To be honest, this is one of my favorite Top 10s I do because I LOVE music. The pure joy I get just from hearing a good opening or ending is like no other experience. We did the top 10 openings of 2021 and now I’m here for the top 10 closings. I’m having to bend my “rules” since there weren’t a lot of shows I watched where the closings did much for me so I’m tweaking them just a little in order to get a full 10 list. This was another hard one because the battle for my top 5 was vicious. Ultimately, I went with the song that I just believed stood out the most to me and got a big reaction from me when I first heard it. Plus, it’s one of my most played songs overall.
Let’s kick things off!
1. DREAM ON – MAMORU MIYANO [LIFE LESSONS WITH URAMICHI ONIISAN]
First is easily the catchiest closing song of the year. The initial shock I had when this played can’t be duplicated. If you’ve ever watched the show, the opening is completely opposite of the ending. The show itself also has more of a dark comedy vibe to it so when this smooth, R&B-inspired beat started playing this Miyano’s heavenly vocals, I knew it was a certified BOP. I play it almost daily. It’s the most played song in my anime playlist. It gives what it’s supposed to give so I can’t complain one bit. I said this with another show Also, watch the show too!
2. KONOYUMEGASAMERUMADE (FEAT. YOSHIDA BROTHERS) – MILIYAH [THOSE SNOW WHITE NOTES]
Next, this show was on it in the music department, animation department, and storyline department, it was such a hidden gem of 2021. I can’t wait to review it in full but the closing song was another that shocked me. First off, I love when rap is incorporated into anime, it just feels RIGHT. With the addition of the shamisen playing in the background, it is a perfect combination that I want more of. Miliyah’s vocals are so nice and the rapping makes it ascend to another level. This is a nice song to play while driving down the highway or even at night when you’re trying to keep warm. The show is a must-watch and the soundtrack is partly why.
3. EMPATHY – ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION [MY HERO ACADEMIA MOVIE: WORLD HEROES MISSION]
Okay, so I admit that I technically bent the rules to add this one in since it’s not from a show but a movie. In my defense, they DID play this at the end so…..it’s like an ending song. It’s a wonderful ending to a wonderful movie. If you haven’t seen it yet please do! The song is very melancholy and made me reminiscence on the good times of the film. Also, Asian Kung-Fu Generation is an icon. They’ve supplied songs for tons of shows and have not missed yet.
4. STROBE MEMORY – MAAYA UCHIDA [SSSS.DYNAZENON]
A bubbly song for an unpredictable show. Aside from one scene from the show, I hadn’t seen much talk about it. Maybe most people aren’t fans of mecha but I promise you it’s not like any you have seen before. The song was mainly added due to how memorable it is. Plus, I could remember the washing machine during the closing. If you don’t understand that reference; Go. Watch. The. Show.
5. BREAKERS – WATARU HATANO [THE NIGHT BEYOND THE TRICORNERED WINDOW]
One of the most surprising songs on the list comes from one of the most surprising shows. The song starts off as the show; you think you have an idea of what’s going to happen and then it takes a turn. It has a modern sound to it as if you would hear something like this playing on a J-Pop radio station. When I was listening to this, I was also thinking of the early 2000s and it’s dark and foggy in a night club and you look over and see someone attractive staring back at you 😅 .
6. HARUURARA – GENIC [FRUITS BASKET: THE FINAL]
Another bubbly song for the wholesome Fruit’s Basket series. This was one song that I thought summed up the series quite nicely. Seeing the end credits with Tohru and the others in calm, happy situations was so nice. It made me imagine a group of kids holding hands and strolling down a meadow of grass, smiles plastered on their faces, the sun shining like it’s about to go out of style, it’s just so calming to listen to.
7. 0 (ZERO) – LMYK [THE CASE STUDY OF VANITAS]
So this show was really pulling from a hat of suggestions because there was the opening which sounded like an 8-bit adventure of fun. Now we have the closing and it couldn’t be more different. I don’t know who they are meant for but the lyrics give me a romantic vibe, especially with lyrics like:
“Was it you who I’ve been searching for
Spent my life alone and waited for?
So tenderly and endlessly
You make me whole“
8. ON MY OWN – HYDE [MARS RED]
Who doesn’t like vampires? Tired of them, maybe but I still love them. Mars Red was an entirely different show that I wasn’t expecting and the same with this song. It is giving rave-queen of the damned energy. I’d go as far as to say it hypes me up a little. There’s a mysterious aura surrounding every character and this song encompasses it for me. You can also hear dark undertones like it is meant for prowling around at night.
9. YAKUSOKU – FRIENDS [HORIMIYA]
If there were ever a perfect title for a song being used in Horimiya, “Yakusoku” is it. If you haven’t jumped abroad on the train and watched it yet, this is one of the greatest high school romances that also dives into friendships, sexuality, and just being a teenager. There’s a nostalgic feeling that washes over me whenever I play this song. I’m reminded of my friends and how we went through some weird, life-changing moments. To me, that’s the heart of this show and the song captures all of that perfectly with its mellow beat.
10. INFINITY – YUURI [SK8 THE INFINITY]
Finally, just as the first song captured the sk8ter boi vibe so does the closing song! The whole show, even though has some intense moments, overall is more laid back. It’s about boys enjoying the sport of skateboarding. I don’t know about anyone else but I can see Langa and Reki on the beach, having fun or finding a skate park and practicing moves. Miya silently judges them, Adam about to boil over from anticipation wanting to challenge Langa, Tadashi making sure Adam chills tf out, its another calming experience.
As I did last time, I have compiled these songs into a short playlist for your listening pleasure.
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