Top 25 Best Anime Opening Songs of All Time

Everyone has their own favorite anime opening, but is the one you cherish featured on this best of list? Let’s take a look at 25 of the best and most famous anime openings in anime history!

We’re all guilty of skipping through the opening songs of animes every now and again. Some of us may be serial offenders. But even those who have no patience to sit through roughly a minute and a half of jpop/jrock tunes have to admit that some anime legacies are defined by their choice of opening song. Here are our list of 25 of the best anime opening songs of all time.

All ranking information was taken on the date of publication


Cowboy Bebop”Tank!” by Seatbelts

MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #22 | Aired Spring 1998 | Produced by Sunrise


Cowboy Bebop OP Best Anime Opening Songs

The famous jazz/bebop tune which is iconic and always associated with this anime. It has been used in international commercials as well.

Cowboy Bebop Opening Tank! Seatbelts OP Best Anime Opening Songs


Samurai Champloo”Battlecry” by Nujabes feat. SHINGO2

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #101 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe


Samurai Champloo
This rap opening has become more famous than the anime itself and it has brought worldwide recognition to the late artist Nujabes.

Samurai Champloo opening Battlecry Nujabes


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex“Inner Universe” by Origa

MAL Rated 8.46, Ranked #119 | Aired Fall 2002 | Produced by Production I.G


(Episodes 1-26)

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OP Best Anime Opening Songs
The late vocalist Origa lent her amazing voice for this outstanding song that has brought her recognition worldwide.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Inner Universe Origa OP Best Anime Opening Songs


Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)“Kuusou Mesorogiwi” by Yousei Teikoku

MAL Rated 8.18, Ranked #322 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Asread


(Episodes 2-14)

Mirai Nikki  OP Best Anime Opening Songs

In this case, the opening song reflects the dynamics of the anime perfectly – it is fast, crazy and catchy. The transition from a choral beginning to a powerful, fast melody is just as surprising as the many mysteries in the anime itself!

Mirai Nikki Kuusou Mesorogiwi Yousei Teikoku OP Best Anime Opening Songs


Angel Beats!“My Soul, Your Beats!” by Lia

MAL Rated 8.47, Ranked #114 | Aired Spring 2010 | Produced by Aniplex


(Episodes 1-3, 5-12)

Angel Beats! OP Best Anime Opening Songs
Enjoy this catchy pop tune of amazing refrain to help you remember all the hilarious and sad moments of this beautiful anime.

Angel Beats! OP “My Soul, Your Beats!” by Lia Best Anime Opening Songs


Tokyo Ghoul“unravel” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure

MAL Rated 8.11, Ranked #402 | Aired Summer 2014 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


(Episodes 2-11)

Tokyo Ghoul OP Best Anime Opening Songs

This song hits you hard. Its slow beginning picks up beat throughout the opening, similar to the sound of a heart, beating faster and faster!

Tokyo Ghoul unravel Ling Tosite Sigure OP Best Anime Opening Songs

If you enjoyed the beautiful blue skies in this opening, please be sure to check out the Way Too Many Anime Openings Use This Motif article as well!


Elfen Lied“Lilium” by Kumiko Noma

MAL Rated 7.93, Ranked #611 | Aired Summer 2004 | Produced by Arms


Elfen Lied OP Best Anime Opening Songs

The opera singer Kumiko Noma will give you an eargasm with her breathtaking voice! This opening is a perfect portrayal of the sci-fi/action feeling of the series.

Elfen Lied Lilium Kumiko Noma


Neon Genesis Evangelion“Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis (A Cruel Angel’s Thesis)” by Yoko Takahashi

MAL Rated 8.32, Ranked #199 | Aired Fall 1995 | Produced by Gainax


Neon Genesis Evangelion OP Best Anime Opening Songs

You can hear the upbeat ’90s sound in this opening pop theme. It is one of the most popular songs in anime history and still lives on in the hearts of fans worldwide!

Neon Genesis Evangelion Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis OP Best Anime Opening Songs


Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)”Guren no Yumiya (Crimson Bow and Arrow)” by Linked Horizon

MAL Rated 8.65, Ranked #52 | Aired Sring 2013 | Produced by Production I.G & Wit Studio


(Episodes 1-13)

attack on titan shingeki no kyojin OP Best Anime Opening Songs

Probably one of the most recognizable anime series out there, it begins with a choral opening (which is omitted in the TV version) and then swiftly switches to a bombastic and fast tempo.

Shingeki no Kyojin OP Best Anime Opening Songs Guren no Yumiya


Dragon Ball Z“Cha-La Head-Cha-La” by Hironobu Kageyama

MAL Rated 8.32, Ranked #198 | Aired Spring 1989 | Produced by Toei Animation


(Episodes 1-199)

Dragon Ball Z OP Best Anime Opening Songs

The song is the epitome of the sound of the ’80s and you won’t be able to kick the line “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” out of your head once you hear it.

Dragon Bal Z OP Best Anime Opening Songs Cha-La Head Cha-La


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)“Higurashi no Naku Koro ni” by Eiko Shimamiya

MAL Rated 8.24, Ranked #258 | Aired Spring 2006 | Produced by Studio Deen


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni OP Best Anime Opening Songs
This opening song gives off mysterious and eerie vibes, the same that you get while watching the anime. It will give you goosebumps in more way than one!

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni OP Best Anime Opening Songs Eiko Shimamiya


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood“again” by YUI

MAL Rated 9.25, Ranked #1 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bones


(Episodes 1-14)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OP Best Anime Opening Songs

YUI is a talented singer who writes her own music and this tune is one of her best! It flows well with FMA‘s action style.

Fullmetal Alchemist OP Best Anime Opening Songs again YUI


Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)“COLORS” by FLOW

MAL Rated 8.86, Ranked #19 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Sunrise


(Episodes 1-12)

Code Geass OP Best Anime Opening Songs

This catchy tune, performed by FLOW, perfectly portrays all the complex emotions of this popular mecha anime.

Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch OP Best Anime Opening Songs COLORS FLOW


Death Note“the WORLD” by Nightmare

MAL Rated 8.75, Ranked #32 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Madhouse


(Episodes 1-19)

Death Note OP Best Anime Opening Songs

The Japanese band Nightmare performs this super popular rock tune that is just as exciting as the anime itself.

Death Note OP Best Anime Opening Songs Nightmare the WORLD


Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)“Hyadain no Kakakata☆Kataomoi – C” by Hyadain (Kenichi Maeyamada)

MAL Rated 8.53, Ranked #91 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by Kyoto Animation


(Episodes 1-6, 8-13)

Nichijou OP Best Anime Opening Songs

If you’re a fan of cheerful and upbeat melodies, you are sure to fall in love with this fun opening!

Nichijou OP Best Anime Opening Songs Hyadain no Kakakata Kataomoi


One Piece“Share the World” by Tohoshinki

MAL Rated 8.62, Ranked #58 | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


(Episodes 395-425)

One Piece
The super famous Korean boy band Tohoshinki performed this upbeat opening for the mega popular One Piece.

One Piece OP Best Anime Opening Songs


Death Parade“Flyers” by BRADIO

MAL Rated 8.40, Ranked #153 | Aired Winter 2015 | Produced by Madhouse


Death Parade
Probably one of the catchiest openings ever, it is a tune that you can’t help but dance to. Its contrast to the anime’s dark theme is also very memorable.

Death Parade Flyers BRADIO


Noragami“Goya no Machiawase” by Hello Sleepwalkers

MAL Rated 8.17, Ranked #332 | Aired Winter 2014 | Produced by Bones


Noragami
Check out this rock opening song that fits nicely with the recently released anime Noragami. It is full of action and fantasy elements.

Noragami Goya no Machiawase Hello Sleepwalkers


InuYasha“I Am” by Hitomi

MAL Rated 7.87, Ranked #712 | Aired Fall 2000 | Produced by Kyoto Animation & Sunrise


(Episodes 35-64)
InuYasha
The soundtracks for InuYasha have always been packed with beautiful songs from influential artists. But this outstanding opening is one of the most well known and is praised amongst fans as one of the most iconic.

Inuyasha I Am Hitomi


Digimon Adventure“Butter-Fly” by Kouji Wada

MAL Rated 7.87, Ranked #710 | Aired Spring 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


Digimon Adventure
If you haven’t heard of “Butter-Fly” then you’re either too young or you have lived under a rock your whole life. Just like the insert song Brave Heart, this opening theme is one of the most famous anime openings ever.

