This year it was really easy pointed out my favorites because it didn’t seems to be in the anime world where originality was the case (I didn’t take time listening everything either). However, sure there was nice surprises this year and here is my hall of fame!
10 ) Marina Kawano – Morning Arch (A Channel OP1)
I tend to like the debut song of each Anison Grand Prix winner (Shuhei Kita, HIMEKA, Sayaka Sasaki), but they release crap afterward XD. Anyway, ”Morning Arch” winds is way in tenth place in all simplicity because it’s the kind of song that is just pleasant to listen and enough bumpy to find it charming.
9) DUSTZ – Spiral ( Blood C-OP1)
I guess it’s how I like my generic J-Rock : catchy, upbeat and tons of Engrish. What totally caught me off guard though (definitely when it’s your mother tongue) is that pratically half of the song is in French and it was good O.o.
8) KOTOKO – Light My Fire (Shakugan No Shana III Final OP1)
I think it’s been years KOTOKO never been that good ; sure rock suits here really well. The song is loud and straightforward and knowing Ryo (supercell’s masterhead) is the composer makes me just loving the song more. In my opinion, the most badass OP of 2011.
7) Egoist – Euterpe ( Guilty Gear OP1)
I’m not digging slow songs a lot but the gloominess of that song is heavenly. There’s something really meany about the arrangement that makes the song harrowing but calming at the same time. Also, Chelly is a way much better singer than dying Koeda ; I’m happy that her voice sounds a lot like Nagi’s one and it’s a shame the latter one (Nagi) was switched.
6) Maaya Sakamoto – Buddy (Last Exile OP1)
Maybe School Food Punishment didn’t take chances there but their edgy arrangements are always welcome. I love how the song begin gently and going right to the point after few seconds. It’s such a present having your favorite group collaborating with one of your favorite singer and that the result is amazing. Maaya’s vocals fit brightly with SFP’s style and it shows a new side of her. I’m giving props to both sides!
5) Shihoko Hirata – Sky’s the limit (Persona 4 : The Animation Op2)
First, I must say that I’m a big fanboy of the Persona series and his composer Shoji Meguro, which make me love hip-pop at levels I never thought I would like. Nonetheless, ”Sky’s the limit” is a strong track that shows Meguro’s unique style that every Persona’s fans know already but will never be bored of. With Shihoko’s flowing English, it only makes the whole better.
4) 7!! – Lovers ( Naruto : Shippuuden OP9)
Maybe the song is a bit generic but there’s something really addictive with this track that just make you listen to it endlessly. In my opinion, this is the best opening that the anime nerver had.
3) Yui Horie – Immoralist (Dragon Crisis OP1)
ねぇ 聴こえてる? Time to time Hocchan like to tackle new things with her music and I must say that she striked gold with this. Every two years break are welcome if it’s to give us such an original song. It’s so messy but well structured at the same time and Hocchan’s soft vocals give a nice touch to the crazy arrangement that have ”Immoralist”.
2) 2PM – Take Off (Ao no Exorcist ED1)
Shame on me, K-POP in my top 10 and in addition it’s a boy group. More seriously, usually korean boy groups don’t really go outside the box, but this time 2PM tackle a new vibe that I have never seen in K-POP. I like the flight sensation we got from the song and all of the members show decent vocals. I like the explosive chorus ~Ready, ready, ready for the take off~ !
1) Kalafina – Magia (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica ED1)
Certainly my favorite song of 2011 and one of the most unique I have heard in all my life. I love everything about this song : the agressiveness, the hidden guitar riffs throughout the song, Keiko’s solo lines, EVERYTHING! It’s a true masterpiece by composer Yuki Kaijura and the girls are doing magic with their vocals. It redefined the concept of ”dark” in all it’s glory.