Nothing is more important than a good first impression. Whether it is dressing nicely for a first date, a quality first paragraph for an article, or a theme song to set the mood for an anime series. Most of our expectations for something are created from the result of a first impression, but that expectation can be used to trick us. Here are some anime intros that tricked us into believing we were going to be watching something entirely different from the end product.
Note, all entries have a song embed due to video restrictions.
Shadow Star (Narutaru)
What the intro tells us: Shadow Star, also known as Narutaru, is a fun and colorful slice of life series that stars school girls and some star fish creatures. The series is most likely similar to Pokemon or Digimon and will teach us the magic of friendship or some other kiddie lesson.
What the show really is: Shadow Star does start out as a friendly series, with 12-year old Shiina Tamia meeting and bonding with a starfish looking baby dragon. There are other girls who have met and bonded with these “shadow dragons” too, and you are not at fault for assuming that the series was riding the Pokemon wave of the time. However, Shadow Star pulls the rug from under us and takes a very dark and gruesome turn (not safe for work and massive spoiler), almost as if Pokemon had a child with Elfen Lied. If you think the anime is brutal, you should check out the manga, which is almost guaranteed to give you nightmares.
What the intro tells us: With an intro that would fit in with the Devil May Cry series, Watamote is a story about a deranged girl locked away from society. However, some demons invade, forcing the president to unleash our deranged heroine to save the world.
What the show really is: Watamote is a slice of life series that stars Tomoko Kuroki. She is a depressed and lonely high school freshman who is trying to become popular, only to fail miserably and hilariously. Depending on how your high school life was in the past though, Watamote might hit a little close to home for you.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
What the intro tells us: Madoka Magica is magical girl series that is similar to Sailor Moon and Pretty Cure! Madoka is just a normal girl who became a magical girl, and now she will save the world from marshmallowy villains and get into some funny situations.
What the show really is: We have talked about how Madoka Magica is a deceiving series in the past, and it is all because of the catchy opening. Aniplex and Shaft expertly hid the fact that Madoka Magica is a dark and psychological take on the beloved magical girl genre.
The Tower of Druaga
What the intro tells us: The Tower of Druaga is a surrealist slice of life series about a group of high school friends where dragons fly above the city scape and people steal toast straight out of your mouth. Throw in some armor and, well, we don’t really know what is going on.
What the show really is: The Tower of Druaga is a straight up fantasy, action-comedy series which is an adaptation of Namco’s Baylonian Castle Saga arcade game franchise. For an anime based on a game, it is pretty good.
What the intro tells us: School Days is a light-hearted high school romantic drama. There will be a lot of smiling and blushing under blossoming sakura trees, and we will be guessing who the protagonist will be hooking up with. We might even learn a touching lesson about young love.
What the show really is: What we got was a whole lot better. While School Days does start out as a light-hearted high school romantic drama, things get ramped up towards the middle of the series. You may even be familiar with the infamous ending (not safe for work and series spoiler). Yes, a lot of negative things can be said about the writing and character development, but School Days probably has the most realistic ending for anyone trying to hold a harem in real life.
Hunter x Hunter
What the intro tells us: Hunter x Hunter is an action-adventure shounen series that you can watch on Saturday mornings with your younger brother. You’ll learn that the power of friendship will help you defeat your toughest enemies, all while traveling the world!
What the show really is: One of the darkest shounen series to have been produced in the last few years. Series protagonist Gon Freecss best friend is an ex-assassin named Killua Zoldyck, and he is only 11! Gon just wants to live life as an ordinary kid and to find his father, but things will go as well as you would expect.
Renkin 3-kyuu Magical? Pokan
What the intro tells us: Magipoka is a dark, violent, and psychological take on the magical girl genre. This is the opening Madoka Magica should have had!
What the show really is: Magipoka is magical girl comedy, with a heavy emphasis on jokes and humorous shenanigans. Magipoka and Madoka Magica should have switched openings.
That is just a sampling of some of the misleading anime openings out there. What are some that you have seen?