[[quoteright:320:[[WesternAnimation/BionicSix http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bionic_six_opening_2712.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:A dynamic image... that never shows up in the actual show.]]

->''"I mean they usually have ten times better animation than the actual show..."''
-->-- '''WebVideo/ThatDudeInTheSuede''', ''[[http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatdudeinthesuede/animenia/778-top-11-anime-openings Top 11 Anime Openings]]''

When the opening to an animated action show has more action than at least an entire episode. You see loads of dynamic scenes all crammed into that minute or so. The show itself has some action, but due to LimitedAnimation, there is no way it looks as cool as the opening.

There are a few ways to tell if it's '''not''' this trope:
# It has to be an action show, so even if a show has a dynamic opening, like ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'', it doesn't count.
# It has to show loads of action. The opening of ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' shows Prince Adam talking, the TransformationSequence, and a few rapid shots of characters, so it doesn't count either.
# As a corollary to the second rule, dynamic but artistic openings aren't action, so the opening of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' doesn't count.

Note this is the TitleSequence, not the first act.

Compare BaitAndSwitchCredits, FakeOutOpening, DetailHoggingCover, AnimationBump, ActionPrologue. MerchandiseDriven works will often make this a ProductPromotionParade.


* ''{{Akuma-kun}}'' had an absolutely kickass opening sequence featuring all the monsters our hero can summon displaying their powers or schticks, bad guy monsters attacking, the city going dark, and a blood-pumping musical theme by the Koorogi '73--and then the show itself was creakily slow, with just a little bit of action at the end of episodes in most cases.
%%* ''Anime/BurstAngel''.
* Not only do several of the openings to ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' show more action than the episodes within them, they tend to show fights that never happen or have no reason to happen (Byakuya against Renji past the Soul Society arc? What?).
* ''Manga/DNAngel'' has an epic opening sequence drawn mostly from scenes from the final two episodes of the series, with some images from other parts of the series, and yet since the series is more of a ROMANCE COMEDY than an action-packed battle between two angels… most of the series is a lot less low key. There are episodes with that level of action, and other episodes devoted solely to romance or developing the characters, and thus falling far behind the opening in the action department.
* The English dub of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' has a pretty exciting opening, but most of the episodes that have fights seem to show them as the same four frames looping for a couple of minutes, or a BeamOWar and [[SmokeShield obscuring dust clouds]] It should be noted that a fair amount of said opening was taken from the movies, which had much larger animation budgets than the show itself.
** But that's nothing compared to the later remake, ''Anime/DragonBallKai''. Its opening is made in a streamlined, all-new style. Its footage is cleaned up versions of the same low budget beam-o-wars from the previous example, albeit in less gratuitous amounts.
* The OVA opening for ''Manga/FairyTail'' shows a number of battle clips, but no OVA has had much fighting it. Even the one that did took place in a world without magic, and most of the fights were purely comical.
* The fourth opening to [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' has a massive battle between the Elric brothers and Lust and Gluttony, taking place in the waterfall area leading to the underground city below Central. Yet Ed doesn't even go there until his brother is captured and one of the homunculi they're fighting in the opening is dead.
** Oddly enough, this fight happens ([[EvasiveFightThreadEpisode although inconclusively]]) in the OVA short before leading to every state alchemist versus every homunculus.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' especially the second season. The openings mostly focus on Kusanagi and the Tachikomas going into heated battle, while the show itself is much more cerebral and talky, and action sequences tend to be quick and decisive. A couple of episodes have no action sequences at all.
* ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' is particular guilty with this, since all the openings depict a bloody battlefield in some manner or another, with Gintoki fighting against wave after wave of aliens. The actual show? Gintoki and [[TrollingCreator Sorachi]] telling jokes and trolling the audience.
** Though subverted once a while during serious arcs, typically involving Gintoki giving smackdowns to loads and loads of mooks.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' has a first-season intro which shows a chaotic battle royale involving at least a half-dozen Gundams fighting it out in outer space. Except that no one goes to outer space until the end of season two, and nearly every fight in the first season is one-on-one. Season two's opening, oddly enough, has barely any fighting at all, despite coming right at the point where the show's action kicks into high gear.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'' is full of this due to the prevalent nature of the completely original footage of the Gundams. This sets it apart from its predecessor ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' which is made entirely in stock footage.
* Several openings from ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}''.
* The English dub of ''Anime/KirbyOfTheStars'' does this probably due to AmericanKirbyIsHardcore. Most of the opening consist of scenes with Kirby battling the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]]. These scenes usually occur around the last few minutes of the show.
* The opening(s) to ''VisualNovel/LimeIroSenkitan''/''VisualNovel/LimeIroRyukitanX'' promise one-tenth [[TheUnwantedHarem harem anime]] and nine-tenths ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''-style action. It was exactly the other way around.
* The opening sequences for the ''Anime/LupinIII'' television series tend to have Lupin and friends being chased all over the world by Zenigata. This chase sequence serves as a visual and action-packed shorthand for the character's roles. In the actual show, the crew's conflicts with Zenigata tend to feature fewer chase sequences and more clever trickery and disguises.
* ''Mazinger'' saga: The openings of the trilogy -''Anime/MazingerZ'', ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' and ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer''- feature more action -featuring the titular {{Humongous Mecha}}s tearing their way through an army of enemies-, and a better animation than an average episode of their series -especially of ''Grendizer''-.
* The fourth Japanese ''Anime/MonsterRancher'' intro was much more action packed then the actual anime, and had much better animation.
* The ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' opening Haruka Kanata features a fictional strategic fight in the Chuunin exam Arc where everyone from Team 7 works together. Shown during an Arc where every fight is one on one and has farts as an high point.
* ''Manga/NininGaShinobuden'' has among other things in the intro a fight against a dark Shinobu ([[BaitAndSwitchCredits which never actually happens]]), and that alone contains more action than just about any actual episode.
* The opening of ''Roleplay/RecordOfLodossWar: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight'' features absolutely gorgeous animation and an award-worthy song. The show itself features far sparser action sequences, more still frames, and far more talking.
* ''Anime/RedPhotonZillion'': The opening featured gorgeous animation and fighting sequences at the tune of an epic {{Earworm}}.
* ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}''. Actual fights with demon packs happen pretty much OncePerEpisode, but they technically aren't the focus of the show and tend to be much less epic. This got even worse in the sequels due to the shift to a different tone and a more limited animation.
* ''LightNovel/ShangriLa''. Let the rocking theme play. Let the dramatic and action-packed character shots roll. Let the acrobatic, MagicSkirt-wearing [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair pink-haired]] [[OlderThanTheyLook legal loli]] Kuniko Hojo kick ass and cut tank cannons with a boomerang, making them explode. Then let the facepalms and tears flow when you find out the OP is actually ''better'' than the anime itself.
* ''Manga/LegendOfHeavenlySphereShurato'': The opening of the anime is packed with action, and features an absolutely gorgeous, detailed and fluid animation, considerably better than the one used in the series.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'''s second opening featured an adrenaline-inducing theme song set to Yugi and his friends gearing up for battle, and unleashing their monsters to fight the bad guys in the streets of a darkened city. While there is fighting due to it being a tournament arc, it's not the free-for-all the credits portray it as, and the fact that the monsters are holograms ensures that it won't be as dramatic as it seems.
* ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'''s openings are serious offenders, as they pack more fighting sequences than the entire anime.

