Naruto poster

Naruto

Moments prior to Naruto Uzumaki's birth, a huge demon known as the Kyuubi, the Nine-Tailed Fox, attacked Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village, and wreaked havoc. In order to put an end to the Kyuubi's rampage, the leader of the village, the Fourth Hokage, sacrificed his life and sealed the monstrous beast inside the newborn Naruto. Now, Naruto is a hyperactive and knuckle-headed ninja still living in Konohagakure. Shunned because of the Kyuubi inside him, Naruto struggles to find his place in the village, while his burning desire to become the Hokage of Konohagakure leads him not only to some great new friends, but also some deadly foes. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 42

User Count107919
Favorites Count3017
Start Date3rd Oct 2002
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank42
Rating Rank651
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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Story (7/10) Naruto's story revolved around a obnoxious kid named Naruto, if you don't like him, then it's not very likely that you'll love the series.  The plot is a bit shallow and a bit of a cliche; a stupid main character who wants to attempt the impossible and has a hidden power behind his sadness having stereotypical nakamas to protect. Simply to say it is the journey of Naruto to become the best; however, he has to face conflicts within himself, with others and with the world as well. Don't expect psychology, deep philosophy, and thought provoking issues here because Naruto was made for the general audience and tackles drama within the character's personal lives as teenage ninjas, there are almost no societal issue here and war and politics are not a prominent figure. The story is about lives. The life of a ninja here is portrayed in a comedic and adventurous way in the eyes of mostly innocent youths who in time, will be able to learn about its darkness. But what made Naruto so lovable? It is the universe it created. The villages, the clans and the people's lifestyle are so fun to learn about, they are so fun to be in. Plot twists are plentiful and the characters' interactions are very exciting.  But the heart of Naruto fandom is the ACTION; loved characters fighting with their well loved skills. Each of them has unique attributes coming from their bloodline or they developed personally. Most of the time, they think while they fight resulting into exciting clashes of logic and tactics. Their powers also have 'scientific explanations' from the make-up science in this show giving room for countless forums and fan speculations where their strengths and weaknesses are discussed; example is "who will win if..." However, I was displeased with the development of the series; it started out really good but after episode 140 or so the anime was filled with useless fillers, totally useless and unenjoyable.They really ruined the show; It was a real disappointment to fans that the transition to Naruto Shippudden was a total disgrace. Overall the story is very addictive and will keep you glued to the screen until the fillers came. Art (7/10) The character designs are very simple yet memorable, no character looked alike and each other and each has trademark outfits, which were not very detailed. Eyes, noses, mouths and hair are nothing special making Naruto characters one of the easiest to draw.I also loved the use of symbols, such as the Konoha leaf and Naruto's spiral, they leave a considerable amount of impression to viewers. The houses, shops, fashion, and art in general in Naruto are both landlord era and modern anime style inspired. Yet the animation was very inconsistent; there are times when faces are so ugly and the action scenes, which are excellent, are poorly drawn (especially at the fillers). Sound (8/10) What I can say about the music of Naruto is that it is appropriate. The music was heavily Japanese themed and gives you a "ninja" feel. Though not exceptional it is not disappointing; if the scene is sad, the music will make you even sadder, and when there is action, the music will pump up your adrenalin. The opening and ending themes are quite enjoyable and addictive, making them highly anticipated. But the length of the series made the music overly used and lacking in variation. Character(7/10) This part is very debatable...It is also the part that made Naruto hated by many, the main characters and also some secondary characters) are cliches: A boy who has a hidden power triggered if his nakama is in danger and wins over strong opponents by willpower A rival who is smart with looks better than the main character, fan-girled too much and has some dark undertone. A girl obsessed with the 'rival' who is liked by the unliked main character whom she constantly bullies Mostly the characters are a bit shallow but they are worthy to be loved. Some of them are inspiring, some irritating, some cute, some has psychotic attributes and some are cool depending on a person's preference: a very good formula for a shonen anime. They are not mediocre and their role in the story is noteworthy as many of them develops significantly as the series progresses, whereas each has his or own internal or external conflict.  Naruto promotes many important values such as friendship, family, hardwork and maturity with its characters.I find it inspirational and heartwarming. I also loved its concept of having a "home"and to belong to and having a "dream" to work hard for. Overall the atmosphere is positive here. HOWEVER, the fillers made room for too many cheap, sissy dramas and trying-hard-to-be-deep- characters who are very unnecessary. The plentiful unnecessary flashbacks also ruin some climatic parts and made the drama bland. But Naruto isn't very shallow at all. One can see it's unforced efforts to bring symbolism; a character living in bloodshed was associated to the pureness of snow, the blooming of flower as a metaphor for growth, and the leaves of the village compared to the next generation or the progression of time. Angst and sadness is plentiful here but they are viewed from the eyes of pre-teens and pre-teens are mostly shallow no matter how deep they think they are. But it doesn't mean that the drama is shallow, it was just portrayed naturally from the characters' point of view. Naruto, though he is a typical shonen hero, has a different effect on people and has an amazing power to impact both the characters of the show and audiences alike. His development is superb: from a naughty, proud and idiotic outcast kid he strove hard to be recognized by following his way of a ninja to become an inspiration to everybody. Enjoyment (8/10) I loved it so much...I've been addicted to it for three years. Even though I watch new series, Naruto still remain in my top list. My experience in watching this is very different from other shonens, and conversing with fans alike will make you feel very welcomed in loving this series.I can extract endless fun information from the series and fansites. It is just that the fillers really ruined the mood... Naruto is not exceptional in every aspect(except action and comedy perhaps) if you compare it to very artistically done animes but it may be the best in one thing: earning people with unconditonal fandom despite its weaknesses. Isn't it a very rare attribute? "It's just popular but not really good." Then why is it popular in the first place? It is because the majority loved it and don't care about its flaws. Naruto is very age-friendly and gender friendly, and a very well composed shonen.

