Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

Now that the Spring 2023 season has come to an end it’s time to look back on 10 anime openings from an overall solid lineup of anime. As stated previously for other seasons, this list will focus on the entire sequence—animation, music, composition, color design, replay value, etc.—not just one thing or the other.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 anime openings from the Spring 2023 anime season. (*Note: If the videos take too long to load then click on the title of the series next to each number to load the opening)

10. Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts

Director: Chiaki Kon Storyboard: Chiaki Kon Animation Director: Shinya Hasegawa

Theme song: “Saku no Nie” by BIN

If you haven’t heard of Chiaki Kon, well now you do. She’s a former production assistant at Studio Pierrot turned freelancer that started her career in the late 1990s. Now, Kon is back for her first opening as a director and storyboard artist since 2018 and she did a magnificent job. While Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts wasn’t the most popular anime from the Spring 2023 season, this opening definitely deserves to be on this list.

A lot of anime openings don’t really tell their own story unless it’s done by a pro or one with a knack for visual storytelling. But they are so much more than just a theme song and some pretty visuals. Openings are a way to capture the viewer’s attention and maintain it for the sake of the episode that follows.

This opening does that by creating its own story and the visuals match up perfectly with the lyrics (turn on closed captions). My only drawback with this one is that it isn’t crisp like the others. Take for example her directing and storyboard work on the final opening for Naruto Shippuden.

Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

Much like Morio Asaka (see

8) using a lot of water drop transitions, Kon uses flower petals. In both her work for Naruto Shippuden (OP20) and Sacrificial Princess, the flower petals maintain consistency in both representation and transitions. It’s a nice little personal touch and doesn’t feel out of place and usually matches the mood of her openings.

Kon and animation director Hasegawa also worked together on the opening for Golden Time. And while there are some elements from that which can be seen here in Sacrificial Princess, it’s rather minimal compared to Kon’s work with the Naruto Shippuden opening. While some of the camera angles and movements are different, the direction is still almost exactly the same.

Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

(Note*: I reversed the footage of Temari in the bottom half of the gif above to give a clearer picture of Kon’s style)

If this had the crisp quality and composition of the others on the list, I could definitely see Sacrificial Princess being higher. It just feels like I’m watching the opening in 720p (or worse). Regardless, it’s one of the top 10 best anime openings from this season. With an angelic sound and instrumentals during the bridge that gives me chills every time I listen to it, BIN delivered big time with their first-ever anime theme song performance and I hope it won’t be their last!

9. Golden Kamuy Season 4

Director: N/A Storyboard: N/A Animation Director: N/A

Theme song: “NEVER SAY GOODBYE” by ALI feat. Mummy-D

It made the list for Fall 2022 and it’s back after its break to crack this season’s top 10! If ALI is performing an opening or ending theme for an anime, best believe it’s going to be a hit from beginning to end. And you’re absolutely right that it’s enough to carry Golden Kamuy Season 4 to

9 on this list (down from

6 in Fall 2022).

The replay value is still off of the charts and the lyrics fit the entire opening like a glove. This also marks ALI’s fifth theme song performance (fourth OP) and they haven’t missed once.

Unlike other openings on this list, the animation here is nothing to write home about. Rather, it relies on its art, composition, and that blend of humor and drama that only Golden Kamuy fans everywhere can appreciate to the fullest. In what is possibly the underrated series of the Spring 2023 season just as it was in the fall, Golden Kamuy Season 4 delivers not only a stellar anime series but one of the best openings of the year. Using the layers of tattoos as transitions is genius.

The old film shot of Shiraishi, Tanigaki, and Ushiyama acting like they’re rapping was another wonderful nod to this season (see episode 41). Plus, the fact their mouths aren’t moving because the cameras at the time didn’t pick up sound was a nice little detail. The only disappointment with this opening is that we have no staff credits for it.

However, this proves that you don’t necessarily need anything to be over the top to make a good opening. A good script with great direction and an infectious theme song are the prime components of a great opening and this one for Golden Kamuy Season 4 hit a 10/10 on all three of them.

8. My Love Story With Yamada-kun at Lv999

Director: Kazumasa Isogawa Storyboard: Morio Asaka Animation Director: Kunihiko Hamada

Theme song: “Gradation” by KANA-BOON feat. Kitazawa Yuuho

If there was an opening from spring that convinced me to watch the series, it’s this one. It’s nothing over the top at first but when you peel back the layers you start to realize the incredible work with heavy Asaka influence.

While Isogawa doesn’t have the directing track record that a lot of others on this list do, he did a wonderful job capturing the emotional and heartwarming aspects the series brings and part of that thanks can be tributed to the staff as well. However, Asaka’s veteran expertise is what took over the opening.

Asaka directed and storyboarded openings for series such as No Game No Life, Chihayafuru, and Nana alongside Hamada who was also the animation director for the former two. Harue Ono, who worked on the color design and color coordination for the opening, was also on the opening staff for No Game No Life and Chihayafuru.

So having three veterans that have past experience working together all under Isogawa’s wing definitely proved to be worth it for this opening. The Asaka touch is undoubtedly noticeable. All of his opening work includes clever transitions and Yamada-kun is no exception.

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Some little hints of Asaka’s work as a storyboard artist involve constant shapes and overlays. Notice in the Yamada opening we get the two main characters side by side walking with circles floating in the background then it switches to squares when the main characters are swapped out with their game characters and walking positions as well.

