Written by Shiggins
I'm feeling a bit over-prepared for this one. With the Ouran article, I had to put some thought into it and make sure I wasn't making any mistakes. With this series, the flaws are all over the place and crazy.
Don't get me wrong or misunderstand me. I absolutely love Naruto. It's a gateway series that has gotten countless people into anime and manga, and it's a beloved series that people read to this day. Without it, you would not be here on Otaku Nuts to read stupid articles such as mine and I wouldn't have even entered the world of anime, manga and cosplay that can be both hilarious and sexy at the same time. And with that awkward introduction, let's begin listing all the problems I have with Naruto.
|At least the games are a lot of fun though.|
Where Did the Side Characters Go?
Okay, let's start with a big one. I would never ever recommend a series to any person ever unless I enjoyed the characters and Naruto has enjoyable characters rammed up its butt like a giant spear. From Shikamaru and Temari to the Kages and Akatsuki, to the jinchūriki and family members. In fact, the big problem I have with them is they barely show up!
|Well... At least he got a chibi spinoff?|
Now, Naruto is nowhere near the first series to ever make developed characters appear and disappear for several arcs at a time, and it won't be the last. (Claydragon is still crying because a certain shirtless Arrancar refuses to show his face in Bleach at this time of writing). However, Naruto gets the most attention from me with this problem because I think almost every character is bloody brilliant.
|You thought the badass female villain would do more than look pretty? You were misled.|
The most noticeable example for this is Team Kurenai, consisting of Kurenai, Hinata, Kiba and Shino. If there was ever a group that deserved their own arc after Team Asuma, it was these four and I don't say that lightly considering the other groups like Team Samui and Team Guy are interesting too. If it sounds like I'm over-exaggerating, let's put it into context; Hinata, Shino and Kiba appear in Shippuden after the Kazekage Arc for one-three pages. They don't reappear again until they are chasing Itachi. Without anything relevant, they disappear again until Pain's Assault (where Hinata gets her biggest moment). They disappear again, Kiba appears during Five Kage Summit, Kiba disappears and then they fight in the war.
|At least Kurenai didn't do the exact same pose as Minato for her picture. (Bad Kakashi! Bad!)|
So many developed characters and personalities deserve to be fleshed out and in a way, this is probably what I consider the biggest flaw of the series. Of course, we better move on to the others now since I'm going to start crying for poor Tenten if I don't...
The Love is Gone
I know Micha is gonna disagree with this one and in many ways, I do too. Naruto was never a romance and it never should have been. It's an underdog story about friendship and proving yourself and enduring hardships. However, the set-up was already there. We already had begun a romance subplot during Part 1... so where did it go?
|The most romantic moment in the entire series. No argument.|
Let's keep things uncontroversial for now and just sum up what the situation was. Hinata liked Naruto who liked Sakura who liked Sasuke who liked being a dick. That's what we had and it was actually interesting. One big love chain that went from a shy girl who could barely talk, and ended with a quiet guy who didn't want to talk.
|To the anime's extremely little credit, they did try to add in more episodes to justify the romance. Not canon but hey, it's better than nothing... right?|
Part 1 definetly did it best, setting it up nicely. We saw Sakura cheer for Sasuke and Naruto got sad. Every now and again, Naruto would have a wee talk with Hinata in which she shyly but surely cheers him up during times of worry, Sasuke would act all "cool" and Sakura would be extremely protective of him despite barely getting the same response and unaware of Naruto's feelings.
|On the bright side, these two definetly got their feelings across.|
We all expected Part 2 to continue this and let's be honest here, we hoped for it. The logical advancement would have been either Naruto realises Hinata's feelings and begins to notice her more as a person, falling for her over time, or Hinata lets Naruto go because Naruto only goes for Sakura. And that would also mean Sakura gives up on Sasuke. Instead however, the series kinda forgot about it. There was the rare moment I actually enjoyed such as Sakura lying about her love for Naruto to stop him chasing Sasuke, or when Hinata confronted Pain, but more was needed and more was begged for. In short, this was one of the few times I wanted more romance in something I usually don't want romance in.
Too Much Sasuke
This one is debatable but it actually connects to the first two points. Why did we barely get time spend on side characters? Why did we get almost zero romance in Part 2/Shippuden? Why was Naruto's underdog story about becoming Hokage frequently pushed aside? For the beautiful princess himself, Sasuke Uchiha.
|Sasuke Uchiha: The true heroine of the series|
Don't get me wrong. It's not that I dislike Sasuke or don't think his story isn't worth telling. It's just that Sasuke's screentime sacrificed the screentime of side characters and romance. The worst part is that I'm not even sure how they could have fixed this without rapidly changing the entire storyline
that Sasuke went through.
