My top 10 anime endings

*Notice: For some strange reason, commenting on my blog was not working from roughly 1pm yesterday to 1pm today (PST). If you left a comment on the blog during that time, your comment has been lost. I sincerely apologize for this – I don’t know how it happened, but luckily my fellow blogger chikorita157 was able to fix it. Commenting should be back to normal now but please let me know if you experience any problems.*

———-

I recently counted down my top 10 anime openings, so now it’s time to move on to endings, as difficult as it was…

I’m a much bigger fan of anime openings than endings. As many will agree, while EDs can have good songs, the visuals are usually less stellar and may even be made up of still frames rather than actual animation. Thus, it was more difficult for me to make a list of EDs that stood out to me rather than OPs. But here’s what I could come up with.

Like my list of favorite OPs, I laid down a few rules for my list. I’m judging the EDs mostly based on visuals and how they flow with the song, while the song by itself is secondary. Also, I picked no more than one ED per series.

10. Pokemon Advance ED 3 “Smile”
*Sorry about the Spanish subs*

If you combine all the Pokemon TV series together, there are currently a whopping twenty-seven EDs! I knew at least one Pokemon ED had to be on my list and I managed to narrow it down to about four. In the end, “Smile” won me over because it’s a nice song and I love how it focuses on each of the main characters and their pokemon (including Team Rocket!)

———

9. One Piece ED 9 “Free Will”

The song in this ED is kinda pretty, but what I really like about the visuals is they sort of tell a story rather than have the typical still frames of all the characters go by. One Piece actually has a lot of cute EDs like this, but I especially like “Free Will” because its centered on Robin, my second favorite character in the series (and we get to see my favorite, Chopper, in pajamas XD)

———-

8. Inuyasha ED 7 “Come”

I had a difficult time deciding whether I liked “Come” or the 4th Inuyasha ED “Every heart” better. In the end I decided that I like the visuals in “Come” more than I like the song in “Every heart.” This song by Namie Amuro is good and goes very well with the visuals. The emphasis on the love triangle between Inuyasha, Kagome, and Kiyou, together with the somber, mystical color scheme of the ED adds a nice touch.

———

7. Hayate no Gotoku!! ED 2 “Karakoi ~Dakara Shoujo wa Koi wo Suru~”

This ED is adorable – focuses on a couple I like, Hayate and Nagi, their comical antics, and Nagi’s inability to express her feelings for Hayate. I also like how the song is sung by the two of them (or their seiyuu, Ryouko Shiraishi and Rie Kugimiya).

———-

6. Digimon Tamers ED 2 “Days~Aijou to Nichijou”

This has been a favorite ED of mine for as long as I’ve known about EDs ^_^ The song is beautiful – what I especially like though is how it transitions between the the three kids and their digimon, beginning with the kids in cloud silhouette before they meet eyes with their digimon.

———

5. Wolf’s Rain ED “Gravity”

“Gravity” was #4 on my list of all time favorite anime songs. Despite being “Engrish,” the lyrics are very poetic and convey the introspective side of Wolf’s Rain very well. Visually this ED isn’t too impressive but it has its own style of beauty when combined with one of Maaya Sakamoto’s most beautiful songs. I believe that in each episode, the background that Kiba is running through changes.

———-

4. Angel Beats! ED “Brave Song”

A pretty song, but what makes this ED special can’t be seen in just one viewing of it. The images of the characters is different in each episode – some disappear, reappear, or change slightly depending on the episode. I like the “fading in” effect with the characters, and their combination of colors against the background just looks really nice. My favorite version of this ED is actually in the final episode, which uses a different song and the opposite effect (all the characters are present at the start and slowly fade out). Darn, the finale of Angel Beats! is going to make me start crying again so…next! XD

———

3. K-ON!! ED 2 “No thank you”

K-ON’s got great songs, but after many listenings, “No thank you” has become my favorite. Awesome song and lovely KyoAni animation to go with it.

———

2. Darker than Black season 2 ED “From Dusk Till Dawn”

It was love at first sight/listening with this ED, both in terms of song and visuals. I thought my enjoyment of it would fade with time but I still can’t get enough of it. I really like the lyrics of the song as well. It’s slower than most of abigdon’s boys’ songs but my personal favorite of theirs.

