Anime List

13 Best Anime Opening Theme Songs

July 27, 2019
11 min read

If you’re into watching anime, then it’s very likely that you’ve probably got at least a few anime openings lined up in your favorite playlists. A lot of times, not only does a good opening theme entice a viewer into watching the show but it might also completely turn around the entire viewing experience for someone. A great opening theme is simply one that lures you into the atmosphere of the anime. Even when you’d listen to it much later, you’d end up visualizing the characters of the show. An opening song can, at that moment, transport you back to the fictional world of your favorite characters and evoke the deepest feelings of immense joy or sorrow in you, depending on what the anime is all about.

These openings can be as important as the whole anime itself and that’s probably the reason why they keep changing from season to season. But if you’re like me, you probably don’t listen to most of these OPs more than once unless they are really good. However, as much as I love clicking on the “skip intro”, some anime openings are just so good that I somehow gather the patience to enjoy their audiovisual experience every single time. So we have made a list of such openings that are so amazing that you can’t help but admire them every time you see them play out with stunning visuals. This compilation includes everything from classics like ‘Cowboy Bebop‘ and ‘Neon Genesis’ to modern shows like ‘Attack on Titan‘ and ‘Tokyo Ghoul‘. Here’s the list of best anime intros of all time:

13. Guilty Crown (My Dearest)

Guilty Crown‘ first premiered almost 8 years ago and I have actually forgotten what its plot was all about, but even then, I keep finding my way back to its opening song. I remember watching the anime for the first time and being hooked on to it solely because of its OP. “My Dearest”, composed by Supercell, starts off with a melodic piano solo that is followed by Chelly’s addictive voice. The visuals that play along with it aren’t particularly striking but the moments that follow are just unforgettable. The band Supercell has been involved with far too many anime like ‘Bakemonogatari‘, ‘Black Rock Shooter‘ and many more but this one here is by far one of their best musical pieces.

12. Code Geass (Colors)

Code Geass‘ is known for its amazing ending that makes it no less than a masterpiece. And an anime that ends well cannot be forgotten too soon. For anyone who has seen the entire series, this song will bring back all the memories that you once had associated with the show. It is one of the most bittersweet OPs in existence as it has an extremely peppy and upbeat vibe to it. But once you’re done watching the anime, all the feels just rush back to you. This is the first opening song of the anime which is replaced by a few others much later. But out of all the opening themes played in the anime, this one sticks with you and is far more impactful with both its lyrically dominating music and the visuals that are depicted.

11. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Sorairo Days)

Gurren Lagann‘ is a fun inspirational anime that has an incredible cast with a very enjoyable story. “Sorairo Days” by AmaLee is not an ordinary anime opening track; it is a whole rollercoaster ride of emotions that has this raw energy to it. It embodies the idea of defying all odds and continuing one’s ever-lasting legacy. This song has been so masterfully executed that it pretty much brings flashbacks of the entire anime back to you. It manages to incorporate the whole experience of the anime and grows on you with each and every episode. The final battle of ‘Gurren Lagann’ is known to be one of the best anime fight scenes ever because of its “ahead of its time” animation quality. And when this track starts to play in the background with the last battle, you’ll literally have goosebumps from all the old feelings that it’ll bring back to you.

10. Spice and Wolf 2 (Mitsu no Yoake)

It’s been a while now since the anime ‘Spice and Wolf‘ first came out but it still remains in the heart of many fans who just can’t get enough of this truly enchanting masterpiece. Every time I listen to this song, it reminds me of the wonderful relationship between the two main characters, Holo and Lawrence. The heartwarming vibe of “Mitsu no Yoake” reminds me of the whole journey that the two of them go through in the entire show. All the romantic development between the characters is amazing and with this track being played before every episode of season 2, you can’t help but wish that you could live in the same world as them and accompany them on their adventures. And now that so many years have gone by since the anime’s release, the music just makes me sad because there is still no season 3.

9. Clannad After Story (Toki wo Kizamu Uta)

I have a love-hate relationship with ‘Clannad‘ and that’s mostly because of how it is a big ball of sadness that makes me cry my eyes out every single time I watch it. ‘Clannad’ is full of some of the deepest life lessons coupled with some of the best visuals ever seen in slice-of-life shows. A few years down the lane, I might even forget all about the story and the characters of this anime, but I’m sure that just listening to “Toki wo Kizamu Uta” will bring back all the bittersweet feelings that I once had while watching it. ‘After Story’ has its own tear-jerking moments that mostly revolve around the hardships of transitioning from being a teenager to a full-fledged adult. Today, when I listen to this track, it just reminds me of the recent tragedy at the Kyoto Animation Studio. My heart sincerely goes out to the beautiful souls who lost their lives in the incident but will forever be remembered for the “life-changing” visuals that they once created.

