The Naruto franchise has a story spanning over 26 seasons total between both the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden series. With such a high number of seasons, it’s only natural that there have been some iconic and memorable opening credits throughout. We’ve rounded up fifteen of the best, based on music, animation, and imagery/symbolism to the show, so tighten your ninja headbands and follow along below to relive these moments.
15. Seishun Kyousoukyoku
Seishun Kyousoukyoku is the Naruto opening that revolves around the Sasuke retrieval ark, with Naruto, Shikamaru, Neji, Choji, and Kiba forming a special squad to try to track him down and bring him back to his home in the Hidden Leaf. There are a lot of really interesting angles used as the team runs and jumps through the trees, and the song portrays the perfect sense of urgency that this retrieval mission has bestowed on the Genin.
There’s also some nice symbolism going on with Sasuke’s hand grabbing his Ninja headband when surrounded by the influence of Sakura and Naruto, and then letting this slip when the dark influences of Itachi and Orochimaru step in. Overall, this is a very solid opening for one of the most interesting arks in the original Naruto series and a very memorable song for many.
Re:member is definitely one of the most memorable openings within the original Naruto series, utilizing a very upbeat and catchy song to help set the mood on the various side missions and one off adventures to be explored. While it may not be the most complex or deep opening in Naruto history, don’t let this fool you.
Re:member has a brilliant fight sequence during this opening, panning around each of the Konoha 12 Genin as they strike with a flurry of their special attacks. The use of silhouettes for villain such as Itachi and Orochimaru is also very interesting, creating feelings of mystery as they lurk from afar.
13. Toumei Datta Sekai
This opening often gets overlooked, as it’s a bit softer in comparison to others, which makes it a bit more forgettable when it comes to music. However, this is the opening for one of the best arks in Naruto Shippuden (the Pain Invasion), which utilizes unique perspective and depth within the fight sequences, showcasing the size difference between the various characters and where they are located within the battle.
This opening theme also dives into Yahiko, Konan, and Nagato’s backstories and the history of Jiraiya. This is the first opening that takes place after the heartbreaking death of Jiraiya, which makes the opening scene of him in a peaceful setting, writing his book, even more emotional. Furthermore, as this opening finally comes to a close, Jiraiya is seen signing off the end of his book, the story of Naruto, the hero after which our beloved Naruto Uzumaki was named after.
12. No Boy, No Cry
No Boy, No Cry is an absolute banger of a song and makes up one of the most memorable opening credits within the original Naruto series. This opening showcases the conflict between Naruto and Sasuke, with very gray and dismal coloring as Naruto struggles to find his footing again and fights to make Sasuke come to the understanding that Naruto cares about him and doesn’t want to lose their friendship; no matter how much they may have butted heads at the beginning.
Not only does this opening reference one of the best and most significant conflicts of Naruto’s story in his Genin youth, but the brief animations showing off the Konoha twelve are very well done and satisfying to watch with the punkish beat of No Boy, No Cry. Lastly, we even get an ominous little peek at villains such as the Akatsuki and Orochimaru’s Hidden Sound experiments, as the camera pans across the back of their robes and clothing, making this opening truly one to remember.
Guren is the 15th opening of Naruto Shippuen, taking place in the Great Ninja War ark. While the Guren song is extremely catchy, it’s the character symbolism and battle animation that make this opening so interesting. Most significantly, this opening portrays symbolism between three Generations of characters who all went through a journey from friends to enemies at some point during their lives with Hashirama and Madara, Kakashi and Obito, and Naruto and Sasuke.
While these parallels are certainly interesting and symbolic on their own, they are also nicely elevated by some fluid battle scenes, and camera pans that could give any longtime fan goosebumps. From the zoom-out from Naruto to reveal the Allied Shinobi Forces standing behind him in unison and support, to the pan across the various Hokage of the Leaf, Guren is a brilliant Naruto opening on all levels.
10. Niwaka Ame ni mo Makezu
Niwaka Ame ni mo Makezu not only has a super catchy beat and memorable vocals but the visuals of this opening that represent the chaos and intensity of the Great Ninja War are beautifully rendered, making this an opening to remember.
Right when the chorus drops, there’s an amazing fight sequence with the Kage against Madara, showcasing full dynamic displays of Tsunade, A, Gaara, Mei, and Onoki’s powers. Not to mention, there’s also a very special moment between Naruto and Kurama, hitting their Chakra together through a fist bump, establishing their bond together as partners now more than ever.
