10 Reasons Why Naruto Is The Best Anime Of All Time

The world of Japanese animation is bigger and better than ever and the anime community can debate all day long about what the single best anime series is and why. Granted, this is a subjective field and series from different genres can be difficult to compare, but a convincing case can be made for some of the biggest titles, such as Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto.

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The hit anime series Naruto has a legion of fans and it’s easy to see why they love this series so much. Naruto may have a few problems, such as filler arcs that disrupt the pacing, but overall, any Naruto fan can make a compelling case as to why Naruto really is the best anime series out there, for fans of any anime genre. This series has more than a few factors working to its advantage.

10 Naruto Has A Unique Soundtrack

Many modern anime series feature a stellar soundtrack, from the ethereal synths and choirs of Bleach to the thrilling heroic music of My Hero Academia that can get any fan pumped. Still, it’s easy to see how Naruto’s own OST rose to become one of anime’s best.

Naruto’s OST blends two unlikely styles — modern rock and traditional Japanese music — into something truly unique and memorable that’s more than the sum of its parts. Naruto’s OST also features some of the best comic relief music and the best sad music any anime can ask for.

9 Naruto Uzumaki’s Goal Is Challenging But Achievable

Any fictional protagonist needs a goal or a plan to drive their character arc forward and anime heroes are ready to deliver. However, some anime heroes’ goals are vague or not ambitious enough, such as Bleach’s Ichigo Kurosaki merely aiming to protect his friends. That’s noble, but it doesn’t drive the plot very much.

Meanwhile, Naruto Uzumaki strove to become Hokage and that is a challenging but specific goal that can be achieved with enough risk-taking and hard work. This sets a great example for anime fans who just might be inspired to set a realistic but challenging personal goal of their own.

8 Chakra Is A Flexible & Exciting Energy System

Fantasy anime series tend to have their own combat systems and their own energy systems to match, from Bleach’s spirit energy to Jujutsu Kaisen’s curse energy and Fairy Tail’s magic and curses. Those are all fine energy systems, but none of them can compare to the chakra system of Naruto.

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Chakra has all kinds of exciting applications, from a stunning variety of ninjutsu and genjutsu to summoning jutsu, augmenting the user’s physical attacks, walking on water, or even controlling wooden puppets or using a tailed beast’s chakra. This energy system is also divided into different elemental types, including yin and yang.

7 The Time Skip Is Highly Meaningful

Many anime series feature a timeskip of a few years to move events forward and show how far the characters have come and Naruto does it better than any other series. The post-timeskip sequence is known as Naruto Shippuden, and by now, “Shippuden” may serve as slang for any post-timeskip storyline.

Naruto Shippuden sets a new standard by showing Naruto and Sakura growing up in every sense — they are no longer frightened kids struggling to survive. Now they are proactive and confident young adults who can take charge of any situation and they have all-new enemies to fight and higher stakes than ever.

6 Naruto Features Anime’s Best Mentor, Jiraiya

Anime mentors take many shapes and forms, from Kazuma Sohma in Fruits Basket to Bleach’s Zangetsu and My Hero Academia’s Gran Torino, the retired hero, but Naruto stands out for having anime’s #1 mentor, Lord Jiraiya the toad sage.

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Jiraiya does it all — he is vastly powerful, he taught Naruto essential and relatable life lessons, he tried to bring about world peace, he’s funny, and most of all, he gave his life fighting for what is right. Jiraiya is still dearly missed to this very day.

5 Naruto Has Worldly Themes Of Hatred & Revenge

The best anime series showcase relevant and thought-provoking themes that apply to the real world, even if chakra and tailed beasts aren’t real. Naruto later explored the theme of the cycle of hatred and vengeance, which is all too real for anime viewers.

Individuals, organizations, and nations alike seek blood for blood in the real world and it creates a cycle of hatred and violence where eventually everyone forgets who threw the first punch to begin with. This makes Naruto’s Six Paths of Pain feel like a scarily relevant and meaningful villain and not just some thug bent on world domination.

4 Naruto Strives For Peace & Tolerance

Not only does Naruto explore the heavy but intriguing theme of cycles of violence, but it also offers an inspiring solution. Naruto Uzumaki inherited Jiraiya’s dream of ending the world’s cycles of hatred forever and that’s what inspired Naruto to take the fight to Pain and end the fighting for good.

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It’s not easy to do what Naruto did, but he still set an excellent example by standing up to hatred itself and wiping it away. Nagato declared that he would believe in Naruto’s vision of peace and gave his life to make it a reality.

3 Naruto Headbands Are Iconic

At first, manga author Masashi Kishimoto designed the forehead protectors so he wouldn’t have to keep drawing Naruto’s goggles, but this idea soon became an essential part of what Naruto is. These plated headbands are universal among ninjas and they have symbols etched into them to represent the wearer’s village of origin.

By now, these headbands are a staple of the anime fandom and plenty of other anime series have imitated them, usually as a pop culture reference or a gentle satire of Naruto. These legendary headbands also make for great merchandise and are easy for any Naruto fan to wear.

2 Naruto Honors Dragon Ball While Having Its Own Identity

As part of the original Big Three, along with One Piece and Bleach, Naruto takes many cues from Akira Toriyama’s legendary Dragon Ball franchise, but in the wrong hands, Naruto would have ended up as a cheap copy of Dragon Ball, which would have disappointed fans. However, things didn’t go that way.

Instead, author Masashi Kishimoto smartly borrowed Dragon Ball’s formula while carving out Naruto’s own identity and themes, which allows these related series to stand apart in all the right ways. Naruto’sDragon Ball DNA makes it highly appealing to any action anime fan, but it’s far from a ripoff; Kishimoto had plenty of his own ideas.

1 Naruto Has Anime’s Best Dandere, Hinata Hyuga

A wide variety of anime series portray a protagonist slowly growing closer to their love interest, such as Casca in Berserk and Touka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul, but the character Hinata Hyuga has them all beat. Her character arc is one of Naruto’s best.

Many beloved Naruto characters are what help make this series #1 and Hinata is a prime example of that. She started off as a talented but timid dandere who learned to stand up for herself and fight for what is right. She also had a wholesome and meaningful romance with Naruto and they even married at the end, setting up a new storyline that features the next generation in Boruto.

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