Anime intros set the tone for the entire show and give a sense of what’s to come to the viewers. While a lot of people usually skip the intro, true anime fans make anthems out of good anime songs. With the recent mainstreaming of anime itself, its music is also gaining a lot of popularity. We are here to compile some of the best music the anime world has to offer.
We are not going to include super popular and extremely recognisable tracks like Cha La Head Cha La (Dragon Ball Z), Hikaru Nara (Your Lie in April) or The World (Death note) in the list. This list contains anime openings, anime endings as well as tracks used during a show.
10. Signal by Toru Kitajima - 91 Days
We’re starting with one of the most talented music artists in Japan, TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. Signal is the opening theme of the 91 Days anime. It was written and performed by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. The song peaked at number 18 on the Oricon singles charts.
While the anime itself is lesser-known, the song became quite popular. The song explores the rollercoaster that our emotional conflicts often lead us on. TK shows an impressive range in his fluid singing that just instantly reaches your soul.
9. Gurenge by Lisa - Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer is one of the most popular new generation animes. Its animation, characters and storyline have made the show climb to the top of all the popularity charts. The same goes for its OP, Gurenege. It is an inspiring upbeat song full of beautiful imagery and impressive vocals by Lisa.
Gurenge became the first single by a female artist to surpass 1 million downloads in the history of Oricon's digital single ranking chart.
8. Inner Universe by Origa - Ghost In The Shell
"Inner Universe" performed by Origa (written by Origa and Shanti Snyder) for the first season of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex. The lyrics are in Russian, English, and Latin. Yoko Kanno composed the music for the series.
The music has very electro-funk vibes to it which aptly sets the tone for the quintessential cyber-punk anime. Origa’s soft yet commanding vocals create a powerful and beautiful feel.
7. Sparkle by Yojiro Noda - Kimi no Na wa
Sparkle is a very well known song from the Kimi no Na wa film. It is one of its four theme songs and four vocals. The song is played while Mitsuha leaves the mountaintop which Taki is on and attempts to convince her father.
The whole album debuted at number 1 on Oricon's weekly album rankings on September 5, 2016, with 58,000 copies sold. The whole of Kimi no Na wa is spectacular and beautiful and a must-listen.
6. Kaikai Kitan by Eve - Jujutsu Kaisen
Kaikai Kitan is the first opening theme song of the anime Jujutsu Kaisen. It was composed and performed by Eve. The upbeat pop song explores the central conflict of its main character, Yuji Itadori.
Kaikai Kitan is just a very cool song to vibe to and has gained massive popularity since its release in 2020.
5. Isabella’s Lullaby by Takahiro Obata - The Promised Neverland
This one’s not an anime opening or ending but it deserves to be on the list for its sheer beauty. Isabella’s Lullaby is hauntingly beautiful and it plays at multiple occasions throughout the show.
This piece of music enhances the overall feel of the first season of The Promised Neverland. There are different version of the song that play at different moments in the show, each time depicting a certain emotion or progression in the story.
The song is composed by Takahiro Obata. You will be mesmerized by the moment this song starts.
4. Lillium by Konishi Kayo - Elfen Lied
Lilium is the hymn-like opening theme for the Elfen Lied anime. It serves as an important story element as well as the leitmotif of the anime and even Lucy herself. The lyrics hold biblical tone and the song itself is sung in Latin.
The song sounds like a prayer for human salvation. You may not understand the lyrics fully, we certainly did not. However, the beauty and vulnerability of this song will surely hit a chord.
3. Guren No Yumiya by Linked Horizon - Attack On Titan
Guren no Yumiya is the opening for the first 13 episodes of the first season of Attack on Titan. This song by Linked Horizon was an instant hit, peaking at number 1 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100. The symphonic metal style of the song creates a uniquely powerful feeling in the listeners, setting the grounds for the grand story of Attack on Titan.
Guren no Yumiya’s popularity extends beyond even the anime fandom. The “ Sasaegeyo” verses have become a cultural icon lately.
2. Shock by Yuko Ando - Attack On Titan
Attack on Titan has an abundance of beautiful music throughout its runtime. A lesser-known gem is Shock by Yuko Ando. It is the ending theme of 4th season of Attack on Titan.
The lyrics “The proof that I was here is that the bones have turned into sand and disappeared”, tap into a deep existential sadness that anyone can relate to. The song perfectly captures Eren Yeager’s state of mind and foreshadows his eventual fate.
1. Unravel by Toru Kitajima - Tokyo Ghoul
And to the surprise of nobody, we finish our list with this masterpiece by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. When Unravel plays at the end of Tokyo Ghoul’s first-ever episode, it is guaranteed to give you chills.
TK has a vulnerability to his voice which he uses at its full potential in this song, making Unravel of the most recognizable anime songs of all time. The mix of loud instruments and TK’s soft yet piercing voice really penetrates the deepest layers of your soul.
Honourable mentions - Vogel Im Kafig and Boku No Sensou (Attack on Titan), Give it Back (Jujutsu Kaisen), Sign and Blue Bird (Naruto Shippuden).