Best OPs and EDs of Winter 2020 – Special Guest Lauren

Best OPs and EDs of Winter 2020 – Special Guest Lauren

Hey there! If you’re a long time BAYOG fan you may have recognized me from a couple of the BAYOG Podcasts, but for those who are meeting me for the first time, let me introduce myself: My name is Lauren and I’ve been an anime fan since Pokemon swept the world. I have worked as a host on the Re:Anime podcast, as well as a -very- short stint writing for Crunchyroll’s newsletter. Lately I have been trying to keep my head on straight while dealing with COVID and one of my favorite ways to regulate my mood is by listening to music.

I was recently researching OPs and EDs of the 2020 anime circuit and I realized how many absolute bangers there have been this season. What are OPs and EDs you ask? They’re shorthand for Opening and Ending themes in media, and almost every anime has one, even the shorts! I’d like to take the time to recognize and share some of my favorite anisong or “anime songs” singles that have come out this year with you. Over the next few weeks I will be dedicating an article each to the best of the best of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall season. Let’s jump back in time with this week’s article for my favorite OPs and EDs of the Winter 2020 season!

One of the biggest and most anticipated returns at the beginning of the year for me was undoubtedly Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record. I am a very big PMMM fan, complete with a shrine dedicated to Homura and Madoka in my curio cabinet. I didn’t even play the phone game (RIP as of October 30th) because I wanted to dive in naively as I did with the first installment of the PMMM series. God bless us that with the return of PMMM came also the return of the musical juggernauts ClariS, who gave us the indisputable banger “Connect”, the OP for the original PMMM series. This time they sang the ED for Magia Record, called “Alethea”.

The visuals for the OP follow the main character Yachiyo as she travels through whimsical animation interposed with real life imagery (as well as a very Adolescence of Utena themed elevator scene). Lyrics that speak of hope and wanting to pave your own path towards the future… I can’t help but feel that hope seep into me when I hear this song. Clara and Karen’s crisp vocals go really well with expressing yearning or ‘wishes’, which is a prevalent part of the plot of both PMMM series. I do hope we get to hear more from ClariS within the realm of PMMM, which also constitutes us getting more Madoka at all. Wait sorry, I think there’s a white cat outside my window?? It’s saying it’ll grant my wish… hold on, let me check this out.

Cutey Kyubey - GIF on Imgur

Sometimes an OP or ED can spark my interest to even watch a show, which happened this year in the case of MIYAVI’s involvement with the show Id:Invaded. If you weren’t a baby weab in the 00’s, MIYAVI was a household name in the jrock scene. This man was buckwild in both music and style and his favor with God was even big enough that he got Samuel L. Jackson to voice the intro of his 2018 album SAMURAI SESSIONS vol.3 – Worlds Collide-. MIYAVI feels like the epitome of badassery and his talent can back it up. MIYAVI has been pretty quiet lately as he has settled down with his family, so when I found out that his music would be featured as the ED for Id:Invaded as well as insert songs I got really excited.

Episodes 1, 4, and 12 each feature the songs “UP”, “Samurai 45”, and “Butterfly” respectively, and “Other Side” is the ED for the show. All the songs are also on his album NO SLEEP TILL TOKYO except for “Up”, which seems to be a completely original song for the show. “Up” was also featured as the ending for episode 13 and was the only track used in multiple episodes. Each track is rock as can be with the usual MIYAVI flair in their mesmerizing guitar riffs. I would love to see MIYAVI work more in the anisong industry, and I am also currently manifesting another global tour for him after COVID has been treated. Let us pray.

Anime Beg GIFs | Tenor

If there was an award for the highest concentration of certified schlappers in one series, it would absolutely be awarded to Dorohedoro. K(NoW)_NAME provided not only the OP but also FIVE different EDs, as well as member R.O.N. composing all the music for the show. And would you believe it, all the songs are absolutely fantastic. Heavy electronic beats and playfully coy vocals set the scene for the Hole, where most of the events of Dorohedoro take place. The music is a good fit to go with the light-hearted tone the show takes, despite it’s gore-heavy visuals. I am reminded of songs like “There Will Be Blood” and “<demons>” from Kim Petra’s Hallowen themed album, TURN OFF THE LIGHT, when I listen to the Dorohedoro OST. Embracing the horror while enticing the listener instead of scaring them.

Out of all of the songs K(NoW)_NAME created for Dorohedoro, “Strange Meat Pie” is my absolute favorite. I am a big baby for jazzy piano and saxophones and boy did this meat pie fill me up. I really do love all the songs they created for Dorohedoro and I will definitely keep them on my watch list for their future releases and projects. I mean, they truly didn’t have to go that hard, but they did it for us and that deserves respect.

