Would These Songs Polled From Classic Anime Be Earworms Outside Japan?

Asuka and Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion Singing

Back in December 2020, Japanese polling site Goo Ranking asked: Which classic anime songs would get stuck in your head?

The results were finally revealed this month, and it occurred to me that while some of these would be international otaku earworms, others might be headscratchers outside of Japan. (The poll was limited to the 1970s through the 1990s, so no Easy Breezy or Peace Sign.)

Let’s look at the list and see if you would agree with these choices:

  1. Space Battleship Yamato theme: As classic as this show is, it’s hard to believe that this marching theme would top the list outside Japan.
  2. My Neighbor Totoro theme: Well, the chorus is certainly simple enough to remember. (‘ToTOro, Toto-ro, To-TO-ro, to-to-ro’)
  3. ‘Cruel Angel’s Thesis’, Neon Genesis Evangelion: To all the people who got this song stuck in their heads: Congratulations!
  4. ‘Get Wild’, City Hunter: The series is currently available on Crunchyroll and RetroCrush, which probably helps. Previously, the series didn’t get nearly as much love.
  5. ‘Moonlight Densetsu’, Sailor Moon: You’re probably hearing the English lyrics, but it still counts.
  6. Touch theme: I mostly know this one because McDonald’s recently did a retro chicken sandwich collaboration.
  7. ‘Butter-Fly’, Digimon Adventure: The other monster-training franchise managed to get one more thing better than Pokémon, the theme song. I still had trouble remembering it.
  8. ‘Yuki 100%’, Ninjaboy Rantaro: This comedy was probably ‘too Japanese’ to get much attention outside Japan, which is a shame.
  9. ‘Ojamajo Carnival!!’, Ojamajo Doremi: 4Kids attempted to import this magical girl series, but you wouldn’t have heard the original theme song. Deserves better than it got.
  10. Lupin the Third theme: They specifically mention the Pete Mac, Jr. (Red Jacket) version, thank goodness.
  11. ‘CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA’, Dragon Ball Z: Originally a victim of importers adding new songs to series, it has since returned outside Japan.
Khara, Neon Genesis Evangelion; Funimation on YouTube; RetroCrush on YouTube
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