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This Spongebob Squarepants anime opening is incredible

There's something about anime that motivates the meme-making community like nothing else. You've seen the memes: "Drake & Josh is my favorite anime" or some Worldstar hip hop brawl being framed as part of the "Top 10 Anime Battles".

Anyone familiar with the insanely popular series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure also knows that absurd, over-the-top poses, surreal characters and outrageous plotlines make anime a unique source of entertainment. If crazy shit is going down, it can probably be related to Japan and its absurd aesthetic sensibilities in some way.

So, here's where we're at: someone has made a YouTube video portraying SpongeBob Squarepants, the legendary children's show that is also a massive meme machine, as an anime opening.

anime screenshot Naruto spongebob Credit: Newgrounds

Oh hell yeah. The plotline of the anime is simple: Plankton has found a way to mind control Squidward, and is using him to go to war with the Krusty Crab. Patrick, Sandy and SpongeBob are the warriors on the frontlines against this unspeakable evil.

It's absolutely awesome:

Combine two memes, anime and SpongeBob, and you get an ultra-meme. You get something like this. The creator of the video is an artist named Narmak. Several YouTube channels have stolen his video, so I wanted to link directly to the original, on Newgrounds.com. It's a shame that the stolen YouTube version has half-a-million views and climbing, while this video has less than 50,000. It's time that meme characters and video creators, as well as rap producers, the under appreciated stars of our time, get their due.

But in my view, this is a bit more than a meme. It is genuinely emotional! Right? You can feel the storyline, SpongeBob sprinting alongside the sun and stumbling, Plankton's villainous grin, the implied romance between SpongeBob and Squidward destroyed by Plankton's plans...

It'd be an incredible story. Squidward is totally the Sasuke Uchiha of SpongeBob, leaving the famous sponge as Naruto. And indeed, fans of that show have speculated for years that the two are genuinely in love. SpongeBob and Squidward, oh yeah, I ship it.

sponge bob running anime Credit: Narmak

For those wondering what the song is, it's called Colors of the Heart, by a Japanese band called UVERworld. Don't ask me how I know that. Anyway, it's an archetypal anime opening song that brilliantly captures the emotion of any great television opening.

It's a unique choice by Japanese storytellers. American TV rarely relies on its openings to produce emotion. Most openings in American TV, like Breaking Bad, or The Sopranos, are there to set a mood for the entire series. Only True Detective has really taken the medium of the opening seriously.

In anime, openings change every 13 to 26 episodes. Why? Well, because anime openings are genuinely beautiful, and aren't appreciated as the great art they are. They are a showcase of visual and music design that sets the stage for a show's emotional arc, and defines the series in its viewers' hearts.

It's easy to be cynical about this, but anime openings really do portray the colors of the human heart. That's why this opening is so great, and why American TV could stand to learn a thing or two about the importance of a good opening.

Good work, Narmak.