15 May 2012

scraps: zenkaikon anime op panel list

The following is a listing of the OPs presented during "60 Years of Anime Openings: Style and Symbolism," presented at Zenkaikon 2012. The videos were separated into the following categories: Chronology, Atmosphere, Character and Narrative, Music, Symbolism, WTF? and Filler Arc. While I had 90 minutes to play with, I didn't get to show every OP on the playlist I had prepared. 

I am happy to say that the panel went over well. It had the same cycle as a lot of OP panels have, with people straggling in and out based on their interests, but I did have a solid 30 people who never left the room. 

Intro: Every Anime OP Ever.  Courtesy of Jenny Ng, a compilation video containing the popular tropes and elements that appear in pretty much every OP. 

Chronology: A rundown of the evolution of style and technology from the 1960s to 2011. 
-Astro Boy
-Marine Boy US
-Speed Racer US
-Mazinger Z
-Space Battleship Yamato
-Lupin III Season 2, OP 2
-Beast King GoLion
-Urusei Yatsura OP 5 "Rock the Planet"
-Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam OP 1
-Dragonball Z OP 1 "Cha La Head Cha La"
-Sailor Moon OP 1
-Revolutionary Girl Utena
-Dragonball Z US OP "Rock the Dragon"
-Outlaw Star
-Pokemon US OP 1
-Gundam SEED OP 1 "Invoke"
-Toaru Majutsu no Index OP 1
-Puella Magi Madoka Magica
-Hanasaku Iroha

Atmosphere: Where the OP is structured to reflect the emotional them of the show, or set the tone for the series. Frequently utilizes artistic themes and abstraction over character.
-Paranoia Agent OP 1
-ef- A Tale of Melodies
-Ergo Proxy
-Usagi Drop

Character and Narrative: Where the OP focuses on the character instead of setting the mood. Single, multiple and cast are the main focal point. 
-Azumanga Daioh
-Hell Girl
-Bakemonogatari OP 4 "Renai Circulation"
-Spice and Wolf

Music: Experimenting with western music styles and imagery. 
-Cowboy Bebop: avant jazz in deep space.
-Samurai Champloo: hip hop samurai
-BECK Mongolian Chop Squad: 90s alt-rock video
-Baccano!: needed more jazz, fits with 1930s setting

Symbolism: Insertion or construction of narrative around sacred/cultural symbols and contexts. Often used to enhance or impart plot, characters or theme. 
-Neon Genesis Evangelion: throw as much imagery as possible at the viewer, then explain nothing.
-Eden of the East: see Eva entry, just flashier.
-Death Note: deliberate choice of imagery, fit into narrative. What EVA was aiming for.
Subcategory: Youkai. Personal preference here, but I love a good youkai opening. 
-Nurarihyon no mago OP 2: "procession of 100 demons"
-Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou: "hidden world"
-Mono-no-ke Bakeneko: "mysterious happenings" 

What the #$%&??!: Openings with questionable music, imagery, progression or the just-plain-weird. A good question would be "why did they choose to do that?" when viewing these.
-Berserk: they're singing in English? Is this an OP or Gattsu's modeling shoot?
-Rurouni Kenshin US OP "Freckles": Wow, this music is awe...WTF is this bubblegum?
-Quack Experimental Anime Excel Saga: intentionally irreverent.
-Nichijou OP 2: ditto
-Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei: BDSM I-don't-even...

Filler Arc: Overflow content. No rules. ANYTHING goes here.
-Inuyasha OP 1 "Change the World"
-Angel Beats!
-Mobile Fighter G Gundam
-X-Men: hurray 90s!
-Evangelion Bebop: fan created
-Death Note OP 2 "What's Up Guys!"
-Animaniacs: cuz they're zany to the max
-Sailor Moon US
-Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

Unshown: Had time permitted, these would have rounded out the filler arc.
-Game of Thrones
-Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood OP 1
-Kimagure Orange Road OP 2
-Mobile Suit Gundam WING
-Gundam SEED ZAFT OP: fan created
-Fist of the North Star OP 1
-Death Note 4kids OP (which actually WAS shown before Spirits, Wheels and Borrowed Gods): fan created. It's the same as the first Death Note OP, just swap out "the World" for the Jackson Five singing "ABC." 


  1. Thanks for the list. I had entered the room as you played the BECK op, and I was left wondering if you had played Azumanga Daioh and any Bakemonogatari OP. I'm sad to see I missed your comments on some of the earlier OPs.

  2. I am giving this panel at AnimeNEXT in three weeks, if you were planning to attend. Aside from swapping up the Filler Arc, I don't think any major changes are happening to the main list.