This is our list of the best anime openings and we hope that in the coming years this list only grows to what becomes a culmination of the best art that is presented throughout the anime world.
Without wasting any more time, let’s jump into the list. Note that this list is based on our opinion and your thoughts may or may not match to this list.
Number 18: Kaikaikitan, Jujutsu Kaisen
One of the most recent ones on the whole list, Jujutsu Kaisen’s Kaikaikitan is a masterclass in animation and packs a heavy punch which is also slightly subtle, not giving away too much of what the anime is about.
The opening starts with Itadori in a Shibuya metro waking up with a red mark on his face, a glimpse of Sukuna and leads to introducing every member on the cast in their relaxed habitat in gorgeous animation and breathtaking cinematography.
Then as the first verse is ending the chorus pops in signaling the amazing action that the anime is highly praised for, with Gojou and the crew fighting the different curses, and this leads to a montage of everyone’s abilities being showcased.
In this montage, last year’s biggest anime meme was born, Panda parkouring through buildings in a night-lit Tokyo. The song adds much of the hype and builds that the anime delivers in every episode.
Number 17: Hit in the USA, Beck, Mongolian Chop Squad
Of course, the anime opening of an anime about rock bands and music is going to be on the list, and Beat Crusaders’ Hit in the USA, hits directly to the rockstar in all of us.
With amazing riffs and string arrangements, reminiscent of the 90s rock and roll scene, the opening completely captures what it means to be in a rock band and the amazing jamming sessions with guitars and drums that follow the music in your hearts.
The opening completely captures the feel of the punky and rockstar persona that the anime displays heavily, from the street performances to the stadium-filled crowd arenas and the euphoria that any band feeds off of when performing.
Beck is one of the greatest rock band anime of all time and Hit in the USA is the perfect melody to accompany such a feat in the anime industry.
Number 16: Imagination, Haikyuu
This opening is one for the generations, being the first one in a flurry of amazing openings it caps off one of the greatest sports anime in the history of anime.
Haikyuu knew exactly what it wanted to convey from the first second it hit televisions and this opening by SPYAIR is proof of that.
The first verse hypes the viewer and readies them for the most exciting and fluid sports anime that they will experience in their life.
And the way the music builds from the first chorus to the second verse leaves the viewer in a gasp of breath while immediately taking back to the action on hand.
Number 15: Duvet, Secret Experiment Lain
An underrated anime in the consensus of the mainstream and thus a very underrated anime opening. There are very few anime with English openings and Duvet falls into this category and nails it.
The anime is about an adolescent girl losing her identity to virtual reality and the people around her forcing her to find hope and solace in the virtual reality network.
The opening has these serene 80s – 90s RnB vibes which give out a peaceful and calm sense but as the anime makes it very clear, the things that seem peaceful on the surface have consequences that run deep within the human psyche.
The chilling vocals from Boa and the heart-wrenching lyrics of separation from oneself and losing oneself towards something else capture the exact tone that the anime is going for, making this one of the best and most underrated anime openings on this list.
Number 14: 99, Mob Psycho 100
The anime that grabbed the throat of every viewer when it came, Mob Psycho has one of the weirdest and craziest plots in anime history, so a weirder opening is absolutely what follows.
This opening packs a heavy punch into everything abstract and out-of-this-world. Also, the thing that stands out in the whole opening is the way that the singer incorporates the counting of numbers from 1 up to 100.
The song also punches a pack heavy into the extraordinary and extravagant style that the video accompanies perfectly. The show’s different powers and abilities get their own screen time when it comes to the visual for the opening.
Number 13: We Are, One Piece
In the long history of the One Piece anime and manga, there is one that tops among all of them, and it is not because of the intricate animation or gorgeous direction or beats that you could listen to for hours on end, which all the other openings of this magnificent show deliver.
