Best Anime Openings/Endings – “Red Swan,” Yoshiki feat. Hyde

A slower, piano heavy Attack on Titan opening that isn’t by Linked Horizon that still manages to be good? How is this possible? I remember being a little disappointed when I first listened to the opening and realized that it wasn’t going to have the grand, sweeping orchestral portions of the previous openings or Linked Horizon’s name attached to it. Despite that, after watching to the opening a few times and knowing what this season of Attack on Titan is going to focus on based on the manga, I ended up appreciating the song a lot more.

It reflects the emphasis on family dynamics and the bonds that tie these people together in the face of apocalypse. The visuals themselves are also gorgeous, contrasting childhood innocence and the pain of the truth that comes with maturity and adversity. The part that really gets me is at the “like a fallen angel” lyrics when Eren’s past and present selves interact with each other. It showcases the fall of peace and childhood innocence with someone who has become battle-hardened over the years (especially with the recent developments and potential dynamic shifts in the manga, hoo boy).

This opening has grown on me in ways that I didn’t think it would. Season 3 may be a departure of what most fans expect and are used to (“where are the Titans?!” they ask), but I appreciate the tonal shifts and the show’s ability to enter areas of gray through its storytelling and character development, and I think “Red Swan” is the perfect summation of this balance.

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