Just like my love for anime openings, anime endings hold a special place in my heart. Usually end credits are just disregarded by most viewers of any visual medium, not out of disrespect for the creators, but simply because there’s nothing left there. Black screen. White text. Scrolling down. Blatantly put, a director could leave a confession to murdering his spouse in the middle of it and never face conviction, because no one would ever read it. And so, to bring an end to boring credits, anime came and saved the day. Okay, I’m not a historian, so don’t be surprised if that’s completely wrong. The point is, anime endings are cool, and are not as boring as the alternative.
It’s a shame that some people can’t find as much enjoyment out of anime EDs as I can, but I guess that’s their prerogative, and I can respect that. What’s really a problem is when creators don’t understand the importance of having a memorable and creative ending to supplement their show. While sometimes not as useful, for marketing and publicity, as openings are, endings can have more of a connection with the show, as well as an emotional resonance for the viewer. Or they can just be cute with a catchy tune. Either way, they’re important to me for a number of reasons, so here to explain those reasons are some handpicked examples of some of my favorite, and not so favorite anime EDs:
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
This show is, by all means, a true masterpiece, and although it may not be my favorite anime of all time (because Bakemonogatari exists), it is the most important. Nothing could possibly sum up my feelings and utmost love for this show. That being said, EDs come close. DAYS of DASH, performed by Suzuki Konomi and written by Hata Aki, is my favorite song to ever exist, and some (if not most) of that is due to the fact the it reminds me of the show. Every time I listen to it I can’t help but remember this wonderful show and these remarkable characters and the unforgettable time I had watching it. Endings stick with us, and can carry some of the emotions you felt from the first time you watched it.
Also a really memorable ED for me, but instead of getting into the sappy “this anime means so much to me” crap, let’s talk about what makes it a good Ending, as opposed to an Opening. Specifically in terms of song choice, it’s good to have a song that’ll match the tone of the end of any episode. You’ll see that a lot of anime EDs are somewhat solemn and less cheery on the happy-sadness scale. That (and this is just speculation of course) is because when shows have cliff hangers, that’s usually when shit goes wrong. It would be very odd for the second Opening of Non Non Biyori to play right after the protagonist just watched his mother cut his father’s face off and wear it as her own. See, it just doesn’t match. Thankfully, Bakemonogatari’s ED, as well as Sakurasou’s, transition well in most every situation, especially in their final moments.
Not one of my favorite shows, and certainly not one of my favorite EDs. I like the song and it had nice pictures, but that all it was. Pictures. Still frames. As pretty as they were, I don’t want to watch a slideshow. It’s an anime, so animate something. There are plenty of simple techniques to give a little life to an Ending. Just add some moving parts, a few more frames and some actual effort, the only way you can screw this up is by not doing it.
Just look at Comet Lucifer. Not a good show by any means, but it had very nice Ending. It managed to look like a lot more with very little, and if you observe closely you can tell. Just YouTube it, the show isn’t actually worth watching.
Durarara!! has found a different way to get away with not animating their EDs. Instead of having a simple slide show with pretty pictures and a nice background tune, Durarara!! fills the screen with one large frame, featuring the entire cast of characters, intertwined and interacting with each other. By doing this, it forces viewers like me look back and forth, eyes wandering to analyze every character, effectively capturing our attention as it scrolls down to the very end.
What’s with all these shows having multiple exclamation points? Hmm, perhaps that’s a post for a different time. And a different blog. Anyway, Working!!! (season 3) has what I think is a really cool moment in it’s ED. As seen from my screenshot above, the characters are all dancing in this strange, unexplained place. It’s serene, majestic, and relates to the actual show in almost no way shape or form. And that’s one thing I love about EDs. You can just drop characters in entirely new, unrealistic spaces that would make no sense had it been in the real show. Well, I guess they could write in a way for all the employees of Waganria to become celestial beings and dance among the stars, but that seems incredibly unlikely.
So what do you think about anime Endings? Do you like them more that Openings, or is it perhaps just a case by case basis? Tell me that, and also list some of your favorite EDs in the comments. Oh, and if you’re the type of person to skip past the Ending to get to the next episode, go find your nearest bridge and jump off it. I kid of course, please don’t do that. Instead, check back next week for more posts about anime and stuff. Thank you reading, I’ll see you next time.