With Attack on Titan having finished its third season there have been ten intros and outros, and I have found many of these to be highly enjoyable to watch and listen to.
So, I have decided to count them down from the weakest to the best.
In order to rank them, I took things like song, visuals, and symbolism into account.
Now, let’s start the countdown.
10. Shoukei to Shikabane no Michi by Linked Horizon – Season Three Second Intro.
It is a shame that I consider “Shoukei to Shiabane no Michi” to be the weakest Attack on Titan intro because it comes during the best arc of the series.
The big reason I think this can be narrowed down to one word: Spoilers.
This outro is jam packed with them, spoiling many events that happen in the arc.
Erwin’s suicide charge, the thunder spear attack, Armin being horrifically burned before becoming the Colossal Titan.
If you look carefully enough you can be spoiled about all these things in the intro.
It feels like they could not bother to make a symbolic intro like the previous ones so just opted for a spoiler one to draw people in.
Not only this, but the intro also reuses some images from previous ones like “Guren no Yumiya” and has some pretty bad CGI with the Colossal Titan.
It also does not match with the arc once the fighting stops and the basement reveal begins.
So, that means there are three episodes where the intro plays and it does not mix with the story.
I will give “Shoukei to Shiabane no Michi” props though because the song itself is great, as expected of Linked Horizon, and its usage of slow motion is well done.
Also, while I did not like the majority of images in the opening, the final shots of the places from Armin’s book and the basement are magnificent and highlight what the characters are fighting for very clearly.
However, the intro’s positives are definitely outweighed by its negatives, making “Shoukei to Shiabane no Michi” the weakest of all the intros and outros.
9. Yuugure no Tori by Shinsei Kamattechan – Season Two Outro.
Like “Shoukei to Shiabane no Michi”, the reason I believe “Yuugure no Tori” is the weakest outro of Attack on Titan is because of spoilers.
The visuals of this outro actually shows the origins of the Titans a season before it was revealed.
Thankfully, I did not know what these visuals meant when I first saw them so the twist still worked for me.
But “Yuugure no Tori” still gives so many hints that some people may be able to guess what is being foreshadowing.
More than this, there are some visuals in this outro that we have not seen in the story yet so there is still more for it to spoil.
Aside from this, though, “Yuugure no Tori” is a great outro, bringing the creep levels to new heights.
The images are incredibly disturbing with their unique art style and gory imagery.
Then there is the song itself, which is purposefully distorted to bring across a feeling of unease.
The lyrics speak of choosing a clan, which may be another spoiler but we will have to wait and see.
In any case, “Yuugure no Tori” may deliver too much information but it is still good at making the audience feel unease and dread.
8. Name of Love by Cinema Staff – Season Three Second Outro.
When I first heard “Name of Love” I was not a big fan of it.
I did not hate it but I still felt that the outro showed a lack of effort through its imagery, just like its intro counterpart “Shoukei to Shiabane no Michi.”
However, after watching it again, I have actually come to appreciate it more.
Sure, the images are a little too simple, but they still succeed in their aim of conveying to the audience how much the characters have changed from their training days in season one.
When you compare the characters from the end of the Return to Shiganshina arc to how they appear in the outro, it is clear they are massively different from when we first met them.
Eren has gone from wanting to kill all Titans to understanding their suffering, Armin has become confident in himself and his plans, and Mikasa has learned she does not need to keep watching over Eren.
Then there are characters like Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie who used to be friends with them but are now deadly enemies.
The outro does a fantastic job at establishing these differences.
Not only this but the song “Name of Love” is also amazing.
I have found myself listening to it more and more as time goes on.
It is just a shame that the images of the outro are too simple.
They get the message across but are not anything special.
7. Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai by Yoko Hikasa – Season One First Outro.
Honestly, I never paid much attention to Attack on Titan‘s first outro, “Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai”, when I first started watching the anime.
After rewatching it for this list, though, I wished I had because it is certainly a great one.
The big thing that immediately catches your attention about the outro is its art style.
The almost painting-like shots, with the fade in movement, presents Mikasa’s journey from child to teenager in the cruel world she lives in brilliantly.
“Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai” begins in space, oddly enough, before it pans down to Mikasa on earth running toward, or most likely away, from something.
However, even if she is running, she cannot escape the cruelty of the world as illustrated by her running into a field of knives.
