When it comes to anime, one thing is undeniable. The opening and ending sequences are essential to the overall experience. Of course, some are better than others and that was clear this last anime season. Once you find your new favorite song, it lives in your head rent-free. There will always be a special place in our hearts for the original song, but why stop there?
When we become truly obsessed with an OP or ED, we want every bit of content we can get our eyes and ears on. YouTube is the place to be when you want to find covers or reinterpretations by crazy talented people. There are so many to choose from that you may end up down the rabbit hole (which is fine, too, live your life), so we took out hours of searching to provide you with some of the best anime cover artists out there.
Keep reading to discover your new favorite creators to jam out to!
Best Anime Musical Cover Artists
Let’s start with vocalists and musicians, shall we?
Shamisen player Shamio
If you aren’t listening to shamisen covers of your favorite anisongs yet, let us introduce you to the traditional Japanese instrument. Derived from the Chinese sanxian, the shamisen has a long history of entertaining people through Kabuki theatre, vocalist accompaniment, as well as folk music.
As of late, more shamisen channels have forged their own niche sound and style. The aptly named Shamisen player Shamio channel modernizes their performances with current popular anime OPs. Shamio is extremely talented and each performance is mesmerizing — bringing a new appreciation for the craft and song.
In terms of the best range as a cover artist, it’s Rainych. The Indonesian artist has covered a wide array of pop songs and anime OPs. She is well known for translating her covers into Japanese and has recognition from Doja Cat for her Japanese cover of “Say So”. She’s also covered songs like “Kick Back”, the BEASTARS S2 OP, and Miki Matsubara’s hit “Stay With Me”. We currently have the “Zankyou Sanka” cover on repeat.
Can’t get enough of Urusei Yatsura? Us either! How could you not want to sing “AIUE”?! Nijiro Zamurai did just that, taking to the mic to belt out the first season’s OP. This may be our favorite cover of the song so far! Vocalist Zuma can sing rough around the edges songs like “CHAINSAW BLOOD”, smoothly transition into his higher vocal range, and create a McDonald’s-inspired song that is actually catchy.
Stoic High School
Stoic High School is a cover band that incorporates cosplay into each performance. Their “KICK BACK” cover does the original justice while still incorporating their style. If you want to see the Hayakawa family absolutely shred, don’t pass up this group! Plus, check out their other covers, you may just find your favorite anisong on the list.
Bonus: Evan’s Kazoo Covers…You’re welcome.
Best Anime-inspired Dance Groups
Now, now, covers don’t just span music renditions. Let’s not forget the many dancers who work endlessly to bring fans the best performance of their favorite anisongs and dances.
Chinese dancer, Xiaomi Mier, caught our attention with her “Dive Back in Time” cover from Link Click. Being her first time performing the finger-tutting dance, we’re amazed at how effortless she makes it look. She’s also performed many covers and originally choreographed pieces including “Chiki Chiki Bang Bang” from Ya Boy Kongming! and YOASOBI.
Real Akiba Boyz
Last, but certainly not least is the otaku dance group, Real Akiba Boyz. Formed in 2006, the group has been blending their two loves, dancing and anime. Aside from dancing to anime’s best OPs and cosplaying, the group is a lively bunch that shed a positive light on otaku. With the goal of having their own anime, we are cheering them on all the way!
Let us know who your favorite anime cover artists are and which anisong you want to see performed next!