How the K-Pop opening compares to other anime theme songs

How the K-Pop opening compares to other anime theme songs

It’s old news that anime theme songs, whether OPs or EDs, can often become huge hits. A few years ago, in the wake of Attack on Titanits sudden global popularity, the words “sasageyo, sasageyo” could be seen (or heard) pretty much anywhere. What is new, however, is the care put into the conception and development of the OPs or EDs themselves, which increasingly become opportunities to increase the success of an anime through the use of impressive visuals and catchy tunes.

From Jujutsu Kaisen to Chainsawman, many new series have put a lot of effort into developing original OPs or EDs that can encourage audience engagement. Netflix’s Lookism‘s OP, which features the song “Like That” by K-pop and hip-hop sensation Ateez, is certainly one of these, both for its memorable melody and interesting animation choices.

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Lookism’s OP is a music video to dance to

After the pilot episode’s mysterious first scene, LookismOPS comes as a punch in the stomach. A loud, terrifying chord plays over the main title, suddenly giving way to a short teaser of the melodic chorus of the song and followed by the effective hip-hop verses. In a series of sequences, viewers are introduced to the main characters of the show – oddly enough, with the exception of the main character – as they dance to “Like That” in different styles. Whether you’re a fan of K-pop or not, it’s almost impossible to resist the song’s invitation to dance along. By the end of episode 8, the last of the season, Ateez’s “Like That” is fresh and stuck in the viewer’s head.

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The rise of artistic creativity in recent anime OPs and EDs

Other anime, including beloved classics such as Cowboy Bebop, have been associated with their OPs for their quality, originality and fun. No one can remain indifferent to the colorful series of character vignettes rolling along to the beat of the jazzy “Tank!” Since then, anime OPs have come a long way, and EDs have also been harnessed as spaces for artistic creativity – sometimes having nothing to do with the setting or tone of the show, instead becoming places for the uninhibited expression of the wildest visual ideas.

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Many of these OPs and EDs see the anime characters dancing to the theme song. An early example is the 2015s Death parade‘s OP “Flyers” by BRADIO. The dark, mournful tone of the anime is contrasted by the lively OP, where the characters dance with each other in a celebration of life that has little to do with the themes of the show. The effect is immediate and jarring – and absolutely unforgettable. A similar result will be achieved by 2019 Jujutsu Kaisenhis ED “Lost in Paradise” by ALI feat. TO ITCH. The main trio, usually seen in their uniforms as they battle curses, are shown going about their daily lives, shopping, cycling and dancing to the top. Another interesting anime is the 2022s Chainsawmanwhose creative team decided to have a different ED for each episode, always expanding the plot and themes, as well as honoring the characters’ joys, pains and sacrifices.

With the growing popularity of Korean nettoons and Korean culture in general, the anime industry is bound to be flooded and transformed by the new Korean phenomenon. Potentially, Lookism‘s OP will just be the first of a series of catchy K-pop music videos that will soon become the norm.

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