This one I chose to highlight just because I like it. I mean, I like all the openings I feature and talk about, obviously, but this one just tickles me the right way for reasons that aren’t deep, complex, and thought provoking. It tickles me because I’m old.
Yes, young ones, I remember a time when there was no internet, the Atari 2600 was the height of gaming consoles, phones had cords, and the sandbox was something that didn’t exist virtually. I am an old man, an old geek, and sometimes, I just like things because they invoke a sense of nostalgia.
Gun X Sword pulls that off very nicely.
If you’ve never seen it, Gun X Sword is… really weird. There’s this lone drifter named Van, who has a thing for condiments, and he’s looking for a guy called The Claw. Seems The Claw killed Van’s wife on their wedding day. Van also has a giant mecha that falls out of the sky whenever he turns his hat the right way, a sash that turns into a sword, and as near as I can tell, no taste buds.
Seriously, nobody can use every condiment in existence to that degree and be capable of actually tasting anything.
Granted, Gun X Sword sound silly as hell, and to a degree, it is silly. It’s also extremely well written, with every single character given surprising depth, even the ones that only show up for a single episode. There’s a lot of complexity to The Claw, even, and the mechas that appear are much more than they seem, and are actually relevant to the story beyond just looking cool.
Gun X Sword is one of those shows I may tackle more in depth in the future, just because there’s so much to talk about where it’s concerned. It’s a very unexpected sort of show, in a lot of ways, and I recommend folks giving it a try. It is worth the experience.
The opening credits, now, they really do set the stage in some interesting ways. It isn’t so much what they do, as how they do it. See, Gun X Sword hit the scene in 2005, but it’s one of the most 80’s things you’ll ever see this side of Stranger Things.
First, there’s that theme music. It sounds like something Ennio Morricone would have written. It feels like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It was actually written by Kotaro Nakagawa, who is best known for his work on Planetes, Code Geass, and many of the Kamen Rider tv shows.
I grew up on the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood, and they still hold a special place in my heart. So, the theme song here takes me back to that time. That’s the first nostalgia trip.
The second is all the silhouette figures dancing their way through the opening animation. Go back and watch any of the James Bond films openings from the 80’s and you’ll see the same thing.
The last nostalgia trip it takes me on it the way they frame everything. It feels like a shout out to the shows that first introduced me to anime. Robotech, Voltron, battle of the Planets. There’s a strong vibe there that calls back to those. It’s in the ways the characters are moved across the screen, I think. It’s weird, and hard to describe, but it reminds me of those days, sitting with a bowl of cereal, watching those shows on a Saturday morning.
All of it together, for old folks like me, weaves a tale of outlaws, caught up in intrigue, and the wonder of our youth as we first experienced the medium of anime, and were captivated for reasons we couldn’t explain. It feels like something that would have been on back then, and for a minute, watching it, I feel like a kid again.
That’s a special kind of magic. That’s striking the right note in a very different way.