top ten jc staff op/ed

A stroll through today and yesterday. Take an iPod with ya.

Excel Saga
Honorable Mention. Ai (Chuuseishin)
Excel Girls

Songs not on my iPod prior to writing this post goes on the honorable mention list. Can’t justify an OP/ED as “top ten material” if I don’t even make space on it on my iPod. Anyway this one is just such an inexplicable yet appropriate OP for Excel Saga. My favorite part has to be Hyatt coughing… or Menchi with a “Wait, please don’t eat me! It’ll ruin your Atkin’s Diet!” look on his face… or Pedro. Good times… good times.

(Dis)Honorable Mention. Feels Like Our Days

Many years ago, JC Staff was all about the melonpan. Kinda odd evolution that the studio that brought us one of the most grotesque boob jobs would later be an oasis of DFC. (Note to Sixten: all great DFC padawans start off inking melonpan.) Eiken was so horrible, but it had a lot of style elements that eventually made it to newer JC Staff series like Mahoraba (Shiratori) and Okusama. Oh, about this song. It’s not very good, but it’s features the FrankenFran of melonpan.

Honorable Mention. Katamichi Catchball


10. Daiji Da・I・Ji
Saiki Mia and Shiraishi Ryoko

Probably my favorite part of this OP is the beginning when Kozue-chan is telling us to not sit close to the TV and then that dancing roof tile comes on. Cute, and a quintessential anime OP with all the shots of the characters and what they’re into (including the Kozue MPD faction). The song itself is also quintessentially anime as I wouldn’t have it in heavy (or medium… or light) iPod rotation, but I can’t picture Mahoraba without it. And, yes, JC Staff desperately needs to do a final OVA and wrap up the story… I still think that when Kozue became whole, it was a chill moment on par with Chihiro regaining her memory capacity. Dammit JC Staff, do it properly.

Ai Yori Aoshi
9. Eternal Flower
Yoko Ishida

Well, nakkid Aoi for one. Generic harem OP, generic harem comedy, generic haremettes before generic harem OPs, comedies, and haremettes were really popular. I like all the random shots of the haremettes as well as that damn chorus (“dare yori mo”) that’s now stuck in my head. Dammit. Ai Yori Aoshi was one of the first generic harem series I watched, and I still have Eternal Flower on my iPod’s playlist. This was one of the first series when I was honestly flabbergasted (when Aoi and Kaoru spent the night together… which was just from left field at the time considering the tone and nature of this series), and the first series that I started wondering, “Hey, is there some sort of medium where I could write and complain about things like, ‘Why is the main conflict on Enishi about Tina going to America?!?’?” I think I downloaded b2 like 24 hours later.

R.O.D The TV
8. R.O.D

Greatest vocal-less OP since Tank!. Catchy tune, nakkid silhouettes, and a dose of style. I always felt like it was the job of the OP to sell loads of merchandise and CDs, but it’s also supposed to get the viewer pumped up for the show. R.O.D did get the juices flowing. Five years later, I had to hop on YouTube to check if Isaac and Miria stole this song.

Nodame Cantabile
7. Allegro Cantabile

Love all the amateur musicians who flooded YouTube with their own variations. (Though I am disappointed that there’s no piano equivalent for Tissue Princess.) That’s what I think really makes fandom a lot more fun than the VHS days. I like the piano background, but I still think JC Staff should have gone all acoustic or pick a classical piece (like the live action) instead of the cheesy pop vocals. It’s Nodame Cantabile! Generic pop fits as well as a generic love song for the climax of a mobile suit battle in space.

Azumanga Daioh
6. Soramimi Cake
Oranges & Lemons

If Daiji Da・I・Ji is the quintessential anime OP, then Soramimi Cake is the quintessential stoner OP. Made by stoned people for stoned people. Still, it’s timeless, and people are still plugging away it at. Can you believe that the studio that gave us trippy anime like Utena, Azumanga, and Excel Saga went the completely other direction half a decade later with Nodame Cantible and Kimikiss? JC Staff was Shaft before Shaft knew Shaft was Shaft.

