Music is imperative when I’m working on a writing project. I’m one of those obnoxious people who crafts specific playlists for each story I’m writing, and I listen to them when working on said projects. But sometimes, my well of inspiration runs a bit dry, and I need a different kind of musical inspiration to get the creative waters flowing again.
There is one playlist in my collection that really gets me motivated, and that is a playlist full of anime opening (and some ending) theme songs. I’ve been an anime fan ever since Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, Dragonball, and all those awesome classic 90’s series aired on Cartoon Network and were part of the Saturday Cartoon or Toonami lineups. And lets not forget classic Adult Swim. Those were the days, man.
So when I feel like saving the world, killing massive humanoid monsters, collecting all the shards of a dangerous jewel, becoming a mecha pilot with serious daddy and mommy issues, or learning the cruel lessons of equivalent exchange, I just put my Anime Openings playlist on to get myself pumped up. Sometimes, it makes writing just a bit easier and helps to blast through pesky bouts of writer’s block.
Is there anything more inspiring than a good anime theme song? I think not! So here’s a list of some of my all-time favorite anime themes, in no particular order.
Disclaimer: I do not own the anime or music listed below, nor are the embedded videos mine, they are just posted for reference.
1.) Ready Steady Go! – Fullmetal Alchemist – L’arc En Ciel
I preferred FMA: Brotherhood to the original series (no hate, I did like both), but I will always consider the second opening to the first anime as one of the very best I’ve seen and heard. I often listen to this song on the treadmill and it gives me the boost I need to finish my workout.
2.) Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis – Neon Genesis Evangelion – Yoko Takahashi
Say what you want about the anime itself (it’s one of my favorites, but I understand people who dislike it, especially the last episode which really is a big WTF), this opening might be the greatest anime opening of all time. It makes me want to clap and congratulate somebody, for some reason…weird.
3.) My Soul, Your Beats! – Angel Beats – Lia
*bursts into tears*
4.) Sign – Naruto Shippuden – FLOW
I watched Naruto for a long time before I eventually got burnt out and gave up on it, and I never made it to Shippuden, but hope to pick it up again. I love FLOW and their songs are always definitive of what an anime intro should do: Get someone hyped to kick some ass. This one in particular makes me feel like going out and fighting ninjas, or rescuing my angsty traitor best friend from a freaky snake guy…
5.) Guren no Yumiya – Attack on Titan – Linked Horizon
After disliking Death Note, Bleach, Black Butler, and many other anime that were far too over-hyped, Attack on Titan was the first anime I saw in a really long time that lived up to the buzz that surrounded it. This intro really gets the adrenaline pumping, and the second one, Jiyuu no Tsubasa, is just as awesome.
6.) Kimi ga Inai Mirai – Inuyasha: The Final Act – Do As Infinity
Inuyasha was one of my first “real” anime (that wasn’t Pokemon) and I actually bought the theme song CDs when I was in junior high. But as much as I love the original series (minus some of the filler, it did drag a bit), this theme might just be my favorite from both the original and the sequel.
7.) Tank! – Cowboy Bebop – Yoko Kanno ft. The Seatbelts
You can’t beat the classics.
8.) Crossing Field – Sword Art Online – LiSA
I personally did not like SAO (don’t judge me, it was WAY over-hyped, though I understand why people loved it) but this opening song is pretty amazing.
9.) Cloud Age Symphony – LAST EXILE – Okino, Shuntaro
Last Exile was the first anime I owned myself (and it is the perfect length for an anime, in my opinion) and whenever I rewatch it, I never skip the intro. I like that it has a bit of a different sound, and the visuals are pretty great for an anime that came out in ’03. I have yet to watch the sequel, but I hope the music is just as good!
10.) Taiyou no Mannaka e – Eureka Seven – Bivattchee
Eureka Seven is one of my all-time favorite anime (great characters, concepts, story, mecha, etc) and I loved all the intros and outros, but this one just struck a chord for me. Though Days by FLOW, the first opening, is great too.
BONUS: Moonlight Densetsu – Sailor Moon – DALI / Moon Lips
BECAUSE SAILOR MOON IS GREAT, OKAY.