My Hero Academia is a popular ongoing anime series following protagonist Deku and his journey to become the number one Pro Hero in a world full of crazy superpowers. Naturally, it’s no surprise that an anime with a world such as this has delivered some amazing opening sequences and theme songs. We’ve rounded up every My Hero Academia opening and ranked them from best to worst, based on music, imagery, animation, and symbolism. Let’s jump right in and go PLUS ULTRA!
Look, don’t get me wrong – I truly believe that there is no ‘bad’ My Hero Academia opening. Unfortunately, one poor unfortunate candidate had to be placed on the bottom of the list, and this time the unlucky recipient is Starmaker.
I do love that it’s different, focusing on more fun and goofy interactions between the characters, as well as revolving largely around a lesser popular character such as Kyoka Jiro. Unfortunately, Starmaker also reflects a very brief ark that has very little to do with the bigger picture of MHA, and is lacking some of those awesome dynamic battles, bold visuals, and intense beats that really portray the action that the series is about. Sorry, Starmaker; I love you for what you are, but the other openings just do it better.
10. The Day
The Day will always be iconic as far as anime openings go, making the perfect introductory theme for My Hero Academia. Yet, somehow the show’s openings just seem to get better and better each season, for the most part – and The Day was the very first opening, so while it’s still great, there are so many more openings that are even better, which is truly impressive. However, don’t let this distract you from the fact that The Day is a brilliant opening with a very strong sense of storytelling.
From this theme alone, we get a good understanding of every important character, from protagonist Deku and his struggles to Bakugo and their heated rivalry, and more impressively even a look at each of the classmates, villain Tomura Shigaraki, and the disturbing Nomu. Not to mention there’s some great flow and animation between each sequence – I mean, is the scene where the members of Class 1-A are jumping into the sky and showing off their Quirks not one of the most hype-worthy scenes in the early days of MHA? I certainly think so.
Look, I know Merry-Go-Round gets a bit of a rough time from fans for being one of the more lackluster openings of the series. However, I still believe there’s quite a lot to admire from this one. First of all, the song is an absolute bop. And then those animated scenes with Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo – are we just going to ignore the absolutely gorgeous lighting that was achieved, and the phenomenal animation quality and effects of the Quirks from these through as they burst through the sky and fight on?
Is Merry-Go-Round the most phenomenal opening in the franchise? No, of course not! But it’s short, it’s sweet, it has eye-catching visuals, and does exactly what it needs to do before the show prepares to gear up and dive into very dark territory.
8. Sora ni Utaeba
Sora ni Utaeba is a brilliant opening to represent the journey many of the beloved characters are beginning to undertake regarding personal growth and pushing the boundaries of their Quirks in a strive towards greatness. The music itself does a great job of being both more relaxed and tame yet still carrying that iconic catchy drum beat and electric guitar to bring just the right amount of action into the visual scenes.
The visuals on the other hand pay a lot of attention to each individual’s struggles and how they are turning them into ammunition to grow stronger – such as previous defeats, traumatic pasts, and old clashes. Not to mention, this ark is where we get the first glimpse at the iconic Killer Stain, who holds a different perspective from the villains viewers have met thus far. All around, Sora ni Utaeba is where things start to kick off in the MHA universe through Hero workplace training, showing both how far the characters have come, and yet, how far they still have to go, which makes it very memorable to fans.
7. Odd Future
What else can I say other than Odd Future is an absolute bop, and very enjoyable in terms of visuals and symbolism, too? Right from the beginning we can see Deku getting ready to take off with flashbacks of his ‘wimpy’ past self surrounding him, and changing bit by bit, showing again just how much he has grown as an individual and a Hero. There’s so much to love about this opening, from the visuals including Deku to All Might and Nana Shimura which portrays the generations of One For All, to the tranquil and almost calming verse as Class 1-A happily skip about on their training.
And then, as the beat begins to build and kick in, some amazing animation transitions take place, such as Endeavor’s flames transitioning into the Pro Heroes, and then Dabi’s flames transitioning into the League of Villains (if you know, you know!), followed by Toga’s weapon spinning into the camera as an outro transition for the group.
We then witness Class 1-A showing off their powers with much more skill than in previous openings, seamlessly using effects to transition to one another once again. Then finally, as the chorus hits, it’s all big bangs and explosions as All Might Powers up for a brief second against All For One before it ends with Deku and All Might standing side by side – The Number One, and the next generation getting ready to take on the big bad – talk about the hype!
6. Peace Sign
Look, we all knew Peace Sign was going to be in the top half of this list. A couple of seasons ago, it probably would have sat strong at number 1 – there’s just simply been way too many badass openings released since. This opening showcases the beloved Sports Festival arc, starting with scenes of Deku’s classmates stretching and exercising in preparation for what’s to come. The animations here are quite simple, but they work very nicely with the beat of the music to create a really catchy and satisfying first section of the opening.
However, right as the chorus hits the 1:00 mark, Peace Sign kicks into second gear, and it’s all WHAM! BLAST! WHIP! WHOOOM! We get to see effects such as Deku’s brand new Shoot Style, Todoroki’s ice, Iida’s speed, Tokoyami’s Dark Shadow, and Bakugo’s explosions as the classmates battle it out in grueling matches.
