15 Anime OPs/EDs that make me cry

Note: This post is actually meant to be of therapeutic effect for me, because I am currently rewatching Diamond no Ace and suffering through angst, frustration, sadness and accentuated anxiety problems that have been seething underneath in the first place. But in any case, this idea came from my bouts of screaming, crying and cursing in watching said anime above. Since I have also never written about anime music, I figured there isn’t a better way to do it than this.

Has anybody ever cried when they hear the beginnings of an anime song, even though they aren’t actually watching the series at that moment? Anime songs may not constitute the best music out there, but what makes them special is how much they are associated with our emotional ties to the story and characters of the series they are meant for, and/or our memories of what that series means particularly to us.  For me, they usually trigger flashbacks of what transpires in the story, which further ties in with what the images and animation in the song represent with reference to the series. Even when I may not have watched these anime for some time, the starting of these songs are enough to induce tears (or literally bring me to my knees for some)

Please note that the following list is my opinion only. Only numbers 5 to 1 should be treated as determinative rankings for me; the rest are merely listed as I remember them.

15. Anohana OP: “Aoi Shiori” by Galileo Galiei 

Deceptively soothing and giving off a mere ‘slice-of-life’ feel with its calm rhythm, only those who have waded through Anohana would know how much this OP reflects the anime’s theme of dealing with loss, regret and moving on from the past. Anohana does not come close to being in my favourites, but I certainly cried a lot at the inevitable ending scenes and this OP always manages to evoke a wave of nostalgia over me. Too bad Galileo Galiei is disbanding soon – a huge waste.

14. Katekyo Hitman Reborn OP 4: “88” by L.M.C

Prefacing what would be a prolonged battle in the ‘Future Arc’, it would probably be hard for those who have never watched it to understand why such a song would be called ‘tears-inducing’. For me, its pretty much because it signifies a lot of growth in the characters of KHR as they try to come back together even if they are separated by an insurmountable chasm – time. The comparison of their youthful selves and their adult selves in this OP chokes me up each time.

13. Nagi no Asukara OP 2: “ebb and flow” by Ray

I think everybody who has watched Nagi no Asu would agree with me on this OP in particular being a major tearjerker, not only because of the ‘underwater’ effect that is maintained in the music, but because of its melody and lyrics. In fact, I think the only opposition would come from its relatively low placing on this list. But that is merely because I still think Nagi no Asu ultimately ends on a more hopeful note despite the trials and tribulations that the characters have gone through. To me, its a happy ending, but there are certain parts of how it ended that may give rise to some disagreement among some viewers I know on how much of a HE it is.

12. Fairy Tail  OP 14: “Yakusoku no Hi” by Chihiro Yonekura

Rather than saying this induces melancholy in me, it just makes me so pumped up that it is capable of producing tears of anger in me. The Grand Magic arc represents the peak of the Fairy Tail spirit in the previous Fairy Tail series due to its competitive nature, and it is the first taste of ‘sports anime’ which I ever had, the similarities which I only later realised. This whole OP just screams – ‘There is no way Fairy Tail can’t win, right?‘ It is not the saddest arc then, but it is still capable of making my blood pressure shoot up and revving me up for a fight, especially when the arc progresses in a way where a lot of injustice is dealt to the Fairy Tail members through dirty fights.

11. Durarara OP 2: “Complication” by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D

There isn’t anything inherently sad in the story of Durarara, but it really is the way the OP is animated and coloured that brings out deep-seated sadness and a sense of greyness. It may be a little incongruent with what Durarara is as a story, but it does portray the multi-faceted personalities of its large cast in a more negative light. The later OPs do not adopt a similar approach, choosing to focus on the comedic nature of its cast, which makes this OP even more precious for me.