Digimon Adventure Butter-fly Kouji Wada


Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S)“Moonlight Densetsu” by Moon Lips

MAL Rated 7.88, Ranked #693 | Aired Spring 1994 | Produced by Toei Animation


Sailor Moon S
Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) is the opening song for the first four seasons of this anime and it is also the theme song which is most commonly associated with the Sailor Moon franchise.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Moonlight Densetsu Moon Lips


Naruto: Shippuuden“Aoi no Sora (Blue Bird)” by Ikimonogakari

MAL Rated 7.96, Ranked #577 | Aired Winter 2007 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


(Episodes 54-77)

Naruto: Shippuuden
Ikimonogakari is one of the most well known bands in Japan and this is their most successful song, loved by fans of the series as well as tons of non-anime fans worldwide.

Naruto: Shippuuden Aoi no Sora (Bluebird) Ikimono Gakari


Bleach“Asterisk” by Orange Range

MAL Rated 7.97, Ranked #553 | Aired Fall 2004 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


(Episodes 1-25)

Bleach
This amazing intro is provided by the famous boy band Orange Range. It is a catchy pop tune with powerful rock elements.

Bleach Asterisk Orange Range


Serial Experiments Lain“Duvet” by Bôa

MAL Rated 7.98, Ranked #549 | Aired Summer 1998 | Produced by TV Tokyo


Serial Experiments Lain
Unbelievably catchy and charming, this song is sung in English and performed by a British indie band. It fits the psychedelic atmosphere of the anime.

Serial Experiments Lain Duvet Boa


Deadman Wonderland“One Reason” by DWB feat.fade

MAL Rated 7.56, Ranked #1329 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by Manglobe


Deadman Wonderland OP anime opening
Sung in English, the lyrics are as dark as the anime and the rock tune fits it perfectly.

Deadman Wonderland OP anime opening


Want more anime music? Check out the below articles as well!
Top 15 Anime OSTs: Music of the Heart
25 Best Anime Endings of All Time
Top 9 Anime Series with Piano Music That Will Tug At Your Heart

10 GIFs From Samurai Champloo That Teach You Combat Tactics

These 10 gifs from the anime Samurai Champloo can help teach you what real soldiers and combatants know about real life and death struggles. WARNING: extreme blood and gore.


A warrior must be relentless in his pursuit of victory. They must never give up.


Samurai Champloo Mugen

Samurai Champloo isn’t and never claims to be historically accurate. The show makes it very clear at the beginning of their first episode. One thing that the show is true to is to never surrender when possible. Real Samurai would often commit Seppuku(ritual suicide) to prevent capture, and modern soldiers have POW training that tells them what to do when captured by the enemy. It does not include giving into their captors. In both cases, the attitude of a relentless warrior is embraced, and the brutal character Mugen is practically an embodiment of this fierce philosophy. You can’t hear it, but he just told his would-be executioner that he would rather die then gravel toward him. That did not make him happy.


A good solider and determined warrior always finds a way out.


Samurai Champloo Mugen

One things soldiers are told to do and what Mugen is a natural at is always looking for a way out. It’s always option B, C, D, all the way down to & if possible. What POW manuals do teach is to organize and look for a way out. A way to escape without giving away information or giving into their captors torture. As Mugen can all too easily demonstrate, even a soldier with his hands tied behind his back can be lethal.


No matter what you see on TV, they never come one at a time.


Samurai Champloo Mugen

A popular myth in both anime and other forms of media is that when in combat, you can take on one bad guy at a time. In real life, as demonstrated in Samurai Champloo multiple times, even Samurai don’t dare make the assumption that their opponents will fight fair. Real combatants can do and will do everything in their power to overwhelm their victims. Fortunately, both Mugen and Jean alike are well equipped to take on multiple assailants. For all is fair in love and war, and Mugen is all too willing to take on the world.


Always keep moving, and train to do so.


Samurai Champloo Mugen

For dangerous combat situations in real life, the best and first option is always to escape. The U.S. Navy Seals are the best trained soldiers and secret agents in the world. They are among the most fit and the most deadly and would gladly recruit the likes of Mugen or Jean. Their training method is ruggedly efficient; combat training and cardio. That’s it. They run a half a mile from one punching bag to the next. Not unlike Mugen in this gif here. Being able to escape in a real fight give you a 96% chance of survival, even if your opponent is armed with a lethal firearm. Thus it makes sense to always be on the move and always be ready and fit enough to run away and live.


If running isn’t an option, take cover.


Samurai Champloo Mugen

There are generally two kinds of cover when it comes to live combat. One is hard cover, which can protect you from deadly projectile attacks as well as help you hide. The other is concealments, which does nothing to actually block an attack, but does make it impossible for anyone to target you. Stay as low as possible while moving.


Disarm if not execute your opponent as quickly as possible


Samurai Champloo Mugen

If running or hiding is not an option, it falls on the person defending themselves or attacking to remove the target as a threat. The most effective way is usually to kill them, but a very good substitute if that is not an option is to disarm them of their weapon. Mugen takes this advice all too literally.


One Man. Any Weapon.


Samurai Champloo Lugan

The greatest riflemen in the world are the United States Marine Corps. They say the above slogan to remind themselves that the deadliest weapon can often be a sick imagination. The owner of that hand is very lucky that Mugen didn’t decide to go for the throat.


Always have a backup plan


Samurai Champloo Jean

As was mentioned before,the first option should be escape. While Jean takes a rather innovative approach to this, in real life having a plan B is as easy as knowing your exit points and identifying cover and concealment. Jean makes both by smoke bombing and running. Most people would have better luck remembering which way the doors are and understanding that iron, steel, and concrete objects make the best cover. Aluminum cars usually only offer concealment unless you can hide behind the engine block.


Always have a backup weapon to go with said plan.


Samurai Champloo Lugan

While concealed and open carry laws vary from location to location, soldiers and shogunate alike always carry a backup weapon. Be it a pistol and knife, a Wakizashi sword (Samurai short sword), or a cleverly concealed dagger, having a weapon to fall back on in the heat of the moment saved more lives then either side of any war could count.


The first defense is to be alert. Always.


Samurai Champloo Lugan Jean

The best sword or gun or dagger or martial arts training will not help anyone who isn’t paying attention. Jean can attest; being aware of your surroundings is the best way to survive any dangerous situation, especially combat. There are people a lot more vicious and ruthless then even Mugen, and being unaware is usually how they end up hurting innocent people. Such victims usually survive when they are alert. Then they extend their ability to survive by escaping, hiding when surrounded, and fighting when cornered, in that exact order.

Real combat is a brutal, ugly thing. Even anime as good as Samurai Champloo do not provide definitive answers to emergency situations. However, there is a kernel of truth in every piece of media consumed, and this anime is unusually rich in such details.

Top 25 Best Action Anime of All Time

Anime with heart-pumping action, nail-biting suspense, busty and trigger-happy female characters, not to mention wonderfully psychotic villains? Yes, please! You can find all that and more in the action genre. Let’s take a look at 25 of the best action anime that you are sure to love.

black lagoon revy and dutch

Who doesn’t love a good action anime? With their violence, heart-pumping battle scenes, bad-ass weaponry, trigger happy psychopaths, and unique storylines, action anime series set us up for hours of entertainment. Here, in no particular order, are twenty-five action series known for being the best that anime has to offer.

All ranking information was taken on the date of publication.


Fairy Tail

MAL Rated 8.32, Ranked #193 | Aired Fall 2009 | Produced by A-1 Pictures and Satelight


Fairy Tail, Natsu vs Laxus

Fairy Tail is a 175 action/fantasy series that packs one hell of a powerful punch. With a plethora of fun characters and epic duels featuring all sorts of magic, Fairy Tail is a great series if you are looking for some good popcorn material! This long-form shounen anime has pleased fans for years.

Fairy Tail is the name of the anime as well as the mage guild that Natsu Dragneel and Lucy Heartfilia among others belong to. Watch as they accomplish missions in order to help others as well as raise the rank of their former top guild! Friendship and honor are central themes to this funny and heart-warming action series.


One Piece

MAL Rated 8.61, Ranked #61 | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


One Piece, Battle

A swashbuckling adventure featuring duels with supernatural powers, fun characters, voyages and tons of pirates, One Piece is one of the most popular anime series out there. It will certainly fulfill any action craving you have.

In a world covered by ocean water, Luffy is on a quest to find the One Piece, the lost treasure of the former King of Pirates. He’s not alone, of course. Every pirate in the world is searching for it! On Luffy’s search, he’ll gather a crew of ragtag teammates, each of which have their own dreams and goals!


Naruto / Naruto: Shippuuden

MAL Rated 7.79, Ranked #847 | Aired Fall 2002 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


naruto naruto uzumaki andSasuke Uchiha

The long-running shounen series Naruto definitely deserves a spot on this list. Following the many adventures and misadventures of Naruto, a knuckle-headed ninja, and his ninja pals, viewers of this series are in for a fun viewing experience.