———

1. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ED “Hare Hare Yukai”

No surprise here for those who know my Haruhi obsession! But despite that, this is arguably the most famous and beloved anime ED amongst fans all over the world, spawning numerous parodies and dance contests. I prefer the full dance version of “Hare Hare Yukai” (above) rather than the one used in the actual episodes.

———-

Hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments.

Also, I’d like to make a quick note that I’m probably going to have to cut down my post amount to one or two a week rather than two or three. I’ve just had a lot of other things I want to do lately and my work hours have increased a bit too. But come summer in July I may have more free time.

My next new post should be Monday. See you all then and have a great weekend~

29 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. pirs says:

    Heh, I was about to comment “No Wolf’s Rain?!” but then I saw the list. :3

    • Yumeka says:

      Yes, Wolf’s Rain has some great music. “Gravity” is just such a beautiful song. I like the animation in the OP, “Stray,” better, but “Gravity” feels like a more appropriate song for the atmosphere of the series.

  2. Myna says:

    Glad we’ve got two in common!

    I forgot how nice a song “Come” was. I was always more of a Fukai Mori fan.
    I didn’t watch Angel Beats, but I have seen/heard the op and ed before. Unfortunately, I found songs rather boring. :(

    And no surprise about Hare Hare Yukai xD
    What were your other three favorite Pokemon EDs?

    • Yumeka says:

      I forgot how nice “Come” is too until I made this list :3 “Fukai Mori” is my most favorite Inuyasha song, it’s just that the animation that goes with it isn’t that appealing to me.

      I would say that appreciating the Angel Beats! songs, especially the ED, requires watching the series and getting attached to the characters.

      And the other Pokemon EDs that almost got on my list were the 11th ED, the Team Rocket song “Maemuki Roketto-dan,” the 1st Advanced ED “Soko ni Sora ga Aru Kara,” and the 6th Diamond & Pearl ED “Dotchi Nyo~” (such a funny song and I love the pokemon puns in the lyrics XD)

  3. I’m not surprised in the slightest at your list. After all, aren’t most of these your favorite shows? ^^

    I’m glad you chose No, Thank You! from K-On!/!! as it’s my favorite one as well (until we see the movie’s one). I can’t disagree with Hare Hare Yukai just due to its significance, but it’s not one of my favorites. The others are shows I’ve not seen (yet), so I can’t comment on those.

    • Yumeka says:

      Yes, most of these series are among my top 20 favorites. That doesn’t always mean I’ll like the music, but it just happened to turn out that way ^_^a

      “Hare Hare Yukai” is a great song on its own, but I wouldn’t like the ED as much if not for the visuals. They’re just perfect for the KyoAni/Haruhi fan in me! XD

  4. glothelegend says:

    YES InuYasha. YES Hayate. One ED that I always liked (and by one I mean several) are:

    ALL OF THESE

    Aria the Natural – Natsu Machi
    Bleach – DaiDai
    Zero no Tsukaima – Suki!? Kirai!? Suki!!
    Shakugan no Shana – Yoake Umarekuru Shoujo
    Gintama – Mr. Raindrop
    Asura Cryin’ –
    Maria Holic -
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka -
    2X2 Shinobuden – Shutoda!
    Hayate no Gotoku – Honjitsu whatever.

    I know some names, some I don’t, but I’ve been compiling this list for many a day, and this is what I have so far. Eventually, when I get around to it, I want to redo my top 50 OPs and do my top 50 EDs as well.

    • Yumeka says:

      Not familiar with most of the EDs on your list unfortunately. I do like the song used in the Shakugan no Shana ED, but visually it’s just panning Noizi Itou art which is kind of boring. The first Hayate no Gotoku!! ED (“Honjitsu, Mankai Watashi Iro!”) was really close to getting on my list. In the end I decided I liked “Karakoi” better.

  5. Kal says:

    The K-On ending “No, thank you” is definitely one of the best endings I have seen/heard. Powerful song, and great animation. I looked for that song to have it in MP3 because it’s that good.

    I like openings more than endings. The only other endings that come to mind are the Gundam Seed ones because they have some really nice songs. I guess endings are never as flashy as openings, so it’s a bit easier to miss the good ones :S At least newer anime tend to put stuff after the ending, so people have to stick around to watch them :)

    • Yumeka says:

      I almost put a Gundam Seed ED on my list. But while I think the songs in the series are great, the visuals in the EDs didn’t stand out to me (except for the 3rd ED, “Find the way,” which almost got on the list).

