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10 Kick-ass J-rock Anime Themes That You Should Hear!

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10 Kick-ass J-rock Anime Themes That You Should Hear!

Anime theme songs are often written off as second-rate or derogatorily considered "weeaboo" music, and while this is certainly up for debate, the ORz team has banded together in an attempt to dispel some of those stigmas! While this isn't a best-of list by any means, we've compiled a list of 10 anime OPs and EDs that we feel are musically worthwhile. So check them out and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments!

:lolita_love:

#10

TK from 凛として時雨 (Ling Tosite Shigure) - Unravel

from Tokyo Ghoul | 東京喰種

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Undoubtly one of the most popular and unforgettable anime theme songs of recent times, TK from Ling Tosite Sigure provides the opening theme song for the animated adaption of 'Tokyo Ghoul'. Having watched Tokyo Ghoul, I'm sure we're all in an agreement of how fitting the song is to such a series, albite a poor series that doesn't really deserve such a perfect track in its soundtrack. Powerfully emotional, sinister, compelling and wickedly catchy, it's perfect for an anime as dark as this. When taking the song out of anime context, it's a masterpiece in all its entirety. TK has proved, both as a solo artist and within his band, that each and every anime song he's credited in grips you instantly, and 'Unravel' is no different.

- by @beni

#09

スネオヘアー (Suneohair ) - ワルツ (Waltz)

from Honey and Clover | ハチミツとクローバー

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It's been years since I've kept up with anime, so my choice probably gives away the era I'm most familiar with. Most of the anime soundtracks that have stayed with me didn't qualify for this list (R.O.D. the TVs lush jazz tunes, Fruits Basket's beautiful orchestral numbers, etc.), but Honey and Clover just made the cut with its breezy ending theme "Waltz". At least among the series that I'm familiar with, Honey and Clover was unique in its expressive embedding of popular music (such as the legendary band, Spitz) into its soundtrack. The first episode ends with the main character riding his bike through the rain under voiceover. In the background, "Waltz" begins to play, providing a seamless cinematic transition into the ending credits, which skillfully juxtapose the imagery of his spinning bicycle spokes that recurred throughout the episode with that of a fanciful ferris wheel. However, the song definitely works as a standalone track, with its lyrics telling the story of coy first love. All the while, Suneohair's laid-back vocals and smooth synth-rock create the perfect backdrop to the hazy, pastel artwork of this beautiful slice-of-life series.

- by @fitear1590

#08

the pillows – Ride on shooting star

from FLCL | フリクリ

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It wouldn't be a huge stretch to claim that this song is the reason that you are on Monochrome Heaven reading this right now. If there was a single genesis in my Japanese Rock interest, and in turn this site, Ride on Shooting Star is it. The Pillows lay down a straight forward rock track filled with simple but addictive riffs. While it's not going to win any awards for technicality, it makes up for that with purity with a driving upbeat energy that really gets me pumped up and in a good mood. About the only downside is how quick the ride is over - at under two and a half minutes I am always craving for more when the track ends, not unlikely the show it is from.

- by @Ito

#07

Silver Fins - Waiting So Long

from Berserk | ベルセルク

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Seldom do anime themes match the actual tone of the series that they're tied to. More often than not, they seem like their own, seperate entities --promotional placeholders for artists seeking exposure-- instead of aesthetic extensions of the anime's content. Berserk's ending theme, "Waiting So Long", by the incredibly obscure Silver Fins, is quite an exception, though. It's a trudging folk-rock song with an eery Americana-vibe, and a subtely malicious chorus that'll linger in your ears long after the show is over. For a dark-fantasy like Berserk, where happiness is fleeting and sin, corruption, and evil run amok, it's the perfect way to conclude a each episode!

- by @CAT5

#06

Plastic Tree - Sink

from Glass no Kantai | ガラスの艦隊

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This spot might come as a surprise to a few, since it certainly did for me when I discovered that Plastic Tree had a handful of songs as endings for various animes. The lads have only done three anime themes ever since they formed. Glass no Kantai: La Legende du Vent de l'Univers used their twenty third single 'Namida Drop' as its first ending song, Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D's had their thirty second single 'Future Colors' as their fifth ending theme, and Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo with my selected tune of 'Sink', their sixth single. While I cannot speak for the anime itself, I think it goes without saying that 'Sink' is one of the classic pieces in Plastic Tree's discography. With profound lyrics, a melodic chorus, and verses that flow like a river - very fitting to the overall sound of the song - it's definitely a stand out Visual Kei song all on its own since this was early Plastic Tree, when they were considered Visual Kei. Equipped with Ryutaro's signature raspy and child-like vocals, catchy riffs, and lyrical perfection (and repetition!), including coverage of Plastic Tree's typical song subjects, from the moon to melancholy and separation, 'Sink' doesn't falter. It's the ending theme within eleven endings of this lengthy one hundred and eight episodes of a series that'll take your breath away.

