3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina Introduction
It’s hard to pick the 3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina. I got to know the group first through their openings for Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. In fact, it seems that Yuki Kajiura formed the group to perform music for the Garden of Sinners movies.
Kalafina’s vocals set them apart. To me, they are like a J-Pop version of the symphonic metal band Therion. Whereas Therion brings in operatic elements, Kalafina brings vocal complexity that’s not typically part of modern music. The result is they are one of a handful of bands whose music frees my imagination in an almost spiritual way. At the same time, their music remains firmly grounded in the experiential realm.
Maybe it’d be easier if I just said their music is transcendentally beautiful.
Here I bring you the three best Kalafina anime openings. By “best,” I mean my favorites. Since my experience with these songs is inexorably linked to the anime whose OPs they performed, I’m going to grade these based on the OP as presented in the representative series. So, yeah, that probably gives the Fate franchise an unfair advantage.
But only to a point!
Here are the 3 best Kalafina anime openings!
3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina
3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina: Number 3: Hikari No Senritsu
OP for Sora No Woto (Sound of the Sky)
One of the things I really enjoy about writing these posts is that I almost always learn something new. In the case of Hikari No Senritsu, I found out that there was a Kalafina song I’d never heard before, despite buying most of their albums. So, score! Second, I learned about the series Sound of the Sky. Which means I have to add yet another title to my backlog!
Seriously, I better make some time or I’ll never catch up! Until that, please do check out the OP on YouTube:
3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina: Number 2: To the Beginning
OP for Fate/Zero
I watched Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works first, and I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had watched Fate/Zero first. Yes, Gigguk was right in his video trying to understand the fate series: “‘Fate/stay night’ spoils ‘Fate/Zero,’ and ‘Fate/Zero’ spoils ‘Fate/stay night” (01:36). Still, I had to pick one of them!
Gigguk’s video, by the way, is one of the more accessible and enjoyable overviews of the Fate universe. Just saying!
But back to the topic at hand. Fate/Zero is my favorite Fate series so far. I even liked it better than Unlimited Blade Works. Someday, if I get up the courage and stamina to review the Fate series, I’ll talk about why. In the meantime, it’s impossible for me to divorce the power of the series’ imagery from my opinion of the song. Artoria’s shattered expression, as she turns to face the camera in the opening seconds, sets the tone. This opening really captures the pathos that underlies the Fate universe. Here’s the OP on YouTube:
3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina: Number 1: Heavenly Blue
OP for Aldnoah.Zero
The top two videos are ridiculously close to each other. Each are favorites of mine, and each has little details that make them amazing. For example, in Aldnoah.Zero’s OP, Heavenly Blue, we get to see a member of the mech’s ground support team guiding the mech to the surface (00:27). It’s a tiny detail, but it hints at a much wider, more realistic world.
And then there are two shots of Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia. In the first, she’s lying on her back in a shallow lake (00:36). She’s in her white dress, and she’s shading her eyes against the sun. The camera pulls back and her hand falls to the water, triggering expanding ripples. Her expression was grim. Why? What’s got her upset? We don’t know yet, but the OP is doing its job: Generating interest.
The last shot of her is the most powerful. It’s fast. You almost have to be watching for it, or you’ll miss the details (01:20). You just have enough time to catch a glimpse of strands of blonde hair blown in the wind as the Princess turns to look at the camera. She’s distraught, practically in tears. Then she raises her side arm to point at the camera. The screen goes blank, then displays the words, “Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.” The origin of that phrase is disputed, but damn, I found it compelling!
Enough to make this OP my favorite Kalafina OP! Here it is on YouTube:
What Are Your Favorites?
What are your favorite Kalafina anime openings? Please feel free share what you like in the comments below!
12 thoughts on “3 Best Anime Openings by Kalafina”
The first time I heard that phrase was in a discussion of the nature of Christian justice by some ancient Saint or other. Can’t remember which – but it was in late Roman times. It was said that a good Christian did not call for “justice, though the heavens fall” but rather “justice that the heavens do NOT fall.”
His definition of justice included its effects on all 3rd party actors rather than the specific person being tried. If you execute a person – but by doing so innocent people are harmed – you have not done justice.
I prefer that wider perspective you mentioned. As I grow older, I find I’m more a fan of mercy and less a fan of justice, at least in its pure form.
I’ve just gone to MAL to see what openings they have, and it seems you’ve listed all or almost all of them. They usually have endings or insert songs. In any case, Hikari no Senritsu is my easy favourite. I love the song; both upbeat and melancholic; and I love the Elfen-Liedesque opening animation, too (by that I just mean painting-inspired). There’d be more to choose from in the ending post..
(I’m more a fan of Yuki Kajiura than just Kalafina, though their vocals are certainly outstanding (and usually better than the other bands she works with). My favourite Yuki Kajiura soundtracks are Madoka (seriously; the soundtrack is an extra character in that show; especially Mami’s transformation theme is great), and Noir (Canta per Me [and it’s deranged version], Salva Nos, Solitude by the Window, Lullaby, Secret Game… Seriously, I think that’s her best soundtrack ever.) Also, “Key of the Twilight” from .hack/sign. And many, many more. She had a pretty good year in 2021 actually, with Kaizoku Oujo, and Vanitas no Carte both being great soundtracks. (Probably Demon Slayer, too, but I didn’t watch that, so I don’t really know.))
For some reason, when I started this post, I honestly thought Kalafina had performed more OPs! Guess that’s just how large they loomed in my imagination.
I really enjoyed the Madoka soundtrack as well. Magia was really something (Kalafina as opposed to Yiki Kajiura alone). I’ll try to pay more attention to the other soundtracks you pointed out, too. I’m always looking for good soundtracks.
I thought they had more openings, too. I was surprised to find there are so few when I looked them up on MAL. There were some “credit themes” that might have been openings, though. I didn’t know/remember any of those.
Sora no Woto‘s Hikari no Senritsu is a veritable legend, and I loved that particular anime, so it’s great to see it make this list 🙂
The ending theme to the first Garden of Sinners theme is damn solid.
I’m hoping to write a post about Kalafina’s EDs. Assuming that I can distinguish between Kalafina and other groups! Seriously, I think I need a break from work…
But I agree. They did a fine job with that Garden of Sinners’ ED.
brave shine is by aimer…
Dang it, you’re right. I even knew that! Well, I’ll fix it. I was working on too many post simultaneously!
It’s fixed. Thanks for pointing it out!
I think that by definition making such a list isn’t “picking the best”, it’s “picking the best of the best”…