Apart from consuming hours upon hours of Stanley Cup playoff hockey action, namely those involving the upstart New York Islanders, I also find myself trawling across several other anime bloggers’ works on WordPress during my downtime – of which I have much, now that the days when I used to work 50+ hours a day have dwindled to a speck – days which I’m hoping to recuperate within the next fall or so. One of these posts was that from the blog K At The Movies, who made a video where he, along with several other anime bloggers, rated 100 of the worst anime ending songs in a video. The original post can be viewed here, and it was thanks to user NegativePrimes of the blog Curiously Dead Cat that I was able to learn about this video – on a post about worst anime openings. After a brief exchange, the idea dawned on me that, looking back at my older versions of The Traditional Catholic Weeb’s Corner, I haven’t done a list for anime endings. I did one for anime openings back in March of 2019, but that was it.
Having watched anime for the last 5 years, I’ve come across some endings which I genuinely enjoyed from the series I’ve watched, and others that I consigned to the “Skip It” pile. In this post, I’m going to introduce seven anime ending songs that I either enjoyed or loathed, a link to their lyrics, which show they came from, a brief background to the song’s meaning, and what I found was captivating or abominable about them.
TOP 7 FAVORITE ANIME ENDING SONGS
Anime: Nichijou (2011)
Nichijou‘s opening was fast-paced and definitely rollercoasters you into the show within the first few seconds of its bars, but its ending was the complete opposite: gentle, serene and quiet. As one can tell from the title, the song’s mood sets one in for a “good night” kind of feel: namely, collecting our thoughts before drifting off to tomorrow. The fun part about this music however is the visuals accompanying it; scenes of Yuuko and Nano walking around absent-mindedly, or Mai, Mio, Hakase and Mr. Sakamoto flying on pencils and sharks of all things fit, admist the blue stencil background, well with the song’s cute and comfy setting. To me, this song’s basically the anime equivalent of Porky Pig stammering “That’s all, folks!” at the end of each Looney Tunes segment; because it’s a nice way to close off what’s an otherwise random show.
Anime: Little Witch Academia (2017)
Something about Little Witch Academia is just fantastic. Be it Akko’s character arc, Sucy’s eminent trolling, Lotte’s quirky can-do attitude, or the utterly wholesome environment behind it, there’s a reason why I ranked it equal to flicks like Digimon Adventure, Cardcaptor Sakura or Love Live. The music however, is just a treat to listen to, and there’s no completing the experience if you skipped any of the ending or opening, because they’re worth the listen. Such is the case with the second ending, titled Toumei Na Tsubasa – a song about following your dreams, and surpassing various heights and obstacles to get there. It perfectly summarizes Akko’s quest to become a witch, and when the show ends with her finally accomplishing her goal of mastering magic and becoming like her idol, it’s like this song came full circle. The song has an upbeat, dance-hall style to it, and I’ve spent several workdays listening to this song on repeat just because of how catchy and beautiful the music and lyrics were; if not just as a reminder of how wonderful that show, which I’m approaching one year since I’ve watched, is.
Anime: Rising Of The Shield Hero (2017)
It’s only been a year since I saw the isekai Rising Of The Shield Hero, but this ending song has always been something I considered a highlight of the show. The combination of guitar, orchestral, and vocals were just powerfully delivered here and it shows during the chorus and the bridge. Another reason why this song rocks is because of the lyrics, which I swear could be twisted to someone professing their gratefulness to Jesus for preserving them in their life. In the context of the anime though, it fits because I’m reminded of Raphtalia, who over time grows to become hero Naofumi’s most loyal partner and equal, and the latter being her source of strength and motivation to live. To be honest, this is one song that I would love to perform at an anime convention’s karaoke competition one day (and God willing), because it’s just so inspirational and heartfelt to the core; it was beautiful then, and still remains such today..
