The Inaugural Anime Hajime Highlights – Top Opening Songs

Top Ten Opening Songs of 2018

As a reviewer – and more to the point – as a marathon viewer, I usually must set aside up to SIX HOURS to watch a single series. Then there are the twenty-plus-episode shows that require at least half a day to complete. Therefore, any place where I can chip away at some of that time, I will.

Often the first to go is a series’ opening song.

Not only have I seen shows’ openings completely misrepresent what their stories are about, but they have actually spoiled specific details about the narrative. For example, have you ever wondered about a mysterious character seen in an opening that has yet to make an appearance despite being on episode eight of a twelve-episode show?

Yes, I don’t mind skipping an opening song in favor of just continuing with a story.

HOWEVER, every now and then, an opening will catch my attention. A song plays that fully encapsulates the heart of its series, and most importantly, it gets you excited to watch.

For the record, I didn’t realize how many of those types of openings were in 2018. It was far more challenging to pick out the top ten than I expected.

Plus, keep in mind: Simply because a series’ opening song makes this list, that has zero bearing on the series itself. I won’t claim I reviewed all the following entries favorably. Nevertheless, we should always give the credit which is due.

With that said, these are the Inaugural Anime Hajime Highlights – The Top Opening Songs of 2018:

10. Bite

Megalo Box

Performed By: Leo Imai
Lyrics By: Leo Imai
Composition By: Leo Imai

To read my full Megalo Box review, please click HERE.

I won’t say Megalo Box’s “Bite” gets you in the mood to fight. Instead, this song gets you ready for the fight that is already coming.

Bite tells you everything you need to know about the main character, “Gearless” Joe. He may not be dangerous by default, but it wouldn’t be advisable to tick him off either.

A truly fitting song to a truly outstanding series.

9. Mission! Ken・Kou・Dai・Ichi

Cells at Work

Performed By: Kana Hanazawa, Tomaoki Maeno,
Daisuke Ono, Kikuko Inoue
Lyrics By: Yumao
Composition By: Yumao

To read my full Cells at Work review, please click HERE.

“Mission! Ken・Kou・Dai・Ichi” is exceedingly catchy.

The opening song to Cells at Work was upbeat and full of playful energy — a rather fitting sentiment given the show it accompanied.

“Mission! Ken・Kou・Dai・Ichi” is a tune you can immediately place upon hearing it. Plus, when I start singing along with the words without fail, how can such an opening not make this list?

8. Kara Kara na Kokoro

Doreiku The Animation

Performed By: Shougo Sakamoto
Lyrics By: Shougo Sakamoto
Composition By: Shougo Sakamoto

To read my full Doreiku The Animation review, please click HERE.

Like I said in the Introduction: Just because an opening song makes the list, it doesn’t mean it is from a good show.

I won’t re-review Doreiku The Animation here because right now, Kara Kara na Kokoro is the star.

Despite knowing the story of Doreiku, whenever I listen to this song, I almost want to give the series another chance.

Can there be a better reason for “Kara Kara na Kokoro” to make it into the top ten?


Banana Fish

Performed By: BLUE ENCOUNT
Lyrics By: Shinichi Tanabe
Composition By: Shinichi Tanabe

To read my full Banana Fish review, please click HERE.

Being a twenty-four episode series, Banana Fish actually had two opening songs. “FREEDOM” was the second of the pair.

To tell you the truth, both openings were excellent. After some deliberation, I believe it is fitting to place “FREEDOM” at the number seven spot.

This song signaled transition. Seeing how that was precisely what was going on within the Banana Fish story when “FREEDOM” got introduced, I would say this opening did its job.

Banana Fish had transformed from what it was at its beginning, and “FREEDOM” utterly encompassed that shift.

6. Grand Blue

Grand Blue

Performed By: Shounan no Kaze
Lyrics By: Shounan no Kaze
Composition By: Shounan no Kaze

To read my full Grand Blue review, please click HERE.

