The one thing I notice is that a lot of people got into Anime when they were younger with all the dubbed anime that aired on TV. Whether it aired on Cartoon Network, Fox Kids, The Kids WB, or where ever anime was huge on TV back in the late 90s early 2000s. Now a days there is less anime on TV especially the way we remember it. The one thing that always stood out to me about these TV dub anime were the intros to the shows and it was a different approach into getting kids into the shows. What we learn is that opening to anime always makes the show captivating to the audience to watch, sometimes the openings are better than the actual show. That is why I am taking a different approach counting down the best dub US anime intros. Now before we begin let me discuss the criteria on how I judged it. The first rule was it had to be on TV (easy enough), second was it had to be all in English (sorry to any intros that aired where it was in Japanese), third it had to be different from the Japanese in terms of translations and the intro had to be different from the Japanese meaning what they showed couldn’t be the same in the Japanese. Also this list is opinion base so if certain intros didn’t make the list or you don’t agree with the order voice your opinions in the comments below. Now let’s sit back and listen to the great Nostalgia of US anime intros in this Top 10 list.
The intro itself pretty much keeping it short and simple with the basic part of the show being explained a young girl unleash a power and her quest is to find the cards and seal them away. It does do a good job setting up what cards are in the show and creating a very nice hook to the song, mix in with scenes from the show and you are all set.
#9 Yu-gi-oh! 5D’S
Now I love Yu-gi-oh! as it is one of my favorite shows growing up, I love all the different incarnations of the show but the weaker points were the intros. With the original and GX intros they were okay but not the greatest and that is until 5D’S. We all know when we first heard of 5D’S we were like “Cardgames on Motorcycles!!??” and to be honest I was like that to. But the show turned to be one of the best in the entire franchise. This intro has great music and great lyrics fitting the subject matter in the series. What makes this special was this was a fan voted intro; back in 2008 when 4Kids got the series they held a contest of 8 different songs that were going to be used as the intro for the show, the fans voted and the one with the most was going to pick and to no surprise this one. So not only we have a great song for a great series but we got a song picked by the fans.
*Set backwards to avoid copyright reasons*
While doing research for this list I came across the song on youtube and it seems like everyone loves this intro and the show. Now I remember watching Medabots as a kid and enjoying it but the intro never really stick. It me why they love it so much because it is actually really good, it just hits you right away with the announcer saying “MEDABOTS” It hits you with a ton a bricks and you know you are ready for quality. The song is pretty much what you expect from a show like this robots fighting, the Medafighters getting screen time, and of course the Medabots.
#7 Digimon Frontier
Like Yu-gi-oh! I loved Digimon it was pretty much the anime where you know this was going to be different from the rest. The story involved regular kids getting connected to digital companions to fight the forces of evil, in dove deeper getting to the emotional side of these characters and it holds up well. Now we all know the classic “Digimon Digital Monsters” intro from the first three seasons, though great I feel there was an intro stronger and it was the intro to the fourth season Digimon Frontier. Frontier tends to be the Black Sheep in the franchise because this time the characters become the Digimon instead of them having them as companions. With the intro it is actually really good, it goes for the different approach then what we were already use to the past 3 seasons. The intro has the sort of tribal feel to it as the characters are in a tribe of legendary Digimon and that this is a task they need to take in becoming them. Mix in a kick ass chorus, great balance of music, and scenes from the show you get the best in a Digimon intro.
#6 Shaman King
The best way to describe this intro is epic. If there was anything 4Kids did right with any of there shows was attempting to make them good with the intros. And this is no exception, this opening just says this is going to be good and for what it was it was pretty good. The music is fantastic, the lyrics are just awesome, plus they got Yoh’s voice actor Sebastian Arcelus to sing part of the song. Either way this intro comes out strong.
#5 Mew Mew Power
Okay another song from the 4Kid variety, I’ll guiltily admit I did watch this show when it first came out and it wasn’t all that bad even though I lost interest after half way into the series. But for whatever reason the theme song always stuck with me, and could not stop loving it. The song is just that good, I know it gets criticism for sounding like a Hannah Montana song but you cannot blame it for sounding like it after all the show is about teenage girls. The song was written and sung by musician Bree Sharp whose music has been use for shows like Dawson Creek, Charmed, Roswell and various others. This intro is no exception to being made with heart the song has a sweet innocent feel to it, tells you what to expect about five girls fighting space aliens with magic animal powers, and the best use of rhyme scheme like especially at 0:40 into the song if you don’t agree that is the best use of rhyming I don’t know what will. It is just a song that always puts a smile on your face every time I hear it.
OH HELL YEAH THIS INTRO ROCKS. If there was anything that made show about spinning battle tops possess by animal spirit awesome it was this intro. Everything about this song rocks the music, the lyrics, the clips shown it merges together to make an epic sandwich that will always be awesome. This intro was use in all three seasons of Beyblade and it gets better every time you hear it. Now I do now of the reboot Metal Fusion series and there song they use it is okay but doesn’t hold up compare to the original. Metal Fusion does add a lot of sound effects to the later season intro which are cool but it distracts too much from the music. Still the original holds up much better and anyone will tell you that.
#3 Sailor Moon
I think anyone would put this in the top of best songs use in anime for TV. As this was one of the first anime I remember watching as a kid when it first came out. Yes I do know they sampled the original intro and you could say this is a translation but it really isn’t. The lyrics are different, the mood is different for the song, plus one thing that separates it from the Japanese is two words “Guitar Solo” and that alone separates it from the original. Mix in memorable lyrics plus beautiful images from the show you get one of the finest in anime intros. PS I do know they are rebooting it in 2013. HOORAY!!
#2 DRAGONBALL Z
OH YEAH YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. If there was anything that made Dragonball Z seem like a Testosterone driving, action pack, kick ass show it was this intro. Right away you are pumped you know this was going to rock. The heavy rock music amplifies the show’s level, the fighting in the intro makes it even more sweeter, throw in memorable lyrics which is just “Dragon Dragon rock the Dragon, Dragon Ball Z, come come get ready” you get yourself set for one of the best intros out there.
Now I am sure you can guess what number 1 is going to be but I want to throw an honorable mention an opening I would of put on the list; however, it was never use despite actually really good and that is the 4Kids We Are English version for One Piece. Believe or not 4Kids actually translated an English version of the first One Piece opening and marketed at a tradeshow. I am not sure why it wasn’t pick but I think it had to do with something about being too long or thinking kids won’t like it. Which is a shame because I love it and it should have been used over the you know what.
Anyways here is Number 1
Okay no surprise here why this is number one. This intro is the definition of a great anime intro. Right away you hear it you know you are going to love this show and the song. From I want to be the very best to Gotta to Catch em all you feel complete. The adventure of a 10 year boy trying to be the world’s greatest Pokemon trainer is convey perfectly in the song and showing what Pokemon are and telling about the key elements of friendship on how you teach me and I’ll teach you. This intro will always be a testament of great intros in anime. Its memorable, everyone that watch it knows this song by heart, and will always have a great sense of nostalgia when they hear it.
That is my Top 10 list of US intros and if you like this list or feel there were intros missed or some should be higher than other voice your thoughts in the comments below.