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Official Naruto Opening Rankings
For me, and many other fans, the opening sequences of Naruto were an aspect of the show that we paid a lot of attention to and enjoyed greatly. The original Naruto anime had 9 different opening themes, each of which was quite distinct from the others. I remember that, back when the show still aired on Toonami, the first few times a new opening was shown at the beginning of a new episode, I watched the opening almost religiously, and with completely undivided attention—such was my devotion to the series in those days.
Below you will find my personal rankings of, and thoughts regarding the 9 Naruto openings. You should note, though, that I rank the openings which were shown with the English dubbed episodes of the series, the ones that aired on Toonami in the United States between 2005 to 2009; I do not rank the Japanese versions of the openings, as I have never watched the English subbed episodes. (I know that, according to some fans, this constitutes a serious anime sin, but I was content with watching one or two new dubbed episode(s) every Saturday night, and saw no need to go through the trouble of finding the English subbed episodes online.) I take into consideration both the visuals and the sections of the songs that are used; note that these are not rankings of the entire songs by themselves.
- Opening 6: This was my favorite opening when I first watched it back in January 2008, and it is still my favorite today. The last of the pre-filler episodes use this opening, which is quite the fitting way to accompany Naruto and Sasuke's climactic fight in the Final Valley, and to close the main storyline. It is the energetic rock song that I like best about it; I liked it immediately when I first heard it, and I still enjoy it today. Also, at the 1:08 mark you can first see Itachi, Kisame, and the rest of the Akatsuki, and then Orochimaru and Kabuto all looking like badasses. (Also, why does Naruto leap from the mountain at the very end?)
Tied between Opening 4 and Opening 5:
- Opening 4: In my opinion, the opening with the most iconic visuals, particularly the scrolling backgrounds and Itachi's sinister eyes slowly opening at the 0:27 mark; I also very much enjoy the lively rock music. It truly gets me excited to watch the episode.
- Opening 5: Together, the visuals and the song—which is a bit slower and more sentimental than some of the others—capture very well the drama of the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. My favorite part is when the members of the Sound Four and Kabuto each appear in the shadow of Orochimaru's head, at the 0:56 mark.
- Opening 3: This one actually uses the same audio as the second Japanese opening, but with heavily edited visuals, most of which are clips from various episodes. While the rock music sounds good, the second Japanese opening has visuals which better fit the song; I especially like the part at the 0:28 mark in the Japanese version where the genin's appearances on-screen are timed with the beat of the song. (However, at least the cool part at the 0:50 mark was preserved in the English dub's version, in which the camera spins around each of the genin teams while they stand still.)
- Opening 8: An upbeat and more lighthearted song than the others, but the visuals are, in my opinion, not very memorable. The best of the filler openings.
- Opening 7: The music is quite good, but the visuals, while being pretty distinct in the first half (45 seconds) of the opening, don't really stand out very much during the second half. It is the first of the filler openings, and the decline in overall quality is somewhat noticeable.
- Opening 9: The song is pleasant-sounding enough, but most of the visuals are merely silhouettes of Naruto (and also Rock Lee and Neji) over a monochromatic background—pretty boring, I think. It is the last of the filler openings, and a rather lackluster way to end the anime.
- Opening 2: This is an opening unique to the English dub; the song is not used in any of the Japanese openings. Although I've always loved Naruto, this opening is definitely one of the English dub's weak points: I find the music to be quite grating, the visuals largely forgettable, and the audio and visuals to not complement each other very well. The music is the exact same as the first opening for the English dub (listed below), but I rank this one higher because I find the visuals to be slightly better.
- Opening 1: The same audio as the second opening (listed above), but the visuals are a bit less interesting.
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This page last modified on 3 May 2021.