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“Motteke! Sailor Fuku” Dance by Persona 4 Characters
Anime Opening/Ending Parody (Japanese: OPパロ/EDパロ) is one of the types in user-made video remixes inspired by anime opening (OP) and ending (ED) theme movies. Anime opening and endings are short video clips usually about a minute and a half long that are attached to the beginning and end of each anime episode. Many series have multiple openings and endings and the songs for these are usually done by famous Japanese bands and artists. Many video games also have animated openings. Due to the ease of being able to associate an OP/ED video remix with the anime, fans often try their hand at creating new ones or making derivatives.
Pre-dawn of the Internet (1980s – 1990s)
The practice of fan-made OP/ED parody videos started when video tapes became mainstream in 1980’s. The earliest instances of the parody videos were created by college anime circles or indie movie groups, and had been shared through small indie film events, doujin convention, or hand delivery among otaku people.
Famous instances in this pre-internet era are “Aura Farmer Combine” (農耕士コンバイン, Noukoushi Combine) and the opening movie of “C3B” (CardCaptor Cherry Blossom). The former is an all hand-drawn animated parody film for a TV anime Aura Battler Dunbine, which was created by Akita University Animation Club members in 1985. The latter is a live-action parody for a TV anime Cardcaptor Sakura. This weird parody video was released at a doujin convention by Nagoya-residing doujin groups on February 2000.
Left: “Aura Farmer Combine” (1985) | Right: “C3B” Opening Movie (2000)
Underground Web Culture (late-1990s – mid-2000s)
OP/ED parody had been also one of the standard styles in MAD videos since its birth in the same mid-1980s. Among them, “Otaku no MAD Video” series by Hajioh (はじおう) and The Fake OP Video Committee (インチキOP制作委員会) in 1997-1998 is known as the pioneer of online MAD videos, and it contained many OP parody style videos as its name suggests. In addition, the Japanese 2channel-led flash movie creation movement in the first half of 2000s was also triggered by well-made anime parodies. A Japanese flash animation creator Wosa’s anime OP parody series featuring 2channel Shift-JIS art characters is known as the originator of anime parodies in the movement. However, these videos were usually taken down by the creators within a short period or distributed among fans in the underground web culture via anonymous uploaders or P2P softwares because of the copyright issues.
Left: “The King of Braves Master Asia” GaoGaiGar OP feat. G Gundam by Hajioh (1997)
Right: “Urusei 8(ya)tsura” Urusei Yatsura OP feat. 2ch AA by Wosa (2001)
Popularization (late-2000s – )
The popularization of YouTube in 2006 and the launch of the Japanese video sharing service Nico Nico Douga in the following year drastically changed consciousness of the copyrights among both people and Japanese media companies. The breakthrough was brought by fan works for the OP/ED movies "Hare Hare Yukai" and "Motteke! Sailor Fuku" from Kyoto Animation’s hit titles The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star. A huge amount of tributes for the movies openly took the online video hub sites by storm in late-2000s, and many copyright holders became not to frequently remove online fan creations utilizing their contents except for several rigid media companies. At this point, OP/ED Parodies finally succeeded to achieve the status of the popular genre in fan creations on the overground web.
Left: “Hare Hare Yukai” Parody feat. Hetalia | Right: “Motteke! Sailor Fuku” Parody feat. Donald McDonald – Ran Ran Ru
As described above, user-made video remixes including Anime OP/ED Parodies had been destributed in the underground till late-2000s due to the copyright issues. The creators were quite limited in a few people/groups with high-motivation and movie/anime creating skills. Meanwhile, “Aura Farmer Combine” and “Otaku no MAD Video” caught an attention among some movie fans by being introduced in a midnight TV program or movie magazine in the context of indie movies in 1990s. And anime parody flash movies in the first half of 2000s are described as one of the milestones in the history of online user-generated contents in several academic books for the Japanese internet culture.
In the era of every single anime titles having more or less fan creations on the web after late-2000s, Anime OP/ED Parody isn’t an exclusive category for some particular creators anymore, and usually popular and/or easy-to-mimic series tend to be targets of OP/ED parody by many people in online amatuer creators communities such as NND, YouTube or pixiv. Nowadays, it’s an usual sight on the web that OP/ED parodies that are popular on social network services make a headline on online news media or sometimes receive approval from the original creators.
As of 2014, the amounts of videos related to the keywords “OP Parody” (OPパロ) or “ED Parody” (EDパロ) on YouTube and NND are 67,000 and 22,000 in each. Additionally, the YouTube search query for “anime opening parody” brings up 640,000 results and “anime ending parody” brings up 134,000 results.
Types of Parodies
There are literally thousands of these parodies, but typically they fall under one of three categories:
Redrawing the original OP/ED footage by hand-drawn animation is the most common way among amateur illustrators/animators.
Left: Azumanga Daioh OP feat. 2channel Shift-JIS Art Characters | Right: Durarara ED feat. Deglett from Pokémon
Similar to Anime Music Video, the primary purpose of this style is to reproduce the original sequences and atmosphere by editing different title footage.
Left: Durarara!! OP feat. Bakemonogatari | Right: Attack on Titan OP feat. Nichijo
Some particularly dedicated groups decide to make live action parodies of the openings. Though not as common as hand-drawn animation and MAD, these tend to be pretty funny. YouTube channel user awnglier has a bunch of side-by-side comparisons of live action parodies and the real opening.
Left: Fullmetal Alchemist OP by Koreans | Right: Chunibyo OP by Kusarine Project
Besides, live action parodies have been created in commercial media since late 2000s as well. Japanese/Taiwanese variety shows sometimes create their own live-action parodies starring comedians. And a Japanese porn video company Total Media Agency (TMA) is famous for their anime parody titles reproducing the original scenes including OP/ED movies by porn actors.
Left: Slam Dunk OP by Twaianese TV Show | Right: Nichijou OP1 Parody by TMA (Comparison)
For the complete listing of memes, check out KYM Collection – op/ed parody