      Yeah, endings are usually less stellar than openings because they’re not used as “hooks” to get viewers pumped up for the show. I suppose their function is to promote one more song to sell another CD, and show a few more credits. But you’re right that anime in recent years has had more episode footage after the ending (besides just the preview), so that could be a good method to get viewers to stick around and watch the ED.

  6. Tsuki says:

    As someone mentioned earlier, I’m more a Fukai Mori fan for Inuyasha. Every Heart was pretty good too, but I vaguely remember the animation for Every Heart being a bit bland. Oh the nostalgia of Inuyasha :)

    And I much prefer Hinagiku’s ending over Nagi’s, though both ED themes are annoyingly catchy. Can’t quite approve of the Nagi x Hayate couple though (* ̄m ̄)

    Either ways, quite the list here. It seems like there are quite a few older pieces, which does surprise me a bit. Some were obviously going to be on the list though, such as Pokemon and Haruhi, considering how quite a few of your posts are about Pokemon, and the blog is Haruhi themed :P

    • Yumeka says:

      “Fukai Mori” is actually my most favorite Inuyasha song, and my #3 most favorite anime song of all time. I just don’t like the visuals all that much, which is why it’s not on this list. Song-wise I like “Every heart” better than “Come,” but the visuals in “Every heart” are indeed kind of bland while the ones in “Come” are a lot nicer.

      I actually had a lot of trouble deciding whether I liked Hinagiku’s ED or Hayate/Nagi’s ED better. Again, song-wise I like Hinagiku’s better but visually I liked the other, which is what I’m going by more for this list. But it’s understandable that one wouldn’t like “Karakoi” if they don’t support Hayate and Nagi as a couple.

      Yes, Haruhi and Pokemon are my most favorite franchises so I’m a bit biased when it comes to those two ^^,,, They’ve made it into all my top 10 lists I think, though only Pokemon was in my top 10 openings.

  7. f0calizer says:

    Wow, even though I’ve watched both seasons of K-ON, I have no recollection of the No Thank You ED. I guess I didn’t find it very impressionable? Maaya Sakamoto’s English pronunciation is pretty good, actually. =) It’s always great to hear her voice, but in terms of songs I prefer her “Yubiwa” at the end of the Escaflowne movie as a closing song (but that’s not really what your post is about). And now I can’t watch or hear the Angel Beats ED without thinking of people being launched from chairs into classroom ceilings…

    • Yumeka says:

      If you don’t remember “No thank you,” I’m curious as to which K-ON ED you do like. If you skipped over them, I recommend watching them again as they’re all very impressive as far as EDs go =)

      I actually watched the Escaflowne movie over a decade ago. Unfortunately I don’t remember the song at all – will have to give it a listening.

      And yes, the comical side of Angel Beats! can leave that impression on you XD

      • f0calizer says:

        The K-ON ending that really stuck in my head was the one with “Don’t Say Lazy,” which is either the first or second one? I remember it for the song itself, & also because I really loved Mugi’s hair & outfit in that one (yes, I’m a shameless Mugi fan). But I’ll try & revisit the other EDs when I have a chance.

  8. plasma991 says:

    I also like Brave Song and No, Thank You!. My favorite version of Angel Beats ending was when each disappeared one by one with Brave Song as the background music (Tenshi wasn’t in it though).

    Other EDs that I like:
    Bakemonogatari – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (awesome animation and song)
    Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu – Sakura Sakura Saku
    Bokurano – Little Bird (I teared up so many times watching this ED as I watched the anime. Its amazing how much of a person’s personality you can see from them simply sitting in a chair.)
    Puella Magi Magika Madoka – Magia (Kalafina sound so cool!)
    Ef ~ a tale of memories – Kizamu Kisetsu

    ….I’m having difficulty thinking of more. Most EDs have conservative animation; there are some ending songs that I enjoy, but the ED as a whole wouldn’t be spectacular or have any special message to give (for instance, if a loop pattern is used, such as someone watching the ocean waves go back and forth).

    Also, many recent anime have a different ending song for every episode (ones that I can think of off the top of my head are Ore no Imouto, Katanagatari, High School of the Dead). Perhaps the creators think that since the endings aren’t watched as much as the openings, they try to liven it up and make it interesting by changing the song.

