Otakus Beware! A Post About Naruto

The Japanese comic/cartoon, Naruto, is like the Castlevania of Japanese animation. The music, characters and storyline are all just so good! The main complaint I hear from people is that the plot arcs take far too long to complete in the anime, probably because TV companies are trying to cash in on the franchise. It’s true, they do take too long to watch in one-episode segments, but if you can find a way to watch 5 episodes at a time, without commercials, the show is one hot tamale!

I guess the otakus (anime nerds) among us don’t like Naruto because it’s a mainstream show and is seemingly producing as many episodes as possible, a la Dragonball Z. But don’t be confused; Naruto is so far beyond DBZ. It’s like, DBZ’s non-nerdy cousin.

Like every decent anime, almost every episode’s opening theme is an awesome Japanese pop-rock song and performance. The songs are not necessarily written for the show, but are chosen and then edited and remastered for the TV format. Although I hate over-polished mastering, in these cases the production really makes the songs killer. It’s important too, because the absence of these songs is what makes the dubbed English broadcast of the show so much worse than the Japanese counterpart. Then there’s the fact that dubbed film and animation is “an egregious insult to good taste”. This is how I feel about it and I’M NOT EVEN OTAKU!

The ending theme written specially for the English broadcast is particularly painful and was probably thrown in because it’s only 20 seconds in length, which provides ample time for extra commercials. Not to mention this gaijin Naruto broadcast doesn’t even stop for commercials in the same place–because there are even more commercial breaks. Watching Naruto on the Cartoon Network is like pain, only worse.

I’m posting these intros/outros for anyone who hasn’t heard them before. There are a lot of clever performance and production ideas in J-Pop that you won’t find much in the states, as well as solid, catchy pop songwriting. So watch these gems and weep, boys and girls.

Naruto Shippuuden (second series) Opening Theme – hot on the tails of Bleach, comes some seriously slick J-Rap.

The seventh ending song they’ve used on the show is probably my favorite of the ending themes. The psychedelic throwback on the music and imagery here is really something else. The lyrics are fantastic and towards the end, the use of Naruto’s face is hilarious.

The fourth season opening theme is pretty damn catchy in a different way than the previous two.

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on February 17, 2008.

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