Problem student Naruto was never popular or talented as a ninja. That is, until he discovers the hidden power of the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed within him. Even though Naruto’s physical strength is due to the Fox, his true strong point is his bright personality and determination to be friends with everyone. Will he achieve his dream of becoming the leader of the Fire Village of ninjas? And can he protect his friends from the countless evils that threaten to destroy all he has? Find out in what is arguably the most famous anime internationally (besides Pokemon, of course).


Dragon Ball Z

MAL Rated 8.32, Ranked #192 | Aired Spring 1989 | Produced by Toei Animation


dragon ball z

Want to watch a show with an ’80s vibe? Look no further! Dragonball Z is all the right kinds of cheese, featuring amazing fights, power ups, and… SUPER SAIYANS!

Son Gokuu is a character inspired by the Monkey King of classic Chinese literature. The similarities between Dragon Ball Z and Journey to the West end there, however. Son Gokuu is an alien, the last of the Saiyans. Now he lives on Earth, and must protect his new home planet from the various dangers that befall it, ranging from other aliens to even gods!


Hunter x Hunter 2011

MAL Rated 9.15, Ranked #5 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Madhouse


Hunter × Hunter, Gon Battle

Hunter x Hunter has action, great characters and even scenes that will pull at your heartstrings. Each episode will have you laughing, crying, or biting your nails during great action scenes!

Gon was raised by his aunt, and believed he was an orphan for so long. One day, he comes across a Hunter, a sort of freelance adventurer, who tells Gon that not only was Ging, his father, alive, but he was a world-famous Hunter. Determined to find his dad, Gon decides to take the Hunter examination and travel the world.


Samurai Champloo

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #101 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe


Samurai Champloo, Mugen

Time for some good, old fashioned samurai swordsmanship with Samurai Champloo! When two very skilled, yet diametrically opposed samurais cross paths, circumstances force them to embark on a quest together. Let’s just say that if you are looking for a series about the power of love and friendship… then this series is probably not for you.

Mugen, Jin, and Fuu are a bit of an unexpected team. Mugen and Jin cross swords the first time they meet. Fuu is the young waitress of a teashop with a mysterious request for the two violent vagabonds: find the samurai who smells of sunflowers. They’ll travel Japan in search of this mysterious person, leaving a lot of bodies in their wake.


Soul Eater

MAL Rated 8.12, Ranked #389 | Aired Spring 2008 | Produced by Bones


soul eater maka albarn and soul 'eater' evans

No other series has been able to incorporate awesome characters, music, story, battles and a Halloween-like, yet cheery premise as well as Soul Eater. Admit it, after watching this series everyone was stuck sitting in front of their couch wishing they could wield a scythe with the same precision and accuracy as Maka Albarn. Soul Eater helped define a genre of action anime; it is a classic all anime fans should take the time to watch.

Death City, Nevada is home to a school of weapon wielders and weapons, Death Academy. The human weapon and wielder partners learn here how to synchronize, and accomplish various missions for the Death God. In order to transform the weapon partners into Death Scythes worthy of being wielded by the Death God himself, the teams must hunt down 99 bad humans and one witch in that exact order for their souls. Will Maka and Soul succeed, or will they be bested by their teammates or enemies?


Fullmetal Alchemist

MAL Rated 8.36, Ranked #174 | Aired Fall 2003 | Produced by Bones


fullmetal alchemist, battle

Fullmetal Alchemist not only has tons of amazing action scenes, but also contains fun, memorable characters, tear-jerking scenes and beautiful music. This is a must watch anime series for anime fans alike.

Set in a land where alchemy is considered a highly skilled profession, Fullmetal tells the story of two brothers who live every day repaying for their childhood mistake. They forgot the greatest rule in alchemy: equivalent exchange. In the aftermath of their botched attempt at reviving their dead mother, Ed lost an arm and a leg, and Al lost his entire body. They hear that a mysterious stone named the Philospher’s Stone can solve all their problems, and so begins their adventure in an attempt to restore what was lost.


Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)

MAL Rated 8.85, Ranked #21 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Sunrise


Code Geass, battle, fight

Code Geass is an amazing series that incorporates supernatural ability, action, and moral messages. It is a mecha/action anime series done right.

In this alternate future, the world is ruled by three factions: the Holy Britannian Empire, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union. Lelouch, prince of the Brittannian Empire, made a vow to his childhood friend Suzaku to bring down the Empire, only to find that as adolescents they end up on opposite sides.


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Gurren Lagann)

MAL Rated 8.81, Ranked #25 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Gainax


tengen toppa gurren lagann simon

Gurren Lagann is an anime featuring epic battles, controversial characters, humor, and… busty female leads? Yes, please! Gurren Lagann is probably one of the more entertaining on this list, and is not something you should miss.

Digging is the only way of life Simon knows-humans have been forced underground by the tyrant King Lordgenome, who guns down any who dare poke their heads to the surface. Simon spends the first 14 years of his life going further and further underground until a red-haired girl named Yoko crashes down, fighting several enemy Gunmen. Seeing the sky for the first time, Simon is determined to never again hide away, and fights for the right to live under the sun.


Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan

MAL Rated 8.44, Ranked #128 | Aired Winter 1996 | Produced by Studio Deen and Studio Gallop


Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise by now that there are plenty of anime series featuring assassins, samurais, and martial artists. Some of these series are hit and miss, but not Rurouni Kenshin. This is an extremely entertaining series that every action anime fan should watch.

Kenshin Himura is determined never to kill again, despite being a wandering samurai. He wields an unsharpened blade so that he may fight without death. Discover his dark past and watch his path to atonement in this hit period action series!


Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

MAL Rated 8.64, Ranked #55 | Aired Spring 2013 | Produced by Production I.G and Wit Studio


Attack on Titan, Shingeki no Koyjin

Attack on Titan took the anime community by storm. It definitely deserves credit for being one of the best anime series within the past five years. Amazing battle equipment, badass soldiers, cliff-hangers, and some pretty epic sparring matches, this is a truly superb action series.

In a world terrorized by giant man-eating humanoids known as titans, mankind hides behind gargantuan walls in constant fear. The only way they have to fight back against the Titans is the military. Eren Yeager, who witnessed the death of his family and friends as a child, is determined to fight back in the only way he can: by joining the service! Little did he know: the story behind the Titans are much more convoluted than they appear.


Noir

MAL Rated 7.44, Ranked #1722 | Aired Spring 2001 | Produced by Bee Train and Victor Entertainment


noir mireille bouquet

This anime series centers around a young woman who just happens to be a professional assassin. Noir seems like a pretty straight forward series doesn’t it? That is where you are wrong. The series actually has a deeper, more complicated plot. When given the time, Noir proves to be a show that is both interesting and action-packed. What more could you possibly ask for?

The assassin duo of Mireille Bouquet and amnesiac Yuumura Kirika are known to the public as Noir. Together, they try to uncover Kirika’s past, and discover why it has so many connections with Mireille’s. This is all complicated, however, by the shady organization named Les Soldats…


Cowboy Bebop

MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #22 | Aired Spring 1998 | Produced by Sunrise


cowboy bebop spike spiegel

Cowboy Bebop is known as one of the greatest anime series of all time. It excels in absolutely every area imaginable, and the action is no exception. The fight scenes can range from badass to comical to stomach-dropping. If you have not watched Cowboy Bebop, then you are depriving yourself of one of the best experiences out there.

In 2071, humans have moved off the now unfit-for-life planet Earth and onto the other non-gaseous planets of the Solar System. The ragtag crew of the spaceship Bebop travel the stars on various missions!


Baccano!

MAL Rated 8.58, Ranked #67 | Aired Summer 2007 | Produced by Brains Base


Baccano!

Baccano! is a grossly underrated action anime that fits right in with all of the other great series on this list! Fully equipped with an outstanding set of characters, storyline, action theme and overall jazzy style, Baccano! is a great choice if you are looking for a good, old-style action anime series.

This is a tale of eternal life gone awry: a group of alchemists is given the elixir of eternal life by a demon, and most of them agree to let the secret die with them so that no one becomes immortal. All but one member, that is. This alchemist goes on to recreate this elixir, which subsequently falls into the wrong hands. The path of wreckage left by this immortality elixir is international.


Claymore

MAL Rated 7.95, Ranked #584 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Madhouse


claymore

Claymore is another fantasy/action anime, but unlike Fairy Tail, it is filled with intensity, demons, sword fighting, and, well… lots of death!