    • Yumeka says:

      I agree that Bakemonogatari has a great ED song. I haven’t seen Bokurano but that ED sounds interesting. I’ll remember it if I ever watch the show.

      I think it’s true that nowadays creators are constantly changing ED animation in order to attract viewer attention. Perhaps it’s the result of anime being more massively produced in recent years, so each individual series is doing all it can to stand out.

  9. TWWK says:

    A lot, a lot, a LOT of great endings. Wonderful. I would have also picked Hare Hare Yukai and Brave Song to be near the top of my list (though I would’ve selected Every Heart from InuYasha – so many great songs that end that series, that it’s easy to switch one out for the other; my BoA fan-ness swerved me though).

    Gravity is also a wonderful song – like you, it’s one of my very favorites. Maaya’s accent only comes out strongly a couple of times, and I don’t really find it very Engrishy. In fact, the entire song makes sense and reads more like a poem than typical modern lyrics. It’s a beautifully written song (even if unintentionally).

    • Yumeka says:

      Glad you liked a lot of my picks ^_^

      Yes, it was tough choosing “Come” over “Every heart,” but in the end I found the animation in “Every heart” just a little too bland.

      And I agree with all you said about “Gravity.” Simply a masterpiece of an ED.

  10. hearthesea says:

    Favourite ending themes? Hmm…

    (No real order.)

    Serial Experiments Lain – Tooi Sakebi [This feels moody and dark. Very appropriate for the subject matter of the series. The lyrics are also surprisingly interesting, if the translation I read was accurate.]

    Cowboy Bebop – The Real Folk Blues [This is my all time favourite. Simply wonderful on every level.]

    Gungrave – Akaneiro ga Moeru Toki [I don't even particularly like this series, but for some reason I really enjoyed this ending theme. It has this sort of nostalgic feel to it.]

    Hajime no Ippo (Original Series) – Yuuzora no Kamihikouki [Makes me think of people who try, fail, and pick themselves back up again for one last shot. Bittersweet tune.]

    In response to your list — I’ve never seen Wolf’s Rain, but that ending theme sounded pretty good.

    • Yumeka says:

      Unfortunately the only anime on your list that I’ve seen is Cowboy Bebop. It has a good ED but it never particularly stood out to me (the OP on the other hand…)

      And I highly recommend Wolf’s Rain, especially if you like the ending song =D

  11. Logopolis says:

    My favourite not-yet-mentioned ones:

    AIR TV – Farewell Song: Just for the really pretty music.

    Haibane Renmei – Blue Flow: It carries the feeling of reaching out for some ethereal, tantalising meaning, and as such, complements the show beautifully.

    KareKano – Yume no naka e: Feels almost like singing with friends. And GAINAX are always finding different things to do with the camera. (Listened to by the protagonist of Futakoi Alternative in one scene.)

    Princess Tutu – My Love is Small, But…: Pretty and relaxing

    Revolutionary Girl Utena – Virtual Star Hasseigaku (second ED): Mostly because of the visuals here, the race to the sky with the show’s signature reduction of its characters to symbols, erupting into a bird flying away at the end.

    The Dragon Half ED: just insane.

    Excel Saga – Bolero of Sorrow: Total comedy again. I like the salt application.

    The St. Luminous Mission High School ED: Not sure why, but it just seems to click with the incidental music used in the show.

    The Kannagi ED: I actually like this a lot more than the far more expensive and flashy OP. It’s almost as pretty as Farewell Song, and it feels as if it means something.

    The first Saki ED: Fun!

    And all the K-ON EDs are brilliant. Much better than the OPs unusually. The Zetsubou Sensei EDs are a pretty impressive bunch too.

    Hmm, more of these than I thought there would be.

    • Yumeka says:

      Great picks! I’ve actually seen most of the series on your list but I don’t recall a lot of the EDs. I must have watched them once or twice and then skipped them. If I rewatch Utena, Haibane Renmei, or Excel Saga I shall pay more attention to the EDs!

      I like the Kare Kano ED song too. Agree with you about the K-ON EDs outshining the OPs. And as for Kannagi, the ED is nice but the high-budget animation and parodying theme of the OP is more appealing to me.

  12. Salion says:

    I must agree that Hare Hare Yukai has one of the best visuals of any anime op/ed I’ve seen. It reminds me of a project back in high school, where I was in a group that decided to present via a song and dance … much like Kyon, I went along with the moves, but wouldn’t sing and refused to wear any type of facial expression other than a scowl.

