There’s a countless number of anime out there to take in, which means that there are infinitely more openings to watch. There are tons of great anime that deserve to be watched, but what about openings? Which anime openings are the best?
Heated debates between friends have often happened in search of the answer to that question. Quality of the shows aside, here are some of the best anime openings that you should never skip.
Cowboy Bebop – Tank! by Seatbelts
I’m sure that this one was expected, so here it is at the top of the list. Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop has an opening that’s one of the most recognizable in all of anime, even if you haven’t seen the show.
The same goes for Watanabe’s Samurai Champloo as well, but this one won this time around.
The jazzy track makes for a catchy theme while the visuals keep your eyes glued to the screen with its colors, characters, and silhouettes. This opening is not one that’s likely to be skipped often, or at all.
Hopefully, the live-action version ends up using Tank! in one way or another so that fans can feel that sweet, sweet nostalgia.
Neon Genesis Evangelion – A Cruel Angel’s Thesis by Yoko Takahashi
Speaking of the most recognizable anime openings, Neon Genesis Evangelion is definitely up there. Opening aside, the anime itself is one of the most popular of all time. There aren’t too many like it.
There isn’t a ton of action in the visuals, but the constant cuts from one thing to the next makes it hard to look away. You don’t want to miss anything that the opening is trying to show you.
A Cruel Angel’s Thesis should definitely never be skipped, under any circumstances. I don’t make the rules, that’s just how it is.
Eureka Seven Opening 1 – Days by FLOW
Nobody knows why, but mecha anime seem to have good openings. Eureka Seven is no exception. The anime is somewhat of a hidden gem, and its first opening is certified unskippable.
It gives you a good look at the main characters, a few antagonists, and some giant robot action. All set to a song that you’ll want to add to your playlist right after hearing it.
Honestly, all of Eureka Seven’s openings are great, but this one is the one that you should watch every time it’s used.
Attack on Titan Opening 1 – Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen by Linked Horizon
There aren’t any giant mechs in this one, but Attack on Titan‘s first opening was a hit when it came out, and it’s still a hit now.
Seeing the way characters fly through the air while they, well, attack titans could be extremely confusing as a first-time watcher.
That confusion eventually turns into curiosity, though, which then turns into a desire to see the intro multiple times.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Opening 1 – Again by Yui
There’s sadness, action, mystery, and even foreshadowing that you won’t understand until well after this opening stops being used. But once you do understand it, you’ll appreciate it even more.
On top of all that, Again by Yui is another track that you’ll most likely want on your anime playlist.
Soul Eater Opening 2 – Papermoon by Tommy heavenly6
Soul Eater is probably among the least-watched anime on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in top-notch openings. It only has two, but they’re both amazing for different reasons.
The first is far more upbeat, while this one is a bit darker. You’re unlikely to skip either of them, but this opening’s tone, animation, and song make it the better of the two.
Haikyu!! Opening 4 – Fly High!! by BURNOUT SYNDROMES
Haikyu!! is clearly very different from everything else on this list so far genre-wise, but who says sports anime can’t have awesome openings too?
This one’s all about volleyball with a lot of focus on the high-flying Hinata. While the visuals are cool, it’s really the song that sticks out in this one.
Fly High!! will get stuck in your head, there’s no question about it. Specifically those words, “fly high.” Good luck on trying not to hum it randomly over the next few days.
The Promised Neverland – Touch Off by UVERworld
The Promised Neverland is only 12 episodes long. At no point will you ever want to skip this opening. It’s just that good.
The opening is surprisingly upbeat and catchy even though the anime has a somewhat darker tone to it overall. This one shows a lot, but also nothing of significance if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
That’s exactly how a good opening should be. It’s a catchy theme with visuals that can’t possibly spoil the plot unless you’ve already seen the show.
Death Parade – Flyers by BRADIO
Death Parade is another anime with another opening that absolutely does not match the atmosphere of the show at all. It’s also another 12 episode show with another opening that you won’t skip at all.
There’s a whole lot of dancing in this one. It’s just so cheerful and happy that you’ll be confused by the contrast between it and the show. It’ll throw you off, for sure, but in a way that you’ll love.
Future Diary Opening 1 – Kuusou Mesorogii by Yousei Teikoku
The Promised Neverland and Death Parade openings can be a bit misleading when looking at the content of those two anime. Future Diary is the complete opposite.
It’s a creepy anime, and this opening lets you know that right off the bat. The music is intense, the visuals are weirdly eerie, and the last 10 seconds are both well animated and totally unnerving.
Carole & Tuesday – Kiss Me by Nai Br.XX and Celeina Ann
Carole & Tuesday is another anime with a brilliant opening that just so happens to be directed by Shinichiro Watanabe.
This is a relatively new music anime, so it shouldn’t really be all that surprising that the opening sounds great. What’s unexpected is how beautiful it is to look at and how wonderful it is to watch.
Carole & Tuesday’s opening is like a painting in motion, and that’s just the icing on top of this whole unskippable package.
