Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Top 20 Anime Ending Credits

Top 20 Anime Ending Credits
Written by: ClayDragon & Shiggins
Everyone talks about how awesome anime openings are. Heck, we have two lists about them! But very few people mention the endings. This is understandable, as most of them aren’t as epic or catchy as the openings. But in actuality, there are a lot of good endings. So many, in fact, that we couldn't fit them all on a Top 10 list. As a result, we decided that for the first time ever we had to make a Top 10 into a Top 20! And if you think it’s a long read, imagine how long it took us to write it all…

Thanks to the anonymous commenter who requested this list!

As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.

20.)       “Grow Slowly” by Yuka Iguchi (A Certain Scientific Railgun S
              (Written by: ClayDragon)

The Railgun version of the Sisters arc is one of my favourite story arcs ever, so it was nice to see that it had good ending credits as well, in terms of both the animation and the song. In contrast to the way the story arc gets darker as time goes on, the ending starts out with a rather sombre tone before shifting to a more positive and happy quality. It also has a number of subtle hints as to some events in the arc, without being too in-your-face about it.
"These damn windmills are spoiling our view!"
For example, the previous two endings had consistently shown the four main characters together, but this time they’re seen without Mikoto, hinting at how she starts to abandon her three friends as she tries to deal with the Sisters. The last third of the ending shows Mikoto interacting with one of her Sisters (implied to be 10032), and the final few shots are of the two sitting down and drinking tea with each other in an understated yet heartwarming moment. 
"There's your tea... And how much sugar does Mr Snuggles take?"

19.)        “The Real Folk Blues” by Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop) (Written by: Shiggins)

Cowboy Bebop is easily one of the most beloved anime of all time and one of the most accessible. Ever since it debuted in the 90s, people often refer to it when trying to recommend anime to a newcomer, and it never gets the shit that many fandoms give other series today. Whilst the opening is considered one of the greatest openings ever (we put it very high in our own opinion), the ending is rarely talked about. And while it doesn’t quite measure up to the opening, it’s still worthy of your attention.
Summer in Scotland.
With a great saxophone playing throughout still images, this song creates a great tone and atmosphere that fits with the overarching story and style of the series. I don’t think it’s possible to mess up such a wonderful instrument and, although there isn’t a lot of movement or high-octane energy to the images, it’s still damn good. It fits Cowboy Bebop perfectly and you can never go wrong with that.
And hopefully, we'll never see you played by Keanu Reeves.

18.)        “Bakusō Yume Uta” by Diggy-MO’ (Soul Eater) (Written by: Shiggins)

Soul Eater deserves more credit. The manga is flawed in a couple of ways but the anime is honestly one of my favourites. It’s got such a cool edge to it that I can’t help but love it. In fact, I consider this one of the very few anime series that actually surpasses its source material. And a good reason why I love this series is the musical credits that both open and close the episodes. All of them fit well and although it was difficult to decide, we’ve chosen to have the 3rd ending credits on our list.
Am I the only one who is bothered by the fact that Maka, an intelligent girl who possesses shame, wears such a short skirt to battles?
The reason I picked this ending over the others is because the song is great (unlike the 1st ending), it’s got action (unlike the 2nd ending), and it isn’t creepily depressing like the 4th ending (that actually shows people dead in some weird “what if” scenario). The song is cool and fast, with the characters able to achieve the correct level of badassery that they deserve. Just because this one is so low on our list doesn’t mean that it’s bad – it’s just not as good as the others.
A group of awesome characters like this but instead, we get Soul Eater Not… That stupid piece of shit.

17.)        “Despairity: A Hero’s Treatment” by Suzumu (Dangan Ronpa) (Written by: Shiggins)

OBLIGATARY MENTION OF HOW MUCH I LOVE DANGAN RONPA AND HOW I FEEL EVERYBODY SHOULD PLAY THE GAME AND WATCH THE ANIME! Okay, with that out of the way, I will be the first to admit that the anime is not perfect. As both a standalone show and an adaptation, it suffers from how rushed for time it clearly was. Still, the ending is pretty awesome.
Almost every single character here hurt me!
The song itself is made by fans of the series, which is a little piece of trivia that I just love. What makes this opening stand out to me is how it changes each episode. With the exception of the final episode that shows everybody (see the picture above), the classroom is actually quite empty for the majority of the show. That’s because whenever someone dies in the series, the anime then adds them to the credits to stand or sit beside the main protagonist Naegi. After a while, it starts to get a bit haunting to have all these happy faces staring at you when just 10 minutes ago, you saw their blood splattered on the floor…
100% CONFIRMED NON-CANON! (Thank god for that one!)