Uchiha over Snake
In our Top 10 Antagonists list, we listed Orochimaru as our number 1 villain and we still stand by that. And I'd be surprised if anybody could truly argue that. There are some missing from that list and I promise, the sequel to that list will fix our mistakes but I think the flamboyant, creepy, genius Orochimaru is my favourite villain.
|If this guy is the final villain of Part 3 Naruto, I might forgive and forget.|
I was going to include this in the "Where did all the Side Characters Go?" section but I felt it deserved special mention. I fucking love Orochimaru, Obito, Madara, Kisame and Pain. They are my favourite villains of Naruto and the problem is that the series kinda forgot about half of them. I don't blame anybody but once you've seen the Sharingan unlock yet another impossible move you've never heard of (like that damn izanami jutsu...), you get a bit fed up and start missing that long tongue... Forget I said that last bit.
The War of 185 Chapters
If you were to ask when the majority of fans really started to feel tired, almost all of them will mention the war. The Shinobi War had tons of build-up, with the Five Kage Summit being the start of it all as Tobi/Madara/Obito/Masked Man declared he would wage war on the Kages unless they handed over the jinchūriki to him (Naruto and Killer Bee). It was obvious we were heading for a huge finale of destruction and chaos... which is exactly what we got.
|The majority of the Naruto fandom.|
The problem was that it was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long. First there were the Edo Tensei characters like Asuma (which I really liked actually), then Naruto showed up. Then Madara showed up. Then Obito was revealed. Then Obito became the jinchūriki. Then Obito was defeated. Then Madara was brought back to life and it went on and on. Battles in manga are good but we were literally stuck fighting Obito for years! Years! Sure, there was some drama and other battles going on during this and we got a flashback or two in the middle but every fan went through some battle fatigue during it. Drama and development did occur but we'd have loved one or two moments to rest and contemplate as well.
Kaguya. Just Kaguya
I'm not even going to go on about this one so just read what I've already said here.
The "I Give Up" Fandom
Oh my god, this one. Oh wow... I'm not even sure what to say about this one. It's unbelievable some of the shit I've seen over the past few months since Naruto Chapter 700. Now, don't misunderstand me here. Don't say "eww, he's just a NaruHina fan. He's purely biased" because I'm not. As you can see above, I admitted the flaws of the romance in this series. I'm not being biased. Now, with my unbiased opinion, I can safely say that half the fandom of Naruto are a bunch of twats.
|Sometimes, I wish I watched this series just because of how funny their fandom is.|
"I give up on Naruto" is a phrase I've actually heard and read a few times. People are considering the ending of Naruto a betrayal, a stab in the back. And I am really sorry to say this fact but... The majority of them are NaruSaku fans. I know there are some really nice NaruSaku fans out there, who were disappointed yet took it reasonably but the majority are NaruSaku fans. To all the good NaruSaku fans out there, I'm sorry about the twats who make you look bad and I'm sorry I'm having to rant like this.
|Here we go, people!|
Of course some of them will be NaruHina fans as well. I'm not arguing that fact. However, I've seen a lot of hate going round Facebook and Tumblr and whatever else because of this. In fact, here is a short list of some of the things I've seen:
1. A petition to have Naruto banned in America unless, and I'm quoting here "Kishi does a dimensional where Naruto married Sakura".
2. Facebook accounts planning to kill/harass Kishimoto for his finale.
3. Articles on blogs about why Kishimoto should have respected them more and how he let them down.
4. Dozens of false interviews on Tumblr, including "Kishimoto feels victimised by his fans" to "The Last being rejected by everyone in Japan because it's about NaruHina". Other highlights include "Kishimoto didn't write the final chapters" and "Kishimoto was pressured by Studio Pierrot to make NaruHina canon".
5. The anti-Hinata and anti-Sakura pictures where it's just Hinata or Sakura but with a big red X over them, or evil eyebrows. (Apparently, using MS Paint is a perfect way to represent a character now...).
What a bunch of dumb, annoying fucks.... Actually, I prefer "twats". If you're disappointed with the ending, nobody gives a shit anymore. You're done and you've ruined yourself by whining about it. Hell, half of you are liars as well because you don't shut the fuck up about how you hated the ending and keep listening to these stupid rumours.
To those fans out there who were disappointed with the ending, I totally understand. I understand if your "OTP" was NaruSaku because there was potential there. I understand if you struggle to accept NaruHina. I do. However, I want to leave you all with this one final paragraph:
What was Naruto about? Was it about romance? No, that was a subplot. The series known as Naruto was about Naruto wanting to save his friend Sasuke and become Hokage of the village. To be accepted by everyone. In the end, that's what he got. You may disagree with parts of the journey but that is what the series was about. Naruto saved Sasuke. Naruto became Hokage. And if the only reason you read this was because you wanted Naruto to kiss a girl, you never understood the series in the first place.
|(bows out, not expecting applause for ruining your day)|
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/.