For people yet to read the manga: There is a few spoilers in here, but not too many. I don't think I gave too much information away for those who haven't read the story yet. I think people shouldn't read this review or any review as law because my opinion and thoughts can be very different to yours, I definately suggest reading the manga just to experience the successful manga and create your own opinions on it.
The story so far, the plot itself was rather interesting to begin with. It really drew me in when I started reading and I didn't want to put it down. However when Sasuke ran away it started to slowly go downhill. From my point of view, there was no reason for Sasuke to join the 'worst enemy' of the Leaf Village, it really makes me doubt some things about the characterization and loyalty from the ninja, and the whole Naruto wanting to rescue him, cute for a time, but got annoying. It appeared to be rather immature and selfish of him (even though I acknowledge the fact that he, at that time was a child, and viewed Sasuke as a brother), and not beneficial to the plot per say. In my opinion it was dragged on and took too much spotlight from the other plots that were currently going on. However, that was rather a minor fault.
The real thing that has been wrong (for me) with the plot is the current arc. I knew something so dramatic and epic was going to happen, however this is rather slow and disappointing. Tobi, or Obito, which ever you prefer to call him, I think was a rather good plot twist. However after this was revealed everything started slowling down and it has just got dreadfully boring and dull. It has become a chore to read it every week because it is so bleeding obvious what is happening, a few fight scenes some heartfelt or couragous speech, somebody dies etc. Though it was a happy moment with Sasuke back, but the whole Hokage thing? I think that might have been a bit over the top.
I can say this: it is good that the mangaka isn't afraid to kill off characters, but I wish it wasn't some of the better characters (Jeiriya or Negi) Or the bringing back the dead for convenience sake.
Before I couldn't put the books down and couldn't wait to read what happens next, now I am struggling to read a chapter and keep thinking 'when is this going to end?'
As the story was rather good and did have a great underlying plot, even though it wasn't carried out as well as it could have been, the expectation was built high in most of the manga. It is only recent chapters that have let it down. Based on the the predictable resolutions of previous arcs and the slowness of the current arc I have to lower my score:
I can not fault the art, I think it is rather good. As time has gone on, the style has changed and truth be told I prefer the old style a lot more, but that doesn't matter it is just personal taste. It is generally neat and tidy. Not much to complain about. Due to personal tastes my score is:
Some characters rock. (for example Kakashi, Gaara etc) and others not so much. Most of the villians, up until Itachi dies, are absolutely amazing and are perfect. They have great stories and although they are meant to be the enemies they appeal to the reader and end up being loved to death. (for example Itachi).
The main characters (Original 3: Team 7) well no matter how you look at it for most of the manga Sakara was useless BUT in recent developments she has evolved into a better/stronger character. In the beginning she was a humourous character in regards to her 'inner self'. My thoughts on Sasuke is that he is confusing and it would probably need a whole new 600+ page manga to explain his train of thought. I can't get a solid opinion on him. Sorry.
Finally, Naruto. My opinion on him is very strong and I think people might not agree with me. The whole manga would be 10X better without Naruto. Sometimes he acts how I expect the main character fo act but other times it is just so unbarable. He is rather selfish/self centred, and while he does often help his friends out it seems very, I don't know how to put it. If he ends up Hokage, I fear that the Leaf Village will turn to ashes. It seems very illogical. We first meet him, he is destroying the previous Hokages faces and the village and yet he wants to be the protector of it?
I am really sorry, but Sasuke came back and where did that kid go who is part of the new and improved team 7? The others completely ignored him and he has just disappeared out of everyones mind, like I can't even remember his name (I can, I am just proving a point here ... it is Sai). They all completely forgot about the poor guy and it ended up with him hurt. I feel so sorry for the poor guy being put in the team with them, just saying.
Besides that, character development was very good. Most of the time it felt as though the characters were real and we could sympathise with them, however most of the main characters weren't entirely up to expectation.
Please remember this is just my personal opinion and I acknowledge that other people don't agree with what I say. This is my first time writing a review, so hopefully I haven't myself look like an opinionated idiot.