9. Blood Circulator
Blood Circulator is a brilliant song with very catchy electric guitar riffs, which is already enough to make it stand out. While the imagery for this opening sequence may not be as detailed as previous openings, the more subtle movements and simplistic approach just so happen to be perfectly matched up and synched to the music, creating a very satisfying opening credit. Plus, this is the opening for the final ark of the show featuring Kaguya Otsutsuki, which makes it hard to forget.
Watching everyone trapped and drowning in the darkness of Infinite Tsukiyomi and Naruto start to sink is rather worrisome, as almost every other opening portrays him fighting back, resilient as ever. However, watching Sasuke, Kakashi, and Sakura pull themselves out to fight back is the boost he needs, their spirit uplifting him just as his spirit has done for others time after time. This opening reinforces the close bond of Team 7, proving that even though they have numerous problems and differences, they will always lift one another in the end.
As lovable as Naruto is as the protagonist, Closer focuses on team Ino-Shika-Cho, specifically Shikamaru, after the tragic death of their Sensei, Asuma Sarutobi. Everything about this opening is perfection – the choice of music, the animation, the emotion portrayed on Shikamaru’s face, the way the Konoha 12 are shown to always back each other up, and the fight scenes against the Akatsuki.
The starting scene with all of the Konoha ninja shinobi turning their heads as the camera pans past them in the field of flowers is gorgeous, especially as these specific flowers have strong symbolism and representation of Asuma himself, and his relationship with Kurenai.
Following this, the dynamic movements of the Konoha 12 heading out together are extremely satisfying, before the chorus hits and the opening falls into battle scenes against Hidan and Kakuzu, the ones responsible for ending Asuma’s life. This emotional but uplifting opening just makes you want to root for Shikamaru and the Hiden Leaf ninja no matter what, and that’s quite a special feeling to have been created.
We are fighting dreamers! Right from the very first chord of the electric guitar, this opening brings back memories for many Naruto fans who started the show in their youth. GO!!! is an extremely catchy song, which certainly gets viewers pumped up for the action and chaos that is sure to come in the tales of Naruto in his Genin youth.
The stylistic choices of this opening are also extremely interesting, with panning across textured manga-styled panels, and then the various characters being animated into place within these panels, which is super satisfying and interesting to watch. This opening also manages to keep things very light-hearted and humorous as well as including enough action and snippets of mystery and badassery to get fans excited for what’s to come.
6. Haruka Kanata
The Chunin Exams ark is probably my favorite part of the entire Naruto storyline, and I partially have Haruka Kanata to thank for that. This song works perfectly for this section of the story, with gritty guitars and harsh vocals ringing out across a variety of character portraits and fight scenes. What makes this even more satisfying, is that the various character portraits and team compositions are synched up in time to the music.
The Chunin Exams is a hugely important moment for many characters other than Naruto, too, such as Lee, Gaara, Shikamaru, and Sakura, so seeing these references in the opening sequence is extremely satisfying. However, we not only get to see our beloved Konoha 12, but also the first glimpse of the Sand Siblings, Kabuto, and indicators that Orochimaru is lurking somewhere within this ark.
Lastly, the opening ends with a zoom out across a group of these characters, which indicates everyone is successful in completing the Chunin Exams. I didn’t realize this until I’d completed the ark, but looking back, it just makes me love Haruka Kanata even more.
5. Hero’s Come Back!!
After wrapping up Naruto and jumping into Naruto Shippuden, which takes place about three years later, the show would need the perfect song and opening track to make a great comeback; and boy, oh boy, did Hero’s Come Back!! deliver. This opening gives us the first sneak peek at the growing up everyone has done, complete with brand new designs for each character. The more rap-influenced music style is also completely different from any of the openings in Naruto, which makes this first Shippuden opening stand out even more.
A small smile appears on Naruto’s face as images of Kakashi, Sakura, Tsunade, and Jiraiya scroll beside him, almost indicating a thought of them. This shows he’s happy to be back in his village and return to those who have been counting on him. We’re all just as happy to have Naruto back at this point, too. I mean, how could we not be? Our beloved hero then takes off running back towards home, which is extremely heartwarming.
The opening then utilizes some unique and interesting sketchy animation and monochromatic film grain filters synched to the music, which is very eye-catching. However, the second verse is where things ramp up, giving an ominous look at the Akatsuki, and revealing the face of Deidara, one of the next villains from the organization that Naruto would be going up against first. Lastly, the opening closes off with Naruto rejoining his team, standing by Sakura and Kakashi’s side once more; a perfect end to the beginning of Naruto Shippuden’s opening credits.