The look on her face when she realizes what she has run into and stops is palpable, with her finally deciding to face the cruel world with her own knife in hand.
From here, Mikasa grows into her teenage years and a brilliant burst of color emerges, different from the childlike innocence of the black and white, seen beforehand.
The outro ends with Mikasa seeing Eren, the one who made her realise she has to fight to survive, and walking towards him with the birds that have so often come to represent freedom in Attack on Titan flying overhead.
The first of the anime’s outros, “Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai” does a great job presenting the kind of symbolism that would be seen in future outros, which you will be seeing further down the list.
6. Shinzou wo Sasageyo by Linked Horizon – Season Two Intro.
“Sasageyo! Sasageyo! Shinzou o Sasageyo!”
Try not to get these lyrics stuck in your head after hearing this song and you will find it is impossible.
The intro for Attack on Titan‘s second season, “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” is a song that sings of sacrifice with plenty of amazing visuals that get the viewer hyped for the season.
Probably the best moment of this comes with those central lyrics I mentioned, which translate to “Offer up! Offer up! Offer up your hearts!”, accompanied by the visuals of the scouts going up against the Colossal and Armoured Titans.
This moment does a fantastic job of hyping the viewer up for an episode every time they watch it.
The intro is also great when it comes to individual character moments, highlighting the importance that some of them like Ymir and Historia have in the season.
Before rewatching it, I honestly thought “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” would be higher on the list than six but, when I went back to watch it, I saw that there are some things that hold it back.
One of these things is that some of the visuals, although great, are very confusing, like the shot where the Beast Titan is seen running with dinosaurs and whales.
The first time I saw this, it made me concerned that Attack on Titan was actually going to jump the shark by featuring these things.
Thankfully, it just turned out to be some kind of symbolism but, along with this, I also felt like a lot of the symbolism was inferior to that see in the other intros and outros further down the list.
Still, “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” is a fantastic opening with music that is sure to get stuck in your head.
5. Red Swan by YOSHIKI feat. Hyde – Season Three First Intro.
When I first started watching Attack on Titan season three, I was not a fan of its intro “Red Swan.”
Being the only intro song not done by Linked Horizon, I felt the song and the visuals of it were good but did not fit the series.
However, as the Uprising arc went on, I began to see how this is the perfect intro for the first half of season three.
A harmonious and reflective intro, but one that hides the darker side of the story, “Red Swan” is very symbolic.
There are so many amazing visuals, like a younger Eren running into his older self, and Erwin looking through a window at himself as a boy with his father, which shows how his past consumes him.
But my favourite visual of all has to be when the lyrics begin to ask questions about truth and belief (core themes of the arc) while we see a hand with a bloody cut over Armin.
This is almost certainly a representation of a Titan user cutting themselves to transform, symbolizing Armin becoming the Colossal Titan in the next arc.
“Red Swan” is just an amazing intro, with its reflective song, and great symbolism for characters like Erwin, Kenny and Armin.
It has really grown on me sine I first watched it.
4. Akatsuki no Requiem by Linked Horizon – Season Three First Outro.
While it took me a while to warm up to “Red Swan”, I took an instant liking to season three’s first outro “Akatsuki no Requiem.”
Much like “Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai”, Akatsuki no Requiem has a unique art style to it that draws the viewers in.
Its representation of Historia’s backstory is both moving and symbolic, with representations of the abuse she suffered, and of those who tried to make her life better.
The abuse can be seen in the symbolism from when a rock is thrown at Historia, causing her to sink beneath the waves overlooking the fence that keeps her trapped on her farm.
This is accompanied by the telling line, “those who cast stone, and those who they strike. Between them lies fences difficult to overcome.”
As for the hope, this comes in the outro’s most moving shot where Historia sees a young Ymir transform into adulthood before reaching out to her with a smile.
However, this hope vanishes when Historia’s hand passes through Ymir’s as if she is a ghost, symbolizing her tragic fate.
As a fan of the two’s relationship I greatly appreciated this moment.
There is also plenty of foreshadowing to the Grisha reveal and Frieda Reiss, which is well done.
Above all else, though, the song for this outro is just amazing.
Not to mention the incredible teaser for the second half of season three that was inserted halfway through this outro the final time it was played.