I feel Naruto excels at everything but Plot, Character Development and any sort of satisfaction that should be gained from looking at an anime about ninjas.  Seriously. Hamtarou could put on an orange jumpsuit and I'd enjoy that a lot more than I would the Naruto series.  <b>The Plot - </b>Of course. Cliched as ever. Shonen ninja rejected by his townfolk striving for recognition and the ultimate seat of authority all while having the IQ level of a pea. No I don't consider Sasuke's isht a plot. The only circumstance where one man is running after the other for 200+ episodes is allowable is in a Yaoi and no self respecting Yaoi  lasts for any number of episodes heading into triple digits. Quite frankly, I'm not even sure what the plot for Naruto is. First it was tailed beasts, then Itachi, then Sasuke, the tailed beasts again, then Sasuke and now its a mixture of all three. No. I don't deal with that bullshit.  Granted I do give Kishimoto props for  being so detailed in building this alternate ninja universe but *any* flashback that lasts longer than half an episode is not necessary.  **Character** - Kishimoto tried. Really, he did. But the amount of uselessness and lack of real thought that went into these characters made me want to close the window and go read Ann Frank or something that would regain me my lost IQ points. Most of the cast of Naruto is shallow, vain, lacks development or even a purpose (poor Ten-Ten. The Log got more screen time than you did) and I fail to grasp the allure that Naruto has for its whatever million person fanbase. Some characters have managed to slip through the cracks, (Neji, Kakashi, Haku) but not enough to make me sit down and really enjoy this anime.  **Animation** - I honestly don't have anything bad to say about the animation. I like it. Simplicity isn't done enough in the anime industry and I feel that if Kishimoto had been any more complicated in his artwork this anime would have been even more of an epic fail for me than it already is.  **Sound** - Now *this* is what made me stick around and watch Naruto. The *music*. Honestly, I love love love *love* the music that goes into Naruto. The fight scenes, the intros, the flashbacks, I could care less about what the characters are saying, I just love the music. Naruto has a beautiful blend of traditional and semi-modern music grafted into the daily lives of its shinobi that makes me just want to cry. 10 for me on music.  **Enjoyment** - Did I enjoy Naruto? Not really. Honestly I stuck with it to see if it was actually going anywhere, decided it wasn't, then still decided to stick with it for the sake of killing brain cells.  All in all. Don't do it. If you want pointless reading that's sure to lead you around in circles then go ahead and read Naruto. It sure won't disapoint. 

(review fixed)Naruto is a really popular anime. And by really popular, I mean REALLY popular. Scoring a bunch of toys, video games, abridged series, and even survival on two different children's networks (which is hard for an anime unless it's toyetic), it has to be good.And that's the only part of the review I left from my past review. You see, I was a 12, maybe 13-year-old weeaboo when I wrote my past review and gave Naruto a 9. Now, as I look back on my past review, it is terrible. It's time to fix some things.STORY: 4/10: HEYYYYYY! I'M NAR-ROO-TOEEEEE! LOOK WHAT I DID THIS TIIIIIME!I just described the first season to you in a nutshell. Naruto can be fun on occasion, such as during the Chunin exams, but guess who's really weighing my rating down? NARUTO. He is pretty much anime's response to Johnny Test.ART: 6/10: The art is still good. The designs are quite detailed.SOUND: 6/10: Some of the OPs will always be annoying to me, but sometimes I still catch myself humming Japanese insert songs from Naruto.CHARACTER: 6/10: This could easily be higher without Naruto. I'm still interested in Sasuke's story to this day, and will probably find myself taking a peek at the final chapters if more of Sasuke is revealed.ENJOYMENT: 5/10: I used to love this series, but then I took an arrow to the knee. And by "arrow to the knee", I mean I found better animeOVERALL: 5/10: See above.

