Saturday, March 14, 2015

Naruto - Why It's Not Perfect

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)

Any flaws I missed out? Any other anime/manga I should point out the flaws of? I'm sure I could find something in every series.

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
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 or go to his tumblr page


    I never actually cared about the characters, romance-wise, and Kaguya was definitely the moment of transformation for me. I loved Obito, and Madra was a perfect final villain to me, so seeing a random character pop up out of the blue just caught me off guard in the worst way.

    But anyways, before I say something I regret (which I probably already have), thanks again for this article!

      Yeah, I doubt a lot of people cared. I only really cared because, as I mentioned, the set-up was already there. And as a reader, I love me some good development and closure.

      Finally! Somebody else who openly loves Obito! You'd be surprised how many pricks try to ruin my enjoyment of him...

  2. Good points all around, especially the one on team Kurenai. Kaguya was a pain, but I admittedly liked the war thanks to all the twists and turns.

    But if I may make a point, perhaps you ought to hold off on the romance aspect of Naruto. Naruto's relationship does get some expansion in The Last (I haven't seen it yet, or know what happens, but it seems like a lot of people liked it based on reviews) so perhaps we ought to hold off on judging the romance aspect until the movie has been factored in? It might put the ending in better context as well.

    Just my opinion though.

    PS: Are you guys going to do a review for the movie?

    1. Thank you and I liked the war too. I just think it wore out it's welcome.

      See, the problem there is that it's still got many people who consider it non-canon. I would have liked Kishimoto to put it in the manga. That being said, maybe the film does help. I'm not sure yet.

      We probably will once we see it. I've not found any links to a good subbed version yet.

  3. man how did i miss this review. anyway a lot of what you said i can easily agree with. Kaguya did feel very last minute. she could have been more memorable had she been executed more effectively you know. the fact that an actual supposed fallen goddess appears is one of those elements missing in Naruto since all we had for supernatural beings that Ninja's supposedly deal with were the Bijuu and it made me wonder where are all the other fallen gods and demons that they supposedly sealed decades or hundreds of years ago.

    my main issue with Sakura is that well she wasn't really handled in a way i would expect a female lead or "strong female character" to be in a shonen jump series. i know people want to point out her skills in medical jutsu which i already acknowledge but it's not the same thing as providing what a lead heroine is typically expected to provide for the story. her lack of background or anything traumatizing really didn't make her fit in with problems naruto and sasuke had. just felt more like she was suit to be one of the side characters with the way kishimoto handled her.

    with Hinata while i am a NaruHina fanboy and i do love Hinata to death the fact that she was put on the side bothers me a lot but mostly due to how no matter how i look at things i feel like there should have been something of a hyuga arc to cover more on that background especially since Kaguya is the mother ancestor to Uchiha, Hyuga, and Senju if i recall that correctly. maybe then a lot of what happened would make a lot more sense. The Last Naruto the Movie is great and i loved it but i do feel bothered that Kishimoto's personal preferences on teh concept of a couple dating did some damage to how Naruto and Hinata developed in the Manga. it just felt more like Hinata regressed back a bit and Naruto didn't learn anything from her confession, holding her hand after she got him back on his feet when Obito killed Neji, or even after meeting Kushina. it would've at least made more sense if they became closer friends in the Last so as to give Naruto time(albeit a lot of time) to understand his feelings on Hinata more. well i'll stop there cause i think that's just gonna turn into another article of sorts.

    well i hope my reply to your review was okay and isn't a problem for you. i would like to hear your response to this too if you could reply. hopefully the reply let's my Gmail know you replied. anyway you're reviews are pretty great, nothing biased and there's lots of truth in what you say buddy. i'll be sure to watch oyu on Tumblr.

    1. Yeah, I do agree with what you say. It'd have been somewhat interesting to deal with more supernatural beings from the beginning, which would have made Kaguya feel less hammered in.

      To be honest, I wouldn't mind that Sakura has no real trauma in her past if it had been used or talked about in some way. Sakura as a whole was never fully used in a way she deserved, and ended up becoming a character who didn't deserve usage. I'm not typically a "hater" of characters, but Kishimoto tried really hard to make me dislike Sakura. Her role as lead heroine felt very unimportant, except for a few moments of healing. I found her development lacking.

