Winter 2022 is well underway, so it’s time for one of our favorite things: jamming out to the best opening themes this season has given us! We’ve got everything from bouncy tunes and bright colors to dramatic heavy rock tracks that herald the end of the world. Let’s add to our already miles-long anisong playlists with the best anime OPs of Winter 2022!
5. “Dive Back in Time” by Bai Sha JAWS from Shiguang Dailiren (Link Click)
While Link Click technically aired back in 2021 in its original Chinese on Bilibili, the Japanese dub is just now being released to a wide audience. And that means we can spotlight this snazzy little number, whose modern up-tempo energy meshes perfectly with the intricate dance movements and psychedelic imagery of the animation. Be sure to look up the “making of” video for this OP, which shows how the characters’ actions were painstakingly rotoscoped from a hip-hop dancer performing them in real life.
Link Click OP
4. “Hadaka no Yuusha” by Vaundy from Ousama Ranking (Ranking of Kings)
On the complete other end of the emotional spectrum, we have the dream-like second opening for everyone’s favorite underdog hero story, Ranking of Kings. The song starts and ends with quiet moments of introspection and soft breathing, an unusual touch courtesy of up-and-coming artist Vaundy that fits well with Prince Bojji’s gentle nature. The animation follows suit by showcasing small but important moments in the characters’ lives with gorgeously fluid movement and some of the best lighting we’ve ever seen. “Hadaka no Yuusha” shows that Bojji has grown from a powerless child to a confident young man in his own unique way.
Ranking of Kings OP
3. “Zankyou Sanka” by Aimer from Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku-hen (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc)
Demon Slayer has always had great openings, but this may just be our favorite of all of them. Anisong veteran Aimer combines early 20th century big band orchestration with a pounding rock beat to create a tune absolutely bursting with flashy flair – a perfect match for the Entertainment District arc and its bombastic guest star Tengen Uzui. The (predictably amazing) animation follows the song beat-for-beat, giving this OP an infectious energy that begs to be danced along to. We can’t wait to see what the Demon Slayer team comes up with for next season!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc OP
2. “STONE OCEAN” by ichigo from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 6: Stone Ocean (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean)
JoJo fans rejoice – the 3D openings are back! Absent since the end of Part 3, animation studio Kamikaze Douga has returned just in time to introduce the story of Jotaro’s daughter Jolyne with a vibrant OP that fantastically captures her personal brand of kickass attitude. The song itself has a 2000s “girl power” vibe that firmly establishes both the setting and the tone of the series (a tactic also employed by “Zankyou Sanka” from earlier), and the visuals complete the picture with action shots of the characters as well as nods to previous seasons. Our personal favorite touch is the “Joestar birthmark” sequence, which is a throwback all the way to Part 1!
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean OP
1. “The Rumbling” by SiM from Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Sesaon Part 2 (Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2)
Number one on our list absolutely has to be the very last opening for Attack on Titan, “The Rumbling”. This dark, dramatic, and deeply symbolic OP gives an air of apocalyptic doom to the final act of this long-running series, showing how the whole world has shifted over time to lead to this moment. We particularly love small details like Porco’s window reflecting his predecessor Ymir, the quick glimpses of Eren’s Founding Titan, and even how unusually articulated Eren’s screaming face is at the end. It’s extremely intense in the best possible way.
Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 OP
We also loved “Midnight Dancer” from Love of Kill (we’re legally required to give props to funky jazz OPs whenever they pop up), “Strike It Out” from Tribe Nine, and the visually spectacular “BAD CANDY” from Dolls’ Frontline. But what other winter 2022 anime openings did you love? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!