Best OPs and EDs of Summer 2020 – special guest Lauren

Best OPs and EDs of Summer 2020 – special guest Lauren

Hello and welcome to my latest article for BAYOG! We’re half way through the 2020 season’s OPs, EDs, and anisongs that I liked best! If you’ve not read the other two articles I have, click [here] to hop to the first article about the winter season, which is actually the beginning of the ‘anime year’. For all of those returning, welcome back!! If you are of Jewish faith, I hope you had a wonderful Hanukkah!! I pray you have been well, drinking lots of water and getting lots of sunlight. Seasonal Affective Disorder is something I struggle with every year BUT NOW I gotta worry about it on top of the looming stress related with being in a pandemic, government coups, and the rise of fascist terrorism in the United States. Please don’t feel like you have to ‘end the year out strong’ or ‘make something of this year’; Surviving this year is a feat all in itself.

    Summer season brought us some big hits, with the wildly anticipated returns for Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax!, Fire Force, and my personal favorite, Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld. This season was also very slim, as many companies had to put their productions on hold for COVID safety measures. Every season I write down the shows I want to watch on my refrigerator white board, and summer only had eight titles I listed, compared to my current fall season list which has… twenty seven shows. Anyways, let’s dive into the Summer 2020 anime seasons best music!


    Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way while you’re still judging how much anime I watch: I love Sword Art Online (SAO). I somehow managed to not be spoiled at all on it’s first plot twist for four years after it came out, so I got to go in blind and have my mind blown as I binged the first season over a weekend. I think the amazement that I somehow dodged every single SAO spoiler over those four years helped my infatuation. I also love Asuna and I’m not sure if I want to actually be her or just marry her. Does SAO have problems? Yes. Have I hated parts of SAO? Yes. But I can acknowledge those flaws and still enjoy the show. I am a huge fan of the SAO Progressive light novels that flesh out the 100 floors of Aincrad and will also be receiving an anime adaptation. I recommend it as a side to SAO instead of a replacement, as the novels can feel slow at times. They will definitely keep you interested if you’re already invested in the series.

Now that I have said my piece I can get on to the music, which SAO has blessed us with hit after hit of. The series has features six songs by -the- LiSA, and in my opinion helped propel her career. I am also a big fan of both Eir Aoi and ASCA, which SAO helped introduce me to as well. “Ignite” by Eir Aoi, the OP for the second season, is in my top three favorite openings of all time, perhaps even taking the top spot if I sat down to think about it. But that’s from years ago and we want to talk about this season’s songs. The second half of the Alicization arc features “Anima” by ReoNa for the OP and “I will…” by Eir Aoi for the ED. 

Both songs are passionate pleas: “Anima” is a song of self-reflection, asking if they are strong enough to push through setbacks. The song asks, “what color is my soul, is it blue or red?” Am I going to surmount this challenge or will I crumble in fear? What is my truth, even if I won’t show it? Aoi’s powerful vocals sound urgent and desperate, much like the end of the Alicization arc as Kirito and company struggle with all their might to save the Underworld from Alicization’s big baddie, Emperor Vecta.

“I will…” is a song that I see as a tribute to Eugeo and Kirito’s relationship. The singer asks for the other person to keep pressing on and that they will cherish the time they spent together even if it comes to an end. My favorite line (loosely translated) is “If I close my eyes, I will see your smile, and our hearts will be connected again.” There have been multiple instances of Eugeo’s smile coming to Kirito’s mind and giving him strength when he is in moments of desperation. Eugeo and Kirito’s relationship is one of the most interesting plots of the Alicization arc, and I am so glad that it was used to end the season. 


