In the world of anime, the best anime songs hold immense power. They set the tone, foreshadow events, and resonate with fans on a personal level. Think of walking down the street while listening to the theme song of Attack on Titan. Or maybe relaxing with the Spy X Family soundtrack. Better yet, working out while listening to New Genesis Evangelion’s OST, anything goes.
These iconic tracks become part of our own soundtrack, transporting us into a world where we become the main character. If you’re putting together your own anime soundtrack playlist, here are some of the best anime songs to listen to.
Prepare for a wave of nostalgia and an irresistible urge to embrace these unforgettable melodies!
Go!! – Naruto
For an anime series that is iconic, it’s very much deserving of an equally iconic theme song. Performed by FLOW, the opening theme for Naruto is catchy and energetic. The visuals that accompany this opening theme have the anime’s characters popping in and out of the panels. “Go!!” was the show’s theme song for its fourth season.
Gotta Catch ‘Em All- Pokemon
What would become one of the most popular anime franchises in the world, the Pokemon anime had two different themes. The series had Rika Matsumoto’s “Aim to Be a Pokemon Master” as its theme in Japan. However, elsewhere, Jason Paige’s “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” was that anime song. “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” was the theme for the show’s first season of 80 episodes.
The anime opening revolves around Ash’s journey toward becoming a Pokemon master. For Ash to succeed, he has to win battles, meet new friends, and catch all the Pokemon there is.
Unravel – Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul’s first opening theme, “Unravel,” is yet another one of the best anime songs out there. Performed by TK, the frontman and guitarist of Ling Tosite Sigure, known for its work for another anime, Psycho-Pass.
The song’s lyrics are from the point of view of the main character Ken Kaneki. He’s struggling to find himself and over the course of the song, he finally comes to terms with who he is. “Unravel” was played for the first season as the anime’s only theme. The song is played at the beginning of Episodes 2-11 and as an ending in Episodes 2-12.
Paradise Alien – Gintama
For a long-running anime series like Gintama, it has definitely got its share of incredible opening themes. However, it’s “Paradise Alien” also known as “Togenkyu Alien” which is considered to be one of the best anime songs. “Paradise Alien” was the song that ran in Gintama’s second season. The song perfectly embodies the chaotic humor that makes the anime so iconic.
That’s not to say the visuals that accompany the opening theme don’t, because it certainly does. The visuals seem to remind anime fans of the huge cast of characters that are part of Gintama. With an added meta touch, one of the characters even gets into an accident while performing the opening theme.
Hohoemi no Bakudan – Yu Yu Hakusho
It’s no coincidence that this opening theme is also considered one of the best anime songs. Longtime anime fans who have seen Yu Yu Hakusho are probably anticipating the upcoming live-action adaptation that’s coming on Netflix soon. The pop tune that serves as the opening theme for Yu Yu Hakusho is another dose of nostalgia for those rewatching the anime all over again.
“Hoehoemi no Bakudan” is sung by Mawatari Matsuko. Sara White sings a rendition of the theme for its English dub version. The song is all about the importance of friends one makes along the way, perfect for an anime series that’s just about that.
The Day – My Hero Academia
Another one of the best anime songs, “The Day” by Porno Graffiti is a theme song the show’s fans know and love. The song pretty much sums up the type of character that Deku is going to be. In its lyrics, the song is all about Deku’s journey toward becoming the ultimate hero.
The theme also gives off the impression that Deku has to do everything he can to succeed. The visuals that accompany the opening theme drive the point home. It shows a montage of Deku’s training as he gives everything he’s got in order to become like the Symbol of Peace.
Tank – Cowboy Bebop
Longtime anime fans will probably recognize this entry as one of the best anime songs out there. “Tank” by The Seatbelts was the opening theme for Cowboy Bebop’s 25 episodes. It’s a space Western anime that premiered in the late 1990s. Cowboy Bebop follows a group of bounty hunters and the hijinks they get into.
The World – Death Note
Of the several opening themes made for Death Note, it’s “The WORLD” by NIGHTMARE which is considered one of the best anime songs. “The WORLD” is the anime series’ first opening theme, running for 19 episodes.
The song talks about a world full of evil and darkness, the world Light Yagami is creating despite thinking that what he’s doing is good. Its lyrics describe Light’s thought process, how he doesn’t understand why people think he’s bad.
Guren no Yumiya – Attack on Titan
Just in time to see the final set of episodes for Attack on Titan, its first opening theme is also one of the best anime songs on there. Sung by Linked Horizon, “Guren no Yumiya” is one of the most iconic theme songs for the show. The song was the theme for Attack on Titan’s first 13 episodes.
One of the show’s characters, Eren Yeager, is forced to accept the new life he is to live. As the dreaded Titans take control of humanity, Eren loses his family. Things get even more complicated when he discovers that he’s a titan-shifter.
Kaikai Kitan – Jujutsu Kaisen
This list almost wouldn’t be complete without the opening theme from Jujutsu Kaisen. “Kaikai Kitan” by Eve plays with contrasts as the anime series’ first theme. The catchy and energetic melody certainly contrasts the lyrics which give off the opposite impression. The lyrics get into themes of isolation and inner darkness.
The visuals for the opening theme serve as more of a roll call for its cast of characters. However, it becomes more eye-catching over the course of the song. “Kaikai Kitan” is definitely something to add to the playlist.
Did we include your favorite anime song? If not let us know in the comment section below. We’ll keep adding to this list!