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10 Amazing Anime Openings

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Japanese animation, often shortened to the term anime, has been growing in international popularity in the last couple of years. I have a feeling that the lockdowns from the pandemic helped with that. People were looking for something to watch, and a lot of people gave anime a try for the first time, finding a huge mine of incredible work. I was one of those people extremely late to the anime party, but once I jumped in, I was hooked. Some might even say I became obsessed. To put it into perspective, in the last two years, I have started (some are still in progress) almost 100 different anime. They’ve obviously all been different lengths (anywhere from 12 episodes to 100+), but I’m including this statistic to show that I have become pretty well versed in the genre – so well versed in fact, that I wanted to make a blog post highlighting some of my favorite anime openings.

While opening theme songs in Western cultures hold some importance, an anime’s opening credits play a much larger role in any given show’s plot. These openings "expertly introduce the anime’s main characters, relevant recurring motifs, and set the tone for the anime all through visual cues” (Source). Their goal is to get viewers excited for what’s to come while showing off some visuals of what the season is going to cover. A great, catchy anime opening can take an already good story and elevate it into something incredible.

Anime openings can change by season or story arc, so I had a lot to choose from when making this list. These are 10 that I wanted to highlight because they’re my personal favorites. Even if you aren’t into anime, I think the average person can groove along to a few of these.

1.“History Maker” - Dean Fujioka

From: Yuri on Ice

Yuri on Ice is a sports anime that follows competitive figure skaters including protagonist Yuri who was going to hang up his skates for good until he met his hero Victor who offers to train him. This is one of my favorite openings not only because it’s incredibly catchy, but also because of the incredible animation in the show’s opening. Splotches of color dance onto the screen, plopping like paint. Figure skaters glide around with graceful spins and jump across the colors. The beautiful animation flows so naturally as if you were watching real figure skaters. This could be because the animation was partly taken from Michele Crispino's  free skate program  Serenade for Two (Source). The animation at the start is different from the art style the show uses, but by the second half, we get to see a cut to Victor in the show’s designated art style, gliding on ice now instead of colors. It all flows so beautifully and really captures the gracefulness of ice skating.

As the song crescendos into the chorus and the title card comes onscreen, it has this epic feeling to it where you as the viewer feel like you can do anything. It makes you want to glide around the room on pretend skates, dashing through life with as much grace as these figure skaters. If you think I’m being hyperbolic, watch the opening below and tell you don’t feel like you can take on the world by the end. This is one of the rare openings for a Japanese anime that’s sung all in English. So, if you don’t typically listen to songs sung in foreign languages, you may still jive with this anime opening.

2. “Fly High” – Burnout Syndromes

From: Haikyuu

This song holds a special place in my heart, and it always will because Haikyu!! (often spelled as Haikyuu in conversation) was the anime that made me fall in love with the genre and become obsessed. When lockdown hit and I was feeling very down about what the future held, I decided to pop on this show about a boy’s high school volleyball team on a whim. From the moment I met Shoyo Hinata, a short orange-haired kid determined to be a legendary wing spiker despite his obstacles, I was extremely invested in his story. This show about an underdog volleyball team wanting so badly to go to Nationals that they’d work their butts off for it brought so much light to the dark days of that time. Of all the opening tracks they’ve had over their four seasons, “Fly High” is my absolute favorite, and a favorite among fans too.

Like what I was saying for Yuri on Ice’s opening, “Fly High” is epic. Many sports anime openings are. Their goal is to hype you up and feel inspired. I played volleyball in middle school and haven’t joined a team since, but this anime made me want to get back on the court. This is the opening track for the second half of the second season, which focuses on Hinata and the rest of the Karasuno Team taking what they’ve discovered about their skills and honing them to be able to defeat the biggest teams in the country. There’s a lot of growth in this season and so much of Hinata’s strength is centered around this ability to jump extremely high, so the lyrics reflect that, encouraging him and the rest of the team to fly high to the farthest reaches of the future (that’s its translation). Near the end of the opening animation, we see Hinata post-jump in the air, seemingly floating, before he hits the ball set to him. Beyond it being great, it feels so nostalgic for me, and it captures the spirit of the show perfectly.

This version doesn’t follow the exact animation as it includes the full song, but it still captures the energy. Check it out.

