Opening songs are one of the key attractions of any anime. They set the tone and theme of what is to come. And often, just by the song, you can tell what a series will entail about thrills and adventures.
The chances are that if the theme song of an anime is dull and uninspiring, the series itself will leave a sour taste. In that case, why bother wasting your time?
Besides, there is this jolt of happiness and excitement when the lyric and action song plays. It sets the mood and curves the corners of your cheeks. Want more of such feelings?
Then you should check our list of the 50 best iconic anime opening songs.
Spoiler alert: our list is only a reflection of what we enjoy. Nevertheless, we can assure you that we only settle for iconic anime songs. That means some of your favorite anime might miss out.
Content Navigation (TL:DR)
- Ajin: “Yoru Wa Nemureru Kai”
- Angel Beats: “My Soul, Your Beats”
- Attack On Titan: “Guren No Yumiya”
- Baccano: “Guns & Roses”
- Beastars – “Wild Side”
- Code Geass: “Colors”
- Cowboy Bebop: “Tank”
- Darker Than Black: “Howling”
- Deadman Wonderland: “One Reason”
- Death Note: “The WORLD”
- Death Parade: “Flyers”
- Dragon Ball Z: “Cha-La Head-Cha-La”
- Durarara: “Uragiri No Yuuyake”
- Elfen Lied: “Lilium”
- Ergo Proxy: “Kiri”
- Fate/Zero: “Oath Sign”
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: “Again”
- Gangsta: “Renegade”
- Ghost In The Shell: “Inner Universe”
- Guilty Crown: “My Dearest”
- Higurashi: When They Cry – “Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni”
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: “Bloody Stream”
- Katanagatari: “Hakushi Kassai Uta Awase”
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes: “I Am Waiting For You”
- Log Horizon: “Database”
- Mawaru Penguindrum: “Nornir”
- My Hero Academia: “The Day”
- Naruto Shippuden: “Blue Bird”
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis”
- No Game, No Life: “This Game”
- Noragami: “Goya No Machiawase”
- One Punch Man: “The Hero”
- Pokémon: “Pokémon Theme”
- Sailor Moon: “Moonlight Densetsu”
- Rainbow: “We’re Not Alone”
- Ranpo Kitan: “Speed to Masatsu”
- Re: Zero – “Redo”
- Samurai Champloo: “Battlecry”
- Serial Experiments Lain: “Duvet”
- Shingeki No Bahamut: “Existence”
- Soul Eater: “Resonance”
- Spice and Wolf: “Tabi No Tochuu”
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: “Bōken Desho Desho”
- The Perfect Insider: “Talking”
- Toradora: “Pre-Parade”
- Tokyo Ghoul – “Unravel”
- Urusei Yatsura: “Lum No Love Song”
- Vision Of Escaflowne: “Yakusoku Wa Iranai”
- WataMote: “WataMote Theme”
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: “Duel Monsters”
Ajin: “Yoru Wa Nemureru Kai”
We have to admit that “Yoru Wa Nemureru Kai” made this list for the sexy voice of the singer. But it would all end in an explosive and frantic guitar play.
Angel Beats: “My Soul, Your Beats”
“My Soul, Your Beats” is a beautiful blend of RnB, visual arts, and pop. That’s why the song fits perfectly with the story and MCs of Angel Beats.
Attack On Titan: “Guren No Yumiya”
“Guren no Yumiya,” though only featured for 13episodes in Attack On Titan S1, remains one of the best anime openers ever. The song is chilly; it sends you back into memories and thinks of good ole days. And that’s a perfect fit for an anime like Attack On Titan, where humanity stands on the brink of extinction.
Baccano: “Guns & Roses”
Think guns, hats, and cowboys, and you will see Baccano. Even better, your mind will trail back to the series theme song. “Guns & Roses” adds so many thrills to the Japanese anime that we can’t overlook it.
