Considering how hard it is to narrow down the greatest anime songs (anisong) every year, we decided to expand this year’s list from 20 to 25 instead! It’s been an amazing year of anime so to our best of abilities, we tried to avoid any biases and mainly focused on the music itself—rather than the influences the anime provided.

Here are our top 25 anime opening and ending songs of 2019 in no particular order.


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Domestic na Kanojo
Kawaki wo Ameku by Minami

Minami who won the Grand Prix in the second FlyingDog Audition in 2017 has increased her popularity tremendously lately. Her contribution to the romance anime Domestic na Kanojo has gained over 45 million views on YouTube, and it’s easy to understand why considering how amazing her voice is and the passionate and catchy melodies offered. Make sure to turn on the closed caption “CC” to read the translated lyrics.

Kawaki wo ameku

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Yakusoku no Neverland
Touch off by UVERworld

UVERworld is by now veterans in the anisong field and it shows! The band fires off the song by pulling you in with its unique touch of jazz saxophone. The sing-along part “na na na” allows you to join the fun as it doesn’t even require you to know any Japanese.

Touch off

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Yakusoku no Neverland
Zettai Zetsumei by Cö shu Nie

The chaotic balance Cö shu Nie vents out is surprisingly elegant, especially with the sharp staccato notes played on the piano. There’s also the paradoxical way how vocalist Miku Nakamura sings in such a lifeless voice, but yet crams so much energy into it.

Zettai Zetsumei / Lamp

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Kimetsu no Yaiba
Gurenge by LiSA

Even though we didn’t put any ranking on the list, LiSA’s Gurenge won the number one spot unanimously within the JROCK NEWS team. It’s such a powerful song that thoroughly incorporates the typical anime sound to empower the listeners emotionally. Thanks to LiSA’s contribution to the vocals, this thrilling song has become a sensation, well befitting the praised anime Kimetsu no Yaiba which even outsold One Piece.

Gurenge

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Sword Art Online: Alicization
RESISTER by ASCA

ASCA will keep your blood pumping with the action-packed RESISTER! Switching between lower and higher notes and with support by a frenzy guitar, ASCA is able to create a dynamic song without a dull moment.

RESISTER

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Shinchou Yuusha: Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru
TIT FOR TAT by MYTH & ROID

Matching the anime with the English translation “Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious”, MYTH & ROID’s TIT FOR TAT screams “overpoweredness” with its heavy, dark, and demonic guitars. A perfect anthem to play before going out on war!

TIT FOR TAT

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Dororo
Kaen by Ziyoou-vachi (Queen Bee)

Ziyoou-vachi might be the most unique band you will find on the list, being a gender-bending band with African-American and Japanese descent, the quartet has done such an impressive job to break into the mainstream market. But not only is the band itself impressive, so is the music. Kaen, or the English title FIRE, brings an interesting combo of a traditional and alternative rock sound, including lots of delightful surprises like the playful drum effect which is produced by the Japanese traditional instrument “kotsuzumi”.

Kaen

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Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari
FAITH by MADKID

While MADKID might resemble a Kpop band on the outside, their music sits between pop-rock and has been really well received by fans all over the world! The music video FAITH has currently more than 5 million views on YouTube. The unit consists of two rappers and three vocalists.

Circus

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Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?
Onegai Muscle by Ai Fairouz & Kaito Ishikawa

If you walked into any anime or manga related store this summer, chances are that Onegai Muscle would be playing on the speakers. This was all the rage during its broadcast period and while exercise anime isn’t a new concept, the execution and promotion of Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? was really well thought out.

They even had the muscular Reika Saiki in one of their skits, you may know her from DEADLIFT LOLITA who we interviewed last year.

Dumbbell Nan-Kilo Moteru Theme Song CD

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MOB PSYCHO 100 II
99.9 by MOB CHOIR feat. sajou no hana

Accompanying sana’s soothing vocals are the frenetic guitar and drums, a lovely match! The contrast between the fast-playing instrumentals and the easy-going vocals allows you to choose which world to enter as each instrument gets just as much presence. The track name 99.9 of course refers to the “boiling point” of the main character Shigeo Kageyama, just before he goes berzerk. If you paid attention to the previous season of MOB PYSCHO, the opening theme was title 99 (without the “.9”) as he is reaching closer and closer to 100.