In a land infested by man-eating yoma, only half-yoma half-human hybrid warriors can defend the humans. Feared by all due to their half-yoma nature and distinctive appearance, the all-woman army known as the Organization, but more often called Claymores, or Silver-eyed Witches, travel across the land to sniff out the yoma who often pose as regular humans.
Clare is the weakest of all the Claymores, possessing only 1/4th yoma blood, as opposed to the usual 1/2. She rescues a young human male, and takes him on her travels.


Deadman Wonderland

MAL Rated 7.56, Ranked #1329 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by Manglobe


deadman wonderland ganta igarashi

If you’re looking for an action anime with over-the-top graphics, a beyond entertaining plot, and psychotic, messed up characters, Deadman Wonderland is the series for you. Trust me when I tell you, it will leave you wanting more.

Ganta is on death row in Japan’s private half-prison half-theme park, Deadman Wonderland. In order to receive the antidote to the poison injected into him via his collar, he must perform various tasks to entertain the park-goers. The problem is, he isn’t even guilty!


Guilty Crown

MAL Rated 7.88, Ranked #697 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Production I.G


guilty crown

In Guilty Crown, after a tragic outbreak of a disease known as the “Apocalypse Virus”, one boy has obtained special powers and hopes to help restore Japan to the way it once was before it was taken over by an organization known as GHQ. This action anime is filled with thrilling scenes that will literally take your breath away!


Fate/stay night

MAL Rated 7.62, Ranked #1182 | Aired Winter 2006 | Produced by Studio Deen


fate/stay night saber

Another fantasy/action anime, you say? Alright then! Fate/stay night is one of those highly addictive, highly entertaining anime series that you just can’t get enough of. Probably one of the best aspects of the entire show is the action! The battle scenes are some of the most epic in the history of anime; the execution of them, as well as the outstanding animation, is unmatched.


Berserk

MAL Rated 8.35, Ranked #178 | Aired Fall 1997 | Produced by Oriental Light and Magic


berserk

Berserk is an anime classic that you can’t really avoid seeing, action anime fan or not. With epic sword fights, compelling characters, and glorious ’90s gore, Berserk is one of the best action anime ever.


Black Lagoon

MAL Rated 8.20, Ranked #293 | Aired Spring 2006 | Produced by Madhouse


black laggon revy

Ah, Black Lagoon. A show featuring modern day pirates, Black Lagoon is another one of the best action anime series available. With outrageous, yet amazing action scenes, foul, yet entertaining language, and kick-ass characters, Black Lagoon is one heck of a thrill ride! Of course, I have to mention Revy, the trigger-happy femme fatale, who truly ties the entire series together.


Stranger: Mukou Hadan (Sword of the Stranger)

MAL Rated 8.44, Ranked #129 | Aired Fall 2007 | Produced by Bones


Stranger: Mukou Hadan

As the only movie on this list, Sword of the Stranger is certainly able to hold its own! With all of the positive feedback it’s received, this 1 hour and 40 minute film is sure to satisfy your action cravings. Young Kotaro is on the run from Ming Dynasty Chinese warriors who are hell-bent on taking his life. But why?


Psycho-Pass

MAL Rated 8.55, Ranked #82 | Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by Production I.G


Psycho-Pass action battle akane dominator

Psycho-Pass takes place in a future where the government is literally inside your head! You had better not even think about committing a crime. With an interesting setting, characters and weaponry, this action anime is not to be missed.

New Inspector Akane Tsunemori works with Enforcers, those who have been determined through psychologic evaluation to be latent criminals. They are mistrusted and feared in this world, where “mental stability” determines everything. But just how effective is this method of determining sanity, and does sanity equal morality?


Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom

MAL Rated 8.19, Ranked #311 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bee Train and Genco


phantom: requiem for the phantom

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is a great anime series for anyone seeking out a total thrill ride. Filled with gunshots, assassinations, and violence, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is the perfect action series.


One Punch Man

MAL Rated 9.07, Ranked #10 | Aired Fall 2015 | Produced by Madhouse


One Punch Man battle action

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning One Punch Man! This very recent comedy/action anime series is one of the highlights of the past anime season. Fans of the action genre should definitely give One Punch Man a shot… or at least one punch!

Saitama became determined to be a superhero after experiencing the thrill of fighting an evil baddy. He puts himself on a training regimen, only to lost all of his hair and accidentally become the strongest human who ever walked the Earth. It’s actually a problem-he doesn’t get to experience any heart-pounding fights, as any conflict with Saitama ends with a very standard punch.

Top 25 Best Anime Ending Songs of All Time

Anime endings can be quite the nice finish to a series – the icing on the anime cake. Here are 25 of the best anime endings (ED) of all time. You may even fall in love with some songs that you were not familiar with before!

All ranking information was taken on the date of publication.


Cowboy Bebop“The Real Folk Blues” by Seatbelts feat. Mai Yamane

MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #22 | Aired Spring 1998 | Produced by Sunrise


(Episodes 1-12, 14-25)

cowboy bebop Anime Endings (ED)

Since most of the songs from the soundtrack are instrumental, this amazing anime ED is one of few in the series that is sung in Japanese. Performed by a band called Seatbelts, the ending features powerful vocals by Mai Yamane. The ending is a slow to medium blues track with lyrics that perfectly fit the sentimental atmosphere and ending of the anime.

Cowboy Bebop ED The Real Folk Blues Anime Endings (ED)


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood“Uso (Lie)” by SID

MAL Rated 9.25, Ranked #1 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bones


(Episodes 1-14)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Anime Endings (ED)

SID is a visual kei rock band and their song “Uso” debuted at #2 on the Oricon charts in Japan, boosted by the popularity of the anime. The catchy tune is a perfect ending for an action packed anime such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ED Uso Anime Endings (ED)


Steins;Gate“Toki Tsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku (The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants)” by Yui Sakakibara

MAL Rated 9.17, Ranked #2 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by White Fox


(Episodes 1-21)

steins gate Anime Endings (ED)

Another great ED sung by the multi-talented Yui Sakakibara. This ending song is as epic as the anime itself; the eerie lyrics fit the anime’s theme perfectly.

Steins;Gate ED Toki Tsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku Anime Endings (ED)


Digimon Adventure“I Wish” by AiM

MAL Rated 7.87, Ranked #715 | Aired Spring 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


(Episodes 1-26)

Digimon Adventure

As a singer under the name AiM, Ai Maeda is best known for her works for the Digimon series. This upbeat pop song will hit you right in the feels if you used to watch this anime as a kid.

Digimon Adventure ED I Wish Anime Endings (ED)


Vampire Knight“still doll” by Wakeshima Kanon

MAL Rated 7.49, Ranked #1572 | Aired Spring 2008 | Produced by Studio Deen


Vampire Knight Anime Endings (ED)

This amazing dark cello song is performed by Kanon Wakeshima, who is a cellist and a singer, notable for her lolita image. The chilly ending matches the supernatural and creepy atmosphere of the series.

Vampire Knight ED still doll Anime Endings (ED)


Death Note“Alumina” by Nightmare

MAL Rated 8.75, Ranked #32 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Madhouse


(Episodes 1-19)

Death Note Anime Endings (ED)

The popular anime ED is as powerful as the opening, both performed by the same band Nightmare. The ending is a bit more slow paced than the OP, but not any less amazing, thanks to Yomi’s great vocals.

Death Note ED Alumina Anime Endings (ED)


InuYasha“Dearest” by Ayumi Hamasaki

MAL Rated 7.88, Ranked #704 | Aired Fall 2000 | Produced by Kyoto Animation & Sunrise


(Episodes 42-60)

InuYasha Anime Endings (ED)

This beautiful ballad by J-Pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki easily pulls at the heartstrings of Inuyasha fans. There is also an official acoustic piano version which you can check out here.

Inuyasha ED Dearest Anime Endings (ED)


Samurai Champloo“Shiki no Uta (Song of Four Seasons)” by MINMI

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #102 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe


(Episodes 1-11, 13-16, 18-22, 24-25)

Samurai Champloo Anime Endings (ED)

Minmi is a famous reggae singer in Japan who sings this fast paced song, produced by the late hip hop artist Nujabes. The ED is a really catchy tune, as is the rest of the soundtrack.

Samurai Champloo ED Shiki no Uta Anime Endings (ED)


Toriko“Sabrina” by Leo Ieiri

MAL Rated 7.73, Ranked #973 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by Toei Animation


(Episodes 39-50)

Toriko Anime Endings (ED)

This catchy pop tune is sung by Leo Ieiri, a rising J-Pop star. It is a nice ending for an adventure-filled anime such as Toriko and you will probably catch yourself singing along to this ED every single time you watch the show!

