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My Favorite Anime Themes of 2018

As I did last year, I thought I’d share my favorite opening and closing anime themes for the last year. To simplify this, I broke it down to favorite OP and ED for each season, plus a year-wide Honorable Mention for each. This is strictly based on personal preference out of the themes for series I watched, with maybe a little bit of what I liked about them. Note: This isn’t necessarily my favorite animes for each season (although there’s definitely some overlap), just what I regard as my favorite theme.

(A reminder: This is part of my 12 Days of AniTAY 2018. Big thanks to Zarnyx for suggesting to go ahead and do it in mainline-TAY, and RedStripe118 for putting me on to the 12 Days of Anime idea in the first place.)


OP: Darling in the FRANXX - Mika Nakashima x Hyde, “Kiss of Death”

Say what you will about the series overall (I was actually at a convention this spring with Studio Trigger folks from DarliFra doing panels, right about episode 14 or 15, and even then they were kind of anxious that we should hang in there), I love this opening theme. The passion, and beat, just help it to edge out the OP for:

ED: Yuru Camp△- Eri Sasaki, “Fuyu Biyori”

I love, love, LOVE this song. It may be my favorite of the whole year. (Winter was just a packed season of favorites for me.) Yuru Camp is my anime of the season* for winter, as well as my “so freaking comfy” anime of the year, and this song (as well as the rest of the OST, honestly) just nails the whole aesthetic.


*It gets my AOTS vote because Sora yori mo Tooi Basho is my Anime of the Year


After the awesomeness that was Winter, Spring turned out to be kind of a sparse season for me personally in terms of anime watching. (Which was good on a catching up from the previous seasons and watching older stuff, but terrible for this wrap-up ;D)

OP: Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii - Sumika, “Fiction”

Definitely in my “upbeat happy music” pile. Also, the little hand movements they’re all doing around 1 minute I love every time.


ED: Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai - Manaka Iwami, “Love Song”

I dunno, I’m a sucker for some of these kinds of songs, even though I found the actual series just okay. Unfortunately, the sparseness wouldn’t improve that much in...



Anone! Anone! While there were a few shows I really liked (Jashin-chan was funny, and had a pretty good OP), my head and shoulders above the rest Anime of the Season provides a double winner.


Hataraku Saibou - OP: Kana Hanazawa, Tomoaki Maeno, Daisuke Ono, and Kikuko Inoue, “Mission! Ken Kou Dai Ichi”; ED: ClariS, “CheerS”

I mean, who knew we needed anthropomorphized blood cells, especially the adorable platelets?



Fortunately, Fall is coming back for me with some really good shows. PA Works’ Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara has both an OP and ED I liked, but, both get just kinda edged out, starting with...


OP: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken - Terashima Takuma, “Nameless Story”

Not the most unique out there, but again, it’s got that moving kind of beat I like, combined with being from one of my contenders for Anime of the Season.


ED: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai - “Fukashigi no Carte”

It’s got that kind of longing, haunting feel I like. Sung in full or part by all of the girls in the cast, too. And not in this video, but I like the changing visuals in the show itself as well.



As promised, I have a few HMs for the year. Both are from Winter, as I noted, Winter just really hit with me, while a lot of the stuff from the rest of this year has been a little more generic and harder to actually pick “favorites” from.


OP: Yuru Camp△ - Asaka, “Shiny Days”

As noted above, this just got edged by “Kiss of Death”. But as much as Yuru Camp’s ED is perfect for the laid-back comfy feel, this upbeat tune also just works for me for that opening. It’s sorta like the perfect counterpart - this is the excited getting to the camp and getting it all together, and the ED is where you finally get to relax and enjoy camping.


ED: Sora yori mo Tooi Basho - Inori Minase, Kana Hanazawa, Yuka Iguchi, Saori Hayami, “Koko kara, Koko kara”

In a world where Yuru Camp△ wasn’t part of Winter 2018, this would’ve been hands-down my ED of the season. If you didn’t see it, this show made the New York Times list of Best TV Shows of 2018 (admittedly, down in the International section). I don’t know how often, if ever, they’ve put an anime on this list, but it’s nice to see that The Gray Lady agrees with me on something.



No insert song this year, but as I mentioned, the whole Yuru Camp△ OST is fantastic, and this song, “Solo Camp no Susume”, is my favorite bit out of all of it. Again - just the epitome of “comfy”.


So, there you have it. My favorite anime themes (and a little more) from this past year. Not nearly as packed with overall favorites this year as last year, sadly, but maybe I was spoiled, and who knows what might over time change and percolate up as I shift music on and off my iPod.

What are your thoughts?

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