Nico Nico Douga culture and its effect on anime openings

Oh no– don’t let the title give you the wrong idea. This won’t be some long, drawn out essay. This is just something I’ve noticed.

It seems this season some shows are looking back at the fanbase for certain amounts of inspiration. Rather, the people who make these things are probably fans themselves. Openings in particular have been stellar, and some of the best pieces are those that draw upon Nico Nico Douga for inspiration. The Kannagi opening is reminiscent of a Miku video, Rosario + Vampire Capu 2’s opening is a clear homage to iDOLM@S videos, and both Jigoku Shoujo season 3 and Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei have very MAD movie inspired opening numbers.

This dialogue between fans and creators is really cool. It’s nothing new to anime, though– it’s been happening since the 1980s with things like Project Ako– but the advent of new internet culture gives creators more wacky things to make reference to. I mean, look at Pani Poni Dash– the understanding of most of those sight gags and such is dependent on knowledge of Japanese internet culture.

These kinds of references also put the creators on a more personal level with the fans. When referencing anime, you’re referencing something else that another creator at your same level has made. However, when referencing an internet meme, you’re putting yourself on the same level as an average fan, telling them, “yeah, we’re just like you.”

I just think that’s neat.