10. Katekyo Hitman Reborn ED 16: “Canvas” by +Plus

Again, this is one of those songs that does not boast any inherently melancholic melodic progression, but it an extremely – or perhaps too fitting – ending to the KHR anime, summarising all the characters had learnt about what it means to be family. KHR’s conception of ‘family’ has always been quite different from Fairy Tail – the former focuses more on how each member is an individual with no prior ties and how their quirky and strange personalities only got used to one another after a period of time. Fairy Tail meanwhile has always been quite welcoming to new members from the start, something which I often raise my eyebrows at – which is why I appreciate the process of relationship-building in KHR a lot more. Hence, the end of its run causes me more sorrow – the fact that the rest of the manga was never adapted into anime makes it worse.

9. FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood OP 5: “Rain” by SID

Everything with this OP speaks of delicate deliberation – from the opening scene of Ed’s opening of his eyes and the camera panning out to show a dark city landscape, and where the faces of the people they care about flash through in tinted shades of blue – all of them meld and fit perfectly with the music, which is stylistically different from all its previous OPs. The dark theme of the animation foreshadows the cruel obstacles that await Ed and his friends, and the scene of Roy Mustang’s eyes widening in hopelessness never fails to pain me. FMAB is a masterpiece on almost every level, and its OP is really just the tip of that iceberg.

8. Sunday Without God ED: “Owaranai Melody wo Utaidashimashita” by Mikako Komatsu

The opening chords sound a rhythmic slow drone, belying the wealth of emotions that lay underneath these thirteen episodes of precious goodness. Even though the melody that transpires actually turns out more hopeful sounding, it still does not take away the unique charm of Sunday Without God, with how hope is always there at the end of the tunnel, and how a small girl manages to turn tragedy into something good. When this theme comes in with the ending of Episode 3, that is enough to carve this in into the back of the mind – anyone’s mind really. It’s really too bad that nobody I know has ever been convinced by me to watch it – it certainly is a more touching story than Charlotte ever was.

7. Clannad After Story OP: “Toki wo Kizamu Uta” by Lia

The first few chords are enough to choke me up, especially with the camera shots of the town where Nagisa and Tomoya’s story occurs. If that does not stir you, then perhaps Nagisa’s headtilt will. I don’t actually know what Clannad AS as a story means to me because its not strictly in my Top 25 anime (and it still is not), but all I know is that despite it lacks that final personal resonance with me (perhaps because of my perennial problem with the character art and the fact that I did not like its first season), it is one of the best anime tearjerkers known to mankind. I cried loads and will continue to cry loads for this story.

6. Fate/Zero OP 2: “to the beginning” by Kalafina

While FMAB is also an expansive work, Fate/Zero’s dark fantasy setting and the Holy Grail War has always boasted an immersive world despite an objective lack of breadth. It is perhaps ufotable’s animation that makes everything looks twice as real, and the consequences twice as damning. Nevertheless, Fate Zero has always been the ‘darker’ version, especially with a morally ambiguous protagonist like Emiya Kiritsugu. I have always been a big fan of these ‘misunderstood heroes’, so this OP really represents Kiritsugu’s backstory, how much he sacrifices for his cause and how helpless he really is. Kalafina was really a good choice because of their opera-like vocals which are excellent for drawing out tension (symbolic of the stakes involved in this series), which are a parallel to how much each player in the War actually sacrifices just to get to the Grail. Doesn’t Saber’s face at the beginning just haunt you? For me, I cry at the thought of how much each character has done and what they have discarded in order to do what they have to do. Excellent work, Gen Urobuchi.

5. Gundam Seed Insert Song: “Fields of Hope” by Rie Tanaka

Yeah, I cheated in putting an Insert Song into this lineup. But it is really because none of the OPs or EDs in my opinion throughout Seed and Destiny can really bring out the essence of what Seed is – melancholy that stems from an inevitable fight to the finish between two former best friends who just happen to be born in two opposing sides. The series is an emotional whirlwind and contains one of the most complicated web of relationships in the Gundam universe, but its drama is done extremely well. To be honest, I can’t believe I am crying again as I listen to this – even if I can’t find a good AMV to use here (so there’s the live version of Rie Tanaka instead.)