3. “Pleasure” – WARPs UP

From: Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket is one of the most emotionally gripping stories to come out of the Shoujo genre. For those unfamiliar, shoujo is a term used to describe material marketed to young women. But if that’s not your thing, this anime should not be written off as it has one of the most compelling stories. To give a brief summary, Tohru Honda is an orphan girl who, after meeting Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma, learns that 13 members of the Sohma family are cursed. As she grows closer to them, she becomes determined to help them break the curse. There were a lot of great songs to choose from when it came to openings for Fruits Basket (special honorary mention to “Home”), but of all the openings, I listen to “Pleasure” the most outside of the show. It has such a calming yet uplifting groove to it that I really enjoy. It’s such a great song, and hearing it brings me so much joy and a deep desire to rewatch the entire series. It fits so well with the story and given that it’s used in the final season, it’s a good mix of melancholy and hopeful, two tones mixed often in the final season. If you’re a fan of Fruits Basket, which opening is your favorite?

Check out the beautiful track.

4. “Moonlight Densetsu" - Dali and Misae Takamatsu

From: Sailor Moon

It wouldn’t be a true list of amazing anime openings without bringing up Sailor Moon. The opening is iconic. Sailor Moon follows 14-year-old Usagi who after meeting a magical cat named Luna is able to transform into a magical alter ego — Sailor Moon — tasked with locating the moon princess and battling the evil forces of the Dark Kingdom with her fellow Sailor Guardians. Released in 1992, by 1995, “Moonlight Desentsu” was certified gold in Japan. It was also the most popular song from an anime series for karaoke from 1991 to 2000 according to a study conducted by the search engine Goo in 2008 (Source).

Even people who aren’t in anime have at least heard the name Sailor Moon. This anime was a staple of the 90s, and the opening song captures the magical mysteriousness of the story perfectly. Every time I hear the beginning, it’s like I’m transported back to how I felt watching the show for the very first time. It has such a whimsical quality to it that can’t be fully matched. Check it out!

5. “Rumbling” - SiM

From: Attack on Titan

It was so hard to pick just one opening from Attack on Titan to highlight because they’re all so good in their own ways and capture the era they’re a part of. I wound up going with an opening from the final season because I think they captured the haunting feeling well. Attack on Titan is an anime whose description can change depending on the season because as the story develops and the audience learns more, it becomes far bigger than how it seemed in the beginning. Basically, this is a world where Titans exist that eat humans, and when Titans infiltrate the walls put up in Eren Yeager’s town, his life is changed forever.

“Rumbling” is an opening in English and has some really cool metal influences. Having that kind of frustrated anger overlaying the melancholy lyrics is a perfect combination. This is what the other three seasons have been building up to, the final showdowns. My honorable mention has to go to “Boku No Sensou” which has such an intense life-during-war vibe that fits the first half of the final season well too. Back to “Rumbling”, lyrically it’s a heartbreaking song because we’re made to see just how much has changed in Eren’s life since that very first episode. All he ever wanted was happiness for himself and his friends and he got…total chaos. Near the end of the anime opening, that scream of anguish from Eren atop the wall is a haunting image but lined up perfectly with the scream in the song, and it’s so well done. The song was well received worldwide even reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hard Rock Chart (Source).

You can listen to the song below.

6. “Odd Taxi” – Skirt Ft. Punpee


If there’s one underrated anime gem on this list, it’s Odd Taxi (often stylized as ODDTAXI). The anime follows Hiroshi Odokawa, a walrus who drives a taxi for a living, and through it, he meets several unique individuals. Odokawa's life is pretty simple until he gets caught up in a case of a missing girl, and the police believe he’s a suspect. This summary gives you a base, but there’s so much more mystery to this story. And the opening track is also an underrated gem. It has such a calming groove to it with some hip-hop influences. I love the rapping portion, especially once you get to know these interesting characters. If that sounds vague, it’s because I don’t want to give away more than that.

The animation style is different from the one used through the actual show, with softer lines and more of a hand-drawn look. There are so many Easter eggs in the opening that will only make sense the more you learn about the story. It’s very cleverly done. There’s a cool little saxophone (I think it’s sax) part near the end that really helps wind the song down as we watch an outline of Odokawa falling before cutting back to his classic taxi. With only 13 episodes, this is a quick and worthy watch. And once you hear the cool opening, you’ll never want to skip it.

Check out the cool opening below.