While his work in openings can tend to be diverse (watch the opening for Monster and compare it to Yamada‘s), these little touches definitely give his work a more personal feel that can be traced back to his earlier works, the same with Ono’s color coordination. Both are clear as day in this opening for the better, especially the digital screen transitions which is one of the best from this entire list.

Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

Overall, it’s solid directing by Isogawa and hopefully, we’ll see more of his work in the near future that might land in another top 10 anime openings list! If KANA-BOON and Kitazawa Yuuho want to perform another opening theme for Yamada, I don’t think any of us would complain.

One of the best opening themes of the year without a shred of doubt makes it KANA-BOON’s 11th in their history with Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (Summer 2023) making it their 12th. This also makes it Kitazawa Yuuho’s first opening performance outside of her work with the peggies (Rent-A-Girlfriend)!

7. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury (OP2)

Director: Yuki Kamiya Storyboard: Yuki Kamiya Animation Directors: Shuri Toida, Madoka Hirayama, Kumi Horii, Tsutomu Ono, Yumiko Nakamura

Theme song: “slash” by yama

Yuki Kamiya is making a quick name for herself. After directing and storyboarding the widely popular third and eighth endings for Chainsaw Man, and in the current summer season with the opening for Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2, Kamiya delivered a breathtaking opening for Witch From Mercury. Not only did she direct and storyboard this but she handled the photography and editing as well.

Unlike previous ones on this list, Kamiya is a little more difficult to grasp in terms of style or repeating patterns. If we take this opening side by side with the one for Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2, or Chainsaw Man ED8, there are certain framing elements that are there that give a distinct style but it’s not noticeable unless you really look for it.

Not to mention that the endings of each opening are very similar in mood, coloring, and camera angles. But above all else, one thing we can count on with Kamiya’s work is that the action is going to look impeccable.

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It’s difficult as well considering Jujutsu Kaisen is based on the manga while Witch From Mercury is an original anime. So while Kamiya pulled moments from the manga in the Jujutsu Kaisen opening, this is all original material which makes creating one like this extensively more difficult — a reason why I give a lot of credit for her work on this opening.

One thing I have noticed is that she’s similar to Nobutaka Yoda in terms of her love for the usage of sunrises/sunsets, particularly the former. Outside of her work for Chainsaw Man ED3, all of her work includes this little detail in some way.

The transitions with the glass at the beginning between characters are a nice way to showcase them all compared to the industry standard of still images and group shots (and perhaps an underlying meaning I have yet to understand since I’m not caught up). But the animation in this opening is some of the best on this entire list thanks to a group of experienced animators, including Daisuke Shibukawa who animated the breathtaking chorus cut below.

Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

But I think a lot more love also deserves to go to yama with this track. The first time I heard the track I immediately fell for it. This is an opening I expected out of a Gundam series and damn did yama deliver. She’s been on a roll recently performing the ending themes for Spy x Family Season 2, Urusei Yatsura (2022), and Ranking of Kings (ED1).

Another artist on this list who we could hear for years to come. A huge reason I kept Witch From Mercury at this spot on the list is that a lot of the opening during the verse, and the very end, include rather standard character shots that you may not find on the rest of this top 10 anime openings list.

6. Oshi no Ko

Director: Yuusuke Yamamoto Storyboard: Yuusuke Yamamoto Animation Director: Kanna Hirayama

Theme song: “Idol” by Yoasobi

For those who know me, know I’ve been extremely critical of Oshi no Ko as a series. But I’d be lying if I said the opening, and especially the ending, aren’t very well done. YOASOBI was, and I cannot stress this enough, the perfect choice as the artist to perform this opening theme. Almost how Official HIGE DANdism is the same for Tokyo Revengers. There’s a reason why “Idol” is aiming to break half a billion views on YouTube.

What the opening lacks in transitions (for the most part), it makes up for in artwork and animation. This doesn’t surprise me when we take into account who put this together. Yamamoto also directed and storyboarded the opening for Asteroid in Love, which also lacks an emphasis on transitions. But the few that each opening does have are very fluid and creative in their own ways.

Yes, there are a million eye transitions in anime openings at this point but execution and proper substance matter. Plus, the constant fade-ins and fade-outs towards the end of this one for Oshi no Ko are simple, but again, the artwork looks fantastic and the final cut with Aqua is perfect.

Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

Kanna Hirayama was also one of the animation directors for the Shikimori Is Not Just a Cutie opening, which ended up becoming one of the best of 2022. For example, the first cut (Ai) and second cut (Aqua) shown above in the Oshi no Ko gif were just a small part of the corrections Hirayama made for the opening.

Hirayama and Yamamoto worked on key animation together for My Dress Up Darling so it’s no wonder this tandem gave us a wonderful opening for Oshi no Ko. Another fun fact is that Keimon Oda, who key animated the third cut of the Oshi no Ko part (starry sky), was also a key animator for Asteroid in Love and My Dress-Up Darling!

I can understand if some Oshi no Ko fans would see this opening as top-five and nothing less. But a reason I rated this one over Witch From Mercury is that the character shots in this have substance. Kana is on a TV set. Ruby and Aqua in front of a crowd. Akane is on stage in the dark. Ai is the center focus when the chorus drops on a big stage with a full camera rotation. It’s just a well-scripted opening that covers the little things extremely well making it more than deserved of being on this top 10 anime openings list.

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Spring 2023 anime trending top op and ed năm 2024

Eric Himmelheber

I love sports and anime, specifically the sci-fi genre. If you want to talk about anime, my articles, or sports, feel free to DM me on Twitter @erichimmelheber!

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