The 5 best Naruto openings

Not too long ago I wrote a piece on my top 5 One Piece openings, and today I will be giving Naruto and Naruto Shippuden the same treatment. After this, as I’m sure you can guess, Bleach will be coming — I want to revisit some of the series that got me into anime and some of the incredible openings that they gave us.

Naruto is quite the infamous series for its opening sequences, and I’m sure I will no doubt disappoint some of you with my picks here, but hey! That’s fine. We’re all different. Sound off in the comments if you have your own favourites.

Similar to the One Piece list, these will be in no particular order, so let’s get started!

Naruto Shippuden opening 8: Diver

As I always have been when talking about Naruto, I’ll be completely transparent with you lovely people… I am a Sasuke fan. Bad taste, trash taste, sling whatever you want at me, but I don’t care. I genuinely like him the most in the series — outside of Tsunade and the Mizukage, but let’s not let the degeneracy take over. (Speak for yourself – Ed.)

The song is Diver by a band called Nico Touches The Walls. It’s an odd name, I know, but the song is an absolute banger — as are numerous other songs performed by them.

The reason why I like this opening so much is mainly because of the great visuals they use to show Naruto and Sasuke’s relationship. Naruto falls deeper into the water and struggles for air as he begins to lose to his own darkness, only to then be pushed back up and catapulted into the air by the people around him.

Meanwhile, Sasuke lurks below before fully submerging into the abyss that’s reminiscent of a certain Akatsuki member’s mask. 

Naruto Shippuden opening 1: Hero’s Come Back!!

This one is a little biased because here in the UK, we didn’t have the largest variety of anime on TV growing up, and Naruto was one of the few that we did have. So as someone who would actively hunt down the next episode of Naruto wherever and whenever he could, the first opening of the return of the series was bound to stick with me. 

After the finale of the original Naruto series, I remember waiting for more and thinking that there was no way the series could be over; there were still so many things unanswered. After a while though, I forgot about it, as playing games ended up being where I would sink most of my time. But when I started getting back into anime, I rediscovered Naruto — and when I heard the first opening to Shippuden, it all came rushing back to me. 

Naruto Shippuden opening 4: Closer

Now if this list was numbered and in order, I would be very tempted to place this song at the very top; for me, Closer was the most memorable opening song in all of Naruto Shippuden because of how invested I was in the series at this point in time. As the events of the series progressed, this song stood out to me so much more, and looking back at it now, I still feel the same way about it.

So the arc at the time was focused on Shikamaru Nara, the shadow technique user from the Leaf Village, and his emotional development after losing not only his mentor but his best friend. Shikamaru was always a fairly emotionless character, and I don’t mean that in a bad way; I found him to be a breath of fresh air among a cast of over-the-top characters.

After the events of this arc, however, it was oh so sweet to see him accept all his emotions such as his depression and his outbursts of anger — and finally culminate in a plan for revenge. 

Naruto opening 2: Far Away/Haruka Kanata

Haruka Kanata by Asian Kung Fu Generation was one of the very first songs that got me listening to more Japanese artists, and I suspect it’s one of many people’s favourite openings from the original Naruto series.

Similar to Closer, this was the opening that played as the series really started to pick up the pace and drive my interest much more. We were being introduced to even more characters, having interesting developments happening to some of our main characters — and the legendary Rock Lee vs Gaara fight took place. The song is also a complete hype-filled banger!

Naruto opening 5: Rhapsody of Youth

Finally, we arrive at the last opening in my list — Rhapsody of Youth by Sambomaster. This opening is one of my favourites for a couple of reasons, the main ones being the arc that it centres around, and the fact that at this point in time I was pretty obsessed with Naruto. 

I can vividly remember sitting at the family computer with my older brother watching episode after episode of Naruto on a website called Veoh — I don’t imagine many of you will even remember that site (It still exists… kinda – Ed.) — and we were completely enthralled by the series as it was deep into one of Naruto’s best arcs, the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. 

This arc fleshed out characters that we previously didn’t really care for, or in some cases didn’t even like. It also set our characters out on their first mission without a sensei; it was led by Shikamaru and it added a real intensity to the whole arc. 

So those are our top picks from Naruto’s many openings over the years — what are yours? Let us know down in the comments or via the usual social channels!

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Conor Evans
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