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.
Hahahaha I'm still mad at myself for reading the entire thing. The premise was okay but there are way too many plot holes and the story is pretty bland. Kishimoto could've done so much more with the world he created but instead we got a manga all about the power of friendship and plot armor. The characters are mostly shit and the ones that aren't barely get any pagetime. Kishimoto doesn't do the female characters justice and Naruto and Sasuke are both annoying. I'll give the art a solid four for the later style but the beginning is just painful. Don't read it's not worth it.
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