Battle of The Ops: The Ancient Magus Bride vs The Ancient Magus Bride

Hello and welcome to the Battle of the Ops, where I take two anime openings and pit them against each other in the most objective way I can think of. Two openings from the same show, or from different shows that I consider similar, will be pitted against each other in 11 rounds. Each of these rounds judges the opening on different criteria. Only one can be the winner.

 

Today we are looking at the two op’s from the Fall 2017 series The Ancient Magus Bride.

 

The Ancient Magus Bride synopsis via MAL

 

In one corner we have the first op to the Ancient Magus Bride written by Junna, Here!

In the other corner is the series second op, written by May’n, You!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WGRoFFeLVj4

Two Openings! One winner! Who will be victorious? There is only one way to find out. Lets Battle!

 

The first Five Rounds will judge the ops based off of their images

Round One: Color pallet consistency and transitions

Here starts out strong with some great black and white backgrounds. The foreground animation is sparse, consisting mostly of the main character Chisa and then her and Elias the Mage. The majority of the images, with the black background featuring Chisa, have her lit up as if she is perhaps standing near a cracked doorway in a dark room. Eventually the light seems to be coming from her, but she is still illuminated and not just colored in against the back ground. The colors here are mostly yellow, orange, red and purple, but this transitions to blue near the end when a bunch of lights under chisa explode and change color, only to then continue following her and Elias as they fly upward and burst into bright white. After this we get intermingled scenes of various shades and all consistency seems lost.

You has um… what color consistency? Not really, the images in this op are mostly just randomly taken from the series itself and as such they all vary drastically. From one bright present color, to an average in the house shot with normal lighting, outside, its suddenly foggy… no rhyme or reason is present.

The winner is Here

 

Round Two: Narrative

Here has a surprisingly nice narrative, given the simplicity of its images, featuring Chisa alone. She is seen sad and struggling, pushed around emotionally by things that we can’t see. Then Then Elisa swoops in and grabbing her carries her upward on his thorns until she can see the light. After this we get the random shots again, but the first part is pretty nice.

The first fifteen seconds of you seem to be trying to create something. Chisa is sleeping and sees Elias standing in a field of flowers, then she wakes up and standing in front of his house is freed from her chains. Then its random shot time. This continuous to the end until we do get a nice buildup to Chisa flying into Eliase’s arms, but its still pretty clunky.

The winner is Here

 

Round Three: Character Establishment

Here opens up with Chisa standing in the dark, she is jerked around and pushed down by things we can’t see. Her being alone is both her mental and literal state at the beginning of the series, she is also surrounded by things that only she can see. Elias basically takes the role of savior in the op, taking Chisa away from her loneliness. Through the rest of the op we see hints of things about them and other characters, but not enough to really nail anything down.

In You we see some of the same types of things, in Chisa being freed from chains and Elias standing surrounded by flowers, but it is far less clear. While we see more of the other characters in the op, we don’t really learn anything about them in regards to who they are in the story or how they regard each other.

The winner is Here

 

Round Four: Tone

Here picks one tone and shifts it in increments. Chisa is by herself. Chisa is carried away by Elias, Chisa is surrounded by a world of equal parts beauty and danger. Its very depressing and sad at first, before we get the ray of light. Elias represents an unknown magic and is a cause of wonder, but they could have focused more on the beauty of the world.

You shows more of the beautiful world that Here does not. It stays mostly light in tone during the beginning, showing pretty things and then changes to showing more of the dangerous side of the world. The show goes back and forth in its episodes and two episode arcs, showing the beauty before revealing the danger.

The winner is You, because despite being more obvious in tone, the show isn’t depressing in this way, just the characters. You better captures the tonal shifts.

 

Round Five: Shot Transitions

Here’s early transitions are a fade up and a dissolve and allow for our attention to go from Chisa to the main title. After this the focus is on Chisa alone and with nothing else to draw our attention, cuts are used to change her position on the screen, much like the credits. When Chisa finally disappears, carried away in a burst of blue light, there is a moment of Darkness before it seems like that same light travels upward and carries her and Elias with it. They are then carried back and forth on and off the screen, which makes the entire sequence look like one long scene with no cuts. Then they are embraced by vines, which then burst out and reveal a bright light that envelopes the screen and then slides away to reveal flowers. From here out it is simple cuts between random scenes.

