The opening sequence to an anime is often a decent indicator of if you will like the show or not. It sets the pace and mood for the anime, as well as typically having a more upbeat song to PUMP YOU UP!!! for what is to come. However, an extremely common trend these days is to add little tidbits into the opening that actually spoil what is going to happen in the show. On the low end of the scale, they spoil who is going to become a member of the gang, like Ami in Toradora who didn’t show up until episode 5. On the more irritating end of the spectrum are those like the OPs of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei that spoils the whole major twist of the series.
Thankfully, most OPs are subtle enough to not ruin the series at episode one, since most people have no idea what they are seeing. Unfortunately, there is that awkward middle moment when you are familiar with the characters and pick up on the symbolism. So what anime openings have some serious spoilers in them?
Note: Oh-so-many-spoilers. Obviously.
The first opening of Future Diary is absolutely riddled with spoilers for the series, but you won’t really get them without prior exposure to the series. Essentially, you watch either the weapons or prized items of the other participants of the survival game dissolve into a bloody mess or other symbols of death. However, one of the biggest spoiled comes near the end of the opening where it has Yuno fighting herself. At a glance, this seems like a visual cue to allude to her vicious behavior, but as it turns out later, she actually came back from a parallel timeline, murdered herself, and took her place as… Herself.
The first opening to Shiki is one of those that you don’t realize is a spoiler until later after a few characters have been Shiki-fied. However, once you see it, you can’t unseen it. Note that you have a number of characters turning to skulls throughout the opening while others do not. The people that turn into skulls are the people that die or get turned into Shiki. It is a pretty big spoiler if you are rooting for people not to die.
The opening credits deliberately do character spoilers for the show, alongside a dose of symbolism that will help tie some of the themes of the show together. By deliberately showing the characters in the opening, it entices the viewer to watch them, even if they are introduced as relatively minor characters. It is actually a rather genius way of forcing viewers to keep minor characters in mind in order to better get to know them without giving them much character development.
Your Lie In April
I’m not going to lie to you here, this is my all-time favorite spoiler-y anime opening of all time because it is not outright apparent, but once you realize what it is you are seeing, it changes everything. Honestly, this one likely won’t spoil the bittersweet ending as it all relies on symbolism. Throughout the opening, you are watching the characters interact with each other in a mix of surreal and realistic landscapes, but if you watch the characters carefully, you see the ultimate outcome of their relationships.
Throughout the opening, first and foremost, you always see Kaori and Kousei together, which spoils the fact that she doesn’t like Watari pretty hard. You see Tsubaki always next to or looking at Kousei over her shoulder, but never between him and Kaori, showing her confused feelings. However, most importantly are the scenes with Kaori. She is often depicted falling, like a character that is slowly getting weaker, or with her eyes closed, like a character that is dead. Considering the credits end with the audience watching a bird fly off to a surreal sky after showing Kaori surrounded by feathers throughout the opening, you get a pretty good idea of what happens.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Zetsubou Sensei became infamous for the fact that its different openings essentially spoiled the big twist of the series, which was that Kafuka died before the start of the series and her organs were donated to the rest of the cast. Being too optimistic to die, she possesses a different female character in every scene. While there are scenes in the series that allude to the conclusion, there is an abundance of symbolism throughout the openings to suggest it as well. We thought it was just gibberish. It was actually brilliant metaphors and foreshadowing.
Some notable examples include:
- The sequence in Zan where the girls are singing, but only Kafuka’s voice can be heard
- A Goku episode opening where all the girls slowly turn into Kafuka one by one
- The Zoku opening when it shows all the various body parts (that are actually Kafuka’s)
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Depending on which OP of Evangelion you watch, some are not very spoiler-y at all, while other versions pretty much cover every single plot point throughout the series. All openings feature a juxtaposition of the characters with various terminology about the EVAs and whatnot that you will come to understand later flashing across the screen. Of course, it has minor spoilers too, like that there will be three EVA pilots instead of just Shinji or showcasing the personality of characters you have not yet seen.
The initial opening of Monster shows a pretty different tone to the series than what we are initially presented with. The opening shows a dishevelled Tenma that is worn down and running around with a gun, something so completely the opposite of the calm and composed Tenma we meet in the beginning of the series. In fact, it takes a number of episodes before he becomes as feral-looking as he is in the opening, suggesting he is pushed to the limits.
Persona 4: The Animation
Like in the game’s opening sequence, the anime spoils a lot of the plot points in the Persona 4 anime, which is kind of terrible considering much of it is built on mystery. Not only does it show all of the kidnap victims, but it blows the whole red herring arc on Naoto, since it displays her as actually being a member of the group.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shinchinin
Rainbow’s opening provides a pretty obvious spoiler that probably was not counting on its audience bothering enough to count the characters shown. It is pretty obviously about a group of seven men in post-war Japanese prison. However, it shows a scene with the men outside of prison in normal clothes. Since they didn’t know each other before, it is pretty obvious that it happens after. Of course, there are only six men in that scene instead of the seven in prison, so… Obviously, one does not make it out.
Know any more anime openings that spoiled the ending of the show? Most likely. We excluded a lot of openings for only minor spoilers, but there really are like…hundreds, if not thousands of them.