Editor’s Choice: Top Five Anime EDs!

Editor\’s Choice: Top Five Anime EDs!

Erin, Eve and Nagi are back with our companion piece to our Top 5 Anime OPs from a bit ago! Anime EDs: basically OPs, but someone said \”what if we put them at the end of the show?\” In a very general sense, you can expect anime OPs to be more high-tempo, intense, or exciting, often using their visuals to showcase the characters and themes. Conversely, anime EDs tend to have a bit more variety; you get a lot of quieter, slower songs, some lighter and more upbeat songs, and some stuff that\’s just plain weird. There are, of course, many exceptions to this generalization. In any case, a strong case can be made that anime EDs are just as meaningful and representative of the shows they\’re part of as OPs are, sometimes moreso. Here are each of our personal favorites, in no particular order.

 

Erin’s Top 5 Picks

I’m a huge fan of anime endings because they tend to be songs that I would listen to anyways. I love when I can find a new artist from an anime ending where I would genuinely listen to their whole discography, but there are also some awesome songs that I have enjoyed on their own as well. Here are some of my favorites!

 

“衝撃” (Shougeki – “Impact”) by 安藤裕子 Ando Yuko

Attack on Titan has my heart when it comes to anime endings. This one is from the Final Season, and it is beautiful in so many ways. This song is tonally wonderful in how it fits with the anime. “Impact” has haunting and expressive harmonies and strategic electronic flares that go perfectly together. Ando’s vocal phrasing is one of my favorite parts of this song, as she’s able to capture so many emotions in her expressive textures. I haven’t heard anything quite like it, and I honestly should listen to more from her because I love everything about this song, including the stripped back and moody music video that accompanies it.

 

“悪魔の子” (Akuma no Ko – “Child of Evil”) by Higuchi Ai

Another one of my favorite anime endings is from Attack on Titan the Final Season Part 2. This song is beautiful and intense, with a music video showcasing some beautiful natural landscapes in black and white until the culmination of the intensity of the song when the video switches to color. The layered vocals and instrumentals around the bridge are profoundly beautiful, and overall the immense emotions that I feel while listening to this song are indescribable. 

 

“割れたリンゴ (“Wareta Ringo – “Cracked Apple”) By 渡辺早季 Watanabe Saki (Voiced by 種田梨沙Taneda Risa)

This song is the ending for my favorite anime, Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World). The beginning of the song has a great instrumental hook which leads into some bright and fluttering vocals that I absolutely love. This is exactly the type of song that I seek out over and over again because it blends melancholic vocals with solid instrumentals, and it’s overall an introspective experience that I can sink into with some great headphones. 

 

“Stand By Me” by the peggies

Here’s the ending for the anime Saranzanmai from the very cool 3-person all-female rock band called the peggies. From the first time I heard this song, I knew that I would love to explore the band’s full discography, and I always love a band that I can really enjoy every song from. I can’t help but want to sing out the lyrics, “Stand By Me, Onegai!” with the singer’s high-pitched vocals, and I love the gritty instrumentals that accompany it, which go great with the rainy night-time visuals in the video.

 

“Ride On Shooting Star” by the pillows

the pillows are honestly a classic alt-rock band in my book, and it’s thanks to their music in the anime FLCL that they achieved international success in order for me to learn about them in my corner of the world growing up in Alaska. Everything about this song is iconic, from the opening riff, to the distinctive style of singing that’s unique to the pillows, to the wavy electronic elements at the end. The video for this song came out in 2000 and captures the weird energy of the pillows in the best way possible, so it is definitely worth checking out! 

Check out Erin\’s Playlist!

 

Eve’s Top 5 Picks

I tend not to listen to anime endings, because what makes a good ending generally doesn’t gel with the kind of music I actively listen to. Ending songs usually softly play you out, gently guiding you past the end of the episode; with the best carrying forward the emotional highs of the show. So, these are the songs that do both; they sound awesome, but also carry forward that emotional energy.

 

\”STYX HELIX\” by MYTH & ROID

Re:Zero’s soundtrack is an irresistible display of music that straddles both creepy and lovely. STYX HELIX is the culmination of all that, and is the best at carrying on each episode’s mysterious, creepy energy far past the episode’s runtime. I get chills when I hear that first line; a perfect mixture of romantic desire and obsessive attachment. Re:Zero is my favorite anime, and any song that brings me straight back to those emotional highs is a straight 10/10 from me.

