like an overworn cliche but there’s a reason for it—in Japan the new school year starts in late March/early April, exactly when the cherry blossom season starts. Still, there’s nothing quite like the flittering of discarded Sakura petals over a scene to make it feel ~distinctly~ Japanese.

~Number 9~
Catholicism/Christianity is either quaint or badass/evil

I wondered whether or not to include this lest I step on any toes, but it’s something I’ve seen far too many times not to at least mention it. Japan, a mostly Buddhist country has had an ~interesting~ relationship with the Western Christian faith. Excluding my personal opinions about Christianity and organised religion on the whole I’ve always found it funny when a character is either ~vaguely~ Christian, you know, wearing crosses and celebrating Christmas, or alternately when the main hero/villain of the piece is affiliated with some ass-kicking branch of the church that has seemingly little to do with anything actually religious and just wants to use the iconography for the fun of it. And why not I say!

~Number 8~
Rudeness, delinquency, littering, etc. is a BIG deal

Something that also falls into the “quaint” category is seeing things such as someone speaking back to an elder, or someone heedlessly discarding some trash to the sidewalk, or someone just being a general rebellious sort being treated as a big deal. By which I mean, “watch out, this guy/girl doesn’t care about the rules!” Sure this kind of thing happens in the West, but no one is going to mistake a loitering, litter-bug with a potty-mouth for the leader of a motorcycle gang like they might in Japan!

~Number 7~
“It’s Dangerous To Go Out At Night” except it’s not because Japan has the world’s lowest crime rate…

I can’t speak for what it’s like traversing the streets at night in Japan as a woman but there is a certain over-reliance on the trope that ‘women and children shouldn’t go out past dark because it’s dangerous’ despite the fact that Japan has the world’s lowest crime rate. Maybe this is my male privilege speaking but seems like it’s more dangerous to try and run from the shower to the bedroom in the nude without anyone seeing you than it is to roam the streets of Japan after dark. Somehow I think this is more about the Japanese paranoia that everyone has a dark-side just waiting to come out than based on any statistical crime-rate based fact. And these comments always seem to appear in slice of life anime where nothing bad ever happens which makes the comments especially out of place.

~Number 6~
Obsession With Food

Every country has a rich food culture but for some reason anime and food seem to go together like Rem and Ram. The sheer quality of the food in Japan is something to behold and its availability in the cities especially is unlike any other. There’s a reason Japan has more Michelin stars than any other country on Earth and Tokyo more than any other city, it’s because they care about food as if it were their children. If you don’t believe me (or haven’t experienced Japan’s passion for food) just listen to the difference between the Japanese original and the English dub of Food Wars to see how passionate they are about something we all probably take for granted! Also falling under this category is school and work bento’s being things of amazingly high quality—especially compared to what amounts to a school lunch in the West.

~Number 5~
All Men Are Perverts!

I’m sure there’s some angry sort who’s sitting at home with their hands above the keyboard ready to type “NOT ALL MEN” into my comments page in relation to this pick and sure while I can’t pretend to speak for “all men” I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that a lot of men have a one-track mind when it comes to sex, the pursuit of it and the procure of it. And nowhere is that fact more apparent and more frequently highlighted than Japan and anime, where seemingly every male has his eyes on the prize and that prize being anything feminine with a pulse. And not just the intent and the obsession but the way they go about attaining as much as a glimpse of anything arousing certainly speaks to some ~interesting~ notions about pornography and reality in Japan that I have no intention of getting into right now…

~Number 4~
References to Otaku culture

It wouldn’t be an episode of a slice of life anime without some mention of anime or Akihabara or video games or anything vaguely related to Otaku culture in Japan! While this particular type of reference is perhaps not as prevalent as others on the list it makes up for it in sheer… obnoxiousness, yes I love it when an anime I watch starts referencing other anime or pays a visit to the otaku Mecca known as Akiba but it’s always a ~little~ bit obvious who they’re pandering to… and I don’t care because it gets me every time! Notice me sempai!

~Number 3~
Hard to Translate Puns/Wordplay

Nothing quite says an adaptation of a super-smart cloyingly pretentious anime like the subtitles attempting to translate a pun that’s derived from the composition of characters and how they ‘look’ like other characters hastily explained by a bracketed sentence midst a fast-flowing conversation. And what’s even worse is when there’s multiple of these so you’re either left to pause the show and read every explanation or just let it wash over you and home to gleam a semblance of sense from it all. Truth be told I don’t know why I ranked this so high, maybe because the Japanese language is so unique (and difficult) plus I guess I’m just a sucker for that pretentious wordplay, no matter the language!