Anime: Hyouka (2012)
When I watched Hyouka back in August of 2020, I would always skip the first ending while I never once skipped this one song; it was thrilling, upbeat and very cute to listen to. It also was accompanied with adorable visuals, with
best waifu Eru Chitanda and Mayaka Ibara cosplaying as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson respectively, trying to catch Houtarou Oreki and Fukube Satoshi, costumed as Moriarty and Lupin, amidst a yellow background featuring text of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous works. I never imagined that a song about Chitanda and Mayaka concealing their feelings about the boys they loved would have been so darn entertaining to listen to. Suffice to say, Hyouka‘s second ending is a great gem to listen to, while the anime itself is further proof that my waifu is, without a doubt, absolutely real.
#3: SHIRUSHI BY LISA
Anime: Sword Art Online II (2017)
If there’s one arc I recommend the most to anyone, it’s Sword Art Online II from episodes 18-24, also known as the Mother’s Rosario arc. Even now I’m eagerly waiting the day I can finally review this series because I’ve got a lot to say about it. It’s hands down one of my favorite moments in anime, as we see heroine Asuna Yuuki befriend a terminally ill Catholic gamer girl, Konno Yuuki, and discover her own self-worth and overcome her insecurities. The arc’s associated ending song, Shirushi by the series’ hallmark singer LiSA, consists of a piano-laden instrumental blending in well with some string synthetics, and combines it with beautiful lyrics about the impact true friendship has on others – which is exactly what Yuuki gave to Asuna. Let me tell you when the arc ends, you’ll remember this song the most just as I did.
Anime: Digimon Adventure 02 (2000)
Despite its glaring flaws, contrary to the popular opinion I actually liked Digimon Adventure 02. As to the aforementioned song, how good is it, you may ask, that it lands a #2 spot on this list? So good, that ever since September of 2016, it’s become a tradition for me to play this song at 4pm on my last day as an employee at a company. In ways it’s fitting because the whole song is centered around togetherness and community – something which a workplace environment fosters, and the musical synthetics were just a perfect match for it: bittersweet and mellow, just as the end of a Digimon episode typically leaves one. It’s a sweet farewell song, and the version I listen to, which features the voice actors of Hikari, Yolei, and their respective partners Tailmon and Hawkmon, perfectly captures the send-off tone the song tries to convey.
#1: SPHERE BY HAZY
Anime: Hanasaku Iroha (2013)
Of all the songs on this list, this one comes from an anime that I have not seen yet – seriously, I don’t even know what Hanasaku Iroha is supposed to be about, and that alone piques my interest enough that I might watch it soon. I randomly stumbled upon this song while listening to a couple of anime covers on the karaoke website 5Sing. A Cantonese cover of this song came up, and immediately I was hooked onto it. What I really liked about the song was its lyrics on moving forward to the future – it’s a beautiful message, although I’m guilty of being someone who likes to stick to the past. It’s got such a beautiful melody and an uplifting, hopeful charm to it, that I can’t help but feel positive and reminded me that maybe, someday, great things will be looking forward my way in the future. The impact of this song is so daunting, that I’ve designated it as my unofficial ending song for the Anime North saga; how much more perfect can you say “see you next time” other than through this song? Thanks to that, this song tops my list as my favorite anime ending song of all time – let alone the best one to listen to on a warm summer evening.
Donna Toki Mo Zutto by μ’s, from Love Live: School Idol Project (2014)
One More Time, One More Chance by Masayoshi Yamazaki, from 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
Find The Way by Mika Nakashima, from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (2002)
TOP 7 ANIME ENDING SONGS I DIDN’T LIKE
Anime: Aho Girl (2017)
I hate everything about Aho Girl. Basically, the show is about a chronically retarded girl named Yoshiko whose only purpose in life is to be lazy, get on track to becoming a high school dropout, eat bananas, and harpoon major daddy issues towards her classmate Akuru. Having seen all 12 episodes, I deeply regret having exposed myself to this at the request of a friend. Equally as annoying is the ending song which, while it has energetic instrumentals, has nothing beyond it other than a bland melody and mindless lyrics which reek of someone with possessive issues. Sounds inspiring, doesn’t it? (sarcasm)
Anime: No Game No Life (2014)
I feel like I’m in the minority of people who actually did not like No Game No Life – after all, I ranked it low compared to how everyone else on sites like MyAnimeList ranked it. Even though I skipped this ending for most of the episodes, one good thing I actually have to say about it is that the instrumentals were quite decent. The only problem was that the vocals were so lifeless and failed to give justice to the lyrics, which actually did great at depicting Shiro and Sora’s sibling love for each other.