I'm sure most, if not all, the people who end up reading this review have seen Naruto before and those who haven't are probably put off by the pure unadulterated hatred this and the more recent Shippuuden garner. Okay, I guess "unadulterated" is a strong word but I digress..In any case, before starting this review I want to point out that I haven't read the manga so I'm unsure as to what was or wasn't changed during the process of animating this story and I guess it's time to get the show on the road. \*Also, let it be known that the infamous "Filler Arc" is not part of this review.Naruto is the story of a group of rookie ninja from Konoha (Leaf) Village, with particular focus on our title character Naruto Uzumaki and his two friends Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. The story starts soon after the three of them graduate from there Ninja Academy and are put under the care of Kakashi Hatake who, for the most part, takes on the standard role of the "mentor" who teaches them the value of teamwork and all that jazz.The main characters can apparently be hit or miss, though I liked them for the most part. Naruto himself seems to follow in the footsteps of Goku from the Dragon Ball franchise, though I personally don't consider him anywhere near as dense and also don't consider him an "idiot" like most people tend to.Sakura seems to get the most flack from my experience because, for the most part she plays the "useless female" role. The thing is, she herself realizes that and actively tries to change herself which makes for some interesting scenes down the road. Sasuke is probably the most intriguing of the main characters, simply because he himself admits that he is only training to "kill a certain man" and he and Naruto clash quite a few times over their belief systems, particularly in the oh so excellent final arc.As far as Kakashi, there isn't a whole lot to say as he reveals very few nuggets of information about himself. He's a cool guy, but he's very much a supporting character during this series.But, to be honest, the thing that Naruto can be proud of is the excellent cast of supporting characters. From the intelligent, yet lethargic Shikamaru to the Bruce Lee wanna be Rock Lee it's pretty cool to see all these different characters, who usually have a very interesting and unique fighting style, clash with one another. It also should be mentioned that a certain villain, Orochimaru, who appears rather frequently is a scene stealer and takes part in some of the more memorable moments of this series. It's also when he appears that the show really takes off and gets interesting, as he is the instigator of some of the biggest plot points. His personality and his willingness to use any and all means to further himself and his power is interesting and very often disturbing.One thing that is important throughout the series is the running theme of revenge and human relations. Every one, from Gaara to Sasuke to Naruto himself has had some sort of bad experience during their childhood and it seems as though "friendship overcoming tragedy" is maybe the predominate theme throughout the show. Now this series being a shounen, it's obvious it has pacing flaws here and there. For example, many of the fight scenes are dragged out to an annoying degree. And this is very apparent in the first arc when the characters go through two separate fight scenes that both take at the very least three or four episodes each, which isn't a huge problem if you marathon the series like I did. But, it still deserves mentioning as it is annoying.The plus side is that most fight scenes, particularly during the Chuunin Exam arc and beyond, are very well animated and just overall well done. The aforementioned Shikamaru for example has some of the more noteworthy scenes because he uses his head, instead of any physical abilities, and his fight scenes are always damn good fun.But, this also highlights one of the issues I do have with the fight scenes and, even though this is a problem with shounen action anime in general, it's especially bothersome here. The characters have a habit of explaining everything they do to their enemy which would be time better spent actually defeating your opponent rather than telling them your skills. I know it's just so the mangaka can flex his thought process and the logic behind the attacks to the viewer but..it's still kind of tiresome and could certainly be implemented better.I think the music bears mentioning as I thought it was either great, such as most of the music used during the dramatic scenes and some battle scenes, or forgettable, which is pretty much the rest of the fight scene music. The Japanese voice actors did a great job imo, especially during some of the more serious scenes. But, I especially got to shout out to the multiple voices for Orochimaru. Of which almost all of them are suitably creepy and, even though they sound different, they still manage to pull off the basic speech patterns. In Summary:Story: 7It takes a while for things to really get going, but once it does you'll notice it. Unfortunately for some, the pacing can sometimes be broken by the short training arcs which are actually pretty entertaining and in many cases are segued in nicely with the story arcs. Also, there is only one short filler arc throughout the first 135 episodes.Art: 8First off, it should be apparent from our protagonists conspicuous appearance that, in many ways these guys are ninjas in name only. Still, the appearances of the characters throughout the series are so varied that I, at the very least, didn't care. Animation does take a dip occasionally, however.Sound: 