16.)        “Asayake no Starmine” by Asami Imai (Plastic Memories) (Written by: ClayDragon)
               
Despite Tsukasa being the viewpoint character of Plastic Memories, the show really hinged on his partner Isla. From being quiet and withdrawn to becoming more open and emotional, Isla’s development was one of the most important aspects of the series, and nowhere is this exemplified better than in the ending credits. For the first thirty seconds, all that we see are faded, monochromatic images of Isla curled up alone.
I wish rainbows appeared every time I smiled too...
But then we see flashes of emotion across her face, and suddenly the entire screen is filled with colour as she begins to dance and laugh. The last scene is simply Isla standing in front of a city as glowing spheres of light float around her. The soft art style and gentle music all help to showcase Isla’s development as a character, and this is one of those endings that can be watched over and over again.
The many emotions of Isla.

15.)        “FLAME” by DISH// (Naruto Shippuden) (Written by: Shiggins)

SO. MANY. ENDINGS. This anime is unreal with its bloody length! Constantly dragging out every fucking episode and filling it to the brim with flashbacks and non-canon events that nobody gives a damn about! I hate this anime and I think it’s a disgrace to the manga it is meant to be based off of! But with all that said, at least most of the openings and endings are pretty good. In fact, picking our favourite Naruto ending was no easy task.
You characters all deserve far better than Studio Pierrot.
The reason we ended up going for this ending is very simple actually: It could have easily been an opening. It’s so fast and looks almost good (by Studio Pierrot standards anyway), and the characters all move in the way they should be moving during the episodes. Kakashi and Obito battling it out! Naruto squeezing Hinata’s hand! Naruto in flame mode! Everybody appearing out of nowhere to help out! It’s a lot of fun and really, that’s exactly what the anime itself is missing. Fun.
 If you listen really closely, you can hear the bitter sniping of NaruSaku fans. 

14.)        “Sentimental Moment” by Scandal (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
               (Written by: ClayDragon)

Similar to the Naruto entry above, the main reason as to why we chose this ending is because it too has the quality of an epic opening. In fact, when they’re both watched together, this ending fits very well with its respective opening (which is also the best opening of FMAB). Both credits show Edward and Alphonse on their individual journeys, as well as Hohenheim preparing to confront Father. Heck, they both even show Edward fighting Pride!
"I wish someone would give me an umbrella..."
We’re also shown plot points like Hawkeye’s tattoo, the remains of the Elric’s house, and even the nationwide transmutation circle. Oh, and there’s a shot of Mustang getting soaked as well. There’s also a nice little scene with Hohenheim and Trisha walking together before the series started. The music is awesome, the animation is fast-paced, and the only problem I can think of is that this ending doesn’t have Kimblee in it. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
I want my homicidal maniac, dammit!

13.)        “Samurai Heart” by SPYAIR (Gintama) (Written by: ClayDragon)

Confession time: Neither of us have actually watched enough Gintama for us to know what this ending is really about. But we don’t really need to, because the music alone is enough to propel these credits onto this list. SPYAIR is one of the better Japanese bands out there, and they don’t disappoint here. This is one of those songs that seems wasted as an ending, because, quite frankly, it’s better than the opening song.
"Maybe I should have given my umbrella to that guy in the fancy outfit..."
The animation isn’t as good, although it’s by no means bad. It simply shows a huge raincloud over Edo, and almost all of the characters staring at the downpour. The only two exceptions to this are Gintoki and Jirochou, who walk towards each other towards the end and begin to fight. The fact that they smile at each other before they do so is a nice touch, given how similar the two characters actually are.
"Can we take this inside? The rain's dripping down the back of my neck."

