A defining feature of great anime is the music that accompanies it. Music that helps to encapsulate the emotions of a character in a scene or the high stakes of a battle or world-altering situation. One such OST is that of Naruto Shippuden, an anime synonymous with well-developed characters, a tragic backstory, and insane battle sequences. In this article, we will be making the case for why Naruto Shippuden’s OST, composed by Yasuharu Takanashi (Fairy Tail, Sailor Moon Crystal), is the best OST in anime.
Wind Meets Rock
Among the many reasons for this OST to earn a top spot in anime music is Takanashi’s use of traditional Japanese wind and string instruments during emotional moments mixed with a titular hard rock/metal vibe when it comes to bringing battle sequences to life. This eclectic mix allows the composer to utilize his versatility to solidify the anime’s distinct identity as one about ninjas, each with harrowing journeys and lives of their own. The sound is so unique that when one hears music from the OST they should be able to determine that it belongs to Naruto Shippuden.
A Hero’s Journey
Just as the anime has a story to tell of a blond knuckleheaded ninja growing to become a splendid ninja, so to must the music depicts this journey of growth, capturing the moments that define the character in beautiful melodies or waves of epic rock. One of the first songs in the OST, “Homecoming” perfectly captures the feeling of Naruto’s return to the Hidden Leaf Village after almost 3 years. It not only brings in a breath of fresh air for the titular character who had been away for so long but it also settles the audience into a new beginning for the protagonist and his friends.
Atmospheric and Emotional
When you listen to tracks on the OST such as “Loneliness” and “Despair”, you can’t help but feel the pain, sadness, and isolation that Takanashi is trying to convey in a given scene. Then you have the atmospheric sounds of “Wandering” and “Early Summer Rain”, music which can draw you into the world of a vast dry desert or the calming and tranquil beginnings of a rainy day. Any good soundtrack should stay with you beyond the confines of the show or movie you are watching. Takanashi delivers music that you can work, exercise, sleep, or even cry to.
When it comes to experiencing another person’s story through mediums such as anime, be they real or fiction, it is important to experience the good, the bad, the ugly, and, as is the case for many Shonen anime and manga, to derive inspiration and motivation from those trials and tribulations. The music of Naruto Shippuden tells a story of motivation and inspiration not simply in Naruto’s life but our own life as well. It speaks to the good, bad, and ugly. It accompanies those moments with music to lift our spirits and help us find strength from within ourselves when we have forgotten where to look.
Naruto Shippuden’s OST is one that encapsulates what is so strikingly beautiful about anime music as a genre. This soundtrack helps to solidify the identity and brand of Naruto Shippuden, while calling back to its roots in the previous Naruto soundtrack. If you have never explored the music of anime outside of the shows you are watching, this is a great place to start. We hope you have enjoyed this article and take it as an invitation to more deeply appreciate the music of anime and what it has done for you.