The Music & Soundtrack (OST) in Attack on Titan | List of AoT Openings (Ranked)
The soundtrack in Attack on Titan is more than music – it's an emotional aspect that elevates the series to dramatic heights, from despair to triumph.
In the world of anime where a good story and animation style are a requisite for success, there is another equally important element that elevates the storytelling to another level - the music. With its amazing animation and a masterfully crafted soundtrack, the anime adaptation of Attack on Titan further improved the quality of the manga - doing great justice to its already impeccable story.
This article will specifically focus on Attack on Titan’s best openings, the anime's soundtrack, and cover the story of how these unique musical pieces were made.
List of Opening Songs From Attack on Titan (Ranked Best OP to Worst OP)
These are powerful songs created specifically for the show with the goal of matching the theme of each season. Some of these songs reached millions of streams on YouTube and other streaming platforms, increasing the popularity of both the series and the bands performing them.
Here is our list of AoT openings ranked from best to worst:
1. Guren no Yumiya
It’s best to start at the beginning and talk about the song from the first season of Attack on Titan. That is "Guren no Yumiya" by Linked Horizon, also called "Crimson Bow and Arrow," and is one of the most epic anime songs ever.
The repetition of the German "Seid ihr das Essen? Nein, wir sind der Jäger!" ("Are you the food? No, we are the hunters!") is not only triumphant but also signifies humanity’s spirit in taking a stand against the Titans. By highlighting the characters’ bravery, this chorus connects with the fans, greatly improving their morale and making them more inspired and motivated.
The song's lyrics and intense tempo ignite a sense of determination and hope, giving goosebumps to all the listeners. As an intro song, it provides an instant adrenaline rush and excites the fans for the episode that follows, making it a perfect choice for an action-packed and jaw-dropping anime like Attack on Titan.
2. Jiyuu No Tsubasa
“Jiyuu No Tsubasa”, known as “Wings of Freedom” is the opening song of the second half of the first season of Attack on Titan. It’s another epic peace from Linked Horizon - a band that took the job of adding to the greatness of this anime very seriously.
This song continues to highlight the strong emotion of determination and inspiration while also giving new and much greater faith in humanity's victory. This feeling is conveyed by the impressive combination of uplifting instrumentals, powerful choir, and solo vocals singing: “We grip two steel blades of Gloria, sing the song of victory. and have the wings of freedom on our backs. With our determination tightly held to our heart, we sever this ring of folly, and dance into the blue sky”
“Jiyuu No Tsubasa” gives the listeners a glimpse of how it feels to be a member of the Scout Regiment - the brave warriors who are ready to give it all for the sake of humanity’s freedom. By signing as they are one of the Scouts, Linked Horizon crafted a truly motivating masterpiece that is a big part of Attack on Titan’s legacy.
3. Shinzou Wo Sasageyo
Shinzou Wo Sasageyo is the main intro song of Attack on Titan’s second season. It’s arguably the best track in the series and one of the most iconic anime songs of all time. The English name of this song is “Dedicate your hearts”, a title that specifically focuses on the Scouts’ way of devoting themselves to their goal of liberation and freedom.
What makes this song even greater is how it perfectly captures Erwin Smith's mindset of leading the Survey Corps’ in the war against the Titans. With its title, it inspirationally conveys Erwin’s message: “Dedicate your hearts!”
"Shinzou wo Sasageyo" will forever be remembered along with Erwin's exceptional leadership, his dedication to the Survey Corps' mission, and his ultimate sacrifice for the future of humanity. Even after the show concludes, this song will continue to be a chilling experience for every devoted fan who listens to it.
4. Boku no Sensou (My War)
Apart from introducing the fans to the lands of Marley and the new characters that live there, the final season of Attack on Titan debuted a brand new, very powerful song to go with the series’ narrative.
With its highly intense music video and chorus, Boku no Sensou is probably one of the most motivating songs in the series - similar to the first intro, Guren no Yumiya.