 

\”aLIEz\” by Sawano Hiroyuki

The opening of Aldnoah Zero made it onto my top 5 openings, and they somehow did it again with an ending. This is the only song on this list that I do not care even a bit about the anime; it’s just a straight banger that elevates me to another plane of existence where all the energy in the world has accumulated for the sole purpose of rocking out. Send me into space again, Sawano.

 

\”NaiNai\” by Reona

What can I say, I like a clockwork style melody. It summons an uncanny sort of set-up that only serves to elevate the more emotional highs of the song. I am thoroughly creeped out by the vibes of this song, which makes it an excellent ending for Shadows House. The mixtures of the calmer clockwork vocals leading into the spirited chorus really give me a sense of being trapped in a horrifying nightmare metaphor for capitalism.

 

\”Dango Daikazoku\” by Chata

By far the most emotional song of this list, what sounds like a simple lullaby dives deep and ruptures forth in a crescendo of voices to peak the emotional fist barreling into my face. It\’s simple melody helps me connect to the basic message beyond language boundaries, and led to me convincing Erin to knit many dangos because of course other people who watched Clannad would trauma bond with the beautiful dango family just like I did.

 

\”D.D.D.D\” by (K)NoW_NAME

The song I’m most recently familiar with, I enjoy how it’s a relatively simple bop that I can bounce along to as it carries me somewhat gently out of whatever the fuck I just saw in that Dorohedoro episode. I consider this a fun, easy listening song with a mild, yet zippy tune and entertainingly catchy lyrics.

 

Honorable Mention: \”Shu Cream Funk\” by Philosophy no Dance

Custard? Chocolate! Cream Puffs! Love! You have to love a show that doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. Stuff a cream puff in my face and play the next episode please.

 

Nagi’s Top 5 Picks

\”Flame\” by DISH//

Dish// (or sometimes just Dish) is such a good band for high-tempo energizers. This is the \”should have been an opening ED\” from Naruto Shippuden. Maybe it loses a bit of its character when not in the context of the story, but honestly I don\’t care it\’s a song you can\’t not get pumped up from when you hear it. The boys are cheering you on.

 

\”Over Night\” by Aya

What\’s that? There was a single-season anime adaptation of the historical Le Chevalier D\’eon saga back in like 2006 that almost no one remembers? Oh and both the OP and ED are way better than they have any reason to be? Sure. Aya\’s vocals are sublime. The guitars, the percussion, it gives me chills no matter how many times I listen to it. One of the best anime EDs of all time IMHO.

 

\”Daisy\” by Stereo Dive Foundation

Back when I saw the single cour of Kyoukai no Kanata as it was airing, I wasn\’t overly impressed with its story or characters. The animation was nice, but it did very little to stand out against the sea of other \”high schoolers fight supernatural things\” shows. The fucking ending tho. I am an absolute sucker for EDs that fade in over the last moments of an episode, and it gave me chills just about every time it happened here. Something about the song\’s calmer, whistful tempo juxtaposing with whatever melodrama was happening onscreen just hit right. The drum progression right before the chorus drops is addictive. The visuals are hauntingly gorgeous too, capturing vibes of nostalgia and melancholy better than I\’d ever expect. If I ever watch this anime again it will half be just for the ending.

 

\”Asunaro\” by Suzumura Kenichi

So a theme I\’m seeing is that I love EDs from otherwise mid animes. I couldn\’t recall to you three details about Kamisama no Memo-chou, but the ending\’s hard rock guitar coupled with a lamentative vocal track fires all the good neurons. I dunno what it is, it\’s been like 15 years since I watched this show but this ED remains one of my all-time faves. It reminds me a lot of another ED that narrowly missed this list, Namae no Nai Kaibutsu, the ED for Psycho Pass.

 

\”Moon River\” by fhána

Alright my streak is broken, Uchoten Kazoku (Eccentric Family) isn\’t mid it fuckin rules. The lead\’s smooth vocals over the percussive synth creates this deep, dreamy atmosphere and it all opens up into the chorus like pulling back the shades to see a full moon. I guess by now it\’s clear I really vibe with whistful or bittersweet eds that still have a good instrumental energy to them. Even though this songs was clearly written as a TV edit and this is the extended version, they do a good job of smoothing over the transitional parts.

 

Honorable Mentions:

\”Raspberry Heaven\” by Oranges & Lemons

While the iconic ED to Azumanga Daioh! couldn\’t edge out any of the others on the list, it deserves a perpetual spotlight.

\”Freesia\” by (K)NoW_NAME

There\’s not too much to say about this one, it\’s just a very lovely ED to Sakura Quest, a pretty underrated 2017 anime about a bunch of young women moving to a rural town and trying to help the municipal government deal with population decline. A good blend of cute and existentially numbing!