Welcome, one and all, to a new top 5 list! I’ve already done anime opening and ending themes, so I figured it was about time I tackled insert songs too. As with the previous lists, I’m setting some rules for myself. In this case, I’m only allowing myself one song per franchise. Primarily, this is because I don’t want to have a list full of Digimon songs.
So, let’s get into this. In no particular order, these are my top 5 anime insert songs.
X4B The Guardian by Kōji Wada [Digimon Xros Wars]
So, I went with this as my one allowable Digimon song. I’ll be honest here, Xros Wars was not a great series. I got a kick out of seeing Renamon again briefly in the third season, The Boy Hunters Who Leapt Through Time. The redemption arc for Beelzemon was also very good, albeit not as good as its counterpart in Digimon Tamers. Otherwise, though, it was just plain lacking. However, this song from series veteran Kōji Wada is a masterpiece. It actually follows a power metal layout with an epic sounding introduction, some sweeping vocals, a catchy chorus, and a toned-down version of the chorus near the end. It’s basically almost everything I like in my heavy metal in one song. Great stuff.
Heaven’s Not Enough by Steve Conte & Yoko Kanno [Wolf’s Rain]
This is one of my favourite series. It has wolves, it’s a bit sci-fi, and the ending completely surprised me. What’s not to love? Yoko Kanno’s OST is phenomenal overall, and Steve Conte’s vocal contributions to it are really, really good. This song sums up the mix of sentimentality and melancholy that the series did so well. Honestly, it’s one of the insert songs I always go to when people ask for favourites.
Aura by Yuki Kajiura [.Hack//SIGN]
.Hack//SIGN was my introduction to ‘trapped in a video game’ anime. It’s the reason I can’t get on with Sword Art Online. For me, this series did a much better job with pacing and creating characters that I actually cared about. This specific song, Aura’s theme, is gloriously creepy. It does a great job of building up some menace for the later stages of the series in my opinion. Vocally too, this one really shines for me.
Heart Of Madness by Kodomo Band [Fist Of The North Star OVA]
Simply one of the best anime insert songs ever. At least in my opinion. This is so 80s, I can feel a mullet growing as I listen to it. In all seriousness though, it’s super cheesy, and is very much of its era. Yet, it manages to feel catchy and still fit the action on screen. I still have such a soft spot for this OVA too, which probably forms a big part of how I feel about the song.
Apple Seed by Hiroyuki Sawano [Attack On Titan]
Bertholdt’s transformation into the Colossal Titan in season 3 was just one moment in an excellent arc. This piece of music does a great job on encompassing what he stood for, I think. It has an almost heroic edge at time, despite him being a villain, largely because he believed in his mission. The opening moments make it clear how menacing a threat he is too. At the same time though, there’s a sense of resignation to it, foreshadowing what would happen the end of the battle.
So, those were five of my favourite anime insert songs. What do you think? Do you like these ones too? What are your top picks? Let me know in the comments below.