99.9

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Shokugeki no Souma: Shin no Sara
Chronos by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION

RON from STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION had us waiting for three years to get a new release, but thankfully he made sure to deliver a banger song which is lively and full of speed! The song is described as one that “will give the listeners courage to keep going”. As we mentioned in a previous coverage, the music video takes you around landmarks in Tokyo such as Sumida, Ameya-Yokocho, Tokyo Station, Akihabara, and more, while steadily counting up using the roman numerals to bring back everything to the theme of time, which Chronos (personification of time) refers to.

Chronos

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Enen no Shouboutai
MAYDAY feat. Ryo from Crystal Lake by coldrain

Probably the heaviest piece of work you will find in anime this year! coldrain enters with the aggressive song MAYDAY and throws in Ryo from Crystal Lake to help out, killing it with his demonic screams! The intense song serves its purpose rightfully as the opening theme to the firefighter anime Enen no Shouboutai, one of the major anime this season. It’s almost surprising to see such heavy song being featured on a mainstream anime, but we guess things are moving towards the right direction? This isn’t the first time coldrain performs such heavy song for an anime, back in 2017 we featured their song FEED THE FIRE on our top anisong list, coincidentally, it also sings about fire.

If Ryo’s screams caught your attention, you can learn more about his singing technique in our interview with Crystal Lake.

The Side Effects

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Vinland Saga
MUKANJYO by Survive Said The Prophet

After vocalist Yosh started contributing vocals to Sawano Hiroyuki’s music (anime: Shingeki no Kyojin, Owari no Seraph), not long after, Survive Said The Prophet joined the anisong world as well. With the power of anime, their fanbase has become much more diverse and expanded beyond their core audience. Their latest anisong MUKANJYO has been really well-received thanks to its dramatic and emotional delivery that heats up during the chorus.

Make sure to also check out our interview with Yosh, where we talk about his involvement with anisong.

MUKANJYO

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Bungou Stray Dogs 3
Setsuna no Ai by GRANRODEO

The two geniuses behind GRANRODEO, vocalist KISHOW and guitarist e-ZUKA, are well aware what the anisong fans want because the whole idea with GRANRODEO is to produce anisong! They’re really good at what they do and Setsuna no Ai proves that with its mysterious and heavy sound. Experiencing this song live during their explosively sold-out tour was even better than what I expected.

Get to know more about this song in our interview with GRANRODEO, where the duo speaks about the latest album FAB LOVE as well.

Setsuna no Ai

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Karakuri Circus
Yuudachi by MEMAI SIREN

Having following the growth of MEMAI SIREN, we can tell you this is one of the band’s most polished song to date! Even without watching the music video, the song gives out such a story-telling vibe enabled by Kyoudera’s enigmatic vocals, accompanied by the eccentric instrumentals.

Yudachi

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Mahou Shoujo Yokushusen Asuka
KODO by nonoc

nonoc is fairly new to the anisong world but managed to get her debut songs featured in the massive anime movie Re:Zero in 2018. However, this time around she provides a dark and almost cult-like sounding song to Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka which is an action anime target to an older audience.

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka

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Kemurikusa
KEMURIKUSA by nano

nano keeps crushing it with songs that give power to the listeners, KEMURIKUSA—which shares the same name as the anime—is of course no different! In this song, nano sings “As long as the fire burns in your heart you can go beyond” to push people to keep going further, and not to give up. It’s beautiful and a rocking song with an attitude at the same time.

Get to know more about the bilingual nano and their philosophy in our interview, and learn about how nano inspires people with the power of rock.

KEMURIKUSA

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Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Tsuyogari LOSER by ReaL

Ever since Real got signed to Sony Music Japan, many of their songs have been included in anime. This time they perform Tsuyogari LOSER for the Naruto successor series, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. The song which is featured as the ending theme is surprisingly energetic considering the typical ending themes being toned down. Unsurprisingly to those who follow the band, Tsuyogari LOSER offers those high vocals and catchy melodies by Ryoko.

Tsuyogari LOSER

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Mobile Suit Gundam the Origin – Eve of the Red Comet
Sora no Uta ~Higher and Higher~ by LUNA SEA

Sora no Uta ~Higher and Higher~ is a euphoric song with a calming and fleeting feel. It makes you forget about the stress and pressure of your everyday life. This is also LUNA SEA’s first single in almost three years. The anime “Mobile Suit Gundam the Origin – Eve of the Red Comet” is in a sense not a new anime as it was originally released as a six-part film between 2015–2018, however, in 2019, the story was cut and edited into 13 episodes.

Sora no Uta ~Higher and Higher~ / Hisobi

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Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari
Atashi ga Tonari ni Iru Uchi ni by Chiai Fujikawa

If “Chiai Fujikawa” is a new name to you, that means you clearly haven’t kept up with the BUCK-TICK news because she was featured in their tribute album PARADE III ~RESPECTIVE TRACKS OF BUCK-TICK~ together with the duo band “minus(-)”. Some of you might actually have seen her perform live under the idol group Maneki Kecak, back in 2018 during Japan Expo in Paris. However, now as a solo artist, her approach is much more composed and mature which we believe fits her a lot better. Attacking us calmly with her emotional and soothing voice in Atashi ga Tonari ni Iru Uchi ni, you can truly appreciate Chiai Fujikawa’s abilities as a vocalist.

Laica

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Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2
Kiseki by Rie Takahashi

Rie Takahashi who sang the ending theme song for Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 mainly does voice acting, but as you can hear in the song Kiseki, she can sing really well too! Her cute voice is also associated with anime like Re:Zero, as main character Emilia; Konosuba, as Megumin (the “Explosion” girl); and Ena Saitou from Yuru Camp.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 Cover Song Collection

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Bungou Stray Dogs 3
Lily by Luck Life

Luck Life captures the perfect balance between “grief” and “determination” with the song Lily. While the song takes on a sad direction, at the same time, each tune emits optimism that keeps life in check. Reminding us of the cheesy quote “There is always rainbow after the rain”, but that is probably the best way to describe the vibes you get out of this song. If you feel the same, that means the band did a great job to accommodate it to Bungou Stray Dogs 3 which shares the same kind of vibes.

Lily

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Enen no Shouboutai
veil by Keina Suda

Keina Suda is another musician who broke into the mainstream after starting out as a Vocaloid producer and singer under the name “balloon”, a notable song being Charles which currently has over 49 million views. In just two years, debuting in 2017, Keina Suda has been able to take on popular anime like Ni No Kuni, and now Enen no Shouboutai. In the song veil, composed and arranged by Keina Suda himself, he shows off his distinct nasal vocals and fast-paced post-rock instrumentals. It’s a fresh breath of air in the anisong world and has quite a catchy tune while still being mellow and soothing.

porte

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Mugyutto! Black Clover
POSSIBLE by Clover×Clover

Gakuto Kajiwara, and Nobunaga Shimazaki, the voice actors behind the two protagonists of Black Clover take on a new challenge under the unit name Clover×Clover. The song POSSIBLE features heavy guitars and some electronic elements, alternating between both vocalists until the addictive chorus enters, where both vocalists sing at the same time. It has the same type of energy you would find in songs UVERworld produces.

Clover×Clover

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Dr. Stone
Good Morning World! by BURNOUT SYNDROME

Good Morning World! oozes out of positive energy, a well-befitting song to play when starting off your day. The fast-paced song also adds a hint of punk-rock in it that will wake you up.

Good Morning World!

Buy at CDJapan


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Bonus song:
Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]
Oni no dekugatana, kaku katariki by Rekka Katakiri (Ontama Tenrou)

Rekka Katakiri’s song Oni no dekugatana, kaku katariki wasn’t featured as an opening or ending theme song, but rather as an insert song on the fifth episode of Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]. It sports a really nice traditional Japanese tune and energizing rhythm. Her activities mainly revolve around doujin (self-published) productions so you might not have heard of Rekka Katakiri before, but she’s been in the business for about 20 years now. Her 20-year anniversary box is also scheduled to be released hopefully soon as it was originally set for October 2, until it got postponed indefinitely.

Naka no Hito Genome [Kashouchuu] 01

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We hope you liked our picks! Leave a comment below if we missed your favorite anisong!

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