This song uses instruments like electric guitars, bass, and drums, which contribute to its high-energy and aggressive sound. The vocals by Noko, the lead vocalist of Shinsei Kamattechan, are intense and emotional, reflecting all of the emotions of the characters in Attack on Titan.
5. The Rumbling
“Rumbling, rumbling, it’s coming!” - the words that defined the second part of the fourth season of Attack on Titan. “The Rumbling” is a song by the Japanese metal band SiM and is definitely the perfect piece of music for this part of the anime.
By combining powerful metal vocals, an emotional chorus, and skillfully orchestrated drums and guitars, SiM created a song that effectively immerses the fans into the dreadfulness of Eren’s doings while also diving deep into his own emotions.
“The Rumbling” focuses on Eren’s transformation into the Founder Titan, his wrath and hatred for the whole world, and his ultimate goal of wiping his enemy off the map. This is both an uplifting and chilling song that highlights Eren’s troubles and his perspective on the two-thousand-long war between Marley and Eldia. Simply put, it’s “the” song for a character who is both the antagonist and the protagonist of the story.
6. Red Swan
Unlike most of the Attack on Titan songs, Red Swan is a calm theme that falls into the genres of soft rock, J-rock, and alternative rock. While this song features a blend of instruments like guitars and drums, it has one notable instrument that’s taking the central part - the piano.
By combining these instruments with soft and emotional vocals, YOSHIKI and HYDE crafted a musical piece that conveys a sense of determination, despair, and resilience, mirroring the characters' struggles within the series.
The orchestral elements go even further and add a touch of melancholy, intensifying the weight of the story.
7. Shoukei to Shikabane no Michi
The fifth intro of Attack on Titan, Shoukei to Shikabane no Michi, is a brilliantly crafted song by Linked Horizon. This band, known for the previous openings of the series, created this intro by combining short parts of those songs, making one last inspirational piece of music for Attack on Titan.
While this song is not very popular among the fans, it manages to uniquely combine all of the emotions of the previous seasons and send one final message of hope and inspiration.
It sends the listener on a journey full of nostalgia and perfectly serves as Linked Horizon’s final performance for Attack on Titan.
The Music & Soundtrack in Attack on Titan | The Composer Behind the Anime
How Does the Attack on Titan Soundtrack Perfectly Match its Atmosphere?
When this anime comes into a conversation, the first thing fans talk about is the story and more often than not, the animation style. However, there is one segment of the show that truly enriches the whole immersive experience and further increases the dark tone of the series. And that’s the Attack on Titan’s soundtrack.
The music in Attack on Titan is so well-done that it matches every scene in the show, no matter how major or minor it is. From the most legendary battles to the less intense exploration scenes, this soundtrack ensures that the fans are fully invested in all the events and characters. Hiroyuki Sawano’s melodies amazingly amplify the emotions, making every single moment a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Maestro Behind the Scenes: Who is Hiroyuki Sawano?
Hiroyuki Sawano is a Japanese musical composer who created the music for Attack on Titan. Hiroyuki entered the musical world as a 17-year-old kid and, after being inspired by the music of Studio Ghibli’s movies and Hans Zimmer’s work, he solely focused his studies on composing soundtracks.
Eventually, his talent was recognized, and he got to work on some big projects like Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Guilty Crown, and Blue Exorcist. While these are great titles, he reached his musical pinnacle with his involvement in the makings of one of the highest-ranking anime series of all time - Attack on Titan.
Hiroyuki is a unique musician known for his fascinating mix of lyrics from different languages (like German and Japanese) along with a masterful blend of instrumentals - just like in the Attack on Titan soundtrack. To enhance his creative style, Sawano often adds odd symbols and numbers to the titles of his music. Even though the symbolism may not make sense to everyone, to an artist, making sense is not always the point. Regardless, the music looks and sounds remarkable.
Apart from Attack on Titan and the other projects mentioned, Sawano showcased his talents in many other famous anime and video games like Seven Deadly Sins, Kill La Kill, Xenoblade Chronicles, and League of Legends, to name a few.
Analysis of the Attack on Titan Soundtrack
The Attack on Titan soundtrack is a mix of different types of music masterfully combined with powerful vocals - a combination of sounds that creates a mysterious, dark, and intense ambient that resonates with the storyline of the series. In order to create the perfect theme for the series, Hiruyoko Sawano used:
Orchestral Instruments: The music used an orchestra which included strings, brass, and woodwind instruments. These instruments add to the cinematic quality and are essential in emphasizing the emotional scenes in the show.
Electronic Sounds: By using some synthesized sounds, Sawano manages to add a modern touch to the soundtrack and create a blend called “electronic-orchestral rock”. This blend contributes to the intense and suspenseful atmosphere during battle sequences.
Choir and Vocals: From exceptional solo performances to chilling choir singing, the use of these vocals adds a deep emotional layer to Attack on Titan’s soundtrack. This element is especially important in evoking feelings of hope, fear, and tension in some of the series’ most iconic moments.
Simply put, Attack on Titan’s soundtrack is a multilayered musical masterpiece that successfully mirrors the atmosphere in the series. Sawano's musical genius shines in this soundtrack, making it an invaluable part of the complete Attack on Titan experience.
Final Thoughts on Attack on Titan’s OST (Soundtrack / Music)
Crafting a memorable soundtrack for an anime series adds to the epicness and enriches the overall fan experience. It's remarkable how the choice of the right music can elevate even a mediocre anime by simply aligning it with the story's themes and atmosphere. And sometimes, when a great story is combined with an even better soundtrack, a masterpiece is made.
Attack on Titan’s soundtrack ensures that every scene is paired with the appropriate mix of sounds, contributing to the emotional depth of the series. From the masterful blend of vocals and orchestral music to the inspirational intro and outro songs, Attack on Titan’s music catalog is full of hits that are and will always be an iconic part of the anime community.
Even after Attack on Titan’s finale, songs like “Shinzou wo Sasageyo”, “The Rumbling” and “Guren no Yumiya” will still be some of the most popular anime songs. On top of that, the works of Hiroyuki Sawano will continue to give fans goosebumps and inspire future composers both in Japan and throughout the world.
Product collection: Attack On Titan
What is the music that plays when Eren's Founding Titan reaches Marley?+
When Eren's Founding Titan reaches Marley in the fourth season of "Attack on Titan", the music playing in the background is called "XL-TT," composed by Hiroyuki Sawano. This song makes a comeback in the series and perfectly adds intensity to this horrifying scene.
Who made the music for Attack on Titan Season 4?+
The music for Attack on Titan Season 4 was made by Hiroyuki Sawano and Kohta Yamamoto. After working on the official soundtrack for three seasons, Sawano was joined by Yamamoto, another great Japanese compositor.
Why is Attack on Titan music in German?+
Hiroyuki Sawano incorporated German lyrics and titles in several tracks of Attack on Titan's OST album to create a unique and foreign atmosphere. With their historical parallels to the story, the German language and culture help to reinforce the atmosphere of the series' setting
What song plays when Eren fights Reiner?+
In the second season of Attack on Titan, the song that's playing during the fight between Eren and Reiner is called "Two Lives" - a title that perfectly captures the idea of these soldiers being similar but living two different lives.
What is the music that plays when Eren transforms into the Attack Titan?+
The song that played in the background when Eren transformed into the Attack Titan is called "Vogel im Käfig". The song beautifully portrays Eren's emotions of rage, thinking about all of mankind's losses and the struggles of the Survey Corps in the war.
Why does the Attack on Titan OST have weird names?+
Hiroyuki Sawano, the composer of the original soundtrack of Shingeki no Kyojin, said that he doesn't enjoy giving his songs normal titles. He is known for naming his songs in a weird way by often using different languages and symbols.
What is the most popular AOT intro?+
The most popular AOT intro is probably the song from season 1, called "Guren no Yumiya" - a song considered one of the best ones created for an anime series ever. Apart from this title, the intro from Season 2, "Jiyuu No Tsubasa", and the iconic "Shinzou wo Sasageyo" are, according to many fans, masterpieces.