There are numerous anime series that fall into the horror genre, full of twisted and terrifying tales. However, what makes many of these series so memorable is not just the gripping plotline, but also their iconic, spooky opening songs, and we’ve compiled 10 of the best ones for Halloween festivities.
PAPERMOON (Soul Eater)
Soul Eater’s world and imagery are very Halloweenish in general, which helps to create a spooky but not necessarily scary environment. The first opening theme for the series, Resonance, managed to combine these Halloween-like visuals with a fun, upbeat opening track.
However, in the second opening track of PAPERMOON, things take a much darker turn. The track itself has a slower and grittier sound than Resnonance, with various guitar riffs and echoes setting up heavy feelings of impending doom.
This is accompanied by much darker imagery to create a very grim vibe overall. It’s all entirely captivating, and almost tells a mini story of all the hardships that are to come in the episodes following the opening. Plus, the scene of Soul hitting the piano keys right as the chorus drops is absolute perfection.
This unsettling anime opening is undoubtedly an absolute hit, carrying that unique Soul Eater charm with a catchy, yet creepy tune to tie everything together.
My War (Attack on Titan)
My War is the first opening of Attack On Titan’s Final Season and a memorable one at that.
This theme has an overwhelmingly eerie feeling to the music, with striking violin chords setting the haunting scene of chaos and war. The war imagery throughout the opening is also very dark and unsettling, creating an impending sense of dread for the dark territory that the show is continuing to progress through.
Everything about this opening sequence is bone-chilling. The themes of war and destruction, paired with the haunting piano melodies and intensity of the violin and background vocals, make an impact on the viewer like no other. How the imagery is done is also very unnerving, with this opening blending a monochrome aesthetic with the colorful smoke and explosions throughout.
This creates a reference to the bleak and unforgiving direction the story is moving toward, and drastically enhances the haunting melodies and orchestra of terror My War manages to create.
Kuusou Mesorogiwi (Mirai Nikki/Future Diary)
Future Diary (otherwise known as Mirai Nikki) is a wild show, revolving around the acts of a terrifying killing game between twelve participants who are facing off in a battle royale to become the next God of Time and Space. Kuusou Mesorogiwi is the first opening theme for this series and does a brilliant job of making an impact on the viewer as a very memorable and spooky tune that sets up the twisted antics of the story with perfection.
The haunting choir vocals that kick off the song immediately make an unsettling impression, paired with imagery of a single eye that cries blood. Things then kick off with an intense anthem alongside visuals involving mostly monotone images, with the addition of red to make blood stand out.
However, the most unsettling part of this opening is perhaps how Yuno is depicted. At first, she appears onscreen for a moment like any other Diary Holder. By the end of the opening though, Yuno is shown spiraling into madness and fighting herself, which is a first indicator of her fragmented mind and true insanity as well as a strong symbol for the end of the story; which viewers will come to appreciate when completing the series.
One Reason (Deadman Wonderland)
Deadman Wonderland’s One Reason does a great job of grabbing your attention. Not only is the song itself rather dark and heavy — and perfectly intense for a show such as this — but it’s also very catchy and will likely get you hyped up for the next episode you’re about to jump into.
The puppet master plus prisoner imagery is very grim, and establishes some dark undertones for the horror that is to come in the show. The strong flashes and uses of red not only indicate the severity of the situation for those involved in the story, but also a strong link to blood; both in the form of those who wield it as a weapon, and the blood spilled by the vicious acts of torture and forced violence bestowed upon the prisoners.
It’s properly edgy, but also spooky and unnerving enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with other Halloween-esque anime openings.
Kyoumu Densen (Another)
Another’s opening track, Kyoumu Densen is the type of tune that sounds exactly like what nightmares are made of.
The song itself has a creepy, upbeat, almost mad circus-like feeling to it, which only makes the dark horror elements and imagery that much more impactful. The scenes and imagery that play out during this opening sequence are also incredibly creepy, hinting at many of the bewildering and bizarre death scenes that are to come while also keeping a strong sense of mystery and misfortune regarding the story.
