The Top 10 Best Anime Openings
If you have the hobby of watching anime, chances are you have more than just a few anime openings spicing up your music playlists. A good opening can entice people to check out the show from where the opening comes from and can sometimes even make the entire process of watching the show a better experience in general.
What makes anime openings special is that whenever we listen to them, we get transported to a moment in the anime itself. We get to feel and experience the fictional world that we love again through its beats and melodies. These songs can invoke our feelings of love, adventure, passion, grief, and hope. These songs play with all our emotions and we love them for it!
So here’s a list of the top 10 best anime openings that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.
Ten Best Anime Openings
- 'Sora iro Days' – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- 'Hacking to the Gate' – Steins;Gate
- 'Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis' – Neon Genesis Evangelion
- 'Colors' – Code Geass
- 'Mitsu no Yoake' – Spice and Wolf 2
- 'Toki wo Kizamu Uta' – Clannad After Story
- 'unravel' – Tokyo Ghoul
- 'My Dearest' – Guilty Crown
- 'Kuusou Mesorogiwi' – Mirai Nikki
- 'Hello, World!' – Kekkai Sensen
10. 'Hello, World!' – Kekkai Sensen
Kekkai Sensen is a weird show. But it’s the good kind of weird. The world and plot doesn’t make sense for the majority of the time but the show knows this and manages to integrate the nonsensical feel of its world and uses it to effectively increase its charm. The show is unique and, unsurprisingly, a ton of fun to watch.
The opening for this show represents all of the mentioned above perfectly. The visuals show the many colors that this world has to offer. The upbeat yet calming music and vocals lets you know that this world is ready for you to jump into and experience its day-to-day adventures for yourself! “Hello, world! Here I am!"
9. 'Kuusou Mesorogiwi' – Mirai Nikki
Powerful, intense, and most of all, badass! This opening will remind you of these words as you bang your head to it. With awesome chords and fist-pumping beats, this opening had me replaying it over and over again when I first stumbled upon it on YouTube. Whenever this song comes up in my playlist, it always manages to get me pumped up. It blends both the feeling of hope and despair (well, mostly despair) into a chaotic cocktail of crazy.
Say what you will about the show itself but there’s no denying that this opening, with its intense beats and visuals, is definitely one of best.
8. 'My Dearest' – Guilty Crown
supercell has composed some of my all-time personal favorite Vocaloid songs such as 'World is Mine', 'Black Rock Shooter', and 'ODDS&ENDS.' So when I finally decided to watch Guilty Crown for the first time and heard this opening, I was not disappointed.
I loved everything from the beautiful melodies of the piano to Chelly’s angelic voice. While some parts of the visuals were a bit lackluster in terms of animation, the rest of it (especially the beginning) were nothing short of breathtaking. With all that said, this song will always stand out to me as one of supercell’s best musical pieces.
7. 'unravel' – Tokyo Ghoul
I gotta be honest here. The first time I listened to this song, I just didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. Maybe it’s because of the hype from everyone I knew saying how this is the best opening of 2014. It didn’t leave the impact on me that I wanted it to make at first. However, as I listened to it again while indulging in its lyrics and emotions, I began to appreciate this song as it is. It’s an appropriately melancholic yet powerful song and the visuals are unique compared to most anime openings that came out within the same year.
If you somehow avoided this opening because of the hype surrounding it, do yourself a favor and give this opening a chance like I did. Trust me, you will not regret it.
6. 'Toki wo Kizamu Uta' – Clannad After Story
Alright everyone! It’s time to step aboard the feels train! The very beginning sequence of this opening will make you cry from both happiness and sadness with its entrancing visuals and melodies. Clannad After Story is a direct sequel to Clannad. The general theme for After Story is about growing up and the transition from the carefree life of a teenager to the hardships and struggles of the adult life.
There are a ton of tear-jerking moments in After Story (as if the first season didn’t have enough of those already). When you finish watching this show and then go back to this opening again, you will cry as all those moments come back to you and fill you up with so many emotions that you can’t even keep track of what it is that you’re feeling.
