Top 23 Anime Ending Songs of Each Year (2000 - 2022)

Top 23 Anime Ending Songs of Each Year (2000 - 2022)
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
They're the ending themes that saw out the last two decades! Join Ashley as we look over the best anime ending songs of each year, as heard across anime such as "Naruto", "Bleach", "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure", "Attack on Titan", "My Hero Academia", and more!

Script written by Jonathan Alexander

Top 23 Anime Ending Songs of Each Year 2000-2022

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 23 Anime Ending Songs of Each Year.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the greatest anime closing themes from the 21st century, starting in 2000 and working our way to 2022.

What’s an ending song you never skip, no matter what? Let us know in the comments!

2000: “Ride on Shooting Star”

“FLCL” (2000-2001)

Right from the rocking opening chords, it’s clear that this series’ first ending is one to remember. The stylized hue of the visuals make even the traditional credit scroll feel fresh. Plus, the way the rhythm lines up with the electrified imagery is practically hypnotic. By the time the lyrics crank up, it’s already hard to resist tapping a toe. Later, that becomes all but impossible when the song reaches its downright head-banging chorus. The fluid animation and real-world stills elevate the already brilliant song into something even greater. It’s more than an excellent ending for “FLCL,” it’s an amazing piece of art, period.

2001: “Fukai Mori”

“Inuyasha” (2000-10)

Few whole series explore the impact of grief as well as this ending does - and it does it in just ninety seconds, no less. The vocal delivery alone is worth the price of admission. There’s a deep emotion behind each lyric that, when paired with the ballad’s moving melody, makes the theme almost difficult to sit through. It’s a stirring portrayal of raw anguish, and that’s all without even touching upon the visuals. The emphasis on empty space and lengthy still frames convey a deep loneliness in a way words never could. Yes, the ending is a bit of a downer, but that’s precisely why it’s utterly unskippable.

2002: “Wind”

“Naruto” (2003-07)

Somehow, this closing theme captured the core tenants of its titular character with one iconic chorus. All that stems from its eclectic sound, which uses an array of instruments to create something full of yearning, hope, and a tinge of tragedy. Paired with images of Naruto’s own youth, the closing ends up with a deep sense of nostalgia even for first time viewers. It’s a beautiful encapsulation of Naruto’s childlike determination that just so happens to be presented through song, not the other way around. Plus, it’s only fitting that Naruto’s first ever credit song is just as nostalgic for him as it is for his audience.

2003: “Inerasable Sin”

“Fullmetal Alchemist” (2003-04)

This song’s title alone proves that it understood the assignment. Ed and Al are physically haunted by their mistakes, and everything from the song’s name to its visuals ensure that theme is not forgotten. It begins with a low-key, punk rock sound, before crescendoing to an absolutely explosive chorus. Sure, it’s an immediate earworm, but the recurring junkyard imagery makes it clear the Elric brothers haven’t forgotten their place, either. The melody is somber but not depressing, and hopeful without becoming indulgent. It’s a delicate transmutation that even a Philosopher’s Stone would struggle to pull off, but this ending makes it look easy.

2004: “EYE'S”

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters” (2000-04)

With only a few more cards left in the series’ deck, there was a lot riding on this final closing theme for the “Duel Monsters” story. So, as a goodbye to Yugi and the others, it played its cards face-up with a riveting sense of history. Though, even if the visuals hadn’t conveyed the weight of this goodbye, the fantastic song would have. The vocals are outstanding, the lyrics are full of symbolism, and the tune captures the intensity of the show’s last arc impeccably. It could have easily folded on the merits of its song alone, but the meticulous imagery ensured that this sendoff ended with a royal flush.

2005:“Thank you!!”

“Bleach” (2004-12; 2022-)

All in all, the actual visuals here aren’t that ambitious. There’s some lovely color work and nice-looking drawings, but the overall look is distinctly laid-back. On its own, that might be a detriment. However, the song fits the restrained attitude so well that it’s hard to call it anything less than a perfect match. The calming refrain is just upbeat enough to stay memorable without compromising on its subdued approach. It was only the second ever “Bleach” ending, but it still went out of its way to show the soul in these soul reapers. In the end, ‘thank you’ isn’t a good name for this - it should be called “you’re welcome” instead.

2006: “Sunny, Sunny Happiness”

“Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” (2006)

If this doesn’t leave you smiling, we don’t know what will. The beat is infectious, the energy’s high, and the whole vibe matches its parent series to a tee. The fact that the actual voice actors sing this rendition really makes this feel like a perfectly tied bow at the top of each episode. There’s just something about the rhythm that begs to be danced to, which is fitting since its lead characters all completely break it down throughout the scene. This choreography has become iconic both in and outside of anime communities, and that’s for good reason.