And then, of course, there’s the introduction of Hitoshi Shinso, who has proven himself to break the mold regarding how Quirks are viewed and gone on to become one of the most powerful side characters in the series. All in all, Peace Sign is a phenomenal opening for a brilliant My Hero Academia arc, and likely one that will be stuck in the heads of fans for years to come.
Look, we all absolutely adored the Sports Festival arc, ad No. 1 is the opening revolving around the Class 1-A and Class 1-B matches, including Deku’s long-awaited rematch against Hitoshi Shinso. The animation quality has significantly improved since back at the festival, with this opening being extremely satisfying when it comes to the fluidity of frames and effects regarding the Quirks of certain characters. Look at Shinso, just look at our boi – he’s so ready to prove himself, and I am all for it (plus extremely glad that this opening gives him some of the limelight he so very deserves)
However, the most impressive section of No. 1 is hands down the dynamic animation of the chorus. Just look at the way the camera pans from Iida zooming on the ground to Tsu jumping across the walls, past Mineta and blasted back by Ojiro’s Tailspin, down into Mina’s acid and then down covered by Tokoyami’s Dark Shadow which acts as transition to the next batch of students, and so on. Each of these transitions is so well thought out and cleverly executed, bringing a phenomenal final sequence together that showcases not just one class, but two.
This means that the camera blitzes over forty uniquely animated characters in total in just these mere few seconds – this is truly impressive. And the way Deku flies towards the air towards Shinso at the end, powered by the previous One For All holders… the rematch is on, everyone!
4. Make My Story
C’mon, there’s no denying that Make My Story is hands down one of the best MHA openings in existence, and perfect for the Hero Training License arc that this part of the story revolves around. From the very beginning, the opening imposes the obstacle of the challenge Deku has to overcome as he looks up at the silhouettes of students from other schools looming in the distance.
There’s also an element of fun with this opening, as it’s not exactly intense, but it still manages to be a combination of lightheartedness and badassery, especially with All Might shoving Deku forward like “Get in there, kid!”. Among the montage of powerful Quirks, we’re also introduced to a new cast of beloved side characters, such as Yo Shindo, Seiko Intelli, Inasa Yoarashi, Seiji Shishikura, and Cammie Utsumishi.
Also, can we just acknowledge the scene that shows Bakugo looking up to All Might just as Deku does? Finally, All Might sees Bakugo’s level of admiration for him and despite their rivalry, Deku and Bakugo finally have some sort of mutual understanding and common ground to stand on. Truly, there could be no better theme for this opening – I mean, with these classmates gaining their Hero Licenses, they will finally be able to start ‘making their stories’.
Polaris represents the Shie Hissaikai arc of My Hero Academia, which is perhaps the first dark storyline that the show dives into. There’s child abuse, death, gangs, and fatal changes that several characters are involved in – in other words, shit gets real. The opening does this heavy and important arc justice, kicking off with music that will catch your attention as ‘nostalgic’ memories of past events in the show flash by. Oh, and then there’s the first opening that the Big Three get a special appearance in – how could you not love third-year students Mirio, Amajiki, and Nejire?
The imagery and symbolism in the film of Sir Nighteye and the clocks are also very well done, linking back to his Quirk association with the concept of time, and indicating that he knew what was to come all along. As per usual, the chorus for this song is filled with an amazing dynamic action scene, with the Eri rescue team full sending the power of their Quirks, will the League of Villains spread out here and there.
There’s just something so fun and satisfying about scenes like this, which creates a perfect balance between the grim story, preventing things from getting too dark too soon (because we all know it gets worse). Lastly, the scene where Deku is falling through the sky to reach Eri is quite beautiful, as he was hellbent on saving her, having been prepared to put everything on the line to succeed.
This opening is near perfection, and there’s very little stopping it from claiming the number one spot. Unfortunately, the number-ranked opening stands out in uniqueness just a little more. However, Bokurano has gorgeous visuals, carrying an almost cinematic look with the use of different line weights on the character, thinner inside lines bringing intricate details to life, and a thicker outline to separate them from the background. Both of the gloomy and bright lighting scenes are incredibly well done, too, which makes a huge visual impact and breathes such life into the scenes.
The music is an amazing choice, and the scenes portray Dark Deku very well. However, there’s no ignoring the clear standout in this opening, the phenomenical dynamic fight scene where Deku goes swooping in like Spiderman with his Black Whip. The 2.5D look of the buildings as the camera goes flying past them is just breathtaking to look at, especially because this is 2D animation, and the camera truly does look like it is twisting and turning with Deku.
And then the little flashes of the One For All users surrounding Deku as he fights? I mean, excuse me, when did My Hero get so damn visually pleasing and aesthetic? Also, Shigaraki’s body fading away and distorting to reveal his younger self buried inside? Damn, there’s some serious layers to unpack there.
And at the very top spot, we have Hitamuki, which stands head and shoulders above the competitors for its unique, highly successful visual style. While manga technically is Japanese comic books, this opening uses a more American superhero comic-influenced approach, which is a successful concept for My Hero Academia, which has sometimes been referred to as an anime counterpart to the likes of Marvel and DC.
Need I even talk about how stunning the visuals and animations are here? The use of comic-styled panels and one-color gradients to simulate that comic book style is incredibly effective, and off the top of my head, I can’t even think of another anime that has taken this approach in its opening. Most importantly, this comic style doesn’t last for the entire thing, it does transition into the traditional anime show style, which helps it retain that My Hero Academia charm while successfully pulling off stylistic influences from other media, truly a masterpiece.
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