“Akatsuki no Requiem” is one of Attack on Titan‘s best outros and perfectly reflects the backstory and character arc of Historia in the Uprising arc.
3. Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon – Season One First Intro.
Admit it, you thought this was going to be number one.
In all seriousness, though, Attack on Titan‘s very first opening “Guren no Yumiya” is one of the most iconic anime intros out there, and for good reason.
Almost every anime fan would recognize “Guren no Yumiya” if they heard it, with its bombastic music and epic visuals.
It does an amazing job at hyping up the viewers for the war and slaughter to come in the series.
The dark symbolism of this intro is apparent right from its first few seconds where the very title of Attack on Titan is surrounded by chains, symbolizing how the people of the walls are essentially enslaved by their lack of knowledge about the outside world.
The lyrics work well with this symbolism, being equally dark as they speak about how praying will not save anyone.
There are also numerous stunning shots like the introductory one for Eren, Mikasa and Armin, and the long tracking shot of the cadets flying above Trost, until Eren strikes a Titan from above with the explosive line, “Jaeger!”
This intro just has so many fantastic moments.
As for why it is not higher, or even at number one where a lot of other people would place it, this is because I just like the intro and outro I placed as numbers one and two better with their fantastic use of symbolism, music and visuals.
Still, “Guren no Yumiya” is an iconic intro that gets you hyped for the series every time you watch it.
2. Jiyuu no Tsuba by Linked Horizon – Season One Second Intro.
One of the most underrated intros in Attack on Titan, “Jiyuu no Tsuba” is one that deserves a lot more credit.
It had a difficult job following up the excellent “Guren no Yumiya” and, in my opinion, it more than succeeded.
The intro sounds more like a national anthem than any other one in Attack on Titan, and it has amazing visuals and symbolism to boot.
The big character introduction shot, for example, does a brilliant job of foreshadowing the reveals that Annie, Reiner and Bertholdt will betray the Scouts.
Then there is the shot of Armin standing in blood rain before he focuses on a single thing, represented by a candle, showing how his mind works.
Even Hange losing her eye two seasons later is foreshadowed.
Another thing I have to mention about this intro is the credits.
The way they are implemented into the visuals just draws your eyes to them to the point that they actually look like they are part of the environment.
It really is impressive.
All of this is accompanied by another great Linked Horizon song that gets you rooting for the scouts.
“Jiyuu no Tsuba” is the best opening of Attack on Titan and I honestly considered putting it at number one, but its outro actually managed to top it.
1. Great Escape by Cinema Staff – Season One Second Outro.
Its funny how my favourite arc of Attack on Titan has the weakest intro and outro, in my opinion, while one of the weaker arcs, the Female Titan arc, has the best two of the series.
First there is “Jiyuu no Tsuba”, and now my favourite of all the Attack on Titan intros and outros “Great Escape” by Cinema Staff.
I really enjoyed this outro the first time I heard it, but came to love it immeasurably when I rewatched it after seeing season two.
This outro contains so much amazing symbolism in both its lyrics and visuals right from its opening lines.
After seeing a seed fall down a wall we then get a panning shot of all the cadets turned scout characters we will see.
The shot is accompanied by the lyrics, “Let’s say I’m not who I say I am, can you say then whether you are you?”
This line has so much symbolic meaning with many of the characters suiting it.
It could be referencing Reiner with his split personality that leaves him unsure of who he really is, or it could be referencing Historia who is hiding her true self because she is suicidal and wants to be remembered as a hero.
However, it is not just the lyrics that have massive symbolic value but the visuals as well.
When this line is said. and the shot pans, the characters are shown to be on two different sides of a wall.
Eren, Armin, Mikasa, Sasha, Jean and Connie are on one side while Reiner, Annie, Bertholdt, Ymir and Historia are on the other.
The significance of this?
Everyone on Eren’s side of the wall is being true to themselves while everyone on Reiner’ side is hiding something.
Once all of these secrets are revealed in season two it makes “Great Escape” an amazing rewatch.
With plenty of great action shots to go along with these symbolic lyrics and visuals, and also another interesting art style, it makes the outro worth viewing multiple times after each season to see if something new will be uncovered.
It is for all of these reasons that the second outro of season one of Attack on Titan “Great Escape” is my favourite out of all the intros and outros in the entire series.