8. Tokyo Ghoul (Unravel)

As I mentioned earlier, some OPs can entirely transform the whole viewing experience with the heavy emotional impact that they create. “Unravel” is the kind of song that literally grows on you with each episode as you get a better understanding of its lyrics and all the emotions that it tries to portray with its music and visuals. It is a melancholic yet powerful song that is still considered to be one of the best anime openings of this decade. It certainly deserves all the hype that it gets and for most ‘Tokyo Ghoul‘ fans, it can still give them shivers every time it is played. This season one opening is just enough to assure you from the first episode itself that you’re in for an unforgettable roller coaster ride.

7. Mirai Nikki (Kuusou Mesorogiwi)

“Kuusou Mesorogiwi” is a cocktail of insanity that will make you bang your band with each beat. This powerful and badass track has the most fist-pumping beats that are enough to hype you for what’s coming next in ‘Mirai Nikki‘. It mostly evokes a feeling of despair but also has a raw energy that pumps you up at the same time. Say what you will about the anime, but you just cannot deny that this song is one of the best OPs out there.

6. Kekkai Sensen (Hello, World!)

Kekkai Sensen‘ is a strange anime that usually has a lot of things going on at once. Most of the times, it is hard to even figure out what’s happening in its story. But somehow it uses this nonsensical appeal to create a unique charm of its own that packs in a whole lot of fun. The opening of ‘Kakkai Sensen’ is full of colorful visuals that perfectly capture its weirdness and in the background, you can hear this calm and upbeat soundtrack that slowly prepares you for all the amazing adventures that lie ahead. Not just this one but pretty much every song that is involved in the anime has a very jazzy feel to it that fits perfectly with its themes.

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5. Neon Genesis Evangelion (Zankoku na Tenshi no Tezze)

After almost 2 decades since its release, ‘Neon Genesis‘ has suddenly become remarkably relevant in 2019. This supernatural infamous anime of the 90s recently released on Netflix and anime fans are literally going berserk over it all over again. “Zankoku na Tenshi no Tezze”, the opening song, has a very catchy 90s disco-pop vibe to it and its lyrics perfectly capture all the dark and depressing themes of the anime. But one big reason why this OP is a worthy mention on this list is that along with the anime, even this song has gone viral in the past few years. It is so impactful that it has become the subject of many internet memes and at this point in time, it is the “Area 51 Raid” Anthem. God bless the internet for keeping this legend alive all this while!

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4. Cowboy Bebop (Tank)

Anime, as a medium, struggles far less now to break out into the whole American cartoon mold as with Netflix, the entire world of anime is completely transforming. But back in the day, only a few anime like ‘Cowboy Bebop‘ could somehow manage to break into the international world of cartoons by adopting themes that are semi-western. Undoubtedly, the show is a masterpiece and its music is astonishing. The opening song “Tank” is this upbeat Jazzy track that grabs you right from the start. Even to this day, the track hits the front pages of various forums and sparks endless discussions about how it is the best thing that could ever happen to an anime and also how ‘Cowboy Bebop‘ is the ultimate gateway anime.

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3. Death Note (The World)

Pretty much every aspect of the anime ‘Death Note‘ can have a very deep explanation of its own. The anime has been divided into two different opening songs and that too has a meaning behind it. The first track that goes by the name “The World” portrays Light’s initial point of view when he solely aims to be a “modern god” and just wants to make the world a better place. But as he slowly drives towards sheer insanity, the entire tone of the anime starts to shift and this is when the second heavy metal-based OP kicks in exposing what he has become. The first OP is quite good and addictive in its own way but the second one literally grows on you.

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2. Elfen Lied (Lilium)

Most anime opening songs are pretty good but there is something about “Lilium” by Kumiko Noma, a sombre composition of Biblical passages in Latin and Greek, that impresses you. It has this deep melancholic sound to it that is truly astonishing and reminds you of something that Bach would have composed. The anime is quite traumatizing and is known to be one of the darkest shows ever made. The OP perfectly captures this underlying feeling of darkness that makes you feel doomed. The track can make you cry if you listen to it after watching the entire anime.

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1. Samurai Champloo (Battle Cry)

Nujabes was a Japanese DJ who was previously unknown to the world; but all of a sudden, he came to be known as the future of hip hop music through his lo-fi hip-hop tracks. One of his most defining works can be spotted in ‘Samurai Champloo‘, which is a unique mash-up of feudal Japanese Ido-period with street, graffiti and hip-hop styles. The music of the anime is pretty much the same but the first thing that catches everyone’s attention is its opening song “Battle Cry”, composed by Nujabes. “Battle cry” has an indie Japanese hip-hop beat playing in the background while a rapper throws English verses in his Japanese accent. Along with this, the visuals incorporate every aspect of the personalities of the three protagonists, making it the perfect anime intro.

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