Anime Soundtrack Review: Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack

Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack is a 28-track CD that is all background instrumental score from the Naruto Shippuden anime series.

Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack
Publisher: Aniplex Inc.
Release Date: December 19, 2007

Unlike the Naruto Original Soundtrack disc, this release does not include any opening or ending themes from the Naruto Shippuden anime. But considering the fact that there’s more tracks on this disc, the fact that the average length of the tracks is longer, and that the final track is a roughly 10-minute long suite, there was no need to include any theme songs to pad out the runtime. And like with the first Naruto anime, Naruto Shippuden also has three volumes of background score music, so this release does not include all of the background score for the series.

Outside of the 10-minute long suite, I instantly recognized every piece of background score music that appeared on this disc. And for many of these pieces, I could vividly recall scenes that these pieces appeared in.

By far, my favorite track on this disc is track 10, which is translated as “Akatsuki.” This is the Akatsuki’s theme song, and I have always loved the gothic sound that this track has to it. The sound of this piece fits the Akatsuki perfectly.

While there’s a good ratio of uptempo and slower tracks on this disc, the sequencing is done in such a way that it seems like many of the slower tracks were placed near the end of the disc. Unfortunately, for someone who is listening through the CD as a whole, this sequencing bogs down the listening experience a little bit. No matter the tempo, the tracks are well done, but I wish the sequencing could have somehow mixed the slower tempo songs a little more throughout the disc.

For Naruto Shippuden, Toshio Masuda was replaced as the composer for the background score pieces. For this series, Yasuharu Takanashi composed the pieces. Considering how much of a change there is between Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, it really made sense to bring someone else in to compose the music. The stakes are much higher in this series, and the tone becomes much more serious.

Takanashi tends to use more classical instruments and arrangements for the score of Naruto Shippuden, but there are times when modern instruments such as electric guitars are being used for more modern arrangements. The score for this series has a much more dramatic sound to it, and it works well for the atmosphere and plot points that appear in Naruto Shippuden. Unfortunately, Toshio Masuda’s style would have just sounded too “cartoonish” for this series. Yes, I know the choice of words is a little weird there, since Naruto Shippuden is an animated cartoon, but readers who are familiar with the sound of the background music for both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden will likely be able to figure out what I mean by using the word “cartoonish” in this sense. The one thing the score for both series have in common is that they are not sounds that will simply blend into the background and be ignored by the viewer. These pieces are just as recognizable as the series’ characters.

Overall, I really liked Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack. The only negative things I have to say have to do with the sequencing of the tracks near the end of the CD, and the inclusion of the suite. I honestly don’t recognize the suite as actually ever appearing in the anime, and I’m not really convinced that the inclusion of the piece was necessary. Outside of those two complaints, though, it is a good soundtrack of background score instrumentals.

If you’re a fan of the Naruto franchise and enjoy the background score music, I would recommend finding a way to acquire Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack. The best way to acquire this disc is to look around at sites that sell Japanese import CDs and trying to find the best deal.

Additional posts about Naruto:

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