- by @beni

#05

凛として時雨 (ling tosite sigure) - abnormalize

from PSYCHO-PASS

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There was a time when the words 'ling tosite sigure' and 'anime' wouldn't be found in the same sentence - an indie band with an incredibly insular sound and two vocalists best described as "acquired tastes" - the thought itself would have been ridiculous. Nowadays, thanks to the success of Psycho-Pass (both seasons) and Tokyo Ghoul, their name is almost synonymous with it. "abnormalize" was the band's very first foray into creating anime themes, and while the prospect of this venture may have looked daunting to fans at the time, the result was a streamlined sound that was amicable enough for anime audiences, but still uncompromisingly "ling". The band had triumphantly transplanted their sound and and it was a hit too - becoming their most successful single to date! A forward-thinking band like ling was the perfect match for Pyscho-Pass's futuristic setting.

- by @CAT5

#04

abingdon boys school - HOWLING

from DARKER THAN BLACK | 黒の契約者

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Howling is hard rock with pop-sensibilities at its best. I've always been of a fan of Takanori's vocals in TM Revolution, but his music always been a bit too poppy (and dear I say cheesy?) for me. Abingdon Boys School is a push against that idea, as Takanori's beautiful vocals are juxtaposed with distorted guitar layered. Howling runs with that idea, taking a hard rock track and sprinkles in DJ scratching and other "bleep-bloops" you would expect more from Takanori's pop work. Normally this is something that doesn't work for me, but it is done so subtly that the end result is a lovely layer of textures is just a joy for the ear. The chuggy break down that transitions to a simple but soaring guitar solo really puts an asterisk on the song for me. And hey, if you don't like the song that much, you will certainly miss it when the anime switches to a An Cafe track halfway through the show.

- by @Ito

#03

cinema staff - Great Escape

from ATTACK ON TITAN | 進撃の巨人

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'Shingeki no Kyojin' a.k.a 'Attack on Titan' is without a doubt one of the biggest anime hits this century, having spawned a lucratice franchise of spin-offs, video games, and even two live-action movies. Its massive hype garnered both dauntless fanatics, whom were smitten with the characters and premise, and a fair share of critics that chastised the anime for it's elusive plot and questionable pacing. But whatever you felt about the anime, most people usually agreed about one thing - the music was amazing. Whether it's the epic, Hollywood blockbuster score provided by Hiroyuki Sawano, or the anthemic cheese of Linked Horizon's 'Guren no Yumiya', there was something for everyone to love. Even Japanese-indie fans had something to rejoice in with cinema staff performing the second ending theme "Great Escape". It's a strong, driving tune that showcases the band's pop potential without compromising their indie sensibilities, It's also a song that accurately mirrors the dramatic scale of the series without sounding overblown or unconvincing.

- by @CAT5

#02

陰陽座 (Onmyou-za) - 甲賀忍法帖 (Kouga Ninpouchou)

from BASILISK | バジリスク 〜甲賀忍法帖〜

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The anime BASILISK was gifted with many things; great animation for its time, an amazing story that begins and ends well, and perhaps one of the most iconic opening themes of all time. Without too many spoilers, it's basically Japanese Romeo and Juliet. Many anime fans will immediately recognize the introduction, but most have only heard 甲賀忍法帖 (Kouga Ninpouchou) in its abbreviated form. Even less would know that it is one of twelve songs labeled "Tales of The Ninja Scrolls" (or ninpouchou for short), composed as a tribute to author Futaro Yamada. In fact, BASILISK is the anime adaptation of the manga adaptation one of Yamada's earliest stories, also titled バジリスク 甲賀忍法帖 (Basilisk Kouga Ninpouchou), and he won an award for this in 2004! Thus it's only natural that a band whose lyrical material centers around traditional Japanese themes such as oni, dragons, magic, and youkai to extend their reach to ninja tales too! 陰陽座 knocked it out of the park with this one; the tone, lyrics, and theme all match up perfectly with both the anime and the original stories and it was this song which put them on the map.

I'm not so sure what's more interesting; the lore or the music...

