As a companion piece to our Best Anime OP of 2019, we’re showcasing five of our favorite anime ending themes from last year. While it’s often the OP that steals the show, a great ED can be a memorable part of the experience whether it’s a traditionally mellow and relaxing ending, a final energetic explosion, or something in between. In any case, here are our picks for the best EDs of 2019, ranking as best we can in terms of visuals, connection to the series, and of course the music! Let’s start the endings!
5. Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?) - "Macho a Name?"
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2019 – September 2019
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? was something of a surprise hit last year with its blend of comedy and an unconventional sport with a bit of ecchi and some actually useful information when it comes to working out that was even inspirational to some! Tying this all together were good production values, including the interestingly-named ED, "Macho a Name?" which captures the feel of the show quite well with its slightly over-the-top song and amusing voiceover featuring a plethora of English phrases like ‘Nice pose!’, ‘Excellent!!’, and appropriately repeated ‘Muscle!’ and other funny moments like the Looney Tunes-esque ending card. Altogether, it’s a fun ED that’s upbeat, silly, and a little sexy that we feel is memorable and fits in excellently with its anime.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? Ending "Macho a Name?" by Naruzou Machio (Kaito Ishikawa)
4. Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (Run with the Wind) - "Michi"
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: October 2018 – March 2019
Regardless of how you feel about actual running, the underrated Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru has become a new favorite of sports anime aficionados and otherwise thanks to solid storytelling and lavish animation, along with a soundtrack worth remembering, including the second ending theme "Michi". Like the show, this ending has a simple, genuine feeling to it that builds up wonderfully with the music. The imagery of the misty mountain sunrise and silhouetted runners definitely left an impression on us as well, pushing this ending to be one of our favorites in 2019 as it brought us the conclusion to Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru.
Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Ending "Michi" by Taichi Mukai
3. Machikado Mazoku (The Demon Girl Next Door) - "Yoimachi Cantare"
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2019 – September 2019
Another memorable comedy from 2019, Machikado Mazoku stood out thanks to its magical girl and demon-themed premise, super cute character designs, and great sound work by both the voice actors and musicians, which, of course, also includes the ending theme. What first stands out in "Yoimachi Cantare" is just how catchy and energetic the music is, more so than the OP we’d argue, which also gets bonus points for being sung by the voice actors in character that connects it very well to its series. The visuals are done in a very fun and loose, super-deformed style that matches perfectly with the lively and playful feeling of the song and the show. We particularly love the little scenes with the cast during the lead-in and the shots of Shamiko’s tail spazzing around with the music.
2. Sarazanmai - "Stand by me"
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2019 – June 2019
Last year, we were blessed with another bizarre Kunihiko Ikuhara anime, this time maybe arguably relatively tame in terms of weirdness but conveys his style through and through with the theme of interpersonal connection, over-the-top transformation sequences, and other sorts of storytelling and visual “ostinato”. We also got a really solid ending theme in "Stand by me" that does something we’re a bit surprised hasn’t been done more with mixing real-world video with interesting visual effects and the show’s characters. This works particularly well with Sarazanmai because the show is so deeply connected to the Asakusa district in Taito, Tokyo but also just looks really cool and unique. The music, by one of our new favorite anisong bands in recent years, the peggies, feels evocative, emotional, and genuine, and strikes an interesting balance between relaxed and energetic to make this ED one of our favorites!
Sarazanmai Ending "Stand by me" by the peggies
1. Fruits Basket - "Lucky Ending"
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2019 – September 2019
The triumphant and nostalgia-filled return of Fruits Basket was definitely a highlight of 2019 for many anime fans, even for those unfamiliar with the series just for seeing this older style of show brought to life with modern production values. And wow, what a beautiful ending we received in "Lucky Ending"! First and foremost, Vickeblanka’s heartfelt vocals are simply sublime, perfectly encapsulating the emotional depth of Fruits Basket and paired with simple, bespoke instrumentation that adds to the intimacy and nostalgic feeling. Likewise, the visuals feel reminiscent of older anime endings with lots of long pans and chibi animal sections but with a vibrancy giving new life to its characters. Everything changes, but we imagine "Lucky Ending" will stick with us for years to come.
Fruits Basket Ending "Lucky Ending" by Vickeblanka
This list was actually quite hard to come up with because of the number of quality ending themes but we hope that you enjoyed our picks even if we didn’t list your favorite. Let us know your own thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise! Until next time, stay sweet!