Toriko ED Sabrina Anime Endings (ED)


K-ON!“Don’t say ‘lazy'” by Sakurakou K-ON Bu

MAL Rated 7.89, Ranked #679 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Kyoto Animation


K-ON! ED anime ending Anime Endings (ED)

Sakurakou K-ON Bu is a fictional pop group formed by four seiyuu to sing theme songs for the anime K-ON!. Members include: Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Yoko, Sato Satomi and Kotobuki Minako. Their debut song “Don’t say lazy” was so popular that it debuted at #2 on the Oricon weekly charts and sold almost 200 thousand copies.

K-ON ED Don’t say lazy


Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist) Anime Endings (ED) “Take off” by 2PM

MAL Rated 7.97, Ranked #551 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


(Episodes 1-12)

Ao no Exorcist Anime Endings (ED)

2PM is a popular Korean boy band. Ao no Exorcist fans mostly know them for their song “Take off” which is an upbeat pop song used as an ED for the anime. This catchy song will make you wanna dance along with it.

Ao no Exorcist ED Take off Anime Endings (ED)


Nana“A Little Pain” by Olivia inspi’ Reira ~Trapnest~

MAL Rated 8.58, Ranked #67 | Aired Spring 2006 | Produced by Madhouse


(Episodes 01-08, 10-18, 41)

Nana Anime Endings (ED)

Nana has always been praised as one of the anime shows with the best soundtracks ever. Olivia is a Jpop singer who serves as the song vocal-cast of the character Reira of Trapnest from the anime. This song is sung in one of the anime scenes as well and it is a very emotional ballad that reflects the characters’ relationships.

Nana ED a little pain Anime Endings (ED)


Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei (The Garden of Sinners 1: Overlooking View)“oblivious” by Kalafina

MAL Rated 7.86, Ranked #731 | Premiered Dec 1, 2007 | Produced by ufotable


Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei Anime Endings (ED)

Kalafina is a folk and new age pop group from Japan and one of their more notable songs is definitely “oblivious”. This song serves as a theme and ending track for the movie Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei. It is a really fast and catchy tune that fits the supernatural atmosphere of the anime perfectly.

Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei ED oblivious Anime Endings (ED)


Mushishi“Unasaka Yori” (From Beyond the Sea) by Masuda Toshio

MAL Rated 8.79, Ranked #27 | Aired Fall 2005 | Produced by Artland


(Episode 8)

Mushishi Anime Endings (ED)

Mushishi has one of the most beautiful instrumental anime soundtracks ever. All songs but one are instrumental, melancholic and played by traditional instruments. The composer, Masuda Toshio, is famous for using the classic instruments shamisen and shakuhachi in his ambient works, together with chanting.

Mushishi ED Unasaka Yori Anime Endings (ED)


Bakemonogatari (Ghostory)“Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (The Story You Don’t Know)” by Supercell feat. Nagi Yanagi

MAL Rated 8.41, Ranked #142 | Aired Summer 2009 | Produced by Shaft


Bakemonogatari Anime Endings (ED)

Check out this super catchy song by a band supercell. It features the amazing vocals by Nagi Yanagi who used to often serve as a guest vocalist for this band. This anime ED is perfectly suitable for a supernatural anime such as Bakemonogatari.

Bakemonogatari Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari supercell Anime Endings (ED)


Free!“SPLASH FREE” by STYLE FIVE

MAL Rated 7.74, Ranked #935 | Aired Summer 2013 | Produced by Kyoto Animation


Free! Anime Endings (ED)

The members of the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club prove that they can be great singers too, as the fictional group Style Five consists of the main five seiyuu: Daisuke Hirakawa, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Mamoru Miyano, Tsubasa Yonaga and Suzuki Tatsuhisa. The ED is really catchy!

Free ED Splash Free Anime Endings (ED)


Ghost Hunt“Ending Theme” by Masuda Toshio

MAL Rated 8.00, Ranked #504 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by J.C.Staff


Ghost Hunt Anime Endings (ED)

Another masterpiece by Masuda Toshio is this chilling and haunting anime ED which is a simple, yet great ending. It is a pure perfection for the horror anime Ghost Hunt. You won’t be able to stop listening to this captivating tune once you start!

Ghost Hunt Anime Endings (ED)


Wolf’s Rain“Gravity” by Maaya Sakamoto

MAL Rated 7.95, Ranked #598 | Aired Winter 2003 | Produced by Bones


(Episodes 1-25)

Wolf's Rain Anime Endings (ED)

This anime ending is a sad ballad sung completely in English by the amazing singer Maaya Sakamoto. If you are familiar with the anime, then you might even shed a tear or two. It is very emotional and nostalgic.

Wolf’s Rain ED Gravity Anime Endings (ED)


Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimeters per Second)“One more time, one more chance” by Masayoshi Yamazaki

MAL Rated 8.17, Ranked #325 | Premiered Feb 16, 2007 | Produced by CoMix Wave Films


Byousoku 5 Centimeter Anime Endings (ED)

Another really sad and beautiful song, this time it is an ending for an anime film. How many times have you wished to go back to the past or simply get a second chance? If you live in Japan, check out this video because it is unrestricted. There is also an official cover in English which is really worth mentioning, check it out here.

Byousoku 5 Centimeter ED One more time, one more chance Anime Endings (ED)


Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day)“secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after ver.)” by Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Saori Hayami

MAL Rated 8.66, Ranked #45 | Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Anime Endings (ED)

The anime ending for Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day) is an upbeat ballad with lyrics that closely follow the anime’s story, which is all about childhood memories and the end of summer. Prepare some tissues for this ED because you’ll need them!

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Anime Endings (ED)


Chihayafuru“Soshite Ima (And Now)” by Asami Seto

MAL Rated 8.36, Ranked #173 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Madhouse


(Episodes 1-24)

Chihayafuru Anime Endings (ED)

This beautiful and melodic anime ED has a captivating refrain. Asami Seto’s voice hits all the right notes and the nostalgic lyrics fit the characters’ interactions and feelings.

Chihayafuru ED Soshite Ima Anime Endings (ED)


Psycho-Pass“Namae no nai Kaibutsu (Nameless Monster)” by EGOIST

MAL Rated 8.55, Ranked #81 | Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by Production I.G


(Episodes 1-11)

Psycho-Pass Anime Endings (ED)

EGOIST is a Jpop music duo, consisting of a songwriter Ryo from Supercell and a vocalist Chelly. The fast paced and upbeat song serves as the first ED of Psycho-Pass.

Psycho-Pass ED Namae no nai Kaibutsu Anime Endings (ED)


Rainbow“A FAR-OFF DISTANCE” by Galneryus

MAL Rated 8.66, Ranked #48 | Aired Spring 2010 | Produced by Madhouse


Rainbow

Galneryus is a powerful heavy metal band from Japan that hits all the right feels with this rockish ballad. This flow of emotions is understandable since Rainbow is one of the saddest anime series out there. Check out the refrain and Sho’s strong voice.

Rainbow ED a far off distance


Durarara!!“Trust Me” by Yuya Matsushita

MAL Rated 8.44, Ranked #123 | Aired Winter 2010 | Produced by Brains Base


(Episodes 1-12)

Durarara

This really catchy ED is performed by Yuya Matsushita, a rising J-Pop star, whose single of the same name peaked at #10 on the Oricon weekly charts.

https://youtu.be/GKc9ZyL8XyU


Hunter x Hunter“Kaze no Uta (Song of the Wind)” by Minako Honda

MAL Rated 8.49, Ranked #104 | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Nippon Animation


(Episodes 1-31)

Hunter x Hunter Anime Endings (ED)

This beautiful ballad is sung by the late Jpop star Minako Honda. Her fascinating voice in the refrain will give you the chills and you won’t be able to get enough of it.

Hunter x Hunter ED Kaze no Uta Anime Endings (ED)


Want more anime music? Check out the below articles as well!
25 Best Anime Opening Songs of All Time
Top 15 Anime OSTs: Music of the Heart
Top 9 Anime Series with Piano Music That Will Tug At Your Heart

American Studios and Production Committees: Risks and Rewards

In the early-mid 2000s, US licensing companies were involved in numerous anime Production Committees. It didn’t go so well for them. This year, several US licensors are trying their luck on Production Committees again. Will it go better this time?


An Introduction to Anime Production Committees


Dimension W

Most anime fans are aware of American-Japanese co-productions, films like The Animatrix and shows like IGPX which feature both American and Japanese creative staff. But American money has helped fund more anime than you might have realized through American companies sitting on Production Committees. What is a Production Committee? It’s not the same as a production studio, where the major work goes into creating the anime. Rather, it’s a larger group of all the anime’s financiers that meets regularly to make sure the production is on track and going according to plan. Production Committees became standard practice for anime in the ’90s, as the market crash in Japan made it more difficult for a single studio or TV network to fund an entire series.


