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After watching a few series I realised that some of them use different opening/ending songs in each episode (e.g. Oreimo). I noticed that it must've been quite expensive to do this, and some other animes like Love Live use the same song sang by different people every episode.

What was the first anime that has done this, and can you list the animes that has done this?

Clarification: If the anime has 12 episodes, there has to be 12 different endings, not less than that.

  • 2
    listing is probably not very productive - there are definitely a lot of series that do this. "first anime" though should be an interesting question. – Maroon Mar 23 '14 at 7:31
  • @hungerartist ah, I didn't know the list was that long. But yeah, I'm still curious who's done it first. – Enrico Susatyo Mar 23 '14 at 7:40
  • This "trope" seems to have been around since at least 1979, probably earlier. – Maroon Apr 2 '14 at 18:30
  • @hungerartist that's not what I mean, Doraemon has 5 different endings over the span of a few years, but Oreimo, for example, has 12 different endings in 12 episodes. – Enrico Susatyo Apr 3 '14 at 2:15
  • 1
    Maybe someone can write a script that runs through a database of anime titles (e.g. ANN) and with each, compare the number of episodes with the number of OP/ED songs to see if there's a match. Surely the animes that match this criterion should be very limited in number. On a related note, the Aria series has a unique opening animation (not song) in each episode; Bakemonogatari has 5 OP songs distributed across 15 episodes; and I think EVA has different singers for the ED. – Gao Oct 3 '14 at 13:30
11
+200

tl;dr Shōnan Bakusōzoku, an OAV from 1986 with 12 episodes and 12 endings (ended only in 1999).

Intro

I took up Gao WeiWei's suggestion and used ANN's API to create a duplicate of their database and then search for all titles that have as many OPs/EDs as they have episodes. If anyone is interested in the code for this (it's not nice :P) and all results, go here.

Assumptions

I restricted the analysis to titles that have at least 6 episodes. ANN's episode field sometimes contains additional information such as '10 (+2 Specials)' in such a case I only take the first number and ignore the rest. There are no checks for the title or anything like that, if ANN lists an ending twice or if the same ending appears multiple times with different artists, those all count as separate. Most importantly, the relevant date is the start date (because that is less parsing work and because often there is no end date given).

Result for EDs

Below are the results. With the above restrictions, ANN has 30 animes that fit the bill and the oldest of them is Shōnan Bakusōzoku. Note though, that the final episode is from 1999! Among the first few, Iczer Reborn ended in 1991-02-25 already, so maybe that's your winner? See here for the full table.

╔════════════╦══════╦═════╦═════╦═════╦════════════════════════════╗
║  Vintage   ║ Type ║ #EP ║ #OP ║ #ED ║            Name            ║
╠════════════╬══════╬═════╬═════╬═════╬════════════════════════════╣
║ 1986-09-10 ║ OAV  ║  12 ║   3 ║  12 ║ Shōnan Bakusōzoku          ║
║ 1987-02-25 ║ OAV  ║   8 ║   6 ║   8 ║ Bubblegum Crisis           ║
║ 1990-09-25 ║ OAV  ║   6 ║   1 ║   6 ║ Iczer Reborn               ║
║ 1992-06-15 ║ OAV  ║   6 ║   0 ║   6 ║ Blue Girl                  ║
║ 1997-11-25 ║ OAV  ║   6 ║   2 ║   6 ║ Saber Marionette J Again   ║
║ 1999-07-25 ║ OAV  ║   6 ║   3 ║   9 ║ Ten Tokyo Warriors         ║
║ 1999-10-06 ║ TV   ║  12 ║   1 ║  12 ║ Seraphim Call              ║
║ 1999-12-18 ║ OAV  ║   6 ║   7 ║   7 ║ Sakura Wars 2              ║
║ 2002-06-15 ║ OAV  ║   8 ║   8 ║   8 ║ Angelique: Twin Collection ║
║ 2002-10-02 ║ TV   ║  13 ║   1 ║  13 ║ Sister Princess: Re Pure   ║
║ 2003-05-08 ║ TV   ║   6 ║   1 ║   6 ║ Saint Beast                ║
║ 2005-10-21 ║ TV   ║  26 ║   1 ║  26 ║ Mushi-Shi                  ║
...

Huh, more endings than episodes? You may have noticed, there are titles with more endings than episodes: They can all be considered to have as many endings as episodes. For Ten Tokyo Warriors, Sakura Wars 2 and Heaven's Lost Property those are caused by some kind of inconsistent annotation in ANN. For Akikan! they list an extra ending for a special but don't count the special towards the episodes. Katanagatari got an extra ending for the noitaminA rebroadcast. For Highschool of the Dead and Maken-Ki! Battling Venus they count the OAV ending towards the anime.

Almost made it I thought it would be interesting to also check which ones cut it very close. Here's an addtitional list sorted by #EPs/#EDs and then sorted by vintage. I left out all that have a quotient of 1 or less, since we already know those from above. The full list can be found here.