Beastars – “Wild Side”
“Wild Side” is truly wild; the opening song started with a frantic saxophone and piano mix. Then suddenly, the tune lowered into a beautiful slow-pace romantic classic. Such interplay did enough to reflect the cast of characters of Beastars.
Code Geass: “Colors”
“Colors” is one of the blockbusters from FLOW – producer of other hits for anime like Durarara and Naruto. In our opinion, “Colors” is the best of the lot as the tunes are interesting and fitting for Code Geass.
Like Code Geass, “Colors” revolves around tough times and how to manage such periods.
Cowboy Bebop: “Tank”
Often, less is more, and that’s the case with “Tank” in Cowboy Bebop‘. The song only has a simple countdown from 3 to 1 and “let’s jam.” And trust us, it is beautiful and addictive.
Plus, “Tank” added jazz undertones to its tunes. With such, it fits perfectly with the mystic scenes and plots of Cowboy Bebop. it’s one of our personal favorite anime songs.
Check Out: Best Anime Every Year From 1960s To 2021
Darker Than Black: “Howling”
“Howling” is quite a suspenseful opening song. At the start, you might think the tune is not iconic until the monologue explodes into a full-blown heavy-guitar masterpiece. Beautifully, such dynamic rock themes fit the plots of the anime.
Deadman Wonderland: “One Reason”
Throughout the excellent anime intro, the language was constant and in English. Beyond that, “One Reason” has an interesting blend of vocal, guitar, and rock. That made it fitting for Deadman Wonderland.
Check Out: Top 40 Dark Anime To Watch In 2021
Death Note: “The WORLD”
Though there are two equally interesting themes in anime songs in Death Note, “The World” is our pick. We love how it follows the story of Light Yagami and how he plans to create a new world, and the confusion about his personality.
Death Parade: “Flyers”
Just like the weird plot of Death Parade, “Flyers” also has an odd appeal. For one, the song doesn’t exactly match the anime. Nevertheless, it reflects all forms of jazz, dance, and excitement.
Dragon Ball Z: “Cha-La Head-Cha-La”
Ready to relive the funky and thrilling sounds of the 80s? Try “Cha-La Head-Cha-La,” and soak in the oldies. We understand the title looks funny. Nevertheless, the song is every bit as iconic as the anime itself.
Check Out: Best 90’s Anime You Should Watch Today
Durarara: “Uragiri No Yuuyake”
“Uragiri No Yuuyake” is an upbeat theme song that did just as much justice to the story and visuals of Durarara. Beyond the beat, the song also includes some spin of the MC’s plot.
Elfen Lied: “Lilium”
“Lilium” sounds almost like Enya chanting Latin hymns for adventure movies. Such is the brilliance of the theme song that you might even forget about the gory details in Elfen Lied.
Check Out: Best Short Anime You Can Finish In A Day
Ergo Proxy: “Kiri”
“Kiri” is a delightful opening theme that also comes with a bit of magic. The art at the set reflects the world of the Ergo Proxy, and the vocal performance made it all energetic.
Fate/Zero: “Oath Sign”
Are you a lover of the piano? If yes, listen to “Oath Sign” and find delight in a piano anime theme song. But that’s not all. There is yet a faint singing of a choir underneath the beats and loud music.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: “Again”
In summary, “Again” is an embodiment of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. The song follows the story of Edward Elric, one of the MCs, and his choices.
Above that, what we love about “Again” is the excitement and mystery it stirs. And for the first 14 episodes of the series, the song did justice to stirring fans’ interest.
“Renegade” is a blend of electronics, heavy tunes, and soft vocals. Such combinations made the theme song stand out, and today, it remains beautiful.
Ghost In The Shell: “Inner Universe”
“Inner Universe” is undoubtedly a masterpiece. The sound is a blend of perfection and beauty. What we really love about this opening theme is how well it fits a cyber-crime plot story like the Ghost In The Shell.