Shakugan no Shana II
5. Blaze

Fantastic animation. I think there’s more frames in Blaze than there is in an entire episode of Kimikiss. Shana has had some mediocre to great OP/EDs, but I enjoy this one just because it reminds me of any typical Bleach OP/ED, which Shana was in danger of becoming. But, you know what, Wilhelmina, Shana, Margery, Yuji, and Yoshida (Yoshida?!) looking bad-ass isn’t a bad thing. I did move this one a few spots up just to acknowledge the other fantastic Shana OP/ED (like Aka no Seijaku, Being, and Yowake Umare Kuru Shoujo) but I did penalize it for now showing Shana chomping down on melonpan or a quick Shana-tan cameo.

(Both the Shana and Azumanga clips are done using YouTube’s HQ exploit, so the timing bar does not function properly.)

Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo
4. Home & Away

Wow wow yea. Catchy song? Check. Mind numbing chorus? Check. Minor characters dancing to said chorus? Check. Fanservice? Check. Epic MILF? Check. People running for the sake of running? Check. Works for me! Melocure’s Home & Away comes in at #3. Probably says something that my top three impressions after watching Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo were (1) Inoue Kikuko does a 17 year old MILF like no one else (2) no kissing, but what about… uh… other types of bodily contact? (3) Wow wow yea.

The Melody of Oblivion
3. Tenohira no Hikari

Kind of a weird song to taper off a series with healthy girls in cow bikinis with, but it works. I like the laid back nature of the song and how the Melody of Oblivion randomly runs through it. Gives the viewer a good 90 seconds to digest WTF happened in the previous 22 minutes. JC Staff generally does lower key EDs with respect to their OPs, so I felt compelled to stick an ED on this list, and Tenohira has the most times played according to my iPod/iTunes. When I first wrote about Melody of Oblivion, I was wrong. It’s definitely more JC Staff than Gainax, and I see that in a post-Shana, post-Gurren Lagann world. One thing that’s interesting is that Hiroshi Nishikiori is the director of MoO… as well as Azumanga as well as Okusama, and you can see design similarities on all of these series. And all three are represented in this top ten. VIVA MONSTER UNION!

2. Aozora Loop v2

The first OP was just unconsciously bad… just still shots of the girls. The second version for the second half of the series was a huge upgrade. Animation, blinking, effects, CG balloons, no expenses spared. Aozora Loop itself is a catchy song (marble’s Nijiiro Humming CD is worth a listen to… if XM had a Japanese equivalent for their Sunshine channel, marble would dominate it), but the balloon theme in the OP as well as the all the creepy no-face men that the girls kiss really drive it up a notch. It’s one of the few parts of Kimikiss that I don’t watch on 2X speed. Makes me lessen my demands for a Kimikiss fanservice OVA. (Feels really weird having Kimikiss on a top ten list other than “top ten worst male cast”. Of course, Evangelion is #1.)

Revolutionary Girl Utena
1. Rinbu Revolution
Masami Okui

Approved by Hinagiku! I think if I had to make a top ten anime list, Utena would make the cut… which is amazing considering that Utena first aired in 1997 and is from the Sailor Moon staff. It’s aging spectacularly though, with the philosophical themes, the vivid animation style, and blatant lesbianism still relevant. Though lesbian scenes are always relevant, consider that when Utena came out, it was a breakthrough. Just nothing like it in either Japan or Hollywood. But what impresses me most to this day is the soundtrack, with Rinbu Revolution and Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku is still killer. Rinbu Revolution is just a classic OP with Utena and Anthy giving each other longing looks, and with Masami Okui at the top of her game. Still holds up as one of JC Staff’s finest.

48 Responses to “top ten jc staff op/ed”

  1. you put nodame in there twice once for the actual post then another in the Ai Yori Aoshi post…

    great post though

  2. Man I was thinking how awesome it would be if I saw blaze in this post and now, TADA it showed up. yay.

  3. the problem for mahoraba is that the anime is not folowing the exact story of the manga, so creating an OAV to “explain” or “continue” may be a little weird cause the manga and anime ending is really different. But if some OAV is out i’ll be the first to see them believe me XD.

  4. I’ve never even heard of some of these shows before and I like JC Staff. Thanks for the hook-up. Also, I find it a bit amusing how one of the few OPs I have on my iPod isn’t on this list (Honey and Clover).

  5. >>Also, I find it a bit amusing how one of the few OPs I have on my iPod isn’t on this list (Honey and Clover).

