[Manga] Thoughts & Stuff: Naruto

It’s been a while since I wrote a post. So in the past couple of months I’ve been reading, JoJo Part 7, Yu Yu Hakusho, just to name a few, and just recently finished reading Naruto.

This post will likely contain spoilers or whatever so proceed with caution.

INFO

Manga: Naruto
Published: Sep 21, 1999 –  Nov 10, 2014
Mangaka: Masashi Kishimoto
Genres: Action, Adventure

naruto-cover

EXPECTATIONS & FORETHOUGHT

I wasn’t expecting anything in particular before reading other than I hope the manga holds up to the praise that it gets. I had watched some of the Naruto anime in the past and eventually dropped it somewhere in the beginning. The pacing in the anime is far too slow for me to appreciate. Also I’ve only and will only write about the manga because that is what I’ve read and it is the canon.

CONTENT

Let’s talk about arcs in Naruto. There are many many arcs in Naruto and dividing up this section in arcs would be more readable. I’ll be going by the Naruto Wikia if you want to read about it yourself.

Prologue — Land of Waves

The main cast is introduced and their teacher Kakashi. The setting and background of characters and their potential are hinted at. This arc also contains the escort mission to the land of waves where they are met with their first antagonist in Haku and Zabuza. Their deaths are merely a glimpse of what the shinobi lifestyle has in store for our characters. The arc is fairly slow but I very much enjoyed the finish to this arc.

Chunin Exams

This is the arc where the pace of story starts to pick up speed. Many characters you meet in this arc will remain in the rest of the story to come and hold much significance in how the main cast is influenced by them. So far the main cast hasn’t demonstrated much capability of how crazy and monstrous ninjutsu could be. However with this arc we are shown other characters who possess many different ways of fighting. First with the sound ninja trio and Rock Lee’s taijutsu.
Later on in the Forest of Death arc we meet Orochimaru who is the first antagonist and demonstrates more power than any of the current characters can match. His character is very well done and mysterious and left me wanting more of him. You get to see some of the other jutsu from the other cells aswell during this.
In the pre-third phase is one of my favourites, showing off more jutsu we haven’t seen before. Jiraiya is introduced aswell and the three legendary ninja are mentioned which is pretty cool.

Konoha Crush

Fight between Orochimaru and Hiruzen is one of the best in the whole manga. There will be a  Top 10 fights list somewhere after this. Fight between Gaara and Naruto also takes place during this. They introduce beasts and possession and all that in this arc. I enjoyed pretty much everything in this arc.

Search for Tsunade

This arc was probably one of the best arcs with the introduction of the Tsunade, the third of the legendary three. Before Tsunade though, Itachi and Kisame show up and theres a small confrontation between them. Nothing crazy happens in this except for the introduction of the Akatsuki.

Search of Tsunade continues with Jiraiya and Naruto as they adventure out of town looking for her. We learn of Tsunade’s past and this eventually leads to a battle among the  legendary three. Tsunade also shows off her Yin Seal Release in the fight against Orochimaru. I really enjoyed this arc as it showed more of the legendary three and that they actually had a history together with the fourth hokage.

Sasuke Recovery Mission

This is probably my least favourite arc. This arc is of the fights with the four sound ninja and that Kimimaro guy. Fairly predictable outcomes and everything was for naught. All because Sasuke is overly edgy and ran off to Orochimaru. The only thing redeeming about this arc is that they brough back characters from the Chunin Exam arc.

Kakashi Gaiden

This might be incorrect; I don’t remember Kakashi gaiden happening before the time skip. I’ll write about it here anyway. So this is about Kakashi’s past with Team Minato (Fourth Hokage): Rin, Obito and Kakashi. It’s alright, though I think it could’ve been a little bit longer and included more missions or what not. There was really no development of Rin’s character which is kind of happens to most female characters in the manga. Later we find out this arc actually plays a big deal in the end of the manga which is kind of a shame because I didn’t really thing much of this arc other than to give Kakashi some history with his acquaintances.

Kazekage Rescue Mission

This is when the Jinchuriki stuff starts to play a role into the plot. More and more Akatsuki being introduced. You think to yourself, “When do we actually get to see them in action?”, not too much longer. This is one of my favourite arcs with probably one of the best fights in the whole manga. My only gripe with this whole Jinchuriki stuff is that some fucking rogue ninja (Deidara) is able to to basically take down a Jinchuriki on their own and that they’re actually so damn weak despite being one. Out of all the Jinchuriki only two of them (Bee and Naruto) are even capable. Sakura & Chiyo vs Sasori is probably my favourite fight in the entire manga. It’s kind of rare to see someone elderly possess power, the other being Hiruzen and the I guess you can kind of count the legendary three. The fight is also kind of unique as they’re one of the few puppeteers in the manga, the other one being Kankuro, who you don’t see too much of.

Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission

I mostly remember this as the Sai development arc rather than a rescue Sasuke arc. Sai was a pretty lame character in the beginning since the manga made him seem like a weaker Sasuke substitute. However as the arc progressed he was able to grow as a character and think for himself and separate himself from being a Sasuke clone. This is also the arc where Yamato is introduced mostly as a mentor who could teach and control Naruto and the Kyuubi. Shame he is practically reduced to nothing in the latter parts of the manga.

Akatsuki Suppression Mission

This was a really strong arc in my opinion which leads up to what I think of as the mid way point of Konoha versus Akatsuki. This is the arc where Hidan kills Asuma showcasing that the Akatsuki is still indeed very formidable despite having lost some of their members. The second fight between Shikamaru and Hidan was one of my favourites. It wasn’t very intense but the fact that Shikamaru grew stronger and got his revenge showed that he surpassed Asuma.

Itachi Pursuit Mission

I don’t remember this arc that well but it’s the arc where Sasuke kills Orochimaru and forms his group. Meanwhile Naruto forms his own group. Weak arc.

Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant

I’m writing this part nearly two months after finishing Naruto so I memory might be a bit hazy. I remember this arc as the one of the story’s climaxes. As Jiraiya, someone who was introduced to the reader as one of the strongest characters in Naruto, encounters Pain, one of the few remaining Akatsuki left, while in a new destination, Amegakure. I thought of this as the final  battle ground of what is to come. However that wasn’t the case which was kind of disappointing because we had many many more arcs after this one.

Remaining Arcs:
  • Fated Battle Between Brothers
  • Pain’s Assault (Arc)
  • Five Kage Summit (Arc)
  • Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
  • Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
  • Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
  • Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki
  • Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes + Epilogue

As you see there are several more arcs but I’ll cut it short and just summarize my thoughts. Fight between Itachi and Sasuke was cool. Pain’s Assault dragged on a little bit too long. Five Kage Summit was alright. It just didn’t appeal to me too much. Would have probably been better if they were introduced earlier like the Akatsuki. Fourth Shinobu War arcs were really long and dragged on a whole bunch. Birth of Ten-Tails’ Jinchuriki was too long and had it’s share of ass pulls. Kaguya Otsutsuki Strikes was completely unnecessary. I have no comment on the epilogue.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Naruto excelled at world creating and had many unique characters. However a lot of this was discarded when the story focused  too much between Naruto and Sasuke, Sasuke especially. Just think about how many characters were introduced in the early arcs and how irrelevant they were to the story. Only once every so often did those characters get some spotlight. The whole Uchiha thing went out of hand. Focused far too much on them, in contrast just look at how much you know about Uchiha than Uzumaki blood lines. Lots and lots of unique and creative jutsu were completely forgotten in favour of raw power with little substance. Just think about weapon based jutsu, and taijutsu versus just ninjutsu which was used in every instance near the end. Examples such as puppeteering, Temari’s fan, Gaara’s sand, Rock Lee’s taijutsu, all nearly forgotten in place of just ninjutsu. Sharingan was creative at first I guess but then they just kept adding more and more shit to it that it became all encompassing. Forbidden jutsu, Susano-o, Amaterasu, Izanami, Izanagi, Edo Tensei, etc. are all retarded.

All in all I give Naruto a 7.5/10.

Bonus: List of my favourite fights, characters, arcs, etc.

Favourite Fights

  • Sakura & Chiyo vs Sasori
  • Sasuke vs Itachi
  • Orochimaru vs Hiruzen
  • Shikamaru vs Hidan (Part 2)
  • Hashirama vs Madara (Past)
  • Gaara vs Rock Lee (Chunin Exam)
  • Jiraiya, Tsunade, Naruto & Shizune vs Orochimaru & Kabuto
  • Jiraiya vs Pain
  • Konan vs Tobi (Obito)
  • Naruto vs Orochimaru (Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission)

Favourite Characters

  • Itachi Uchiha
  • Orochimaru
  • Jiraiya
  • Hashirama Senju
  • Gai Might

 

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[Manga] Thoughts & Stuff: Naruto

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