8Orochimaru is a plus, no doubt about that. And most of the other cast members have good voice acting, though Rock Lee's can sometimes be grating.. The music is pretty good, though occasionally generic.Character: 8Depending on how you take to Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura this could be your favorite part of the series, which is the case for me, or your least favorite, and probably game breaking, aspect of the series as it does depend upon these three for the vast majority of the story . But, I'm sure most people will like the supporting characters as almost all of them are developed to a satisfying degree. Unfortunately, all of them fit the tragic past stereotype so...your mileage may vary. You may want to avoid this series if you aren't a fan of melodrama.Enjoyment: 9Hell yeah, I enjoyed this series. I won't lie, I loved this series. But, it certainly isn't for everyone and I can understand quite a few people being frustrated by this shows some times slow, often times fast pacing and some of the more dragged out arcs even frustrated me at times. Also, as I said before, enjoyment largely hinges on whether or not you take to the three main characters or not. Overall: 8 To sum it up, don't go into Naruto expecting to see the tightest script ever written or anything thought provoking. Just go into it for a fun time and, maybe, you'll be surprised by the well developed characters like I was. Make no mistake, Naruto was a great experience for me..especially because I went into the series expecting it to be terrible and, by the time I realized it wasn't, I was enjoying the ride. \*If you want to make any sort of comment, just drop by my profile. Criticism is welcome as this is my first review in quite a while and I went with a different style than I have in the past. Thanks for reading this review, I hope it helps anyone interested in this series.

Naruto's story is fairly easy to follow and has some very good action scenes, It lives up to the hype of being a good Shonen to introduce to new anime watchers, however the show on a whole moves along very slowly spending far to much time in the same fight scene. There is also arguably too many flashbacks which, if you wish to watch the show in a marathon, can quickly become irritating. For the first half of the series the story follows the cannon from the manga and has a plot that unwinds at a consistent pace, but around the episode 140 mark the show falls into a giant section of filler, some the filler episodes do have some comic relief but as a whole get tied up in 1-off episodes that don't add enough to the show to warrant watching. They follow the set pattern that makes these episodes give Naruto a 'Monster of the week' feeling to them. The fillers span all the way until the end of the series and unless you've got lots of extra time on your hands should probably be avoided. The animation is poorly done but follows the original manga art style well, as the manga chapters improved, so did the animation quality, the fight scenes are well done and are the animations redeeming quality. The Soundtrack for Naruto, composed by Toshiro Masuda is one of the most memorable and emotion stirring pieces of music in anime. The opening and ending themes are catchy and fast paced and will get stuck in your head. The combination of all the Sound in this anime are the highlight of the entire show, and for the most part will give you chills, the Soundtrack does a decent job at setting the atmosphere of Naruto and for the most part makes sitting through the flash backs bearable. The characters in Naruto all gain development as the story unfolds, Naruto's own personal development is heavily focused on, as well as the effect he has on the people around him. The characters in Naruto all have their own convictions and put emphasis on living towards upholding them. Much time is spent in each arc reviewing how Naruto has struggled to be accepted by the village, to the extent that it almost becomes irritating hearing his story as he retells it time and time again, in order to change the people around him. As I grew up watching Naruto on a weekly basis when I was younger, to then re-watch the whole series in one go as a an adult I found that the show was easy to enjoy as very little thinking was needed to take in the plot, Although the recapping was irritating it would have been required when Naruto was being aired weekly. Overall I'd put Naruto just above your average anime, although in relation to some new Shonens the story unravels very slowly I would still recommend Naruto to new anime watchers. the Sequel to Naruto: Naruto Shippuden, on a whole is a much better anime in every category and in order to set yourself up for such an anime watching the original series is required. On the other hand if you A) do not intend to watch Shippuden, or B) aren't prepared to commit to such a long winded anime then Naruto is easily avoidable, there are other shows which you could get just as much action in a fraction of the run time, and example being Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Critic's Log - Earthdate: July 27, 2012. Review #15: Naruto ALRIGHT! Let's get right into Naruto! Naruto Uzamaki is a boy who is feared and loathed by the villagers in the Hidden Leaf Village. This distrust of the boy is not because of whom he is, it is because of what is inside him and causes anxiety on fellow villagers. Before Naruto was born, a great Nine - Tailed demon fox attacked the Hidden Leaf Village with monstrous fury and power, this Demon Fox took many lives. The Fourth Hokage arrives, and The Fourth Hokage was the strongest shinobi