Anime Soundtrack Review: Naruto The Best

Naruto The Best is a 14-track CD that includes some of the opening and ending themes for the Naruto Shippuden anime, as well as the ending themes for The Last: Naruto The Movie and Boruto -Naruto The Movie-. There is a bonus DVD that contains the textless versions of the opening and ending themes that appear on this release; however, since the DVD was manufactured for a Japanese audience, it is a Region 2 disc.

Naruto The Best
Publisher: Sony Music Records
Release Date: July 6, 2016

The disc opens with DOES’ “Crimson,” which is the 15th opening theme for the Naruto Shippuden anime. This is an upbeat track, and it’s very recognizable to viewers who are familiar with the series. While I know that chronologically, this is supposed to be the first song on this disc, it still works well as the opening track for the disc.

Next is “FLAME” by DISH//, and it’s the 29th ending theme for the series. It’s another upbeat song, and it’s also quite catchy. While I kind of recognize it when it first starts, it totally sounds familiar once I hit the chorus. Even though I may not have recognized it right away, I was still bopping my head along to it.

This is followed by “Never Change” by SHUN and Lyu:Lyu, and it’s the 30th ending theme for the anime. It’s an instantly recognizable song to listeners who are familiar with the series. While it’s not quite as upbeat as the previous two tracks, it’s still catchy and enjoyable to listen to outside of the context of the series.

Next is “Silhouette” by KANA-BOON, which is the 16th opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. This is another upbeat song, and it becomes very recognizable when the lyrics kick in. This is one of the songs on this disc where I can basically envision the visuals from the opening theme when I listen to it.

“It’s Absolutely No Good” by Shiori Tomita is the 31st ending theme for the series. This is an instantly recognizable theme when it starts up. While it may not be quite as catchy as some of the earlier tracks on this disc, it’s still upbeat and very memorable.

This is followed by “Spinning world” by Diana Garnet, and it’s the 32nd ending theme for the anime. It’s another upbeat rock track, although it takes a little while for me to recognize it from the series. It’s not a bad song at all, but it’s not like some of the other songs on this disc, where I recognize them the moment that they start. It’s not until it hits the chorus where I finally recognize the song.

Next is “Wind” by Yamazaru. And no, it’s not a cover of the first ending theme for the original Naruto anime series. This is the 17th opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. It’s another upbeat rock song that I recognized the moment that it started. It’s not a bad song at all, but at this point in the disc, all seven songs have been upbeat rock tracks. Of course, this is not the fault of whoever put this tracklist together. It’s the fact that at this point in the series, it seemed like the vast majority of themes were upbeat rock tracks.

“A Promise That Needs No Words” by sana is the 33rd ending theme for the series. It’s an instantly recognizable track for listeners who are familiar with the Naruto Shippuden anime. While it’s a more upbeat song with some rock to it, this song prominently features female vocals, as well as keyboards. At least this helps this theme to stand out on this disc compared to the previous seven songs.

This is followed by “Rainbow’s Sky” by FLOW, which is the 34th ending theme for the anime. While it’s still an upbeat rock track, there’s also slower breaks that feature a keyboard, which helps it to stand out a little more. It helps that it’s also a catchy song.

Next is “LINE” by Sukima Switch, which is the 18th opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. This is more of a mid-tempo rock track that also includes some synthesizer sounds in it. While it may not be instantly recognizable or catchy, it still stands out from the other songs on this disc, since this is truly the first song that is not uptempo.

“Troublemaker” by KANIKAPILA is the 35th ending theme for the series. It’s another upbeat rock track, but there’s some elements to this that kind of make me think of 1960’s psychedelic rock, which helps it to stand out on this disc. It’s also kind of catchy, especially when it hits the chorus.

Next is “Like You, Like Me” by Thinking Dogs, and it’s the 36th ending theme for the anime. It starts out as a midtempo track, but it speeds up to being more uptempo; however, it’s nowehere near as uptempo as many of the songs on this disc. It’s kind of catchy, and it’s enjoyable to listen to.

This is followed by “Star Vessel” by Sukima Switch, which was the ending theme for The Last: Naruto The Movie. This is the longest song on the entire disc, and it’s the only slow song on it. It definitely sounds like it was recorded to be an ending theme for a film. That’s not meant to be a slam or a criticism, it’s just a fact. It’s a good song, and it works well as a film’s ending theme.

The final track on the disc is “Diver” by KANA-BOON, and it’s not a cover of a previous opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. Instead, this is a new song with the same title that was recorded as the ending theme for Boruto -Naruto The Movie-. It’s a more midtempo rock track. It’s an okay song, but not one that’s going to be very memorable for me in the long run.

It’s a good CD for a collection of theme songs, especially since they are being sequenced onto the disc chronologically. Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point in the series where whoever was in charge of deciding on the opening and ending themes decided to put a lot of focus on uptempo rock numbers. Because of this, there can a feeling of “sameness” as you listen to the disc. But if you know this going into listening to it, that should make it an easier listen.

If you’re wanting to collect the various opening and ending themes for the Naruto franchise, then I would highly recommend acquiring this CD, along with Naruto Best Hit Collection, Naruto Best Hit Collection 2, Naruto Super Hits 2006-2008, Best Hit Naruto, Naruto Greatest Hits!!!!!, and Naruto Super Sounds. The best way to acquire these discs is to look around at sites that sell Japanese import CDs and trying to find the best deal.

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