* ''WebAnimation/GirlchanInParadise'''s opening is a parody of this, featuring actual fluid animation and a fight between Kenstar and Yusuke. The actual show is mostly LimitedAnimation where the characters stand in place and their lips flap around, and the rare fights are laughable anticlimaxes.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BionicSix'' is pictured above, and the intro is a beautiful hook with damn catchy music. The animation in the show proper, however, is not quite as stellar.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats''.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/SilverHawks''
* The opening to the Creator/RubySpears ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon made it seemed accurate to the actual games, yet the actual episodes were nothing but standard Saturday morning fare. An oft-raised point about the show is how Napalm Man, a tank-like robot bristling with cannons and missile launchers, appears for a few seconds in the intro and nowhere in the show itself.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akJygsSXcjw Super fighting robot...Mega MAN!]]
*** As usual, Germany took it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFEBaAxO7W0 up to 11.]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'': the opening (and end credits) feature a montage of the main characters fighting various enemies, none of whom actually appear in the show, though "[[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln Time Lincoln]]" eventually appeared in the movie.
** The following seasons received new action-packed intros that depict various genre settings (cop dramas, a heist, etc.) that do not have anything to do with the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' had a moderate amount of action, typically there was at least one sequence per episode, but if the opening credits were to be believed it would have been nothing but 30 minutes of pure ass kicking.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' has Tony Stark examing footage of some of his fellow Avengers (corresponding with lyrics in the theme tune), before armoring up to join the others in battling the forces of HYDRA. The closest the series gets to that is in the episode "Hail, Hydra!", but even then there's a ton of differences (AIM's involvement, the Cosmic Cube, Avengers who had joined since)
* The original ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'', with Shredder appearing through a dimensional portal accompanied by vast armies of Foot Soldiers behind him. While it was an action show, there were a lot of episodes that didn't have very much fighting, and any time the Foot appeared it was usually in small groups, instead of being a vast horde.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/MightyOrbots''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}''
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0CYNm_dRBA opening]] to the ''WesternAnimation/SuperMarioWorld'' cartoon has dinosaurs crushing cities, Mario saving the Princess from Bowser, and Yoshi eating a fireball. The character designs are even a bit more game-accurate than in the actual episodes.
* The openings of ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' and ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'' both show the titular characters being much more competent than they are on their respective shows. Gadget even comes close to catching Dr. Claw in his opening, which never happened on the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Dangermouse}}'': DM dodges a bomb, avoids a [[ItMakesSenseInContext heavily armed spider]], rescues Penfold from being suspended over an alligator pit, dodges another bomb, then they leap into the FlyingCar and drive off.
* The educational program ''Series/DragonsWagonsAndWax'' had an exciting, action-packed animated opening featuring a dragon who gets stuck on a runaway cart! The actual show was live-action, intellectual and slow-paced.
* The opening titles for ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' give the implication of a far more dramatic action series with Zordrak. Most episodes themselves, while still having some good animation, are a laid back HarmlessVillain formula with the Urpneys (the guys introduced last).
* ''WesternAnimation/MikeTysonMysteries'' does this [[ExaggeratedTrope deliberately.]] New viewers might be caught off-guard to find how laid-back the show is compared to its over-the-top intro.
** Played with in the ClipShow episode "My Favorite Mystery", where they reveal that all the events in the opening ''did'' happen.
* The intro to ''WesternAnimation/TheWackyWorldOfTexAvery'' is much more fluidly animated and crazier than anything featured in the actual show, the intro was animated by Animasia with Glen Kennedy founder of KennedyCartoons as it's lead animator.
* The opening of ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaSecretsOfATeenageWitch'' shows Sabrina battling Enchantra directly, while the actual show usually just has Sabrina dealing with mundane problems and she's oblivious to Enchantra being evil.