After covering best anime themes of the 70s, let us look at the golden age of anime 🙂 The time it took me to put together this post is measured in days rather than hours, but pleasant memories and wonderful voices certainly compensated the effort. This post contains more than 50 clips and 15 pages, so take your time – I hope you’ll enjoy at least some of these songs as much as I did 🙂

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1984 and released its first film, Laputa: Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ), in 1986. The illustration above depicts a scene from that movie 🙂

Densetsu Kyojin Ideon (1980) ED
“Cosmos ni kimi to” by Keiko Toda

The Legend of Sirius (1981) ED
Music by Koichi Sugiyama

Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1981) ED
“Ai Senshi (Soldiers of Sorrow)” by Daisuke Inoue

The grim lyrics (1, 2) and upbeat arrangement might trigger some cognitive dissonance initially, but this song is about a hope for the future.It is somewhat ironic because the singer himself lost all hope…

This is a live version by (left to right) Masaaki Endoh, Hironobu Kageyama, MIQ, Mitsuko Horie, Ichirou Mizuki.

Shunmao Monogatari Taotao (1981)
雪解け by Shimonari Satoko

So sad… T_T

星になりたい by Shimonari Satoko

Unico (1981)
Chao no Kuroneko no Uta (The Song of Black Cat Chao) by Kazuko Sugiyama

Unico no Teemu (Unico’s Theme) by Iruka
Hontou wa Subishikute (Beezle/Akuma-kun’s image song) by Iruka
Majo Neko Chao (Witch Cat Chao) by Iruka

Urusei Yatsura (1981)
OP “Pajama Jama da!” by Kanako Narikiyo

This one of the first openings of what I call the “geometric period”. Many op/eds in the 80s featured various creative techniques with the polygons.

OP “Rock the Planet” by Steffanie

Next Page 1982

22 thoughts on “Best Anime OP ED: 1980s

  1. I could have sworn the 90s were the golden age of anime… 😀 😀 😀

    I added Shimonari Satoko’s song to my Youtube playlist 🙂

      1. It sounded pretty nice, so I said, “I better do something about it.” I should get around to looking for more songs from her…

    1. LOL.. I love the Kinikuman opening.. I certainly didn’t understand the song when I was young, but the opening cracks me up.. I actually don’t recognize much of the anime.. but i am waiting to be amuse. ^_^

      1. Woooooooh loving 1984.. ^_^ Happy to see Nausicaa, and Mari Iijima.. I also like L-Gaim’s Kaze no No Reply.. but I have never seen that series… hmm..

  2. (I ended up just compiling all the notes I thought about as I read your post into one notepad)

    Ooooohhh.. I played to the beat of a remix Touch.. good to see an original performance. ^_^

    LOL to Thundercats..

    Seishun sounds great!

    Surprise to not see Dr. Slump or Ninja Hattori-kun in the list somewhere. Dragon Ball does bring back some memories though.. (sighs).. waaaaayyy before DBZ brought it out of proportion.

    I would have liked to see Pollyanna Monogatari.. (sighs)

    Woooooooooooohhhhhhhh!!!! Maison Ikkoku 1st Opening!!!!!!!!!! I am not a fan of the manga, but god this is one opening I liked. ^_^

    Then there is Laputa.. ^_^

    Oh bringing out an old Shojo classic.. Kimagure Orange Road .

    Woooooooooohhhh CITY HUNTER!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tonari no Totoro.. ^_^

    Never saw Ronin Warriors, but I do love Samurai Heart.. thanks for the live version. Never seen this version.

    Ooohh I liked Venus Wars OP. ^_^

    Wow.. the Blue Water mv, reminds me of Paula Abdul look. >_<

    I love being reminded of Ghibli movies, since I grew up with them, sad to see you not include Only Yesterday.

    Petlabor definitely has a upbeat song, that must have been an anime you liked. ^_^

    Hmm it was a great 80's run.

    1. haha Great comments! 🙂

      I am glad you liked some of the songs 🙂

      I also liked the live version of Maison Ikkoku OP – she is so cute ^_^

      Yes, Yoshimi Iwasaki is excellent! 🙂

      Oh, you can certainly feel the energy in that live version of Samurai Heart 🙂

      Although it seems that Only Yesterday is from the 80s, the film was actually released in the 90s. It is definitely one of my favorites, so expect to see it on the next list 🙂

      1. Oh i remember now.. It was set during the 80’s but was realeased like 91 92… Aaahh… Oh the misako itoh one? I like that version.

    1. I am glad you like my posts 🙂 Things will be busy this summer, so it might take a month or two to put the 90s post together.

  3. I’m not all that familiar with the 80 anime (being born at the end of the era, I was exposed to little of it beyond the more famous titles) but I really enjoyed listening to all these songs.

    There has been a lot of memorable songs back in the 80’s. The Urusei Yatsura one in particular remains catchy to this day.

    Agreed that the song for Do You Remember Love? was really great. Even the Macross opening aged quite well, IMO.

    Silent Voice is certainly a very lovely opening , no Anime Ja Nai? 🙂

    Lol, Thundercats 🙂 Well, it is a great opening, but I didn’t expect to see it no the list 🙂

    Pegasus Fantasy, IMO, is one of these songs that no matter which era it’s played in, always sounds excellent. Truly fantastic.

    ”That’s what they should have done instead of those English songs!”

    Oh come now, Legend of the Galactic Heroes openings were all amazing. I personally prefer how much they convey the scope and epic nature of the series, via what is almost like a lullaby to a child. It carried so much emotion not only through the lyrics, but also from the singers.

    The impression I had gotten from listening to these songs and watching these openings was that the 80’s were a time of exploration IMO. Many new sort of songs as opposed to the 70’s, more of a Pop and catchy nature, and really trying to leave you with something after you are done listing to them.

    The 80’s certainly new how to leave an impression.

    1. Thank you for your detailed comment! 🙂

      I am glad you enjoyed listening to these songs ^_^

      Yes, no Anime Ja Nai. It’s good, but didn’t make the cut.

      hehe Some of the songs or OP/EDs I include in these posts are for nostalgic reasons only. Thundercats falls into that category 🙂

      Yes, Pegasus Fantasy is great 🙂

      Well, I just might be biased against English songs 😛 I really liked Tytania’s OP.

      I agree with your impression – much more variety and exploration compared to the previous period.

      Here is an interesting presentation, describing sakuga and some of the famous animators. [via Otakurean]

      Part 1

  4. Hey, ‘Symphonic Poem Nausicaa’ is also in my Hisaishi’s best songs triumvirate, the other two’s are this Laputa performance:

    and ‘The Boy who received a Star’ from the Howl OST:

    But I am surprised that you didn’t mention any Queen Millennia movie song. The one sung by Dara Sedaka is great and there is also a Symphonic Version that is hard to find.

    1. Ah, yes! Actually, I wanted to include that Laputa video! 🙂

      ‘The Boy who received a Star’ from the Howl OST is great too!

      Didn’t see the symphonic version, but here are live (poor quality) and recorded versions of Dara Sedaka’s song:

  5. Hmm, found only this song of the Symphonic Suite on yt:

    But I think I have found another song you forgot to include 😉 , it’s again a Hisaishi song!

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