    Dramatic needs a mention for the video alone.

  6. Man, I’m sorry, but every time I see that KimiKiss opening, I can’t help but think of Stephen King’s IT. It’s the shot of the red balloon floating alone in the library that does it. And then the creepy faceless guys giving the girls balloons. (*shudder shudder*)

  7. Honey and Clover always gets no love for Waltz or its first OP, Dramatic. Both were totally appropriate for the series and could be listened to solo. From the time when J.C. Staff wasn’t a curseword meaning ‘they screwed up the adaption’ or ‘ZnT house’.

  8. No Waltz (Honey & Clover)?
    That’s a very good song..
    Waltz is one of my favorite songs and definitely my favorite jc staff op/ed..

  9. >> No Waltz (Honey & Clover)?
    That’s a very good song..
    Waltz is one of my favorite songs and definitely my favorite jc staff op/ed..

    Goddamn, that song IS awesome. But he doesn’t seem to be choosing these based on the quality of songs necessarily.

    Also, I liked the ROD OVA opening a lot more than the TV series one.

  10. Man, I knew Utena would be #1 but I fully expected Honey and Clover to be #2. Both versions of Dramatic were refreshingly different from everything else out there at the time, and they still make me smile whenever I watch them. The OP/EDs (and the goodness that was Honey and Clover) were what made me a JC Staff supporter; which is why it really hurts when they put out trash like Kimikiss.

  11. Like people said, I’d probably add Dramatic to the list. Who knows, maybe it was the panties. :/

  12. As a preacher of the Cute Makes Right doctrine, I approve of Katamichi Catchball, Daiji Daiji, and Soramimi Cake. If that isn’t enough cuteness for you, I recommend also Sunao na Mama (Nanaka 6/17) and Sugar Baby Love (Little Snow Fairy Sugar). The quality of J.C.Staff shows does vary from complete garbage to timeless classic, but they always do cute well.

  13. Also, I don’t question the greatness of Honey and Clover… but ironically, putting the Honey and Clover team in charge of Kimikiss may have been what caused it to be… not as good as it could have been.

  14. >>> ironically, putting the Honey and Clover team in charge of Kimikiss may have been what caused it to be… not as good as it could have been.

    Salt to the wound…

  15. Definitely missing “Waltz” by Suneohair, the Honey and Clover ED. I don’t even particularly download OPs and EDs, and I had that one.

  16. No Waltz, no Dramatic … I don’t think Allegro Cantabile is worth being here two times, btw.

  17. Ill go with the angry mob! No dramatic D:
    (I loved that OP to death…)

  18. Would I be a pedant to point out, I’m pretty sure Menchi’s a girl?

  19. I believe there something missing on that list. And that ought to be Hishoku no Sora, from Shakugan no Shana (the first one). I mean, it’s the only anime OP i have on my mp3 (yes, i don’t have an iPod), and it did won some community awards (Best OP for whatever year it shined upon).

  20. “It’s aging spectacularly though, with the philosophical themes, the vivid animation style, and blatant lesbianism still relevant.”

    What is amazing is that it was done with a tight budget, part of the reason it aged so well.

    Also ” blatant lesbianism” … not really, there is FAR more incest that lesbianism, in fact there is only one that we can say for sure she was but Utena and Anthy? nope and I watched EXPECTING to see it … and what I got was “Pole Sisters”.

  21. And I agree with Raw, it was the few openings I bothered to watch … then then changed it and I stop.

  22. Melody of Oblivion had some great pieces in its soundtrack. That show doesn’t get enough respect. Also, why the hell is ROD TV ranked higher than ROD OVA?!

  23. I must have watched the KimiKiss OP 50+ times accounting for all the times I gave up on episodes and then restarted later. And yet I never noticed there were balloons…

    Anyway, it’s nice to see shows I recognize and OP’s I like are included. Allegro Cantabile and Blaze make good pick-me-ups for the long drive from work.

  24. Amen for Utena. That song always gets stuck in my head every time I hear it again.

  25. Exactly Darkron, i usually skip the OP once i heard it once, but this one didn’t let me. It’s very good.

  26. Good Aoi, looking kind of like Nodame there.

  27. i love the utena op. It is what got me interested in utena in the first place.

