Although less popular compared to opening theme songs, Anime ending theme songs are full of hidden gems that many might skip. Just like opening theme songs, ending theme songs are supposed to set you into a mood after an episode ends whether it’s happy, excited, sad, etc. There are rare occasions where the ending theme song is very upbeat as that’s reserved for the opening theme song but we’ve included a few examples down below. Without further ado, these are our favorite ending anime theme songs!
Usually, an anime opening theme is an approach to introduce an anime in two minutes or less. It’s usually upbeat and is reflecting the general mood of the series itself. However, in ending themes, it’s usually the opposite. ED’s for me gives you a different perspective to the anime you’re watching. Based on experience, they are typically toned down with a light or mellow atmosphere to balance the mood sometimes after intense scenes and cliffhangers. As for me, I like my ED’s fun and/or dynamic. I am not necessarily a hater of ballad-ish songs but the ballad ending themes I’ve listened to didn’t quite really hit that spot for me. Here are the five ending theme songs I surely would not ever skip.
- “HALF” by Ziyouu-vachi – from Tokyo Ghoul:Re
We all are aware on what type of anime Tokyo Ghoul is: bloody, dark, gorey, and mostly intense. While the OP “Asphyxia” depicts the main grasp of the season, the ED “HALF” is a 180 degree opposite. “HALF” is a very enjoyable and catchy song that you won’t ever expect from an anime like Tokyo Ghoul. What I particularly love about this song is the wondrous performance of the instrumental. The song itself is funky and lowkey yet super addictive. I really really really believe every second of the song is perfect!
- “Kaze Ga Fuku Machi” by Luck Life – from Bungo Stray Dogs
My second favorite ED is the second ending theme of Bungo Stray Dogs, one of my most favorite anime of all time. By the beginning of the song, one can easily assume that it will be a mellow or slow track but as the vocalist begins to sing, the song unveils its true identity: an alternative rock masterpiece. Just like “HALF”, the instrumental in this song is one of a kind but what enticed me the most is the vocal performance. I don’t know much about J-Pop singers but I can say that “Luck Life” is a heck of an amazing band.
- “Splash Free” by STYLE FIVE – from Free!
I so did not watch Free! just for the sake of seeing hot shirtless guys in their swimming trunks getting wet. Getting back to the topic, “Splash Free” is the ending theme of the anime’s first season. Free! ending songs are quite special because it’s performed by STYLE FIVE, a group composed of the voice actors of the show’s five main characters. The main concept of the opening theme is friendship and competitiveness while “Splash Free” is just pure party and fun! Combine such a wonderful song with an eye-candy of an animation and create the super formula of a non-skippable ED.
- “Mirror” by Rei Yasuda – from Mahouka Kouko no Rettousei
Now we have the second ending theme of The Irregular at Magic Highschool, a song titled “Mirror” by an amazing singer, Rei Yasuda. I really would like to give kudos to her because her voice is too damn good! When I first watched Mahouka, I expected more Fairy Tail-like magic so when the characters did their things, I was a bit disappointed. However, when this ED happened, I completely experienced the magical ride I was looking for. It wouldn’t be too farfetched to say that “Mirror” is one of the reasons why I enjoyed Mahouka to its end.
- “Hyori Ittai” by Yuzu – from Hunter x Hunter (2011)
To be really honest, as a HxH 2011 fan, we’ve got nothing to anticipate in every arc change except the new ED song. Why? Because all of HxH opening theme songs are exactly the same. “Hyori Ittai” covers the final part of the Chimera Arc and never had I thought it would be this meaningful when I first saw it. It’s hard to explain but being that the Chimera Arc is a deadly roller coaster ride of emotions it’s better to watch the anime instead. Anyways, “Hyori Ittai” is a rather experimental song with elements that aren’t usually mashed together. It’s upbeat but sentimental and mature sounding at the same time, that’s its biggest charm.
In contrast to Openings, which generally aim to provide a catchy tune that will leave a big impression on the viewer (and even awaken interest in an anime thanks to its aesthetics and sound), Endings tend to present the show for what it is, displaying the overall theme of a story arc through its visuals and its lyrics. Personally, it’s not uncommon for me to replay more EDs than OPs – there are just too many good ones. Both my top 5 picks and my honorable mentions include tunes that are memorable jams and also managed to capture the essence of the anime they come from.
- “Alumina” by Nightmare – from Death Note
As usual, I’m weak to good J-Rock. Not only does Alumina have great lyrics that beautifully portray Light’s inner thoughts, the dark visuals with red highlights that go along with the song are also amazing and a perfect fit for Death Note as a whole. Yomi’s vocals are very pleasant to listen to throughout the entirety of the ED, and the guitar, the bass and the drums help to create a smooth progression from the calmer beginning of the song to the more emotionally charged chorus.
- “STYX HELIX” by MYTH & ROID – from Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
There’s no way I could leave out this recent, iconic ED. Not only did Re:Zero take the anime community by storm with waifu wars; its remarkably addictive soundtrack was praised by every viewer throughout the entirety of the show’s run. Mayu’s vocals are heavenly, and the melody and harmonization make the tune very catchy. The lyrics explore the conflict produced by the numerous dead ends that lead to rewinding time in Re:Zero, thus additionally making the song a great representation of the anime’s storyline.
