11–13 min read

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Anime Pulse!

One can make the argument of what are the most iconic anime themes of all time. Themes that when heard, they are instantly recognized by the anime community and memories began to reverberate amongst all those taking part in the discussion. Shows such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop and others would instantly come up in the discussion; however, this is not that kind of list. This list contains my personal favorite Top 10 anime opening theme songs. Songs that don’t tire out after they’ve been put on repeat over and over again. Songs that hype us up whenever we hear them!

Without further adieu… let’s get to the list!

10. Pokemon Theme – Jason Paige (Pokemon)

While this is one of those aforementioned iconic themes, it’s also one of those themes that is just too good to not listen to. I’m not even a Pokemon fan… heck… I’ve never even played a Pokemon game, let alone, watched the anime, before in my entire life. Yet, this is still in my top ten favorite themes because it proves that you don’t even have to like a franchise to enjoy good music. This is also one of those songs that is instantly recognized by damn near everybody, regardless if they are a fan of the series or anime.

09. Makka na Chikai – Fukuyama Yoshiki (Busou Renkin)

Listening to this song is guaranteed to give you the ability to punch through rock. This has 80’s power metal written all over it and Yoshiki-san’s vocals bring a certain driving force and power behind this theme. The anime itself was decent at best, but the opening theme was one I could never skip. This song makes me want to grow long hair, buy some leather pants, a ripped jean jacket and go on tour.  In fact, you could say that this songs brings you towards a Near Death Happiness (just remember to say his name with more love!)

08. Unravel – TK from Ling Tosite Sigure (Tokyo Ghoul)

Tokyo Ghoul became a smash hit for its engaging story and character development of Ken Kaneki; however, the opening theme song introduced the anime world to TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. His eccentric vocals took some getting used to, but once you did, you began to realize the artistry and the uniqueness he brought to the table. He breathed fresh air into the anime theme scene, which was getting kind of stale around the time the show aired. I love having this song on my playlists and it’s one I never get tired of.

07. Naraku no Hana – Eiko Shimamiya (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai)

I love Eiko Shimamiya. While she’s has produced albums, she is best known for singing the openings to all of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni animes (minus Kiru due to throat cancer). Her first opening was haunting and chilling, yet incredibly beautiful at the same time, but her second opening, Naraku no Hana (Flower of Hell), was calm and serene and then it just exploded into a driving beat that left you just leaning back with your eyes closed as your body absorbed the awesomeness that was entering through your ear canals. If you liked Higurashi’s openings, you should do yourself a great service to check out the rest of her discography.

06. We’re Not Alone – Coldrain (RAINBOW: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin)

I ranked this one a bit higher because this song turned me on to, not only Coldrain, but all of the other English-singing Japanese bands out there. They also provided the song 8AM for another favorite anime of mine, Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger, but it was this song that cemented my love for the band. Don’t let the opening scream fool you. What is to follow is a hard hitting rock theme that will be sure to impress! The anime is also stellar as well so you might as well check that out, too!

05. Period – Chemistry (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)

The fourth opening to Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is the second most known opening for the series. The duo from Chemistry adds powerful vocals to the song and the switching between the two of them between the lyrics is virtually seamless. Plus, when they hit that high range of vocals at the end, hairs stand up on the back of your neck and chills get sent down your spine. It fits the mood of the anime so well and it’s a song that I would never skip on a CD or a playlist.

04. Again – Yui (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)

What’s one Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood song without the other? No offense to Hologram, Golden Time Lover, or Rain, but those three can’t hold a candle to Period and that song still bows down to Again by Yui Yoshioka. Not only is Yui insanely beautiful, her vocal skill set is also amazing and she puts that front and center in this song. Her lightning-fast spouting of the lyrics is absolutely amazing, but it also makes this one of the harder anime songs to cover… especially if you’re not a native Japanese speaker. The theme is also iconic and really has become synonymous with the FMA series. Stereopony also did an amazing cover of this on the Yui tribute album that is completely worth checking out!

03. Guren no Yumiya – Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan)

Okay, you knew this had to be on the list somewhere. What anime fan didn’t lose their shit when this song hit? This became one of the most requested songs of modern day anime as people foamed at the mouth over it and can you blame them? This meshes orchestral rock, techno and a style that only REVO can pull off. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get hyped when this song drops. Speaking of Attack on Titan

02. Jiyuu no Tsubasa – Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan)

It’s a great debate as to whether or not the first theme is better than the second, but for me, the second theme has a more consistent driving force behind it and the fact that it weaves four languages together (German, Latin, Japanese and English) into one song is a jaw-dropping feat. I felt that REVO delivered big time on this theme. When I heard the first opening to Attack on Titan, I didn’t think the second opening would be able to top it. I felt all other songs in the world were inferior, but then Wings of Freedom happened and I was put into my place.

01 Sign – FLOW (Naruto Shippuuden)

To me, this is my favorite anime theme. The opening art for this theme was pretty stellar for Studio Pierrot. It was also right at the beginning of one of the best story arcs in the Naruto franchise and… come on… it’s FLOW. These guys rarely put out a bad song, but I think they went above and beyond on this one. Everything from the beat, the lyrics, the melody and the harmony just meshed together extremely well. The song is an auto include on any playlist that I have and always will be until something comes along and resonates with me more than this song has.

So there you have it. Do you have any songs that you absolutely love and can’t get enough of? Feel free to share them with me in the comments section below or by sending a message to joshpiedra@theouterhaven.net.

If you also feel inclined to do so, consider following me on Twitter @TheAnimePulse.

Until next time,

Ja ne!

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About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years!