Anime: Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai (2012)
For some reason I didn’t like this song a good bit. It felt too distorted and completely out of scope with a show involving a girl with fantasy delusions, where all the action is happening in the head. It may have worked out better as an opening song for a more action-oriented show, but Chuunibyou ends up being a romance flick. Granted, the lyrics do have some relevance because it’s talking about individuality and not conforming yourself due to peer pressure, which best describes Rikka Takanashi’s plight throughout the whole anime, but dare I say it just didn’t match the flair of the episode’s mood – which this one, obviously wasn’t geared for.
Anime: Trinity Blood (2005)
Unlike most of the other songs mentioned here, Broken Wings is sung entirely in English instead of Japanese, and chronicles a woman trying to move on from a love once lost, perhaps to death (based on the graveyard alone). I have no idea what that has anything to do with a show involving vampires, finnicky politics and a church which claims Catholicism but fails to preserve its indefectibility (more on that another time). Even beyond that thematic disparity, the song just feels so unfitting and melodramatic, which makes it a bit tough to enjoy. Then again, the same can be said for most of the music from Trinity Blood: low-fi, drowsy, and completely out of tune with the roughhouse action in each episode.
Anime: Tokyo Ravens (2013)
Watching this anime was one of the most forgettable experiences of my life, and all the more to go with it was the equally uninteresting soundtrack. I found the lyrics of this song too basic – it’s basically just describing an ongoing fight scene – and the music felt so disconnected from everything else. The instrumentals were unbalanced and felt like they were fighting with the singer instead of synchronizing with the vocals, and thus made it hard to appreciate the song’s effort. I didn’t find myself getting much out of this song, nor any sort of significance with it; hence, why I skipped it each time each episode thankfully closed out.
Anime: Sonic X (2003)
It’s no surprise that the video game songs from this once-glorious franchise were much better than in Sonic X, and case in point is the first of the show’s three ending songs. Here, it concerns about people having a slow and casual nighttime stroll in a city, which doesn’t really make sense for a Sonic series. The music was too techno (not the kind of thing the blue blur is associated with), the melody came off as flat, and the content of the song had nothing to do with anything Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles associated. Basically, the song just didn’t live up to the appeal of whatever else happened in the show, and as much as I hate to say it, the 4Kids music was a lot better than the original Japanese version.
Anime: Gakkou No Kaidan (2000)
Fair warning: before you click on the lyrics link, be warned that the language is very suggestive. As you might guess, it’s a song primarily concerning sexual activity. Let that sink in for a moment that this was included in an anime about KIDS HUNTING GHOSTS. Which begs two questions: given that romance was a non-existent theme in this show, why is this song even included, and better yet what kind of drugs were the people smoking when they recorded this? It’s like if I made a show about the Stanley Cup playoffs and made the entire soundtrack chock full of romantic ballads. The song makes no sense, the lyrics were all over the place, the music was absolutely dull, and thank God only one minute of this song was ever included on-screen. In fact, I actually remember listening to this song as a child when they aired this series and my mom got shocked at hearing what it was about. It’s that bad people. That bad.
Resolution by Ai Maeda, from F-Zero: Legend Of Falcon (2003)
Honey by Chihiro, from Cardcaptor Sakura (1998)
Utsukushiki Zankou No Sekai by Yoko Hikasa, from Attack On Titan S1 (2014)
I’m certain that I may have missed out on songs which were better or worse than the ones I’ve included in this list, but keep in mind – this list was compiled based on my experience. Therefore, if I haven’t familiarized myself with the anime or repeatedly heard the song before, I’m not in any position to speak about it. All in all, I hope you found my list of favorite/worst ending songs enjoyable, and who knows – maybe you might have found another tune or two that you’ll join me in liking or hating, whatever your preferences may be.