I was a Narutophile. Then the anime derailed and precious episodes were squandered on side stories (ok I get it that they are trying to stretch the anime for as long as possible). Since it didn’t look like it will get back on track anytime soon, I dropped off.
But I do check on it sometimes – and discover good stuff.
One of the best things about Naruto, are the openings and endings. They are fun to watch: animators get to re-imagine their alternative Narutos, set to alternate storylines, render them in completely different styles, and compress them into a minute and a half. Scenes resonate with the chosen songs, perfectly synchronised with the tempo, like the songs are written just for them. Iit’s mind-boggling the amount of effort expended. I’m pretty sure these are harder to animate than the anime itself.
The latest one was so good (episodes 455-466) it made me press repeat many many times. It’s a condensing of Naruto’s whole life (to date), his exploits, and his dreams, into 90 seconds worth of animation. My heart ached with nostalgia just watching it.
There are many more that I’d recommend but that means I have to sift through 600+ episodes of Naruto again. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.
(For the English translation of the lyrics, click here.)