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Yata’s Top 25 OPs of 2012

Gotta give you a bit of backstory before we begin: Haru, L-K, and I founded For Great Justice in the late summer of 2014, but we had actually met each other online and started conversing about two and a half years prior. At the time, Haru and I in particular seemed to hit it off with similar taste, each of us just getting into the whole “watch a ton of shows as they air” trend, and the rest is more or less our site’s modest history. For that reason, 2012 (and its spring season in particular) has continued to hold a deep place in my heart, and lately I started getting nostalgic about those good ol’ days.

Then the epiphany hit me: that was five years ago.


My first thought was “Where the fuck did that time go?” My second was something to the effect of “You know, this would give me a reason to crank out another OPs list,” and that’s precisely what I’m gonna be doing here. If you’re familiar with my previous OP lists, the criteria and rules haven’t changed. If you aren’t, allow me to explain:

These ratings are by and large my own personal opinion (of which you are entitled to yours) and based on arbitrary factors including but not limited to melody, song composition, audio production, visual production, audiovisual sync, originality, relevance to the show (when I’m able to judge that), and my own miscellaneous personal enjoyment. Having seen a show isn’t a prerequisite for its OP to appear here, but OPs for shows I have seen are much more likely to be included and placed higher than those I haven’t, especially in this nostalgia-driven installment. The exact numerical rankings are pretty much irrelevant outside the top 10. OPs to shows which started airing before or finished airing after 2012 are eligible, but only if the OP itself first aired during that year.

Since 2012 marked the start of my anime-watching habits, this will also likely be my last retrospective Top OPs list going forward, so fasten those seat belts, plug in some headphones, and accompany me on this totally self-gratifying trip down memory lane.

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Yata’s Top 25 OPs of 2016

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Hey, everybody, Yata here! Another year down, another Top 25 OPs list to show off! Personally, I found 2016 to be a bit of a weak year for stellar openings, but that just made the “moderately above average” crop even harder to sift through. So sift I did; I whipped up my first draft of this list back in October and spent the next three months re-arranging the hell out of it to the point of absurdity, eventually ending up with this. My criteria and ranking system remain the same as they’ve been for the last three years worth of these things. To recap:

  •  The OP must have debuted in 2016. It can belong to a show that started before 2016 or one that will continue into 2017, but if the OP debuted in an airing season of 2016, it’s eligible for inclusion on this list.
  • If a show has multiple versions of what can be considered the same OP (different animation set to the same music or vice versa), only one will be included; any changes to the OP, if relevant to mention, will be noted in the blurb.
  • If a show has multiple completely different OPs, all of them are eligible as individual entries as long as they meet the above criteria.
  • It’s not a requirement that I’ve seen the corresponding series for each OP on this list, but obviously the ones I have seen (or am at least moderately familiar with) are much more likely to be included because I have a better grasp on what the contents of their OPs mean. This year, there were uncharacteristically 8 (a new personal record!) openings on here from shows I either didn’t watch at all or didn’t complete, so even if you’ve kept up with me throughout the year, there might still be some surprises in store for you below.
  • Unlike the many YouTube channels which rank openings mathematically and solely on their music, I rank these on a non-numerical, totally arbitrary combination of each one’s music, visuals, audiovisual sync, relevance to the show (when I’m able to discuss that), and my own personal enjoyment, with the most emphasis placed on whatever I feel each individual OP was trying to accomplish.

And just a reminder, these rankings are very loose apart from the top handful; there are several entries around the bubble which didn’t make the cut for me (see: Ajin, Flip Flappers, Mayoiga, Orange, Shirayuki S2, etc.), but that doesn’t mean I hated them – there’s just a lot of anime openings each year, guys. I have to draw the line somewhere. In that same vein, the exact numerical placement of each OP is mostly a matter of nitpicky preference, as anything outside the top 4 could have easily swapped places with any other openings in a 4 or 5 spot radius and still felt “right” to me.

And of course, try to remember that these rankings, like any evaluation of art, is massively subject to personal preferences. You are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine, and there’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree. I welcome discussion over this list (as long as it’s civil) and encourage you to comment, or, if you feel so inclined, post a rundown of your own. That’s “great justice,” as they say.

Anyway, with that explanation out of the way, let’s get this OP rumble started!

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Yata’s Top 25 OPs of 2013

Hey, folks. Yatahaze here. In 2013, back in the pre-FGJ days when me and the crew primarily conversed through Facebook and forums, I made a list of my favorite 25 OPs from that year. At the time I thought – and still do think – that it was a spectacular year for anime openings, with several great entries nearly on par with each other vying for the top handful of spots. Since we’ve been a bit slow this spring (and also because those OP lists of mine seem to do pretty well for site views), I decided to revisit that old list and see if I could tweak some things around and write about them in more detail. This is the one that started it all, so it only seems natural to actually post it to the website where anyone can find it.

