So now that I’ve been able to get a lot of the initial impressions out of the way, its time to go through some of my Top 10’s list. Last time I went through and discussed the best opening animations that have aired so far. Just like my previous post about OPs this is based on musical performance by artist with a combination of stylized animation techniques to provide an overall unique atmosphere that captures the anime series as a whole. Also, I want to add that the video above is from one of the more recent anime series to air, and the last post I wrote about: M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane. Great song and visual effects here! Now onto the Top 10 Best Ending Animations!
#10. Higashi no Eden [Eden of the East]
[Futuristic Imagination] by School Food Punishment
This was a very unique ending using cut outs to portray what the story of this series is about. I love the sidescrolling running effect they put on Saki in the very beginning. Really neat touch with the missle flying through. School Food Punishment was one of my favorite bands before they disbanded a few years back. Yumi Uchimura has a distinct voice that carries throughout her songs. She now sings for a new band La La Larks which is now in the featuring video above in this post. This song especially fit the tone of how mysterious the Selecao are and what sort of plot the system has for them. Interesting concept in the series that this ending utilized to its full potential.
#9. Guin Saga
[Saga ~ This is my Road] by Kanon
Epic is the best way to describe this here. The series was a testament to the older generation of anime series about adventure. Nadia of the Blue, Lupin the Third. Not in the way they were told but in their own stylistic intensity and large cast of characters. Guin Saga is like a revamped version of the 90’s anime Twelve Kingdoms in its storytelling. This song here was so beautifully done, and I can’t help but see Nobuo Uematsu who composed the soundtrack for this had a hand at writing the ED. Kanon was perfect for this, and her singing flowed through very well! Awesome series if you haven’t checked it out yet.
[Tokitsukasadoru Jūni no Meiyaku] by Yui Sakakibara
I really enjoyed this series a lot, and the music throughout was spectacular. The ending really allows for some mystery as to what is going on in the show. Yui Sakakibara invokes a strange feeling with her singing. The melismatic chords she sings pours into the overlaying melancholic sounds the instruments bring to this piece of music provides an astonishing and scary look into time travel whether forwards or backwards.
[MASK] by Aqua Timez
I unfortunately could not find a youtube video of this, and all that I could find. BLEACH has a lot of endings but I feel like this one stands above all the rest because of the visuals. This depicted Ichigo’s battle with his inner hollow, not knowing who he was or what he was doing, and this was great as a segway into one of the final arcs into this anime before ending at 366 episodes. Plus Aqua Timez does a nice job of giving an upbeat sound to a shonen series like this one.
#6. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
This series was one of the best Noitamina series to ever air. I am glad this series aired when it did, it fell in the summer lineup alongside Moyashimon second season. One light hearted comedy and one tear jerker of a series. This is what Noitamina should be doing more of! The use of the Josei genre! The voices were recorded prior to animation, which if I recall was the 3rd time this has ever been done. This ending song allowed the emotional roller-coaster ride that the story was to be told in a minute and half so gently. The animation here was beautiful and if you notice the plants that surround Ryosuke, Rokka, and Atsushi gave the picture that the story is set in very well. That the flower shop was really what tied them all together and ultimately defined who they were as individuals. Great series, and an awesome soundtrack too!
#5. Mahou Shoujotai
[DuDiDuWa*lalala] by KOTOKO
Such a unique series and song here! The vocals captured the essence of adventure not to mention the visuals here were great for their time remain a nice side-scroll to tell the story of mahou shoujo. The vocals are so strange!
#4. Michiko e Hatchin
[BEST FRIEND] by Karutetto
This song is so catchy for a hip hop song. I was surprised a song like this was used when this series aired. The setting is in a fictional country along the southern parts of South America. The hip hop is truly Watanabe’s presence as the music producer here. The backgrounds are visually stunning which allowed for a nice contrast to this anime series.
#3 Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
[MAGIA] by Kalafina
Oh Kalafina is one awesome band! This song and their vocals pulled on the theme of darkness that this series plays with nonstop here! This series was originally bright but the creators pulled a complete turn around and redefined the mahou shoujo genre! The animation, the story and the music all twisted up, and Kalafina could not have done a better job here! Great song and if you get a chance to see this series though it may be overrated is worth seeing every second of!
[Kirei Na Kanjou] by Akino Arai
This is still one of my favorite songs in Japanese. Very relaxing to listen to like a lot of Akino Arai’s songs. The visual quality here was stunning especially for its time back in 2001. The animation was genius here because it showed the tone of the lighter side of this series among the main two girls being contract killers. Everyday life was the other aspect of this series that Mirelle and Kirika lived behind their killing ways. This ending was a great nod to that part of their life.
[All Endings] by Toshio Masuda
You probably looked at this list and thought “Cowboy Bebop’s ending Real Folk Blues really? Its not on here?” Granted I do give the series praise for everything it has to offer, and the ending is fantastic, it just doesn’t touch the level that these 10 ending songs provided in capturing an essence of japanese anime. In this case, Mushishi put storytelling to a whole new level not just throught its adaptation in animation but through its music. Note, this video is from the second season 1st episode’s ending. I could not find an ending from the first season, pretty hard to come by. There really is no way I couldn’t put this in here, yet I had no clue where to fit this on this list. All the episodes that both season 1, the OVA, and the second season so far has been completely different. The endings do however allow one main theme to convey. Like I have said before in my previous Mushishi posts. Authenticity. These stories are spread in a rather up and down timeline according to how the anime goes with the manga, and yet the music even throughout each episode delivers an aura unlike any series I’ve seen before. Whether its sadness, heartbreak, joy, curiosity, many feelings that the characters in this series reached could not have been done without its soundtrack. The endings allow for even more of these tales to be told in an entirely different medium of entertainment. Stories that are seen and told not just through animation but through sound they somehow achieved an astounding feat! Incredible!