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.
#01: "R★O★C★K★S", by Hound Dog (eps 1-25) #02: "Haruka Kanata (遥か彼方)" by Asian Kung-fu Generation (eps 26-53) #03: "Kanashimi wo Yasashisa ni (悲しみをやさしさに)" by little by little (eps 54-77) #04: "GO!!!" by FLOW (eps 78-103) #05: "Seishun Kyosokyoku (青春狂騒曲)" by Sambomaster (eps 104-128) #06: "No Boy, No Cry (ノーボーイ・ノークライ)" by Stance Punks (eps 129-153) #07: "Namikaze Satellite (波風サテライト)" by Snowkel (eps 154-178) #08: "Re:member" by FLOW (eps 179-202) #09: "YURA YURA (ユラユラ)" by Hearts Grow (eps 203-220)
#01: "Wind" by Akeboshi (eps 1-25) #02: "Harmonia" by Rythem (eps 26-51) #03: "Viva Rock ~Japanese Side~" by Orange Range (eps 52-64) #04: "ALIVE" by Raiko (eps 65-77) #05: "Ima made Nando mo" by the Mass Missile (eps 78-89) #06: "Ryusei" by Tia (eps 90-103) #07: "Mountain A Go Go Too" by Captain Stridum (eps 104-115) #08: "Hajimete Kimi to Shabetta" by GagagaSP (eps 116-128) #09: "Nakushita Kotoba" by No Regret Life (eps 129-141) #10: "Speed" by Analog Fish (eps 142-153)
#11: "Soba ni Iru Kara" by Amadori (eps 154-165) #12: "Parade" by CHABA (eps 166-178) #13: "Yellow Moon" by Akeboshi (eps 179-191) #14: "Pinocchio" by Ore Ska Band (eps 192-202) #15: "Scenario" by SABOTEN (eps 203-220)
To be honest, Naruto is the most overhyped show in existence. Everyone goes on and on and on about how great it is; and my expectations for this show was equally high. However, I was really, really let down. Really. This wasn't the best show ever, as I had thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, the show is enjoyable, but it's definitely not among the best shows out there. I hope Shippuden will better than this... much better.
The concept of this show isn't that hard to follow. It's an alternate world in which ninjas live. The ninjas fight by using various skills, and
they have this power flowing inside of them called chakra. Chakra is used to perform powerful attacks which (usually) belongs to either of the five traditional elements of earth, fire, water, air and lightning. Of course, since they are ninjas, they fight with weapons like shuriken and kunai as well as hand-to-hand combat. As expected of this kind of world, there's evil people, having different goals and reasons behind their evil.
The story follows Naruto, one of these ninjas, as he grow as a ninja, from being a stupid little prank-playing brat to becoming a fine ninja. Along the way, he interacts with and makes friends with many fellow ninja, fighting his way towards his dream of becoming Hokage (the leader of his village).
The story isn't nearly as good as the concept would indicate. Sure, a lot of the characters has some nice background stories, won't complain about that, but they manage to drag out everything so much. It really annoys me. Some fights take several episodes when they could've been done them just as good in one or two. There's also way too much fighting. The story goes like fight, fight, background story, fight, fight, even more fight, half an episode's worth of resting or journeying, fight, fight, and so on. I mean, it's cool to watch fights, but there are just way too many fights, and they drag most of them out to unnecessary lengths. The only really enjoyable fight was the one between Sasuke and Naruto right before the fillers began. Which brings up another thing...
Fillers! Agh, I normally don't mind fillers, but Naruto had some really, really stupid ones. Sure, there was the occasional diamond among the charcoal, but that doesn't excuse the high amount of bad fillers. I mean, just because they are fillers doesn't mean that they have to make them bad. Several shows have actually made decent and at the same time long fillers (especially Bleach, with its 40-episode long Bount arc), but Naruto failed horribly here.
Also, I feel that Naruto is very silly at times. Silly is usually good, but not when it's immature silly. And guess what+ Naruto is silly in an immature way. It's so dreadfully stupid at times that I had to close my eyes, take a deep breath and wait until it got serious again. Now, it did have some good comical moments, but those were far and wide between.
