With the Attack on Titan anime coming to an end, so did the constant dose of amazing openings the series was known for. They all had high-quality animation and music, evoking not only the themes but the feelings of each arc as the story unfolded.
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The themes of mystery, war and loss are ever present in each opening, as is the fluidity of movement of the characters. This made these intros unskippable, because they were as thrilling as any action scene in the show itself, and while we won’t have any more of them, they will remain unforgettable.
8 Red Swan
Season 3 First Opening
Sung by Hyde of L’Arc~en~Ciel fame, Red Swan is the quietest of the openings and aims for a more introspective look at the story, rather than an action-packed summary. This introspection reflects the story, as the heroes have to deal with threats from within the walls, since they have been branded fugitives by the government.
While the intro has some beautiful imagery of Eren, Mikasa and Armin, it isn’t something we haven’t seen before. The slow tempo of the music and the lack of iconic scenes in the opening make it the last one on the list, even if it’s still a great watch.
7 Shoukei To Shikabane No Michi
Season 3 Second Opening
The second opening for Season 3 has us, much like the plot, back outside the walls into pure Titan mayhem. It feels like a throwback to the iconic opening of Season 1, with the music having a similar tempo, and a showcase of the different Titans and action set pieces that are to come.
The opening also serves as a fitting farewell to the stories in Paradis Island, since the future of our characters lies, as the opening says, in the waves that stray beyond. It’s a great piece of animation that’s only held back by its overuse of slow motion.
6 The Rumbling
The Final Season Second Opening
The Rumbling sets itself apart from all other openings with its heavy metal style, and while it might put some people off at first, it fits the theme of the events like a glove. It talks about what could lead someone to use a weapon of such destruction like the Rumbling, and the anger that has to lie deep in their heart.
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While most other openings were about the struggles of the main characters, and their survival against impossible odds, The Rumbling is purely about Eren. We see him in the anime being extremely quiet during the Final Season, but internally he’s screaming with both wrath and sadness, as this opening clearly shows.
5 Saigo No Kyojin
The Final Season Third Opening
The final opening of the anime is less about the show in its current form, and more about celebrating the journey from the beginning. It also serves as a peak inside of Eren’s brain throughout the whole story, since the lyrics are clearly him talking to his friends.
Standout scenes are Eren in the Path, with the whole anime going through his head, driving him to unleash the Rumbling (a great representation of what he saw when touching Historia), and of course, the final showing of all the characters facing off against Eren. It’s a wonderful sendoff to one of the greatest anime of the generation.
4 Jiyuu No Tsubasa
Season 1 Second Opening
The biggest draw of The Wings of Freedom is how it combines its music with its visuals, each scene going hand in hand with the tempo of the music. It’s an action-packed journey with a lot to digest, but also with enough left to the imagination.
It has a lot of characters to present, since the main cast has gotten rather large by this point. It also gains bonus points for being the first intro with Levi, the best character of the series bar none, and Hange, the close second.
3 Shinsou Wo Sasagayo
Season 2 Opening
By season 2, the mysteries were still far from being resolved, as new and more deadly monsters awaited our heroes behind every corner. What remains is a theme that ended up lost, or rather transformed, by the end of the series; the idea of sacrifice for the greater good.
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What really makes the song work, and stand out on top of that, is the chorus screaming Sasageyo, meaning sacrifice or to devote, and it’s something constantly being said by many of the characters. It’s what made the entire cast so special, their willingness to sacrifice it all for their people, even when their goals were opposed.
2 Guren No Yumiya
Season 1 First Opening
The first opening encapsulates everything that makes Attack on Titan great, and does such a good job that it could’ve stayed as the only opening until the final season. It presents each concept so neatly, not only the dreaded monsters to face but the inventive tools our heroes used to beat them.
And the music, that battle cry of emotions inviting you to rise with them, to refuse to be cattle and rise as a hunter. Even when removed from the anime, the song is the perfect motivator for any difficult moment you have to endure, filling you with energy to become the Jäger.
1 My War
The Final Season First Opening
As the anime moved into its final season, the focus was no longer on the monsters our heroes faced, but on how people became monsters during wartime. This thesis is all over My War, it being less about sacrifice in the name of the nation, and more about the needless sacrifices nations make us do.
There’s a distinct lack of imagery from the anime, since the characters are now in a world much like our own, with things familiar to us thanks to the tragic events of real-world wars. Yet there’s still one titan visible in the intro, and the one likely claiming this as His War, the Attack Titan.
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