But it is on the top because of the way it makes every fan, who has gone through the 450 chapters or 450+ episodes, feel. It brings out the pure and unadulterated charisma and passion that has been seeped into this show by Oda that has kept this anime going on for as long it has gone for.
This opening completely masters the emotional and sentimental value that One Piece is renowned for in all of anime, which is why this is the only One Piece opening that makes this list.
Number 12: Stand Proud, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure Stardust Crusaders
The first of the Jojo openings on this list, because of course there are multiple openings from only one series that is Jojo. The star of this opening is the star of the Joestar bloodline, Jotaro Kujo, and the nemesis of the whole franchise, Dio.
The opening has one of the best opening visuals, it incorporates every Joestar from the anime to the mangas, from Jonathan to Johnny. The haunting yet adventurous vocals lean into the whole theme of what makes Dio the best antagonist in all of anime.
The 3-D of the opening also is a Jojo speciality which makes it last hurrah here in this opening, one of the most striking visual cues in the opening is the end part where the standoff between Dio and Jotaro is stopped, knowing the anime is such a nice detail which makes all of Jojo openings more amazing.
Number 11: Guren no Yumiya, Attack on Titan
The opening of the most hyped-up anime of all time. There are very few openings in all anime that make you stand up and shout in unison, and Guren no Yumiya from the first season of Attack on Titan does exactly that.
With amazing animation and choreography, Guren no Yumiya gives an excellent glimpse of all the action and fights that the viewers are going to be a part of.
Not only Guren no Yumiya is an amazing starter in hyping up for the action the anime delivers in excellent measures, but it also makes for an extended introduction to the quirks that every character brings to the table.
Number 10: Haruka Kanata, Naruto
This one is an oldie but a definite goldie. While the whole anime industry is so attached with the last opening of the Fourth Shinobi War Arc of Naruto Shippuden, the second opening of the Naruto franchise is my pick for the best Naruto opening.
The most shonen opening among this extensive list, Haruka Kanata is an absolute banger for what is arguably the best arc in all of the shonen anime.
With no high stakes or investment in the characters, this opening nails the concept of hyping up the viewer without any context of what is happening or what are the people in the video doing, just that the viewer should get ready for the best of fights that they will experience.
Number 9: The Day, My Hero Academia
The first opening of My Hero Academia is a general template for a shonen anime opening. But there are some of the most amazing shots in the opening which qualify it to be this high and part of the top 10 anime openings of all time.
The first shot that starts the opening is a picture to picture shot of every inch of All Might, showing his costume and the iconography that it presents in this world, giving hope to millions of people. This also is a clear nod to the way superheroes movies are shown in movies.
The black line that divides Bakugo and Deku, a reminiscent look that is depicted in the second volume of the manga. Undoubtedly, My Hero Academia has placed itself on the throne of the current trio of anime that make up the industry right now.
Number 8: Unreal, Tokyo Ghoul
The edgiest opening and show on this list, Unravel is on this list because of the way it depicts the outlook of Kaneki about the world that he lives in, the world of ghouls and humans. The opening is black and white, the ghoul and humans that Kaneki sees at the beginning of the world.
As the colour comes in we can see Toka ignoring Kaneki while Rize looks at him, further cementing the duality and the transparency between the ghouls and humans.
The opening kills it in showing the hidden messaging of the show, how we are all wearing facades that we wouldn’t want anyone else to see, which makes us human.
Also, the symbolism of the glass breaking to showcase the title and then it reforging to become whole again is showing us the way Kaneki will eventually reap the good in ghouls while harnessing the evil in his human compadres.
Number 7: The Hero!, One Punch Man
The opening that needs no introduction, The Hero! is the west’s favourite when it comes to sheer hype and intensity that is present all through the drums and strings in the song for this opening.
The opening with One Punch sends a shockwave throughout your whole body, readying you for the impact that the single punch of Saitama is going to feel like.
