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Here are the top 20 anime songs of all time, as chosen by non-Japanese anime fans

Recency bias aside, there are some jams on this list.

Oshi no Ko promotional image
Image credit: Doga Kobo

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The one thing that will send any group of anime fans into a fiery, intense debate is asking their opinion on which anime opening song is the best. Ask 20 of us for our choice and you’ll get twenty different answers. Over the weekend, TV Asahi in Japan did one better and asked over 1000 non-Japanese anime fans what their favorite anime song is and the results have a couple of surprises in them.

There is some recency bias on display here, with three of the top 20 spots on the poll going to Attack on Titan and Jujitsu Kaisen each. Idol from Oshi no Ko rode that wave onto the number two spot in the list. However, a couple of absolute classics worked their way into the list, including Cha-la Head-cha-la from Dragon Ball Z and Tank! from Cowboy Bebop.

It should be noted that the polling for this list seemed to heavily lean toward Asia, as evidenced by the opening theme to Voltes V, a classic mecha show that continues to enjoy iconic status in large parts of Asia, making it to number three. But what landed the number one spot?

According to the group of 1740 non-Japanese people polled by the program, the all-time greatest anime song is A Cruel Angel’s Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Which, okay, we can disagree with some of the placings on this list or the almost criminal omission of the opening from Death Parade, but it is hard to argue with A Cruel Angel’s Thesis nabbing the top stop. Nearly 30 years after it first came out, it is still an absolute banger.

The full list is below to help you start an argument with your group of anime fans.

  1. A Cruel Angel’s Thesis by Yoko Takahashi (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  2. Idol by YOASOBI (Oshi no Ko)
  3. Voltes V no Uta by Mitsuko Horie (Voltes V)
  4. Unravel by TK from Ling Toshite Sigure (Tokyo Ghoul)
  5. Kick Back by Kenshi Yonezu (Chainsaw Man)
  6. Blue Bird by Ikimono-gakari (Naruto Shippuden)
  7. SpecialZ by King Gnu (Jujutsu Kaisen)
  8. We Are! By Hiroshi Kitadani (One Piece)
  9. Again by YUI (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
  10. Ao no Sumika by Tatsuya Kitani (Jujutsu Kaisen)
  11. Samurai Heart (Some Like it Hot!!) by SPYAIR (Gintama)
  12. Gurenge by LiSA (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
  13. Cha-la Head-cha-la by Hironobu Kageyama (Dragon Ball Z)
  14. Butterfly by Koji Wada (Digimon Adventure)
  15. Silhouette by KANA-BOON (Naruto Shippuden)
  16. Kaikai Kitan by Eve (Jujutsu Kaisen)
  17. Tank! by SEATBELTS (Cowboy Bebop)
  18. Akuma no Ko by Ai Higuchi (Attack on Titan)
  19. Shinzo wo Sasageyo! By Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan)
  20. Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan)

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