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Well, hello, folks. The Spring 2007 season is juuuuuuust about over, with episode 12’s of the series that kicked it off coming out this week. Technically, Summer 2007 doesn’t start for another 2 weeks, but since I’m going to Anime-Expo next week and I want to treat season changeovers specially, I’m doing Spring 2007 Wrap-Up a week early.

I randomly decided pretty much yesterday that I wanted to do daily lists pertaining to certain aspects of the season during the second to last or last week of the season. Each day would be a different topic, neatly organized and encompassing all the things I didn’t get to write about during the season, due to laziness or business or just a lack of space.

The schedule I have planned is as follows:

Monday: Introduction, Explanation, Schedule and Top 10 Favorite Opening/Ending/Insert Themes for the season
Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Episodes of the Season
Wednesday: WTF!? Wednesdays Special Edition: Top 10 WTF!? Moments NOT Mentioned during the season
Thursday: Top 10 Favorite Series for the Season
Friday: Top 10 Favorite Characters for the Season
Saturday: Summer 2007 Preview

All lists will be VERY subjective, but if you wanna debate me, by all means. I like comments, you know.

So, without further ado, let’s kick off the week with my Top 10 Favorite Openings, Endings, and Insert Themes.

10.) Lucky Star ED (Aya Hirano, Erimi Kato, Kaori Fukuhara, Aya Endo)

Lucky Star ED

Coming in at number ten, it’s the ending non-theme(s) of Lucky Star. While not a true “ending”, it does manage to keep me watching through to the credits (the usual criteria I have for a ‘good’ ending theme. Examples: Hare Hare Yukai, How to Draw Sunabouzu Song, etc) and at times the obscure songs they pull out and the ensuing reaction from the Lucky Star Girls can be rather fun. Sometimes, though, obscurity prevents this from getting any higher, especially when compared to the next nine on this list.

9.) Kiss - Kaerimachi no Love Song (Tegomass)

The only other Ending theme on the list this season, Lovely Complex’s warmly sung Kiss - Kaerimachi no Love Song is always a joy to listen to, and the simple swaying animation of the characters walking against backgrounds just nicely works as a wind-down from the hyperness and/or angst of the week.

8.) What’s up, people!? (Maximum The Hormone)

Tetsurou Araki: Alright, gentlemen, we have the tapes for the second opening for Death Note. Let’s hear what we got.
*People in the room listen*
Araki: …Alright, gentlemen, feel free to animate whatever the hell you want.

That is how I envision the creative process behind the second opening animation for Death Note. Maximum the Hormone’s hilariously unintelligible screamo-metal song managed to even entertain me, an accomplishment that very few screamo metal songs can pull off. Mostly it’s because the animation is so random (Dancing Ryuk wins a WTF!? Wednesday award by Proxy), but there’s just a certain catchiness to it that appeals to me somehow. Then there’s the fact that the opening scream makes me want to do a misheard lyrics for it, since I keep hearing “POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORN! BUY POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORN!” when I listen to it.

7.) Hikari no Machi (TOKIO)

Skull Man is a series I haven’t mentioned before, but I’m finding that it’s a really enjoyable thriller. It’s like V for Vendetta with Monsters and Evil Religions and stuff. Its opening is also a real delight, though there’s no surprise there; it’s by Tokio, and they’re the guys that did one of my all time favorite anime songs, Kodomo no Omocha’s 7 ‘o’ Clock News. An excellent rock song for a great series.

6.) Romantic Summer(Sun and Lunar; aka, Halko Momoi and Sakura Nogawa)

The eternally catchy and fun beach rock opener Romantic Summer was the first real hook that Seto no Hanayome had in me. I knew there was some stuff about Yakuza Mermaids and it was animated by GONZO (which I consider to be a rather good animation studio, despite the general blogger population’s opinion,) so it had some bait for me, but the opening guitar riff for Romantic Summer just made me smile instantly. Expect to see much more from Seto no Hanayome this week, it’s risen in my ranks fairly fast.

5.) Motteke! Sailor Fuku (Aya Hirano, Erimi Kato, Kaori Fukuhara, Aya Endo)

It’s sparked the second biggest anime dance craze of the last few years (Hare Hare Yukai is bigger mostly by being out longer) and deservedly so. Lucky Star’s catchy insane anime opening feels like having sugar laced crack injected into your brain upon first viewing. Fun as hell to listen to, but even more fun for all the parodies that have popped up.

4.) HOWLING (Abingdon Boys School)

The driving hard rock of HOWLING drives Darker than Black’s opening to fourth place. An incredibly awesome song, with great guitar and vocals. Plus, I really like the single version, due to its embellishing the opening words. A worthy 4th place.

3.) Uninstall (Chiaki Ishikawa)

Picking 2 and 3 was the hardest choice for me in making this list, and unfortunately, the beautiful haunting melody of Uninstall comes in only at number 3. A great song by any measure, it captures the mood and emotion of the amazing series Bokurano perfectly. And the lyrics are chilling, both in listening to the Japanese and reading the English translation. Unfortunately, it has to go up against…

2.) Sora Iro Days (Shoko Nakagawa)

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was the second series I watched for Spring 2007, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into it. The opening quickly remedied that: I was in for a wild adventure and a scorching action filled ride with the energy and intensity of FLCL and the most creative mecha designs I’d ever seen short of Bonta-Kun suits.

It’d be a lie to say I wasn’t sure of TTGL after the opening finished. I was DAMN sure I’d be enjoying this series.

Uninstall is brilliant and beautiful, but I justify placing Sora Iro Days ahead under the virtue that it was the sole hook for a series that I knew nothing about going into, and in doing so has introduced me to one of my favorite series ever.

1.) your gravitation (Sun and Lunar)

As far as anime themes go, I always tend to like Insert Themes more than Openings or Closings. They’re more unique, more situational, and often times more fun. I regard God Knows, from Haruhi Episode 12, as the pinnacle of Insert Themes.

Spring 2007 does not have God Knows. However, your gravitation, from Seto no Hanayome episode 8, manages to be nearly as good. Momoi and Nogawa have excellent voices, and the situation in which this stadium shaking event occurs is one of my favorite situations in anime this season. The one thing this song doesn’t have over God Knows is plot relevance; the lyrics for God Knows also served as “foreshadowing” for the last two episodes. However, the energy is all there, the vocals from Momoi and Nogawa are just as incredible as Aya Hirano’s, and it has the merit of an equally astounding animated sequence, plus the added benefit of an absurdist shonen style atmosphere (more on absurdist shonen in a future post.)

So while it was hard to pick between Uninstall and Sora Iro Days for ranks 3 and 2, it was no contest picking number 1. Your gravitation is reason alone to watch Seto no Hanayome.


Thank you all for joining us tonight. Dio Bravo plans to make a comeback as well this week, so tune in later and tomorrow for more lists and fun.