I am a big anime fan since I was much younger. All throughout high school and college (more then than now) I have watched literally hundreds of episodes of anime. Thus, I have seen dozens upon dozens of anime openings/endings (going to do an ending post also, depending on the feedback from this one) so I can give you a pretty good overview of the top anime openings.
I chose these openings on a few different criteria. I went to a very popular anime music site to find out the rankings of the best anime-related songs/music. Then, I had to see if the opening was well done and popular as well. Finally, I ordered them from my least favorite to most favorite.
#10 Slayers Next – Megumi Hayashibara (Give A Reason)
Slayers is one of my all time favorite animes. I loved finding ways to relate to the characters. I need to write an entire post on the show because of the impact it’s had on my anime viewing over the years.
The opening, though, is pretty lack luster. It doesn’t display anything interesting except for quick shots of the characters and their foes. This is a typical anime opening and it doesn’t even flow well with the music, so I had to push it back to number ten. Sorry Lina-san.
#9 Air Gear – Chain (Back On)
The song for Air Gear is super catchy. So much so I listen to it on my own playlists. Yet, in the visual aspect of the opening, there were so many parts where the song could have flowed with the animation. It seems like they weren’t really trying, and it’s actually a pretty boring opening compared to its cool song that helps give the anime some flair.
#8 One Piece – Brand New World (D-51)
I have watched every single episode and read the manga of this anime. They change their openings and endings constantly. It has some of the most watched openings in anime history. But it clocks in at number eight, because of the lack of substance in the scenes. There are parts just thrown in there that don’t flow at all, and none of the animation is originally drawn just for the opening. I love the song, and there are parts that go well with it, but overall I’ve seen better.
#7 Fullmetal Alchemist – Ready, steady go! (L’arc en ciel)
Okay, I will probably get some flack from this one. A good chunk of the video is just Ed and Al running or playing around. At the end, we finally see some of the season’s villains. It doesn’t give any clues as to what might be going on, which is the purpose of the opening. Great song by a great band, but the opening didn’t give it the justice it deserved.
#6 Sword Art Online – Crossing Field (Lisa)
Now we are getting into some good stuff. In this opening we see lots of original animation and plot hints throughout, while the main characters are fighting against impossible odds. The colors and combination of 3D are high quality and creative, while the song goes well with each scene. This intro gave us a good look into what to expect before watching SAO.
#5 Naruto: Shippuuden – nobodyknows+ (Hero’s Come Back!!)
Many Naruto fans will say this is the best opening for the entire series, and I would have to agree. It’s a very creative and fun opening to watch that will have you hooked. I love the style that the animators went with. The gritty black and white images give us an underground feel, while the Akatsuki seem mysterious and terrifying. My favorite part is where Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi attack the screen when a word is pronounced.
#4 Cowboy Bebop – The Seatbelts/Yoko Kanno (Tank!)
Cowboy Bebop‘s opening has been revered as one of the catchiest and coolest openings in all of anime. It has a cult following, and it pulls you in right from the beginning. You get the noir vibe from it, and the jazzy track flows with the shadows of the characters walking all over the screen. If you’ve never watched Cowboy Bebop, you will want to after watching this.
#3 Evangelion – Yoko Takahashi (Cruel Angel Thesis)
One of the most controversial animes (especially as Christians) also has one of the most peculiar openings. It flashes symbolism and phrases throughout that relate to the anime, but if you’ve never watched it you’ll have no clue what your seeing.
The song goes with every image of the opening with scenes from key moments in the series. There are lots of visuals here and focus on the main characters, giving us an idea that this will be a pretty dramatic show to watch and it is. The song by Yoko Takahashi is also one of the most popular anime themes in history, just saying.
#2 Ghost in the Shell – Inner Universe (Origa)
What can I say about Ghost in the Shell’s beautiful intro? When I first watched it, I was excited to see 3D animation done for the entire minute and a half. Now, you may watch this and think “those graphics look pretty lame”. But if you watched this when it was first released, your mind would have been blown. This is not something seen often in anime, so I have to rank it number two as my personal favorite. Let’s not forget that the track sounds very ominous and goes perfectly with the setting and themes of Ghost in the Shell.
#1 Bleach – UVERworld (D-tecnoLife)
*Drum roll please!* We have arrived to my number one favorite anime opening! Bleach is one of my most watched animes, and to me this was its best song and opening. I did enjoy the first one by Orange Range called “Asterisk”, but I didn’t want to include two openings for the same anime.
UVERworld is another track widely thought of as one of the best used in an anime, and the opening shows off some great scenes. All the animation is only seen in the opening, and it has nice fight scenes between the main characters and the Captains. After watching, you know what’s going to happen in this season. The song goes amazing with it too, pumping you up throughout every scene and going with each strike and change of scenery.Let me know in the comments which was your favorite! Also, which openings did you think deserved a spot on my list and why? God bless!