The Rise of Anime Licensors


Ghost in the Shell

Around the same Production Committee model became standard in Japan, anime-focused licensing companies began popping up in America. It was inevitable that these companies would become interested in working with Production Committees in Japan, and in 1995, Manga Entertainment helped fund Ghost in the Shell, one of the few major success stories for an American company on a Production Committee. Pioneer Entertainment, the independently-operated American branch of the Japanese company Pioneer LDC, had its own “cops and androids searching for what it means to human” project as its first Production Committee project the same year, Armitage III. It wasn’t a hit on the level of Ghost in the Shell, though they did get together an impressive dub casting featuring a young Bryan Cranston!

Geneon
Pioneer (later called Geneon USA) would be the most active American licensor on anime Production Committees until their closure in 2007. While it’s difficult to find comprehensive Production Committee info, they’re known to have credits on (take a deep breath…) Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi, Appleseed, Armitage: Dual Matrix, both seasons of Black Lagoon, Burn-Up Scramble, Ergo Proxy, the first Fate/Stay Night, Fushigi Yuugi Eikouden, Gungrave, Haibane Renmei, Hanaukyo Maid Team: La Verite, Hellsing Ultimate, Koi Kaze, L/R, Paranoia Agent, Ramen Fighter Miki, Samurai Champloo, Shattered Angels, Strawberry Marshmallow, Tenchi Muyo in Love, Tenjou Tenge, Texhnolyze, and The Soultaker. That’s a lot of anime, a mix of only a few popular hits with a number of unprofitable cult favorites and complete obscurities nobody even talked about when they were new. What motivated this mass spending on anime production? Weirdly enough, this was the cheaper route to licensing certain series during the anime bubble, a way to prevent bidding wars that would drive up licensing costs. It wasn’t enough to make a profitable strategy, however, and couldn’t prevent Geneon from going bankrupt.


The 2000s Boom


Dead Leaves
Other licensing companies trying to join in on Production Committees during the early-mid 2000s anime DVD boom fared even worse. ADV Films couldn’t even claim a Hellsing or Champloo to its credit. Instead it served on the Production Committee of a couple of well-loved but low-selling series (Kino’s Journey and Kaleido Star) and several flat-out bombs (Samurai Gun, Guyver, Sin: The Movie, Chance Pop Session). They too went bankrupt in 2009, though managed to reform themselves as Section23. Manga Entertainment had a good thing going with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex but their other Production Committee anime were either divisive (Dead Leaves) or utterly forgettable (Tokko and Strait Jacket). It’s notable they decided not to be on the Production Committee for the recent Ghost in the Shell: Arise series. Urban Vision tried to play safe with spin-offs of preexisting hits, but while Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust did OK, Ninja Scroll: The Series failed to find the audience the original movie did. They aren’t actively releasing anime anymore. If you weren’t Disney helping fund a Ghibli film, Production Committees were not looking like the best investment for American companies.


Production Committees and the Overseas Anime Industry Today


Ojisan and Marshmallow
Suddenly this year, we’ve seen the two biggest names in the anime licensing industry jump into Production Committee work for the first time. FUNimation has Dimension W, while Crunchyroll has Ojisan and Marshmallow. Netflix, having entered the anime licensing game, has also expressed interest in getting in on the producing end. So how are things different this time from the numerous failures that have come from this model in the past? Based on their initial picks, FUNi and Crunchyroll seem to be aiming at two very different approaches. With Dimension W, FUNimation has a show designed to resemble sci-fi hits on the past, something that can air on Toonami and reach over a million viewers a week. Ojisan and Marshmallow shows Crunchyroll going the opposite route of reducing risk, by financing something short, cheap, and decidedly not designed to be a major hit, but with a sense of humor (and meme-ready Paul Blart resemblance) to endear it to a subset of Crunchyroll subscribers who’ll share the short episodes around. With the American anime licensing industry in healthier shape than it’s been in a while, hopefully companies won’t make the same mistakes they did during the 2000s bubble, and these new attempts at financing anime produce great reward both for the industry and for us viewers.

See another writer’s take on Netflix’s participation in anime licensing and production here!

Top 16 Best Anime OSTs: Music of the Heart

Let’s explore what makes a soundtrack truly great by looking at 16 of the best OSTs that anime has to offer.

Best Anime OSTs


anime ost anime girl headphones
A great soundtrack can make an average anime good and a good anime great. Music gives life to each and every character, while guiding you through the emotional roller coaster of each scene!

Everyone is sure to have their personal favorite, but here are 16 of the best we’ve ever heard in anime.


Anime OST Playlist Below!


Cowboy Bebop

MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #22 | Aired Spring 1998 | Produced by Sunrise


Cowboy Bebop complete soundtrack anime ost
Let’s just get the obvious one out of the way right at the start. Unless you are literally physically allergic to jazz or blues, Cowboy Bebop has the best soundtrack of any anime ever made. Now you don’t have to scroll down through the rest of this article to make sure I haven’t forgotten it. The brilliant Yoko Kanno formed a band, Seatbelts, just to make the OST for this series! Kanno is also famous for Ghost in Shell: Stand Alone Complex‘s OST, another classic.


Naruto

MAL Rated 7.81, Ranked #842 | Aired Fall 2002 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


Naruto main theme OST
Let’s be clear on thing: Naruto has OG status in the anime world. There’s no use hating. This main theme is absolutely iconic and often played whenever Naruto was doing something really brave or cool! It’s extremely nostalgic with fans to this day, having been superseded by Shipuuden’s own original OST and not being featured in any recent Naruto production (with the exception of a legendary appearance in The Last movie).


Wolf’s Rain

MAL Rated 7.95, Ranked #596 | Aired Winter 2003 | Produced by Bones


Wolf’s Rain soundtrack anime ost
The best OSTs are those that best compliment the tone and mood of the anime. Wolf’s Rain is a dark, grey, very mid-00’s emo style anime and this is a soulful, lonely soundtrack that goes perfectly with it. Beautiful, moody piano pieces such as “Rakuen”, and soulful English vocal pieces such as “Strangers” grace this OST.


Code Geass

MAL Rated 8.86, Ranked #18 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Sunrise


Code Geass soundtrack anime ost
I picked this particular song because it was the one used for next episode previews in both seasons of Code Geass. It’s the one they inevitably played after dropping some giant plot twist. In terms of ramping up your excitement with quick, dramatic music, it’s pretty darn great. Kotaro Nakagawa, and Hitomi Kuroishi are responsible for this famous anime’s equally good OST.


Mushishi

MAL Rated 8.79, Ranked #27 | Aired Fall 2005 | Produced by Artland


Mushishi soundtrack anime ost
It’s how understated the soundtrack for Mushishi is that makes it stand out, ironically. Again this is all to bring out the mood of the anime in question, and the soft music of Mushishi produced by Toshio Masuda has that perfect way of lulling you to sleep…in a good way! Masuda is no stranger to using classical Japanese instruments and melodies, as his OST for the original Naruto anime was also heavily influenced by traditional Japanese music.


Beck

MAL Rated 8.43, Ranked #132 | Aired Fall 2004 | Produced by Madhouse


Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad soundtrack anime ost
Look man, I know you might be a big fat dub-hater. I can respect that. But if you’re going to watch Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, watch the English dub and don’t let Engrish ruin these fantastic songs on the OST.


Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

MAL Rated 8.56, Ranked #76 | Aired Winter 2011 | Produced by Shaft


Puella Magi Madoka Magica Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica soundtrack anime ost
Wouldn’t be a proper ‘Best Anime OSTs’ list without some Yuki Kajiura on there, and why not go for her most famous work. She’d made something of a name for herself with the soundtrack of *.Hack//Sign but it was the Celtic tunes of Madoka that propelled her name into common anime fan knowledge.


Ghost in the Shell

MAL Rated 8.34, Ranked #186 | Aired Fall 1995 | Produced by Production IG


Ghost in the Shell soundtrack anime ost
If you want the single most iconic pieces of anime OST, it would be…well, actually it would probably be Blue from the final episode of Cowboy Bebop, BUT after that it would be Making of a Cyborg from the opening sequence of the Ghost in the Shell movie composed by Kenji Kawai. That whole opening scene has inspired many creators since. Also notable on the Ghost in the Shell movie OST is “See You Everyday”, which is sung in Cantonese Chinese by pop artist Fang Ka Wing.


FLCL

MAL Rated 8.05, Ranked #458 | Aired Spring 2000 | Produced by Gainax


FLCL soundtrack anime ost
The FLCL OST turned The Pillows from an obscure Japanese indie rock band to a temporary household name with anime fans across the globe. There were rumours ages ago that they were trying to get The Pillows together with Gainax again for a Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer anime adaptation, but unfortunately the whole project fell through. Now that would have been something.


Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of the Galactic Heroes)

MAL Rated 9.10, Ranked #8 | Aired Winter 1988 | Produced by Artland


Legend of the Galactic Heroes Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu soundtrack anime ost
Some may argue that it’s cheating to include an anime where the soundtrack is just classical music, but it comes down to how you actually use it that matters. The genre is called space opera after all. It wouldn’t feel right to have these giant space battles without Beethoven blaring the in background.


Majo no Takkyuubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

MAL Rated 8.26, Ranked #244 | Aired Summer 1989 | Produced by Studio Ghibli


Kiki’s Delivery Service Majo no takkyuubin soundtrack anime ost
Honestly you could include the soundtrack of any Ghibli movie here. Joe Hisaishi composes the OSTs for most of Ghibli’s works, and there’s nobody better at making the childish fantasy epics comes to life than him.


Guilty Crown

MAL Rated 7.88, Ranked #699 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Production IG


Guilty Crown soundtrack anime ost
Look, Guilty Crown may have failed in a few areas such as the story, the characters, the writing… OK maybe it failed in a lot of areas, but there were two areas in which it definitely succeeded. It looked great, and it sounded fantastic. Supercell provided the opening and ending, and Hiroyuki Sawano of Kill la Kill and Attack on Titan fame composed and produced all of the tracks in the OST.


Samurai Champloo

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #100 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe


Samurai Champloo soundtrack anime ost
Can’t have Bebop without giving a mention to its excellent sister series. You can just imagine director Shinichiro Watanabe suddenly waking up and yelling “BREAK-DANCING SAMURAI” and designing an entire anime and soundtrack around that concept. The combination of the two make for a truly unique and excellent OST.


Shigatsu wa kimi no uso (Your Lie in April)

MAL Rated 8.93, Ranked #14 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Your Lie in April soundtrack anime ost
One of the most popular OSTs from the past year or so. If you’re going to make an anime about music, then you better make sure you have your soundtrack up to scratch. Aside from the classical performances by the musician characters in the anime, the original soundtrack also features beautiful poppy and ballad pieces.


Clannad

MAL Rated 8.38, Ranked #163 | Aired Fall 2007 | Produced by Kyoto Animation


Clannad soundtrack anime ost
I may personally have some serious issues with the Key writing style, but they are experts on the musical side of things. They have a habit of making music that gets under your skin and stirs up your emotions. Jun Maeda not only writes the scenarios for the visual novels, but also produces the music as well! Singers Riya and Lia (unrelated, though they have similar names) provide the vocals for many Clannad (and other Key) songs.


Redline

MAL Rated 8.35, Ranked #181 | Aired Fall 2009 | Produced by Madhouse


Redline soundtrack anime ost
You want to break some speed limits and get your first speeding ticket? Put the Redline soundtrack on in your car and find yourself swerving around corners. What’s particularly impressive about the way Redline uses the OST is its clever use of “fade in” and “fade out” for when cars are airborne, giving you that same sense of weightlessness the drivers themselves are feeling. Redline’s OST’s producer James Shimoji makes heavy use of bass heavy electronic music sounds in the soundtrack.


Want more anime music? Check out the below articles as well!

25 Best Anime Opening Songs of All Time
25 Best Anime Ending Songs of All Time
Top 9 Anime Series with Piano Music That Will Tug At Your Heart

Nakama and the Cheesy, Yet Wholesome, Friendships in Anime

“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” Anime, especially shounen anime, reaffirms this proverb time after time. Comrades who battle together develop strong, almost unbreakable bonds—becoming more like family than mere friends. Let’s explore why this trope is so popular.


Why Nakama?


Nakama One Piece DefinitionImage Source

Nakama is a Japanese word for “companion”, “comrade”, “friend”, or “mate”. However, for fans of shounen anime such as One Piece, nakama has come to mean something like “friends who are closer than family”. Although the word does not seem to have that meaning in its original Japanese, it has come to take on that meaning for the English-speaking anime fandom. You can read more about its history here.

One of the reasons for its popularity is that anime, and shounen anime in particular, seems to put a great significance on the bonds created between otherwise unrelated people who share a common goal, or destiny, if you will. From the close bonds of Luffy’s crew in One Piece, to the teacher-student-teammate relationships of Naruto, to the antagonistic but probably-more-realistic crew of Cowboy Bebop, it’s clear that non-familial relationships can be just as important, or even more important, than familial relationships in anime.


The Appeal


Naruto ShippuudenImage Source

It’s very easy to find more examples of nakama-centric anime: Fairy Tail, Bleach, Claymore, Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball and its sequels, Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho, Gintama, Outlaw Star, and Samurai Champloo all feature characters who, through various circumstances, form eclectic, family-like groups. No matter how much they claim to dislike each other, they are still willing to die for their nakama. Such bonds seem even deeper and more influential than the bonds between family members. In fact, in many of the above examples, the characters have no family of their own. That’s why, when they finally come together to form makeshift families with their nakama, they prize those bonds so intensely.

Of course, due to the nature of shows about fighting, the characters’ bonds are strong out of necessity — you have to be able to trust your nakama to protect you in literally life-or-death situations. As a plot device, it’s incredibly convenient — a character chooses to sacrifice his or her life for another character, even though they don’t seem particularly close? It’s because they’re nakama! A character refuses to renounce his or her bond with another character, even though they are now enemies? It’s because they’re nakama! A character chooses to go on a harebrained, dangerous quest with another character, even though they really don’t know each other that well? It’s because they’re nakama!

Someone has killed a character’s nakama? That character will inevitably power-up from his or her grief and anger, and defeat their nakama’s killer—all through the power of friendship. No wonder this trope is so popular with shounen anime creators!


The Case For Making Your Own Family


Nakama Real LifeImage Source

The concept of nakama is popular with fans for other reasons. One theory I have is that we anime fans often fantasize about finding our own nakama. When we see the amazingly close bonds that are formed between characters in anime, we want that for ourselves, and that’s why we care so much about the characters and their relationships. Maybe, in real life, we don’t have the greatest families, or our families don’t support us, or there’s a lot of pressure within the family to live a certain way. In anime, nakama are brought together, not by the water of the womb, but rather by the blood of the covenant—by choice and commonality—and thus, the bond is special in a way family relationships can never be.

Even if initially forced together by circumstance, nakama choose to stay together, no matter what. That’s a very powerful manifestation of one of the key desires of all humans—we all want to fit in, be understood, be supported. We want to be included in a group where our most important people also view us as their most important people.

Nakama, in anime, not only replace the traditional nuclear family in terms of support and love, but also go one step further because they are unconditional relationships. Families inherently have a power dynamic involved, wherein children seek their parents’ approval, and parents either give or withhold it. With nakama, however, you don’t have to worry about that—your nakama will always have your back. That’s why the term nakama has taken on such a special meaning for anime fans, regardless of how it is used in the original Japanese.

One Piece Nakama Crew Celebration

It’s no coincidence that so many anime characters are so…well, weird. The way they look, the way they act, the nature of their most important relationships—they’re freaks, you might say. Misfits. Outcasts. Yet, within the special group of people that form their nakama, they are completely accepted for being themselves. They don’t have to change to fit in. For anime fans in particular, who are often ridiculed for having interests that are outside the societal norm, it’s heartwarming to see that characters who are so abnormal/deviant/atypical can still come together and form such strong bonds, with people who truly understand and accept them.

Anime may be ridiculous at times. It may be clichéd, badly written, or even just plain stupid. But still, we keep following our favorite characters’ odd adventures because we care about them, and about the friendships they form along the way. When they profess their love for their nakama, when they say they would do anything for their nakama, even die for their nakama — we believe them. We feel touched by the strength of their bonds. We laugh, we cry, and in the end, our worlds are a little bit brighter, a little bit more hopeful, for the idea that our nakama are out there, somewhere, waiting for us. These powerful words from Jaguar D. Saul, from One Piece, say it all:

“You might be alone at the moment, but someday, you’ll definitely find nakama! …The sea is vast. Someday, without any doubt, nakama who will protect you will appear! No one is born in this world being completely alone! …Go meet the nakama that are certainly waiting for you somewhere on the sea!”

Nakama One Piece Crew

Top 25 Best Adventure Anime

Are you into anime shows in which the characters embark on an exciting journey (who isn’t)? If the answer is yes, then check out these 25 amazing adventure anime and prepare for being part of the experience yourself!

Bakemono no KoeSource: Bakemono no Ko

Exploring new places, meeting new people, learning about yourself and eventually coming to terms with your own fears is something that many people yearn for. Therefore it is no wonder that the theme of adventure is thoroughly explored in the anime world. Watching these anime also makes us feel like we’re a part of the journey, and that’s another thing that’s great about this genre.