Check Out: The Best Anime Studio Of All Time
Guilty Crown: “My Dearest”
Want raw and fine J-pop tune at its purest? Check Guilty Crown!
Not many anime can boast of the quality of opening sound in Guilty Crown. All that work is down to the genius that mixed “My Dearest.”
Higurashi: When They Cry – “Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni”
Higurashi’s opening song will undoubtedly send you into a spiral of emotions. It features the art of flowers, imagery, girls, and a distorted but delighted tune. That way, you are already in tune with the mania to come.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: “Bloody Stream”
We are lucky to have seen the JoJo series because it has a lot of wonderful opening songs. Of the lot, “Bloody Stream” left the most impression.
Unlike the other theme in JoJo, “Blood Stream” blends its beat to perfectly fit the plot. Besides, the song has a catchy feel.
Katanagatari: “Hakushi Kassai Uta Awase”
“Hakushi Kassai It’s Awase,” like so many opening anime tracks on our list, started with soft and mellow beats but soon turned into full-blown energetic music. This time, however, the theme added samurai tones.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: “I Am Waiting For You”
No other theme song on our list brought as much transcendence as “I Am Waiting For You.” The sound oozes creativity at its peak by using vocals, orchestra, and symphonies of tunes. It is perfect!
Log Horizon: “Database”
Database” is a brilliant work from the Man With A Mission band. The song has a way of filling the room with life and energy. You wouldn’t even know when you start chanting the lyrics.
Mawaru Penguindrum: “Nornir”
“Nornir,” though minimal, is rich with high-quality guitar, drum, and piano work. Besides the instrument, the opening song has a haunted-like voice that fits well with the plot of Mawaru.
My Hero Academia: “The Day”
Like JoJo, My Hero Academia also features numerous opening themes. Of the lot, none captured the type of character Midoriya’s essence as “The Day.”
Another thing that we love about “The Day” because it featured snippets of the MC’s training. And because the song is the only opening for My Hero Academia S1, it warms its way into fans’ hearts unchallenged.
Check Out: Must Watch Anime Like My Hero Academia
Naruto Shippuden: “Blue Bird”
Naruto Shippuden is undoubtedly a hive of thrilling theme songs. Of the lots, “Bluebird” is our pick. It trumps “Sign” (another incredible song in the series) for its energy and fun. Overall, “BlueBird” adds to the optimism and zeal why Naruto Shippuden is fun to watch.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis”
If you’re one for highly engaging theme songs, you will love “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis.” The tone blends well with the visuals and plot of the Neon Genesis Evangelion. Plus, you will see snippets of the MCs while the song plays.
No Game, No Life: “This Game”
“This Game” is a beautiful fusion of upbeat tune and guitar music. And because the sound talks about gaming and life, it fits into the arcade-based plots of No Game, No Life.
Noragami: “Goya No Machiawase”
If you like funky vocals and cool instrumentals, “Goya No Machiawase” will delight you. The theme song did enough to fit into the urban-shounen template of Noragami.
One Punch Man: “The Hero”
Unlike other theme songs on our list, “The Hero” garnered global interest even before the anime stories unfolded. How so?
At the release of One Punch Man in 2015, the lyrics of The Hero captured anime fans worldwide. And the chorus is even more interesting with a theme like “not wanting fame or glory, but just wanting to be good.”
Check Out: 10 Must Watch Anime Like One Punch Man
Pokémon: “Pokémon Theme”
If you’re an avid follower of anime, you will know “Pokémon Theme.” The song is quite popular, so much so that almost everyone knows the lyrics.
And with the “catch em all” plot of Pokémon, the theme song is the perfect, complementary alibi. There was even a line where the “Pokémon Theme” mentioned destiny – we love that!
Sailor Moon: “Moonlight Densetsu”
It is difficult to pick from “Moonlight Densetsu” and “Makenai,” the two themes are exciting. But we will stick to the former for how it considered fans across the world by blending its lyrics. But we have to admit that the English sounds corny.