  28. The one thing I regret of ever not watching was Excel Saga. For one thing I loved the OP song and it been a while since I saw crazy anime like Love Hina, Midori no Hibi, and Gurren Lagann.

  29. I don’t particularily remember the H+C themes… (watched it back when I didn’t download anime music), but I was pretty sure that the songs were excellent, as well as the animation along with them.

    I’m also disappointed that Shana didn’t make more than one appearance. I’d put Hishoku no Sora and maybe JOINT/triangle on the list as well. I ended up getting both Kawada Mami albums >_>. And great job, you have BLAZE stuck in my head again after what lasted a whole week and got rid of for an even catchier 9mm Parabellum Bullet.

  30. The one thing I regret of ever not watching was Excel Saga. For one thing I loved the OP song and it been a while since I saw crazy anime like Love Hina, Midori no Hibi, and Gurren Lagann.

    If you’re defining Love Hina as a crazy anime, Excel Saga will blow your mind totally away. There’s absolutely no comparison. Gurren Lagann came close, but there STILL hasn’t been any series that kept the manic energy Excel Saga had for 20+ episodes. FLCL came close, but was only 6 episodes long.

  31. There’s no doubt which of these is my #1: nothing comes close to Shana II. The animation is pretty darn good, yes, but there’s only one real reason: KOTOKO. None of the others gets close enough to be a challenger. The worst is possibly Kimikiss (my ears!) or moeblob the animation (my ears! my ears!)

    Utena is inextricably linked in my mind to Bjork, due to a certain Utena movie AMV. And perhaps I should check out Mahoraba one of these days, at least the manga.

    >> “crazy anime like Love Hina”
    I don’t know. YMMV I suppose but I never saw LH as anything like a crazy show. I thought it quite a standard fare harem show.

  32. Excel Saga rates right up there with Fumoffu for awesome craziness.

  33. The only show that comes close to Excel Saga in crazyness that I can possibly think of is Bobobo bo bo-bo-bo. Excel Saga is more random, while being more ….Coherent? Or something

  34. I’d say Croamartie High and Pani Poni Dash comes pretty close in matching Excel Saga’s pace.
    But still, the anime didn’t feature Elgala, I demand a remake!

  35. I can’t believe Clannad’s Dango Daikazoku was left out!

  36. I would have liked to see Lucky Star in there, but I like the #1. Excel Saga is otherwise the only one in my iPod.

  37. I agree with Nobuharu and Xeifa about the crazyness of animes and bobobo bo bo-bo-bo is really random, I think it’s the only manga I’ve ever red without any plot-line/story-line…….. but I’ve never seen the anime, just hoping this is not too difficult to understand :P

  38. Why is this not on the list?

    WWWish OP. That damn song made you watch the entire crappy show just so you’d get a reason to watch the OP again.

  39. Bobobo actually isn’t that hard to understand, it has plot like substance that actually doesn’t fail miserably. Because the premise is very simple perhaps. And the Americaniztion of jokes in the English dub was actually done reasonably well. Its worth at least a glance in my not-so-humble opinion. Same with Excel Saga. GO WATCH it if you haven’t. The last episode was….interesting.

  40. I can’t believe Clannad’s Dango Daikazoku was left out!

    Sarcasm? Clannad was done by Kyoto Animations, not JC Staff.

  41. no hishoku no sora = terribad

  42. i was waiting that you postuled at least one of the zetsubou’s openings… well i think both of them are awesome!

  43. dammit! how stupid i can be! just JCstaff… nah i like a lot azumanga, its my first i think….

  44. Everytime I see these damned top lists for op/ed I get pissed off at how low last exile’s opening ranks.

  45. Dude, Last Exile was Gonzo. This is a J.C. op/ed list.

  46. How about maburaho?
    DFC and melonpan together in one series.

  47. “Sarcasm? Clannad was done by Kyoto Animations, not JC Staff.”

    Oh… Whoops. I was so blind with rage that I didn’t realize this was a JC Staff list. Hahaha.

  48. On an off-topic, yet somewhat related topic, I have to agree with Jason about Shiraishi’s ED songs, with regards to their being some of the best parts of Lucky Star. I’ve actually got some of them on the playlist. Maybe it’s just because he’s so obviously drunk and crazy that it’s fun to listen to…

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