4. Code Geass OP4: “World End” by FLOW

I have too much emotional connection to this OP. To me, it reflects the series of events that happens in Code Geass R2 at that point in time, all to culminate in what is in my opinion one of the best endings in anime of all time, an inevitable one. Perhaps its really just the anime I am attached to instead of the OP, but at this point I can no longer tell the difference myself.

3. Diamond no Ace Season 1 OP 3: “Hashire! Mirai” by GLAY

So I come to the anime that made me write this in the first place. Again, the emotions attached to this can probably only understood by those who have watched it and suffered through all its pain. On hindsight, the plot development should have been pretty clear just based on the OP. But my emotions are still all over the place right now, because I am clearly too attached to this series, way more than I had ever been for Haikyuu or Kuroko no Basket. Perhaps I’d write something on it soon.

2. Angel Beats ED: “Brave Song” by Aoi Tada

Angel Beats is a pack of emotions, and still remains one of my favourites till this very day. Though the ED can be said to be a little too obvious in its foreshadowing, it is perhaps the very simplicity of it that gets me every single time. Ultimately, this is a story about death and the afterlife, so the distilled message of the series is laid out in this ED. Aoi Tada’s voice is also a very soothing fit.

1. Clannad ED: “Dango Daikazoku” by Chata

Please let me know if you have watched Clannad AS and failed to even feel the slightest bit of waver in your emotions when this video plays. I would genuinely love to know what your heart is made of. … I kid. In stark contrast to the rest of the songs that I have put here, I personally think its the childlike innocence of this song, which is clearly a kids’ song, that really makes this an undisputed Number One. After all, the central theme and source of sorrow in Clannad AS lies in its portrayal of love, family, and human emotions, much of it which has to do with Ushio. Even though this was Clannad’s ED and not AS’s, I inevitably think of Ushio when we hear this – mostly because the story of Clannad itself was already gearing up for her arrival in many little ways. Happiness comes in little ways, even if they are punctuated with episodes of sorrow, and I think Clannad reminds me of that sometimes.

I apologise for my lack of activity on WP because I am basically in an emotional dump, but I’d probably end up writing something about Daiya soon just to make myself feel better. But do you agree with any of my choices? Is there any other anime OP or ED that can make you cry instantly? Feel free to like or leave a comment, and thank you for reading!



34 thoughts on “15 Anime OPs/EDs that make me cry

  1. I really did like the songs in this list, for most of them it’s my first time listening to them. My favourite was definitely the 4th opening from reborn! That’s probably my favourite opening in the whole series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a hard time deciding between OP 4 and 5 of Reborn because I feel 5 is very representative of the Future Arc as well. Still, there’s too much nostalgia~ I really miss Reborn haha. Thanks for reading, glad you liked the songs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really nice selection of tunes. I especially like the stuff from Clannad and FMA. The AnoHana OP is nice, although I found Secret Base to be a bit more emotional.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I heard most of the songs and it is nice list and when I think tears angel beats OP pops to mind. Just the first notes have a way of getting to me. Also the OP of No Game No Life.
    I am a sucker for the instrumental and piano sounds.
    Whenever I hear rock I just smile and feel happy.

