10 Visually Remarkable Anime Openings

Top 10 anime opening credit lists are abundant over the internet. Most of them focus on the appeal of the visuals and music, and try to come to a happy medium. For today I would like to focus specifically on anime openings with great visuals, to show off how wonderful these openings can look. As a result, a lot of nostalgia or simply famous “great openings” may not be listed here. For those wondering, I am rating these judged on the quality of the animation (quantity and fluidity) and unique style. Because of the insane volume of openings, I have divided them into genres, along with runner ups, and these are in no particular order.

10. Fantasy: Tsubasa Chronicles (2005) – BLAZE

tsubasaThe song is sung by Kinya Kotani and the show is based off the CLAMP manga by the same name. This is the first opening. I love how fluid and colorful the animation is, it also displays the wonderful artwork of CLAMP with the stills. You can watch the opening here. The runner up for this category was Rozen Maiden (2004), for it’s distinct gothic artwork and coloring.

9. Science Fiction: Serial Experiments Lain (1998) – Duvet

lainThis song is sung by BoA, not the Kpop queen but a UK group. This is a popular anime from the 90’s and this opening is pretty famous and commemorated for it’s visual style (dull colors and cyberpunk visuals), awesome song, not to mention the fluid animation. The runner up for this section is Season 2 of Ghost in a Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2003), with special mention to Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995).

8. Romantic Comedy: Welcome to the NHK! (2006) – Puzzle

42707The song is by Round Table (feat Nino). This opening receives the top spot simply for the bright colors, creativity and fluidity. The runner up for romantic comedy is Toradora (2008), which takes this spot for similar reasons.


7. Mecha: Last Exile (2003) – Cloud Age Symphony

493701This anime focuses on planes and the steampunk theme, so it isn’t giant robots by any standard. However, the visuals for this opening are amazing and hypnotizing. The song is by Okino Shuntaro. Runner ups in this category are Gurren Laggan (2007) and PlanetES (2003).

6. Mystery: Eden of the East (2009) – Falling Down

edenestThis opening had multiple different songs put to the visuals – the one I am linking you to is “Falling Down” by Oasis. The colors and patterns are amazing – this is easily one of my personal favorite recent openings. The runner up here is Steins:Gate (2011).

5. Moe / Slice of Life – Kamichu! (2005) – Hare Nochi Hare

kamichu-par-ningenYou could put any Kyoto Animation title in this category, however for the sake of this list I decided to limit my KyoAni nominations to just one. Kamichu’s opening song is by Maho Tomita. I love how fluid the animation is, it’s cute and shows basic day to day life activities. The mega cute runner up is from Usagi Drop (2011).

4. Drama: Great Teacher Onizuka (1999) – Driver’s High

Great_Teacher_Onizuka-1024x768GTO is a well-known comedy-drama, which has been remade in various capacities. The song is by Arc-en-Ciel and this opening takes the spot for it’s uniqueness (it’s all in black and white), with fluid animation. Some grim runner ups for dramas include: Monster (2004) and Wolf’s Rain (2003).

3. Spy: Noir (2001) – Coppelia’s Casket

noir_2I was not sure what to call this category, but I hope the title suffices. The coloring and creativity of this opening sets it apart from others. The song is by the Ali Project. Runner ups that copy this James Bond-esque style are pop culture hits Cowboy Bebop (1998) and Baccano! (2007).

2. Magical Girl: CardCaptor Sakura (1996) – Catch You, Catch Me

Cardcaptor-Sakura-anjs-angels-31415971-800-600CLAMP’s great costume artwork and vibrant colors shine in the first opening of CardCaptor Sakura (not Cardcaptors). The song is by Gumi. Our runner up is none other than Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011).



1. High School: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006) – Bouken Desho Desho?

The-Melancholy-of-Haruhi-Suzumiya-2009-Episode-24-English-DubbedYes, I left my Kyoto Animation spot for the first season of Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The opening song is sung by Aya Hirano. Kyoto Animation is great at showing style, almost 3D looking characters, with fluid animation and great colors. Runner up is High School of the Dead (2010).

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Amanda Duke

    Wonderful! My all time top is the second Death Note opening.

  2. Eden of the east is stuuuuning!

  3. Nice top list!

  4. AnnaLar

    You made me go on a YouTube trip there Wynter ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. battledash

    YES! GTO Still my favorite opening ever!

  6. Mary Awad

    You have a great list here, especially Tsubasa, Eden of the East, and Haruhi. Beautifully animated with really awesome openings. I agree with Amanda Duke, the second Death Note opening is really hardcore, crazy and perfect for the series. Some of the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden openings too are really pretty to watch, which is weird to say about a shounen but hey, what’s awesome is awesome~ Again, great list.

    • Jordan

      My boyfriend also told me about some of the Naruto openings so you’re not alone on that one! Which ones in particular? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Mary Awad

        Lets see… I’m pretty sure naruto openings 5 and 7 were really great. And then shippuden 2, 3, and 6. Ill have to double check but you can check those out to see if you like them~

  7. I generally skip over the anime openings, but there are a few I sit through. Those would be Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, the fist opening and all the Psycho-Pass openings. There’s just something about them. Awesome list though, ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Jordan

      There are some that I’ll watch every time because I love them – others I skip. Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I think anime opening/endings are extremely underrated by the average non-anime fan. To me they’re often an essential part of the experience; they set the mood, tone, or drama for a particular arc or set of events taking place in the show. So many just seem to fit the feelings of the show and provide a more complete experience.

  9. I will agree that Toradoraโ€™s Season 1 OP is nice.

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