Naruto Review

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Review for the anime Naruto (Not Shippuuden)

Submitted: May 10, 2014

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Submitted: May 10, 2014

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***Spoilers***

 

Naruto is about ninjas (or shinobi). There are high ranks, and low ranks, and your rank determines which missions you are allowed to go on. Lowest rank is Genin, and it proceeds to Chuunin, Jounin, S-Class, ANBU, and Kage. Each village has a Kage, who presides over the village. Ninjas can perform jutsu, such as Water Dragon Jutsu, or Summoning Jutsu, but each consumes chakra. I guess you could say they are specially powered ninjas. I felt that had to be covered before going anywhere for you to know what I'm talking about.

 

There are five countries in the shinobi world. These are the Land of Fire, Land of Wind, Land of Water, Land of Lightning, and the Land of Earth. These are the major powers, and are also known as the “Five Great Shinobi Nations”. Each nation has hidden villages, which contain ninjas who serve that nation. Hidden villages are not exclusive to large countries. Some smaller countries also have hidden villages, but that doesn't matter right now. Our story takes place in the Hidden Leaf Village, which is part of the Land of Fire.

 

We begin our long, arduous journey with Naruto. He is a goofball who has the entire village looking down upon him. He is enrolled in the Academy, which is essentially a preschool for ninjas. You have to take a test to pass and become a Genin. Naruto always failed, until Mizuki convinces him to steal a forbidden scroll which will teach him a new jutsu that he says will help him pass. He goes and steals the scroll, and runs away. Iruka chases Naruto to bring him and the scroll back. Naruto reads the contents of the scroll, and Mizuki tries to take it from him. Iruka told Naruto that he was tricked, and after throwing a shuriken at Naruto, Iruka pinned Naruto down getting hit in the back, all to protect his dear student. It is revealed that the Nine Tails presides within Naruto. He then decides to fight back, performing the Shadow Clone Jutsu, the technique he learned in the scroll. He beats Mizuki and returns to the village. Iruka recovered and gave Naruto the good news that he finally passed the Academy.

 

Naruto was assigned to Team 7. This team is comprised of Sakura, who is smart and also Naruto's love interest, Sasuke, a young prodigy, who has many young girls interested in him (including Sakura), and whose entire clan was murdered (that is why he is distant), and the mess-up Naruto, who has the Nine Tails sealed inside of him. Kakashi Sensei is their teacher, and the one who will train them, and lead them on further missions to improve their skills. After going on a few missions, Kakashi allows them to sign up for the Chuunin exam.

 

The Chuunin exam is important for countries' relations. Ninjas from other villages come to the hosting village (in this case the Hidden Leaf) to take the test so they can move up a rank. They end up meeting a guy named named Kabuto, who is being creepily nice and helpful. They feel he has an ulterior motive (which he does). The teams are thrown into the Forest of Death with the goal of obtaining two different scrolls and reaching the checkpoint. On the way, Sasuke is bitten on the neck by a stranger, revealed as Orochimaru, and it left a curse mark. Sasuke gets sick, Naruto is exhausted, but they both pull through. They pass this part, and then are paired with another ninja to go head-to-head with. Naruto, as with all his fights so far, gets his ass kicked, and comes back at the last second and wins. There are Kages observing the fights. One is the Hokage (the leader of the Hidden Leaf), the other is the Kazekage (the leader of the Sand). There is always tension between the nations because of past wars.

 

The Kazekage kidnaps the 3rd Hokage, and is revealed to be Orochimaru, the main antagonist of the series. Orochimaru then goes head-to-head with 3rd Hokage in a pretty cool fight. There is a barrier around the two, so no one can interfere. After a long and hard battle between the two, Lord 3rd decided to use a forbidden jutsu, where you seal away your opponent's soul at the cost of your own. He tried, but realizing that he was unable to seal Orochimaru completely, he settled for sealing away his arms to prevent him from using jutsu. This costing his life, but he died with a smile knowing he saved the Hidden Leaf.

 

Naruto runs into a man named Jiraiya. They become close after a while, Naruto becomes his pupil, and eventually they set off on a journey to contact Tsunade who was suggested to be the next Hokage. The Hidden Leaf was in dire need of a leader, and Jiraiya turned down the offer. They find her, and plead for her to be the 5th Hokage, and she declines. A duel between Naruto and Tsunade takes place, ultimately leading to her accepting the role of the next Hokage.

