We’re back with the best anime songs of all time list! A top-notch anime opening isn’t just background noise; it’s a storyteller in its own right, intricately woven into the narrative, and also intimately connected to the world it portrays.
We’ve all been caught red-handed skipping through anime openings at some point. Some of us might as well have a black belt in it. But hey, even if you’re the type who can’t sit through a minute and a half of J-pop or J-rock, you can’t deny that certain anime legacies are written in the lyrics of their anime intros.
More often than not, music in Japanese anime is like the secret sauce. A killer opening theme can set the vibe and also lure in a bunch more folks to watch the anime adaptation.
10. Neon Genesis Evangelion – “Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis (A Cruel Angel’s Thesis)” by Yoko Takahashi
Starting our best anime songs of all time list, NGE OST! Vibe with that upbeat ’90s sound in this pop theme that’s an absolute anthem. It’s not just a song; it’s like a time machine, still rocking the hearts of fans all around the globe!
Neon Genesis Evangelion has fans split down the middle. Love it or not, you can’t deny it’s left a mark on the anime community. And the music? Oh man, it’s like a rollercoaster of grand, slightly chaotic, and also endlessly suspenseful tunes.
Major shoutout to the maestro Shiro Sagisu, a legend since the ’70s, for bringing that musical magic to the Evangelion anime adaptation. And if you want a taste of his genius, dive into the End of Evangelion OST—it’s a symphony of his genius mind at work. Additionally, he’s the mastermind behind nearly all the Evangelion soundtracks. Talk about leaving a lasting melody in our heads!
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9. Angel Beats! – “My Soul, Your Beats!” by Lia
Get ready to groove to this super catchy upbeat track with a killer refrain! It’s the perfect soundtrack to help you relive all the hilarious and also tear-jerking moments from this beautiful anime adaptation. Get those memories ready to dance to the beat!
8. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary) – “Kuusou Mesorogiwi” by Yousei Teikoku
The opening song here is like a mirror of the anime adaptation’s vibe. It’s got this fast-paced energy that hooks you right in. It kicks off with a choral vibe, and then out of nowhere, bam! It hits you with this powerful, speedy melody that’s just as unexpected as the twists and turns in the anime. It’s like a musical rollercoaster that keeps you on your toes, also matching the wild ride of the anime adaptation itself!
7. Elfen Lied – “Lilium” by Kumiko Noma
An eargasm, thanks to the operatic magic of Kumiko Noma! Her beautiful vocals are a breathtaking masterpiece that hits you right in the feels. Additionally, this anime opening is like the sci-fi and action vibes of the anime adaptation rolled into one perfect musical package. It’s the kind of tune that just captures the whole essence of the show in the most epic way.
6. Tokyo Ghoul – “Unravel” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure
6th on our “Best Anime Songs of All Time” list starts slow, just like a lazy Sunday morning, but then it kicks into high gear, mirroring the beat of a heart racing faster and faster!
Diving into the world of Tokyo Ghoul’s first opening, the legendary “Unravel,” was released by TK From Ling Tosite Sigure. This track is the rockstar of anime intros, and if you’re an anime fan, chances are you’ve also got some serious nostalgia attached to the first time this gem hit your ears.
TK’s beautiful vocals are haunting, weaving this emotional tale that sticks with you. It’s this killer combo of rock and indie vibes that makes it an earworm of epic proportions. Additionally, even with heart-wrenching lyrics mirroring Kaneki’s journey, it’s catchy. I mean, seriously, “Unravel” outshines all the other Tokyo Ghoul anime OPs, earning its spot as the reigning champ.
What’s cool is that it doesn’t hit you with all its power right from the get-go. Nope, it eases you in with a slow and quiet start, setting the mood before diving into some seriously dramatic instrumentals and beautiful vocals towards the end. It’s like a musical rollercoaster that leaves you hanging on for dear life.
5. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – ”Guren no Yumiya (Crimson Bow and Arrow)” by Linked Horizon
Attack on Titan’s music is the show’s hype squad, matching the drama, terror, and sheer intensity of the popular anime series beat for beat.
In a world where things can go from victory cheers to pants-wetting terror in the blink of an eye, Attack on Titan needed a soundtrack that could also keep up with the rollercoaster. And oh boy, did they nail it.
