Recently, with Netflix and other streaming services expanding their anime collections, it’s becoming easier and easier to skip the openings and ending songs with just one click. For the trained anime fan, you’ll know that skipping 1 minute and 30 seconds from when the opening starts lets you skip the entirety of the song as well. But! Some of them deserve to be listened to at least a few times. Especially if you are getting into Japanese music, anime songs can be a great way to discover new artists. So without further ado, if you’ve missed some of the good anime songs from 2020, I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites.
About the Writer
I'm Sophie, a university student in Tokyo. You may have seen me on the MisoDog TV YouTube channel! I'm not especially great at writing, but hopefully I can improve a bit through practice. In my spare time, I read a lot of manga, watch a lot of anime, and listen to a lot of Japanese music. My favorite genres of anime are slice of life, romance, and drama.
Today I bring you a list of some of my favorite anime songs from 2020. I tend to listen to more upbeat songs so there might be a significant lack of slower openings and endings on this list. Hope you enjoy!
My 2020 Anime Song Recommendation List
15. Hitomebore (Band Harassment) - Chihayafuru Season 3 ED
J-Rock band Band Harassment’s first anime song is Hitomebore, the ending for the third season of Chihayafuru. The upbeat tempo and powerful melody may have you fooled at first listen, because this song is actually about unrequited love. The lyrics might just strike a chord with viewers who know the story of Chihayafuru.
14. HOME (Toki Asako) - Fruits Basket 2nd Season OP
HOME is one of the more calming, chill songs on this list. Toki Asako states that she wrote the song while thinking about what makes a home, and how the feeling of “home” you get by being close to the people dear to you may not have anything to do with time, place, or biological relations. I think this fits perfectly into the theme of Fruits Basket.
13. Kioku no Hakobune (Itou Kashitarou) - Decadence ED
This song may or may not be on this list simply because it is sung by Itou Kashitarou, a familiar name for those who listen to utaite. Those who don’t might recognize him as the vocalist of Itowokashi, the group that did the ending for Black Clover. Kioku no Hakobune has chill verses and a swelling chorus that really fit Itou Kashitarou’s singing style.
12. LION (Sakaguchi Ami) - Runway de Waratte OP
I couldn’t help but smile when I read the lyrics to LION because they reflect the story of Runway de Waratte so perfectly. The song is a mirror of the two protagonists, who don’t let hardships get in the way of achieving their dreams. If you like this song, I recommend checking out Joshi, a song from Sakaguchi Ami’s major debut album.
11. Megumi no Ame (Yanagi Nagi) - SNAFU Season 3 OP
Five years after season 2’s release, studio feel brings us the much awaited last installment of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. The soundtrack does not disappoint, with Yanagi Nagi singing the opening just as in the previous two seasons. The lyrics of Megumi no Ame has key words and themes included in the other two openings that might be interesting to look for.
10. Kago no Naka ni Tori (Yourness) - Yesterday wo Utatte OP
Yesterday wo Utatte was, in my opinion, an anime from the Spring 2020 season that deserved more hype. With a delicate vibrato and a strong chest voice, the vocalist of Yourness really knows how to draw emotion from his singing. It was a shame that the opening was cut out in many of the episodes because Kago no Naka ni Tori is so fitting for this anime.
9. Koi no Uta (Yunomi feat. Kitou Akari) - Tonikaku Kawaii OP
Koi no Uta is the most recent song on this list, coming from Tonikaku Kawaii, an anime that just started airing in Fall 2020. I was surprised to see the name Yunomi on my television when I watched the first episode. This song is an unexpected choice for an anime opening, but that is also what makes it stand out. Koi no Uta utilizes Yunomi’s specialty of combining cute anime girl voices with electronic music.
8. Kessen Spirit (CHiCO with HoneyWorks) - Haikyuu!! TO THE TOP ED
As a long-time HoneyWorks fan, I was ecstatic when I saw the MV for this song. CHiCO’s strong voice captures the determination and fighting spirit of this anime.
7. PHOENIX (BURNOUT SYNDROMES) - Haikyuu!! TO THE TOP OP
As my friend who likes Haikyuu says, “This song is hype.” Even as someone who hasn’t seen the series, within the first few seconds I had fallen in love with the song. This is definitely worth listening to if you like anime songs that get you fired up and ready to watch the series.
6. Centimeter (the peggies) - Kanojo, Okarishimasu OP
From the band that brought you the Bunny Girl Senpai opening, Kimi no Sei, the peggies is back with another hit. The animation directors also did well with the visuals, giving us Wotakoi vibes that will make viewers want to dance along with the main characters.
5. Turing Love (Nanawo Akari feat. Sou) - Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei shitemita ED
Users of Japanese TikTok and followers of the odottemita community will recognize this song from the dance. This song is a must-listen for anyone who enjoys cute, upbeat anime songs or is a fan of the composer NayutalieN.
4. DADDY! DADDY! DO! (Suzuki Masayuki feat. Suzuki Airi) - Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai? Season 2 OP
This song needed to be high on this list, even though I haven’t seen the anime. Considering the success of the first season’s opening, it was obvious that the creators would try to replicate it in some way, and they certainly did not disappoint. Suzuki Airi’s harmonies and Suzuki Masayuki’s voice that just screams “retro” make for another amazing opening. The First Take version is also definitely worth a listen.
3. Hana ni Bourei (Yorushika) - Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu Insert Song
Perhaps because this song was playing throughout the city at the time of the movie’s release, or because Yorushika is just that good, Hana ni Bourei is very high on my list. This song has the fleeting feelings of summer all packed into one. If you like this song, Yakou by the same artist has a similar feeling to it.
2. Chiisana Hibi (flumpool) - Kakushigoto OP
Chiisana Hibi by flumpool perfectly captures the light-hearted yet heartwarming feel of Kakushigoto. I found myself turning my head towards the TV screen every time this song came on and thinking, “I really like this.”
1. Shout Baby (Ryokuoushoku Shakai) - Boku no Hero Academia Season 4 ED
I have to admit that I still haven’t gotten around to watching BNHA, despite all the hype it receives. However, I have been listening to Ryokuoushoku Shakai and was hoping that they would do an anime song sooner than later. Many listeners may have come from the First Take video in which vocalist Haruko sings the whole first half of the song a capella. I recommend checking that out—it’s a powerful performance.
What do you think? This list definitely doesn’t encompass everything, as I haven’t listened to the entirety of 2020’s anime soundtrack. However, this is a list of my personal favorites and are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments below!