While the writer’s away, the boss will play in this week’s edition of The High Notes. Jennifer, your usual guide through the world of anime and video game songs is out this week, and I, the Editor-in-Chief, will be covering the column in her stead. This week I’ve decided to change things up a bit and take you through some of my favorite weird anime opening themes. Now the question is: Do I mean opening themes from weird anime, or do I mean weird opening songs to various anime series? You’ll have to read on to find out!
Excel Saga – “Ai (Chuuseishin)” by Excel Girls
For those not familiar with the title, Excel Saga is a parody anime and manga series. The manga began back in 1996 while the anime started in 1999. The series follows Excel and Hyatt as they try to take over a city for Il Palazzo, who is trying to eventually take over the world. The anime features a lot of slapstick humor and centers each of the episodes around a different theme or genre; they even have a pretty funny episode based around dating sims. It was actually a tossup whether to put the opening or the ending; it’s not everyday you get an anime ending that is “sung” by a dog. Director Shinichi Watanabe, who appears in the anime as Nabeshin, actually wrote the lyrics to both the opening and ending themes for the show. After watching the opening below, I’m sure you’ll see that Excel Saga isn’t your standard anime fare.
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan – “Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan” by Saeko Chiba
The next opening on this list, from Dokuro-chan, is on here mostly for the juxtaposition of the bubblegum anime music against the lyrics and visuals, which pretty much sums up the show. Dokuro-chan is a cutesy angel sent to stop Sakura Kasukabe from creating an invention that keeps all women from aging. While that might sound ok at first, the catch is that it stops aging them at 12 years old. Rather than kill him as ordered, Dokuro-chan hopes to rehabilitate and distract him; though sometimes this rehabilitation seems to take the form of killing him and bringing him back. Of course that’s not the only strange thing in the show, but I’d hate to spoil all the secrets.
Arakawa Under the Bridge – “Cosmos vs. Alien” by Yakushimaru
Like Excel Saga, this was also a toss-up on which song to include. I decided to go with pop music and surrealism of “Cosmos vs. Alien,” the second season opening song, as opposed to this one, which appeared only once. Both are strange in their own way, and each captures one aspect of the show really well. “Cosmos vs. Alien” centers more on the two main characters, Nino and Recruit, while the linked song above (“Title Nante Jibun de Kangaenasai na”) fixates on Maria’s love of making Sister’s life miserable. The show itself is off-the-wall and a lot of fun to watch, and between the two songs here, I think you get a good sense for how this show goes. For more info about the show, you can check out our review of season one here.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo – “Wild Challenger” by Jindou
How could I finish off a post about weird anime openings without including one from the show where the protagonist fights bad guys with the power of his nosehairs? The main character, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo fights against the forces of the Maruhage Empire, whose goal is to steal everyone’s hair. The jokes in this show are definitely aimed at the shonen demographic, and from the opening below, that’s easy to see. The show had two openings and three endings during its run, but none seem to be quite as weird as this one.
So, as you can see, the answer to the question at the top of the post is, in fact, both. It’s pretty likely that you won’t have a weird opening theme to a normal anime, and vice versa. Thanks for sticking around this week while I cover the column. I hope you all appreciate Jennifer all the more when she comes back!
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