 

The other antagonists of the series is the group of rouge ninjas called the Akatsuki. Two Akatsuki members named Kisame and Itachi appear in the Hidden Leaf village. They had infiltrated to capture Naruto, because of the Nine Tails that remained inside his body. Itachi is revealed as Sasuke's older brother, who fled the village after annihilating the Uchiha clan. He left only Sasuke alive for his hatred to grow and to make him stronger. The two Akatsuki members were confronted by Kakashi, and after fighting a hard battle and using most of his chakra, Might Guy appears. The two then fled to complete the initial goal. Sasuke hearing that Itachi was near, searched for Naruto, successfully finding Kisame and Itachi. He attempted to use Chidori on Itachi, but his older brother, not bothered, left him injured and humiliated. Jiraiya appears and attacked causing the two to retreat.

 

Later on, Sasuke, seeing Naruto steadily getting stronger, and feeling that he was not strong enough to avenge his murdered clan, left the Hidden Leaf to seek out Orochimaru for power. Sakura was devastated, and pleaded Naruto to go after him. Naruto vowed to go after Sasuke and bring him back. That is the premise of the rest of the rest of the series. It literally revolves around Naruto trying to bring Sasuke back to the village. Tsunade sent a team to go with Naruto, but as they approached Sasuke they ran into the Sound Four, all of which were defeated. Naruto finally caught up to Sasuke and a battle ensues. Ultimately, he loses. The team was all safe and they returned to the Hidden Leaf injured and with no results.

 

Naruto begins training with Jiraiya. Sakura, feeling useless, starts training under Tsunade who is exceptional at healing. In the meantime, Sasuke is training with Orochimaru, and his assistant. Guess who? Kabuto. The reason he was being nice to Team 7 was to observe Sasuke as a potential body for Orochimaru. The reason Orochimaru fled the Hidden Leaf was because he was doing inhumane experiments and developing new forbidden jutsu. One of these forbidden techniques allows him to transfer himself into another body to sustain his life. He wanted Sasuke for his Sharingan and for his young body.

 

That's about it. They look for Sasuke through the whole series, never finding him. Orochimaru was smart enough to keep on the move. All three members get stronger as the series progresses. Naruto being the most noticeable improvement. At the end of the series, Naruto goes on a journey with Jiraiya for two and a half years to train and learn how to better control the Nine Tails.

 

I'll start with the positives. I started watching this as a kid, and I loved it. The first 100 episodes are pretty good. The main character doesn't start off overpowered. After watching for a bit, a few characters I grew to like. If the anime does grow on you, you can develop feels after a while. There are a few comedy elements. The whole idea of special jutsu and powers is pretty cool. Most of the opening songs and OSTs are exceptional. The art style is also a plus. Finally, there were a few fights which I enjoyed watching and felt the action scenes were different and new.

 

Now for the negatives. The first thing I'm bringing up is filler. I hate filler, and Naruto is synonymous with filler, the worst part being the filler sucks story-wise. Sakura is literally so useless that in other animes a useless character is referred to as a Sakura. Another thing that bugs me, is chasing Sasuke for that many episodes is ridiculous. The story gets boring and repetitive. No one ever dies (except 3rd Hokage), especially the main characters from any of the teams. After a while, you notice a pattern with Naruto's fights. He gets his ass kicked, he starts talking about bonds, dreams, and the future, he then comes back at the last minute to win. That is so aggravating. Most of the dialouge is cheesy. I don't believe someone would actually say half of those things to a person. The series is long. 220 episodes long to be exact, and of that, a lot of it is filler. I don't like most of Naruto because of how long-running and repetitive it is. The worst thing for me is predictability. I ended up guessing most things in the plot, and that was upsetting to me.

 

As a whole, I give the series a 5/10 based on enjoyability. I would've scored it higher if it didn't get completely ridiculous after 120 episodes. If you want a series that will take up your time, or one that will last you a while, then I would recommend this one. If you don't mind long-running anime with action, this also might be for you. If you are looking for an anime that isn't completely predictable, with repeated plot points this is not for you. There are some redeeming things about it, but not enough to make me a fan. I did finish it though. It is admittedly much better than the follow up series. Give the first few episodes a shot and see if it's your cup of tea. Don't count this anime out, because there are so many fans and episodes. They must be doing something right.  




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