- by @Zeus

#01

Maximum the Hormone - What's Up People

from DEATH NOTE

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It was hard to deny Death Note at the height of its popularity, but when I hesitated on checking it out my friends knew me well enough to mention that I'd love the opening theme to give me that last little push. It worked! And naturally my expectations grew. Though, at that time in my limited anime vocabulary 'great opening theme' meant TM Revolution or Anna Tsuchiya rocking out some insanely catchy, energetic number. When Death Note hit the season's half way mark and "What's Up People" blasted through my speakers it was mind-blowing that music this chaotic and heavy was broadcast on such a popular series. Needless to say, I was instantly hooked on their metal-hybrid sound. While I outgrew the Death Note fandom pretty quickly after finishing the show, Maximum The Hormone remain a band I enjoy to this day. Their music continues to be unique and fresh, as well as a gateway to those exploring the alternative metal scene in Japan.

- by @doombox

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u cant do kickass anime rock without NANA!

 

Yep, totally agree!

 

Totally expecting Kouga Ninpo Chou! That's my first Omyou-Za's song. 

 

THE MAN ON MISSION's "Raise the Flag" for Gundam Iron Blooded Orphan is quite epic too. Not forget to mention THE BACK BONE's "Wana" for Gundam 00.

 

 

 

 

EDIT : Why am I not see LEREINE's "Bara wa Utsukushiku Chiru" here :/

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Great picks for TK from 凛として時雨's Unravel and abnormalize.

I would like to expose and recommend too :)

Jrock:

Yuuki Ozaki (from Galileo Galilei) - Trigger from anime 残響のテロル

Linked Horizon - 紅蓮の弓矢 from anime 進撃の巨人

amazarashi - 季節は次々死んでいく from anime from 東京喰種

Vk:

ナイトメア - アルミナ from anime Death Note

LM.C - Drawing Days from anime K.H.Reborn!

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Great picks for TK from 凛として時雨's Unravel and abnormalize.

I would like to expose and recommend too :)

Jrock:

Yuuki Ozaki (from Galileo Galilei) - Trigger from anime 残響のテロル

Linked Horizon - 紅蓮の弓矢 from anime 進撃の巨人

amazarashi - 季節は次々死んでいく from anime from 東京喰種

Vk:

ナイトメア - アルミナ from anime Death Note

LM.C - Drawing Days from anime K.H.Reborn!

Drawing Days is by SPLAY

I don't feel the 凛として時雨 and TK songs to be one of their best songs so they wouldn't be in my top

You really forgot some of the best like GTO, Gurren Lagann, .hack//SIGN, sayonara zetsubou sensei, Space Dandy & FMA.

I think it's hard to do an opening top without being subjective, we can be so attached to an anime (or just awesome opening animation) with an "ok song" our mind can put it in the awesome songs category.

I love Berserk but not the opening, I hate Attack on Titan but love the opening.

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Agreeing on "Unravel" and "Waltz" (indisputable demi-classic to me), whereas in terms of other choices I am quite ambivalent.

 

My picks:

 

Round Table feat. Nino - Puzzle (NHK ni Youkoso!/Welcome to the N.H.K.)

Boa - Duvet (Serial Experiments Lain)

Yasuyuki Okamura - Super Girl (City Hunter)

Yes - Roundabout (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)

Susumu Hirasawa -  Yume no Shima Shinen Kouen (Paranoia Agent)

Rip Slyme - Super Shooter (Gantz)

SOIL&"PIMP" Sessions - Paraiso (Michiko to Hatchin)

Nujabes - Battlecry (Samurai Champloo)

 

I tried to make my choices less stigmatic so hey, there ya go!

 

edit: Houkago Tea Time is one of the few bands that produce top-notch "cliche anime" themes - no wonder that Shishamo and alike look up to them.

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I used to like a lot of those choices on that list but the one that still sticks with me is Darker Than Black's OP.

 

Here are a few of my top picks:

SIAM SHADE - 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou (Rurouni Kenshin ED6)

Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas - Let Me Hear (Parasyte OP)

Nothing's Carved In Stone - Spirit Inspiration (Blast of Tempest OP)

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Quick question CAT5. Is this OP/ED themes, or can I use themes (OST's) played during the anime?

Oh feel free to list whatever. Our list isn't comprehensive and it's not supposed to be a best-of or anything, we simply wanted to share some anime songs that we thought were worth a shot. Our only criteria for this list was that the songs had to be an OP or ED and that they had to be J-rock (or j-rock oriented). We then held a small vote to see which selections would make the list, but we wanted to make sure that at least one song by each ORz member that contributed would make the list.

But anyways, feel free to mention whatever!

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LM.C - Drawing Days from anime K.H.Reborn!

Did you mean 88 or Boys and Girls, maybe? Because then I'm in an agreement. Their anime songs helped me be introduced to Visual Kei and are standouts within anime themes themselves if you ask me. I'm upset that they missed out a place but I'm happy seeing another comment on them.

