With the OPs now covered, it’s time for my favorite EDs of the year! This was a much harder list to narrow down, and I had to leave out a few tunes that I really liked, but overall I’m happy with the list as it stands.
A lot of the series names will be the same as those in the OP post, but won’t necessarily be in the same order. I usually find that if a series has a good opening, chances are I’ll also like the ending theme, even though it is rarely by the same artist or may even be a completely different style of music altogether. Also, a lot of the other anime I watched this year (mostly on the generic harem/ecchi side) just happened to have boring, forgettable tracks for both themes… in my opinion, of course. 😛
10: Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera (Minna Kutabaru Sa Sa Sa – Moon Riders feat. yoko)
This ED is pretty relaxing… which is completely in contrast to the OP (and the series in general), but is somehow just as catchy. It’s only when you look at the lyrics that you realize ‘wait a minute, I’m humming along to a song about going to Hell… meh’.
9: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (Ruru – Yakushimaru Etsuko)
Same reasons as above, minus the eternal damnation, but with the added fear of catching a cold. Which could easily happen – snow hasn’t quite reached this part of the country just yet, but it is only a matter of time… But yeah, relaxing song, catchy, but it couldn’t be less like the OP if it tried!
8: Nichijou (Zzz (Acapella version) – Sasaki Sayaka)
A third ED which could easily be a lullaby… it’s as if they want you to go to sleep once the episode is over! There were at least three versions of this ED, but I chose the A capella version because… how many other A capella anime themes can you think of? If I have come across any before, they don’t spring to mind.
7: Nyanpire (Nyanpire Taisou – Asou Nyatsuko & Nyadain)
Did that wake you up again? Definitely a guilty pleasure, but it also has to be one of the most memorable ending themes of the year for me, coming from one of its most forgettable series. I’ve seen some dodgy live action sequences for anime themes in the past, but this time I’d say it worked better than any animated sequence could have.
6: Hunter x Hunter (2011) (Just Awake – Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Now part of this may be nostalgia, as it’s the same band that did the Kaiji S2 OP (that only ended two months ago – does that even count as nostalgia? :razz:). But the more I hear it, the more I think I actually prefer this song to the Kaiji theme. Though I’ve yet to hear the extended version… hope the rest is as good as the TV edit this time!
5: Dantalian no Shoka (yes, prisoner – maRIONnetTe)
Another lullaby-like song, but with creepy lyrics, an even creepier ED sequence (in live action once again – I haven’t a clue what’s going on there, but I like it!), and a sudden change in tone towards the end. The extended version ends in an even creepier manner. Part of me wants to rate this higher, but the next 4 are tough competition!
4: UN-GO (Fantasy – LAMA)
I think I like this band. I’m warming to the series too – anyone who read my first opinions post may remember I was worried UN-GO would turn out to be a poorly paced, episodic detective series, but this hasn’t been the case at all. I just hope they can wrap it up nicely at 11 episodes, which is where so many other noitaminA shows have failed.
3: Puella Magi Madoka★Magica (Magia – Kalafina)
Not my favorite song by Kalafina, I’ll admit… but I love everything they/Yuki Kajiura produce, so that doesn’t affect its rating much. 😛 It is also pretty different to the other themes I’ve heard from them (which include the all the Kara no Kyoukai themes, and the OP for Sora no Woto), so this variation alone makes it worthy of a high rank.
2: Steins;Gate (Toki Tsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku – Sakakibara Yui)
Leaving the OP out of my Top 10 was a tough decision, but one that had to be made (SERN can be quite… persuasive). This ED, on the other hand, is one of my most played tracks of the year (still way behind Denpa Onna’s opening, I’m ashamed to say), and so is worth the risk. As for the series itself, it is a true masterpiece. El Psy Congroo.
1: Deadman Wonderland (SHINY SHINY – NIRGILIS)
Finally, we have the main reason why I can still look back on Deadman Wonderland with some degree of fondness (others reasons being the OP, and the fact it was actually good at the start). I already liked NIRGILIS from Eureka Seven, and am currently suffering from withdrawal symptoms since their D.Gray Man ED just got replaced with another song (I only recently started it – am now on episode 18). Has this left me biased? Highly likely, but meh. This is my list!
Honourable Mention: Kaiji S2 (C Kara Hajimaru ABC – Wasureranneeyo)
What else could I possibly have chosen? 😛 I missed this ED when they dropped it in favour of promoting the second live action movie, as if Mikoko didn’t get enough screen time already… But in all seriousness, for sheer shock factor the first time it came on at the end of the first episode, this deserves a mention!