A couple of weeks ago, I put up a list of my Top 5 Greatest Anime Opening Songs. That was a very hard list to put together for me because there are so many fun and enjoyable anime opening songs out there. So, when it came time to do the same thing for my favorite anime ending songs, I thought I was going to run into the same dilemma. Well, I did run into a problem but the issue was I never really cared for the ending songs in anime! I do have a list of my favorite animes but, when I listen to their ending theme songs, they didn’t really stick out and there were times when I didn’t even remember them when I did hear them again!
So, you can already tell that this is going to be my cream of the crop. The actual anime ending songs I listen to despite the episode has already concluded. These are the tunes I would gladly stick around because I really want to hear them.
There are a few rules again. For one, the song had to be an actual J-Pop song and it had to have been, at least, popularized by the anime. Also, no one shot songs or music from OAV. They had to have come from an actual series. Third, only one song per anime.
By the way, these rules did lead to quite a big number of BONUS entries for this list. Finally, this is my personal list, not yours, okay? Don’t go crying to me if your favorite Naruto ending didn’t make it. With all that out of the way, let’s go to the list!
#5 Real Folks Blues from Cowboy Bebop
See you, Space Cowboy!
Cowboy Bebop is a legendary anime for so many reasons. One of them has to be the stunningly upbeat and cool opening song, Tank! That song nearly made the top of my greatest anime opening songs. That’s how good it is. I kind of think this is why it’s ending song, The Real Folks Blues, generally gets overshadowed, despite being a very awesome song in its own right.
There’s just something about how the singer belts out this really melancholy deep pitch that makes it sound so alluring. The tune itself is also incredibly memorable and sticks with you. The Real Folks Blues is a perfect way to end each episode of Cowboy Bebop because it just fits the overall atmosphere of this space western anime.
#4 Groovy! (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Can you believe I watched this way back when AXN Philippines was still showing anime? Feels like so long ago!
I oddly don’t remember much of the show but I do remember loving the English voice dubs that AXN produced and, even though they used the same voice actors over and over again for all their animes, they all just worked! What I do remember is how fun Groovy! is, which is Cardcaptor Sakura’s first ending song. It’s a really boppy type gospel tune that really stuck with me throughout my childhood and still today.
Groovy! is just, well, a groovy song. It’s super upbeat and just plain happy. I also love how energetic and peppy the singer comes off when she belts out those glorious and powerful points of the song. It’s a fun song to bounce to school to. I can personally attest to that point since I did that so many times when I was younger!
#3 Yume no Naka e from Kare Kano
You got my live action in my anime!
The cute little school love anime of Kare Kano was directed by the same guy that oversaw the super angsty Neon Genesis Evangelion? Well, I can sorta see that in how many weird things the anime does, come to think of it. Case-in-point, each and every closing shots that were used for Kare Kano’s ending song, Yume no Naka e.
Even with the chosen visuals, the live action camera on a skateboard, I think, being rather strange, the song that accompanies the videos is just a joy to listen to. It’s just so carefree sounding that I can’t help but smile whenever I hear it. It’s so easy-listening and full of positive energy that it puts a spring in my step.
#2 Hare Hare Yukai from Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Amazingly, this didn’t make the top of the list.
The song that took the anime universe by storm, Hare Hare Yukai nearly took the top spot of this list, despite being one of the more recent animes I’ve seen. There’s just something special about the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and the anime’s concept by itself. By adding a super memorable song to close out each episode, well, that just kept me coming back for more. I remember watching this on Netflix and I never, ever opted to skip Hare Hare Yukai, even though I binged watch the entire first 13 episodes in one go!
Once again, this is another super happy and peppy entry but Hare Hare Yukai does have this X-factor that makes it stand above the rest. It has a super unique sound that makes it stand above most other anime songs out there. Also, having the anime end by having the main characters singing and dancing to the closing song is just super cute!
#1 It’s Gonna Rain! from Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X
Yes, this song beat Hare Hare Yukai. That’s because this is my list.
After all this time, It’s Gonna Rain! is still my favorite anime closing song. Maybe my nostalgia is clouding my judgement but, to me, there’s just something incredibly cathartic whenever I listen to Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X’s 5th ending song.
The only way I can really explain my feelings for the song is that, well, it’s one of the most lazy songs out there. I don’t mean the composition or the singer’s performance. What I mean is it’s probably the only song I really want to listen to when I want to relax. It’s a song I listen to when I want to be lazy. I may have a pile of homework or chores to do but I’m just in such a comfortable position in my bed and I just want to stay in just a bit longer and just veg out for a brief moment.
Oddly enough, the song is all about hating the rain, which is the opposite of how I feel about it because I love the rain! I love the cool breeze that wafts through the air. I love listening to the quiet pitter-patter of raindrop on the roof. This song just reminds me of that as well.
BONUS: Do You Want To? from Paradise Kiss
I don’t really care for the anime.. but the closing song? Awesome!
I was never big into fashion but, since Paradise Kiss was featured on AXN’s anime block, I still watched every episode. It certainly didn’t hurt that the anime’s ending song, Do You Want To? is one super catchy song! I love the basic arrogance of the lyrics and how confident and cocky the singer comes off.
The reason why this song didn’t make the list is because it isn’t a J-Pop song. The song was made by a group called Franz Ferdinand, a music group from Scotland. I will give credit as, thanks to Paradise Kiss, I was opened up to the band’s music, which I do enjoy.
Bonus: The Fourth Avenue Cafe from Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X
I really wanted to put this on the list but, with It’s Gonna Rain! taking the top spot, it seemed unfair to put another Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X song here.
The Fourth Avenue Cafe is just a superbly composed song with everything, the instruments and the singer’s vocals, mixing together in such a way that is magical. Unfortunately, this song didn’t last long as part of the anime’s ending catalog of songs because of the band’s drummer being charged for using drugs. Even so, this is one banging song that could’ve easily made it onto the list if it weren’t for my self-imposed rule of one ending song per anime.
Bonus: Chikatto Chika Chika from Kaguya-Sama: Love is War
Also known as the Chika Dance as it’s performed by the ditsy student council secretary Chika Fujiwara from Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, Chikatto Chika Chika is a super weird but upbeat song. It’s basically her singing about the the school and the student council and how she’s a love detective and how she’ll help her Kaguya-sama and save a bug. It’s strange and truly odd but cute at the same time!
This could’ve made my list but, the only problem is this was a one-shot ending song. It only was used in one episode and that was it.
Bonus: Thanatos – If I Can’t Be Yours from End of Evangelion
Yes, depression can sound beautiful, too.
I have yet to watch a single episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion and especially the uber-divisive End of Evangelion. I have no idea what the series and the movie holds. You know what I do know about the movie, though? The music is good! I love how emo all the songs sound! This is especially true for Thanatos – If I Can’t Be Yours. It is an incredibly haunting tune that feels incredibly heavy on the heart. I love it.
As much as I love End of Evangelion’s ending song, Thanatos – If I Can’t Be Yours is a song from a movie, not the series. Just realized I’m ending this list on a very sour sounding song. Oh well.
What’s your favorite anime ending song? Let me know in the comments section below!