This is an odd top 5 list I know. But I feel like we can use a bit of levity right now and what better way to get that than a surprise dance number! What is a surprise dance number? Excellent question! It’s when a bunch of anime characters burst into dance when you don’t expect them to!

This means all idol and dance shows are immediately out of bounds for this particular list. Admittedly, the musical episode is a trope that hasn’t quite yet reached anime, for better or for worse. (I do hope we get a debate about that in the comments. I, myself, can’t seem to decide whether it’s something I want to see or not.)

These are my five favourites in kinda random order.

  1. Death Parade OP

Death Parade is a show that errs on the side of duhhhhraaaamaaaaa but you would never guess that from the OP. There’s a reason this one often makes it to favourite OP lists, it’s just a god time. Every character get’s their own mini number and they all get combined for the grand finale which is matched perfectly to the music.

The OP was my favourite part of many episodes and although dance number OPs aren’t all that rare, I still think this is one of the best ones.

  1. Blood Blockade Battlefront ED

In my experience, dances usually come at the end and not the beginning. By that I mean they are usually in EDs as is the case for Blood Blockade Battlefront. The series is a lot more comedic and lighthearted than Death Parade, but it’s still really odd to see all these dangerous agents just boogying down!

I think that what elevates this particular ED is the little touches. They are all wearing different costumes that go with their style of dancing. The red curtain and spotlight are the perfect backdrop to accentuate the whole thing. The characters personalities and quirks are taken into account in their animations. And I also really like that song!

  1. Beyond the Boundary

The surprise dance number has a lot going for it. For one, it’s the most surprising since it’s neither an OP or an ED, it’s organically worked into the story of the episode but still rather unexpected. Also they didn’t skimp out on that choreography.

Each character has their own dance moves and personalized idol outfit! This scene wouldn’t be out of place at all in an idol anime! The fact that it was dropped in the middle of an episode of a supernatural action/romance series though, makes it something special!

  1. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

An oldie but a goodie. I think this is still what a lot of anime fans think off when they think of the musical number ED. Not only is it fully choreographed like an idol show but the characters are doing the signing. That’s still very rare. I mean I’m pretty sure Mayu’s voice actor was singing the ED of Given but it wasn’t animated for the character to be singing it. And the entire credit scene is dedicated to the dance.

I can see why this would stick in people’s minds. It’s quite an infectious little sequence. I may have had mixed feelings about Haruhi (mostly out of really high expectations) but I sure love this ED.

  1. Kaguya-sama: Love is War ED?

I haven’t even watched Kaguya-sama yet my mind immediately went to this (ED?). Chika’s dance became a viral sensation and unavoidable meme when this series aired and has inspired tons of remixes, recreations and blog posts! It’s sort of obvious to see why.

It’s cute, fast paced, wonderfully animated. It perfectly mimics those cute little idol moves that capture the hearts of salary men far and wide. The voice actress also has a very cute voice. Like I said, I haven’t seen the show, so I don’t know if the voice is for the ED only or if this was the character’s voice in the show. It seems a bit too young sounding so it may have been added to give that ED just a bit more oomph!

There you have it, five dance numbers that are sure to put a smile of your face and add a little swing to your step. They’re just so fun to watch, aren’t they? It makes you want to play those clips over and over again!

OMG I forgot Free!.. also Free!

Do you have a favourite anime dance sequence? Can you dance it?

Rini 3 (11)

38 thoughts

        1. Hey now… we might still get one. No giving up hope! Last season had actually completely caught up to the manga. They could be waiting for material to pile up a bit.

  1. (…don’t remind me of Dance with Devils…I dropped that on the basis that it was a musical in anime form and if I wanted a musical, I would look elsewhere.)

    +1 for Death Parade OP and Kekkai Sensen ED.

  2. I honestly don’t think I ever expected to see 13 guys ranging in age from about 10 to 30 to dance out together a squirrel… and all about wanting their sister. (Brothers Conflict ending) But dang it, the voice cast makes it hard to dislike the song!

  3. The best one-off musical episode I have seen is Once More, with Feeling in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which by itself justifies the concept! It’s a fun change of pace when you have seasons of over 20 episodes. Spontaneous dancing is wonderful! xD

      1. Aha, the one-off episodes they did are amazing, including the one you mentioned, “Hush”. There was so much experimentation within genre in that show. Genius.

  4. I’m totally cracking my brain here to remember if there have ever been any anime that I saw a dance sequence in, but I’m drawing a blank. Sorry😅😅😅Doesn’t mean that this post didn’t get a smile from me though: it did😊

  5. Haruhi,Love IS War and Beyond the boundary great choices. You can’t forget to add Lucky Star.
    If you have the time you should check out the dancing scene in the final fantasy 7 remake. That scene had me dying and Aerith’s hyperventalting was the cherry on top.


  6. The Chika Dance and Haruhi ED are among my favorite ed songs in anime. The sequences are brilliantly animated and the songs are so dang catchy. The Chika one was such a dang surprise I also remember the dance number from Beyond the Boundary, that was one was great as well! I also love the opening to Lucky Star- such high energy and so much fun to watch. It’s funny how a 90 second sequence can resonate with so many people.

  7. Good choices, and hey, I know most of these! Dancing Chika is still one of the best things ever (although Rapping Chika from the very next episode is pretty amazing too).

    Have you ever watched Jango’s Dance Carnival? I found out about it thanks to an AMV of Earth Wind and Fire’s “September” that someone used it for. It’s a six minute One Piece short that’s basically just an excuse plot to get the whole cast dancing. I don’t even watch One Piece and I still enjoyed it.

      1. Quite true! It certainly has its place in anime history. Another thing that came to mind despite not watching this series was the torture dance from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I did see the clip of it.

  8. This post is the “best thing that I never knew I neeeeeded……”
    This post brings me joy and I am bookmarking it as one of my favourites!
    I haven’t seen any of these and now I am wishing that more of the animes I watched had dance numbers in it. Why don’t they have this for Attack on Titan?! It seems like all of the characters could afford a good de-stresser and a little humour in their lives.
    This was a fantastic way to wake up. Thanks, Irina.

  9. That’s definitely Chika’s voice actress singing in the Kaguya-sama ending (it’s a special one-off ending). It’s also totally in character. I love the little Disney-princess touch near the end, releasing the bug and saying “Return to forest.” Considering Chika’s character that’s definitely meta.

    Also, love that picture from the Kill Me Baby ED in the header. It’s a classic along the same lines. A totally goofy dance.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen a full-on musical episode in anime (like, say, Buffy). I think there was one, but I can’t remember for sure. There are unexpected sudden musical numbers here and there. Kanamemo comes to mind (I think they did that more than once; spontaneous song that confuses the straight-laced main character. And Kure Nai, generally a noir thriller, had an episode where the cast is suddenly rehearsing for a musical. That was definitely unexpected.

    1. It was a one-off ed!?! No wonder people went nuts for it. That’s actually brilliant! Kudos!
      I’m adding Kurenai to me to watch list entirely based on this comment.

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