CLANNAD After Story – Toki Wo Kizamu Uta by Lia
CLANNAD After Story will have you deep in your feels, and its opening pretty much prepares you for that as best it can.
The sad-sounding theme will stick with you long after hearing it. The same goes for the content of this anime. The opening flashes through all of the main characters as the music swells and prepares you for what’s to come.
It’s relatively simple, yet you’ll still have the urge to watch it every single time it starts up.
Fire Force Opening 1 – Inferno by Mrs. GREEN APPLE
We’ve found our way back to the action shonen genre, and this one is pretty new. The first Fire Force intro is so good that it was nominated in Crunchyroll’s anime awards earlier this year in the Best Opening Sequence category.
Only in anime do you see firefighters literally fighting fire with fire. Not only that, but Fire Force actually manages to somehow make it look cool.
If “firefighting anime” doesn’t sound appealing to you in the slightest, you should watch this, because it might just change your mind. Hats off to the David Production animation studio.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Opening 1 – Sono Chi no Sadame by Hiroaki Tominaga
David Production is also behind Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This one’s a fan-favorite opening with plenty of style and creativity in it.
There’s a regular switch between 2D, 3D, and animated manga panels throughout this intro. It’s a lot to take in as a first-time watcher.
The song mixed with that signature Jojo style will have you wanting to watch it over and over again for as long as its used.
Mob Psycho 100 II – 99.9 by Mob Choir
This Mob Psycho opening is actually the one that won Crunchyroll’s Best Opening Sequence award this year. It jumps from one visual style to the next constantly, and all of them are a joy to look at.
This show is already known for turning its animation quality up beyond 100% at a moment’s notice, so seeing this creative, over-the-top opening isn’t all that shocking.
It’s a treat that comes with an already cool show. You won’t be skipping this Mob Psycho intro at any point during its Season 2 run.
Black Clover Opening 4 – Guess Who is Back by Kumi Koda
If we’re talking about interesting visual styles, this Black Clover opening has some moments in it that absolutely needs to be re-winded and seen more than once.
This intro highlights the members of the main crew just before an important moment in the anime, and it does so with style.
Enough style and pure shonen genre energy that you won’t want to skip this opening even once.
Demon Slayer Opening 1 – Gurenge by LiSA
Demon Slayer contains 26 episodes, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll want to skip this intro even once. The more of the anime you watch, the more you’ll want to replay this opening.
It manages to encapsulate most of what you’ll be seeing in the show into a short, action-packed intro that’s never dull for even a second.
For those that are fans of this show, you might be happy to know that a game is being made thanks to all those views you’ve been giving it.
Bleach Opening 1 – Asterisk by Orange Range
And now we’re getting into the “Big 3” shonen anime of the early 2000s. Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto were insanely popular for a long time. In fact, they still are. One thing that they all have in common is the crazy amount of openings they each have.
Picking just one for Bleach is tough, but the first one is the most iconic. It’s also more stylish and catchy than you’d expect from a show that focuses quite a bit on death, grim reapers, and the afterlife in its first arc.
The unforgettable art, character designs, and instantly recognizable theme make this one a classic.
One Piece Opening 10 – We Are! by Tohoshinki
As we all know, One Piece is a never-ending anime with over 1000 episodes under its belt. If you haven’t started it by now, you may never start it.
That being said, that high episode count just means that there are more openings to choose from. This one is the third version of We Are! used as an opening track for the show. It’s arguably also the best version.
This opening references all of the crew’s struggles on the way to where they are now, and it does so while the most memorable One Piece theme plays. It had to be this one.
Naruto Opening 5 – Rhapsody of Youth by Sambomaster
I know what many of you may be thinking. You think it should be Naruto Shippuden opening 16. I disagree. While that opening is undeniably top-tier, this one fully focuses on one of the best arcs in the entire series.
This anime has way too many openings to choose from, but this one signals a turning point in the show. It has action, symbolism, and loads of nostalgia.
In all honesty, Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach could take up several spots on this list, but this opening should be watched every time, especially since there are about five versions of it that get used as the arc progresses. It kind of turns into a little game of “spot the difference” every time it plays.
Sailor Moon – Moonlight Densetsu by DALI
This classic has been around since the release of Sailor Moon in 1992, and it still remains popular even today. The captivating tune accompanied by all the beautiful colors, memorable characters, and mesmerizing visuals is what truly makes this one of the best anime openings. DALI sure knew what they were doing especially since the song spanned not one, but two seasons.
Thanks to the dedication of Sailor Moon fans throughout the years, the anime will be making another return with a two-part movie in 2023.
Ouran High School Host Club – Cherry Blossom Kiss by Kristine Sa
Kiss, kiss, fall in love! Kristine Sa’s singing along with the guitar riffs in the background make this song catchy enough to use in viral videos on the internet. The Japanese version where Chieko Ochi sings is just as iconic, especially since this singer also played Sailor Mercury in the live-action Sailor Moon musicals.