Another thing I feel like releasing my rage on is the animation. It barely manages to get the description “average” to me. At its best, it's slightly above average. However, a lot of time it's slipshod galore with the animation. I still have many very bad memories from having to watch lots of errors in the animation, and I'm not sure if I'll ever get rid of those memories. While the amount of errors decreased as the episodes passed by, at least every second episode before the 100s had one or more moments of slipshod animation. Wonder if they ever considered firing the animators.
As a side mention, they should do something about Rock Lee - even though I've slightly gotten used to his horrible looks, I still feel a burn in the back of my eye every time I see him.
The music is pretty good, though. A lot of great tunes (especially the sad ones are great), and the first few OPs and EDs were pretty awesome. It has some really bad music parts too, like the tribal voice-ish song, and sometimes they could've used better themes during the fights. As the series progressed, the quality of the OPs and EDs decrease too.
The characters are fairly okay, I guess. Some of them are really annoying, like Naruto, because he's so stupid. Agh, he annoys me to no end! Some other characters are annoying too, because of things like their looks (Gai and Lee), or because they are failed attempts at comical relief (at least in my eyes, you might find them funny), like the all too perverted Jiraiya.
That's the negative about them. However, they have some really nice background stories, some which are elaborated more upon than others. Many of the characters also get fair amounts of screen time, which for some people can seem too much, whilst others will be content with it, because their favorite character from the show gets an episode for him/herself.
I also like the fact that most of them have dreams or aspirations, and motives for what they are doing and how they are acting (usually it's tied together with their background stories). The growing relationships between them is also nice, their maturing, and how Naruto is slowly getting accepted by more and more people through hard work.
Basically, they've portrayed the characters very well, and not too over the top, but some of them act stupid and silly from time to time, which drags the character rating down.
I have some mixed feelings for the show, which kind of drags down on the enjoyability factor of it. Great concept, not as good story, both good and bad music, horrid animation at times, many characters with background stories, some of them great and some not-so-great; it's hard to completely make up my mind, but I believe the ratings I have given shows my feelings towards the different aspects of the show.
Of course, even though there was things I didn't like, I can easily see why this show is so popular as it is; it has humor that the kids may find funny, as well as lots of fights which appeal to the teenagers and adults. I personally didn't like it that much, though. I'm looking forward to Shippuden, because I’ve heard it was much better… I really hope so!
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
I began to browse through the reviews of Naruto, and realized something was horribly wrong. All the experienced anime watchers were giving it crappy reviews, and all the first-timers were giving it rave reviews, with reasons that every anime has to back them up. How could this be? Gee, I wonder. For some strange reason, Naruto has become the most popular and well-known anime series ever, and as such, it is usually the first anime seen by anime watchers alike. Why this is, I don't know. Maybe it appeals to a wide variety of young teenagers...
When I was 13 years old, I remember watching and
loving this anime. I had never seen any other anime shows, and I thought the concept was original and amazing. When I found out that others animes literally had all that Naruto had plus a lot more, I was... bored with all the fillers. At the time the anime was great, but it really does get old.
Then again, the anime is not absolutely horrible. It has the essentials, with a somewhat unique story and art style. The characters are cliche, and enjoyment is there but short and sweet.
What I truly love about Naruto is the great soundtrack. It seems that all the OP and ED are just fabulous, and the music just fits within the series. I would have liked a bit of a change over the course of the show, but hey, it almost never happens.
All in all, it was a good show. Just good. So basically: Shame on those people who watch 10 episodes and immediately come here and write a review. Also shame on people who give this show all 1's because everyone else loves it. It's OK, but ive definitely seen better.
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.
It 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.
First 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.
Orochimaru 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.
Depending 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.
Hell 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.
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.
I would like to start this review off by saying that I did not grow up with the Naruto series, nor did I have any pre-judgment of the series before I started watching it. Therefore I’d like to assert that my perspective on this series is as unbiased as it’s probably going to get, considering its popularity. When watching the series, the first thing I did was compile a list of filler episodes, and then promptly skipped all of them. This is so my watching experience in terms of the story deviated from the manga source material as little as possible. That being said, here
is a breakdown of the score I gave the Naruto anime as well as reasons behind each scoring. As I typically do when reviewing anything, I will start off with the positives and end on the negatives.
