Anime Soundtrack Review: Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II

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

Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II
Publisher: Aniplex Inc.
Release Date: December 16, 2009

When it came to the tracks that are included on this release, I recognized quite a few of them when I heard them. The tracks on this disc run anywhere between a minute-and-a-half to a little over five minutes in length.

The title of the first track is translated to “Rising Dragon,” and I instantly recognized it as one the pieces of music VIZ Media used for the menus on their Naruto Shippuden home media releases. It’s also an important piece that shows up at crucial moments in the anime.

The second track, “Critical Point,” is a very upbeat and very recognizable piece of music. It’s usually heard when Naruto or someone else gets to an important point in a fight, and the fight is starting to go in the protagonist’s way. Track three, “Crushing,” is also recognizable since it’s the piece that can be heard when a character is about the make the final blow in a battle.

Track four is titled “Colorful Mist,” and it’s an instantly recognizable piece of music. It’s one that I strongly associate with Itachi Uchiha. I like the female vocal, as well as the harp, that appear during this track, because they help to accentuate the haunting feel that the song has.

“The Prophet” is the first track on here that references a background piece from earlier in the series and starts emphasizing the idea of a theme running through the music. In this case, the track uses elements from “Akatsuki,” a song that appeared on the previous soundtrack that is basically the theme for the Akatsuki. By hearing elements of “Akatsuki,” the listener knows that this piece is connected to this particular group of characters. The next two tracks are “Hidan” and “Kakuzu,” and these are the themes used for these particular two members of the Akatsuki. Hidan’s directly uses elements from “Akatsuki.” Kakuzu, on the other hand, not as much. Kakuzu’s theme sounds more like a hard and “driving” rock song when compared to Hidan’s. I believe this was another piece of music that VIZ Media used for the menus of their home video releases for Naruto Shippuden. “Crimson Flames” is another song associated with Hidan, and again, borrows elements from “Akatsuki.”

“Unkempt Hair” is another harder song, and it’s a piece of music I know I heard a bit in Naruto Shippuden during its run. However, I’m not recalling how the title of “Unkempt Hair” would fit in with where this piece would have first appeared in the series.

“Burial” is a downtempo piece of music. I admit that I don’t recognize the piece as I listen to it, but from where it appears on the soundtrack, I think I can guess where it appears. And if I’m right, that’s why it’s a piece that’s not used much in the series. This is the longest piece to appear on this set.

“White Clover” is another downtempo piece, but it’s one that I recognize because it was used a few times during the series. It’s a beautiful piece of music, and for the sequencing of the disc, it was perfect to put it right after “Burial.”

Track 12 is “Wandering,” and it almost feels like a song that wouls be used to score something set in the American Wild West. But, this is a theme that becomes associated with Sasuke during Naruto Shippuden. Fans of the series will recognize the piece immediately when they hear it. “Impregnable” returns to the hard driving and upbeat score, and it’s an instantly recognizable piece of music from the series. “Foreboding Skies” is another classic piece of score from Naruto Shippuden.

“Trial” is a song that fans of Naruto Shippuden will instantly recognize as being the piece of music that’s used in the next episode previews for the series. I’m sure it also appeared within the actual series itself, but I most recognize it as the new episode preview music.

Next is “Mind Reading,” which has a mystical and Eastern feel to it, and it’s a piece I instantly recognize and associate with Orochimaru. “Guren” relies heavily on woodwinds and was used as the theme music for the character of Guren, who was introduced during a filler arc.

“Black Spot” is a more upbeat track, and it’s another recognizable piece of music. Not only do I recognize it from the series, but it’s also another piece that VIZ Media used for the menus of their Naruto Shippuden home video releases.

“The Scarlet Letter” uses elements that I recognize from another piece, and I think that piece would have appeared on the first Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack. This is followed by “Courtesy,” which is a piece I associate with Pain. It has an almost gothic sound to it and is accompanied by a choir singing. In my mind I have always considered this to be Pain’s theme song.

“Red Rose” is an upbeat track that really rocks out and sounds great. However, I have to admit that it’s one of those songs that doesn’t sound instantly recognizable to me. As it progresses, it starts sounding a little familiar, but I can’t place where it was used. “Mountain Haze” is a much more downtempo number. It sounds beautiful, but I can’t say that I instantly recognize it as a piece of background score from the series. However, as it progresses, I do start recognizing it thanks to certain pieces of instrumentation. It’s a piece that I associate with flashbacks of young Obito.

This is followed by “Many Nights,” which uses elements from “Colorful Mist.” It’s not exactly the same as “Colorful Mist,” because it adds a male choir during it, as well as some other subtle differences. But this is an example of “themes” starting to appear throughout the background pieces that were written and recorded for Naruto Shippuden.

“Vision” uses elements from “Mind Reading,” and has a similar exotic sound to it. This is followed by “Reflection,” a very downbeat piece that focuses on acoustic guitar for its instrumentation. I recognize this piece as one that appears when characters are reminiscing on the past, hence the track’s title. “Fallen Leaves” is another piece that is downbeat and relies on acoustic guitar for its instrumentation. However, there are other instruments that make an appearance in this track. It’s another piece that I associate with flashbacks of young Obito.

“The Crying God” brings the tempo back up, and it’s another piece that appears during a fight scene. In this case, it appears when a battle is building up to its climax. The final song on the disc is “Early Summer Rain,” which is another slower piece. While it has a focus on acoustic guitar, there are also other musical elements that make the occasional appearance in the track. It’s a piece that VIZ Media used for the menus on their home video releases of Naruto Shippuden when they wanted something more laid back and serious. It’s also another piece I associate with flashbacks of young Obito.

Overall, I really enjoyed Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II. I recognized the vast majority of the pieces that were included on this set, and I really didn’t have any complaints about the sequencing of the tracks on the disc. It’s a very solid 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 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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