10 of the best anime openings of all time

A frame from one of My Hero Academia's intros (Image via Bones)
A frame from one of My Hero Academia's intros (Image via Bones)

A great anime opening can hook a viewer into watching an entire series. The best ones not only have great tunes to listen to but also visuals befitting the anime genre. There are instances where some anime intros have great visuals but lackluster music and vice versa.

This list is more about those catchy intros that capture the essence of the anime down to a tee, both auditory and visually. It's worth noting that this article will primarily be about the English and Japanese versions of certain songs. Anything in another language won't be considered, given the target audience.

Top 10 of the catchiest anime openings

10) Attack on Titan (Shinzou Wo Sasageyo)


One unique aspect of Attack on Titan's opening is its symphonic metal sound. It doesn't sound weeb-like compared to other famous anime theme songs, which is a huge plus in its favor. However, a good opening is more than just the song.

The visuals are wonderfully designed. The titans look as hideous as one would expect. Similarly, the characters visibly preparing for a battle help hype up how serious the following episode is about to be.

9) Kakegurui (Kono Yubi Tomare)


Both Kakegurui theme songs are a blast to listen to, and each has its own great visuals. The second season (the one shown above) is less flashy by comparison, but the general flow is better, with the imagery also being slightly less degenerate in some instances.

Considering that the anime's premise is basically a group of students indulging in their gambling addiction, one could say that this opening is better-suited than the previous one.

This show doesn't have the legendary reputation that the upcoming animes have, but that doesn't mean it lacks a fun opening. It's also an example of Studio MAPPA's brilliant animation.

8) Naruto (Go!!)


It would be difficult to choose a single best opening for Naruto. However, there is something oddly nostalgic and cheerful about this particular intro, hence its placement here. It's a weird mix of Japanese and English lyrics, a technique used in a few other animes, yet it works in this instance as it doesn't sound awkward or forced.

The only downside to it is that there isn't much animation happening here, with some shots just being a simple pan from left to right. Besides that, it's just a fun introduction to a beloved series that should invoke some nostalgia in its fans.

7) Sailor Moon (Moonlight Densetsu)


Both the English and Japanese versions of the song are incredibly catchy. This show is unquestionably the most famous "Magical Girl" anime, as well as being arguably the most well-known Shōjo manga. It's had quite the legacy throughout the decades, but there is something just mesmerizing about the first theme song.

It helps that it's unique and doesn't sound like any other show. The classic 90s charm is in full force here, with this specific opening also doing a decent job in introducing the viewers to the show's cast. Some people might poke fun at the "never running from a real fight" line because of Usagi's character, but it's still a fun opening overall.

6) Cowboy Bepop (Tank!)


Not all openings have to possess a ton of lyrics to sound great. There is barely any dialogue in Cowboy Bepop's intro here, but the instrumental music is amazing to listen to. The simple colors and animations shown here are also pretty cool to watch, so it's both great in a visual and auditory sense.

The live Netflix version might turn away some people from checking out the anime, but it's still worth watching for its much better dialog, story, and animation. To the live version's credit, they kept this song, which is a high point for those who want to watch it.

5) Neon Genesis Evangelion (A Cruel Angel's Thesis)


As far as iconic 90s anime openings go, Neon Genesis Evangelion's A Cruel Angel's Thesis is definitely one of the most memorable. This highly influential series only had 26 episodes, which is extremely small compared to most other legendary shows.

Show length isn't everything, though. As far as the opening is concerned, the song was critically acclaimed. It's a good jam to vibe to, with the visuals being simple yet complementary to what is sung. A Cruel Angel's Thesis is excellent from beginning to end and is a perfect example of something that is fun to watch for the first time yet becomes sad once the series is over.

4) My Hero Academia (The Day)


My Hero Academia is one of the most famous modern anime. Its openings usually range from great to excellent, so honestly, any one of them could end up on a list like this one. However, the first season's opening is arguably the most hypeworthy. The band who sings this awesome song is "Porno Graffitti," which can be hard to take seriously given the name.

Nonetheless, this intro perfectly captures Midoriya's fascination with wanting to be a hero like All Might. It also showcases his classmates clearly and concisely before diving into the catchy lyrics.

The early seasons of My Hero Academia are arguably the best ones since Midoriya had more limitations back then, and the story was more cohesive then. In that sense, this song just represents the best time for the series.

3) One Punch Man (The Hero)


The concept of One Punch Man is simple yet brilliant. An overpowered protagonist who could defeat his foes with one punch sounds like a Marty Stu in some person's fanfic, but it makes perfect sense in the context of the anime. Of course, the quality of an opening isn't based on how good the show is.

There are instances where a great show has a forgettable introduction; One Punch Man isn't one of them. This intro looks cool, but it's also advisable for fans to listen to the full song version since it just sounds more complete that way.

2) YuYu Hakusho (Smile Bomb)


It's rare for an anime to use the same theme song for its entire run. The above video displays an opening that's used for the first 66 episodes, with the rest of the show using a completely different intro. However, the theme song is the exact same (Smile Bomb).

The first version is used here because it's the one that plays during the Dark Tournament saga, which is widely considered to be the best arc in the series. Some of the footage shown is a little strange. For example, there is never a moment when Byakko actually chases Botan and Keiko in the TV show.

Nonetheless, the lyrics are meaningful and can easily invoke nostalgia for those fortunate enough to hear it several decades ago.

1) Pokemon (Season 1)


The most successful media franchise of all time is something that any conscious anime fan should at least be aware of. Pokemon has historically had several great theme songs, but the first one is undeniably the most memorable one. Anybody born in the 90s or earlier has likely heard this song several times by now.

The actual opening is pretty cool to watch too. It really does a good job expressing all of the important characters of the first season, even if it isn't as flashy as some of the previous entries on this list.

The actual song is just far too memorable to ignore, with Jason Paige's performance being something that will forever be etched in anime history as far as good openings go.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.