Pokemon Anime OpeningsThis is a list I wanted to make for a long while. A proper ranking of the Pokemon anime openings which consists both English and Japanese openings.
THE VERY BEST!
Was there ever any doubt? There can never be a better animé opening than the theme synonymous with the animé that defined the childhood of an entire generation. One line of this song is all it takes to pull a billion heartstrings. Nothing is capable of evoking such overwhelming nostalgia from fans, and this theme will always be known as THE Pokemon Theme song. But even if we throw nostalgia out of the window, it's still a phenomenal song. This theme is the most well-known anime theme in the world, and that's for a reason. Jason Paige's performance here was nothing short of legendary. If you watch his video where he sings the intro in the studio, take a moment to look at his facial expression and how he moves his entire face muscles, nose, eyes, cheeks, breath, etc. Dude was singing his heart out! I've never seen anyone in my life sing with such passion as this man. And it all works together. Singing like this with all of one's effort shows magical results. And he must be one proud man. But let's not forget to give credit to the lyricists of this song John Siegler and John Loeffler. They managed to produce some of the most motivational lines from our childhood and the perfect fit for the Pokemon anime. These lines perfectly encapsulates everything that the series is about: friendship, adventure, discovery and competition. And it also establishes the idea that Pokemon are more than just pet animals. They are trainers' true friend and a large part of their lives. All in all, there is no doubt that this is the best opening in the history of the Pokemon anime.
Here's a joke-
Genwunner: Everything in Gen 1 is the best. Other gens don't even come close.
Me: There are good and bad things about every generation. Gen 1 is not the only good generation.
Genwunner: Every best thing in Pokemon is from Gen 1.
Me: No, they're not.
Genwunner: Best games? Red and Blue.
Me: There are much better games out there.
Genwunner: Best season? Indigo League.
Me: Yeah, as if DP and XY don't exist.
Genwunner: Best movie? Mewtwo Strikes Back.
Me: Not even close!
Genwunner: Best theme song? Pokemon Theme.
Me: N... Okay, you got me with that one.
Anyway, here are some more appreciations for the Pokemon Theme-
"What words can I even say, Jason? Nothing will ever be profound enough to explain what you've done for us all. Perhaps it may sound silly, it's just a song after all, isn't it? I don't believe so. It's truly so much more. A beautiful work of magic and artistry is the closest thing I can articulate. I have to apologize, as words fall short. We can tell you gave your all in this performance, let me speak for so many others when I say how much we appreciate it, your enormous effort to entertain us as children is not wasted on us. My fondest and clearest memories of my childhood is waiting for Pokémon to come on at my grandmothers after school. Had the beginning of the show not had this much power, emotion, and pride in your Work, I truly believe it wouldn't have had the same impact on the MILLIONS perhaps BILLIONS of people you've touched in our hearts. You had an entire generation singing with you. Your role in this show, and our lives is pivotal. I only wish I was able to articulate more clearly how much you've done. Your legacy is forever, we will see to it. I'm positive I speak for many when I say: From the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much."
- Travis Graves
"This is one of anime's most special theme songs because of it's unique ability to bring people together. It's not just a song, but a social glue that makes new friends and keeps old ones."
- Top 10 Anime Openings, WatchMojo
"There can only be one, because let's face it. You know this song. It follows you wherever you go... The very millisecond you hear this song, you'll stop whatever you're doing and will sing along."
- Top 10 Catchiest Opening Songs of Anime, Anime America
WHEN Pokémon WENT FULL SHONEN MODE!
Pokémon XY was the series when Ash had finally become a mature trainer and a badass protagonist. He had arguably his strongest team ever, and there was always a look of confidence on his face. He had a traveling companion who had a clear crush on him and a rival who was following in his footsteps. It was the time when the Pokemon anime began to feel like a top-tier shonen anime. The hype for XY&Z was already soaring, and Rica Matsumoto did not need to go so hard for the opening. But she did it- she did it for us. With breathtaking animation and fiery music, this is the most KICKASS intro in Pokémon history. And it's the theme that attracted Pokémon fans to watch the subbed version. This opening did a fantastic job of hyping up Team Flare and showing off the stunning choreography of XY battles as well as Complete Forme Zygarde. However, no discussion about XY or this intro can be complete without mentioning Ash's Greninja. Not all superheroes wear capes. Some wear their tongue as a scarf. With visuals portraying the connection between Ash and Greninja, the growth of Greninja from a small Froakie to achieving the spectacular Ash-Greninja transformation, the lyrics of 'Iku Z!' are packed with Ash and Greninja's optimism and confidence. It did not take long for this theme to become associated with Ash-Greninja. And the moment when this theme played in the much-anticipated Ash-Greninja vs. Mega Sceptile battle in the Kalos League elevated this theme to legendary status! You may call it 'Iku Z!' or 'XY&Z,' but this opening will always be 'Ash-Greninja Theme with lyrics' to XY fans like me. Rica Matsumoto has been singing amazing theme songs since the first season, but none of them come close to this one. It's that good!
