Initially I was going to write a piece talking about different Japanese artists, and what I liked about them. After two attempts of writing up a list I still wasn’t quite happy with what I wrote down. It had great artists, but the content had quickly turned into a boring list, with my writing adding no real depth to the post. As much as I like lists, that’s not the purpose of these kinds of blog posts, so instead I decided to specifically look at anime openings and endings. Now, for this list I’m going to look at openings that I personally love, and I will be ignoring some super popular ones that will get an honorable mention at the end, but have been mentioned by many before me. I hope you find some openings that suit your musical taste, and maybe even find an anime or two to watch. These are not in any particular order. Enjoy!
There are many reasons to watch an anime. Maybe you like the art style, maybe you’ve read the synopsis and found it very interesting, maybe your favorite youtuber talked about, or a friend recommended it. All of those are valid and common reasons, but there is one anime I watched for a different reason. My first experience with Chihayafuru was through seeing the opening song in a compilation on youtube. I loved the sound of it, and I listened to it for a while, until I decided to watch the Anime that it was a part of. To my surprise, Chihayafuru quickly became one of my favorite anime, alongside 3-Gatsu no lion. The relaxing sound of 99RadioService accompanies each of the three seasons and I think they’re all fantastic songs in their own right.
I enjoyed Utawarerumono (that trips me up every time I write it) for what it was. It wasn’t amazing by any means, but as a person who loves the cat ears and the tail (don’t judge me, we’re all degenerates here) it was a very enjoyable watch. The opening theme to this anime sounds great. I’ve thought about it for a bit while writing it, but I’m not quite sure how to talk about it. It’s just a pleasant sounding track in front of a pleasant watch. Please check this one out, and give both Utawarerumono seasons a go as well. I am planning to go back to them in the near future and do a proper review, so look forward to that!
I debated amongst a few Bump of Chicken songs. I was initially going to put Acacia here from the Pokemon animation that came out last year, but eventually decided against it. I also considered some of the music they did for 3-Gatsu no lion, which is one of my favorite shows of all time, and which I will write about in the future. The reason I ended up choosing Hello World over their other songs was because it was the first Bump of Chicken song I really listened to. Kekkai Sensen is an absolute blast to watch, and the other opening and ending songs from that show (both seasons) are phenomenal as well. Hello World is a great soft-rock track accompanied by a very well directed animation opening. Hello domou, boku wa koko!
I really like Dr. Stone. I don’t think it’s a great setting for a long-running show, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if the author has way more creativity than I do, so it might turn out great. I do sometimes get anxious that shows might go downhill if I can’t see the long-term potential. Is that something other people experience as well? Sometimes it’s completely wrong, but often it’ll be right. Anyway, this is about anime openings, so let’s go back to that. The first season of Dr. Stone was blessed by two amazing openings by Burnout Syndromes and Pelican Fanclub. The opening to the second season is a little less upbeat, but feels a bit more melancholic. As if it’s a prelude to the clash that’s going to happen during this second season. (I’m writing this a little while before posting it, but I assume there’s a fight coming this season.) It’s not quite like other shonen opening themes, but it’s still extremely pleasant to listen to.
I have to admit I’m not watching Black Clover. It’s one of three shows currently on my ‘stalled’ list. I want to get back to it eventually, since the manga is great fun. I have gone ahead and listened to the openings, and Vickeblanka’s rock songs are a joy. I couldn’t choose between this song and Black Rover, which is the third opening of Black Clover. Yeah, I think he matched the titles to the show there. Both have their own merits, and if you enjoy one, you’ll likely enjoy the other as well. Both capture the fun and energy of Black Clover quite well, and what I like about these songs matches what I like about Black Clover.
You’ve made it to the halfway point of this list. What do you think so far? Any good songs on here? Let’s give a quick shout to some honorable mentions while we’re at it. There’re many amazing songs we won’t get to cover today, so I’m sure I’ll end up making several more lists in the future. “Let me hear” by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas perfectly captures the madness of the Parasyte anime, and gets you hyped for some depressing alien stuff.
Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s “Re: Re:” has been talked about a ton, and I’ve heard people say it would fit better in front of a shonen anime. I think I even saw an edit at some point where it was used on a Naruto opening animation and it fit like a glove. Still, it was in front of Erased, which was an undoubtedly less upbeat show.
