Any Otaku can appreciate a good anime theme, especially when the artist goes the extra mile of producing a song worthy of joining the top 40 artists on our smartphones. Sometimes an anime theme is so good that you wouldn’t dare skip the intro and rob yourself of the chance to sing and dance along for the 8th time in a row. The following list of infectious anime themes is so good they’ll make you dance, sing, and spam your friend’s inboxes with YouTube links. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
10. Neon Genesis Evangelion “A Cruel Angels Thesis” By Shiro Sagisu
This jazzy anime theme is a blast from the past. Neon Genesis Evangelion’s opening theme, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” has a city pop vibe that will transport you to the middle of a Japanese dance club in the 80s. The bouncy dance track starts off with a slow echo and builds up to an electronic pop climax that’ll have you dancing in your seat just 19 seconds in. It’s the perfect soundtrack to Evangelion’s 90s anime aesthetic. After just a snippet of this theme, you’ll definitely think twice before pressing “skip intro” on Netflix.
9. Fairytale “Fiesta” by +Plus
“Fiesta” was the perfect name for this uptempo anime theme; its rhythmic sound definitely makes you feel like you’re at a party. Fairytale’s 6th opening theme, “Fiesta,” will have you jumping and bouncing around as the visuals of the intro walk you through Fairytale’s bright and colorful universe.
Whenever I hear “Fiesta’s” celebratory sound, I can’t help but envision a street festival with falling confetti or a cruise with a backdrop of dancing, smiling people. This JPop track was clearly influenced by calypso, so good luck resisting the urge to form a conga line with your plushies around the room.
8. Fire Force “Veil” by Keina Suda
When Fire Force’s “Veil” opens up with its slow, thumping, steady drumbeat, we know we’re in for a good time. By the time the beat picks up, and the band joins in, we’re having a whole jam session.
Truthfully, I can’t decide what makes me dance harder: the rhythmic drum intro or the melodic combo of the bassline line and guitar riff, which really pull the anime theme together. The genre-bending sounds of Fire Force’s ending theme “Veil” are so infectious that fans on YouTube agree that bypassing this ending deserves a moment of silence.
7. Naruto “Haruka Kanata” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation
Of course, one of the most popular anime in the world would also have one of the most infectious, danceable anime themes. We expect nothing less from a show as influential as Naruto. This rocking anime opening will not only make you dance, but you’ll be screaming the lyrics at the top of your lungs, struggling to match the energy of the Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s lead singer.
As singer Masafumi Gotoh strains his vocals in Naruto’s second opening, “Haruka Kanata,” you’ll fight hard to resist the urge to mosh and rage in your living room as you watch your favorite shinobi face off in head to head combat. This anime theme gets you so amped, YouTuber Jeff Ngandu says it makes him want to “go out and fight a tree.” Same, Jeff. Same.
6. Hunter X Hunter “Departure” by STRÉ
Hunter X Hunter’s “Departure” is so amazing that it’s used as the intro for all six of the show’s popular openings, a rare sight in anime. With “Departure,” you’re not just getting an upbeat, danceable theme–you’re also getting an infectious, inspirational song that perfectly embodies Hunter X Hunter’s story of triumph and achievement.
Can we all just take a second to admire STRÉ’s vocals (which seem to ascend to the cosmos by the time the intro fades to black)? You may not be able to keep up with the fast-paced lyrics, but you’ll know when STRÉ delivers the iconic “You just try again!” that it’s your time to shine!
5. Jujutsu Kaisen “Kaikai Kitan” by Eve
Eve’s “Kaikai Kitan” is the perfect soundtrack to Jujutsu Kaisen’s cinematic anime intro, seamlessly keeping up in time and tempo with the anime’s ever-changing frames. The pop-rock anime theme’s distorted layered vocals backed by its gentle rock rhythm will definitely have you jamming for all 1:40 of Jujutsu Kaisen’s first opening. By the time the beat stops and a sleeping Yuji fades to black, you’re ready to dive headfirst into Jujutsu Kaisen’s bizarre universe.
4. BEASTARS “”Kaibutsu” by YOASOBI
When you hear Beastars season two open up to the electronic sound of Yoasobi’s “Kaibutsu,” you are entirely unprepared for it to be the banging track that it is. The catchy electro JPop beat backed by the mellow flow of Yoasobi’s vocals will have you bopping, bouncing, and dancing as Beastar’s vibrant visuals unfurl before you. By the time the intro wraps its new-age Jpop theme, you’re already rummaging through the internet to find a way to download it on your phone.
3. Cowboy Bebop “Tank!” by Seatbelts
“Okay, three, two, one, let’s jam!” There wouldn’t be a list of infectious anime themes without Cowboy Bebop’s jazzy opening number. Its loud, big band jazz intro sets it apart from the usual bubblegum Jpop/JRock themes we’re used to hearing. That uniqueness is what makes this song so infectious.
No anime theme delivers quite like “Tank! “by Seatbelts–its blaring horns and smooth bassline provide the perfect soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop’s stylish, action-packed anime style.
2. The God Of High School “Contradiction” KSUKE feat. Tyler Carter
Although The God of High School was met with mixed reviews, fans unanimously agree that this anime has one of the best, most danceable opening themes ever. Contradiction’s electronic sound perfectly captures the excitement and exhilaration of the opening theme’s aesthetics while forcing you to dance and sing along to its all-English lyrics.
When the song builds to its 13-second dance break, you’ll be raging and losing your mind as you’re transformed from an Otaku in the comforts of their home to a dancer at a rave. The action-packed neon art style of God of Highschool is perfectly in sync with this rager as you watch the cast exchange blows in a martial arts tournament.
1. Jujutsu Kaisen “Lost in Paradise” by Ali feat. Aklo
Jujutsu Kaisen has a soundtrack so nice, it made the list twice, with its now-famous outro pulling in at number one. Deservingly so: “Lost in Paradise” is arguably the best anime theme of all time and was so catchy when it first premiered that it sparked a street dance craze and countless fan-made spin-offs.
The genre-bending sound of “Lost in Paradise” marries jazz, hip-hop, and pop into one alternative blend of funk, groove, and overall awesomeness. As you watch the cast of Jujutsu Kaisen bust a move in their casual streetwear, you can’t help but dance along as the song builds up to a “woo-hoo ooh woo woohoo.” By the time Yuji jumps into his b-boy stance at the end, you’re forced to come down from the groovy two-minute dance trip the song just took you on.
What are some of your favorite anime themes to dance along to? Let us know in the comments.