12.)        “Alumina” by Nightmare (Death Note) (Written by: ClayDragon)

Let’s face it – Nightmare did a pretty damn good job with the song for Death Note’s first opening. And they did an equally good job on the first ending. The song fits the tone of the show well, and the animation only makes things better. Whilst the opening was quite colourful at times, the ending only really uses three colours – red, blue and grey. Each scene is shown from two different angles, with one showing Light’s appearance to others, and the other showing how he really is.
Seconds later, Ryuk is mobbed by hungry crows.
There are a number of small touches in the ending that make it look even better. For example, in any scene in which ‘good’ Light is shown with birds, then the ‘reflection’ will have the birds turned into crows. Also, there are one or two moments when Light’s normal face is shown, and suddenly it’s replaced by one with red hair and a manic grin. It really helps to show just how deranged he actually is, and it’s the perfect end to each episode.
Dear God, what happened to your legs?!

11.)        “Resuscitated Hope” by Lisa Komine (Gosick) (Written by: ClayDragon)

For such a soft, light-in-tone show like Gosick, you’d expect the ending song to be similarly gentle, right? Wrong! Instead, we get this awesome song that has a heavy, thumping beat. Unlike the opening, which is done in an art nouveau style, the ending is animated in the same way as the main show. However, it’s just as beautiful as the opening (if not better). In contrast to the bright and colourful opening, Gosick’s ending is a lot darker and more subdued.
If I saw butterflies like that in my garden, I'd sell them and make a fortune.
Trails and patterns made out of lace twist and turn throughout the ending, and this culminates in the memorable images of lace ‘growing’ into a rose bush as two vividly-coloured butterflies (also made out of lace) fly around the roses. The final scene shows a painting of the protagonists Victorique and Kazuya, and as the music fades the painting bursts into colour. This results in the only scene in the entire opening where the whole screen is filled with colour, making this a truly memorable ending.
"Hurry up! I'm not waiting an hour for the next train!"

10.)        “Aoki Tsuki Michite” by AKIRA (Black Butler: Book of Circus) (Written by: Shiggins)

I’m really happy that Book of Circus and Book of Murder exist. Although they confused stupid “casual” fans by having nothing to do with Alois Trancy or most of season 1 of the original series, the rest of us were delighted to see some of the manga’s best arcs finally get animated. Book of Circus in particular gets extra credit for being longer, more eventful and for having great opening and ending sequences. The ending in particular is quite… intimate.
One of those moments where the fans are okay with Sebastian letting out his Inner Hisoka.
An amazing song that is both emotional and dramatic, the entire sequence seems to have Ciel bathing in darkness, which fits his character’s story perfectly. It’s done completely seriously and it’s not boring at all, hence elevating it above previous ending credits of Black Butler. Also, we see Sebastian hug a naked Ciel while he’s wrapping a towel round him. So… It’s impossible to hate that, right?
“Okay, Sebastian. I’m ready to get out n… glargle!”

9.)           “Hello Hello Hello” by Good Morning America (Dragon Ball Super
               (Written by: Shiggins)

It has never been a better time to be geeky. The 21st century is packed with so many adaptations and celebrations of comics, games, anime and more all around the world. What was once considered a derogatory term is now a title that many of us will proudly boast about to our friends and family. And thanks to the increasing popularity within the geek community, Dragon Ball is just one of many franchises to make a fantastic return in both cinema and television. Dragon Ball Super has finally arrived and with it came an opening that introduced new possibilities, and an ending that is just dripping with nostalgia.
Goku beat up someone there. And there. And there. And there…
The song Hello Hello Hello by Good Morning America is fairly standard. It’s got a good singing voice that works well, but the visuals are where the true focus should be. It lets you see the most important locations in Goku’s life such as Kame House or the Budokai tournament, then it shows you young versions of Gohan and Goten, before finally ending with them all looking out into the distance at the sunset as a family, along with the rest of the group. It’s nothing amazing or intricate, but it is a lovely visual reminder of everything that makes Dragon Ball so memorable.
Oh god, he sees me! He’s going to beat me up next!

8.)           “Last Theater” by NoisyCell (Death Parade) (Written by: Shiggins)

When this came out at the beginning of this year, I rolled my eyes. The word “Death” in a title made me imagine some sort of wannabee-horror that I just don’t care for. Then I remembered Death Note and gave this series a try. After being bluffed by the fantastic opening and being emotionally tormented by the actual episode itself, the ending credits were under a lot of pressure to entertain me too. And surprisingly, I love them.
A mannequin with a robotic-looking eye… Auton?!
The tone that the ending credits creates fits the series far better, as it’s very emotional and strong but isn’t quiet or boring in the slightest. The creepy dolls and mannequins we see during it help to create an emptiness that evokes the concept of death for many viewers. However, the true highlight is when the visuals reference the events of the episode itself. I don’t want to spoil too much but needless to say, it gets the tears flowing.
And yes, Claydragon cried like a bitch after this episode almost every episode.

