Few things are as beloved among Anime fans as a solid opening theme. I mean, half of Gundam Wing’s charm is its three theme songs, between the series and the movie. I spent my teens hitting up Suncoast to buy Jpop/Jrock albums because I was exposed to some pretty solid music because of their involvement in Anime.
To that end, any time I hear a song that hits just right, I think to myself: this would be an awesome Anime theme. Some of these songs would have to be clipped, given the length, or just the long opening attached to it, but this happens with songs IN anime opening themes already! Again by Yui, from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a great song, both as a theme and independently. That is in no small part because of how it’s clipped.
So here’s a collection of 10 songs with big Anime Theme Song Energy! There’s no particular order, just 10 songs that hit just right!
Helena – My Chemical Romance
There’s no shortage of bangers from MCR, but of all of the great songs, Helena feels like it belongs in an Anime opening. Probably because they’re huge nerds, and music nerds at that. I’m seeing a mecha anime of some sort. Awesome space battles spliced with long shots of the pilots standing on their mechs.
You’re Gonna Go Far Kid – The Offspring
This particular gem from the latter days of The Offspring’s career has the energy of maybe a Naruto or Bleach-style Shonen. Something where the fighting is the whole focus of the anime. Additionally, this could work for the Persona 5 Anime too, especially with the lying and the dancing.
The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Yet another group with a long list of absolute knockouts. The Pretender, however, really hits as a theme. I’m feeling like it belongs in a supernatural crime series, or maybe some kind of gritty superhero piece.
Revived – Derivakat
This is the most recent addition to my brain-stable of songs that should be theme songs. This particular one is apparently attached to a Minecraft youtube series? While I don’t know about any of that, but it definitely hits hard. I’m thinking some horror-themed anime or something with heavy industrial overtones.
Run Boy Run – Woodkid
Used in Netflix’s Umbrella Academy (oh hello there again Gerard Way), this song gives me some pretty epic vibes. I’m seeing a post-apocalyptic anime, plant-covered buildings in the background, weird monsters, weirder weapons.
Wolf Like Me – TV On The Radio
This song is one of the fond memories I have of my time years ago at Gamestop. I was introduced to a lot of pretty great music then, but this one still sticks with me to this day. For this one, I’m honestly feeling like some kind of Werewolf Bounty Hunter series, or maybe a sequel/prequel to Wolf’s Rain?
All The Stars – Kendrick Lamar, SZA
While this was already the ending theme to Marvel’s Black Panther, this has all the trappings of an amazing Anime opening, and I’m sure anime fan Michael B. Jordan would agree. I’m thinking of some kind of epic fantasy series, big magical quests, mysterious monsters, and more. The original video already has that vibe, just make an anime using the video as source material!
Faint – Linkin Park
Most of their work feels very influenced by anime already, so any number of Linkin Park’s music could easily be an opening theme. Maybe this would work well for an anime about a normal high-school setting that goes hard into something otherworldly. Psychic powers or occult stuff shattering normal life.
This Is War – 30 Seconds To Mars
I’m not the biggest Jared Leto fan, but when I first heard this song as part of 2009’s Dragon Age Origin’s marketing campaign, I loved the hell out of it. This would work with a war anime of almost any type, whether space opera, contemporary, or old fantasy, it just fits. Heck, I can see almost any anime using this if combat is a major theme in the series.
No Save Point – Yankee and the Brave (Run The Jewels)
Already the opening theme for 2020’s Cyberpunk 2077, the cinematic of which is one of the best parts of the game. It hits hard and would work pretty well for a cyberpunk-themed anime, or just go all the way and have Netflix make a Cyberpunk anime! They did a movie for Witcher, why not? It would be justice served in my opinion.
Bonus Honorable Mention: Dear Maria – All Time Low
I found this by chance on Tiktok, and yeah, this would work for almost any anime from 2002-today. It just has that flow, energy, and vibe of an anime theme. I mean, the guitar sounds like it belongs in Bleach’s openings, or would work with a slice of life anime. Tons, just tons of anime.
That’s it for now, believe me, I have so many other gems I could pull for this topic. How about you? What songs do you think would work well for an anime opening theme, or do you think I missed the mark with any of mine? What kind of anime would you see using some of these songs that maybe I missed? Let me know in the comments and on social media!