2007: “Minna No Peace”

“Gurren Lagann” (2007)

Just like the part of a mech, this song, this direction, and this series fit together into something much greater. The stunning greyscale visuals do plenty to help it stand out, but the truly outstanding song makes it utterly iconic. The rise and fall of the bridge is just plain satisfying, and that’s still nothing compared to how catchy this chorus is. It has an unrivaled, bombastic sound that’s brilliantly paired with earnest vocals. And, the result is a song that’s reminiscent of hope, community, and personal growth all at the same time. Given how well those tie into the story of “Gurren Lagann,” there’s truly no other ending that could’ve honored the show better.

2008: “Awaken Wind”

“Naruto: Shippuden” (2007-17)

After a mid-series timeskip, it wasn’t just the characters that had grown up. As this theme proved, the music had as well. The gruffness of this track is a stark contrast to the more hopeful vibe of the original “Naruto.” But, that same metal sound proved “Shippuden” was older, more mature, and a whole lot ediger. Of course, it helped that not a single frame of animation in the entire song was ordinary. Each one is weird, striking, and different from the last, and it’s all the better for it. Plus, that beat drop into the chorus is single handedly worth keeping this song on repeat.

2009: “Uso”

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)

It’s no easy feat to craft a melody that’s as beautiful as it is haunting. But, the outcome was something that quantified the core of “Fullmetal Alchemist” like nothing else ever has. There’s a potent sadness behind the vocals that juxtaposes wonderfully against the storybook aesthetic. As a result, the snappy rhythm always keeps things moving, all the while never forgetting that inherent darkness of the story. It’s a tragic yet moving examination of the Elric brothers, which is all the more impressive since this is only “Brotherhood’s” first ending. But, even for a mere closing theme, it feels as integral to the characters as the actual episodes.

2010: “Trust Me”

“Durarara!!” (2010-16)

The gritty, dark underbelly of Tokyo is just the right setting for the punk-rap lyrics that open this beat. But, just like the series itself, it doesn’t stay grim for too long. The song soon fades to brighter visuals, which come with an energetic chorus that’s totally in contention for the catchiest in all of anime. The melody is wholly unique, yet easy to hum to at the same time. That part’s important since it’s almost guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days on end. Suffice it to say, it asked for trust, and it got it. There’s no way we’re skipping these credits any time soon.

2011: “Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot!!)”

“Gintama” (2006-18)

Not many shows can say their best song comes seventeen endings in. But, that’s just what happens when you start a closing number with a guitar chord this badass. Spyair’s untouchable rock prowess is on full display in the opening beats, but even that’s a mere prelude to the rest of the song’s fist-bumping dynamism. The passionate delivery and even more dramatic instrumentation give the song an indescribable liveliness. It never cools off, either. Every time the chorus has seemingly tapped out, it finds a way to do an even grander encore. If this is truly what the heart of a samurai is like, it’s no wonder they’re so excitable.

2012: “Roundabout”

“JoJo's Bizarre Adventure” (2014-)

Few songs, anime or not, have been memed as much as this one. Let alone one’s from a 70s British rock band. Honestly, it’s a feat of composition how well the song fits so many varying circumstances. But, all that weirdness kind of sums up why it feels right at home with “Jojo’s.” After all, those opening notes feel almost tailor-made for the seamless transitions in and out of episodes. Throw in some suitably quirky imagery, and it doesn’t take Joseph’s predictive skills to see why it became a smash sit. It’s fun, it’s weird, and it’s memorable as hell, which is exactly what an ending for “Jojo’s” should be.

2013: “Boku Janai”

“Valvrave the Liberator” (2013)

At the very first beat drop, it’s obvious that this ending is loud, modern, and proud of it. Admittedly, there’s no flashy animation, but there doesn’t need to be when the song dazzles bright enough as is. Though, at a certain point, the blank backdrop feels like an excuse to focus on the tender performance of the lead singer. That, when backed by the techno-vibe of the orchestra, succeeds in modernizing the sound without it feeling heartless. On the contrary, the music can get almost aggressive at times, especially when paired with dramatic splashes of color. But, that’s just the kind of edge that makes it worthwhile, too.

2014: “7 -seven-”

“The Seven Deadly Sins” (2014-21)

This entire sequence is worth it just to see Diane dancing. But, thankfully, there’s a really good song around it, too. The circular sound of the guitar echoes all the heart, adventure, and spirit that made this show’s early days such a blast. That high-octane beat is enough to hold the entire song together as it transitions from its twangy sound into some edgy vocals. It lends the closer just enough grit to balance itself out, without taking away from the irresistibly fun chorus. All in all, this serves as a welcome reminder that while its characters are sinful, its first ending is anything but.

