The Fall 2021 anime season is well underway by now, so it’s time to take a closer look at the OPs we got this time. After a somewhat sparse showing in summer, we’re happy to report that fall is positively overflowing with playlist-worthy opening themes of all styles and genres. Let’s check out our 5 favorites!
5. “Cinderella” by Cidergirl from Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. (Komi Can’t Communicate)
The highly anticipated Komi Can’t Communicate needed an OP that would really capture its quirky wholesomeness, and luckily, “Cinderella” by Cidergirl does exactly that. Its vibrant beat and hopeful lyrics emphasize the difficult but rewarding journey Komi embarks upon when she finally decides with Tadano to make 100 friends. We love how Komi drops from the sky in a shower of petals, which then return as flowers that represent each of the new friends she makes. Of course, she holds onto Tadano’s flower the tightest... this is just too cute!
Komi Can’t Communicate OP
4. “DIES IN NO TIME” by Jun Fukuyama from Kyuuketsuki Sugu Shinu (The Vampire Dies in No Time)
We’re absolute suckers for jazzy anime openings, so it’s only natural that “DIES IN NO TIME” immediately caught our eye. Sung by Jun Fukuyama himself (who, hilariously, plays Draluc with exactly the same voice as Lelouch vi Britannia), this OP showcases our unlikely protagonist duo dancing on a giant roulette wheel like a couple of dorky boyfriends. We’re big fans of the playfully antagonistic way they look at each other, the lift and spin that leaves Draluc as a pile of ash on the ground, and little armadillo John holding their hands at the end like a small child between his parents. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling of watching this anime in one handy jazz number!
The Vampire Dies in No Time OP
3. “Takt” by ryo (supercell) feat. Mafumafu and gaku from Takt Op. Destiny
Fitting for an anime all about the transformative power of music, Takt Op. Destiny’s opening is a symphonic roller-coaster ride that dazzles in every direction with outstanding sound and animation. It’s presented as a duet between Takt and Cosette that tells the story of their journey together – the lyrics and visuals make much more sense after watching episode 2, but even without seeing the anime itself, “Takt” is still gorgeous to behold (and more importantly, you can’t get spoiled just by watching it). The orchestral instruments in the background and the song structure that mimics symphony movements are particularly nice touches that tie in with the Musicarts’ abilities and also help give the song its own identity. We won’t be forgetting this one anytime soon.
Takt Op. Destiny OP
2. “Labyrinth” by ORANGE RANGE from Muteking the Dancing Hero
“Labyrinth” from Muteking the Dancing Hero is an offbeat choice for sure, but it and the retro revival anime it belongs to deserve way more attention than the crickets they’ve gotten so far. This neon-drenched OP is a tribute to everything ‘80s: chiptunes, bright colors, detailed backgrounds styled to look like album covers, film grain effects... the chorus even pays tribute to the original Muteking theme from 1980! We especially love the little 8-bit representations of the arcade kids that dance along to the beat with DDR-style moves. If you have any love at all for the kitschy charm of old tokusatsu shows and Casio keyboards, you’ve got to put this one on your playlist!
Muteking the Dancing Hero OP
1. “Kyoukaisen” by amazarashi from 86 (86 Eighty-Six) Part 2
86 is an anime filled with tough issues and depicts the unglamorous struggles of real people in war, so we’re glad that “Kyoukaisen” by amazarashi (perhaps best known for performing the third OP for My Hero Academia) tackles the subject matter head on. Both the lyrics and the symbolic visuals hammer home how much the surviving members of the Spearhead Squadron are haunted by the deaths of their comrades, not to mention how useless and isolated their former commander Lena feels as she vainly tries to change the San Magnolian military from the inside. One particularly chilling moment comes when we see a group of soldiers holding their helmets in their hands, their heads replaced with bunches of flowers that represent the freedom that they could only find in death. It’s a heavy OP that may not be for everyone, but we can’t deny how memorable it is.
86 Part 2 OP
There were so many other great anime OPs this season that it was almost impossible to narrow the list down to just five favorites. Some very close runners-up include “BOY” by King Gnu from Ousama Ranking (Ranking of Kings), “EVERBLUE” by Omoinotake from Blue Period, and “Akeboshi” by LiSA from Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Mugen Train Arc). But what were your favorite Fall 2021 anime OPs? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!