Anime OPs tend to get the lion’s share of attention, since they’re usually much flashier and aren’t as easy to skip through when marathoning an entire series. But ending themes deserve their time in the limelight as well, especially these five certified hits from Summer 2021. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them and see why they’re worth sticking around for!
5. “Dreamers” by ATEEZ from Digimon Adventure:
Unless you’re an avid viewer of the 2020 Digimon Adventure reboot, you’re likely not aware of how hard its fifth ED slaps. And honestly, who gave them the right? This bouncy track from Korean boy band ATEEZ starts out pretty chill and slow, but once the chorus hits, the combination of synth drums and tight harmonies really gets the groove going. You’ll be bopping your head along to the beat all the way into the next episode!
Digimon Adventure: ED
4. “Missing Promise” by Konomi Suzuki from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu (Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU)
Continuing on from the previous season’s “God Syndrome” and “Irregular Entropy”, we have another oil pastel rendition of the evolving relationship between Rika and her new enemy as the reality we once knew in the original story is rewritten little by little. The slightly melancholy tone of Konomi Suzuki’s voice fits perfectly here, representing a crack in Rika’s resolve that she can’t yet figure out how to fix. Will she finally be beaten into submission by a rival she doesn’t even realize is there...?
3. "Saihate” by Minori Suzuki from Kaizoku Oujo (Fena: Pirate Princess)
Coming in late to the game, but looking no worse for it, is the gorgeously animated ED from Fena: Pirate Princess. This short showcase of the adorably awkward relationship between Fena and Yukimaru has more work put into it than many opening themes we’ve seen, much less endings. The song itself builds from a quiet and contemplative beginning to a passionate chorus that briefly brings in all of the pirates for their own space in the spotlight. It really helps us get to know the characters a bit better!
Fena: Pirate Princess ED
2. "0 (zero)" by LMYK from Vanitas no Carte (The Case Study of Vanitas)
This lo-fi jam from LMYK is a beautiful piece all by itself, but it takes on a whole new meaning when contrasted with The Case Study of Vanitas’ OP, “Sora to Utsuro”. The opening is an upbeat and jazzy little number, highlighting the dorky friendship between Vanitas and Noé, but the ending is a complete reversal of that tone. Vanitas and Noé are still there, but there’s a tension between them and a power imbalance that may hint towards what their relationship is actually like at its core. Hmm... this requires further analysis...
Vanitas no Carte ED
1. “give me ♡ me” by Shouta Aoi from Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta... X (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X)
While the opening theme for My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is pretty good, its ending “give me ♡ me” is an absolute banger! Its electronic beat and minor key signature evoke the threat of “bad endings” hanging over our characters’ heads, and the art nouveau-inspired visuals hide easter eggs about each love interest’s personality in the spiraling borders that surround them. You’ll definitely want to hang around after each episode just to witness this!
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X ED
We’re also jamming along to “Make Event Jikkyou Play” by 15-Sai and Seiko Oomori from Battle Game in 5 Seconds, “Tokyo Wonder.” by Nakimushi from Tokyo Revengers, “Dream On” by Mamoru Miyano from Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan, “Tsuku Umi no Yurikago” by Mia REGINA from The Aquatope on White Sand, and “Fukahi” by SymaG from Record of Ragnarok. But are there any Summer 2021 EDs that we left out? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!