You has simple cuts between random scenes. There are a couple of fades near the beginning, but nothing spectacular.

The winner is Here

 

The next three rounds will judge the op based off of the song choice

Round six: song tone

Here is a strong song with a strong singer, its not soft and sweet in the way that some sad songs are. The song holds a certain drama to it and weight. This works well for the depressed, broken and yet eventually strong willed protagonist. The song’s odd flare, with its percussion and guitar, also works well for an otherworldly feel.

You has the strange distinction of almost sounding like a song that is either being, despite its vigorous presence, carried on the wind, or because of this presence stirring up a wind. This adds a different type of otherworldly feel to the music then what Here has, creating a certain magic. The combination of eeriness and happiness that occurs in the song works well with how our protagonist has progressed, but also with the subject matter of these later episodes.

The winner is You

 

Round Seven: Lyrics

Here is an incredibly depressing song after the lyrics are translated, but with a dash of hope in them. The starting lyrics are about being in one place as a single person, right here. The person singing can’t breath and its raining. They wonder what they can do to brighten the world up enough to manage living. They are ready to give up and then a voice calls out to them which opens up the possibility of a limitless tomorrow. It’s pretty much exactly everything one might imagine going through Chisa’s mind up until the moment Elias takes her home.

You is almost as depressing by measure at first about a person who is still broken and someone else trying to reach them. Together they find out that they are both broken and that there voices cry out together. Once this is realized the singer starts to have overflowing feelings regarding the things they share with the other broken person and encourages them to find and save them self, because they are the only one who can. This could be Elias singing to Chisa, as it is him that seems to realize there are feelings, even if he doesn’t understand them and it is Chisa who finds herself. Still, its not as clear cut.

The winner is Here

 

Round Eight: Matching the animation

The next three rounds are measured via personal bias

For these rounds I’ll stop talking like an announcer and level with you all, since these ones are based off my completely biased opinion. I had to address it somewhere, even if it is more prevalent above then I wish it to be. 

 

Round Nine: Stuck in my head

Here sounds quite different from all of the anime songs I’ve heard so far. It almost has a Corrido vibe to it without being obvious, that would be a Mexican ballad for those who aren’t familiar with the term. The guitar and the maracas create an amazing sound and beat that stand out in my head.

You, definitely sounds like a lot of other songs I’ve heard and it doesn’t really get stuck in my head very often, kind of mixing with a lot of SAO openings actually.

The winner is Here

 

Round Ten: My eyes are glued to the screen

The simple visuals in Here really grabbed my attention when I first saw it. See Chisa just standing there was strangely compelling and I still find it this way. I enjoy watching the op for simplicity.

After the compelling first opening I was incredibly disappointed with you. While the visuals are interesting I’ve basically already seen them all, because they’re pretty much taken out of the show and strung together to go with the music. It makes me think of the seasonal ops from Smallville, I used to play a game with my brother where we would say “seen it,” or “not seen it,” Based on whether or not we had watched the episode where a particular scene the op occurred. This felt like watching that, but the scenes move to quickly to have any fun.

The winner is Here

 

Round Eleven:  I like it the song better

So, go reread what I wrote for Here in round nine and then come back. I like the Corrido vibe in this op, I don’t listen to a lot of that type of music, but I like listening to it and hearing hints of it in this song was awesome. It definitely made it stand out as a song that season and stand out in general. I love listening to it.

You as I mentioned sounds pretty generic to me. That’s not to say it isn’t pretty and I like the piano in it quite a bit, but it doesn’t quite stand up to Here.

The winner is Here

 

Here: Ten Rounds

You : Two Rounds

The winner of the battle is… Here!

 

Feel free to tell my if I totally goofed in my verdict and that I’m a complete fool for claiming Here as the winner, or tell me this was pretty good judging! Whatever you have to say feel free to put it in the comments below, no matter what it is. Remember this is all just for fun!

 

Until Next Time, Always make your heart rainbow!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s