      Many of the characters are great and Hinata is no exception. Her lack of focus is actually extremely odd, because we know Kishimoto can do romance (look at Minato & Kushina), and his arc about Shikamaru was one of the best. It's an odd choice to not have Hinata either develop her backstory with her bloodline, or develop her romantically until The Last. I personally liked the ending of Naruto a bit, but I felt it lacked the impact because it was so romance-centered, but none of the romances were truly looked at.

      Never worry about replying to my thoughts and reviews. Always great to have someone come over and give their opinion. I wish more would. And thank you so much! It's nice to have a new one to watch my every move!

    2. you noticed that too? he says he feels awkward doing romances yet somehow was able to put in Minato and Kushina's romance really well and the last even showed how well he can do it if he put his mind to it. i wanna put in some comments about Gaiden and i know you got a whole other review for it but i'll put it here since it is part of the naruto series.

      with Gaiden i agree on Sarada in how she has what was missing from both hinata and sakura in the main story. i am really bothered by the fact they are allowing Orochimaru to still go around freely since by their laws he should have already been arrest for the murders and attacks on other villages and other crimes. it's not really a beleiveable thing to let someone wanted for so many crimes to be out and about. He still has to account for his sins and all that. i think you get what i am saying in that area. oddly enough i was expecting gaiden to be a little more focused on all the kids to give us a better idea of what they're like not another mess of uchiha clan stuff that i'm sure we had more than enough of and get the gist of what their problem was you know. ironically enough with all the talk of Bolt who didn't appear much in the gaiden manga everyone wanted to see more of himawari. i did too actually since it looked more like she has more potential as a MC or what do you think?

    3. Yeah, people have told me that Kishimoto is awkward about romances, but I'm not entirely sure to believe it because the internet spreads so many rumours about that series. (Granted, this is more believable than some).

      For me, Sarada is easily one of the best Naruto characters, and the best female character. As for Orochimaru, I feel like there is a backstory there that isn't fully well-explained, that the sequel to the newest Boruto movie might address. Maybe they had to make a truce with him for some reason, I honestly don't know. Feels like a major plothole right now. I love Orochimaru though so I'm not too upset with it. For all we know, they just realise they don't have a chance against him so they keep their distance and try to be civil.

      Yeah, the Uchiha Clan drama has been beaten to death for far too long now, but I didn't mind not knowing about the other kids too much since half of them don't really interest me. Especially Boruto. I hear he's a bit better in the movie, but he's honestly annoying any other time. As for Himawari, she is vastly more interesting. If you don't believe me, check out the special chapter that was released where she releases her Byakugan. It's hilarious, and makes me wish she'd had a lot more time.

    4. i read that and thought it was pretty good. got to see how the uzumaki fmaily typically interacts. i liked how Himawari for the most part is well behaved and sweet and it was also good to see how even Bolt and Himawari have their little moments of quarreling. to my surprise despite the Byakugan it was great to see Kushina's legacy got passed on to her granddaughter. it still remains a mystery but still the fact she took out Naruto with an advanced strike from the gentle fist in one shot no less is a feat no one has accomplished. not even Sasuke lol anyway a lot of that chapter made me wish there was focus on Himawari since from all that alone suggests her potential already stands to surpass her whole family. if there is another continuation or spin off of Naruto i hope to see Himawari as the main focus this time.

      onething that bothers me is why wasn't that set as chapter 700 and the one we got as chapter 700 be set as the epilogue for the manga? just seems kind of weird to skip over that expecially since that's what Naruto has been working toward.

    5. Himawari is definitely a much-needed character, yeah. She deserves far more than Boruto and his "meh" attitude. She's a lot of fun.

      I suppose Kishimoto made Chapter 700 the way it was because he wanted to set up the kids more than he wanted to spend all the time on just Naruto's family which is fair I suppose. And we still saw Hokage Naruto, which is cool. Personally, I'd have probably made the chapter be about Naruto's ceremony to become Hokage but I'm not a manga writer... Hopefully one day though.

    6. yeah that's true. all and all naruto is a great series but the lack of certain details and rushing over stuff, dragging out the war arc, and a lot of other things that most consider small details ended up becoming one big flaw for the whole series which more or less prevents it from being the best Manga of all time that could have outdone DBZ, One Piece, Bleach, and other long running series no matter how hard tried or long they made their series.

      speaking of One piece do you have you're why it's not perfect review on it posted? i can't seem to find it on your Tumblr. I read your bleach one too.

    7. well in case you haven't heard. according to Kishimoto in the NYCC interview. apparently Orochimaru is immortal. though i don't know how that's possible since Kishimoto didn't bother explaining how and why he would say that.