Anime Soundtrack Review: Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack III

Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack III is a 25-track CD that is completely background instrumental score from the Naruto Shippuden anime series.

Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack III
Publisher: Aniplex Inc.
Release Date: July 6, 2016

This is the third and final background score soundtrack that was released for Naruto Shippuden. The pieces included on this disc are the ones that appeared in the episodes from near the end of the series. The tracks on this disc run anywhere from a minute and forty-four seconds to four minutes and twenty-five seconds.

The first track is titled, “Itachi Uchiha,” but I’m wondering where this title comes from. This is not a piece I associate with Itachi. I recognize this piece, though, especially from the battles of the Fourth Great Ninja War. I love how much this piece rocks, but I still don’t quite get Itachi’s connection with it.

Next is “Unleashing Nine-Tails,” which has a very ominous sound to it. Right at first, I didn’t recognize it from the series, but as it progressed it started sounding a little familiar. “Fourth Hokage” is an upbeat and frenzied track, which works for Minato (aka “Konoha’s Yellow Flash”). This is followed by “Father And Mother,” which is a very downbeat piece of music. However, this is one I recognize from the anime series, and I love the vocal part that appears here. This is a beautiful piece of music, and I associate it with Minato and Kushina’s death scene. This was also a piece of music that VIZ Media used for the menu on one of their Naruto Shippuden home video releases. “Gentle Hands” is another slower piece of music, and it seems to borrow some musical themes from “Father And Mother.”

“Kaguya Otsutsuki” is the theme music for Kaguya, the new “final boss” introduced during the Fourth Great Ninja War. This piece seems to borrow from traditional Japanese music, and it also appears to be using a variation of the male chanting from “Akatsuki.” There’s also a female vocal in here that adds a “mystical” quality to the piece. This is followed by “Zetsu’s Theme,” which is a more bombastic piece than “Kaguya Otsutsuki.” I recognize the piece and can easily connect it with Zetsu. I’ve always liked this piece of score from Naruto Shippuden.

“Ashura – Indra” brings the tempo back down, and it has a similar quality to “Guren,” which appeared on the previous soundtrack disc. Even though the two tracks have a similar quality, “Ashura – Indra” isn’t sharing a musical theme with “Guren.” This is followed by “Scene Of Carnage,” which is more of a midtempo track. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I necessarily recognize this song just from hearing it.

“Cold Ground” has a slower tempo and seems to incorporate some Middle Eastern influences in its musical arrangement. This has an almost desolate feel to it. “Purge Goddess” brings up the tempo and energy immensely. It’s a very frenetic sounding piece. From the title, I’m sure it’s a reference to Kaguya, but sadly, I can’t say this piece is memorable to me when I listen to it. I like it, but I’m just not placing where it would have shown up in the anime. This is the shortest piece on the disc.

This is followed by “Spiralling Hot Wind,” which is an upbeat piece that incorporates some of the male chanting I associate with some of the background score from the first Naruto anime. “Standing Upon Rumbling Ground” has a slow start, but then suddenly explodes and starts rocking out. This is one of the standout pieces for me on this release.

“Those Who Have Courage” is a piece that seems be pulling some musical ideas and themes from the score of the first Naruto anime. It incorporates the male chanting, but there was also a part of this track where musically, it seemed to be borrowing some ideas from the earlier background score. This is another standout piece on this soundtrack.

“Always Watching” slows things down immensely, but it is a very recognizable piece from this portion of Naruto Shippuden. This is a piece I associate with Rin from Obito’s flashbacks to his youth. “Kakashi And Obito” is another downtempo piece, and it has a strong emphasis on piano and strings. Both this and “Always Watching” are beautiful pieces of music. This is followed by “Friend,” which starts out slow but picks up in tempo. In some respects, it seems to share a musical “theme” with “Kakashi And Obito.”

“Eternal Sleep” is a very uptempo track that sounds bombastic. It’s among some of the “harder rock” instrumental pieces to be composed for the Naruto Shippuden franchise. Next is “Obito’s Theme,” which slows the tempo back down again. This piece seems to share musical themes with both “Kakashi And Obito” and “Always Watching.” This would make a lot of sense, though, considering the relationship that these three characters had.

This is followed by “Martyr,” which seems to share a musical theme with “Akatsuki.” It has the same type of choral chanting and the same gothic arrangement musically as the other song. However, after it reaches a climax of these shared elements with “Akatsuki,” it suddenly starts rocking out and becoming a piece unto its own. I really like the sound of “Martyr,” especially after it starts rocking out.

“Nostalgia” slows the tempo of the disc back down, and it seems to share a musical theme with “Reflection,” a piece that appeared on Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II. Considering there’s a similar theme between nostalgia and reflecting, this shared musical theme makes a lot of sense. This is followed by “To Reach A Person,” and it’s another downtempo track with an emphasis on strings. The woodwinds that appear in this track make me think of a musical theme that appeared in the first Naruto anime. I was noticing this happening a bit in the tracks that appear on this disc. It kind of makes me think that Yasuharu Takanashi, the composer, was trying to bring things back “full circle,” if you will. Considering the emphasis on Naruto and Sasuke at the end of Naruto Shippuden, it makes a lot of sense to me to find ways to incorporate some musical thematic ideas from the first series, which had a strong emphasis on these two characters.

“Waltz of Wind and Fire” has a much more ominous, and nearly gothic, sound to it. It really gives the impression that the stakes have gotten high. Considering the title and where this appears on the disc, it would have to be music from the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke. I really like the sound of this piece, though. “The Road Continues” is a slower piece, and I can definitely hear that it’s borrowing from one of the classic themes from the first Naruto anime. I don’t remember the title of that theme, but it’s one I instantly recognize when I hear it. With a title like “The Road Continues,” it again makes sense to borrow something from the earlier series and incorporate it into the soundtrack for Naruto Shippuden.

The final track on the disc is “Naruto Main Theme ’16,” and this is a new version of Naruto’s theme music from the first Naruto anime. While you can recognize it as Naruto’s theme, you can also tell it’s a different recording. Takanashi took that piece of music and found ways to make it sound like his own. This is the longest track on the disc.

I found this score soundtrack to be just as strong as Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack and Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II. This release, along with the other two soundtracks, should really be in the music collection of a Naruto fan. The best way to acquire these soundtrack CDs is to look around at sites that sell Japanese import CDs and trying to find the best deal.

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