    For an equally awesome ed, I’d recommend Symphonic Dream, the 2nd ed from Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (available on hulu!). It too features 3 of the main characters dancing while their seiyuu sing – only, they’re in chibi-form for unparalleled adorableness. Their 1st ed was similar, but not as polished.

    • Yumeka says:

      That’s a funny story about your dance project being similar to “Hare Hare Yukai” XD

      I’ve never heard of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan before, but I’ll remember what you said about the ED if I ever watch it.

  13. Suzushina Yuriko says:

    Current top 10 endings, in no particular order:

    Resuscitated Hope (GOSICK)
    This is a gorgeous song that deserves more attention. The instrumentals complement her song beautifully, and the violins in the bridge give it an epic feeling. The animation is also very pretty.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZzGEcvvrS0

    Memories Last (To Aru Majutsu no Index II)
    Kurosaki Maon is leaving a great impression on me. I really liked her HSOD songs, but this one is probably my favorite. The instrumentals are great, and I liked the Touma closeup at the beginning.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eXAQA3n5ek

    Trust Me (Durarara!!)
    The ending that spawned a video meme. There are so many video and picture parodies of this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uUKL7w7ElM

    futuristic imagination (Higashi no Eden)
    One of the most creative endings I’ve ever seen. The beginning really gives me the feeling of an airplane taking off into the skies. I wonder how long it took them to create such a great ending with only paper… Also, school food punishment rocks.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9896cYPaFf0

    Gravity (Wolf’s Rain)
    Powerful and lonely. I wouldn’t call this Engrish as Sakamoto Maaya has near perfect pronounciation and the lyrics sound completely natural, something that I’ve only seen in one other song from an anime – PSG’s Chocolat. The figure of a solitary wolf running across a desolate landscape tells a lot about the series.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEhrGLdrRuA

    secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after ver.) (Ano Hana)
    One of the many covers of ZONE’s hit song from 10 years ago, this song exemplifies nostalgic childhood memories. I’ve taken a real liking to this ending.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBKXp9-M42g

    Magia (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magia)
    I fell in love with this song after hearing it for the first time. Kajiura and Kalafina deliver a stunning performance once again. I remember seeing the actual ending in episode 3, still in shock, with the creepiness of Madoka’s silhouette running towards the darkness giving me a foreboding feeling in my gut…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlL1hMwLaZw

    Koi wa Mizuiro (Amagami SS)
    Yukana’s smooth and teasing voice really makes this catchy song a pleasure to listen to.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IGGTWBrjq8

    Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (Bakemonogatari)
    Supercell (ryo) is a god. Enough said.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGn81OC5muw

    Kimi to Taiyou ga Shinda Hi (HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD)
    The first in a heartbreaking series of endings. They all showed pictures of a time before the world became so messed up in the series. The camera zooms out, and we can see things like missing posters and blood splattered across the pictures. The title of the song describes it perfectly – “the day you and the sun died.”

    • Yumeka says:

      Nice list!

      “Futuristic Imagination” and “Trust Me” almost made it onto my list actually. They would have appeared if I made a top 20 =) I loved all the parody videos/images for “Trust Me” too.

      “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” is a great song. I would have chosen it if I liked the visuals a little more. “Resuscitated Hope” is a good song but I think I like “unity” better.

  14. Kyjin says:

    Nice list! “No Thank You!” is definitely my favorite of the K-ON endings and would be on my list, as would “Hare Hare Yukai” and “Brave Song”. My other picks:

    “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” from Bakemonogatari- The visuals with the full cast in the last few episodes really did it for me besides the awesome song.
    “M/elody” from Tokyo Magnitude 8.0- Great song, and the snapshots really fit with the show, although I don’t think I can ever watch this show again.
    “Dango Daikazoku” from Clannad- Too adorable, and this song gets stuck in my head all the time.
    “Baka Go Home!” from BakaTest- Great upbeat song, and the visuals with the english lyrics is really cool.
    “Trust Me” from Durarara- Great song, great visual, and I love all the parody versions on NicoNico
    “I’m Alive!” from Kuroshitsuji- The chibi versions of the characters is super adorable, an the song is quite unique as it comes from an American singer!

Leave a Comment

*