Previous Lists... Top 2D Fighting Games *** Top Soundtracks *** Top Miyazaki Movies *** Top Forgotten Fighting Games***Top Manliest Men *** Top Ninjas *** Top Mecha *** Most Awful Anime *** Most Awful Dubs *** Wimpiest Guys *** Top Intros *** Top Anti-Heroes *** Best Ultraviolent Anime *** Top Sci-fi Anime *** Top Overlooked Scifi
We’re back, Vice pals! A promised, we’re returning to the scene of our crime-- the TOP 5 best anime opening themes. I think we can all agree there are too many good intros out there to limit ourselves to just five. So lets dig in! This is the revenge of the TOP 5 best anime intros!
Keep in mind we’re trying to judge these openings on both music AND visuals—though occasionally we just get his so deep in the heart by a tune that we make some allowances. This is emotional stuff, you guys…
NUMBER FIVE – BERSERK
This is one of those fake-out songs that doesn’t really convey the tone of the show so well. But somehow, after a bunch of episodes, it starts to kind of make sense. Guts might look like he’s just a musclebound kill-machine but deep down he’s full of powerful feels. So naturally the intro includes artsy images like burning flowers and dudes standing on cliffs.
The Song is actually pretty interesting on its own. The vocals aren’t too harsh but there’s a kind of sneering punky attitude to the delivery, and there’s an “alternative” kind of grunge-y sound to the guitars. It’s all pretty approachable and melodic, but there’s something a little bit dark and aggressive about it as well. Plus it’s crazy catchy-- It’ll get in your hear whether you want it there or not.
Yeah, and also some big swords and macho angry faces so all the shonen fans don’t leave the room.
NUMBER FOUR – GHOST IN THE SHELL STAND ALONE COMPLEX
This is how you do a scifi soundtrack. There’s a few different languages, a melody that ‘s infections and a bit exotic, plus the kind of futuristic techno noises you’d probably expect. This song sounds more than just futuristic, it sounds like it’s from the the world of GHOST IN THE SHELL.
And of course, Yoko Kanno is brilliant. I think we all know this by now, but you can’t talk about anime music without mentioning this woman’s work. She’s crazy talented and versatile to an almost unbelievable degree. No one captures the feeling of a show better than this woman, and GITS’s intro is no exception.
NUMBER THREE – SAMURAI CHAMPLOO
You know, if you try to describe this song it sounds like complete garbage.--A Japanese hip hop song about samurais, and in English no less. But somehow it works. Really well.
The hip hop element of SAMURAI CHAMPLOO always seemed a little superfluous if you ask us at the TOP 5. It starts as a somewhat important storytelling element in the early episodes but quickly becomes more of an attitude/style/gimmick (and that’s fine). What’s really strange is how comfortably the two fit together. I suppose Wu Tang mixed the aesthetic of the far east with the jams of the east coast long before CHAMPLOO, but it still feels relevant, vital, and somehow new.
Plus the beat is irresistible! That vinyl crackle, the sounds of swords colliding, and the slow lackadaisical hum in the background. It all feels relaxed, elegant, smoldering even. The look of the intro is predictable but very nice—opting for a woodblock print kind of look, with bright colors and sharp silhouettes. It’s designed and slick, and it fits the music well.
NUMBER TWO -- GTO
Thanks to you faithful readers, we were introduced to this awesome opening in the comments section of our first attempt at listing the TOP 5 intros. We owe you guys, cause this is great stuff!
This OPENS with a shot of a toilet, so that should give you some idea of what you’re in for. The attitude of the show and Onizuka himself are clearly and artfully portrayed. The stark, high contrast black and white is well-done and interesting to look at, and a nice nod to the manga.
The whole thing is so perfectly crude and snide, without even a hint at the teaching aspect of the show. This is all about one man, a real scumbag and proud. It’s pure confidence and it’s hard to resist.
Plus it’s got those nice cheerful guitar lines that let you know things are gonna work out, GTO just asks for a chance to prove it to you.
NUMBER ONE – COWBOY BEBOP
Well, you all demanded it, and we can’t deny you’re right. This is one of, if not THE all time best anime opening there’s ever been. It changed the industry, it demands attention immediately, and it’s damn classy to boot!
There’s so much style from the very first moment of this intro/song and it doesn’t ease up for a moment. The bass, the smoldering cigarette, the bold colors and silhouetted shapes- it’s all perfect. It almost feels unfair to include this and CHAMPLOO on the same list, as they’re almost companion pieces- flip sides of the same coin.
“Tank” has it all, style, looks, a great tune with top notch musicianship. It sets a high bar that the show actually manages to live up to. This is the wrapping paper surrounding the best birthday present you ever got. You’re psyched when you see it, and you’re psyched about what’s to follow.
If you still don’t see your favorite intro among these don’t fret, I have a feeling part three is inevitable. Until then, let us know about your favorites! They might even make the next list.