in the hidden Leaf village at the time and he bravely fought the Nine-Tailed Fox and the battle was won by the Fourth Hokage as he sealed the demon fox in a newborn baby boy after sacrificing his own life. As Naruto grows, he decides that he wants to become the village's strongest ninja in an effort to show everyone that he is not what they perceived him to be; but is a human being worthy of love and admiration. The road of becoming Hokage however will be a long and difficult one. It will be a path full of betrayal, pain, and sorrow. But with hard, Naruto might be able to achieve the title of Hokage. To be technical, this is a Studio Pierrot production and they have a pretty good resume if you look up on what animes they have produced past and since Naruto. This show was a big hit in both Japan and in the US, although the US had its issues when it first aired. Japan obviously aired it the way you see it now on DVD, we citizens of the United States saw it on TV in Edited fashion (Obviously censored so kids can watch it). I used to watch Naruto's censored version and trust me... it is 10 times better uncut, Believe It! \*I get punched in the face for saying "Believe It"\* "OW! What was that for!?... Hello?” Back to the review... Of all the animes I have seen, Naruto is one of those animes that I have a hard time reviewing. The show is watchable because its story is ok for the most part; It is definitely flawed to say the least. Let me just state my opinion on the story arcs to follow... Here I go. The Introduction Arc - It's nice for starters The Land of Waves Arc - Pretty Good The Chunin Exam Arc - It builds up and starts getting interesting, the fights after are awesome until... The Invasion of Konoha Arc - The Fights are interrupted, but the stakes start going through the roof. Naruto and Gaara's fight was great. Search for Tsunade Arc - The mini arc which involves Itachi's return was fascinating. This arc is building up to the next arc. This arc has some nice moments. The 101st Episode is a filler episode, but the episode was meant to be over the top, it's the "Kakashi Mask" episode. It is so silly. It's even silly that they show a horse taking a dump and the horse appears to be laughing while a 4th wall break ensues. Yeah, It's that over the top. Land of Tea arc - okay, but not memorable Sasuke Retrieval Arc - This is a pretty good arc, but has its flaws. It does give promising expectation for the sequel series that follows after. Every single filler arc after the "Sasuke Retrieval" Arc - BULLSHIT! And a waste of time. Some are funny, some are stupid, some are tedious, and some are just flat-out boring and unneeded. Even if the story is plausible and even though the direction by Hayato Date may be a little mixed at times... the 85 episode streak of fillers is the show's biggest weakness. I have good news for you about these fillers. These fillers are after the main story, unless you are a masochist, skip the fillers and jump right into Shippuden, you aren't missing anything after Episode 135. The animation is pretty good, but it is slightly dated. It does look better in later arcs. I find it odd that the animation does look better in certain episodes. But there are some episodes that look fluid but less exact than the rest of the show, should I say that the animation is slightly hit and miss? I'll leave this up for you to debate. The one thing that does get repetitive is the use of flashbacks. I am damn serious. This show overkills on the flashbacks. I know it's used to have the character remember certain memories from those characters’ pasts, but it could have been reduced to a certain amount of scenes. The music by Toshio Masuda and... Musashi Project (a band?) is... fitting for the show in some areas, , but I guess there are some noteworthy songs in the show that are fine without the show. I will give the show some props that it does have a a couple good openings to get pumped up for the episode to start. Some closing themes are good too I guess the characters are another thing to mention. Some of these characters are deemed as one-dimensional characters \*I get punched in the face again for saying\* "OW! Damn It, Who's doing that!?... Hello? I said some, not all of them" okay, there are some really good characters in this show. The one thing that some people have criticized the characters for is that some of these characters are a bit stereotypical and can be deemed insulting in some way... This show does have too many characters. There are too many supporting characters, too many minor villains, too many minor characters. There are hundreds of characters. Much less if you skip the filler at least. There will be more added when you see Naruto Shippuden. The voice acting on both sides does need to be commented on... The Japanese cast is pretty good and listenable, The English Dub on the other hand isn't bad either \*A bunch of masked Ninja appear and all of them have weapons near me ready to kill\* "Ok, ok, hear me out, hear me out" The dub is a bit rocky at first and if you remember your first memory of the dub, you got used to it and it got better later on. What I think saved the dub was Steve Blum's performance as Zabuza. (He had a lot of fun as Orochimaru, I can guarantee you that). But the dub has its flaws. Some characters have their voices changed because of certain characters fighting each other that could have ended up played by the same voice (Viz Media obviously didn't read the manga to find out who would fight who) some of these voice changes were made for the better. \*The Ninja put away their weapons and they leave\* Junko Takeuchi and Maile Flanagan are