The sound in Naruto is definitely above average, and certainly immerses you in the scenes at hand. That being said, while the sound is a step above average, it isn’t top tier quality, so I feel as if a seven out of ten is properly justified. No need to really go into much detail here.
I found the art in this series to be pleasing to the eye; there weren’t any moe blobs, characters that looked like they could sooner pass for aliens rather than human beings, and it lacked a “childish” sort of look to it. That being said, there wasn’t anything here that was spectacular. Considering it was produced from 2002-2007, there were series with much better art than this even before that time. This is the justification behind me giving it the 6/10 that I think it deserves, which in my mind is just about average.
This is where, for me, the Naruto series started failing. Anything mentioned here will be re-iterated in the very first episode of the series, so I’m assuming that this won’t be considered “spoilers” per say. Naruto is based off an infant child who is infused with the spiritual energy of a nine-tailed demon in order to prevent a disaster from befalling his village. He is now viewed as an outcast and a monster throughout his childhood because of these events, rather than a scapegoat for saving the entirety of his village. Now Naruto’s aim is to change this reputation, and gain the respect of his village by becoming the most powerful person in it. You might be thinking to yourself at this point, “Wow, that story isn’t bad at all, why are you giving this a 3/10?!”… Well, I will now explain my rating of this as concisely as possible. The issue here is that the story doesn’t evolve at all during the span of the 131 episodes that aren’t comprised of filler material. Naruto begins to be accepted by his peers early on, and the whole idea of him being viewed as a “monster” diminishes quickly. When that happens, Naruto wants to become the strongest just for the sake of being the strongest. This sets the stage for the story to carry out like practically every other shounen in existence, and what was once a unique story with a high potential for excellence loses said potency very fast. I see no reason why to consider this story anything even close to mediocrity, hence the three out of ten rating you see here.
This is where I’ve seen other people say the series suffers the most, and after watching it, I’d have to agree with them. The phrase “one dimensional characters” gets thrown around a lot, and while I might have a different idea than some about the interpretation of this phrase, I agree with it. The thing with the Naruto anime is that the author only knows how to write one type of character type well, and that is the character that involves some kind of tragic loss in their life. I guess you could simplify what I just wrote and say “the only character the author knows how to write is Naruto” and get away with it just fine. Literally every character in the plot that is riddled with some sort of tragedy happens to have the same tragedy; someone they cared about has died in the past, and it has left them broken, mentally damaged or downright evil as a result. Don’t expect any sort character depth beyond this. The villains? They’re mostly evil just for the sake of being evil, or for the other aforementioned reason. They have that cliché plot convenience of “I’m not the true mastermind behind all the said evil events you have been fighting against, merely a puppet of some greater evil!” sort of deal, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t get old as the show progresses. That’s just the beginning of why I consider this anime to have one of the worst characterizations I have ever seen. Moving on to something else; romance. In my opinion, a romance should either be included and done properly, or given the setting, not included at all. With Naruto, I’m leaning more towards “not included at all”. Think of it this way, the characters are roughly the age of your average elementary school student. When you were about 11 years of age, were you concerned about having a girlfriend? I sure as hell wasn’t, I was more concerned about finishing my collection of Zelda games and beating my friends in Super Smash Bros. Yet romance plays a part of the primary characterization of some of the main characters, despite their age, and it really isn’t done well. You won’t see any sort of romantic development throughout the entirety of this anime, and given that a certain character’s (that shall not be named) “character” depends almost entirely on this aspect, it makes for a very poor attempt at convincing the viewer that they have any sort of significance in the plot. For these reasons, I give the characters a 2/10, being one of the worst attempts at characterization I have seen in modern anime.
As a result of the other scores that you see above, this is what I came up with as a score. Given that I get most of my enjoyment from characterization and story, this score seems fairly natural to hand out.
This is just an average of the scores you see above. This show is scoring consistently above 7/10 in reviews, and I see no merits behind why it should be, given what I have discussed above. As can be referenced by my profile scoring system, I would conclude that with this score Naruto has too many flaws to make it a passable watching experience.