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I almost didn't click this topic because I could sense that unravel would be here xD 

 

Here's all the anime songs I remember liking: 

Maximum the Hormone - 絶望ビリー (Death Note)

Stereo Dive Foundation - Renegade (Gangsta.)

The Oral Cigarettes - 狂乱 Hey Kids!! (Noragami Aragato)

Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas - Let Me Hear (Parasyte) 

Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas - Just Awake (Hunter x Hunter)

The Zankyou no Terror OSTs

The Gazette - Shiver (Kuroshitsuji) 

Linked Horizon - 紅蓮の弓矢 (Attack on Titan) 

Egoist - Fallen (Psycho-Pass)

Egoist - 名前のない怪物 (Psycho-Pass)

Mucc - Mother (Naruto??)

THREE LIGHTS DOWN KINGS - NEVER SAY NEVER (Durarara!!)

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I knew that mirai iro was an ending theme for yu-gi-oh, but didn't know that namida drop or sink were featured in anime op/eds as well! I might like namida drop more out of the three though.
Otherwise, out of the others from that list I also enjoy what's up people and ride on shooting star!
 
Some that I like:

boa - Duvet (Serial Experiments Lain)
UVERworld - D-tecnolife (Bleach) I only watched four eps of bleach but heyy this op is good!
Nana Kitade - Kesenai Tsumi (Full Metal Alchemist)
LAST ALLIANCE - Shissou (Ouran High School Host Club)
Wada Kouji - Butter-Fly (Digimon) c'mon this a classic, and still good!
NICO Touches the Walls - Broken Youth (Naruto)
Hemenway - By My Side (Naruto)
Scudelia Electro - Sha La La (Jing King of Bandits)

meister - My World Down (Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad)

Kiyoharu - Slow (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge)
PIERROT - Barairo no Sekai (GetBackers)
 
Honestly, I like quite a few from Naruto but then that'll make me look like a real narutard lol....
And is anybody gonna mention SATSUGAI by DETROIT METAL CITY??? They're a fictional band but still xD

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I love Ride On Shooting Star...FLCL was so great, it makes me so sad to listen to Ride on shooting star now because of how the song ends. It's like one of those things that you want to bask in forever y'know? Whats up people is the shit too, it was honestly what got me into metal in the first place, it was the shit man. Im glad you guys pointed those out, they're heavy nostalgia material from the days when I wasn't sad all the time.

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Can't forget this one. Great song (obviously), and one of the greatest anime too.

 

 

Great pick! This song actually almost made the list, but the contributor retired from ORz before we published this! :D

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I know I've already posted here but these didn't occur to me when I first posted..

 

SID's Rain for Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and BUCK-TICK's Kagerou for XXXHolic are some of my favorites.

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Apologies for resurrecting another old thread, but I wanted to the chance to throw in my contributions. In alphabetical order:

 

Ali Project: Coppelia's Casket (Noir)

Bana: Shell (Witch Hunter Robin)

Buck-Tick: Kuchizuke (Shiki)

Granrodeo: Decadence (Demon Prince Enma)

Granrodeo: Rose Hip Bullet (Togainu no Chi)

Granrodeo: Trance (Black God)

LM.C: Rock The LM.C/Oh My Juliet (Red Garden)

Nana Kitada: Kesenai Tsumi (Full Metal Alchemist)

Nana Kitada: Tsukihana (Hell Girl, 3rd season)

Origa/Yoko Kanno: Rise (GITS:SAC 2nd Complex)

Suilen: Magnolia (Hellsing Ultimate) All three Suilen tracks on that show are excellent, but that's the best one.

X-Japan: Forever Love (X: The Movie)

 

There are others- Ready Steady Go is the only L'Arc-en-ciel song I actually like (likewise the Galneryus OP theme for Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne), Granrodeo could fill a list by themselves, and that's before we even get started on Yoko Kanno and Yuki Kajiura/Kalafina- but those are my favourites. The Dress remix is okay, but it's just not in the same league as the original. It was tempting to squeeze Mell's 'Red Fraction' in there somewhere too....

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I'm feeling all kinds of emotions for that Suneohair ! That's my favorite song from them <3. I'd pretty much just put the entire OST from Honey Clover, it's so damn beautiful I am still crying over it ;A;.

For me, my favorite anime of all times comes with a lot of songs that I love listening to even now, but if I were to pick my favorite out of them, it will be this bad boy here :

 

 

I pretty much grew up with Yu Yu Hakusho and still watch it whenever I feel like binge watching an anime. The OST in here just adds up to my unlimited love for this anime. and Kurama's hair

Edited by Triangle

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