~Number 2~

I mean incest isn’t anything exclusive to Japan, as long as there’s been sister’s there’s been brother’s wanting to f**k them and vice versa (not to mention love between same-sex siblings too). But it seems like Japan’s always been ahead of the curve at least in the sibling seduction department which… I don’t know… is this a good thing or a bad thing…? I feel like I’m opening a can of worms inside a hornet’s nest and it’s probably best I shut my mouth lest I get stung somewhere sensitive… All I know is, when Game of Thrones was breaking mainstream taboos with Jamie and Cersei Lannister doing the deed in 2011, shocking the “normies” to their very core. Those deep into niche anime were sitting with copies of OreImo and Kiss x Sis wondering what the fuss was about. Does this pick make me an Incest Hipster? Is “Incest Hipster” the worst thing you’ve read all day?!

And before anyone asks, this choice isn’t me advocating real life incest. Nor is it at all meant to say that anime’s depiction of incest is without faults (like anything) it’s more something that I think is unique to anime.

~Number 1~
School Clubs are the Best!

Ah… something wholesome to wrap this list up with, what after all that talk of perverts and incestuous couplings! The school clubs as seen in anime have always been something of an enigma to me, as high-schooler growing up in Australia not only was I unaware of any extracurricular clubs that sated my interests but likewise I didn’t think they existed at all. But in anime (and presumably, by extension in Japan) after school clubs are practically half the reason to go to school more even if you have a disdain for classes! The idea of spending more time at school while simultaneously interacting with likeminded individuals seems like a strange dream and yet nearly every school-based anime has mention of an after-school club. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did I’d want to reincarnate as a Japanese kid just so I could experience this world of after-school clubs for myself!


And with that we’ve reached the end of the list, think I missed anything ~particularly~ Japanese about anime that should have been on the list? Leave me a comment below! Until next time, watch out for men… they’re all perverts remember!

Other Random Anime Related Lists:

10 Anime I Will Never Watch
10 Favourite Manga Cover Art
10 Biggest Boobs In Anime

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



10 Favourite Manga Cover Art (Series) – Listing Compulsive

A Listing Compulsive post about my 10 Favourite Manga Cover Art (series).

They say never to judge a book by its covers but these Manga covers are among my favourite of all time. Please note, for this list it’s only the art itself that is being judged, not the contents of the story, in-fact for some of these manga I’ve never even read. Also it is important to mention that what denotes art can vary wildly from person-to-person so keep this in mind if you’re wanting to disagree with my picks. With that out of the way here is my 10 Favourite Manga Cover Art from a series.

~Number 10~
One Punch Man

The stylised, comic-book style covers are pretty damn cool, very pulpy and kinetic looking. Plus there’s the fun little details that you might miss at first glance, like Saitama holding his bag of groceries, or all the background details on the right-side one.

~Number 9~
Land of the Lustrous

There’s a really cool and stylish quality to these covers that I can’t quite put my finger on. They’re not the most detailed of covers but they’re still eye-catching and well composed.

~Number 8~
Shomin Sample: I Was Abducted by an Elite All-Girls School as a Sample Commoner

Sometimes you just want to look at some panties…

But seriously I love how immediately eye-catching this series’ artwork is—at least for the first 6 volumes—which follow this similar style. Also of note, the English versions of the manga almost completely ruin these covers through their placement of the titles… maybe I should do a seperate list of English manga covers that are worse than the Japanese.

~Number 7~

The light-hearted and adorable covers convey such endearing warmth while also being genuinely nice art.

~Number 6~
The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún

Sometimes manga artwork can be so evocative that it makes you want to buy it even if it’s a series that you’ve got zero interest in otherwise. That’s what happened with this series, I bought the first book (still haven’t read it though) but I still enjoy having it in my collection if only because of the art-style.

~Number 5~

The traditional style of this artwork is very appealing and eye-catching, even if it’s not something I normally go for.

~Number 4~

It’s a small thing but I love that the vertical text changes font and colour each volume and is relevant to the characters featured on the covers. Also I appreciate art-style that adhere closely to the art contained within, these aren’t overly stylised, they’re just fun and quirky.

~Number 3~

I love the consistent colour-scheme across these covers, it’s utterly beautiful.

~Number 2~

Who would have thought a manga about this “sport” would have such beautiful cover art. Makes me wish these were available in English so I could have copies of these on my bookshelf.

~Number 1~
Yokai Girls

This is more of a personal pick than any of the other choices, while the character art is good—if nothing remarkable—I absolutely adore the use of real life Akihabara locations in the backgrounds, it makes me wistfully nostalgic for that otaku paradise every time I see these covers! I can appreciate that most people will disagree with this pick but the covers for Yokai Girls are my favourite manga covers.

So that was fun! I love sharing my favourite manga covers and I’d love to know which manga cover’s you’re all particularly fond of!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!