7.)           “The Twelve Time-Governing Covenants” by Yui Sakakibara (Steins;Gate
               (Written by: ClayDragon)

Before I actually start describing this ending, I feel that I should point out that this is the song with the coolest name on this list, hands down. I mean, “The Twelve Time-Governing Covenants”? If anyone can come up with a better song title than that, I will be very impressed. Thankfully, the song lives up to awesomeness of its name, and manages to capture the tone of Steins;Gate perfectly, especially for the latter half of the show.
Sure, it looks pretty, but glass shards are still sharp.
The ending mainly showcases a black void in which shards of glass float aimlessly around. In between flashes showing a pocket watch, the pieces of glass begin to move in a coherent fashion until it becomes obvious that they’re forming a shape. By the end of the credits, the glass shards have arranged themselves into the shape of an hourglass – or rather, time has been rewound so that the broken hourglass has been put back together. Oh, and there’s a shot of a naked Kurisu, but who cares about that when you have an hourglass?
No matter how much you watch this gif, the hourglass will never fully reform.

6.)           “Memoria” by Eir Aoi (Fate/Zero) (Written by: Shiggins)

There are so many things I adore about Fate/Zero and honestly, I make sure to recommend it whenever I can. The characters, the story, the animation, the designs… All of them receive top marks from me. And of course, this includes the amazing soundtrack that goes along with it. The Servants are the most interesting aspect of the franchise, and the ending clearly realises that.
This is how it looks when I enter the party… Or it would if anybody ever invited me.
The franchise is far too big and all over the place so it’s easy to get confused by the amount of shows and books and whatnot. However, one area that they could easily explore and I would never complain about is the previous lives of the Servants. Fate/Zero shows us this potential by giving us flashes into their history, from Gilgamesh atop his throne with a lion to Caster about to be executed, it makes you interested enough to want to find out as much as possible about them. Oh and the song is pretty much perfect for it too.
That’s strange. The last girl I chased up a tree didn’t smile like that for me…

5.)          “Sugar Song to Bitter Step” by Unison Square Garden (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
              (Written by: Shiggins)

The anime that surprised us the most this year, Blood Blockade Battlefront is so fun and exciting that we cried when we discovered how few episodes it had. And when we realised we aren’t going to be getting the final episode for quite some time, we cried even harder. The series is brilliant and if you really don’t believe us, just look at the credits!
Not seen a party like this since Death Parade’s opening!
I honestly don’t know what else I can say about this opening that the above gif doesn’t already capture perfectly. It’s fun, full of energy and the song is unbelievably catchy. The characters just love every second of it and all they move so fluidly. I know that’s a strange thing to notice but I love the animation during this. They move like people would move and it helps make them feel far more alive. Oh, and if I haven’t mentioned it enough yet, THE SONG IS AWESOME!
If you’ve got a villain prepared to play the triangle for you, you know you’ve got a winner.

4.)           “Last Moment” by SPYAIR (Bleach) (Written by: ClayDragon)

It was hard for me to choose between this one and Bleach’s 23rd ending (because seeing all the characters walking around 1930’s New York in time-appropriate clothing is the closest we’ll get to a crossover with Baccano!), but in the end, Last Moment won out. It’s essentially a rogues gallery of Bleach characters, with almost every Soul Reaper and Arrancar showing up in the background as Ichigo runs across the screen. Plus, as we previously established with Gintama’s entry, SPYAIR are awesome.
Bleach just isn't complete without a creepy Kurotsuchi grin.
It even includes characters that hadn’t been seen in the story for ages, like Kon and Tatsuki (but not Hanataro, for some reason), with the more important characters getting a bit more focus. The background is also noteworthy, as it’s a huge cluster of stars with different colours interspersed throughout. This ending highlights one of the best things about Bleach – the characters – and it does so in a way that’s much better than the other endings.
Apparently Don Kanonji has found some new fans...

