Today, we are going to introduce 25 best Anime openings of all time. The recent growing interest in anime has led people into the wonderful world of its accompanying soundtracks. While the entire anime albums seek to lend meaning to the anime, there is a special place for the opening songs since they are the first thing one watches when beginning a show. A good opening song sets the tone for the show that follows and even drops several clues about its story.
Anime opening songs aim at enhancing the anime experience and eventually become the identity of the show. None of these songs are mindlessly cobbled together for the sake of it. Instead, every element of an anime opening is carefully linked to the anime and its story. At times, they grow to be as popular as the anime and some other times, such is the pull of the opening song that it popularizes the anime as well. There have also been several anime opening songs that are much more popular than the anime they introduce.
Only by looking specifically into opening songs can the effort behind them be realized. While the music can give clues regarding the tone and pace of the story, the lyrics usually complement the protagonist’s journey. The very best anime opening songs are capable of collectively bringing across the central themes and elements of the show. An ideal opening song creates enough curiosity about the show even before the show begins and ultimately becomes one of the biggest identifiers of the show. The best anime opening theme songs are those that make you watch them on repeat.
Another significant aspect of the opening songs of anime is the artists that work on them and their performers. Some artists are well-known to drop the most amazing opening songs. At times, the involvement of particular artists in a song creates high anticipation for the song as well as the anime. Some even voice the main character which lends a nice layer of continuity from the song to the show.
Here are the Best Anime Openings of All Time
1. Attack on Titan
As one of the most iconic anime, Attack on Titan is introduced by a similarly powerful ‘Guren no Yumiya.’ First released back in 2013, this one is performed by the Japanese rock band, Linked Horizon. The song accurately describes the struggle of the human race against the Titans who have wiped out most of humanity and the lyrics capture the human determination to fight back and reclaim their world. Even after a decade, the song continues to inspire a strange sense of patriotism while emphasizing that if you dare to fight for what you believe in, then there is always hope for victory even in the darkest of times. AOT has been a fan favorite for the best anime openings of all time.
Accolades for Guren no Yumiya include winning in the Best Theme Song category at the Newtype Anime Awards as well as the Animation Kobe Awards. Additionally, Linked Horizon also won Animation Artist of the Year at the Billboard Japan Music Awards.
Needless to say, there are plenty more anime opening songs that rule the world of anime and this was just a tiny part of it. Apart from just setting the tone of the series and providing glimpses into the world of the story’s characters, some anime opening songs rise to be iconic in the world of popular culture. As anthems for the anime community, they are even sung at conventions and other such anime events. At times, when artists cover such songs, it even results in introducing new people to the genre of anime.
The growing interest in anime has resulted in many new fans globally, directly leading to an interest in anime music as well. Some anime opening songs have taken social media by storm going viral to the extent that people might not even know their anime origins but they surely recognize the song. As seen through this list, some anime opening songs have maintained their position in otaku hearts for several years and decades, while some others have broken records in the shortest of times as well and have become the pride of their country.
No matter what genre of music you prefer, there is an anime opening song out there to meet all your preferences. Be it fast-paced and high-energy, or rock band music, or slow and soulful, instrumental, or vocally strong, anime opening songs truly come in all shapes and sizes.
2. Death Note
Considering that Death Note is one of those shows that get recommended to people to get started with anime, its opening song automatically becomes the first opening anime song of many. Even without knowing the details of the song, it is most easily recognizable because it has become the identity of Death Note apart from Light Yagami himself. Performed by the Japanese band, Nightmare, ‘The World’ begins strong and maintains its tempo till the end. Much like the anime itself, the song emphasizes the fact that there is some good in the most evil of things and more importantly, also that the purest of intentions can easily be corrupted by power.
3. Demon Slayer
The animation in Demon Slayer is without a doubt one of the very best in modern times. While the show grew in popularity due to the story being enhanced by the animation, its opening song, ‘Gurunge’ is one of the most recognized anime songs already. Strong vocals by LiSA and a montage of scenes from the show have ensured that this song stays around for a long time. Not only has it won multiple awards, but an instrumental version was also included in the closing ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Tanjiro Kamado is possibly as proud as all of us of this great accomplishment!
4. Tokyo Ghoul
This dark anime met its perfect match in ‘Unravel’ by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. Perfectly capturing the struggle between good & evil and the duality of human nature, the song is a quick look into Ken Kaneki fully realizing the impact of becoming a half-ghoul. Gifted with the ultimate combination of amazing visuals, an almost eerie melody growing to an intense chorus, accurate lyrics, and great vocals, Unravel truly has it all.
5. Cowboy Bebop
‘Tank!’ from Cowboy Bebop is the ultimate jazz number reminiscent of old-school thriller and detective movies. The video does well to showcase the characters and elements of the show to effectively create enough curiosity to keep watching the show to its end. As futuristic as the world-building in the anime, the song continues to be outstandingly fresh as it was when it was released back in 1998.
6. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Only a perfect opening song could have elevated this already perfect anime and Yui’s ‘Again’ definitely had its path worked out. Eventually rising to a powerfully emotional chorus, this one aptly captures the underlying themes of sacrifice, loss, and redemption of the anime. The extremely inspiring lyrics urge you to find your way home and to never give up even after losing everything. This ties perfectly with the plot of the show that follows the Elric brothers on their alchemy journey after quite literally losing almost everything. Definitely one of those opening songs that will never be skipped!
Another opening song that urges us to always stay determined is ‘Departure!’ from HunterxHunter. Performed by Masatoshi Ono, the lyrics for this one, in particular, are truly motivating and seek to remind listeners never to give up. At the end of a long and tiring day, if someone says these lines to you, it truly is everything you would need to keep going.
“Don’t give up until the very end,
There is definitely a reason to keep going on.
A ‘beginning’ is never too late,
No matter how many times it takes, stand up again!”
8. One Piece
Among the multiple opening theme songs of One Piece, the very first one continues to rule otaku hearts everywhere. Performed by Hiroshi Kitadani and released in 1999, ‘We Are!’ is a truly iconic opening song with its video featuring a montage of scenes from the anime. Used through several episodes to mark important developments in the story, this song also was the opening song for the 1000th episode of the show in 2022. Showcasing the power of friendship and hope, this classic is quite rightfully a widely beloved icon.
Naruto is another big participant in our childhood nostalgia and picking just one among the multiple masterpieces that are opening songs for the series is an extremely difficult task. Nonetheless, ‘Silhouette’ has to be mentioned here for not just its addictive melody but also its beautifully impactful lyrics. Released in 2014 and performed by Kana-Boon, this one describes Naruto Uzumaki’s strong determination to never give up on his dreams. Its Platinum Certification in Japan is evidence of its inspiring and empowering reminder that our bonds formed with others are the strongest and the most important things in our life.
10. Chainsaw Man
‘Kick Back’ accurately introduces the adventurous world of Chainsaw Man through its high-energy rock vibe and catchy melody. Chainsaw Man has the best anime openings of all time which goes perfectly with the theme of its story. If that wasn’t enough, the strong voice of Kenshi Yonezu amazingly matches the song’s feel and its lyrics describing Denji’s journey to becoming Chainsaw Man. Despite being quite recent, Kick Back has played a large part in the global success of anime by becoming the identity of Chainsaw Man.
Any list of best anime openings will forever be incomplete without this gem. Perfectly expressing the excitement of the world of Pokémon, most of us have grown up singing along to Jason Paige’s ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All.’ The fact that it continues to be a favorite among many in the anime community even now after its initial release back in 1999, proves the impact it has had on us all. Given Pokémon’s popularity, it isn’t surprising that its opening theme has been translated into more than ten languages and covered by several artists. Additionally, we keep getting doses of nostalgia through its use in the Pokémon movie and video games ensuring that it is never forgotten.
12. Mob Psycho 100
‘99’ by the Mob Choir is the best way an anime like Mob Psycho 100 could have been introduced. The anime depicts the life of a young psychic, Shigeo Kageyama or Mob, who tries to live a normal life while tackling his powerful psychic abilities. In a perfectly complementary way, the opening song shows how Mob’s powers reach 100. While the song itself is catchy and high-energy, the lyrics are an assurance that it is fine not to be special, but it is important to be yourself and find your place. Additionally, counting to 100 was never as entertaining as it is in this song.
13. My Hero Academia
The eleventh opening theme song for My Hero Academia is one of the best anime opening theme songs. Performed by Eve, ‘Bokurano’ was released in February 2023 and depicts the story of the students training to be heroes. It seeks to inspire that anyone can be a hero if they wanted to and if they worked hard enough towards that goal and knew the importance of sacrifice just as in the show’s story. It also conveys the significance of friendship through the message that heroes work better in a team of their friends.
‘Fly High’ by Burnout Syndromes encapsulates the story of the sports anime, Haikyuu!! with its lyrics as well as a catchy melody. The show follows the challenges a high school volleyball team faces on their journey to becoming the best team in Japan. Perfectly describing the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and hope as depicted in the show, Fly High is a lovely introduction to Haikyuu!!
Its lyrics in particular inspire and motivate like no other:
“With sweat, blood, and tears,
With those shining wings, leave everything behind,
And just fly!
Fly on high…to the farthest reach of your future!”
15. Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen is already extremely popular for its high-quality animation and things could only get better with its opening song, ‘Kaikai Kitan,’ performed by Eve. Capturing the essence of the show, the song showcases and creates a sense of suspense and mystery along with the portrayal of hope. Its official music video has garnered more than 317 million views on YouTube since its 2020 release, confirming its widespread popularity. Additionally, it achieved the 7th position on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 and received a nomination in the Best Opening Sequence category at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards.
16. Tokyo Revengers
Takemichi Hanagaki goes back in time to prevent the death of his ex-girlfriend in Tokyo Revengers. Where the show’s central themes are friendship and revenge, ‘Cry Baby’ by Official HIGE DANdism depicts the challenges and sacrifices Takemichi comes across on his journey. The video features scenes from the show and includes the time travel element of the story, the Tokyo Manji Gang, and Takemichi’s relationship as well.
17. Code Geass
Code Geass follows Lelouch vi Britannia, an exiled prince, who receives the power of absolute obedience and leads a rebellion against the Holy Britannian Empire. Likewise, its opening song, ‘Colors,’ performed by the Japanese rock band, FLOW, incorporates lyrics describing the path of a rebel, his undying spirit of never giving up, and his determination to keep fighting to win what is rightfully his. Ironically, the song name fits with this somewhat dark anime very well.
Performed by Kana Hanazawa, (who also voiced the MC, Nadeko Sengoku), ‘Renal Circulation’ depicts all the love and romance along with elements of the supernatural for the anime, Bakemonogatari. Since its initial release in 2010, several artists have put out their cover versions. This has caused the popularity of the song to skyrocket to such an extent that even if people do not know the anime related to the song, they can still recognize the song from various social media posts.
19. One Punch Man
Saitama, our beloved One Punch Man couldn’t have got a better introduction than ‘The Hero!’ Performed by the JAM Project, there was no doubt about this one packing in all the punch of a superhero at work. The JAM Project, or the Japan Animationsong Makers Project, is no stranger to the anime community and has always come through with fabulous and strong anime songs for a long time. Keeping up with their tradition, this one also has the capability to lift your spirits and pump you up, whenever required.
20. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion, a beloved global anime, depicts teenagers fighting angels in a dystopian world. ‘A Cruel Angel’s Thesis’ by Yōko Takahashi, with its lovely melody, sets the perfect tone. The video, featuring nostalgic anime scenes, showcases the adventures. Its motivating lyrics keep it a classic in the anime community for nearly three decades since its 1995 release.
21. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure explores the enigmatic Joestar family’s adventures. It boasts valuable content in soundtracks, memes, and captivating opening and ending theme songs. ‘Bloody Stream’ by Coda perfectly captures the mystery and suspense, propelling it to #7 on the 2013 Billboard Japan Top 100 chart.
22. Fruits Basket
Many argue that Neon Genesis Evangelion, a globally beloved anime, follows a group of teenagers who battle angels in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world. A lovely melody combined with the soothing vocals of Yōko Takahashi, ‘A Cruel Angel’s Thesis’ opens the doors to this classic in the best way possible.
Including various scenes from the anime that are in itself nostalgic, the video showcases the adventures and challenges of the show. The motivating and inspiring lyrics further enhance the song ensuring that it maintains its classic status and remains a favorite in the anime community even after close to three decades since its initial release back in 1995.
23. Samurai Champloo
The historical setting of Samurai Champloo combined hip-hop with certain traditional elements. The best anime opening theme songs need to be unique and different, just like Samurai Champloo. The show perfectly exhibits the adventures of Fuu, Mugen, and Jin through its opening song, ‘Battle Cry.’ Released in 2004 and performed by Nujabes feat. Shing02, is a unique anime opening with its hip-hop roots and historical drama feel.
24. Hell’s Paradise
Millennium Parade and Sheena Ringo released ‘Work’ in 2021 as the opening theme song for Hell’s Paradise, an anime that follows the journey of death row convicts searching for the elixir of life for Gabimaru, a ninja. The song encapsulates the determination and survival instinct of the show through its addictive, high-energy music. The use of electric instruments lends an element of excitement for what is to come ahead and it matches the pace of the show well.
25. Oshi no Ko
As one of the most anticipated anime of 2023, Oshi no Ko follows the reincarnated life of a doctor and a patient born as twins to a popular idol. Growing up witnessing the good and the evil of the entertainment industry, the twins understand the obstacles in the path of fame and the sacrifices one makes along the way.
Its opening song, ‘Idol’ is performed by Yoasobi, Japan’s famous musical super duo, and is the perfect pop blend of hope and inspiration. Such is the success of the song that not only has it crossed 272 million views on YouTube within just four months of its release, but it also topped the Billboard Global 200 list becoming the first Japanese as well as the first anime song to do so. Proving its strong impact, it is now certified Platinum in Japan as well.
If your favorite anime opening didn’t make the list make sure to let us know in the comments section down below.
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