Ok, so I know that I mentioned in my “Fate February” prelude to this article that it would only be a “Top 8”.
However, upon further research, I discovered that some of the opening themes for the Fate visual novels are pretty good themselves, so I thought, “Yeah, whatever I’ll just adjust the list to accommodate 10 opening themes”, because at the end of the day, it’s just more of a good thing, right?
And so, without further fanfare, let’s continue on with Fate February with what I consider to be some of the best songs in the current Fate franchise.
What’s up, everyone, my name is Ken, from thebuttonsmashers.com Anime Reviews, and today I present to you my Top 10 Fate Opening Themes.
10.) Sakura Meikyuu, by Kanon Wakeshima
Fate/Extra CCC OP 1 [Visual Novel]
This OP theme, aside from being catchy as heck, has this really nice and unique visual style to it that really makes it stand out from a lot of the openings. It reminds me of what would happen if Akiyuki Shinbo directed a Fate adaptation.
Oh please no, I was just kidding, please Akiyuki Shinbo don’t direct a Fate adaptation please.
9.) disillusion, by Tainaka Sachi
Fate/Stay Night (2006) OP 1
Alrighty, going with the classics here.
I will admit that this OP theme didn’t really strike me as anything fancy or addicting or anything of that sort. I actually found it rather boring when I first watched it, kinda like the first half of the series.
However, eventually, I grew to like “disillusion”, and it’s almost become a sort of a trademark song for the series as a whole (they even got LiSA to sing a rendition of it for the 2014 UBW anime adaptation). There are other versions of this opening, of course, but I think nothing beats the classic.
8.) Ideal White, Mashiro Ayano
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works OP 1
Being the first OP theme for the hyped-up UBW anime adaptation, there is of course a bit of expectation for it.
Needless to say, it met my expectations, at least.
A nice action-y song, coupled with a teaser of ufotable’s god-tier animation, “Ideal White” is pretty much a great fit for the show itself.
Also, that animation at 1:05.
7.) Horizon, by earthmind
Fate/Stay Night (Realta Nua) & Fate/Stay Night (Realta Nua): Unlimited Blade Works OP [Visual Novel]
Hell yeah, right off the bat, ufotable already treats us with some amazing eye-candy combined with an energetic intro. There are two versions to this OP theme, one for the original Fate route, and another for the UBW route of the Realta Nua visual novels, and they’re both stunningly impressive. This song could have fit right into the anime adaptation, as it has the same hyped-up beat and loads of action to display that great animation.
6.) broKen NIGHT, by Aimer
Fate/ Hollow Ataraxia OP [Visual Novel]
This OP theme is one of the more somber pieces on this list. Different from the others, the slower pace and the sheer melancholic beauty that Aimer’s vocals lend the song just works really well with how it is presented. It really is something different from the high-octane stuff that other Fate openings usually provide, and it’s something beautiful indeed.
5.) Another Heaven, by earthmind
Fate/Stay Night (Realta Nua): Heaven’s Feel OP 1 [Visual Novel]
I think if the previous song handles melancholy well, this song uses DESPAIR and envelopes it into this slow-starting, somber opening lines, before spiraling into the depths of sorrow, and then finally pumping things up with it’s fast-paced beat to top things off. Quite frankly, this song just gets me hyped up for the eventually adaptation of the Heaven’s Feel arc more than anything, and the least I can hope for is that this OP theme make it there somehow.
4.) Hollow World, by Aimer
Fate/ Hollow Ataraxia OP 2 [Visual Novel]
Aimer has this thing where a lot of the songs that she does are in the same vein as “broken NIGHT”: the kind of beautifully slow, and somber songs that get the emotions going.
But when Aimer does fast-paced stuff, OOOOHHHHH BOY.
“Hollow World” and the next song on this list, both represent the versatile range that Aimer has when it comes to song pace, as this OP excels at encapsulating the epic feeling that Fate has. Add that to some great English lyrics and you’ve got something that will be on repeat on your playlist for probably months on end.
Oh, and the entry to the chorus is just a thing of beauty.
Ok, to preface the Top 3: I had a really difficult time with this one, mainly because each of these songs are so great, that if any of the other two were to not exist, any of these can literally be the number one song on this list.
Essentially, it was a herculean task to try to rank these three, and to some extent I hold them all to the same regard in that they’re all really great opening themes and fit the Fate franchise really really well. It’ll all boil down to what I think of them personally, so just keep that in mind.
OK, ON TO THE TOP 3.
3.) To the Beginning, by Kalafina
Fate/Zero OP 2
Personally, I believe that this song is one of Kalafina’s best work yet. The majestic harmonics at the beginning carry on throughout the entire song itself, and it just works so damn well. It matches the increased sense of desperation and despair that the second-half of Fate/Zero possess, and it manages to do so while being a magnificent song that compliments superb animation from ufotable. The overall tone of the song is a lot more melancholic, but not too melancholic, just the right amount to give off that odd sense that something sad/tragic is on the way, and it’s just something that I thought was amazing for a song to pull-off such complex emotions.
Kalafina has a penchant for doing great songs, and “To the Beginning” is definitely up there with the best.
2.) Oath Sign, by LiSA
Fate/Zero OP 1
Now this is where it gets a bit personal.
I know about this song long before I got to watching Fate/Zero. I thought it was good.
Now, once I got to watching Fate/Zero, once I started seeing this OP every single time, I think it’s one of the best anime openings out there.
Yeah, that’s a bit of a controversial statement, but I really do think that “Oath Sign” is an amazing OP theme that is definitely one of the best OPs to have come out in recent years.
A great, action-packed song by LiSA.
Animation that displays some of the best that ufotable has done.
Sense of epicness and scale that came with the melody and instruments used in the song.
All of these congregate into one, massive epic that fits Fate/Zero PERFECTLY, and it’s one of those OP themes that easily associate themselves with the show in question, and I seriously can’t think of a lot of openings that are of the same caliber as “Oath Sign” that have come out recently.
With all that said, however, there is one song that I believe to be better than “Oath Sign”, albeit on a more personal level.
1.) Brave Shine, by Aimer
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works OP 2
Now this is where it gets REALLY personal.
You see, I am emotionally attached to this song on a personal level, simply because this OP theme was the one that motivated me into watching the Fate series. Granted, I would’ve started the Fate series at some point, but watching this OP theme for the first time on YouTube gave me that push to start it as soon as I could.
And I don’t regret a single second of it.
Not exactly sure what it is about this song that I particularly enjoy the most.
Maybe it’s the animation.
Maybe it’s Aimer’s GOOOORRGEEOUS vocals.
Maybe it’s the profound lyrics.
One thing is for sure though: I love this OP theme to bits, every part of it. It might not have the same stunning visuals that “Oath Sign” had ,or the heavenly vocals that “To the Beginning” had, but this song is simple and yet oh-so beautiful, and I’m really grateful that it exists in this world.
Of course, as always with these sorts of lists, these are all my opinion and do contain a sort of bias, so please bear that in mind and feel free to provide your own list down on the comments.
As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this list, on the show s themselves, or if you would like me to review/make a list of anything. And, speaking of liking, give the review a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it and follow me on twitter @tbs_ken for updates and general shitposting, if you feel like doing so.
Aaaaaaand, with that, I bid you all adieu. This has been Ken for thebuttonsmashers.com Anime Reviews, and I’ll see you guys in the future!