very well known for their roles as Naruto, Even though Naruto may have been annoying at first in the dub, Naruto's English voice is just as fitting as the subbed version, even though they sound a little different. Sakura's Seiyuu and English voice actress are okay, Noriaki Sugimiya and Yuri Lowenthal are terrific as Sasuke. There are other cast members for both Japanese and English that have their spotlight, but there are so many cast members to mention. Look them up if you want to... I guess the real question is... Why do a lot of people like this anime so much, is it the action? is it the themes? Is it the characters? well there are a lot of reasons that a lot of people like this anime. There are some people that find this anime extremely overrated. I may kindly say that I really did like this show in the past. I had a lot of fun watching it. It is super popular that the manga has caught up quickly to catch up with the Japanese serialization. The 7th volume of the manga won a Quill Award in the US (Some award for books I guess) The anime and the manga is one of Viz Media's bestselling titles in the US. Naruto is available from Viz Media; the manga adaptation by Masashi Kishimoto is also available by Viz Media. Two light novels are probably available by Viz Media, an OVA called "Protect the Waterfall Village" is the one of the only two OVAs available by Viz Media while the others were never licensed. The Leaf Village sports festival OVA came with the first movie, The three movies "Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow", "Legend of The Stone Gelel", and "Guardians of The Crescent Moon Kingdom" are also available by Viz Media. There's also several video games released by other companies but there are too many to tell and there really isn't a point to tell them all. Same goes with the trading card game... Also, Naruto Shippuden (the sequel to Naruto) is obviously available from Viz Media With that said, Naruto may not be everyone's cup of tea. But it is a very entertaining show that has some really interesting themes. Before I finish my review of Naruto. I will give this show two ratings. One rating for the beginning till the filler streak and one rating for the show as a whole (from Episode 1-220) I give Naruto a 7.5 out of 10 without the filler streak. It is GOOD! For the show as a whole though, I give Naruto a 6.5 out of 10, it is DECENT! Feel free to leave a comment and pursue your dreams.

Don't make decision without watching. It's an excellent anime. So, highly Recommended!!!

*\*Warning: Spoilers and opinions ahead\** ** **** **How I found Naruto** I think it's quite helpful in a review to explain where I found the anime in the first place- and it was actually through recommendation from an online friend. At first, I was skeptical to the whole idea of anime, until I finally realized that it was something I'd been interested in ever since I'd seen *Pokemon*- but I digress. *Naruto* is one of the 'Big 3' anime, popular for quite some time now- though many people have their mixed opinions on long running shounen. However, I am going to write in terms of judging it fairly for what it is (a shounen anime). **Story (6/10)** As far as I was concerned *Narutos'* story isn't 'bad'. In an anime about ninja it delivers quite well, as Kishimoto seemingly creates his own community with laws and ranks based off traditional ninja customs. He creates an almost believable world really- so much so that I doubt I ever stopped to question an idea- unfortunately the story is rather predictable simply because I already knew Sasuke would defect- and big surprise he does... As a result a lot of Naruto centers around this idea of Sasuke leaving, which (if you've already figured out) isn't as exciting and dramatic as you would hope. One exciting event though is the appearance of Kisame and Itachi in *Naruto*- as it reveals some of the more exciting things to come in *Naruto Shippuden* (but that's a review for another day). **Animation (4/10)** Unfortunately I am not an expert in animation and I sometimes fail to notice bad animation unless it's particularly striking. However I can tell that Naruto is not perfect in terms of animation (sometimes I see characters eye's looking the wrong way and Sasuke's appearance and hair can occasionally appear really odd). However I do notice lazy animation, and some fight scenes are clumsily done, lacking detail and movement- but I do appreciate it's consistency in lack of eye focus. **Sound (5/10)** The songs and openings in Naruto failed to impress me, unfortunately, they were all rather generic and I have to admit I would often skip them. Background music is also repetitive and I could hum the music used in flashbacks off by heart but they do have a classic feel to them that I felt was appropriate for the ninja theme so I will give credit for that. **Character (7/10)** Here is where I think *Naruto* really deserves credit, and that is in it's characters. We learn a lot about them all in a generic introduction arc during the chunin exams which not only tell us all about them as individuals but also as teams. Yes, some characters lack development, but I think that with too much focus on minor characters I would have been uninterested. As a result we learn little and often and the two main characters I would say (Naruto and Sasuke) are rather well developed in that they both go through massive changes over the two anime. Attachment to characters was personally successful for me; I love the relationship between Kiba and Akamaru and Shikamaru and Choji have a friendship behind their professional career. Sadly Naruto's female protagonist, Sakura, failed