4. Blue Bird
Blue Bird is hands-down one of the most recognized and beloved Naruto openings of all time, absolutely adored by fans of the show. However, what makes this opening even more impressive, is that this opening was mostly used for filler, which a lot of people tend to skip. Even though many filler openings are less favored or even unknown for this reason, Blue Bird still managed to make an impact on the Naruto fanbase, and for good reason.
Right around this opening is when fans will notice the animation quality kick things up a notch, with more dynamic and fluid movements, as well as clean picture quality. Naruto’s Blue Bird opening also ties into the name and lyrics of the song, with a blue silhouette of a bird flying around the monochromatic manga-like panels, transitioning into the full colored scene of Naruto falling, then fading into ying-yang symbolism with Sasuke, their personalities and stories representing this idea.
Blue feathers are continued to be used as scene transitions here and there throughout, until Naruto finally lands on his feet at the end, picking up a blue feather from the water to close things out. This was a unique take, as it’s not every day an anime will dedicate this much symbolism of their opening to the meaning and symbolism of the song involved.
Sign will forever be a very special opening to many Naruto fans, representing one of the most emotional and moving arks of the franchise. The opening begins with beloved memories of Jiraiya and Itachi, as the ark heavily focuses on Jiraiya’s battle with pain, the backstory of Yahiko, Nagao, and Konan, and Sasuke’s battle with Itachi.
The song itself is brilliant, and everything this ark deserves to represent itself – not too loud and harsh, but instead a gentle track that builds in sound as it progresses. Furthermore, the battle animations in this opening are absolutely gorgeous. From the reflective glow of Sasuke’s Lightning Release to the montage of Pain and Jiraiya charging towards one another through the relentless downpour of the Hidden Rain Village, everything is executed to perfection, which adds so much more meaning and emotion to this ark in general.
Silhouette blew my mind a bit the first time I witnessed it as an opening sequence. Once again, Naruto claimed yet another brilliant track for the opening credit, which already points the sequence in the right direction. However, it is the symbolism and the animation that truly make this one so special. This opening animation very much reflects the pasts and journeys of the involved characters, portraying their changes as they grow up with individuals such as Madara, and Obito.
However, the most powerful scene by far, is right when the song is hitting the chorus. Young Naruto begins running, determined to become a ninja and bypass the stigma and fears everyone holds against him. As he runs, we see him age throughout the years his, finally reaching his current appearance. This was a breathtaking moment, especially for fans who have been there since the very beginning, cheering Naruto on from his youth.
This opening is also very special because finally, after everything, we get to see Sasuke and Naruto fight side by side, standing together as allies once more; which is a goal Naruto has been striving towards ever since Sasuke stepped foot outside of the Leaf. Lastly, watching Naruto extend his hand to Obito, and Obito see his younger self in Naruto’s spirit is such a beautiful moment that many fans adore. Silhouette will forever be an incredible Naruto opening, and is the perfect summary of the incredibly important Ninja War event.
Lastly, we have Diver; the Naruto opening that I consider to be an absolute artistic masterpiece. Everything about this opening is stunning, with heavy symbolism in the imagery that portrays the character’s struggles, inner conflicts, and goals. The scene begins with Naruto crashing into the water, sinking deeper, and deeper, as the screen is washed out to monotone black and white.
As Naruto sinks, he can see various villains from the Akatsuki in the water, staring at him; these very people are the threats that are weighing him down. And just when they’re already causing him to sink, Sasuke hits him with Chidori, effectively drowning him and turning the water a bloody red, which resembles the constant pain Sasuke inflicts on him throughout the journey and their severed bond.
However, just when things look grim for Naruto, hands begin to appear on his back – from Sakura, Kakashi, Sai, Yamato, Iruka, and other members of the Konoha 12. Everyone who has grown to care for and believe in Naruto, is now pushing him back up to the surface in a huge rush; picking him up when he’s kicked down, just as he’s always fought to do for them. Naruto soars into the air, ties his Ninja headband, and then looks down to notice Sasuke still in the darkness, drowning under the water – but with nobody to lift him back to the surface.
Without hesitation, Naruto dives straight back in for Sasuke, just as he always will in the show, sacrificing everything to try and help, no matter how badly Sasuke treats him. This is an absolutely beautiful opening for Naruto, telling such a story through subtle hints and imagery. Unlike many others, there was no need for a clash of action or crazy intense music, and that’s why Diver will forever remain incredibly impressive and stunning to so many fans.