In all my years, this might be the slowest summer I can remember. There’s nothing going on. The NFL training camp storylines are all boring, repetitive, or depressing. Baseball is just kind of there until the playoff race. NBA free agency came and went. The only major story is the Ohio State situation which…..yeah I think I’m good on that. The real world’s been pretty dry, too. No crazy fast food items, no funny science articles, no nothing. As a result, I’ve been quite bored. And in my boredom, rather than try new things or make progress on my theoretical career, I’ve turned to an old friend of mine, G Gundam. It’s my favorite show of all time, and I’ve watched it in it’s entirety at least seven times. But I just can’t get enough. It’s silly, it’s over-the-top, it’s melodramatic, and almost definitely wouldn’t be put on the air in 2018. Really the only thing you need to know is that there’s a giant horse robot that’s piloted by an actual horse. But every few years, I’m drawn back to it. Yes, it’s a ridiculous super-robot show about gundams fighting for control of the universe, but’s it’s so much more than that. It’s a story about love, loss, and that human moment where you learn your parents/ the people that raised you aren’t perfect, after all, and it has one of the best casts of characters you’ll ever find. And it totally leans in and embraces the absurdity of itself. I could literally talk about G Gundam for days on end.
But on to the topic at hand. Among the many reasons why I love G Gundam so much (alongside the beautiful character designs, countless emotional scenes, and the fact that it’s one of the rare cases where the dub is far superior to the original Japanese) is that the soundtrack is pure heat. Every song and composition is an absolute banger, and that includes both of its opening songs. It got me wondering if both songs would rank in the top ten of anime opening theme songs. So, I decided to introduce yet another segment literally only I care about, the Top Ten Anime Opening Songs of All Time.
Before I begin, I must make it clear: I’m only including shows I’ve seen. I’m sure that one random show you watched on Crunchyroll the other week has a fire opening song, but I haven’t seen it, so it’d be disingenuous for me to include it. And while I’ve likely watched more anime than the average person, my knowledge is far from encyclopedic. So, again, that show that no one watched but you loved isn’t on my radar. Sorry. As for actual criteria, it’s pretty simple: is the song good? Is the song catchy? Does the song insert random English words? If the answer to all of these is yes, odds are it’ll make the list. The quality of the actual show doesn’t matter. As with all of my lists, if you disagree it just means you have incorrect opinions.
10. Outlaw Star
A criminally underrated member of the Toonami class of anime that aired in the early 2000s, Outlaw Star‘s opening song is a slice of late 90s music that concludes with a deliciously forced English phrase. I’m a sucker for space operas so I was naturally drawn to Outlaw Star, but a song that made me want to go to a Lenny Kravitz concert every week didn’t exactly keep my devotion at bay. Could have benefitted from a second season, though.
9. Death Note First Opening
Finally, a song for all the teens out there that no one understands, especially not their annoying stepfathers. God, this song is angsty. Almost too angsty for the list, but I included it, anyway- mostly because it’d be hard to find a song that fits a show’s general vibe more than this. Death Note is a pretty basic bitch answer when it comes to best anime (is the plural anime or animes? I never know), but that’s because (the first half) is great and everyone should watch it. Just hide the sharp objects during the opening.
8. Seven Deadly Sins First Opening
Seven Deadly Sins is a goofy-ass show (yes, and manga. I know 90% of these are based on manga that I haven’t read. Don’t be that guy) that’s essentially a send-up of classic fantasy tropes while also being a pretty standard fantasy story. It also has a flaming hot opening song. They changed it halfway through for reasons I don’t fully understand, but it’s really just bad luck that this song isn’t much higher. Guess it’s true what they say: there’s a lot of good music out there.
7. Attack on Titan First Opening
Need more choirs in my opening theme songs. I’ll say this: no show’s theme song has ever made a show sound as important as Attack on Titan‘s. Feel like the fate of my non-Titan infested world is at stake just watching it. Like if I don’t press play on that next episode evil wins. That’s a powerful incentive to keep watching.
6. Digimon (Japanese Version)
I know, I know. The “Digimon: digital monsters” song holds a special place in my heart, too. But the Japanese version is objectively 100000000 times better. I’m neither a sub nor dub purist, but when the American versions of shows take out fire openings like this it makes me wonder why you’d even bother airing the show, in the first place. I’ll save my thoughts on why the Digimon show universe is far superior to the Pokemon show universe since I realize I can only go so deep into my own brain before I lose everyone completely.
5. G Gundam Second Opening
“G Gundam is only number five? I thought you just went on and on about how good the music was!” Fear not, friend. As I said, G Gundam has two opening songs. Be patient and enjoy some truly elite-level English phrase insertion. Most anime theme songs go for intensity or ear-worm-ability (is English actually my second language, too? You’ll never know), “I Trust You Forever” hits you with the sentimentality. Get you a show that does absolutely everything.
4. Cowboy Bebop
A little different than pretty much every anime song ever, I love Bebop‘s jazz-centric soundtrack. Really gives it that noir-feel. Cowboy Bebop is an absolute must-watch if you haven’t seen it already. It’s pretty much Firefly if Firefly wasn’t on network TV and wasn’t bound by the shackles of live-action. The opening theme fits in perfectly. A memorable and influential song for a memorable and influential show.
3. Death Parade
Death Parade is a decent show about the afterlife. Death Parade has an absolute BANGER for their opening theme. It’s absurd how catchy this song is. I want to live inside this song because it’d be so much fun. It’s the biggest gap between opening theme quality and show quality in television history. Actually, no it’s not. That title goes to….
2. Pokemon First Season
I’ve probably gone into this before, but I hate the show. Ash SUCKS and I want Pikachu dead. I guess I’m too big of a game purist. That being said, only the staunchest hater and biggest stick in the mud can deny the power of the Pokemon theme song. It’s the GOAT English song opening in anime history, and is probably in the top ten for all TV. The remix from the first movie is scalding hot, as well. If only Gary was the main character (this might not be the last Pokemon related content of the summer. Hmmmmmm).
1. G Gundam First Opening
Let me tell you about how dominant the G Gundam soundtrack is. If I was to make a list of the top ten ending songs in anime history, guess which show would have two in the top ten? The answer is G Gundam, if you couldn’t tell. This is the unquestioned GOAT opening theme in television history. I won’t listen to any arguments to the contrary. It has it all: it’s catchy, it’s upbeat, it has a ton of random English phrases. I put the full song because it’s so hot, but the shortened version that’s paired with the video is iconic, too (mostly because it spoils large portions of the plot). Actually, I’ll just include that, too.
It’s just the best. Period. End of story. Nothing will ever top the G Gundam opening theme song. Did I mention that Domon Kasshu, the main character, is thicc as hell, too?
I can’t think of a better set of endorsements for a show than what I’ve just laid out. If you don’t want to watch G Gundam after all this, I don’t know what to tell you.
God, I’m lonely.