THE OP THAT WAS RUMORED TO END THE ANIMÉ!
'Spurt!' almost sounds like a song from a totally different anime. While the majority of Pokémon openings are case studies on how to make a pop song as catchy and exciting as possible, 'Spurt!' is something completely different.
It’s definitely still a classic anime opening, but the vocals are way more intense and passionate, and the music is much more dramatic. It feels like it's just bursting with tons of energy. The video for this opening was absolutely incredible! It starts with all of Ash's Pokémon rushing towards an epic battle. After montages of May, Drew and Harley and shots of Ash's Pidgeot, Larvitar, Butterfree and Lapras, we get a series of fast-paced battle sequences with a lot of explosions! It effectively sets the tone for the final season of the series, as if it’s preparing fans for the climax of the story. Apart from being hyped for the Frontier Brains, we're treated to a spectacular card scene in which Delia Ketchum and Misty are portrayed as Queen of Hearts and Team Rocket as Jokers. From start to finish, this intro is pure excitement! This theme is so epic that Japanese audiences of that time felt the Pokémon anime was about to come to an end.
THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL POKEMON OPENING!
'Battle Cry' does everything 'We Will Be Heroes' does but better. It's just as wholesome as the later but much more inspirational. It has a great melody, Eric Bowman's beautiful voice as well as some amazing guitar tunes. It does a wonderful job of pumping up the viewers for the battle against Team Galactic and Hunter J. But what truly made it stand out are it's fantastic lyrics and its beautiful message.
It starts with a phenomenal line, "Sometimes it's hard to know, which way you're supposed to go". This is a situation almost everyone has faced in some part of his/her life. But this song inspires that no matter how hard the situation is, the heart will lead to the correct path. On top of that, it wonderfully conveys the spirit of friendship.
It's great to have friends, but it's even better when you have friends whom you can bring into a battle with the confidence that you'll win - Season 12's theme song gives you that feeling. It was at a time when Ash, Dawn, and Brock had been established as a trio, so we were all in.
The Pokémon were brought into view in the music video to remind you that the friends would only prevail if they used their Pokémon effectively. The theme had a battle-like feel to it, but one that reminded you to keep your friends close.
THE MOST 'FIRE' THEME IN POKEMON!
Not only is this theme an absolute banger, it is the best representation of Ash's goal. This is the first song of the David Rolfe era and what an amazing song it is!
SAME AS TOGETHER, BUT SLIGHTLY BETTER
This is pretty much exactly the same as the 2007 version. The lyrics and video are same but the melody here is slightly better.
COULDN'T ASK FOR A BETTER INTRODUCTION TO SINNOH!
Diamond and Pearl is arguably the best season of the Pokémon animé. In many different ways, this series was quintessential! Other than XY, this is the season where Ash had the best growth in character. And 'Together' was an amazing intro for this phenomenal series.
It starts with Ash and Pikachu standing on a cliff while gazing at the horizon marking the dawn of a new era. Next, Ash, Dawn, and Brock are on top of a tree witnessing the wonderful new Pokémon in the Sinnoh region. That gets followed by some beautiful habitats of Pokémon as well as shots of Professor Oak, Delia, Professor Rowan, Johanna, Nurse Joy, Pokémon Contest judges, and more. The new legendary Pokémon Palkia and Dialga were also introduced in a monumental way.
The song is arguably the most soft-toned in the franchise with the most cheerful melody and wholesome lyrics you'll ever find. But that doesn't take anything away from the excitement. This song also introduces Ash's new rival, Paul who is unarguably the best rival Ash ever had. The face-off between Ash and Paul along with their Pokémon can be described in one word- EPIC!
Overall, 'Together' perfectly encapsulates the vibe of that era of Pokémon. Out of all the theme songs in Pokémon, this is the one that induces the most nostalgia. There is no way the list of the best Pokémon openings can be completed without it.
THE NAME SAYS IT!
Hands down, there has never been a cooler song in the Pokémon franchise than this one. It plays similar to the other Hoenn intros, but what it brings is the rush of adrenaline to the system as you feel nothing’s impossible.
The David Rolfe era of Pokemon openings was my favorite! And this is the last theme from that period. The moment I first heard it first, it instantly became my favorite. The Gen 3 intros are the most hype in the franchise, but this song outshines them all. It started strong and stays that way the entire time. And the visuals in this intro are among the best in the series. The scene where they showed the land, sea, and sky Pokémon is the best Pokémon presentation ever! The vast area filled with so many Pokemon interacting is the most wholesome thing ever. The full version from Lucario and the Mystery of Mew just adds to its awesomeness.
