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Introductory Opening Credits

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"Splinter taught them to be ninja teens (he's a radical rat)
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (that's a fact, Jack)
Raphael is cool but rude (gimme a break)
Michelangelo is a party dude (party!)"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) theme songnote 

At any point during an opening sequence, the main characters will appear, each in a separate shot, with their names beside them. There are many reasons for this, but the most common is simply so the audience knows who's who before the show actually starts. On occasion, especially in live action shows, the actor playing the character will also be listed.

In long running shows where characters are Promoted to Opening Titles, expect Evolving Credits. If two characters are introduced at once, that's Diagonal Billing.

Related to Framed Face Opening, Fun with Subtitles on occasion, Casting Gag also on occasion, and Boss Subtitles. For the version at the end of the show, see Video Credits.

It's sometimes used in conjunction with Theme Tune Roll Call, where the opening theme of a show introduces the characters, often with shots of the characters as they are named by the song. Compare and contrast Welcome Titles, when The Protagonist goes around greeting —and maybe name-dropping— the cast during the Title Sequence. See also Expository Theme Tune.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the animated adaptation of Baccano!, each character's name is displayed next to them during the opening. The same can be said with its successor, Durarara!!.
  • The opening credits of the second season of The Big O had each character first listed by their occupation in the team, before cutting to monochrome clips of them from the show with their name underneath it.
  • Both openings for CLANNAD's anime adaptation do this with the five main heroines, showing their names next to them as they're introduced to the viewer.
  • Best Student Council does a unique version of this with its opening; the more prominent cast members are shown in the panels of what looks like a tarot card, with their name displayed at the bottom of the card; the secondary cast members are shown just doing things regularly, with a small caption in the corner with their name on it.
  • The second opening of Haruhi Suzumiya's anime adaptation does this with the main characters, displaying their names next to them when they first appear.
  • A version is used in Hetalia: Axis Powers. In the opening sequence of the first episode, all of the countries are named and their flag is shown when they begin speaking.
  • Hidamari Sketch:
    • The first season's opening uses this for the entire cast; their names appear on stylized suns, as "Hidamari" means "Sunshine."
    • The second season's opening applies this a bit more creatively, by putting the main cast's names on mail franks, which are then stamped on the character in question.
  • The Familiar of Zero: The opening credits for Zero's Familiar has each of the main characters displayed with a color-coded bar on the bottom with their name on it, Saito's in kanji while the rest are in English.
  • Doraemon: The opening of the 2005 anime has many variations, one of them being the five main characters introduced with their names in the background in big roman letters.
  • The opening of Magic of Stella follows the manga by showing the characters' names and their personalities, the latter in the form of video game stats. This series is about the creation of doujin games, in case you were wondering.
  • The opening credits of Transformers: Cybertron list the starting Autobot cast, though it never gets updated even when new main characters get introduced or undergo a Meaningful Rename.
  • The intro for Tamagotchi's ninth season, Miracle Friends, features shots of some of the characters next to their names in Latin script (in order: Mametchi, Memetchi, and Kuchipatchi; Coffretchi and Pianitchi; and Miraitchi and Clulutchi).
  • The opening of Suite Pretty Cure ♪ has a slide each for Hibiki and Kanade, the two main protagonists, with their names written in Latin script during the opening.

    Asian Animation 
  • 4 Angies: The first half of the intro gives the names and appearances of the four girls, as well as demonstrating their magic capabilities.
  • The intro to Happy Heroes contains shots of the heroes with their names beside them.
  • The opening theme for Jet and the Pet Rangers has a short segment that gives the appearances and names of, in order, Gigi, Tiyang, Liksi, and Jet.
  • The Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf theme songs, if they don't already name the characters, tend to at least show shots of the main characters. Examples include the Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Travel Around the World opening which shows shots of each character in a different part of the world and the Mr.Wolffy, Mr.Right! opening which shows shots of Wolffy and everyone he works with.
  • The very beginning of the original YoYo Man theme song has graphics that show the four main characters and their English names.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The original title sequence of Billy the Exterminator introduces Billy, Donnie, Big Bill, Ricky, and Mary, accompanied by a three-second video clip of each of them, as well as text describing their relation to Billy.
  • The second episode of Mimpi Metropolitan has an opening sequence showing the six main characters, pair-by-pair, with their name and their actor's name. The rest of the series uses a Title-Only Opening instead.
  • The Monkees' opening shows the boys with their names (since they were all The Danza, character names equal actor names). They were all first misidentified as Peter, then by their actual names, except for the actual Peter.
  • In the opening credits of Zoom, the name of each kid appears below them as they introduce themselves before they do some a stunt.
  • The 1981 Nero Wolfe series presents each of the four main characters (and two frequent recurrers) with a short video clip ending in a freeze-frame displaying both the actor's and character's name.
  • The Sleepover Club: In the TV series, the opening shows each of the main characters with just their first names beside them. Unlike most similar live-action shows, the actors's names are only listed in the closing titles.
  • Most of Studio 100's children's shows would contain a character introduction while the show's theme song is playing. Shows such as Kabouter Plop, Piet Piraat, and Samson En Gert, would feature live action versions of the characters next to illustrations of them.
  • Starting with Ultraman Mebius, the Ultra Series begins with an opening sequence that introduces the main characters of the show as well as their actors' names, one by one.

    Video Games 
  • The intro video for Borderlands introduces each of the characters and their role, e.g. "Mordecai as The Hunter" or "Brick as Himself".
  • Each opening of the BlazBlue games show the mugshots and the names of the playable characters.
  • World of Warcraft had a sequence during the Warlords of Draenor opening questline features introductions for each of the titular warlords as their names hovered beside them.
  • Variant: the intro cinematic for Super Smash Bros. 64 shows the names of the eight default characters before cutting to scenes of them in action, one after another.