The other thing that makes the video stand out, is the way that in the beginning, Saitama is so small that you cannot even see him, the monster, or the environment being huge and scary. All that goes into the stratosphere when the chorus comes in and we can see the punch of Saitama shatter the screen completely, showing the dominance that Saitama holds.
Number 6: Tank!, Cowboy Bebop
A banger and a half, this jazz piece is what makes Cowboy Bebop speak through generations of anime fans. The opening is bundled with the different stories of what makes Spike the coolest man in anime.
Tank! also has one of the strangest quirks in this list, being an opening without any kind of lyrics, while expressing a wide array of emotions through just the instruments.
The other thing that sparks out in the video is the way they introduce every person with a bit of smoke coming out from the various cigarettes that burn throughout the show.
The thing that anyone who has watched the opening recalls the most is the end part where the instrument just becomes a snappy and remarkable feat of playing the saxophone.
Number 5: Crazy Noisy Bizzare Town, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure Diamond is Unbreakable
Another masterpiece in the Jojo anime catalogue is Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town, which serves as the opening for the fourth part named ‘Diamond is Unbreakable of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, both in the first part of the series
This was later being reworked into the opening for the later part of the anime using the mechanic that the main villain of the anime, Yoshikage Kira uses, which makes the latter a standard-setting opening in terms of building hype for the anime.
The part of the opening where each character gets their shine with the walking stance or their abilities being on display.
The other thing is the running theme in between the opening is the thread of looping and pointing upwards to the people who have given their life to the attempt of catching the main antagonist of the show.
Number 4: Again, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
A monolith of a series and considered to be the best anime of all time by many and still more counting, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood shows that for a classic you need a classic opening along with it.
With its eye-popping easter eggs hidden all around the anime, hinting at the end even in the first opening itself shows the love that the creators of this opening had for Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood like the opening is called Again, a nod to this being a reboot of an anime that had made amazing strides in the anime industry.
The other thing that steals the highlight in this opening is the way they show the effects that the two boys suffer through the experiment to bring their mother back. The electricity being the herald of the way that alchemy had destroyed their life while it is the only thing remaining that could bring them back to the way they were.
Number 3: Cha La Head Cha La, Dragon Ball Z
Let’s give due to the best and most recognizable opening of all time. Just when the first best of this amazing song drops you know you are in for a banging time all the while you listen to it.
The way the camera moves and twists following the way Goku and Gohan travel across the wide land that is Earth is gorgeous and a sight to behold. Even in the 90s, some people knew how to make one hell of an opening without extravagant animation or jaw-dropping CGI.
It is a testament that the team that put so much faith and trust into this opening shows the determination of the earlier days of the anime industry.
Number 2: Sono Chino Sadame, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure Phantom Blood
The best song on this list period. The way he screams Jojo in the face of all the people watching the opening is a statement in the anime industry that can’t be toppled by anything.
Being the best Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure opening, it goes to show that when Araki gave them the rights to produce the anime he insisted they put the best and only the cream of the crop into their openings and endings.
Not a single opening or ending in the whole franchise can be critiqued as being bland or uninteresting at any point.
And being that as it is there was no amount of crap put in this first opening for what will arguably be the best and the weirdest anime franchise in the history of mankind.
Number 1: A Cruel Angel’s Thesis, Neon Genesis Evangelion
One of the most life-changing anime in the history of the medium, Neon Genesis Evangelion deserves the best of the best when it comes to openings and A Cruel Angel’s Thesis delivers in every single way.
The best first few seconds of any song that you will ever hear in your life, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis is a masterpiece not just for the way it presents Neon Genesis Evangelion.
On its own, it is the epitome of how a pop song could dig up the emotions deep in your belly and make you go through the pain and anguish that Shinji, Asuka, and the others go through in the Eva robots.
Yoko Takahashi’s masterpiece, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis accompanies the best of visuals, depicting the many facets and phases that the children of Eva go through.
How every character’s story is interlinked as every character’s image phases through the myriad ghosts of the side characters.
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