When it comes to the best anime songs, you cannot possibly miss Hinako Note‘s opening theme ‘A ・ E ・ I ・ U ・ E ・ O ・ Ao !!” off the list.
I mean, come on. Not only does the Hinako Note opening theme have adorably cute girls singing, but also adorably cute girls…rapping.
And rapping better than half the male rappers on the planet, while accompanied by one of the most kawaii opening animations we’ve seen.
I guarantee too, once you have listened to ‘A ・ E ・ I ・ U ・ E ・ O ・ Ao !!‘ one or two times, it will be so stuck in your head that’s all you will be able to hum for days afterward.
‘A ・ E ・ I ・ U ・ E ・ O ・ Ao !!‘ (aka ‘あ・え・い・う・え・お・あお!’ in Japanese) is sung by Gekidan Hitotose, which of course is a group made up of the anime’s lead voice actors — M.A.O (who plays Hinako Sakuragi), Miyu Tomita (who voices Kuina Natsukawa), Yui Ogura (Mayuki Hiiragi), Hisako Tōjō (Chiaki Hagino), and Marika Kōno (Yua Nakajima).
Yes, Hinako Note does feature some of the best voice actors in the business.
The Hinako Note plot
As for the anime series, it tells the story of Hinako aka “Hina”, a student who moves to Tokyo to attend high school.
Hinako is painfully shy, but decides she might be able to overcome that by joining the high school’s drama club. The only problem is, when she gets to Tokyo, she finds out the club is on hiatus.
No worries, though, as Hinako lives above a bookstore/coffee shop with a group of other girls and soon they have decided to create their own theater group to help her out.
Animation and characters
Hinako Note’s artwork and animation is beautifully done with gorgeous character designs, vibrant colors and cute chibi characterization that pops up now and again.
The characters themselves are as moe as they come too.
Protagonist Hinako is shy and derpy but gets along amazingly well with animals. She also has a tendency to freeze like a scarecrow when she is uncomfortable around people she does not know well.
Kuina is known for her love of books — literally, she eats them! She is one of the first people to befriend Hinako.
Mayuki acts like an elementary school student, wears a maid outfit but is older than most of the other girls at the bookstore.
Chiaki may still be a teenager, but she is also the landlady of the bookstore and keeps the girls organized. She is also the person who suggests the girls start their own theater group.
Yua is more yuri than any of the other Hinako Note girls, as she is in love with Chiaki and spends most of her time vying for her attention.
Finally, there is Ruriko, a teeny and very famous nine-year-old actress who acts like she is 39. She becomes the theater group’s advisor and helps the girls with their plays.
Hinako Note‘s ”A ・ E ・ I ・ U ・ E ・ O ・ Ao !!”
This is absolutely one of the cutest opening themes of any anime series in the last decade, and is one of those rare OPs you are not likely to fast forward through just to get to the episode itself.
After all, it is kawaii girls performing cute dances to one of the catchiest rap songs out there — and all done to the most beautiful animated opening.
Watch and listen to Hinako Note‘s ‘A ・ E ・ I ・ U ・ E ・ O ・ Ao !!” opening theme in the video below. (You can also listen to the song in full in the video below that).
And then play it again and again and again. Because that song is killer catchy, and those girls are freaking MOE!!
I am a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I’m also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!