In the anime genre, the film or series' opening song is almost as important as the anime itself. The opening track gives the viewer a feel of what they are getting into. It also sets the tone and emotional base of the film or show. For most viewers, few aspects of an anime are as emotional and excitement-packed as the minute-and-a-half teasers provided by intros. Some of the best anime openings actually manage to outshine the films in terms of catchiness.
Like in other genres, some anime intros are unique and amazingly memorable.
The best anime openings of all time
Here is a look at the best anime theme songs ever.
25. My Dearest from Guilty Crown
Guilty Crown boasts one of the most memorable anime intros of all time. The opening highlights the anime's emotionally-packed premise, one in which the characters" hearts can be used as tools for good or evil.
The intro starts with a delightful vocal melody coupled with rhythmic piano sounds before exploding into a blend of sounds.
24. Lum No Love Song from Urusei Yatsura
This is perhaps one of the best-known anime intros of its time. While the song is about 30 years old, it is still a favourite among many anime fans. The intro does an excellent job of showcasing the show's unique style.
23. Howling from Darker Than Black
Some of the best anime opening songs begin with slow melodies and then transition into more intense tunes. Such is the case with Howling. The intro begins with a sombre monologue, gradually transitioning into a guitar riff. The song is then accompanied by visuals of a city at night and a lovely character reveal.
22. Unravel from Tokyo Ghoul
Unravel is inarguably one of the most-watched anime openings on YouTube. The words in the intro track reflect the stories and emotions in Tokyo Ghoul perfectly.
21. Moonlight Densetsu from Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon tells the story of a group of scholars trying to balance schoolwork and the challenges of saving a world. The Moonlight Densetsu song blends excellently with the anime's premise in a mysterious yet somewhat playful tune.
20. The Day from My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia follows the story of Deku as he tries to become a hero. The intro shows a well-made compilation of the main character training in a bid to be like the coveted All Might.
19. The Hero from One Punch Man
There are few, if any, songs that could fit One Punch Man as well as The Hero does. The intro starts with an amazing vocal melody before transitioning into an epic guitar explosion. The intro then ends with a highly memorable scream.
18. Guren No Yumiya from Attack on Titan
Besides the amazing sound of Guren No Yumiya, this intro also features amazing lyrics that perfectly reflect Attack on Titan's theme. It is certainly one of the catchiest anime theme songs ever made.
17. Oath Sign from Fate/Zero
Oath Sign begins with a slow and delicate piano solo before building up into a combination of drums and other tones. The song points towards a sad tone synonymous with Fate/Zero.
16. Again from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The song represents the show's theme of there being much more to life than we can see with the human eye. In the intro, Edward is shown growing stronger as his journey continues.
Additionally, the opening shows the people he meets along the journey, both good and bad.
15. Hakushi Kassai Uta Awase from Katanagatari
At the start, this is one of the gentlest anime openings of all time. It features the sound of a piano in the background alongside a gentle vocal melody. It then transitions into an energetic guitar riff with characteristic samurai tones and a memorable anthem.
14. Colors from Code Geass
This is one of the catchiest and rhythmic intros in the entire anime genre. The vocals are amazing, and the accompanying visuals are excellently done. The theme song matches Code Geass in every conceivable way.
13. Dream of Life from Bakuman
Bakuman explores the challenges and trials that all mangaka (manga artists) experience. The series revolves around Mashiro and Takagi, an artist-writer duo pursuing their manga creation dreams.
The show's intro represents a delightful exploration of the everyday tribulations of a mangaka.
12. Tank from Cowboy Bebop
Tank has perhaps the easiest lyrics of any anime intro. It is a Latin-infused track with elements of bongo drums and double bass. While primarily an instrumental piece, the starting portion features some male vocals.
11. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni from Higurashi: When They Cry
This opening is characterized by haunting women on the horizon, blossoming flowers, and somewhat psychedelic imagery. In the background, the soundtrack's pace accelerates into a dramatic climax to complete one of the top anime openings ever made.
10. Resonance from Soul Eater
Resonance is a 20-second track that is best known as the theme song to Soul Eater. The track has amazing lyrics alongside a unique, memorable tune. The beginning of the track has the lines 'If the lamps of linked souls, point to your heart, do you hear the echoes now, Stronger than words?'
9. Cha-La Head-Cha-La from Dragon Ball Z
Unlike most anime theme songs, Cha-La Head-Cha-La features no complex buildups, transitions, or intertwined storylines. The opening is quite straightforward yet unbelievably catchy. It matches Dragon Ball Z's addictive, action-packed storylines perfectly.
8. Pokémon Theme from Pokémon
The Pokemon Theme song has children singing from all over the world. The intro revolves around Ash's journey to become a Pokemon master. To achieve his goal, he must meet new friends, win battles, and most importantly, catch 'em all, as the theme song states.
7. Lilium from Elfen Lied
This one features the renowned opera singer Kumiko Noma singing phrases from Christian literature in ethereal Greek and Latin dialects.
6. Hikaru Nara from Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April is undoubtedly one of the most compelling animes ever created. Its theme song, Hikaru Nara, creates a powerful opening, beginning with a melodious guitar strum that transitions into a lovely melody.
5. Duvet from Serial Experiments Lain
This opening features images of deserted streets and crows nibbling on telephone cables. Amidst all that, a little girl, seemingly lost, wanders the streets. All this happens as a soft melodic track plays, signifying the dissociative traits of the characters in Serial Experiments Lain.
4. The World from Death Note
The song talks about a world overrun with darkness and evil. The lyrics are a subtle reference to the world created by Light, one of the characters in Death Note. It highlights Light's thoughts, in which he wonders why people think he is bad.
The profound lyrics and representation of the show's theme makes The World one of the best anime songs of all time.
3. Bloody Stream from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Bloody Stream is one of the best-crafted anime theme songs. The intro has an 80s feel to it, with splashes of colour and energy to match the storyline in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
2. Tabi no Tochuu from Spice and Wolf
In this opening, an unclothed woman with wolflike features emerges in a moonlit snow-covered field. Soft vocals overlay a gentle piano in the background. Sounds of a guitar then overlay everything else as the screen displays pictures of a man walking down a medieval road.
1. A Cruel Angel's Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion
What is the best anime opening song? That title goes to A Cruel Angel's Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion. The track captures the dichotomy in this hugely popular anime series by highlighting its action-packed exterior as well as the darker, more subtle subtext on the deeper story.
What is the best anime opening 2021?
According to Anime News Network, the best anime opening in 2021 is My War from the final season of Attack on Titan. The opening combines a psychedelic colour pattern with images of explosions, missiles, atomic bombs, and war. It feels a bit disorienting, but that's what captures the viewer's attention.
The best anime openings stick in a viewer's mind, making them easy to remember and, at times, sing along to. Like every other film and TV show genre, some intros are way more memorable and catchier than others. Which opening caught your attention most?
Legit.ng recently explored the saddest anime films and TV shows on Netflix. The anime genre is renowned for its captivating storylines, intense characters, and emotion-packed premises. Most films and shows in the genre have very strong expressions of varying emotions.
The likes of Orange (2016), Grave of the Fireflies (1988), and In This Corner of the World (2016) will take you on an emotional rollercoaster while giving you a deep insight into human behaviour.