This high school is not somewhere I’d like to end up, and this opening has been one I’ve not been able to forget; that much is certain.
What’s Up, People?! (Death Note)
Death Note is one of the most memorable anime titles in existence, with a first opening theme song that has been recognized as fairly iconic. However, as great as this first opening is, when it comes to spookiness, the second opening track What’s Up, People?! outshines it by far.
The song uses some very heavy instrumental and metal vocals with plenty of growls and screams. This creates some serious tension and enhance psychological thriller elements that are frequent occurrences in the plot.
This track is the perfect theme for the direction that Death Notes takes in the second half of the story, with flashes of overlapping and inverted imagery being cleverly used to portray Light’s full descent into madness. At one point, the glass reflection of him completely splits, symbolizing his fractured mentality, unwavering madness, and obsession with power through his identity as Kira.
Under the Tree (Attack on Titan)
Here again, another iconic Attack on Titan opening has made an impact as one of the spookiest among all, reflecting the horrors of the rumbling and the army of Colossal Titans.
Under the Tree starts with some dark, unnerving piano chords, and continues to build sheer terror as images of horrific events start to flash, with people being crushed alive. This includes Ramzi, who Eren had once saved. The opening also creates a rather jarring contrast between scenes of Eren’s childhood innocence and the devastating events of mass genocide caused by his plans as a young adult.
As the beat kicks into heavy guitar riffs, things only continue to get more intense, with more horrific images showing people being burned alive, taking their own lives, the beloved Hange sacrificing her life to buy her comrades more time, and mass destruction of the cities many grew up in, or seeked protection from after becoming refugees.
This is definitely one of the heaviest and most gruesome opening sequences of all time, earning it a rightful spot as one of the spookiest in existence.
Shichiten Battoru no Blues (Junji Ito Collection)
There are few horror creators as well-known as Junji Ito when it comes to anime and manga. Junji Ito Collection is just this: an animated horror anthology series consisting of some of his best-selling and most frightening work.
The opening theme, Shichiten Battoru no Blues is somewhat fascinating. Unlike other melodies that are on this list, this tune doesn’t have a haunting feeling to it, but instead a rather upbeat and catchy melody.
This is paired with numerous references to some of the spookiest moments within his most iconic works, full of grim and disturbing imagery being warped with distortion and scribble effects. As a result, it creates the perfect blend of intrigue and horror, combining into a perfectly spooky opening that does a great job at setting the scene for the stories to come.
Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni)
Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni and the opening track of the same name may appear to be all bright and bubbly for the most part, full of bright colors and flowers. However, there are much darker undertones to this opening than you may realize.
Most significantly, the mysterious lyrics that ring across the first section of the song “Hanni hara hare hi”, were created by reversing audio of the phrase “Nigerarenainda” – which roughly translates to “there’s no escape”.
Considering the plot of the show revolves around a hellish purgatory-like setting in which children are enveloped by madness, slaughtering each other over and over again in different timelines. Knowing this, the phrase of “Hanni hara hare hi” makes the whole opening ten times spookier.
Plus, the combination of these threatening words with the bright, whimsical, child-like imagery is extremely unsettling, lending some very spooky undertones to the opening sequence.
Hoshikuzu no Ring (Corpse Party: Tortured Souls)
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is an undoubtedly spooky, brutal, and gruesome tale as far as horror anime goes, and the opening track of Hoshikuzu no Ring does a brilliant job at setting up a gnawing sense of dread in the viewer before these twisted events unfold.
The vocals of this song are for the most part hauntingly beautiful, with a section of chanting here and there like a choir of impending doom.
This opening starts by showing scenes of dark, gritty, and gruesome images near the beginning, hinting at the terror that is to come. However, in the second half of the opening, there is a rather jarring contrast as it flashes to bright and sunny wholesome scenes between the characters; and then, once again, back to the creepy choir and dark, horrifying montages.
Not only does this make the opening very intriguing, but also an absolute rollercoaster of dread and terror, resulting the perfect spooky sequence to kick off such a twisted tale.
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