to impress me. For she is neither strong nor particularly unique. Even coming into a tie with Ino during the chunin exams was disappointing as I hoped she would win so that she would progress- but she didn't, and compared to Sasuke and Naruto she still has failed to progress throughout the series. In terms of character design though, I quite like Kishimoto's style (having read some of the manga) I have found pictures explaining how he went about choosing and designing uniforms- so I believe it has been well thought out. **Enjoyment (7/10)** Without fillers I would give Naruto an 8 but the fillers really did ruin the experience for me, I enjoyed this series because of it's light hearted humor and fairly lovable characters but I would recommend skipping the fillers and going onto watching Shippuden as it becomes much more exciting from there. **Overall** 6+4+5+7+7=29/5=5.8 so **6/10**

**<u>*Naruto*</u>** *Naruto* was, actually the first anime I finished, even if it wasn't the first I started. If I had to place a straightforward, introductory opinion, then I would certainly say that <i>Naruto </i>was "interesting", but since I actually have the time to make an opinionated review, "interesting" won't merely cover *Naruto*, especially if some viewers are hoping to find a helpful review to learn more about this anime. First of all, this is purely just *my opinion* of *Naruto*, and therefore should not be taken with the type of gravity that would entirely put off someone from watching it. And secondly, this review will contain spoilers, considering I want to helpfully review this anime for those who truly want to know more about it. **Story (6/10)** As far as story goes, *Naruto's* a simple yet nice one. I know that in every essay and English class ever taken, the word "nice" is not suggested to be used, but that's what the story of <i>Naruto </i>is. In a world of ninja ("shinobi"), Naruto, the protagonist, is the vessel for a demon fox known as the Nine Tails, which attacked his home, Konoha (the Village Hidden in the Leaves). Outcast from society and still disliked at the age of 12 (the age he is throughout *Naruto*). He passes his exams after showing considerable skill to his teacher and only friend, Iruka. He is placed in Team 7 alongside Sakura and Sasuke, his teammates and a new teacher, Kakashi. The three experience many adventures where they meet many people along the way, where people realise Naruto is not the demon fox but instead a boy merely wanting to be accepted, and where Naruto learns a lot from those around him - Gaara, another vessel; his other trainer, Jiraiya; and of course Sasuke, as the two branch off in different paths in Sasuke's search for power. The key point is that, after the Chunin exams where Sasuke is given the curse mark from Orochimaru, Sasuke falls into the tragic path of an avenger against his brother, Itachi, and his quest leads to his eventual leaving of Konoha, despite Naruto's attempts to stop him, and his gradual descent to darkness as well as his reliance on the curse mark to give him this said power. In a way, *Naruto* ends in tragedy, as Sasuke leaves and Team 7 is reduced to ruin. After that, there are a lot of pointless fillers until the very last episode, where Naruto leaves with Jiraiya on a three year quest to train in order to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, also ending in a cliffhanger that openly leaves potential for the following story: *Naruto Shippuden*. And that is an extremely brief outline of <i>Naruto's </i>plot. As said, it is "nice" and could be compared to the introduction of *Naruto Shippuden*, introducing characters as well as giving a background and reason for events that occur. We ought to remember that this a Shonen anime, and mainly focuses on action. As far as the story goes, it's mainly just a learning curve for Naruto, where he develops morals and is able to teach others those same morals, and also shows the evident difference between Naruto and Sasuke. It's a classic broken friendship story where one heads towards the light, and the other towards the darkness. Despite that, though, these morals are taught in both amusing and pathos-evoking methods that make it more fleshed out. **Animation (4/10)** "4" may seem a rather dismal mark, but there are times in Naruto where the animation is *pretty bad*. Although the anime began in 2002, less sophisticated animation techniques can not be used as a cover-up excuse for some of the horrendous sights some rather lazy animators chose not to change and hoped nobody would notice. People noticed. Although the majority of the anime is decent and perfectly acceptable, the Chunin Exams forest trial really is the place to look when finding faults in the animation of *Naruto*. I certainly recall one point where Naruto developed a sudden wandering eye, where Orochimaru and Sasuke appeared disfigured during their fight scene, and also the many times Sasuke's hair becomes several inches longer around his face, and his neck has no defined width (I say this because Sasuke's animators were rather cruel towards his appearance on many an occasion). As far as animation goes, <i>Naruto's </i>is not even close to the best, but can be approved of the majority of the time, when actual thought has been put into how people will see the characters, but can only achieve a 4 because of the terrible scenes that scar upon the brain's surface once witnessed. And this doesn't even cover the amounts of careless times I have seen a Konoha symbol branded on the head piece of other non-Konoha shinobi... **Sound (5/10)** I found the sound rather average, all in all. None of the