Naruto is another in a long-line of popular shounen battle anime in its focus on the titular, simple-minded and obnoxious character desiring to become his village's leader through hard work and perseverance despite being a societal outcast because of being the human host for a demonic fox. Essentially, whatever typical shounen action anime tropes you can think of apply to much of what Naruto has to offer up from the titular character being a worst case of the simple-minded hero character than Dragon Ball's Goku, Sasuke being the revenge-seeking loner, Sakura the short-fused kunoichi with a single-minded interest in Sasuke, powerful sage Jiraiya being yet another dirty old man, and so forth. It also has some of the typical battle arc tropes of the genre such as Naruto and others seeking to grow stronger, a battle tournament, and a main villain attempting to wipe out the heroes throughout a good span of the series.
The series does make its attempts at offering depth to its story and characters. It explores a number of the consequences that the ninja lifestyle has with affecting a number of characters that include the mental toll being a demonic host takes on Gaara and Orochimaru's quest for seeking knowledge on all ninja techniques leading him to continually manipulate others in his schemes. The development of Sasuke's character also leads to what is considered one of the franchise's best arcs with the Sasuke Retrieval arc when the orphaned Uchiha takes on his own plans to seek the revenge he wants. These more serious developments do lead to the mentioned obnoxious traits of the characters to be dialed back a bit as the series progresses, which leads it to actually be a little more engrossing as a result.
Unfortunately like many titles of its ilk, Naruto does eventually find itself getting into filler arcs because of catching up with its manga source material. This especially gets bad after the end of the Sasuke Retrieval arc when the remaining 85 episodes of the series consist of nothing but filler thus leading the advancing plot to be dragged to an abrupt halt and be left incomplete until Naruto Shippuuden comes along. The fillers do make attempts at trying to develop some characters who otherwise didn't get much exposure in the series proper, some of this working well with Sakura and Hinata. But for the most part, the fillers are otherwise non-essential viewing thanks to their self-contained and anime-exclusive developments, and you could just as easily skip past them if you only wanted to watch the series up to the Sasuke Retrieval arc.
In terms of artwork, scenery and character designs are reasonably detailed and well drawn though nothing out-of-the-ordinary for a 2000s anime. It makes use of a good number of animation shortcuts thanks to its long length, but has its occasional fluid movements in some of the anime's pivotal fights that include the climactic fight between Naruto and Sasuke during the Retrieval arc. Opening and ending musical tracks mostly milk use of J-rock and J-pop tracks, but the insert tracks consist of some catchy traditional beats with the use of drums, chanting, and instrumentation.
While having its occasional moments of quality, Naruto still does ultimately suffer from a number of the typical pitfalls of the shounen action anime genre from its rehashing of the typical character and storyline elements of the genre, frequent use of animation shortcuts, and having a good helping of filler arcs. I would only recommend this title if you are a big fan of similar long-running shounen action titles like DBZ or Bleach.
Rating: 5 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Naruto is lucky since it appeared on Toonami after Dragon Ball's reign when Toonami shift from after school timeslot to Sat night time slot
It still play a pivital role in gateway anime but it has a double edge sword as it burns anime fans who didn't transition or find something in the anime world to their liking when the series gets longer. That applies to casual anime fans.
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT