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5 Historic Anime Openings

You can’t have a great anime without a catchy opening song. Since the ‘60s, anime shows have always been preceded by an opening theme, originally designed to help audiences (especially kids) remember the name of the show.

In “The History of Anime Openings/Closings” by Cosplay Joe, attendees were treated to a slew of early anime openings. Here are some of the most historic:

Astro Boy: Osamu Tezuka’s classic was not the first anime, but it did include the first anime opening theme ever! In Japanese, it was simply instrumental, but the US version added lyrics, sung by a children’s choir. Soon, the Japanese version followed suit.

Kimba the White Lion: Once again, there’s a US version and a Japanese version. The English version is short and sweet, but the Japanese version is much, much longer (2 minutes!!).

Mahou Tsukai Sally AKA Sally the Witch: The very first magical girl series. They repeat her name a lot, it’s supposed to help the name of the show stick in kids’ heads. This opening is also notable for featuring a blatantly unlicensed portrayal of Tom & Jerry.

Cutie Honey: This anime aired in 1973, but its opening’s high quality makes that almost unbelievable. This sexy show aired back when America wasn’t sure “Three’s Company,” a sitcom about two women and a man living together, was too risque for TV, Cosplay Joe reminded the audience.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: This features the song “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” by Yoko Takahashi, written specifically for the opening. The song became so pervasive in pop culture that it has seen many renditions, including a gospel version!

What’s your favorite anime opening?

—Lauren, AB Staff Blogger