There is nothing like a good theme song. In the case of the Op theme; it can set the mood of the series, fire up the blood, and, in many cases, become indelibly linked to a moment in time.
An anime Ed theme can leave the viewer yearning for more and become the most memorable song in a show’s life.
There have been thousands of theme songs in the decades since Osamu Tezuka helped create an entire cultural revolution. Many of them loved the world over and have become iconic in their own right but these 10 set that bar higher than any other and have become that which all others must be compared to.
Here are the top 10 Opening/Ending songs in the history of Japanese animation.
10: Neon Genesis Evangelion “Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis”- Yoko Takahashi
What can anyone say about EVA that hasn’t been repeated ad nauseum for twenty years. There has never been a more love it or hate it series than Hideaki Annoi’s opus about depression, loss, and angels. The one thing that is for certain, the opening for Evangelion rocks. While the music is more upbeat than the show it represents, one only has to look at the lyrics to know how this song is everything you need to know to understand the very premise of the show. With a sound that can best be described like a disco pop dance song, “no Thesis” is Yoko’s personal plea to Shenji to finally man up… one I’m still not sure he ever did.
9: Shin Lupin III- 2nd Series Op Theme- Peatmac Junior
I’m a huge fan of Monkey Punch’s long lived Franco-Japanese thief. He’s been an institution in Japan and is enjoying an anime renaissance with his current Blue Jacket series. Lupin’s many adventures each came with their own themes but none could match the Red Jacket series’ second opening theme. Peatmac Jr. took Yuji Ohno’s iconic song and put actual lyrics to it, so simple and yet so very effective. It sets the tone of the series as a whole, blaring out over the sights of Lupin and his crew enjoying their fun filled lives all while “Pops” Zenigata continues to try to put the great thief behind bars. Lupin has been a phenomenon since “Mystery of Mamo” and this theme is one of the many reasons Lupin Sensei is still loved.