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The 15 Most Epic Anime Theme Songs

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Anime Theme Songs Cassette Tape
Image Credit: Stas Knop/Pexels

The next episode of the anime you’re binge-watching begins, and you have a very important decision to make. Do you fast-forward to the two-minute mark and skip the intro, or do you wait it out?

Mediocre songs get a swift drag on the playback bar. Only the most epic of anime theme songs are worthy of being listened to over and over again.

When you turn on Funimation, don’t miss out on these theme songs:

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1. Assassination Classroom: “Seishun Satsubatsuron”

This is such a fun and catchy song if you don’t know how to speak Japanese. However, just one look at the English lyrics reveal a much darker undertone.

The students happily sing: “Young people’s discourse on bloodthirst,” as the first line in the song. I guess when you have to assassinate a teacher that’s planning on destroying the Earth, you have to be upbeat about it, right?

2. Blue Exorcist: “Core Pride”

This song will have you headbanging. It starts off with the sounds of jazz and rap before it quickly switches to full-on rock music. Great vocals paired with prominent guitars and drums make this song an instant replay.

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3. Samurai Champloo: “Battlecry”

If you don’t sing along to this song every time it plays, then you’re a liar. Maybe you don’t know all the words to the song, but at the very least, you’ve probably bobbed your head and chimed in with “Battlecry” during the chorus.

Whoever thought to combine hip hop with samurais should have genius status. This song’s chill beat and intense lyrics make you actually want to listen to it at the beginning of every Samurai Champloo episode.

4. Durarara!! “Uragiri No Yuuyake”

As if a show centered around a headless motorcycle rider can’t get more awesome, its intro song makes it even better. The singer, Taiji Saito, uses his gravelly voice to drag out certain lyrics, intensifying the song further.

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5. Death Note: “The World”

I don’t know about you, but this song gives me flashbacks of my emo phase. The sinister sound of “The World” sets the diabolical mood of Death Note, serving as a precursor to all the twists and turns that follow.

Here’s a helpful hint: if you listen to this song enough, you might be able to erase the Netflix original Death Note movie from your memory.

6. One Punch Man: “The Hero!!”

You can’t beat a combination of One Punch Man and screamo. The high-pitched “One Puuunch!” that opens the song just attests to the epicness of this show.

This song might seem to contradict the personality of the bald-headed protagonist, but it actually embodies his true unbeatable power.

7. Yu-Gi-Oh: “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

“It’s time to d-d-d-duel!”

This song symbolizes the days of owning other kids at school with a trap card, or (if you were like me) carrying around a deck of strange cards without having any idea how to play. Nevertheless, it still revolutionized a card game as a new way to battle.

8. Attack on Titan: “Guren No Yumiya”

The Attack on Titan theme song has become iconic for its incorporation of German lyrics and chanting choir.

After enough listening, you’ll soon have the words: “Sie sind das Essen und Wir sind die Jaeger!” engraved in your mind. This famous line roughly translates to: “You are the prey and we are the hunters!”

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9. Initial D: “Around the World”

Initial D has plenty of amazing 80’s-style EDM tunes on its soundtrack, and its first intro song doesn’t disappoint. Its addictive guitar riff and fast-paced rapping will make you want to hop in your car and start drifting.

10. Hetalia: “Marukaite Chikyuu”

Beware of listening to this song—it’ll permanently scar your mind with its obnoxious lyrics and so-called “cute” way of singing. But, it’s only fair that an anime with such a strange concept has an equally strange song.

If you’re not familiar with Hetalia, keep in mind that all of the characters represent an exaggerated persona of the countries involved in WWII. This song, sung by “Italy,” embraces many Italian stereotypes, and includes lyrics about wine, bolognese, and pasta.

11. Nana: “Rose”

Although Nana is a lesser known anime, it still has a rocking soundtrack and an intro sung with passion. The main character, Nana Osaki, has dreams of becoming a famous musician. This song, along with many other headbangers, are featured throughout the show.

12. Gangsta: “Renegade”

Manglobe produced both Gangsta and Samurai Champloo, so you can expect that Gangsta has a phenomenal theme song as well. Take a listen, Gangsta definitely stacks up. It combines three genres into one song: EDM, rap, and rock.

Since Manglobe has gone bankrupt, we might not see themes as good as Gangsta’s and Samurai Champloo’s any time soon.

13. Dragon Ball Super: “Chozetsu Dynamic”

This song is awesome, just “Saiyan.”

All puns aside, the Dragon Ball series boasts some of the most beloved theme songs, like Dragon Ball Z’s “Cha-La Head-Cha-La.” When you listen to Chozetsu Dynamic, I think you’ll agree that it joins the high ranks of its predecessors.

14. Dangan Ronpa: “Never Say Never”

Admit it: this song is bumpin’. And yes, this anime revolves around a diabolical, talking teddy bear that forces students to kill each other. Not surprisingly, the song is a lot more lighthearted than the show itself.

15. Tokyo Ghoul: “Unravel”

Unlike many other anime intros, this song starts out relatively slow and quiet. Its haunting tone leads into more dramatic instrumentals and vocals towards the end. You might be tempted to hit the fast-forward button and dismiss the song as boring, but listening to the whole thing will let you appreciate its beauty.

Stop Hitting Skip

The next time you watch an anime, listen to the whole intro for a change. Who knows, you might find a song that you actually like.

Do you think I missed any songs on this list? Leave me a comment and let me know what songs you think are worth a full listen.

Emma Roth
Emma is a staff writer at WhatNerd. In addition to being an avid writer and tech geek, she's a fan of games, anime, manga, and more. She's based in Connecticut.
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