Kenshi Yonezu is undoubtedly an extremely popular artist in his own right, and some of his songs have been in front of popular anime. One that has always stood out to me, for an anime that misses the boat twice today, was “Orion” used for 3-Gatsu no Lion. Thinking about it, that show was truly a blessing of music as well, I’ll make sure to talk about this in my inevitable review.
Anyway, with these honorable mentions out of the way, let’s go back to this particular list.
I was unsure which Fire Force opening I was going to put on this list. There’s many great entries for both of the seasons, including a fire song by Mrs. Green Apple. Eventually I decided on this song by Kana-Boon. I mainly picked it out because there are so many other Kana-Boon songs that should also be on this list, and I didn’t want to flood it with one artist too much. This song is arguably better than the anime it precedes. Fire Force is by the same author as Soul Eater, which I absolutely adore. Unfortunately Fire Force hasn’t seem to hit the same highs so far. It’s a decent shonen for sure, but it just doesn’t quite get my attention like other shows that have been airing recently. The opening is absolute fire though. I’m a big fan of Kana Boon in general, but this song just fits the anime perfectly.
One Piece, after all these years, is still one of my favorite anime. When it comes to manga, it’s my favorite by a long shot, but we’re not here to talk about manga today. One Piece has an impressive runtime of well over 900 episodes at this point, with episode 1000 likely coming up later this year. Through this runtime it has cycled through many openings. I considered putting the very first opening here instead, because that one is fantastic as well, but this is my personal list, and for me this opening hits differently. This was the opening when I first started watching One Piece back in the early 2010s. It’s upbeat as well as somber, which really fits the wild emotional swings you experience while watching this show. Give it a listen, and then go give One Piece a quick watch, shouldn’t take too long right?
Perhaps not the anime song named Blue Bird you were expecting, but I’d call it a pleasant surprise. Bakuman, for the two of you that aren’t familiar, is a manga about creating manga. Hold onto your hat Xzibit, because there’s layers to this one. A decidedly different story by the author of Death Note, this one is amazing, and Blue Bird is such a mellow song that perfectly captures the dreamy attitude our main characters have. I think anyone who likes the anime or the song should give the music video for this one a watch as well. It’s not a marvel of cinematography, but I think it strangely fits the song itself in its serenity. It’s certainly relaxing to watch.
I almost made the mistake of switching the title of the song with the artist, because besides this one song I’m really not all too familiar with them. Just like some of the other songs on this list, this comes from a show that holds a special place in my heart. I’ve had a saying about slice of life anime for a long time now, that I’m sure I didn’t come up with, but I’ve been using it consistently. I like to say “It’s an anime that heals your soul.” This is true for many shows, and my favorite is coming up at number 10, but Barakamon is the show that started my love for Slice of Life shows. Before this show I mainly watched shonen shows, maybe some comedy or romance shows at best, but the idea of just lying down and watching some fairly normal people living their life sounded boring to me. Now I think very differently, and this show, as well as this very relaxing song, will always hold a special place in my heart.
Wait, did I get that right? Oh no, I didn’t. My bad, it’s actually called “Shiny Days” by Asaka. It’s just that the song reminds me of the Jackson 5 so much that I get them mixed up from time to time. This is my good mood song. I can’t listen to this song and not be in a good mood instantly. It vibes, it grooves and it is absolutely a joy to listen to. Yuru Camp tells the story of a group of high school girls who go camping. Sometimes as a group, sometimes alone. I did a review of the manga as well. It’s the peak of slice of life stories in my opinion, and with a second season currently airing it should be fresh on everyone’s mind. The second opening is fine as well, but this one is definitely on a level of its own, and I find myself humming along every time I hear it.
Although very fun to do, this post ended up taking much more time than other posts. Below, you’ll also find a spotify playlist with some of the songs. Not all of them were available, unfortunately. I’ve added links to the songs. Official verisons of the openings where available, and the full song versions where they were not available. Please leave a like, comment or a follow if you want to see more of this kind of comments. I like making lists as much as the next person, but it takes more research and time than a random rant. Thanks for reading!