Are you ready to party?

If not, simply listen to “Grand Blue” (the song), and you will get there.

This opening had tremendous rhythmic energy that not only illustrated its show’s respect for the majesty of the sea, but also its insistence on having as good a time as possible.

I don’t think this song will adequately prepare you for the insanity that is Grand Blue (the series), and that’s fine. Consider this your palate cleanser.

5. Flashback


Performed By: MIYAVI vs. KenKen
Lyrics By: Lenny Sholnik, MIYAVI, KenKen
Composition By: Lenny Sholnik, MIYAVI, KenKen

To read my full Kokkoku review, please click HERE.

I watched Kokkoku back in June 2018, and when I first heard “Flashback,” I knew it would be a standard I would use when making this list. In fact, this may have been the opening that convinced me to have this category be a part of the Highlights.

Admittedly, it is debatable how well “Flashback” represented the Kokkoku story. But whenever it comes on, I know exactly what show it is from. Thus, mission more than accomplished.

4. Here

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Performed By: JUNNA
Lyrics By: Iwasato Yuuho
Composition By: Yusuke Shirato

To read my full The Ancient Magus’ Bride review, please click HERE.

Umm, Odyssey. This opening was technically from 2017.

You’re not wrong, but also consider:

  1. My rules, my list.
  2. Have you freakin’ heard “here”?

This song expressed, in less than two minutes, the entirety of The Ancient Magus’ Bride. It’s full of pain and longing at the heart of main character Chise Hatori’s personality, at the start of the story.

Here is brilliant, and regardless of when it was first played, only three other openings from 2018 managed to surpass it.

3. found & lost

Banana Fish

Performed By: Survive Said The Prophet
Lyrics By: Survive Said The Prophet
Composition By: Survive Said The Prophet

To read my full Banana Fish review, please click HERE.

I already said it:

Banana Fish had two excellent openings.

The deliberation I mentioned wasn’t about which of the two would make the list. I was more concerned about what rankings they would earn.

“found & lost” set the volatility that became Banana Fish. There was power, hatred, and revenge within its solemn melody. Perhaps it is better to say this was the perfect theme for Banana Fish’s main character (as well as its best aspect), Ash Lynx.

This truly was one of the best openings from 2018.


Devilman Crybaby

Performed By: Denki Groove
Lyrics By: Takkyu Ishino
Composition By: Takkyu Ishino

To read my full Devilman Crybaby review, please click HERE.

The first time I heard “MAN HUMAN,” I immediately assumed Devilman Crybaby would be all kinds of disturbing and brutal. I was totally on board.

Then I watched Devilman Crybaby, and let’s just say the show didn’t quite reach the benchmark set by its opening.

“MAN HUMAN” has the type of beat that will get stuck in your head. It is impossible to forget what series it is connected to. Fortunately, there is the comforting fact this song is terrific.


Darling in the Franxx

Performed By: Mika Nakashima
Lyrics By: HYDE
Composition By: HYDE

To read my full Darling in the Franxx review, please click HERE.

Without question, we have a winner.

It was difficult to position entries two through ten – not to mention cutting the dozens of other worthy candidates. However, the top spot always seemed destined to go to just one.

I don’t think I need to drag this out; the ranking says it all.

Darling in the Franxx’s “KISS OF DEATH” is the best opening song from 2018.


I want to reiterate: Many opening songs were vying for a spot on this list. But there were only ten positions. Therefore, these were the very best of the best.

That is why I want to hear your thoughts. What do you think were the Top Opening Songs of 2018. Leave your thoughts in the comments below; we here at Anime Hajime would love to hear what you have to say.

The Inaugural Anime Hajime Highlights continues tomorrow with the Top Animation of 2018. Be sure to follow here on Anime Hajime and on all our social media sites, so you don’t miss out.

For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and we will see you next time.

The Inaugural Anime Hajime Highlights

Post Edited By: Onions

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