7. “Cry Baby” - Official Hige Dandism

From: Tokyo Revengers

I love this opening for Tokyo Revengers so much, and it appears a lot of people feel the same. “Cry Baby” was the second most popular karaoke pick in Japan in the months that the anime was airing (Source). Tokyo Revengers follows Takemichi Hanagaki, a middle school delinquent in his past, who is now an adult living a boring, ordinary life until one day, he falls onto train tracks and wakes up 12 years in the past. In getting this second chance at life, he vows to do things differently this time around.

I can’t even really properly describe what makes “Cry Baby” so good. It just is. It has a lot of cool little musical twists that make it really unique and catchy. I’m always bobbing my head when this opening hits. I also love the title given that the main character is nicknamed the "Crybaby Hero."

Give it a listen.

8. “Fiction” – Sumika

From: Love is Hard for Otaku

This opening brings me so much joy. It’s probably the most upbeat opening track on this list, which fits so well with the subject matter of the anime. Love is Hard for Otaku follows adult coworkers who work an ordinary desk job but outside of their office hours, have different otaku interests they keep hidden until they discover amongst themselves that they’re all fellow otaku. It’s a comedic show following their desperation to hide their “otakuness” while some romance blossoms along the way. It’s honestly one of my favorite romantic comedies in the genre because it’s so much fun and brings a smile to my face every time I turn it on. The same goes for the opening. I like that for this opening, they’d often include the English translations for the song onscreen so English speakers could fully grasp the meaning of the opening song. There’s also this adorable, coordinated hand motion routine the four main characters do together that has gone around online and brought a lot of new people to the show.

If you need a pick-me-up this ordinary day, pop this song on, and I hope it brightens your day.

9. “Mienai Kara” By Miko Yotsuba

From: Mieruko-Chan

This opening starts in a panic, and then completely shifts gear into a cutesy song that simply does not fit the tone of the anime, and that’s why I love it. It’s also super fun to dance to. Mieruko-Chan is an anime about a girl named Miko who has the ability to see ghosts (the term "mieru" in Japanese means “to see”), hence the name Mieruko. These monsters are absolutely terrifying, but she’s the only one who can see them, and her way of dealing with seeing these horrors is to pretend they’re not there, no matter how scared she is. It is a horror comedy anime, so there is a lighthearted tone on top of the scary imagery, so maybe that’s why they chose such a happy tone to the song even though lyrically she’s begging for the ghosts to leave her alone.At the beginning of the opening, she’s chanting, “Yamete yamete mou yamete” which translates to, “Stop it, stop it, just stop it already!” It’s a fun song, and even though Mieruko-Chan isn’t an all-time favorite anime, it has one of my favorite openings.

10. “Pink Blood” -Hikaru Utada

From: To Your Eternity

Capping off this list, we have “Pink Blood.” To Your Eternity is such a layered interesting anime, as it follows an immortal being that was put on Earth to preserve the world. Over time, he meets many interesting people who teach him something about life on Earth. But fair warning to those interested, this is an emotional, devastating ride. As you can imagine, someone who is immortal would outlive the ones he grows fond of. That’s all I’ll say about that. You should definitely go watch for yourself.

The opening is so good and so iconic, that they continued using it for season two aired in late Fall of 2022 (the first season aired Summer 2021). Typically, anime will change their opening and closing tracks every season, and sometimes every 12 episodes. To use the same song for a second season is not common for a lot of newer anime, but it was a pleasant surprise. I was so pumped when I tuned into the latest season and heard this classic, calming opening once again. This anime tries to lure viewers into a state of calm before completely ripping our hearts out over and over. This is such a chill, but magnificent song that I’m so glad I discovered from this anime because I throw it on all the time, especially if I need a moment to breathe and realign myself.

How do you feel when you listen to it?

There are 10 anime openings that I think are amazing. Some of these descriptions divulged into me gushing about some anime I love and less about the songs, but I hope you’ll forgive me for that. And I hope I piqued your interest if there’s a show on here you haven’t seen. At the very least, if you aren’t into anime, I hope one or multiple songs on this list still interest you in some way. Which of these openings from your list is your favorite, and if your favorite isn’t listed, what is it?

If you’ve made it to my conclusion without closing your tab, I appreciate you reading and indulging me. I was agonizing over which 10 songs to choose for this, so you may see a part two to this down the line. I hope you’ll read that one too. ありがとうございます(Thank you 😉) !

Written by Kristen Petronio


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