    And the lady watching a sports Anime get my thumbs up.
    Be well and make sure you got box of tissues near by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Angel Beats OP is certainly unique, and No Game No Life’s one also draws me in haha. I like how the piano opens the song for NGNL 😀
      Ah, no wonder, and anime is full of lots of good instrumental music. There are many good tracks lying around, and are certainly not limited to the OPs and EDs.
      Thank you! I’d take your advice and have a box of tissues next to me, ready. xD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ano Hana made me bawl even though I’ve never watched the anime. The kids shouting まだか ugghhh it gets me every time. I’ve cried at more Vocaloid music videos than Anime OP/EDs though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, then you really should watch it! That’s interesting, I guess some of the music videos are really well made. For anime OPs/EDs, its more like it encompasses the ‘feels’ of the entire story for me, which is why it gets to me, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah IKR! Only us people who have braved through Diamond no Ace understand the feels T.T I am currently watching the second season as slowly as I possibly can because I don’t want it all to end ugh. Thanks! ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shiro another amazing post darling 🙂 I loved all the tunes in this and by god I’ll have to check out Diamond no Ace soon or later to know the obesession it has but you and crimson through. I loved that a gundam and nagi no asukara made it into your list UGHHHHH ebb and flow it’s a dam fav for me and now I feel inspired to write my own posts about songs I love 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank youuu Lita 😀 Haha, Diamond no Ace really requires a strong heart to watch it, but its a very special anime to me and Crimson hehe. And of course! Gundam Seed and Nagi no Asukara are both very emotional anime and I am glad you are inspired ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  6. i think I’ve only watched like 2 shows that are listed on here lol but I totally agree on a few like 1, 3 (duh lol), 5, and 11. Oh, especially that insert song, so beautiful and sad ;_; I think it’s especially nice to feel the feels without having watched a show, I don’t get that often 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha wow nice 🙂 Which other one have you watched? (Aside from Daiya of course haha) I guess ‘fields of hope’ is a really universally … sad song >< Haha I really recommend KHR to you though – there's a lot of fujoshi bait there that pre-dates the current sports anime wave, haha. Even though its a slightly older anime lol. xD

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eternal Snow is an excellent choice! It really draws you back into Full Moon wo Sagashite, which was really depressing. (In fact, I am now wondering how I could have missed that as a consideration for this list). I haven’t watched Chrono Crusade, but I went to hear the song – and I can see how it can potentially be a moving one, if only I knew the story! xD Thanks for sharing your choices, Krystallina! ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice list of anime songs :). The Clannad songs does hit my heart in the right place. That anime holds a special place in my heart. This doesn’t make cry but I do get sentimental when hearing the 5th opening of Naruto and the 15th (and last) opening of Bleach. The Naruto opening shows the split between Naruto and Sasuke and the breaking point of the friendship :(. In Bleach, the last part of the opening shows the episode numbers from 1 to the recent episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I think the Clannad songs have an almost universal effect on everyone 🙂 I went to check out the two openings you mentioned, and I see why that might be sad since well the Naruto vs Sasuke rivalry becomes a major plot point for most of the series from then on, isn’t it? And I realised I heard the last Bleach OP before ^^ I like it (its a nice song!) and I think it has a ‘closing’ feel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clannad has some amazing music. The ending song with the Dangos made me feel sad because I finally understand what was the purpose after finishing the anime. The Naruto song I mentioned is exactly what you said ^^. Two best friends splitting apart and become enemies; that’s how the series went upon. I agree with the Bleach song and what you said. I feels like it is saying, “that’s all folks”. Too bad the anime ended.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yup! At first we won’t be able to see much meaning in the ‘Dango’ song at the end of the first season, but towards the end of the second it all makes sense. Exactly! I feel that that last opening of Bleach kind of goes on the same musical transitions as some of the long-running shounens’ last OPs/EDs (like Katekyo Hitman Reborn and D Grayman for e.g.) it really has that same feel! xD

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. When I first heard of the song, I was like “that’s nice song. I wonder why they use it”. And then after watching the second part, I was like “Nagisa”!!!
        I feel like Shonen anime like Bleach and D. Grayman tend to know what to play when it comes to the song. They know what the fans want XD. I still need to watch D.Grayman and Hitman Reborn lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know right! I thought it was a childish song at first. How wrong was I to be honest xD It all falls into place right in the end 🙂
        Exactly. I like how the long shounen anime ultimately choose music that’s either nostalgic or fist-pumping. The songs bring out those emotions haha. Well Reborn is a very good story which I highly recommend! And perhaps the upcoming continuation of D Grayman may motivate you? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You thought it was a childish song too? It’s funny how a song that Nagisa liked as child can leave an emotional impact to our hearts XD. Funny as it sounds, I am glad I am wrong.
        I definitely agree about shonen anime :D. Despite a show being too long, if the series like Reborn has a song that replays old episodes or moments, it will bring up the good moments of the show. How many times have you got hit by nostagia XD? I need to watch Reborn. Maybe in the summer I will. I also want to see D. Grayman but I am not sure if the new one is a continuation or reboot. Is it a sequel?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hehe exactly. I think its the simplicity of the song and the magic of it that catches people off guard when they first hear it. Its a pretty unconventional choice as an anime ED. 😀
        Hehe exactly. I often go on Youtube to look for the entire playlist of a long running shounen anime (like Reborn/Fairy Tail) of OPs and EDs just so that I can listen to all at one shot and relive those moments again. Its a quick fix instead of rewatching the series XD
        I would highly recommend Reborn actually, seeing that its not watched much by the community ^^ I am not entire sure about the new D Grayman, but if I am not wrong it should be a sequel and continuation. I wasn’t an extremely big fan of D Grayman when I first watched it, but I am still considering jumping on the Summer bandwagon ^^

