This series hates me. For the last four or so years, I've just been coming back to Naruto over and over hoping things will get better, but it just keeps hurting and tormenting me.
I liked reading all of the beginning chapters, I really did. I enjoyed feeling Naruto's plight, I loved the ensemble of main and supporting characters, I thought many of the beginning villains were a right blend of creepy and tragic, I just don't know what happened.
As a person who once grew up with both Dragonball series, I had a deep understanding of shounen inner workings and didn't mind that they had to stick to a certain formula. I'm fine with that; Movies have been doing that for decades now.
But slowly, over a great period of time, something fell over me as I began to realize what I was reading transformed into a beast. Soon, the plot almost entirely revolves around Naruto doing anything and everything to bring the little punk Sasuke back home. Everything revolves around those two specific people and everyone else takes a backseat to the drama.
Once it gets to that point, reading Naruto just feels more like a chore than anything else. Hard to believe, but it took me well over 300 chapters of story for me to realize the pacing had become horrid and nearly unreadable.
I could talk about how fights become stupid, interesting threads and characters are thrown away, and such, but that would just make me angry over how much better everything could've been.
To anyone who has somehow missed out on the whole craze, just read until the time skip and make up an ending. Save yourself, please.