It’s also interesting how a lot of the most popular and iconic anime in history are part of the adventure genre. Maybe we all have a little adventurous spirit in us? So with all the formalities out of the way, in this article we are going to take a look at some of the best titles this genre has to offer – fasten your seat belts!

For more of our most highly rated Adventure Anime, as well as an overview of all the genre has to offer, check out our Adventure genre page on MAL.


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

MAL Rated 9.26, Ranked #2 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bones


Fullmetal AlchemistFullmetal Alchemist
Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse go on an epic journey in order to find the secrets of alchemy; and perhaps even find the truth about themselves as well. Packed with lots of action and amazing character development, FMA is one of the most praised adventure anime shows ever.


Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

MAL Rated 8.25, Ranked #252 | Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Magi: The Labyrinth of MagicMagi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Loosely based on and inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, can you imagine a more adventure-based series? Filled with various supernatural beings and a dangerous quest for mythical dungeons and treasures, this anime is the epitome of adventure.


One Piece

MAL Rated 8.60, Ranked #64 | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


One PieceOne Piece
The captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy Monkey D., is always looking for adventure, new places and people. His ultimate goal is the biggest treasure of all which only somebody worthy enough would be able to find – One Piece.


Hunter x Hunter (2011)

MAL Rated 9.14, Ranked #5 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Madhouse


Hunter x Hunter (2011)Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Set in a world in which people tasked to perform dangerous deeds are called Hunters, a young boy Gon learns that his supposedly deceased father is not only alive, but has become a world-famous Hunter. He sets out on an adventure to become a Hunter himself and find his father.


Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)

MAL Rated 8.93, Ranked #13 | Premiered: Jul 20, 2001 | Produced by Studio Ghibli


Sen to Chihiro no KamikakushiSen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
One of the most beloved anime films ever, Spirited Away takes us to a magical and forbidden place of spiritual and ancient beings, with our protagonist – as they usually are in Ghibli films – being the young girl Chihiro who accidentally stumbles into this scary new world.


InuYasha

MAL Rated 7.89, Ranked #683 | Aired Fall 2000 | Produced by Sunrise


InuYashaInuyasha
InuYasha is a certifiable classic adventure anime that is set in both modern Japan and the Sengoku period filled with dangerous youkai. It follows the adventures of a modern girl Kagome and Inuyasha, a half-dog demon.


Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)

MAL Rated 8.25, Ranked #245 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


Akatsuki no YonaAkatsuki no Yona
The banished princess Yona goes on a journey with her bodyguard Hak in order to find her place in the world and reclaim her lost kingdom. It is a road that’s full of danger and supernatural beings.


Digimon Adventure

MAL Rated 7.88, Ranked #700 | Aired Spring 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


Digimon AdventureDigimon Adventure
A group of destined school kids find the Digital World, a place where strange creatures called Digimons exist and can be controlled with special devices. These creatures will become their best friends and take them on a journey of a lifetime.


Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)

MAL Rated 8.38, Ranked #167 | Aired Winter 2008 | Produced by Imagin


Ookami to KoushinryouOokami to Koushinryou
Holo is a long-forgotten wolf deity who meets a local merchant named Kraft Lawrence and becomes his business partner. They go on a journey together not realizing that not everything will go as smoothly as they plan.


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)

MAL Rated 7.92, Ranked #637 | Aired Spring 2015 | Produced by J.C.Staff


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou kaDungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka
An adventurer Bell Cranel meets a clumsy but attractive goddess Hestia and they decide to join forces. His dream is to explore dangerous dungeons while she just wants more followers (and of course, Bell to notice her).


Fairy Tail

MAL Rated 8.27, Ranked #230 | Aired Fall 2009 | Produced by Satelight & A-1 Pictues


Fairy TailFairy Tail
Fairy Tale is the name of a famous wizarding guild, in which its members earn points for using their magical powers and fulfilling various quests. An extremely long running adventure series which is often mentioned in the same breath as other giants, such as Naruto, One Piece, or Bleach.


Cowboy Bebop

MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #22 | Aired Spring 1998 | Produced by Sunrise


Cowboy BebopCowboy Bebop
The spaceship Cowboy Bebop is a home to peculiar characters and their dark pasts. Each one of them has a reason for drifting through space and going from venture to venture.


Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)

MAL Rated 8.74, Ranked #33 | Premiered: Nov 20, 2004 | Produced by Studio Ghibli


Howl no Ugoku Shiroimage tags here
Sophie, a simple shop worker, gets her life upside down when she gets turned into an old woman by magic and meets a mysterious wizard Howl.


Samurai Champloo

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #100 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe


Samurai ChamplooSamurai Champloo
Two samurai with opposite personalities and fighting techniques – Mugen and Jin, get asked by a waitress Fuu to go on a journey with her and help her find a mysterious person she’s been looking for her whole life.


Katanagatari (Sword Story)

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #95 | Aired Winter 2010 | Produced by White Fox


KatanagatariKatanagatari
Shichika Yasuri and the strategist Togame set out on a journey to collect the unique “Deviant Blades” and meet various swordsmen and dangerous people along the way.


Mushishi

MAL Rated 8.78, Ranked #28 | Aired Fall 2005 | Produced by Artland


MushishiMushishi
A slow-paced and whimsical adventure anime that is filled with beautiful visuals and even more beautiful tales about people, their inner desires and life stories. Ginko is the main protagonist, a traveler and researcher of strange beings called mushi; he goes from one place to another in search of their origin.


Majo no Takkyuubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

MAL Rated 8.27, Ranked #235 | Premiered: Jul 29, 1989 | Produced by Studio Ghibli & Studio Hibari


Majo no TakkyuubinMajo no Takkyuubin
In order to become a full-fledged witch like everyone else, Kiki must leave the safety of home and venture out on her own. She needs to find a place that she can call her own and struggles with finding a talent she can exploit to make it in a new city . Soon, she not only finds a new place, and talent, but also new people that she can call friends. An adventure which is a perfect marriage of mundane human drama and fantasy.


Pokemon

MAL Rated 7.43, Ranked #1796 | Aired Spring 1997 | Produced by OLM, Inc.


PokemonPokemon
Pokemons are strange and powerful creatures that live inside Pokeballs and can be summoned by their master. The more pokemon you get, the stronger you are, and so Satoshi embarks on an adventure to catch them all.


Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World

MAL Rated 8.47, Ranked #113 | Aired Spring 2003 | Produced by A.C.G.T.


Kino no TabiKino no Tabi
This adventurous anime follows Kino and her unusual talking motorcycle Hermes as they travel the world and learn more about themselves in the process. Kino no Tabi will take you on a journey of self-discovery and beautiful imagery that will definitely leave you breathless.


Soul Eater

MAL Rated 8.10, Ranked #407 | Aired Spring 2008 | Produced by Bones


Soul EaterSoul Eater
Soul Eater follows the adventures of students of Death Weapon Meister Academy. There are two types of students; ones that turn into weapons, and ones that use these weapons (called meisters). These meisters aim to collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch so that their human weapons can become ‘death scythes’.


Claymore

MAL Rated 7.93, Ranked #623 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Madhouse


ClaymoreClaymore
In a world in which demons called Yoma attack and eat people, there is an organization which trains Claymore – half-women, half-Yoma warriors whose main purpose is to slay those monsters. One boy forges an unlikely friendship with one Claymore and realizes that she is perhaps not the monster she is made out to be.


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

MAL Rated 8.79, Ranked #26 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Gainax


Tengen Toppa Gurren LagannTengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
This mecha anime is about Simon and Kamina, two friends who stumble upon an ancient artifact called Lagann. They soon realize that this is a powerful weapon and they decide to use it to their advantage, changing their fate as they do so.


Sword Art Online

MAL Rated 7.93, Ranked #631 | Aired Summer 2012 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Sword Art Onlinesword art online
An online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) has gained a huge fanbase and people all over the world are dying to play it. When all of a sudden they realize that they cannot log out and that this is their new reality, the adventure really begins.


Dragon Ball

MAL Rated 8.17, Ranked #328 | Aired Winter 1986 | Produced by Toei Animation


Dragon BallDragon Ball
The mystical Dragonballs are said to be able to grant you any wish, and that is why Bulma and young Goku go on a journey to collect as many Dragonballs as possible.


Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins)

MAL Rated 8.47, Ranked #114 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Nanatsu no TaizaiNanatsu no Taizai
This adventure anime follows the adventures of Elizabeth, who is the third princess of the Kingdom of Liones, and her search for the Seven Deadly Sins, an evil group in the Holy Knights that betrayed their comrades and staged a coup in her kingdom. With the help of her friends, they manage to overcome dangerous obstacles in their way.


All ranking information was taken on the date of publication.