Most of all, the blend between an upbeat track, a fantastic singer, and appropriate lyrics made this the most exciting theme song we've ever had.
Note: I was about to put it in #2 but the only reason I didn't is because Ash is not actually 'Unbeatable'. But credit to this song to make us feel that Ash is finally about to become an OP trainer.
INTENSE THEME WITH FAST-PACED MUSIC AND ANIMATION!
Most of the Pokemon openings are heartwarming or with a normal paced theme, but this is one that was quick to the punch as you got the whole idea behind the season in a few seconds. The upbeat track was complemented by lyrics that expressed Ash's mindset.
It gave the impression that the show was getting straight to business, which was important given the series' long run, as the audience needed to be reassured that the episodes would still be exciting, and the theme’s quickness did just that.
THE JOLLIEST OPENING OF THEM ALL!
Rika Matsumoto once again comes back to sing this one and instead of being accompanied by another trainer, she sings along with Pikachu's voice actore Ikue Otani. The song is extremely catchy, features a group of children singing backup vocals, and, of course, Pikachu's voice is instantly recognizable. On top of that, it has one of the most addicting choruses ever!
WHOLESOME AND INSPIRATIONAL!
This song instilled in the listener the belief that everyone on the stage, not just Ash, was destined for greatness. It also brings focus on the Pokémon who help Ash in his quest.
This song made you feel as though you were wrapped in a warm hug, and the soundtrack never went all-out in a burst to ruin the sentimental mood it created. For those few seconds, you're tempted to believe that one day you'll be a hero.
THE BEST INTRODUCTION TO A NEW REGION!
If there was one theme song that captured the sense of wonder and delight that came with the Pokémon franchise, it would be this one. The theme song of Johto Journeys was just so happy and cheerful in presentation that you wanted to dive into all of Pokémon mythology you could find. And it perfectly encapsulates the idea of going to a brand new location. Even if it is a whole new world with a brand new attitude, you still gotta catch'em all.
This opening could get by on just its amazingly catchy tune and the "Do-do do-do, do-do"s, but has some incredible animation to go along with it. The group continues to explore Johto and it really gives you a look at the scope of the wide world of Pokemon. Of course, seeing Brock come back was just the icing on the cake.
It wasn’t as much about the challenges that were there, but rather about having a good time and enjoying the open world, which was full of fascinating new Pokémon of all shapes and sizes. A delightful track like this can easily capture new fans and keep interest from old ones fresh.
GETS STUCK IN THE HEAD AND STAYS THERE!
The second English theme song had too large of a shoe to fill and it didn't succeed in creating the aura that the first one did. Because of that, this intro often gets overlooked. But on it's own it's a very good opening. It may not be the best in pure musical standards, but it's arguably the catchiest Pokemon opening of all time. And although there are a lot of exciting scenes, the animation emphazises on Ash's growth since the start of the series, which is fitting for the season. And there are so many callbacks to past characters, as if we're looking through Ash's memories.
Performed by Russell Velázquez, the same singer who performed 2.B.A Master, this song radiates a vibe like no other. This theme really helps add to the huge amounts of excitement fans had once the second generation was announced. We may not actually live in a Pokemon World, but this song is the easiest of all Pokemon openings to bop to. And if you can arrange a bunch of Pokemon fans to scream this song together, it will be a time of your life! This 'fire' intro is truly an underrated gem.
WELCOME TO HOENN, THE LAND OF TRUMPETS!
Advance Adventure stands out from most of the Pokemon openings. It begins with a trumpet, which is always really unexpected in a pop song, and while it’s very high tempo and incredibly 90s pop, the horns in the background give it a fun retro feeling as well. But what truly grabs the viewers attention is the magnificent scenes of the new Hoenn region.
THE ONLY SONG THAT MAKES UNOVA FEEL INTERESTING!
This song is pretty catchy and perfectly encapsulates the idea of the end of a journey. And the visuals were really something special. Not only does it hold some gorgeous animation with some smooth transitions, but there were three different versions of this theme. All of the same song but different visuals to go along with the running story arc. It only clocks in at 30 seconds but the upbeat tune and glimpses of the Unova League, N and Team Plasma or the cruise back to Kanto are enough to make this opening pretty memorable.
The melody is much more child-friendly than the others, and you may be tempted to believe that Pokémon are becoming less adult and more directed toward children, but it's only when you embrace the song that you realize the meaning behind it.
When Ash went into different regions with companions that weren't well-known to the general audience, it's about bringing new friends in the same way one might carry older friends. There’s a definite sense of camaraderie that can be felt in this song, and you feel safe with the tune.