27 superior theme songs, handpicked from hundreds
There are good anime OSTs, and then there are great ones. We’re talking the cream-of-the-crop, damn near life-altering stuff that lingers within the chambers of your mind years after finishing the show’s full course. The world of anime has given us fantastic plot lines and stunning visuals, sure—but we’ve gotten plenty of playlist fodder in the process.
No, Netflix, these are intros we refuse to skip.
In honor of our favorite opening and closing themes, we’ve gathered the most iconic, most nostalgia-inducing, most bop-able bops from the anime world. Ahead, we round up the best anime OSTs of all time, pigeonholing them into categories. There are the unforgettable period pieces, the certified bops and the heavy rotation material that could land a spot in our playlists any day, language barrier be damned.
Three categories, an abundance of tracks—all sonically great and well worth your attention. Enjoy.
Everyone, please stand for the national anthem. Flashy, maybe even a little cheesy, these tracks are masterpieces of their respective eras. While they’re not necessarily your usual cup of tea, these are anime OSTs that you can’t help but pay due respect to. They awaken memories of hot summer afternoons or late night binge-watches past. Suddenly, you’re a kid again, watching Inuyasha or YuYu Hakusho for the first time.
YuYu Hakusho, Hohoemi no Bakudan by Matsuko Mawatari
Inuyasha, Change The World by V6
Cowboy Bebop, Tank! by SEATBELTS
Ouran High School Host Club, Sakura Kiss by Chieko Kawabe
Cardcaptor Sakura, Catch You Catch Me by gumi
Paradise Kiss, Do You Want To? by Franz Ferdinand
While the previous songs may get the novelty vote, these are the ones that are really, truly deserving of a listen every time they come on. This is where the unsung hero of Haikyu!! openings and attention-commanding intros come in. Think catchy melodies, kickass instrumentals and some really good rock.
Haikyu!!, PHOENIX by BURNOUT SYNDROMES
Fairy Tail, Snow Fairy by Funkist
Tower of God, TOP by Stray Kids
Tokyo Ghoul, unravel by TK from Ling tosite Sigure
Darker Than Black, Tsukiakari no Michishirube by Stereopony
Cardcaptor Sakura, Groovy! by Kohmi Hirose
Fire Force, SPARK-AGAIN by Aimer
Jujustu Kaisen, Kaikai Kitan by Eve
Oregairu, Harumodoki by yanaginagi
HUNTER x HUNTER, Departure! by Masatoshi Ono
Kill la Kill, ambiguous by GARNiDELiA
Attack on Titan, Boku no Sensou (My War) by Shinsei Kamattechan
Heavy Rotation Material
When they talk about god-tier anime OSTs, this is the stuff they’re referring to. Time-testing girl band anthems! Theme songs that have been rightfully covered hundreds of times over! This is the sweet intersection where anime and music lovers meet, mingle and collectively melt.
Demon Slayer, Gurenge by LiSA
Your Name, Zen Zen Zense by RADWIMPS
RENT-A-GIRLFRIEND, Centimeter by the peggies
Jujutsu Kaisen, Lost in Paradise by ALI feat. AKLO
Black Clover, Black Catcher by Vickeblanka
My Hero Academia, No.1 by DISH//
Bleach, Shojo S by SCANDAL
Fullmetal Alchemist, READY STEADY GO by L’Arc~en~Ciel
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War?, DADDY ! DADDY ! DO ! by Masayuki Suzuki feat. Airi Suzuki
Which anime anthems are your favorite? Do some of these tracks belong elsewhere in the list? Discuss in the comments below.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver