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 Naruto Written Review

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Strider Zero
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PostSubject: Naruto Written Review   April 29th 2011, 11:53 pm

Upon completing the first anime series today, I find it proper to give it a written review since I took quite some time on it. I used to be a very big Naruto hater and when I first watched it years ago, I was very biased against it going in. I watched up to the Sasuke Retrieval arc and stopped. Now I'm back with an unbiased opinion towards it. So let's begin.

Story:

The Nine-Tailed Fox almost destroyed the Hidden Leaf Village and the 4th Hokage sealed him inside Naruto. So he's shunned as a kid until he becomes a ninja and works to be accepted and to eventually be Hokage. Along the road, he has to meet many ruthless ninja and learn all kinds of Jutsu. Ninjutsu, Taijutsu and Genjutsu. That's the basic plot. It's pretty mediocre at best. We know very little about the Nine-Tailed Fox thus far and there are many plotholes. A lot of it is cliche and during the filler, many of the underlying themes of the show (i.e friendship and revenge) are rehashed over and over. Many of the characters' backstories were similar (Family got killed, seeks revenge). This show does not shine in its plot.


Characters:

Like DBZ, there are many characters to take into consideration. The main characters are Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura (But specifically Naruto). Naruto started out as a whiny brat, and he never really changed. He grew a sense of friendship and got very protective. But even to that point, he got annoying. If you want a great character that had these traits but used them right, take a look at Luffy in One Piece. Sasuke is the silent type. He was also looked on as the best. He is driven by revenge to get stronger. Now this guy had some potential, but they did him all wrong. I enjoyed his fighting style and some of his personality, but it got bland after a while. In the retrieval arc, he gets even worse.

Sakura is the worst of these three. She is trying to prove that she can be a useful ninja as well. The problem? She doesn't do a damn thing in the anime until the filler arcs. She literally sits back as Naruto and Sasuke do all the work. She's also madly in love with Sasuke so she never shuts up about him. Yes, worse than Kagome in InuYasha in battle.

The supporting roles vary. Off the top of my head I can name the leaf genin. TenTen (X), Rock Lee (X), Neji (O), Shikamaru (O), Ino (XO), Chouji (X), Shino (X), Hinata (XO), Kiba (O), Naruto (X), Sasuke (X), Sakura (X). Now you notice I either put X, O or XO next to their names. X = dislike, O = Decent/Good and XO = neutral. That's not a good ratio of Os compared to Xs. Ino and Hinata I was neutral towards because they showed decent character development in comparison but never hit that mark.

As a whole, the upper class ninja (Chuunin/Jounin) were a lot better than the main characters/supporting roles. Kakashi (who fits into both catagories though) is my favorite of the entire show. He is the only character that I could say is awesome. A few other honorable mentions that were cool were Kimimaru, Sazanami (a shame, he was in 2-3 episodes of filler), Genma (Not enough of him though), Hayate, Asuma, Sarutobi (3rd Hokage), Zabuza, Kabuto and a couple more. Overall, the characterization wasn't very good, but it wasn't bad either.


Action:

The action was a big part of the show. As I had mentioned before, there are three types of jutsu used in this show. Genjutsu (tricks, illusions, etc), Ninjutsu (elemental attacks or some cool stuff like that), or Taijutsu (hand to hand combat). This had great potential, except that a lot of the combat was rehashed and just bland after a while. Naruto's Shadow Clone Jutsu was used so many times that by midway of the show, you could predict every time he was going to use it. Also, the fights got dragged out with boring flashbacks and the likes.

A few times, however, the action was good and tense. Everytime Kakashi fought, it brought a whole new element to the game. Kakashi vs Zabuza was my favorite fight in the entire anime (both fights).


Music:

I'll cut to the chase with this one. The music is by far the strongest area in the show. The style was directed for a very Japanese ninja type feel and they were very catchy. As a few examples...





And here's an example of a more sad one.


I can honestly say that the soundtrack was great in this show. I don't care how bad or good you think the show is. You have to give credit to this score. As I move on to Shippuden, I'm already missing the soundtrack.


Concept and Art Direction:

The concept of ninjas using these special powers using Chakra isn't bad. It's pretty much another knockoff of the whole Ki concept though. You could rag on a lot of cliche moves and things in this show that are rip offs of other games and anime. There is a huge list. The concept as a whole, however, isn't bad and had a lot of potential. They haven't gave it great meaning though, not using the concept to what it's capable of. The art direction is just ok. Some characters are drawn pretty well. Others, not so much. I'm pretty neutral about it.


Overall:

For a 220 Episode anime, is it worth it? I would say you're better off in many other places, but if you've nothing else to do, give it a whirl. If you hate filler, don't bother. From Episode 136-220, it's all filler except for parts of the last episode. The filler was pretty mediocre, although the one advantage is that they focused a lot on the supporting cast and fleshed them out a bit. They pretty much left them to dry in the canon. If I had to give it a rating, I'd say around a 7/10. It's not great, but by no means terrible. I did enjoy watching it to an extent for what it was worth.


Last edited by Strider Zero on May 31st 2011, 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Strider Zero
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PostSubject: Re: Naruto Written Review   May 31st 2011, 9:10 am

After thinking for a while, I give it a solid 7/10.
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