In Anime Ichiban, we take a look at our writer’s totally personal, totally subjective, possibly biased, and possibly stupid opinions regarding anime associated affairs.
First impressions are important, and this extends to the wild world of anime. Opening themes exist to introduce you, the viewer, to the experience that lies ahead. Whether it be an orgy of action-y explosions, a frightening fiesta of fear, or distastefully uncomfortable panty shots, anime has it all, alongside the perfect soundtrack to get you in the mood for it. So without further ado, here are my favourite opening themes, all of which continue to move me to this day (despite having heard them countless times each).
10. Linked Horizon – Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen (Attack on Titan, Opening 1)
Truly a modern classic is Linked Horizon’s smasher of a song. To convey the intensity of mankind’s bloody war with heinously hulking human-consuming titans is no picnic, but this rabble-rousing heavy hitter does just that. Boasting bombastic chanting, this amped up anthem stands taller than the beasts it so effectively soundtracks.
9. Customi-Z – Coolest (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, Opening)
Sakamoto is cool. As a matter of fact, he’s so cool that he has an entire series dedicated to just how cool he is (how cool is that?). So unsurprisingly, Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto’s opening theme takes care to follow only the coolest of blueprints, being driven by chants that almost always relate to coolness in some form (that’s pretty cool, huh?). Some people may say there’s a superabundant mention of coolness in both Customi-Z’s Coolest and this paragraph. I’d argue those people aren’t cool enough.
8. Eir Aoi – Innocence (Sword Art Online, Opening 2)
Sword Art Online is a confuddling cacophony of ideas, ranging from the good, to the bad, to “That’s the dumbest love triangle I’ve ever seen”. One thing Sword Art Online succeeds in however is its knockout opening themes (all four of which are top notch). Many would favour LiSA’s Crossing Field, Sword Art Online’s first opening theme, as their soundtrack of choice to a one dimensional womanizing protagonist trapped in a deathly video game, but Eir Aoi’s Innocence stands out as my personal favourite.
7. Ling Tosite Sigure – Abnormalize (Psycho Pass, Opening 1)
Ling Tosite Sigure are no strangers to crafting eccentric music, as Psycho Pass’s first opening theme proves. A full frontal assault of progressive rock instrumentation fuses with contrasting vocal styles to create audacious audio turbulence, setting the stage for Psycho Pass’s backdrop of sci-fi criminality.
6. Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets – Highschool of the Dead (Highschool of the Dead, Opening)
Before we continue, let’s establish something: Highschool of the Dead is a seeping cesspool of suckiness. Beyond its loathsome characters and its hyper-sexualization of females, it makes little effort to establish an engaging narrative. Despite its lack of even a slither of charisma however, Highschool of the Dead scores top of the class for its opening theme, the chorus of which will pry itself into the ‘proper good and catchy music’ part of your brain (before it’s gobbled up by a ravenous zombie).
It’s a shame then that the visuals accompanying such a belter of a song are chock full of grimace inducing ecchi. Oh Highschool of the Dead, why must you make me hate you?
5. Rika Mayama – Liar Mask (Akame Ga Kill, Opening 2)
Whilst not without its, Akame Ga Kill is consistently entertaining and legitimately unpredictable throughout. A highlight comes in the form of Rika Mayama’s Liar Mask, which features the line “Doredake no chi to namida wo nagashitara”, during the latter half of its chorus. This line, although lyrically insignificant, flaunts melody that’s more satisfying to the ears than being told “I’m sorry, but Logan Paul probably won’t wake up from this coma”.
4. ClariS – Connect (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Opening)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is acclaimed to this day due to its subversion of the magical girl genre. Beginning with a pumped up poppy opening theme that’s common of its cute girls ‘n’ magic spells aesthetic, it’s (almost) impossible not to smile at ClariS’s enchanting energy that ebbs and flows throughout every melody. It’s happy, yet with a flicker of melancholic discomfort, and that matches Madoka’s adventure awesomely.
3. Daisuke Hasegawa and Karen Aoki – Great Days (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable, Opening 3)
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, true to its title, is bizarre, and this opening theme exemplifies that more than all others. With snippets of English lyrically intertwined, a mind-bogglingly glitched out breakdown (no, not the “Breakdown breakdown” breakdown, the other breakdown), and the supremely singalong-able “Let the voice of love take you higher”, Daisuke Hasegawa and Karen Aoki’s Great Days is JoJo’s unmatched anthem of weirdness. Of course, the fact it soundtracks a narrative exploring a macabre murder mystery only serves to amplify its absurdity.
2. amazarashi – Sora Ni Utaeba (My Hero Academia, Opening 3)
Izuku Midoriya’s fable of superhero ass-kickery astounded me upon viewing, thanks to its smart pacing, visual splendour, and multifaceted characters. Whilst all three of My Hero Academia’s opening themes elicit delight, amazarashi’s Sora Ni Utaeba takes the gold medal. Melodically marvellous, emotionally exhilarating, and fabulously fantastic throughout, Sora Ni Utaeba goes beyond, Plus Ultra!
1. GARNiDELiA – Ambiguous (Kill la Kill, Opening 2)
If you’ve made it this far, you may have spied a connecting quality throughout my opening theme selections. Yes, I’m a total sucker for a punchy chorus. And of all the captivating catchiness and hooky riffs scattered throughout the choruses of opening themes, Ambiguous’s slaps me across the face (in a good way) like no other.
A sugar rush of action such as Kill la Kill demands a ballistic opening theme, capable of not only raising the roof, but obliterating the entire house. There exists no better iteration of melodically fueled adrenaline than GARNiDELiA’s Ambiguous, and it is my favourite opening theme as a result.
Videos were uploaded courtesy of the /r/AnimeThemes community