╔═══════╦════════════╦══════╦═════╦═════╦══════════════════════════════╗
║ EP/ED ║  Vintage   ║ Type ║ #EP ║ #ED ║             Name             ║
╠═══════╬════════════╬══════╬═════╬═════╬══════════════════════════════╣
║ ...   ║            ║      ║     ║     ║                              ║
║ 1.04  ║ 2007-04-08 ║ TV   ║  24 ║  23 ║ Lucky Star                   ║
║ 1.09  ║ 2010-07-07 ║ TV   ║  12 ║  11 ║ Strike Witches 2             ║
║ 1.09  ║ 2010-10-01 ║ TV   ║  12 ║  11 ║ Heaven's Lost Property Forte ║
║ 1.11  ║ 2006-02-10 ║ OAV  ║  10 ║   9 ║ Hellsing Ultimate            ║
║ 1.17  ║ 1990-01-26 ║ OAV  ║   7 ║   6 ║ Be-Bop-Highschool            ║
║ 1.2   ║ 1990-06-15 ║ OAV  ║   6 ║   5 ║ Devil Hunter Yohko           ║
...

As ʞɹɐzǝɹ already mentioned Lucky Star should qualify for the previous list, having 24 episodes and endings, but ANN is missing the ED for ep22. And so on, you can already see, this DB isn't perfect either ;)

Overview Finally, here's a barplot showing the distribution of the number of endings among all animes that fit the assumptions described initially.

ed_plot

Result for OPs

There are only two result for #EPs = #OPs, and those are already shown in the list above (Sakura Wars 2 and Angelique: Twin Collection). The results for #EPs / #OPs are here. OPs are generally not as diverse:

enter image description here

More OPs than EDs and vice versa

As per Gao WeiWei's suggestion: There are 221 animes with #OP > #ED, among those 115 have no endings listed in ANN at all, which is probably a mix of the truth and missing annotations (full list). The other way around, there are 781 animes with #ED > #OP, 82 with no openings at all (full list).

Outro

This is not the definite answer either of course, ANN doens't provide an XML schema, so I might have overlooked something, and even if everything went well in my parsing, we already know they have a different opinion on the number of EDs e.g. for NGE (see GaoWeiwei's answer for that discussion), and there are several errors mentioned above. Answering a different question I realized I should have probably made sure the endings are unique, that doesn't affect the main result here though.

  • I like your methodology and the way you present your method and findings, and how you explain the peculiarities arising from your analysis. I don't know if you could just reuse the code to grab data from other comprehensive anime databases to cross-validate your answer. By the way, most, if not all, of those anime with 0 OP/ED have missing info. An interesting question would be: is there an anime with #OP > #ED? – Gao Jan 27 '15 at 11:09
  • @GaoWeiwei Thanks, and good suggestion about more OPs than EDs, I added some info above. I also updated the full lists on github with better formatting I only learned about yesterday. The main work for verifying with another database would be getting the actual data. I checked the list you linked and among those that contain song info, ANN seems to be the most batch-retrieval friendly (So I was lucky, I only checked ANN and MAL initially). No promises, but I will look into it. Most sites are probably just careful to keep their servers alive and I could get access by asking for it. – mivilar Jan 27 '15 at 14:47
2

I don't know what is the first anime to have done this, but I can name one anime older than both Oreimo and Love Live that has done this: Neon Genesis Evangelion (2003 Renewal DVD1). According to Wikia:

Every episode has a different "Fly Me To The Moon."

Let's see if anyone can beat me to the Moon.


1 Thanks to mivilar for the correction. Detailed information about all the ED versions in the different releases of Neon Genesis Evangelion can be found here.

  • Ah, great answer, thanks. I hope this is it. – Enrico Susatyo Jan 5 '15 at 14:54
  • 1
    @EnricoSusatyo One thing to note here however is that (as it says on wikia) this is only true for the re-release version. For example, it seems to be true for the Platinum Edition DVDs I own, but the original airing 1995-96 apparently had less as shown on ANN – mivilar Jan 5 '15 at 15:05
  • @mivilar The ANN info seems to conflict with that from Wikia. In ANN's trivia section, it says In the original japanese version and dubbed videos (But not the DVDs) there is a different version of fly me to the moon in each episode. The ADV DVD version still has multiply versions of the song but not a different one each episode. – Gao Jan 5 '15 at 15:18
  • 1
    I scanned the booklet from my version (ADV-distributed 'Platinum') and it contains the data from Wikia, so that's where that came from. I randomly checked some of the endings and they seem to line up with that listing. However, maybe there is another DVD version released by ADV that ANN is referring to? The 'Platinum' edition is apparently based on the Japanese 'Renewal' and to bring yet another site into the mix evageek's music list also claims all different endings are present only in the 'Renewal' – mivilar Jan 5 '15 at 15:54
  • 1
    @GaoWeiwei was running out of characters in the previous comment. here is a listing from evageeks specific to Fly Me to the Moon. I couldn't find any other info on this, so no idea who is wrong here. – mivilar Jan 6 '15 at 13:14

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