2015: “Sugar Song to Bitter Step”

“Blood Blockade Battlefront” (2015-17)

At first glance, a bunch of characters dancing around onstage doesn’t seem like a good fit for a bloody show about war, sacrifice, and tragedy. Of course, that’s kind of the whole point, though. The song opens sweetly enough, with quiet instrumentation and captivating lyrics. It continues to build and build, until it finally opens the curtain of its darker undercurrents. But, instead of stewing in more tragedy, this curtain-call strikes a tonal balance worthy of a standing ovation. The explosion of memes, parodies, and remixes to the dance just goes to show how well its cheerful beat blended with the somber backdrop. As they say, a spoonful of sugar and all that.

2016: “Hatsunetsu”

“Haikyu!!” (2014-)

The gorgeous, manga-inspired drawings here would stand out even if they were played over absolute silence. Impressively, the inverse can be said about the song. There’s a raw quality to the vocals that’s undeniably stirring, especially alongside the heartwrenching flashbacks to Karasuno’s tournament loss. Though this ending aired across the hotly-anticipated rematch with Aoba Johsai, it puts its focus on emotion instead of action. The chorus is a rousing reinforcement that the real stakes don’t lie in the final score, but whether Hinata and Kageyama will overcome their last defeat. After all, this ending understands that “Haikyu’s” best moments aren’t always on the court.

2017: “Datte Atashi no Hiro”

“My Hero Academia” (2016-)

On visuals alone, there’s plenty to love here. Sure, the charming tempo is hard to beat, but it’s still second to the giddy joy of seeing the main cast decked out in fantasy garb. The reimagined backdrop immediately skyrockets this to the series’ most memorable ending, no contest. But, beyond the colorful costumes, there’s a surprising amount of emotional heft buried in the lyrics. As a message from Deku to Bakugo about being a hero, the upbeat sound and new setting are recontextualized with a much deeper meaning. It’s definitely quirky, pun fully intended, but it still finds a way to meaningfully add to the wider series at the same time.

2018: “Requiem Der Morgenröte”

“Attack On Titan” (2013-)

“Bleak” doesn’t feel like it does this closing theme justice. It’s haunting, mesmerizing, and powerful in a way that makes all those descriptors feel woefully inept. After two seasons spent examining the effects of war, this one scene uses stunning imagery and exceptional direction to put an exclamation point on the idea. It uses tone and atmosphere to bone-chilling effect, like the horrifying decision to frame everything through a childlike worldview. The result speaks for itself. It’s a somber ending for sure, but one that represents “Attack on Titan” at its finest. Not because of its story, action, or characters, but due to its unflinching pathos.

2019: “LIFE”

“Dr. Stone” (2019-)

Kind of a broad title, huh? Well, this doesn’t quite cover all parts of its encompassing name, but it does as good of a job as a song ever could. The mellow vibe of its tempo is good enough on its own, but it takes on a whole new meaning when played over the visuals. Instead of straight animation, the ending also utilizes blurry images of the real world. From a show where most of humanity has turned to stone, there’s something deeply poetic about bookending each episode with a reminder of what Senku’s fighting for. The music expresses the beauty of life, and without that integral reminder, “Dr. Stone” wouldn’t be the same.

2020: “Lost in Paradise”

“Jujutsu Kaisen” (2020-)

This sublime credit roll takes the idea of funk to special-grade status and beyond. It’s got flair, it’s got a sick beat, and it’s got more style than it knows what to do with - what’s not to love? The brassy sounds and epic rap sections are an undeniable rocking combination, especially in that riveting final chorus. Against some impeccable color work and modern designs for the main cast, you can practically feel how much fun the show is having. It’s easily one of the best anime endings in modern memory, and is certainly the most fun. If only because seeing Gojo bust a move is everything we never knew we needed.

2021: “give it back”

“Jujutsu Kaisen” (2020-)

Where “Lost in Paradise” was all about rowdy excitement, its follow-up is almost the exact opposite. But, somehow, it’s still just as memorable. It’s not sad, exactly, but rather a more intimate and methodical perspective on the cast. Though, none of that would work without the stellar vocal performance, which has all the heart needed to sell the slower tempo. Presenting it all through the cropped lens of a phone camera is a brilliant way to modernize the aesthetic without abandoning the cozy feel of the visuals. Though, the most impressive part is that it will leave you smiling just like “Lost in Paradise,” but for a completely different reason.

2022: “Comedy”

“Spy x Family” (2022)

Anya Forager has a knack for stealing hearts, so it’s no surprise that a closing number focused on her is almost too adorable to handle. On paper, watching these three get groceries, dance, and have a family dinner isn’t all that groundbreaking. But, the expressive art and comfy song paint a loving picture about the heart in this found-family. It takes the series’ best elements, and condenses them into a sales pitch about why playing house with Loid and Yor is so fun. The beat is charming, the visuals are snappy, and it ends with Anya being Anya. If that’s not the recipe for a fantastic closing theme, we don’t know what is.