Naruto Original Soundtrack II is a 19-track CD that includes 17 pieces of background instrumental score from the first Naruto anime, as well as the series’ second opening theme and second ending theme.

Naruto Original Soundtrack II
Publisher: Sony Music
Release Date: March 10, 2004

The disc opens with “Far Away Distance” by Asian Kung Fu Generation, which was the second opening theme for the Naruto anime series. If you already have the Naruto Best Hit Collection CD, this track is an exact duplicate of the version that appears on that disc. The disc closes with “Harmonia” by Rythem, which was the second ending theme for the series. Like “Far Away Distance,” the version of the song that appears on this disc is the exact same as on Naruto Best Hit Collection.

I was more interested in this release for the 17 pieces of background instrumental score that were included. This disc is the second of three volumes that contain pieces of the background instrumental score for the first Naruto anime series. When I listened to this disc, I recognized all of the background score pieces. They are very iconic pieces of score music for the series.

When I looked at the tracklist to see what each piece was, I would nod my head in agreement because I recognized that the titles worked perfectly for these pieces. For the instrumental pieces, the longest track comes in at 3:13 (“Hinata vs. Neji”). Two pieces get the distinction for being the shortest on the disc (“Konoha Noon” and “This Is Training!”), with both clocking it at 1:31. When it came to the sequencing of the disc, I thought there was a good mixture of uptempo and downtempo pieces. Looking at the tracklist, I don’t think these tracks necessarily appear in the order that they first appeared in the series. But if that’s the case, I really don’t mind.

When it comes to the instrumental score pieces that appear on this release, I can appreciate the effort and choices that composer Toshio Masuda put into the music. The sound and tone that he used for the score really work well with the more light-hearted feel of the first Naruto anime series. While these pieces were composed to be heard in the background, I think the pieces included here are the kind that you can hear without the visuals and still have an appreciation for them. These pieces are not the kind that will just blend into the background and be easily ignored by a viewer when watching the anime.

I enjoyed Naruto Original Soundtrack II as much as the Naruto Original Soundtrack. Even though I still think the inclusion of an opening and ending theme for the series really wasn’t needed on this releases, but I don’t count that as a mark against it.

If you’re a fan of the Naruto franchise and enjoy the background score music, I would recommend finding a way to acquire Naruto Original Soundtrack II. 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.

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