The opening theme song is one of the most memorable aspects of any anime. Anime intros can cover a variety of genres, from pop rock to acid jazz and even screamo metal. Even fans who don’t speak Japanese have fallen in love with anime intro songs and have at least a playlist or two full of their favorites.
Though debates about which songs are objectively the best are prevalent in every fandom, Spotify is a great way of gauging which anime intros captured the hearts of the most fans. Many of the best intros have hundreds of millions of streams.
10 “Shinzo Wo Sasageyo” By Linked Horizon Has 135,789,191 Streams (Attack On Titan)
Attack On Titan‘s opening theme songs are some of anime’s most iconic, with the most recent smash-hit being SiM’s “The Rumbling,” which introduced fans to the final season’s second part. Linked Horizon, however, has done two songs for the series. “Guren No Yumiya” was the first season’s opening song, while “Shinzo Wo Sasageyo” was the second season’s introduction.
The latter is more popular than the former, earning 135,789,191 on Spotify. After all, “Shinzo wo sasageyo!” or “Dedicate your hearts,” is one of the most common refrains in the series. The song’s epic feel captures Attack On Titan‘s action-packed battles and encapsulates the series’ overall tone.
9 “Kyouran Hey Kids!!” By The Oral Cigarettes Has 138,126,809 Streams (Noragami)
Noragami is a beloved supernatural shonen series with an equal blend of comedy and dramatic plot twists. The series’ first opening song, “Goya No Machiawase” is a high-energy rock song with jarring guitars that immediately immerse the viewer into the world of Yato and the gang.
However, the series’ second opening is wildly popular, even outside of the Noragami fandom. “Kyouran Hey Kids!!” by The Oral Cigarettes is a spunky song that starts out with a memorable riff before the beat kicks in. The song earned 138,126,809 streams on Spotify.
8 “Peace Sign” by Kenshi Yonezu Earned 149,955,599 Streams (My Hero Academia)
If there’s a modern-day “big three” of shonen anime, then My Hero Academia is absolutely included in it. It’s helped usher in a new generation of younger anime fans and has developed a devoted following since its 2016 TV debut. Several songs from My Hero Academia‘s OST have become wildly popular, but few compare to “Peace Sign” by Kenshi Yonezu.
It was the second My Hero Academia opening theme song. It’s an upbeat pop-rock track that ushered in the series’ second season. The lyrics have themes of overcoming adversity to become a hero, which is basically Izuku’s life story in a nutshell. The song earned 149,955,599 streams on Spotify.
7 “Cry Baby” By Official Hige DANdism Has 159,093,352 Streams (Tokyo Revengers)
Tokyo Revengers took the world by storm after its anime debut in the summer of 2021. Its theme song, sung by Official Hige DANdism, is just as popular. The band has done opening songs for other popular anime series, most recently being Spy X Family.
“Cry Baby” has garnered listeners from even outside of the Tokyo Revengers fandom. It’s an upbeat, snappy opening tune that blends jazzy, theatrical elements with hard rock and excellent vocals from Satoshi Fujihara, the band’s vocalist. “Cry Baby” earned 159,093,352 streams on Spotify, but the stream count rises daily.
6 “Blue Bird” By Ikimonogakari Has 167,503,580 Streams (Naruto: Shippuden)
“Blue Bird” by Ikimonogakari came out in 2008 and peaked at number three on the Oricon single chart. However, it’s still a wildly popular anime opening that has amassed tons of streams across different platforms. As the Naruto: Shippuden‘s third opening, the song has become a fan favorite that’s impossible not to sing along with.
It’s a lighthearted J-pop song that doesn’t waste any time on the introduction and cuts straight to Kiyoe Yoshioka’s beautiful vocals. The song has earned 167,503,580 streams on Spotify.
5 “Kaibutsu” By YOASOBI Has 183,036,390 Streams (Beastars)
YOASOBI was one of the most popular Japanese bands of 2021. The song “Kaibutsu,” or “Monster” took off and had a stronghold on the Japanese Billboard Hot 100 charts the entire year. The song was the Beastars‘ second opening, though even people who haven’t watched the anime are probably familiar with the song because of its widespread social media popularity.
“Kaibutsu” is a high-energy J-pop track with an eerie feel and repetitive synth beat that would make it perfect for any Halloween party. “Kaibutsu” has earned 183,036,390 streams on Spotify, but the number increases every day.
4 “Inferno” By Mrs. GREEN APPLE Earned 187,091,121 Streams (Fire Force)
Fire Force was one of 2019’s standout anime after its summer debut. It quickly became one of the most popular shonen series and even outshined returning fan favorites in the genre. Its first intro track, “Inferno” by Mrs. GREEN APPLE, is a memorable J-rock track that encapsulated the entire tone of Fire Force‘s first season.
As the title suggests, “Inferno” makes plenty of fire analogies, such as a single flame lighting the way in the dark and guiding the listener through. It ends with the emphatic declaration of walking forward and living life until someone’s light burns out. It’s a great song that earned 187,091,121 streams on Spotify.
3 “Unravel” By TK From Ling Tosite Sigure Has 226,983,104 Streams (Tokyo Ghoul)
TK From Ling Tosite Sigure’s “Unravel” has become one of anime’s most iconic opening songs. It was Tokyo Ghoul‘s first theme song, and none of the following ones have been able to outshine it. Toru Kitajima’s unique vocals and emotional delivery truly sell the song with its depressing lyrics that directly parallel Kaneki’s tragic story.
Though Tokyo Ghoul‘s anime adaptation disappointed manga readers, everybody agrees that the anime’s soundtrack was one of its highest points, especially with this great opening theme song. “Unravel” earned 226,983,104 streams on Spotify and has become a staple in every anime fan’s playlist.
2 “Kaikai Kitan” By Eve Has 258,728,684 Streams (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Jujutsu Kaisen was the breakout anime of 2020 after its fall premiere. Fans instantly fell in love with characters like the ever-optimistic Yuji Itadori and the white-haired wunderkind Satoru Gojo. Jujutsu Kaisen has many high points, and its soundtrack is no exception.
Eve’s “Kaikai Kitan” quickly became one of the most listened-to anime openings of 2020 after fans heard it for the first time as Jujutsu Kaisen‘s opening. The song is a perfect blend of J-pop, rock, and even hip-hop with unique vocals that makes it stand out from other anime openings. “Kaikai Kitan” earned 258,728,684 streams on Spotify.
1 “Gurenge” By LiSA Has 312,135,514 Streams (Demon Slayer)
Demon Slayer has had a stronghold on the anime community ever since its 2019 anime debut. Produced by UFOtable, Demon Slayer‘s brilliant art style was brought to life in the most colorful way imaginable with a soundtrack that truly brings the story to life.
The series’ first opening, “Gurenge,” was performed by the J-rock legend LiSA. Her vocals shined through on this intense rock song and helped further immerse the viewers into the dark world of Demon Slayer. The song is a true spine-chiller, and listeners can feel LiSA’s emotions when they listen to it. “Gurenge” earned 312,135,514 streams on Spotify, but the number is still increasing.
NEXT: 15 Best Anime Opening Themes of All Time, Ranked