Just this morning I was listening to Hey Kids by Oral Cigarettes. It’s a great song. It also made me think about music in anime OPs. Hey Kids has a poppy bouncy rhythm, fairly fast pace and a great heavy bass line that energizes and makes the listeners want to dance and move. A good choice for the more action oriented second season of Noragami. Moreover, general themes of mysticism and the urgency of adapting and collaborating with a changing world in the song, mesh perfectly with some of the core topics addressed in the series. In short, it was a good choice for an OP.

As I sat there, earbuds jammed firmly in, unreasonable volume slowly chipping away at the little hearing I have left, I started thinking back on those great anime songs that I use to listen to as a little kid and have now wormed their way into my subconscious.

anime earphones
wait, when did this train derail into the lake?

I spent part of my childhood in France where there was a surprising amount of dubbed anime available even way back when. Like we had to watch our anime by candlelight and all. When I finally made it to North America, years later, I was saddened to see how much less was available in the great white north.

But I digress (this will be on my tombstone some day). One of the “great” things about French dubbed anime is that they traditionally commissioned completely original songs for the openings which were usually so blatantly descriptive that they occasionally contained spoilers for the show. To this day, these bring me joy.

And because joy should be shared, here are the translated lyrics of the French Ops of some of my favourite childhood animes.

rose of versaille
I use to think these were reasonable facial features

Rose of Versaille (which has an ironically less french title in french: Lady Oscar)

    Lady Oscar
    She is dressed
    Like a boy
    Lady Oscar
    All the songs are
  • About her
  • Lady
    Lady Oscar
    You lived
    Under the Revolution
    Lady Oscar
    No one will ever forget
    Your name
    One day her father
    Made the choice
    He made her
    A soldier
    When her friends
    Wore petticoats
    She was putting on her spurs
    Instead of playing
    A doll
    She was always galloping
    She handled
    So well her sword
    That no one dared to challenge her
    And when
    they came looking for quarrel
    She was fighting a duel
    One day
    She choose her side
    And drove out the tyrants!
I may need to rewatch this show – that a really cool ship

Captain Harlock (important note, the name was translated to Albator in French – I don’t know about the other characters so if there are some weird words in their, those are character names)

Albator, Albator, from the depths of the golden night
Albator, Albator, from port to starboard
You are watching over the galaxy, over freedom as well
Albator, Albator, the corsair of space
Albator, Albator, even if you seem cold
Your heart is good, your heart is as big as the heart of a giant
The beautiful Atlantis is your ship
The black flag is your flag
Bee-Bop, Nausicaa are with you
Albator, Albator, with your crew
Albator, Albator, you take the boarding
At Stellarpons, at Planotir, all Spaciocargirs
Albator, Albator, captain with a heart of gold
Albator, Albator, much stronger than death
You’re always there anytime, anywhere
You are always at the rendezvous, always with us

Tell me that made you smile! I hope so. Feel free to look some up on your on. I recommend Les Mystérieuses Cités d’Or (Esteban, Child of the Sun)  or Goldorack (Grendizer), and do yourself the immense favour of listening to the actual music as well. Pure 80s gold!!!!

I haven’t watched any really old anime in a long time. In fact, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve watched any dubbed anime at all. I don’t know if super descriptive show specific OPs are still the norm for dubs, or whether it was the fashion a couple of decades ago and even the Japanese songs for older shows are just a retelling of the major plotlines.

In any case, this little trip down memory lane had me trying to imagine what today’s OPs would be like if we took the same hyper descriptive approach. Unfortunately, I clearly lack the pure unmitigated genius of those lyric composers of yore, but I tried my hand at a few of our recent anime hits for laughs.

two hearos
the colours inspire me

So here goes My Hero Academia:

  • Deku doesn’t have a quirk
  • Deku is kind of a nerd
  • But in his heart, he dreams of being a hero
  • One day he meets All Might
  • And everything changes over night
  • And now he’s studying to become a hero
  • With Uraraka and Iida at his side
  • And Bakugo being really snide
  • Deku is finally going to become a hero

It’s a bit short but I figure you can just repeat 3 times over or something! I had a few ideas for the cute girl shows that stole so many fan’s hearts but a lot of them ended up NSFW so I decided to keep it clean and try for something innocent. Full of learning and little children. A bit like Sesame Street. Namely, The Promised Neverland. What did I do???

this show is possessing me at the moment
  • Sunny days
  • Lush green fields
  • Playing together always makes me smile
  • Parting ways
  • Can be sad
  • But we’ll meet again in a little while
  • At the gate
  • Hopeful heart
  • My new life begins now
  • I can’t wait
  • For this new start
  • It’s hard to see, is that a flow…

I know, I know…don’t quit my day job. I had a lot of fun writing these though. I sort of wish I had made this a tag post because I would love to see what you guys would come up with. Actually, sudden change of plans. It IS a tag post. Here are the rules. Write OP song lyrics for any anime you like and if I miss your post, let me know! That’s it! I don’t have a banner or award name. Let’s call it the Irina is being a spoiled brat and trying to convince good people to entertain her for free award! Catchy!


21 thoughts

  1. I think my favorite thing was in the 90’s American TV destroying any decent OP and replacing it with something bad. The original Digimon opening which was fairly elegant in Japanese was reduced to variations of “Digimon, Digital Monsters, Digimon are the champions” repeated for a minute. I believe they did similar things to the Pokemon theme (although less annoying), Yu-Gi-Oh! (Who can forget that “it’s time to Du-du-du- DUEL!!), and Tokyo Mew Mew if I’m not mistaken. Ah the 90’s.

  2. I often make playlists with OPs and get such a rush of emotion when I watch all of my top ones in a row. Often my favorite OPs are attached to my favorite shows because an impressive introduction can really set the table for what you’re about to experience.

    For example, the English version of Sakura Kiss in Ouran Host High School Club is the happiest damn song ever and prepares for the delightful time I’m about to have watching the show.

  3. One thing I still like about the very-literal-and-explanatory English Sailor Moon opening was the guitar solo. Every time i hear “Moonlight Densetsu” and get to that part, a part of me wants to bust out the air guitar, which doesn’t fit the Japanese lyrics.

  4. I’m not sure about English or French openings, but in Germany, pretty much every anime had to be named after the protagonist, and the song would be about him or her. So, The Promised Neverland would likely have gotten a cheesy title like Emma’s Great Escape and the opening would have included a line like “Emma don’t give up!” (German anime lyrics would often address the main character, establishing a relationship between the kids and the character if they sing along).

  5. 🤔🤔 Irina is being a spoiled brat??? 🤔🤔 Nope…don’t think that even remotely describes who you are 😊
    I love classic anime…in fact before my unfortunate hiatus I had a plan to start writing a post about classic anime each month. Might still do so though 😊 I like your tag idea…going to give this some thought and maybe do a post for it. No definite promise…but eh…we’ll see. 😊

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