Going with the flow

Ever go on vacation, and have a song or an album become the soundtrack to that trip?

That’s happening here this week, as our 12-year-old has commandeered the CD player in the car.

We’re not doing much, just hanging around town, but we listen to the same thing everywhere we go — music from “Naruto,” a Japanese adventure cartoon. Oops, sorry, anime.

Judging from its Wikipedia description, I can see why “Naruto” appeals to 12-year-old boys: “The main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, unpredictable adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition, as well as to become Hokage, acknowledged as the leader and strongest of all ninja in the village.” I can think of someone who fits that description. Yes, you, Evan.

So I’ve been listening to the same eight cuts, found on the Web, downloaded and burned onto a CD by our 12-year-old son. It’s an interesting little trip into the world of Japanese pop music. Most of it clearly is influenced by American pop-punk, but some also by ’80s pop.

“Naruto” is just the latest in a series of Japanese comics (oops, sorry, manga) and anime that Evan has dug.


So I ask: Why Naruto, and not Spider-Man or Batman or some of their fellow superheroes?

“Dad, I like this.”

Maybe Andrew over at Armagideon Time, were comics and music peacefully coexist, can explain it all. (And he has! Please check the comments. Thanks, Andrew!)

I guess Evan isn’t all that different at 12 than I was at 11, when in the summer of 1968 I read:


So, in the unlikely event you’d like to hear Evan’s favorite tune from his Naruto CD, here you go.

“Go!!!,” by Flow, 2004.

It sounds like Green Day until about 2:30 in, when there’s a 25-second bridge that’s a classic ’80s guitar solo. I just can’t put my finger on the influence for that. Maybe Starship. No, maybe Asia.


I think I’ll resist the urge to offer any of the five versions of Neal Hefti’s classic “Batman” theme I have.

For today, anyway.


1 Comment

Filed under August 2007, Sounds

One response to “Going with the flow

  1. In a nutshell, what happened is that DC and Marvel, for various reasons, got into the bad habit of underserving the kid demographic (in their comics, if not their licensed merchandise), and manga came roaring in to fill the gap. Naruto is the best selling comic in the country now, though some purists would thickly lay on the qualifiers in respect to that fact.

    Anime music is something else, isn’t it? A Sargasso Sea of pop influences that combine and recombine into different, yet recognizable patterns of flotsam in the currents. I still have to get around to my post (the idea of which predates my blog) about Meatloaf, Springsteen, the Streets of Fire movie, and the Bubblegum Crisis anime. It’s like putting down every jigsaw puzzle piece in place at once.

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