Now, let’s talk maestro—Hiroyuki Sawano is the wizard behind the curtain and this soundtrack. It’s his magnum opus. He’s got this knack for making orchestral anime music sound downright ambitious, and this is also him flexing his best work.
You could be chilling on your bed, sipping tea, but the moment you hit play on this tight track, it’s like you’re suddenly the hero trying to save the world, battling monstrous foes, and navigating a political landscape. It’s a musical call to arms and epic in the most unforgiving, and also tumultuous way possible.
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4. Dragon Ball Z – “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” by Hironobu Kageyama
Cha-La Head-Cha-La is the ultimate Dragon Ball anthem, hands down. This jam has been rocking the ears of all ages for ages. Additionally, it was the Dragon Ball Z opening for a solid four years straight, starting from ’89. That’s some serious screen time.
But here’s the cool part—Cha-La Head-Cha-La didn’t stop there. Nope, it made its way into a bunch of Dragon Ball Z films, spreading its catchy vibes far and wide. And guess who’s behind this earworm? None other than the Japanese maestro Hironobu Kageyama.
When I say this song is the ’80s in musical form, I mean it. Once you hear that “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” line, good luck trying to shake it off, it’s practically tattooed on your brain, and honestly, who would want to erase it? Totally deserves a spot on our list of best anime songs of all time.
3. Naruto: Shippuuden – “Aoi no Sora (Blue Bird)” by Ikimonogakari
Ikimonogakari is a household name in Japanese music, and this particular jam we’re talking about is their crown jewel. Anime buffs do not just adore it but also snags love from folks who don’t usually dive into popular animes.
Naruto’s music game is not just good, it’s next-level phenomenal. Bold, badass, and also creative as all get out. It’s the kind of soundtrack that makes you sit up and go, “Okay, this is seriously cool.”
Now, if we wanted to, we could’ve easily turned this list into a Naruto opening parade—both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden have been pumping out some seriously popular anime songs over the years.
2. Samurai Champloo – ”Battlecry” by Nujabes feat. SHINGO2
So, let’s talk about Samurai Champloo’s soundtrack, number two on our best anime songs of all time list. it’s like a cool breeze in the world of lo-fi hip-hop, thanks to the legend known as Nujabes, aka Jun Seba. This guy, along with the American maestro J Dilla, basically laid the groundwork for lo-fi hip hop, flipping the bird to traditional songwriting and putting all their energy into setting the mood and creating vibes.
Just like its older sibling, Cowboy Bebop, Champloo’s music is the secret sauce, adding this chill, dreamy vibe to the anime adaptation. It’s like a serene backdrop to all the plot twists and violence. It knows when to dial up the drama while keeping that easy-going charm.
So, if you’re in the market for slick beats, ambient grooves, and hip-hop that’s both chill and funky, just dive into the Samurai Champloo soundtracks. Trust me, they’ve got the good stuff.
And that rap opening? It’s practically stealing the spotlight from the anime adaptation itself, giving the late Nujabes the global props he deserves. That’s how you know it’s more than just a tune—it’s a worldwide groove.
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1. Cowboy Bebop -” Tank!” by Seatbelts
Back in April ’98, an anime dropped in Japan that became a legend. It was accompanied by Yoko Kanno’s bombastic opening song called “Tank!”—the calling card of Cowboy Bebop.
Early jazz vibes, a whirlwind of blues, bossa nova, and also J-pop all mashed up in the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack. Kanno’s magic is woven into the series, no doubt about it.
Yoko Kanno nailed it with this masterpiece, and it’s no wonder “Tank!” is hailed as one of the greatest in anime opening songs ever. This jazz-infused gem owns the top spot on our list of best anime songs of all time, and rightly so.
Just like Cowboy Bebop itself, “Tank!” is a symphony of cool. No single part steals the show, but when it all comes together, you’re left with a seamless, jaw-dropping track that defines the word “epic.”
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That’s it for our anime theme songs list, stay tuned for more anime updates and also interesting anime facts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Official sites like Viz Media are publishers of the most common titles in English versions and also Japanese versions. Additionally, they have an online repository that can be accessed after paying a small fee.
Yes, there are sites online that compile the music of an anime into albums.