Ouran High School Host Club’s opening entertains fans with its visuals of all the quirky main characters with cherry blossoms floating around them in a romanticized way, and the lyrics are easy enough to sing along to. Even if this anime only has one season, “Cherry Blossom Kiss,” along with all the engaging episodes, made it memorable enough to gain a thriving fanbase.
Yu Yu Hakusho Opening 1 – Smile Bomb by Sara White
The sound of the nineties is encapsulated in the opening theme of Yu Yu Hakusho, with its funky tune and enthralling beats. The Japanese version, “Hohoemi no Bakudan” by Matsuko Mawatari, is just as wonderful as Sara White’s version; both of them have lovely voices, harmonizing with each instrument.
There are so many memorable parts to this hit, including the awe-inspiring line of “I don’t know where to go” and the minute Sara White belts out “Stop!” while the song halts along with it. The opening’s style of animation for each character as they battle still stands the test of time, and this classic is sure to make anyone want to dance.
Dragon Ball Z Opening 1 – Main Title by Haim Saban & Shuki Levy
Whenever Cartoon Network’s Toonami would play this song, you knew it was time for a battle in Dragon Ball Z. “Main Title” — also known as “Rock the Dragon” — is the song used for the English opening of the anime, and it definitely pumps you up with its screaming and guitar solos. And, of course, the Japanese version, “Cha La Head Cha La,” is equally as iconic for those who watched the anime with subs.
What makes this song so epic is how the fighting of all our favorite Dragon Ball Z characters is almost on beat with the drums, and how the yelling of each Saiyan powering up matches with the vocals as well. Since this series is considered to be one of the best in anime history, it was an obvious choice to have one of its openings on this list.
Tokyo Revengers Opening 1 – Cry Baby by Official Hige Dandism
Tokyo Revengers is a fairly new show with an opening that feels like a mixture of classic anime songs and a new modern take at the same time. The title of this piece matches perfectly with the main character, Takemichi Hanagaki, since he is essentially… a cry baby. But he’s still our favorite cry baby, nonetheless.
The lyrics of the weak wanting to fight back, and the rhythms of the guitar blending beautifully together, make this a hit song. The modern art style shown in this opening is incredibly detailed with each character and their surrounding environment showing how far anime has come and will continue to thrive in the future. Even the show’s live-action film has proven successful, leaving fans wondering what will happen next.
Akame ga Kill! Opening 1 – Skyreach by Sora Amamiya
The electric guitar, soul-stirring vocals, and upbeat drumming for this song are the reason Akame ga Kill! has one of the greatest openings. Rock out with the Night Raid characters and their respective enemies, while also feeling somber for those who know the show’s ending.
Just like Ouran High School Host Club, Eureka Seven, and a few others on the list, this anime is a part of the one-season club. But the show continues to gain fans with its storytelling and animation. Although we wish there were more seasons of this anime, at least we still have 24 episodes and this breathtaking opening.
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School – Kami-iro Awase by Binaria
This underrated Danganronpa opening remains one of the best with its art style, symbolism, and somber tone the song evokes. Since this opening has such a melancholy and peaceful feeling, it matches with themes of the famous Despair Arc.
The opening displays the characters falling, showing the literal downfall each of them goes through. There is also the closing shot of Chiaki Nanami’s shadow with the music stopping when she finally looks into the camera, making us want to cry by the end of the song.
One Punch Man Opening 1 – The Hero!! by JAM Project
JAM Project’s epic vocals and thunderous composition encapsulate what One Punch Man is all about. The first shot of Saitama’s fist being covered in flames mixed with the electric guitar makes this an already memorable opening for an anime.
The title of this song is exactly what Saitama is — a hero. He’s not a well-known hero to the community, but at least we know how powerful he really is. The shot of all the characters together exhibits the in-depth artistic details with each one, and the closing scene of the shine on our favorite hero’s bald head shows that this anime doesn’t take itself too seriously at the same time.
Hunter x Hunter – Departure! by Masatoshi Ono
This well-known song is recognizable to fans by the time the first few seconds sound off, and that’s why it made its way on this list. Every arc of the anime has changed in visuals, but this song has stayed on as the theme with each passing one. With the musical composure, amazing vocals from Masatoshi Ono, and the upbeat sounds, it’s understandable why the theme never changed.
Hunter x Hunter may essentially be done for now, but we can hold onto our hopes of a potential revival, and possibly seeing Gon Freecss and Killua Zoldyck as adults. One can only wish to see Gon finally fight Hisoka in an all-out battle to the death.
Pokemon – Pokemon Theme by Jason Paige
In a world we must defend, Pokemon’s theme has been there for it all, and it is possibly the most well-known song on this list. The phrase “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” became iconic the moment this song came out, with even more memorable lines throughout this hit. Alongside all the creative uses of all the instruments, Jason Paige’s vocals were so impressive that he even recreated the song 18 years later.
Pokemon’s reign in popularity is far from over, from the new Pokemon Legends: Arceus to all the latest merchandise, this franchise is here to stay.
There are so many openings that had to be left out; this list could go on almost infinitely. But like I said before, friends debate over the best anime openings all the time. Which ones are your favorites?
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