Bernie Sanders Thank You GIF by The Nightly Show - Find & Share on GIPHY

I don’t regularly watch idol anime but I definitely made it a priority to watch If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die if only from the absurdity of the title alone. Little did I know that I would find a surprisingly charming tale of the different kinds of relationships women have with each other and perhaps… some yuri snacks depending on how you view it. I have some opinions on the show’s portrayal of idol interactions, specifically the relationship of Eripiyo and her maiden Maina, but I will save that in my heart for now. We’re here to talk about music and Budokan delivered when they gave us ChamJam, Maina’s idol group.

Pony Canyon’s youtube actually has a video featuring a melody of ChamJam’s hits which was used to promote the blu-ray’s release. I really recommend watching the whole video down below with the music as the animation on the show is really amazing and this medley highlights it well. The medley features their entire discography: “Zutto ChamJam”, “HottoSummer Holiday”, “Fall In Love”, “Watashitachi ga Budokan ni Ittara”, and “Clover Wish”, which is also the show’s OP. I actually want to draw attention to the ED though, “Momoiro Kataomoi”. This song has a few versions, the original version sung by Eripiyo’s voice actress Ai Fairouz, but also one of her and Maina’s VA Hina Tachibana

This is my strongest argument for the show having a yuri context to it. With a title that literally translates to “peach colored unrequited love”, as well as lyrics that describe the usuals when you have a crush on someone: having trouble speaking properly, hearts jumping, and dreaming about them. In the translations I have found for the lyrics I have to note that one lyric does refer to asking if “he” has a girlfriend, but I am going to blindly ignore that and take this one for the gays. Lesbian idol rights!!!

I also believe that Maki and Yumeri are in a relationship as well, even if it is not explicitly answered. I have not read the manga yet but I plan to to see if there is more overt lesbian or bi subtext to the show. 

Ever since Zombieland Saga aired in 2018 my interest in Mamoru Miyano has hit an all time high. While researching him I can’t believe how many shows he’d been in that I loved but never heard the japanese dub of. He’s also voiced Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club, Light Yagami from Death Note, and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I definitely am inspired to go back and see how his earlier performances compare to his roles I’m most familiar with: Benimaru Shinmon from Fire Force and Haru Kato in The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited. Besides Kotaro Tatsumi from Zombieland…. But I think that performance was in an incomparable league.

Miyano has also been performing music since around the beginning of his career, not only providing his talents to character singles (songs sung by a character that usually relate to the plot, much like in a musical), to working in an idol anime as Tokiya Ichinose from Uta No Prince-Sama Maji Love 1000%. The whole reason I’m gushing about Mamoru is one of his latest contributions to anime, the ED for In/Spectre, which is one of the first co-produced shows Crunchyroll debuted. As I lightly alluded to before, I’m a sucker for brass instruments so this ED has been an earworm for me ever since January. Add in some formal wear for our main characters as well as fun dancing and a Chobits-esque mouth close up, this ED was friend-shaped, just for me. I actually didn’t even recognize it as Miyano’s work until I ended up researching OPs earlier last month! I am in love with how versatile Miyano is, and I am greatly looking forward to his coming projects.

Music Video Frontier GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I know I’m cheating with my final entry not actually being an OP or an ED… but with my favorite My Hero Academia character being Kyoka Jiro how do you expect me to not include this in my list?? I’m an anime only watcher (RIP to everything that has been spoiled for me lately) but I don’t even know if manga fans were expecting that song either. A 100% Plus Ultra single that actually features American rock artist Chrissy Constanza, lead vocalist of Against the Current who worked with Riot Games in 2017 for the League of Legends related single “Legends Never Die“. In a video interview with Jack Rogers for Rock Sound, Chrissy talks about her experience creating “Hero Too”. She spoke about her involvement in the songwriting process, and how she and Jamil (one of the translators for labelmate ONE OK ROCK) had to rewrite some of the lyrics, as they were “…not what anyone would ever say.”

I’m so happy that they gave Chrissy and Jamil some creative liberties in helping with the lyrics. It makes it feel more like a collaboration than just her performing the song, and adds a new layer of appreciation for me when I listen to it. I would love to hear about how series composer Yuki Hayashi realized this track, as well as his reason for using english lyrics as well as an english vocalist. I really hope this opens the door for more foreign musicians to work on anime, such as the case with Carole & Tuesday. Fingers crossed!!

Jiro Cute GIF - Jiro Cute Happy - Discover & Share GIFs

That concludes this small list of my favorite OP and EDs from the Winter 2020 anime season! If you’d like to hear my other favorites that didn’t make this article, please check out my public Spotify playlist that features all the songs I enjoyed from this season! Thank you for sticking with me through it all. 

I would like to give an enormous shout out to, which is a project that helps compile anime music and categorize it on spotify and which helped me create this article! Please check out their website and consider donating to them so that we may keep using their services in the future. 

Did you agree with my picks? What was your absolute favorite song from the Winter 2020 season? Feel free to comment or tweet me at and let me know; I would really love to hear your opinions and thoughts. With that, I’ll be signing off. See you next week!

De LightRibbon, I don't want to say goodbye for the doragons…...

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