    Web Animation 
  • Hector's World: The majority of the animated episodes have the main characters (Hector, Ranjeet, Sprat, Tama, Ming, and Constable Solosolave) introduced with their names onscreen.
  • Red vs. Blue: The first five seasons, at least on their film-like presentation on Netflix, have an extended introduction to start each series off, complete with name-presenting freezecams and camera sweeps.

    Web Videos 
  • Everyman HYBRID: In-Universe, this was how Evan, Vinny and Jeff chose to intro their exercise series. The three of them would be shown in separate scenes with their names and role given to the audience, introducing Evan as the "Nutritional Correspondent", Jeff as "Camera and Editing", and Vinny as "the EverymanHYBRID".
  • Echo Rose: Parodied in "bog vlog 1", where every person in the crew of Zipper Films is introduced, alongside joke information, such as claiming that Polo is an "aspiring DILF", and including a random Chuck E. Cheese doll they called "Capitalist scum".
  • Scootertrix the Abridged: The intro, mimicking Brooklyn Nine-Nine, intros with freeze framing footage of the characters in order, including Rainbow Dash's in-universe name 'The Bird'.

    Western Animation 
  • The intro to 6teen starts out with silhouette flashes of the six main characters with their names displayed along the bottom: Jen, Nikki, Jonesy, Wyatt, Jude, and Caitlin, in that order.
  • Big City Greens has a title card for each of the four nuclear Greens standing outside their house doing something in the intro — Cricket, Tilly, Bill and Gramma Alice, in that order.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: A variation; in the intro, each character's number is displayed before they make their entrance, and stays until they leave.
  • Ninjago used this up until Season 8, having the main characters appear onscreen along with their names. Since the intro is different for each season, the order is never consistent. The characters who appear in every one are Kai, Jay, Cole, Zane, Sensei Wu, and Nya, as well as Lloyd starting from Season 2. Seasons 3 and 4 added Garmadon, while Season 6 featured Misako.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The intro to the disks for the Complete First Season box set show scenes of the main characters from Season 1 which freeze and display their name aside them — SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and Plankton. The only main character who doesn't get a freeze-frame is Gary.
  • The intro for the first season of Steven Universe has separate scenes showing the names of each of the Crystal Gems with the corresponding Gem beside them as they call themselves out, with Steven also getting one with the show's logo at the end. This was dropped for the second intro, though the Theme Tune Roll Call was maintained.
  • Gravity Falls has character introduction bits for Dipper, Mabel, and Stan, which shows a scene of each of them doing something and then another scene of them doing something with their name beside them in big white letters. During the "Weirdmageddon" Story Arc, they were replaced with each of Bill Cipher's friends — 8 Ball, Teeth, Keyhole and Hectorgon, respectively.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes' intro has the heroes (and Lord Boxman) posing while their name appears somewhere around them. K.O. then punches the show's logo (which has his name in it) to pieces.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated introduces the characters via color-coded splash screens with their names beside them. During a period early in season 2 when Daphne wasn't part of the gang and Velma's friend Marcie "Hot Dog Water" Fleach was in her place, the opening credits were adjusted accordingly.
  • LoliRock: The opening theme shows a scene of each of the three girls in the titular band (Iris, Talia and Aurianna) performing onstage, with their name displayed aside them.
  • Loonatics Unleashed: In the first season, the opening is instrumental and the visuals show the main characters with the names and their powers written onscreen. In season 2, it was changed to a Theme Tune Roll Call.
  • Duck Dodgers: The opening introduces the characters and their respective Looney Tunes names as if they were actors (e.g. "Starring Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers").
  • Trollz: The theme song features all five members of the BFFL featuring clips of them from the first arc with their names and gem shapes displayed alongside — Ruby, Amethyst, Sapphire, Topaz, and Onyx, in that order.
  • The Weekenders: The theme song is interspersed with scenes of the four main characters (Tino, Lor, Carver and Tish, in that order) dancing on a colored background with their name displayed aside them, along with a scene from one of the episodes featuring that character.
  • Winx Club:
    • The season 1 opening shows all the girls and their names, one by one, in a coloured background followed by a scene for each of them (oddly enough, the protagonist, Bloom, is the fourth Winx introduced out of five, while Stella was the first up). This was removed from season 2 onwards.
    • The alternative Nickelodeon opening theme also shows all the girls and their names in a coloured background for the first three seasons. This was removed from season 4 onwards.
  • Totally Spies!: The opening always shows a scene (or two scenes at the same time) for each of the three spies with their name beside them.
  • Kaeloo: The intro shows each of the characters doing something they could typically be found doing in the show while their name appears on the screen behind them.
  • X-Men:
    • The first X-Men: The Animated Series cartoon showed all nine main characters alongside their names during the intro. Wolverine's, Beast's and Gambit's were actually their respective logos from the comics (the others had never had solo books at the time).
    • X-Men: Evolution did something similar to the 1992 animated series, except the names weren't the characters' comic book logos, and while Professor X appeared as a main character, his name did not appear in the intro, unlike the 1992 animated series.
  • Young Justice season 4 has this. Each character appears with their name and team code number from season 1, which then changes to their current one if it's different (i.e. Robin to Nightwing, Artemis to Tigress, and Aqualad to Aquaman).


Cagayake! GIRLS

K-On has its main cast members singing and performing the opening.

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