Rainbow: “We’re Not Alone”
Frankly, we haven’t seen a theme song as deep and addictive as “We’re Not Alone.” The tunes started with screams with frenzy guitar play. And then, the lyrics start talking about freedom. Such a classic!
Ranpo Kitan: “Speed to Masatsu”
What do you say to a rap blend of drums and guitar? That would be interesting?
“Speed to Masatsu” is highly interesting. It combines rap track, drums, and guitar to make an iconic theme song for Ranpo Kiran.
Re: Zero – “Redo”
“Redo” is simply artistic. The song makes it into our list for its simplicity. Throughout Re: Zero, the guitar and chord play of the theme song combines with the components of the series.
Samurai Champloo: “Battlecry”
“Battlecry” is one of the most interesting opening songs of any anime ever. We love how it was a hip-hop classic.
Beautifully, the song perfectly fits the story of Samurai Champloo that fuses hip-hop music with Japanese culture. Also, the beat blends well with the series’ visuals.
Serial Experiments Lain: “Duvet”
“Duvet” is undoubtedly an amazing opening theme, and it is unique too. You will rarely find an alternative rock as the theme to an anime, yet, this song fits perfectly into Serial Experiments Lain.
When you consider the series’ story about communication and visuals, there was no better option than Boa’s “Duvet.”
Shingeki No Bahamut: “Existence”
We don’t think any anime has come close to Shingeki No Bahamut in heavy guitar work and screaming masterpiece. “Existence” screams heavy and melodies from the start till the end – except for a few soft transitions.
Soul Eater: “Resonance”
“Resonance” is an electronic-rock song with enough Sakuga that impresses fans just as much as the anime: Soul Eater. What we “really” love about the “Resonance” is the danceable beats.
Spice and Wolf: “Tabi No Tochuu”
“Tabi No Tochuu” is a bit eerie – we must admit. Nevertheless, the theme song remains classic. It features soft and gentle vocals with sensational piano, guitar, and saxophone tunes.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: “Bōken Desho Desho”
The memes of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya are not all there is to the series. The theme song is just as popular as the hit anime. “Bōken Desho Desho” is particularly addictive and fits the plots of the anime series perfectly.
The Perfect Insider: “Talking”
“Talking” made our list for its ecstatic visuals. Here, you will find a collection of lines that moves in sync with guitar pop. We love that!
Unlike the other opening songs in anime on our list, “Pre-Parade” stands out oddly. The tune seems somewhat provocative but attractive. Here, the solo would rise, crash down, and recover with a great chorus.
Tokyo Ghoul – “Unravel”
Not many anime opening themes can match “Unravel” for vocal melody. Thanks to TK, the talented band did a great piece for Tokyo Ghoul‘s opening song that captures the essence of the series.
Urusei Yatsura: “Lum No Love Song”
“Lum No Love Song” is the first opening song of Urusei Yatsura. It did more than enough to highlight the series’ animation and excitement.
Produced by Yuko Matsutani, this iconic song was one of the top picks of its time. And since over 3decades that the anime screened, the tune still has the same effect on the mind.
Vision Of Escaflowne: “Yakusoku Wa Iranai”
“Yakusoku Wa Iranai” completely reflects the world its series talks about. Beyond that, the opening theme is iconic. In our opinion, without a thrilling opening like “Yakusoku Wa Iranai,” many anime fans might now even watch Vision Of Escaflowne till when the stories were captivating.
WataMote: “WataMote Theme”
“WataMote Theme” fuses jazz and rap to a delight in WataMote. We love that the song combines both the guttural and resonant voice. That way, you can feel the “beauty and the beast” feature of the series.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: “Duel Monsters”
“Duel Monsters” is a fusion of Egyptian, electronic, modern beats, and vocal elements. Thanks to the various components, the theme is unique and captures the mind.