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.
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 (which has an ironically less french title in french: Lady Oscar)
She is dressed
Like a boy
All the songs are
- About her
Under the Revolution
No one will ever forget
One day her father
Made the choice
He made her
When her friends
She was putting on her spurs
Instead of playing
She was always galloping
So well her sword
That no one dared to challenge her
they came looking for quarrel
She was fighting a duel
She choose her side
And drove out the tyrants!
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.
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???
- 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 on “The Wonders of Classic Anime OPs”
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.
Yu-Gi-Oh had a good JP OP if I remember correctly
I just looked it up and the original OP still rocks.
that’s always good to find!
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.
I have never heard the English version
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.
the Sailor Moon english OP is a masterpiece!
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).
… Something is wrong with me… I wasn’t able to read the English translation of Lady Oscars OP I had to sing it in French, same for Albator *sigh*
I did the same while I was writing it!
Those song are contagious, I tend to sing them randomly. Lately is mostly Sherlock Hound…
I’m pretty sure I have the mp3 somewhere lost on my PC
I actually want to see if I can make one of those old school OPs my ring tone
I’m sure the is software for that. or even websites
Gundam Wing’s first opening is always a major classic to me. Love it…
Fuck that should be my next Tune of the Week.
I’m an inspiration!
🤔🤔 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. 😊
I’ll take it!!!