5. 'Mitsu no Yoake' – Spice and Wolf 2
Spice and Wolf is a show about a man who meets a wolf harvest goddess and then takes said goddess on a journey with him around the world (or at least the continent). What follows after that, you ask? Maybe a grand adventure? A war deciding the fate of mankind? Nope. Just a whole lot o’ medieval age trading. This show basically focuses around our two main characters, a trader named Lawrence and the wolf goddess Horo. The series showcases their daily struggles that come with trading as well as a bit of romance sprinkled in between them. Which is great as both of them are excellently written characters and their romantic development is believable.
The reason I chose this opening over the song for season 1 is because I feel this one captures the sense of the journey better in both visuals and sound (although the opening for season 1 is still great in its own right). It’s a tune that you can listen to and relax as you take your supernatural wolf harvest goddess with you on a long journey around the world. What more is there to life other than money, love, and traveling?
4. 'Colors' – Code Geass
You knew this opening would make it on the list. Why wouldn’t it? It’s the first opening to one of the most legendary anime shows to ever grace the entertainment world (little bit biased there, eh buddy?). It marks the beginning of Lelouch’s rise to power and rebellion.
The opening shows off all of its iconic visuals accompanied by a track that just sticks with you even after you’ve finished the entire series. This one topples all of the future openings of this show. If you’ve watched all of the openings, you know that that is no small feat.
All hail Lelouch! “Jibun wo sekai sae mo kaete shimaesou na.” Alright, that’s enough bias for one day I think.
3. 'Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis' – Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion. Famous (or infamous?) for being one of the most influential, love it or hate it anime series. Personally, I neither loved nor hated it. It was an…interesting show, to say the least.
What made me keep watching the next episode was definitely the opening. The upbeat tone is kind of contradictory to the mostly dark and depressing themes of the show itself but the lyrics tell you everything you need to know about the series. It’s an extremely catchy song with a 90s disco pop vibe to it. A memorable classic.
2. 'Hacking to the Gate' – Steins;Gate
I absolutely love Steins;Gate. I have never seen any other anime about time travel that can match its feel and quality. Everything from the three-dimensional and likeable characters to its clever storytelling blended perfectly with suspenseful moments easily makes this series my number one favorite time travel anime of all time.
The opening for this show is just as great in every aspect. Fitting perfectly with the theme of the story, both the visuals and lyrics manage to make metaphors regarding time all the while cleverly referencing major elements of the story. It’s simply brilliant…but unfortunately not enough to take the number one spot.
1. 'Sora iro Days' – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
'Sora iro Days' isn’t just a song. It’s the track for an intense, over-the-top, and exhilarating roller coaster ride of a show titled Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. A show that is the very definition of awesome. It has fun, quirky, yet memorable characters mixed with a story that is as inspirational as it is epic.
What made this opening secure the number one spot is how it manages to incorporate itself into the entire experience of you watching the show. This song is played whenever the story reaches a high point and the credits of the opening change according to the events of the story as it progresses. Because of that, you grow more and more attached to it with every episode. When you hear this song being played as the background music for the final battle of the show, you will feel all those emotions flow through your body as you have goosebumps all over. Which is why this anime opening is my favorite one of all time.
“Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! That's how Team Gurren rolls!” - Kamina.
As with any top 10 list, there are always great candidates that just didn't quite make it onto the list. So here's a brief list of some of the honorable mentions.
- 'Brave Shine' - Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
- 'Bloody Stream' - Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 2
- 'Daze' - Mekakucity Actors
- 'Guren no Yumiya' - Attack on Titan
- 'One Me Two Hearts' - Divine Gate
Recommended Anime Ending Songs
The ending themes for many anime series can be just as good or even better than the opening. Here is a list of some highly regarded endings that are iconic to the medium of anime.
- 'great escape' - Attack on Titan
- 'Namae no nai Kaibutsu' - Psycho Pass
- 'Styx Helix' - Re:Zero
- 'Ai wo Oshiete Kureta Kimi e' - Inuyashiki
- 'Silent Solitude' - Overlord
Did you like the list?
Which opening is your favorite?
If you know of any more awesome anime openings that aren’t listed here, please don’t be shy to list them in the comments. Knowing more anime openings can never be a bad thing!