Opening Week Day 5: Show That You Care

May 10th, 2007

Because nothing says ‘awesome show’ quite like… a clips montage.

Let’s face it, not every show out there has the budget to spend money putting together a really high quality opening. Or perhaps they simply ran out of time due to outside problems, or their director simply thinks that the show will be fine on its own merit and the opening is just unneeded glaze on the cake. For whatever reason, you see openings every now and then which are clearly incomplete for a few episode, or even just clips montages throughout. Just because you don’t want to make something interesting, doesn’t mean that you should be content to let it suck. All you need to do is look at the works of the AMV folks to see what you can get to with just some clips and simple video editting tools.

Magikano’s First Opening

Magikano’s Second Opening

This is what you see most often, a partially completed opening to start with and later unique animation to replace the clips. Magikano’s first opening actually does a very good job of hiding the clips reuse, but the oldest trick in the book is the whole “I have no voice, but I’m talking” trick. It looks really weird no matter how you slice it, and once you know what you’re looking for, seeing the rest of the clips and stills is easy. Still… it could be far far worse. It could be…

Magical Canan’s 1st Opening

Honestly. This is the worst kind of clip reuse that I can imagine. Pretty much no attention was paid whatsoever to matching the clips to the song. It’s painfully obvious that the clips were taken almost at random to make sure characters were shown and if there were characters absent from whatever episode they dredged the clips from, well… I guess static stills are okay to look at too.

Airmaster’s Opening

This is how you do a clips montage right. About 80% of the opening is ripped straight from the show, and the few shots that aren’t are mostly stills. Given the variety of scenes used as well as the overlays on them, this is not made explicitly obvious and it looks like quite a bit more time and effort was placed into it than probably just the two or three hours it actually took an intern to put together.

Sunabouzu’s Opening

Hell, why even both the animators? Go raid the props department or pay $100 to a cosplay artist to make a suit and prance around for thirty minutes, splice it together, throw in some cheapo generic film effects, cut and print. Surprisingly, you don’t see this breed particularly often, though I know at least Puni Puni Poemi also had their voice actress run around while they filmed her singing.

The Twelve Kingdoms’ Opening


There’s nothing wrong with being minimalistic, but you have to keep things at least intriguing as well. Elfen Lied’s opening also suffers from this somewhat… the songs are rather good, but there’s literally nothing happening on screen that is interesting in the slightest. This almost promotes getting up and doing something else while you listen for the music to end.

Ghost Hunt’s Opening

Yeah… that’s right… somebody used their screensaver for an opening. Does it fit with the general tone of the show? Sort of. Ghost Hunt is a vague attempt to mimic the Twilight Zone, which this opening is a clear throwback to. Is it something you would ever sit and watch? Good god, no. The Twilight Zone’s special effects were semi-decent for 1950s standards. 50 years later, it’s what we use to indicate that the computer is in power saving mode. 

Chobits’ Opening

Minimalistic doesn’t need to mean uninteresting either. While this opening has very little actual movement, there’s enough going on with the effects, backgrounds, and the number of times the camera angle changes so that, while not exactly the most stimulating sequence around, it’s not totally devoid of life either.

There are other clips montages and “oh boy, stills” openings of varying quality, but it’s honestly somewhat difficult to try to remember things you hated or skipped over every single time. Lots of shows used a clips montage for a single episode or two before abandoning them for a real opening… Girls Bravo, and Tsuyokiss are the first two that come to mind, but if youTube weren’t down at the moment, I’m sure I’d be able to dig up others.

And speaking of youTube being down… I have to go to a meeting and then dinner with friends in about 20 minutes and won’t be back to a computer until late tonight, so I guess this will be truncated here. I didn’t really have too much more to say about them anyway, but if you want further reading, Keroro Gunsou’s 2nd opening and Tsukuyomi’s Tsukuyomi Mode opening are both good examples of matching style to show without using much of a budget, though both really do lack quite a bit in being particularly interesting.

Tomorrow is wild card day, where we’re going to cover things that make stuff interesting, but doesn’t really fit into other categories. Frequent meter changes, dancing, high energy, episode-referential openings, etc etc.

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