Top 20 Most Popular Anime Songs of All Time

Top 20 Most Popular Anime Songs of All Time
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Every anime fan should have these in their music library! Join Ashley as we look over the songs across the anime scene that have become legendary over the years, as heard in series such as "Bleach", "Attack on Titan", "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure", and more!

Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 20 Most Popular Anime Songs of All Time

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 most popular anime songs of all time.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the music from anime, whether it be opening/closing themes or incidental music, that has made the biggest splash. These aren’t necessarily the “best” anime songs, though there is considerable overlap, just the most widely listened to. Also, we won’t be including any dub anime themes, otherwise “Pokémon” would absolutely be on here.

If there’s a beloved anime song whose popularity we somehow missed, return them to the spotlight in the comments.

#20: “Ichirin no Hana”

“Bleach” (2004-12)

As one of the longer running action anime, “Bleach” has many popular tracks. One of the biggest hits is its third opening theme. Performed by rock band High and Mighty Color, “Ichirin no Hana” has an incredible ferocity throughout. The drums and vocals are fast-paced, with the latter conveying both sadness and hope. The song overall has a very unique feel, including elements of rock and metal, and even concluding with some downright terrifying screaming. “Ichirin no Hana” comes just at the right time to illustrate the increased intensity in “Bleach,” but its sound has been appreciated even by many who’ve never seen the show.

#19: “Departure!”

“Hunter x Hunter” (2011-14)

Most anime feature several opening themes over the course of their runs. “Hunter x Hunter” got it right on the first try, and didn’t bother changing it! Well, there’s some slight variation in lyrics, but you won’t see fans aren’t complaining! Sung by Ono Masatoshi, “Departure!” is a soaring, optimistic tune that captures the spirit of adventure of “Hunter x Hunter.” Ono positively belts out the hopeful lyrics, while the instruments conjure a relaxed, yet daring vibe. Who knows if the series will get a continuation, but if it does, we “can smile again~” knowing that “Departure!” will probably continue to open every episode.

#18: “Inferno”

“Fire Force” (2019-)

Much like the show it opens, “Inferno” is absolute fire! Performed by Mrs. Green Apple, “Inferno” is rife with flame imagery in its lyrics. The song has become a massive hit even outside the “Fire Force” fandom, charting big and receiving plenty of attention online. And given how hard it goes, that’s not surprising! The vocals hit some amazing high notes and the guitar and drums complement them perfectly. While “Inferno” blazes bright and falls into small lulls, ultimately it wraps us in a comforting fire that we never want to see go out!

#17: “JoJo ~Sono Chi no Sadame~”

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” (2012-)

The “JoJo” franchise has beloved music through and through, and while it’s all popular, if we had to pick the most widely listened to track, we’re going with its first opening. The music is a magnificent fanfare, with blaring brass instruments and thumping drums. Meanwhile, the powerful vocals by Tominaga “TOMMY” Hiroaki feel at once timeless and a throwback to classic anime songs of years past. “Sono Chi no Sadame” is a hotblooded melody that feels like distilled excitement! It’s no wonder “JoJo” fans the world over can’t get enough of it!

#16: “Kyouran Hey Kids!!”

“Noragami” (2014-15)

Arguably the sleeper hit of our list, you shouldn’t sleep on “Kyouran Hey Kids!!” because it’s a banger! Performed by THE ORAL CIGARETTES, this song is a downright funky rock number. The lyrics are quick and catchy, while the background music is nearly indescribable - have you ever heard anyone wail on a guitar like that?! “Kyouran Hey Kids!!” gets nearly everyone who hears it tapping their toes and tapping on whichever device they listen to it on, just so they can hear it again! We “just wanna’ hold your hands” and just hold those notes forever!

#15: “Lost in Paradise”

“Jujutsu Kaisen” (2020-)

“Jujutsu Kaisen” may have only one season under its belt but it has blown everyone away on nearly every front, including musically. While its first opening, “Kaikai Kitan,” is also a massive hit, its ending is arguably just as popular, if not more so. “Lost in Paradise” is performed by funk/hip hop band ALI, with additional vocals by the rapper AKLO. This ending tune is remarkably versatile, with its smooth sound being great both to vibe to or as dance music. “Lost in Paradise” has garnered acclaim and attention not just for its unbelievable swagger, but it has also inspired tribute versions, as well as something of a dance craze. The song is so blissful, we’ll gladly get lost in it anyday!

#14: “COLORS”

“Code Geass” (2006-08)

FLOW is a band that always knocks anime opening themes out of the park, but “COLORS” just might be their masterpiece! As bright and energetic as the bits of the light spectrum that give it its name, “COLORS” is as enduringly popular as “Code Geass” itself. The buttery smooth and endlessly catchy vocals are pushed into the stratosphere by the brassy, exciting accompaniment. “COLORS” is an absolute joy to listen and sing along to year after year. It has so many of our hearts soaring that if we didn’t know better, we’d think FLOW had the power of Geass themselves! It’s just that good!

#13: “Again”

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)

The first opening theme to “Fullmetal Alchemist’s” second outing just hits different! Its tone ranges from wistful, to optimistic, to action-packed - which is fitting, considering the show it opens. Performed by Yui, the singer’s range is spectacular, delivering mournful regret, accompanied by acoustic guitar and piano, before upping the tempo and delivering the exuberant lyrics almost faster than the now hard rock instruments can keep up! “Again”’s popularity is no alchemical mystery - it just slaps! Plus, its name is perfect too, since by the time it’s done playing, you’ll be eager to hear it…again.

#12: “Tank!”

“Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)

“Cowboy Bebop has one of the most beloved and varied anime soundtracks of all time. But easily the most recognizable piece of music from it is its opening. Performed by Seatbelts, and orchestrated by the show’s composer, Yoko Kanno, “Tank!” is an explosively jazzy number that’s always fun to jam to. Primarily an instrumental song, it mixes a big band sound with unconventional instruments, like bongos. “Tank!” is so effortlessly cool and universally appealing that it wouldn’t feel out of place in a classic noir or James Bond film. It has remained popular for decades for good reason!

#11: “The Hero!!”

“One Punch Man” (2015-)

“The Hero!!” brings the hype and lives up to it! Performed by supergroup Jam Project, this song is bombastic and over-the-top, yet that’s what makes it so beloved. “The Hero!!” turns everything, from its wailing vocals to the intense guitar and drums, up to eleven! It’s a phenomenal song to rock out to, and judging by its popularity, plenty of people have joined the singers in yelling out the lyrics. It’s honestly the perfect theme for a character as unstoppable and unpredictable as Saitama.

#10: We Are!

“One Piece” (1999-)

There have been no shortage of Straw Hat shanties over the years, and yet, somehow, we always find ourselves coming back to its glorious first outing. Before the likes of the Haki, the World Government, Kaido and Ace made their debut, there was this adventurous, uplifting song that introduced Luffy and crew to the world. There’s such a sense of optimism in the chorus, perfectly mirroring the pirate antics of the cast as they set sail. It’s no wonder the anime kept bringing it back for an encore again and again.

#9: Odd Future

“My Hero Academia” (2016-)

While there were a few detractors who didn’t know how to feel when this song came out, it’s since become a highlight of the series. Not only does it serve to build up hype for the battle against All for One, but UVERworld’s signature electronic edge did wonders for setting apart from its contemporaries in all the right ways. The eclectic instrumentation combined with those high-pitched vocals compliment each other so well that you can’t help but view it as anything other than anime’s very own superhero anthem.

#8: Cha-La Head-Cha-La

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

Before there was rock the dragon, there was this belter of a song that has become as synonymous with the Dragon Ball name as Super Saiyan’s, Kamehameha’s and Yamcha’s continual failures. Even after all these years, it still manages to hit that sweet spot between kick ass and karaoke. While we got more instrumentally intense follow ups as the franchise evolved, no DB fan worth their salt is going to deny the staying power and impact of Hironobu Kageyama’s lyrical prowess.

#7: Gurenge

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” (2019-)

The pedigree of Demon Slayer’s openings is a lot like its animation – flashy, expensive and hits it out of the park every time, and the genesis of that stems back to this powerhouse performance. While the vocals retain a grace and elegance to it, this is still a rock track through and through. With a chorus that hits harder than Nezuko and guitar riffs fierier than the Hinokami, it’s just another reason as to why this series blew up as it did! LiSA does not miss.

#6: A Cruel Angel's Thesis

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995-96)

Maybe if Shinji had just got in the robot and blasted this song out, his life would be a turbulent void of pain, isolation, and self-loathing? On that note, this song is crazy good. Mix together an operatic backdrop along some good old-fashioned JPop, and you have an unholy recipe for success. It may not give any hints as to the psychological devastation to come, but it still reaches glorious heights, keeping the illusion going that we’re in for a shonen mecha-filled fun time. Damn you Anno.

#5: Renai Circulation

“Monogatari” (2009-19)

If you’re sleeping on this franchise, stop it, because there’s so much crazy treasure to be found amongst its catalog of battles, relationships and visual wonderment. It also spits out the occasional modern classic. Bubbly, bouncing and drenched in superfluous innocence that betrays the inner turmoil of Nadeko’s character, this song isn’t so much catchy as it is addictive. It’s no wonder that it’s become a staple over in the east, one capable of filling out arenas by name alone.

#4: Sparkle

“Your Name” (2016)

Because of course one of the best anime movies ever made would have a sublime soundtrack, and among its roster of gems, none hit harder than this. Bad enough that’s delicate melody and soulful atmosphere will already have you welling up, but the fact this beautiful track crops up moments after Taki and Mitsuha are ripped away from another with the fading twilight? Which is undoubtedly the most heartbreaking scene in the whole film? You’ll weep, no question, twice over, and you’ll be happy to listen to every note along the way.

#3: Guren No Yumiya

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)

The Rumbling may be dominating rock charts, and Sasageyo may still rattle in our heads, but before all that, there was this opening track, and to say it exploded across the mainstream would be an understatement. Leaning into the more shonen side of things, though not skipping out on darkness, Linked Horizon’s killer song is the definition of hype, building and building before delivering on a monster-filled crescendo. Maybe this was how the Scout Regiment recruited people, they just had this on repeat.

#2: Silhouette

“Naruto Shippuden” (2007-17)

As expected of a former member of the Big Three, Naruto had a serious amount of opening songs under his ninja belt, but the one that seemed to resonate with longterm fans the most would be this. A JRock gateway into the climax of the Fourth Great Ninja War, the song has a copious amount of energy to it, the softer lyrics meshing seamlessly with the harsh guitarwork to create what just might be the most colorful and ambient soundtrack to stem from an animated battlefield.

#1: Unravel

“Tokyo Ghoul” (2014-18)

A perfect example of the opening song being way too good for its own anime. Everything about this track is just on point. Vocally, it’s magnificent, switching between a haunting, low-key whisper before exploding into a series of melodic screams that capture the anguish of Kaneki and the Ghoul race in general. Splash on some stellar animation to really drive home the themes of reflections and identity, and you’ve got yourself some truly special, one that even outshines the sum of its parts!