- “Los! Los! Los!” by Aoi Yuuki – from Youjo Senki
This Ending is sung by the voice actress of the main heroine, Tanya, hence its lyrics portray her insane personality in the anime, and the passion and bloodthirsty nature she displays in the battlefield. The song is hectic and has numerous transitions to accommodate to Tanya’s dialogue as the tune progresses. The thing about the fast-paced nature of the song is that it makes it very easy to enjoy and prevents it from getting old fast – you’ll definitely find yourself looping the song as Tanya’s vocals keep the hype alive.
- “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Youna” by Sayuri – from ERASED
ERASED was an emotional and intriguing anime that garnered a lot of recognition during its run. Albeit many of us weren’t quite satisfied with the abrupt and rushed last episodes, ERASED was still a highly entertaining ride. Leaving aside the show’s story, both its OP and ED themes are stunning. The build-up in this ED is amazing. First of all, Sayuri has a great voice, and the song certainly wouldn’t work out as well if she weren’t behind the vocals. More importantly, though, the composition is what truly made the tune shine. The slow and fast-paced sections alike are appealing, and the more heated segments are an special treat to your ears: you’ll be swooning whenever the song picks up.
- “Blood Teller” by Faylan – from Mirai Nikki
Mirai Nikki, the trendy anime and the next big thing before Sword Art Online made its debut. Being active in the internet while Mirai Nikki was on-going meant you couldn’t escape from Gasai Yuno – the unique yandere carried the show and kept viewers hooked, many tuned in every week to see what Yuno would pull off next. Mirai Nikki is a show you start watching because of the plot, but you keep watching because of Yuno. Although the anime itself had its flaws, the music was on point from the very beginning: Yousei Teikoku and Faylan made sure to delight us with their vocals in every episode. Not only is Blood Teller a great ED in the musical sense: its visuals highlight the most important side-characters, ensuring that they stay in your memory as the show progresses.
An anime ending, to me, is a way to get the viewer in a certain mood after finishing each episode. Most of the time, it’s either a pop ballad or a rock ballad but time to time there are upbeat endings. The art style in endings are usually creative, it’s very different from the art direction of the anime series. The flow of the animation is sometime slower as action packed animation is usually reserved for openings although it’s not always the case, like in Naruto Shippuden ending 29. A lot of the tracks I’ve chosen below are either light-hearted or have an interesting melody. Here are my 5 favorite anime ending theme songs — I hope you enjoy them as well!
- “Waiting for the rain” by Maaya Sakamoto – from The Asterisk War
Musically, this is probably the best and most beautiful ending I’ve ever heard. With the back and forth between the piano and the violin, you instantly get goosebumps and eargasms. Also the vocalist, whom this was the first time hearing about her, has a really smooth voice and she was singing in English for the entire song. Another great part of the song is the pre-chorus, the built up with the drums that leads to the chorus is perfect. The animation is very minimalistic, it shows Julis the beginning is a white/blank background and as she meets her new friends and Ayato, the background becomes full of color towards the end.
- “Oto no Naru Hō e” by Goose House – from Silver Spoon
Around the time this series was airing, the only Jpop co-ed group I listened to was AAA so when the ending played I automatically thought it was them. Once I read the credits, I found out it was Goose House, it was the first time hearing a song by them. What’s amazing is that they compose their own tracks on their channel along with singing covers, most of the members are musicians as well. The song is quite simple, their vocals are highlighted well and they use the guitar as their main instrument. Now the the animation, it was really well done and used watercolors which gave it a light feeling. Most of the scenes were stills and used light movement for the characters.
- “Innocence” by NoisyCell – from Barakamon
Barakamon is one of my favorite slice of life and is full of heartfelt moments between Handa and Naru. This opening showcases those heartfelt moments with watercolor animations. Handa is doing his usual calligraphy and Naru is playing around. The both bond together towards the end. Now for the song itself, it really gets you into the feels from the lyrics to the vocalist’s vocals. This is another song where the whole song is sung in English. The way he sings is actually relaxing to me and the way he sung the chorus gives me goosebumps.
- “Nana Hitsuji” (ナナヒツジ) by Scenarioart – from The Perfect Insider
This is probably one of the more unique endings I’ve seen but it’s so fitting for a series like The Perfect Insider. Scenarioart is a group that I continue to listen to even after the series since the two lead singers harmonize in the best way possible. The mix between male and female vocals and the back and forth between their verses is what makes this song for me. The animation choice is even more interesting. They chose to use cellular automaton, which is a model that is studied in computer science/mathematics. What was cool is that all those units in the end were creating a picture of Magata.
- “ninelie” by Aimer with chelly (EGOIST) – from Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
I know anything that Aimer releases is great and ninelie doesn’t disappoint. This ending is a collaboration with chelly from EGOIST, who also works with Hiroyuki Sawano, so it was expected that this track will sound amazing. One of Hiroyuki Sawano strong suit and is something that is seen in most of his work is the composition of the pre-chorus and chorus. The pre-chorus is always stripped down to just the vocals and then the instrumentals go all out for the chorus. The animation is quite simple, they animate different settings through the reflection of the river.