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!
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.
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!
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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