3.)           “Hyōri Ittai” by Yuzu (Hunter x Hunter 2011) (Written by: ClayDragon)

Technically, this entry counts for two endings, since both the fifth and sixth ending of Hunter x Hunter use the same song, but have different animations. However, we’re going for the sixth and final ending, which uses the second verse of Hyōri Ittai. Not only is the second verse better than the first, but the animation used in this ending is one of the best I’ve seen, even though the characters in the credits don’t move much. This ending is just that good.
What are they standing on? Who cares! Just look at the pretty stars!
It simply shows Gon, Killua, Leorio and Kurapika wearing suits whilst standing on some reflective surface whilst the sky above them changes. At first, the only thing happening is clouds moving across the sky, but then suddenly everything turns dark. Less than a second later, the sky is replaced with hundreds of stars as the moon and some comets drift past the characters. As if that wasn’t enough, a galaxy floats across the screen before the sunlight and clouds return. Finally, we see a picture of the four main characters having fun. It’s the perfect ending for an amazing show.
Careful, Leorio. Killua will bite you.

2.)           “Hello, Shooting Star” by Moumoon (Assassination Classroom) (Written by: Shiggins)

I love this series and I feel I don’t say that enough. I’m worried it doesn’t realise how much I appreciate it, despite the... questionable openings. Hell, I was reading the manga before there was an anime! That was so new to me! And the biggest surprise of this series wasn’t the stellar animation or Korosensei’s perfect laugh. No, the biggest surprise was the surprisingly beautiful and heartfelt ending.
Korosensei and I have great taste.
To celebrate setting the series in a school, (like every fucking anime out there), it’s almost all done on a blackboard in bright and sparkling chalk. Of course, they move during the credits and you’d expect it to be full comedy like the show but instead, the song is just lovely! It’s soft yet interesting and somehow manages to avoid the pitfall of being generic. In other words, Assassination Classroom’s ending was the biggest surprise we got on this list, and we love it for that very reason.
That last picture is horrifying however.

1.)           “Trust Me” by Yuya Matsushita (Durarara!!) (Written by: ClayDragon)

Since three out of the four Durarara endings have had roughly the same animation, I was conflicted over which one to choose. But eventually I decided to go with the original. Sure, the song is catchy, and fits the series somewhat. But that’s not why this ending got to first place. Durarara has a lot of characters, so instead of debating over which ones to show in the ending, the animators decided to show them all. And in a unique and memorable way, too.
Gee, Brain's Base. You're not modest at all, are you?
The entire ending is just one giant image of almost every single named character in the series striking a pose, but they’re all holding each other up in a huge balancing act. In the background, a black shadow follows the characters, and at the end it’s revealed that Celty is the one keeping everyone up. This ending is insanely iconic and has spawned a huge amount of parodies, with there being hundreds of drawings and images that replace the characters for ones from other series, like Steins;Gate, Baccano, and even non-anime shows like Doctor Who or Sherlock! It’s not a surprise that the animators of the second season of the show decided ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’. In this case, the original is the best.

That must have taken a lot of preparation...

Honourable Mentions:

“Days” by Lia (Mekakucity Actors)
“great escape” by Cinema Staff (Attack on Titan)
“Van!shment Th!s World” by Black Raison d'être (Love, Chuunibyou & Other Delusions)
“Hare Hare Yukai” by SOS Brigade Girls (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
“scaPEGoat” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Yosh (Seraph of the End)
“Underground” by High Voltage (Gurren Lagann)
“Shissou” by Justin Houston (Ouran High School Host Club)
“Gunjou Survival” by Mikako Komatsu (Aoharu x Kikanjuu)
“Take Off” by 2PM (Blue Exorcist)
“Magicworld” by Maon Kurosaki (A Certain Magical Index II)

Do you think there's an ending that we missed out? Chances are you do! Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10/20 list? Let us know in the comments below!

My dancing may be bad, but at least my face doesn't change halfway through.
Thanks for reading!


ClayDragon:
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at claydragon.on@gmail.com. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. His hand is a withered claw.


Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at shigginsishere@gmail.com, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere.

4 comments:

  1. Damn, I have to get cracking on my anime watching, there are a lot here I don't recognize. Thanks for doing my list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1) SOUL EATER ENDING 1 /WAS/ GREAT
    2) Days and sCAPEgoat in particular get my vote...
    3) Good list, got a lot of shows to go back to (and some to finish, and some to get around to watching... sigh).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) Soul Eater ending 1 is -okay-.
      2) Claydragon put them there. I haven't watched those series myself yet.
      3) Good luck, pal!

      Delete