Once, the ninja village of Konohagakure was attacked by an evil nine-tailed fox spirit. This demon slaughtered many people until the leader of Konohagakure, the 4th Hokage, sacrificed his life to seal the fox inside a newborn child - Naruto Uzumaki. Now, twelve years later, Naruto is a member of the Ninja Academy; but due to his past Naruto is shunned by the rest of the village, and since he has no friends or family he plays the part of class idiot to get attention. However, he is determined to gain respect by becoming the next Hokage - the most powerful shinobi in the village. With his apparent lack of abilities, will Naruto be able to realize his goal through determination alone?
I've had to reserve judgement until the final ending came out. Now that it is here, I can safety and without a doubt state that the manga is not worth it. Darker themes are brushed aside, as the ending we get is the Happily Ever After (yawn!). This is a world of ninja's...there are GOING to be dark themes associated with such a thing. Death, betrayal, child soliders... Th story focuses so much on bringing one character back, that other characters suffer for it. I would rather have seen the village develop as a more close-knit group after the character's betrayal, and watch as our main characters cope with the fact that life is not fair (bloody hell, they live in a SHINOBI world). Early story arc were actually interesting, but once you get to this last arc (the war arc), things just....detrail. The whole war just had so many random, silly things thrown in it was hard to me to take it seriously. Anything that has been built upon, forget it. It's thrown out. Redemption (one of the most difficult things a person has to do after they betray their friends, in my opinion) is rushed. It just sort of happens. LOLWE'REFRIENDSAGAIN! I hardly bought it. It's all fine and dandy to believe in someone, even after such a thing has happened...but at a certain point it is destructive and unhealthy, and I'm left wondering if you're living in la-la land. It's so much harder to regain someone's trust after you've lost, unless you live in the world of Naruto. Your friends will just pull strings for you to get you out of trouble. I'm just not a fan of stories that set up heavy themes...and then just shy away from them. Especially in the ending arc.
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.
The day has come... I may not have followed the story from the very beginning but it has still touched my heart in every way possible. Seeing every character grow up both physically and mentally has been a great honour. To have experienced the friendship and strong bonds between Sasuke and Naruto has taught me many things. I would really like to express my heartfull thanks to Masashi Kishimoto-sensei for giving me this extra life! Now, that the series has ended, I just do not know what I should do. It is like where I was once whole a hole has replaced it. The end may have been predictable but that made the story even better. It was the perfect end to a perfect story! (On a side note - why can't he make Kakashi show his face? That has remained a mystery for years...) I am really happy to know that this world will not die completely. But the great tale of Naruto Uzumaki is at its end. His adorable children and their friends will have big shoes to fill now. Once again, thank you Masashi Kishimoto-sensei for giving this girl the chance to experience a fantastic world, for giving this girl the meaning of friendhip and love, and for giving this girl the most important things she has to know in life. Thank you for introducing me to the magical world called Manga and for being the first series I read and enjoy as fan. Thank you!
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