For those of you new to my OP ranking methods, here’s a reminder for what counts and what I consider:

  • The OP must have debuted in the year in question (so for this, 2013). It can belong to a show that started before then as long as the OP itself debuted that year. In other words, 2012 shows that carried over into 2013 and used an OP that only aired during that year are acceptable entries.
  • If an OP has multiple versions (either different animation set to the same music or different music set to the same animation) and all those versions are available online, I’ll choose the version I like the most. Multiple versions of what are otherwise the same OP won’t take up multiple entries. For entries with evolving credits, whatever’s available will be used.
  • If a show has multiple OPs, they are all eligible as long as they fit the above criteria. This never came into play for my 2014 and 2015 lists, but this old one will show why that rule exists in the first place.
  • I don’t need to have seen a show to include its OP, though shows I have watched are much more likely to be on the list, seeing as I’m more familiar with them and the in-show significance of their OPs’ contents. Doubly so for sequels or long-running series.
  • Unlike the many YouTube channels dedicated to ranking OPs based solely on music, I judge OPs on a sliding scale combination of their music, visuals, audiovisual sync, relevance to the show (when able), and my personal enjoyment, with regards given to what I feel the OP was trying to stress or accomplish most.

As always, don’t fixate on the exact numbers too much. The rankings are loose and (for this list especially) really close, meaning there are a couple solid OPs still absent here, but to stick with the precedent, I’m cutting this list off at 25 numbered entries and one honorable mention. If you’d like to see my lists from 2014 and 2015 first, you can go ahead and click on those. Otherwise, I hope you all enjoy this old but revamped and finally-published installment of Yata’s Yearly Top 25 OPs. Let’s jam.

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Yata’s Top 25 OPs of 2015

Header picWell, it’s that time of year again. The holidays will soon give way to the long dark days of winter and the start of 2016, meaning two things: One: I’ll finally have to learn how to consistently and safely drive through several feet of snow for the first time and two: I have to bring great justice to this past year’s best anime openings! In addition, a post like this offers the ability to touch on a variety of shows from throughout 2015 all in one convenient place, something I greatly enjoy doing to reflect on the year (you know, in addition to the 12 Days of Anime, which I think went well!). If you’re new to For Great Justice, you may not know how I judge anime openings, and if you’re really new to anime in general, you may not understand what exactly an OP is. I’ll sum up my main criteria below, but for a more in-depth explanation, see the start of my 2014 OPs post.

  • The OP must have debuted in 2015. It can belong to a show that started before 2015, just as long as the OP itself debuted this year. In other words, fall 2014 shows that carried over into winter 2015 and used an OP that only aired this year are acceptable entries. In slippery cases where an OVA or something used an OP the previous year once or twice but it was used for a full production this year, I’ll make an exception; just as long as the OP wasn’t counted in the previous list, really. That’s what this point is about.
  • If an OP has multiple versions (either different animation set to the same music or different music set to the same animation), I’ll choose the version I like the most. Multiple versions of what is otherwise the same OP won’t take up multiple entries.
  • If a show has multiple OPs, they are all eligible as long as they fit the above criteria. Both this year and last year it just so happened that no show which aired multiple OPs made it into the top 25 twice, though several shows came close this time, and if this list were extended to a top 30 or 35, series such as The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Food Wars and Durarara!!x2 may have indeed been on the list more than once.
  • I don’t need to have seen a show to include its OP, though shows I have watched are much more likely to be on the list, seeing as I’m more familiar with them and the in-show significance of their OPs’ contents. Doubly so for sequels or long-running series.
  • Unlike the many YouTube channels dedicated to ranking OPs seasonally and yearly based solely on music, I judge OPs on a sliding scale combination of their music, visuals, audiovisual sync, relevance to the show (when able), and my personal enjoyment, with regards given to what I feel the OP was trying to accomplish most. These rankings are very loose apart from the top few. Don’t fixate yourself on the exact numbers too much.

And just a reminder once again that rankings such as these are purely opinionated, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you disagree with what I’ve included or where I have or haven’t placed something, that’s okay. We can agree to disagree. If you want to start discussion, at least keep it civil. That’s the justice way!

Anyway, 25 of the best OPs 2015 has to offer plus one honorable mention lie ahead. Let’s get this show on the road.

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Yata’s Top 25 OPs of 2014

I assume since you’re here reading this on a site specifically dedicated to our perspectives on anime that you’re knowledgeable enough in regards to anime culture to know what an OP is. That said, assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups, and I don’t want to blow my chance at making this admittedly long article as understandable as possible. For those new to the community or those completely here by chance, “OP” is an abbreviation that stands for “Opening”, that approximately 90-second clip at the start of nearly every anime that serves as its “theme song” of sorts.

Somewhere along the way, people started realizing that while a good opening was by no means indicative of the quality of a show, it does tend to go a long way into getting a person excited for it. Sure enough, that is the primary purpose of an OP, and that’s why it’s placed towards the start of most episodes. Nearly every anime in the modern era has one – some even have multiple. The fascination of ranking OPs both seasonally and yearly has seemed to come about naturally given people’s desire to assign arbitrary rankings to things of objectively equal value. Here at For Great Justice, we’re no different. That’s kind of our thing, in fact.

Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

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