introductory songs appealed to me that much, and I can even admit to simply skipping them entirely (although I often do when having seen them once). The finishing songs weren't inspiring either, since I chose to merely not watch them. However, despite that, the songs weren't *bad*. They were neutral, in my opinion, and during the episodes, the background music was relevant to the emotion it intended to convey. There were also elements to the background music that were somewhat "ninjary", you could say, that linked to the theme of a world inhabited by people who practised the ninja arts. As for voice acting, <i>Naruto </i>fits the theme of "the Japanese sounds better than the English". Needless to say, I didn't hate the English Dubbed version of *Naruto*. I'd even go as far as to say I genuinely *liked* Naruto's voice; his voice actress did a good job in making him sound like a convincing character. Kakashi, Shikamaru and Gai also had voices that I didn't mind, and I can tell you there are some characters in anime in general who have the wrong voice. **Character (7/10)** Despite the sudden contrast, character is something that Naruto does rather well. There are some flaws that grate on me and make me wince, but the majority of characters were interesting to meet. Naruto, being the main character, should stand out. Naruto stands out. From the irritating wring-neck-now type to the more mature without miraculous change still comedic boy, Naruto certainly makes a character development people want to see. Not only that, but Naruto, at the beginning of *Naruto*, is <i>supposed </i>to be irritating since he annoys everybody in Konoha. His character is individual, and he can be endearing, which is what is expected from a 12 year old boy. Naruto has also seen hardships throughout his life (as shown through the endless flashbacks), so is capable of maturity, and also has a past that evokes sympathy from the viewer. He can be funny, and he can be taken seriously as a character, as his behaviour is overall consistent and his actions explained with good reason. Sasuke, the other main character (one could say), is a little more difficult to believe in. It's incredibly difficult to create an angst fuelled pre-teen that is supposed to be taken seriously. For some reason, Sasuke's behaviour deserved an eyebrow raise, and although his motives were rational and explained, his sudden turn for power seems a little weaker, as he is supposed to be rational, and his sudden faith in Orochimaru, again, deserves an eyebrow raise. However, Sasuke never annoyed me. He was the strong rival that gave Naruto a reason to improve. He is a relevant character. He is what Naruto could have been, and it is through Sasuke that we see how Naruto could easily have chosen the same path, had things been different. And finally, Sakura. Throughout this review, she has had little contribution, but her character really deserves a chair, a lot of time and a major spotlight, because Sakura's character is truly disgusting. She is weak, pathetic, a sheep, a bad influence as well as rude and annoying. She is supposed to be Naruto's initial love interest, but her whiny attitude and absolute devotion to Sasuke makes me choke, not because I want her to be with Naruto, but because she is willing to run away with Sasuke and commit crimes for him, despite being the "intelligent member" of Team 7. I understand she is supposed to be portrayed as confused and "blinded by love", but her actions are merely stupid. She doesn't progress throughout *Naruto*, and as a result, remains stationary as a ninja. She has no talents, and her special chakra (energy/magic) abilities are wasted on healing. She borders submissive female, and her pretentious attitude should not exist, considering she upholds it against Naruto, even when he becomes <i>better than her </i>as a ninja. She pales in comparison to Hinata, another suggested love interest for Naruto, and should never have been the main female protagonist for *Naruto*, as she is incapable of beating her childhood rival, Ino. Sakura is certainly the weak member of Team 7, and is a character that could induce me to tears. As for other characters, those who stood out were Shikamaru (for his shown intelligence and laziness), Rock Lee (for his random comedic brilliance) and Ino, a copy of Sakura because a petty rival was needed. Character designs were perfectly fine, as they were all original, and remained to the theme of ninjas. **Enjoyment (6/10)** I can't say "I hated *Naruto*" because this anime is not in my dropped list, but instead my completed. However, it was nothing particularly special. I liked the relevant inserts of comedy, and although there were Sakura moments where I wanted to block my face and weep, Naruto and Sasuke covered for their miserable comrade, and Kakashi aided that as well. I even mourned through all those filler episodes only to discover they were unnecessary and didn't need to be watched. I recall episode 101 being one of my favourites because, despite it being a filler, it made me laugh aloud and truly reflected the childish curiosity to see Kakashi's face from the three members of Team 7. I liked <i>Naruto </i>- there we go, my opinion is that I liked it enough to finish it, and to want to continue to *Naruto Shippuden*. **Overall ~5.6~ (6/10)** I think *Naruto*, being one of the big three Shonen anime, is worth watching. It has its ups and downs, but all anime does, and has a certain enjoyment about it that isn't forgettable.

Nostalgic series that just had it's manga end not to long ago. I will truly miss this series.

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