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I think anime like Clannad, they some how make a simple song and have it a big meaning. Once you get far in the anime, it becomes more than just a children’s song. Yeah, shonen anime has many great songs and it gives the awesome feeling from the anime moments.
        I should check out Reborn, I heard it was good and now I don’t see people talk about it much. I know the Viz Media stopped publishing discontinued the manga. It looks like a cool series. As for D Grayman, it looks awesome but I haven’t started the series yet :(. It may take some time for me to catch up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha you can start those in your own time, whenever you feel like it. 😀 D Grayman is good if you like slightly dark anime. I feel that sometimes it gives off some FMAB vibes. As for Reborn, I like the fact that it’s powers and fighting combine martial arts and supernatural powers. And that it’s the mafia. That’s always cool xD

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I should really check those out :D. I can see how D Grayman can be a little dark based on the themes it mentions. It does involve exorcism. In a strange way, it sorta feels like something from Tim Burtons XD. Reborn looks pretty cool. We don’t get as much anime about the mafia. I heard that the main character, Tsuna, starts off as klutz and then becomes tough.


  8. Ahhh, Nagi Asu’s second OP opened up a new kind of wound of which salt was shoved down into. In other words, an noteworthy pick.
    I wasn’t expecting to see Fate/Zero on this list from you, however, so consider me intrigued! I’m surprised that you didn’t go with the second ED, though, as I find that to be the most tragic of the four and an ideal representation of everything the show tried so hard to tackle (and succeed at). Kalafina adds a new level of ‘holy’ with their operatic voices to the already-Holy Grail war.
    If I may add (off the top of my head), Aldnoah.Zero’s second OP was pretty shattering, though it would’ve been more impactful had its visuals actually mirror what’s in the show *sighs*. While all three of the Evangelion Rebuild movies’ EDs bring tears to my eyes, the third one especially does me in, given the circumstances of the film. Madoka Magica Rebellion’s ED was also pretty gloomy, but depending on how you interpret the film, it can be quite hopeful yet tragic. So many good songs that hit the heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha yes, I would say that most people agree with Nagiasu’s OP 2 the most. 🙂
      I think Fate/Zero’s OP 2 just resonates with me exceptionally well, even I can’t really pinpoint exactly why. I do really agree with you on the second ED, it is also highly capable of eliciting the same teary emotions from me. I guess it’s because I like the way the scene is ‘set’ in Fate Zero, which is more OP 2’s role than ED 2 which deals with the emotions, parallel to what Fate Zero means to me – a dark fantasy that explores the darker side of humanity and its greed; rather than its sad story.
      Haha, Aldnoah Zero’s OP did flash past my mind, but I took it out for that very reason – it just promised more than it ultimately delivered.
      Ah, again I have yet to watch those movies, but I believe I have chanced upon those in many playlists as well and they do form very good impressions on me. Exactly, this is a very hard list to make because there’s just too much choice ^^

      Liked by 1 person

      • Damn, you just reached into Fate/Zero’s underbelly and ripped out its essential themes. It’s, once again, something I noticed while watching, yet was never able to fit it in words. You’re too good at this >.<
        And ooh, glad to see the consideration was made, but left out for the right reason. Too many good shows out there with great songs to enhance them!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: 15 Anime Songs Lita Loves To Death | LitaKinoAnimeCorner

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