It’s hard to believe it has been about five months since I wrote my first post highlighting my favorite anisongs of last season. A lot has happened since then and have been spending most of last month catching up last season and keeping up with the latest simuldubs this season. I took a leap of faith on VRV last month and am mostly all caught up now! Just, don’t ask about the Netflix ones...
Anyways, there was a lot of great anime that aired last season. It may have been one of the best that aired in recent memory! Though summer is coming to a close and many have already put spring behind them, I’ve been wanting to talk about the past season’s offerings for a while now. Somewhere along the way, between going to my first anime convention and my own lack of motivation to make time to write this piece, I slacked off; hard.
Not wanting to let my current work go to waste, I buckled down and have been working on this on and off while dealing with some personal issues here and there. To put things into perspective, I’ve re-written this opening at least three times using completely different angles or points before segueing into the meat of the article: My Favorite Anisongs from Spring 2018. I don’t know what this means long term and whether or not I have the capacity to continue this particular series of posts, but I do know I’ll need sometime to think about how I want to approach this next season (err.. this season), assuming I make another list.
But at any rate, that’s for me to deal with another day. For now, let’s talk Anisongs! If you missed my first list or need a refresher on how I compile these, hit the link below. My general rule of thumb is if it aired this season on any available service (i.e. Crunchyroll, Toonami, Funimation, Netflix, etc.), it is eligible regardless of availability or if it premiered once before on the off chance I don’t catch it during its initial release. Also, since I don’t believe in limiting series to one per entry, don’t be surprised I bring up a series more than once (i.e. opening and ending).
Song: Break In to Break Out
Anime: Persona 5 The Animation
Starting off this list is the anime based on one of my favorite video games of last year. Given it was my personal GOTY of 2017, I had pretty high hopes for the anime adaption. With series composer Shoji Meguro returning to score the soundtrack, two new themes were added for this adaption along with Lyn providing vocals once again for both the opening and ending.
Though neither quite reaches the same heights as the game’s main theme, the opening in particular was the stronger of the two. From the introduction of the TV (an obvious reference to “MTV”) to the characters making their entrances in both regular and Phantom Thief attire, everything about this opening oozes with style much like the source material. The transition from the protagonist to his Joker Attire and the brief overlap of everyone’s Persona’s was definitely the high water mark when the opening was fully showed off by the time the show started to make headway and the Phantoms were officially born.
Anime: Persona 5 The Animation
My bias might be showing at this point, so rather than reiterating the same points, I’ll just say I liked the more upbeat song here. The use of animation for the black and white artwork that was used in the game’s promotional art is a very nice touch as well.
Song: Winding Road
Artist: Man on a Mission
Anime: Golden Kamuy
Okay, so onto my non Persona 5 picks. I’m a bit torn on favorite anisongs this season, but if I had to pick a personal favorite off the list, Winding Road would probably be a close tie with one other song later down this article.
Brief side story: I’ve never really liked Man on a Mission up until recently. For the more anime versed folks, you might best remember them for providing the opening for Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans; a song I was not too crazy about when I first heard it *gasps*. I know, blasphemy. *Ducks*
Recently, the band has been making even more strides in the anime department providing music for last year’s Inuyahiki and, most recently, last season’s B: The Beginning; both of which I was rather fond of. I’ve started to come around based on that work, and Winding Road continues that streak.
As for the opening itself, with its strong use of color and font along with the weather effects, it becomes immediately apparent what the show is going for. Even without any knowledge of the show, within the first few seconds of guitar work and emphasis on the environment, you get a sense that this is going to be one hell of an adventure. I still get pumped every time I hear this opening!
Song: Megalo Box (Main Theme)
Anime: Megalo Box
Forget favorite anisongs; let’s talk about favorite soundtracks!
Out of all the anime released up to this writing, one particular anime has been in my mind since it debuted last season. With its distinct almost 90s theme/visuals, futuristic setting, and cyberpunk influence, Megalo Box has made quite the name for itself in an unusually packed Spring Season.
Many contributors on TAY have written about the series already, including a very detailed overview of the anime’s soundtrack by TGRIP. From the heavier, faster guitar and drum work on “Battlefield” and “Enter the Arena” to the hip hop/rap work of tracks like “The Slums” and “Gearless Joe,” Megalo Box had such a large variety of musical genres and sounds/instrumental work that it was hard to choose a particular favorite track.
Despite that, there was one track that kept replaying in my mind once the series concluded: the main theme. Without giving too much away, the season finale concludes with one of the best match ups of the season while the Main Theme roars in the background as the seconds countdown signaling the beginning of the end. It is an excellent suspense builder that is only topped by one other battle this season. You know the one I mean (next anime)....
Song: Odd Future
Anime: My Hero Academia
Another hot take incoming: I have not cared much for My Hero Academia’s openings and endings. Up until now, they’ve been serviceable, but not remarkable enough to avoid skipping.
This season, UVERworld contributed the show’s opening in what was my favorite anisong of the season that wasn’t Winding Road. Probably best known for their contributions for series like Bleach and Blue Exorcist, UVERworld is no stranger to the world of anime having made their debut with D-Technolife for Bleach’s second opening (a personal favorite of mine I might add).
In a bit of an odd break from most Anisongs, the My Hero version of Odd Future is quite different from the full version. Though mostly known as a rock band, it seems like the band went with a different style for this song. In comparing the full version to the one used in the Anime, I was almost convinced the former was a complete remix of the latter! Still, I rather enjoyed the upbeat and almost electronic sounds of the full song despite preferring the more guitar heavy focus of the shortened version.
Artist: Eir Aoi
Anime: Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
From time to time, I’ll occasionally highlight an anisong where I liked either the animation or the song portion more, but not both. In a lot of these cases, these were opening/endings I liked, but didn’t love enough to watch it again or didn’t quite reach the status of being “unskippable.” In the case of Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, this is one of those anisongs.
Being quite familiar with Eir Aoi’s previous anisongs (including her other Sword Art contrinutions), it’s not too surprising I quite enjoyed Ryusei. The opening itself, however, was kinda bland. I don’t really have a great reasoning behind this to be honest. My working theory is that like the show, it started off strong and slowly started to go off rails towards the midpoint of the series or about the time the second tournament starts. I did like it enough to warrant finishing the show, but in the end, it looks like they ran out of ammunition before they could finish strong; until you shank someone with your survival knife you crazy bastard...
These were my favorite anisongs of Spring 2018, but there were plenty of other shows I didn’t even highlight here. Do you agree with my picks? What were your favorites? Was this the best season yet?
Track: The theme of Sachio | Artist: mabauna | Album: Megalo Box Original Soundtrack
What, you thought I was going to end this without throwing this one into the mix? Peace out!