I opined over on Bearblog that there is no clear anime of the year front-runner through the first season and a half of 2023. However, while we have yet to see an SSSS.Dynazenon (my 2021 pick) or Teasing Master Takagi-san season 3 (my 2022 pick), 2023 has been very strong in one area: good opening and ending songs with accompanied by strong visuals. I dare say the 2023 slate has already passed 2021 and 2022. I covered the main ending theme of The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten in a full article here at The New Leaf Journal. While Ms. Manaka Iwami’s rendition of Chiisana Koi no Uta is among the more pleasant melodies of 2023 anime thus far, it will not be my opening or ending of the year due to its lacking the visual style of some other strong offerings. While it is too early to begin ranking the songs, one of my favorites of 2023 thus far is the ending theme of Mix, Haru no Oto by miwa. The song, which translates to The Sound of Spring, fits this season’s baseball anime well and has some unusually creative visuals for an ending theme. Crunchyroll published an article on the official music video for Haru no Oto, which is now available on Ms. miwa’s official YouTube channel.
It is far too early to choose an OP/ED of the year, but if 2023 keeps up its pace in this area, I may need more than four honorable mentions. Mix’s Haru no Oto is a good enough overall production to be in the early running for the category award.
(Other notables of 2023 thus far — unordered: The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten ED 1 (“Chiisana Koi no Uta”); The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten ED 2 (“Ai Uta”); Oshi no Ko OP (“Idol”); Oshi no Ko ED (“Mephisto”); My Clueless Best Friend ED (“Kokorone”); Insomniacs After School ED (“Lapse”); The Dangers in My Heart OP (“Shayou”); The Dangers in My Heart ED (“Suu Sentimental”); Skip to Loafer OP (“Mellow”); The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady OP (“Arc-en-Ciel”); Otaku Elf OP (“Kien Romance”))