Before researching for this article, the only other instances I can think of where an actual English song was used for an anime OP or ED are “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles which was used in the Stardust Crusaders arc of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and “My Generation” which was used in the opening sequence of Koe no Kitachi. Apparently there are a lot more, with my favorite find being an anime called Hanada Shounen-shi, which features two Backstreet Boys tracks for it’s OP and ED. One particular show that used an English song for it’s ED and conveniently aired during this summer season was The Great Pretender, which used Freddie Mercury’s rendition of “The Great Pretender” (originally by The Platters) as it’s ED. Fittingly, the anime is about the trials and tribulations of being a modern day con-man from big-shots to small fries. 

It’s opening is also very interesting, as it has no lyrics, reminiscent of TANK that was the opening for Cowboy Bebop, another show that featured hustling. “G.P.“, created by series composer Yamada Yutaka, is a jazzy track that sounds exactly like The Great Pretender feels: enigmatic, exciting, and thrilling. You have to appreciate Yutaka’s range, as his last huge OST work was for Tokyo Ghoul and that is certainly nothing like this show’s soundtrack. I would love to hear an interview from Yutaka about his inspiration for the sound design on The Great Pretender

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As always, no anisong article is complete if I don’t choose a musically based anime. This season we will be talking about Aggretsuko’s third season, which saw Retsuko joining an underground idol group after a simple fender bender causes the first domino to fall. While not a fan of death metal, I love and appreciate Sanrio taking a chance on their image to connect with a larger audience. It paid off splendidly. I have a lot of grievances with how the show handles Retsuko’s plot trajectory and how the writing stunts her growth, but I don’t think I could eloquently put it into words yet to defend my case. Overall, I still love the show and I look forward to seeing how it ends.

OTMGirls, the idol group that Retsuko joins, has three songs which got both a Japanese and English version: “Aggressive Girl”, “Viral Star“, and “Fuwa Fuwa“. Retsuko’s metal vocalist, Jamison Boaz, is featured alongside SAYUMI, RIMA, and ARISA, who voice the japanese versions of Manaca, Miggy, and Hidarin respectively. 

“Aggressive Girl” is a perfect protest song towards the current idol culture. “A patched-together portrait of a good girl/Take this peeling collage and burn it all down” and “Watch me as I go and destroy this world/I’m a wolf about to tear off my sheep’s skin” are my favorite lines from the English version. They look to be referencing the current idol culture where idols, especially female idols, are put together to be a certain archetype to sell their content to fans. I can only imagine the dissatisfaction that could come with that predicament, and would certainly warrant destroying the ‘idol world’ for.

“Viral Star” is the most familiar song from the show as it has also been used for trailers and marketing. It’s almost a complete contrast to “Aggressive Girl”, with lyrics that read “We don’t need a special future/I don’t care if it’s just fake/Whatever happens I just want to grab that light”. A direct opposition to the last song that wanted to destroy the fake world created for the singer, “Viral Star” instead says that they would do anything for their chance at fame. 

The last song, “Fuwa Fuwa”, chooses to say nothing about the idol life, instead a saccharine love song that is super prominent in idol groups, coquettish and juvenile. “My little heart just skips a beat/Each time I look at you/Colorful as a gummy and sweet as chocolate cake”. I don’t hate it, and in fact I really like this song. It reminds me a lot of kpop group Lovelyz debut song, “Candy Jelly Love“. It’s nothing more than it leads on to be. 

I wish Retsuko had continued with OTMgirls, which would have given her the escape from her daily office life that she craves. I (although I really like Haida) also think that the continued forcing of Haida and Retsuko together is a gross “no means maybe” trope that’s so tired. Either way, I want to finish the series to its conclusion. If I can make it through the last season of Sailor Moon, I can make it through anything honestly.

Review: 'Aggretsuko' Season 3 Rages On In A New Direction | Geek Gals


That’s it for my favorite OP and EDs from the Summer 2020 anime season! As always, 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 again for spending time reading my article!

Again, big shout out to aniplaylist.com, 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. 

Please let me know what you think of my choices, and tell me what your favorite song from the Summer 2020 season was as well! Feel free to comment or tweet me at twitter.com/necara I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts. Please take care of yourself, and I’ll see you next week for my final article!

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