Anime outros, unlike their intro counterparts, are known for being down tempo, solemn and, most importantly, dramatic. Emphasis on the drama. A good anime ending inspires feelings of longing, fascination and in an extreme case, contemplating the meaning of life and one’s existence. Usually the song is the star and the accompanying aesthetics add that little extra oomph that keep you hitting replay. Here’s a look at my all time faves:
Ending 1: My Will by Dream
Oh, how I love the Inu Yasha outros. So much so that they take up two slots on my list. “My Will” gives us classic anime outro themes with dramatic shots of a Winter snowfall in Japan with a focus on the leading ladies of the show.
I think the opening sequence of the red spider lilies is a nice touch.
This Inu Yasha outro gives us the perspectives of an ordinary day (and night) in the life of Kagome, in present day Japan, while simultaneously showing us glimpses of Sango and Kikyo in the show’s alternate Feudal Japan setting. A nod to the show’s tendency to switch between dimensions.
You can’t help feeling a touch of magic watching the nighttime snow fall as “My Will” picks up in tempo. There’s a mesmerizing view of a Ferris wheel continuously switching between neon patterns and colors, an image that sparks nostalgia for true Inu Yasha fans.
This anime outro gives me both stunning aesthetics and provokes emotion, solidifying its spot on my all time favorites list.
Ending 2: Fukai Mori by Do As Infinity
Back in High School, I remember staying up late nights watching Inu Yasha and, at this point in the series (episode 21 to be exact) expecting to see the opening shot of the red spider lilies only for Do As Infinity’s “Fukai Mori” to come on instead. I ran to Limewire to download the track IMMEDIATELY! (Haha, remember Limewire?)
This one’s a thirst trap for the Sesshomaru fans, fer sure. We are given entire sequences of a stone faced Sesshomaru in all his beauty and majesty as he stands, gloriously, before the Border of the Afterlife.
After we’re given 31 seconds straight of Sesshomaru and his luscious locks flowing in the wind (lol), the outro takes us through a highlight reel of Inu Yasha’s Naraku arc.
The outro wraps with a beautiful shot of Sesshomaru riding off in a night sky, lit up by a full moon, to the tune of a Fue solo. The song is very near and dear to my heart, so much so that I can still recall the lyrics to this day.
Hunter X Hunter
Ending 6- Hiyori Ittai by Yuzu
Hunter X Hunter is an anime after my own heart. I love that the endings each feature samples of the same song, Yuzu’s “Hiyori Ittai”. This outro’s formula is simple, an image of quartet Gon, Killua, Leorio and Kurapika dressed in their finest stunner suits in front of an ever-changing background.
The “Hiyori Ittai” ending takes us on a journey in the sky as the background transitions from bright and cloudy to a starry night featuring shooting stars and a gorgeous shot of a full moon, a popular theme for anime outros.
As the song slows down and the outro begins to come to a close, we suddenly see Leorio shuffle about and give us a look back over his shoulder which is an image that forces a smile.
The outro comes to a close as we zoom out of a picture of the gang captured in a candid moment to the soothing sounds of string instruments. I love seeing each of the characters’ vastly different personalities shine through, a smiling Gon, an angry Killua, a playful Leorio and a serious Kurapika.
Full Metal Panic
Ending 1- Karenai Hana by Mikuni Shimokawa
It’s the song for me, dawg. Full Metal Panic’s ending features one of my all time favorite outro songs “Karenai Hana” by the amazing Mikuni Shimokawa. The song is so dramatic and melodic, I could definitely see this song on the top of pop charts. I love how the ending opens up to a piano solo.
This outro takes us on a trip down memory lane as the screen scrolls past a series of photos from the show’s cast. Each moment captured offers a different range of feelings and emotion.
The song is really the star here, as it is the perfect compliment to these personal memories being shown on screen. It really makes you feel like you’re witnessing something special and intimate. Romantic, even.
Full Metal Panic’s Ending 1 comes to a close as we zoom out to a class picture of the anime’s cast in their school uniforms. The vocals fade as the screen fades to black and you’re left with a feeling of longing which is anime endings 101. Definitely, one of my favorites.
Ending 1- Kimi Sae Ireba by Megumi Hayashibara
“I-i-m a dreamer-r-r“. Love Hina has such a great combo for an intro and an outro that it has a spot on both my favorite endings and openings lists. Talk about dramatic! The anime’s “Kimi Sae Ireba” ending (sung by the lovely Megumi Hayashibara, the artist who gave us the series’ opening) features images of the leading ladies staring gloomily into nothing.
It’s as if something is eating away at each of them but no one wants to say what’s on their mind. They seem content with sharing their moments of dismay in the same space as one another, which is a testament to their bond in the series.
As the camera pans from one sad look to another, you can’t help feeling sorry for these ladies. You’re left wondering what’s plaguing them. Are they sharing one common woe or are they in islands of anguish all by themselves. It’s pretty heartbreaking.
After tearing away at your heartstrings, the last shot offers some eye candy as Naru, Shinobu, Mitsune, Kaolla and Motoko suddenly make eye contact with the viewer and the shot opens up to the ladies in barely-there garbs made of, what looks to be, bed sheets. The outro ends to the slow strumming of an acoustic guitar with the words “kimi ga iru kara, kimi sae ireba” which translates to “Because you are here; If only you were here.” , the perfect pairing to the ending’s tragic visuals.
Ending 1- Lost in Paradise by Ali feat AKLO
You know I had to save the best for last. I declare that Jujutsu Kaisen’s “Lost in Paradise” is the best anime ending of all time. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like it and that uniqueness is what earns it the number one spot.
Jujustu Kaisen’s “Lost in Paradise” outro trades in the typical anime standard of down tempo and dramatic for a fun and carefree, colorful jam session featuring the series’ main cast. The vibrant, highly saturated colors paired with the jazzy “Lost in Paradise” track are equal parts creative and entertaining.
The outro shows the otherwise serious cast in a more casual environment as we see Yuji, Satoru, Megumi and Nobara in their everyday street clothes. You’re in for a real treat when Yuji and Satoru start busting out their dance moves which is equally impressive and infectious. Try not to dance along and let out a “woo-hoo-ooo-hoo-hooo-hoo“, I dare you!
“Lost in Paradise” is cool, swaggy and fun which are words not normally associated with an anime ending but, it stands out and has earned the respect of fans in its own right. “Lost in paradise” is so cool, it even sparked its own dance craze! Check out the videos on Youtube when you get a chance.
Did your favorites make my list? If not, what are your favorite anime outros? Tell me about them in the comments.