Before Naruto's birth, a great demon fox had attacked the Hidden Leaf Village. A man known as the 4th Hokage sealed the demon inside the newly born Naruto, causing him to unknowingly grow up detested by his fellow villagers. Despite his lack of talent in many areas of ninjutsu, Naruto strives for only one goal: to gain the title of Hokage, the strongest ninja in his village. Desiring the respect he never received, Naruto works toward his dream with fellow friends Sasuke and Sakura and mentor Kakashi as they go through many trials and battles that come with being a ninja.
Naruto has sold over 220 million copies worldwide as of 2015, making it the 4th highest grossing manga series of all time. It was nominated for the 19th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2014, and in the same year Masashi Kishimoto was awarded Rookie of the Year in the media fine arts category by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Numerous databooks, artbooks, novels, and fanbooks on the series have been released. Eight summary volumes featuring unaltered color pages, larger dimensions, and exclusive interviews, covering the first part of the series were released between November 7, 2008 and April 10, 2009.
The series was published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint from August 16, 2003 to October 6, 2015. In the last four months of 2007, the campaign titled "Naruto Nation" was launched, in which three volumes were published each month so that US releases would be closer to Japan's, the same practice was done in February through April of 2009 this time titled "Generation Ninja." A 3-in-1 omnibus edition has also been released since May 3, 2011. A box set containing volumes 1-27 was released on August 6, 2008, another one containing volumes 28-48 on July 7, 2015, and the final box set with volumes 48-72 on January 5, 2016. It was also published in Brazilian Portuguese by Panini Comics/Planet Manga from May 2007 to June 2015, and again as Naruto Gold edition since July 2015.
I can't believe this... I really can't believe this...
Naruto is a manga that has been running for 15 years, I still remember catching up with the first seasons of the anime back when I was 12, I remember skipping the dreadful filler second half from the original series and going straight to Shippuuden, I remember ALL of it and it is suddenly over. Wow... feels like an entire era ending.
Anyway, Naruto was one of the first anime series I have ever watched (Dragon Ball being my first), and even though I had lost my interest and enjoyment in it for a very long time (I
dropped it REALLY early when I had just started Shippuuden, it just wasn't doing it for me anymore), I still made an attempt at catching up with the manga because people told me it was ending and I wanted to see my late childhood fall apart just like that.
As for the actual review, Naruto started out as a fairly decent shounen manga, it told the story of a ninja called Naruto that was treated like shit by everyone else in the Hidden Leaf Village because he had the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed inside him. At first, he's completely useless and kinda annoying, all he really did at first was yelling "I'M GONNA BECOME THE HOKAGE" like if there was no tomorrow. And for those wondering, the Hokage is the ruler of the village.
He later teams up with two other classmates alongside a more experienced ninja and form a team that does the jobs assigned to them, while at the same time, each character has its own goals and intentions. The most notable, other than Naruto, is Sasuke, an old childhood rival that had lost his family when he was younger, eventually leading to him carefully planning to take revenge on the person behind it. At first, they do some stuff as a team and it is a fairly enjoyable story that does its job in a decent manner. Nothing too special, but also something that I could watch and still get a kick out of. Yes, Naruto was a bit annoying as a character, but that didn't keep him from being likeable, and the same goes for all the other characters.... at least for a while...
Eventually, Sasuke runs away and the story goes on a timeskip, which wasn't really a good idea as the story kinda jumped the shark at that point. Filled with asspulls such as the 99 different forms of the Rasengan and the treatment given to side characters, the story past the time skip had a MAJOR drop in quality, which caused me to eventually lose my interest in the series. Not to mention the treatment they gave to Sasuke, which initially was a character full of potential, only for it to be turned into the most despicable one of the cast that SOMEHOW still does a 180 on his mood. One second he is planning to destroy the village, the other he simply agrees to help Naruto defeat the big bad because.... crap, I don't even know anymore, I really think not even Kishimoto enjoyed what he was doing anymore at that point, just dragging the story more than it needed for the hell of it.
And Naruto himself did not get any better too, he was turned into one hell of a Mary Sue that just pulled random powers out of his arse because he had to defeat the evil villain at the end of the day. For crying out loud, even the worst Fairy Tail asspull is not as big as a lot of stuff I've seen here. I don't even think this was about bloody ninjas anymore because, as far as I'm aware, ninjas wouldn't just summon meteorites in a Final Fantasy manner. Eventually, even Naruto's iconic "I'M GONNA BECOME THE HOKAGE" was toned down and that's when I realized that these characters were no longer what they used to be. What about the rest of them? Pffffft, they were thrown to the side after the so notorious timeskip, it's like they weren't even there.
Another thing I have to point out is that the story simply couldn't keep one consistent bad guy. The timeskip arrives and we are left with Sasuke running away to eventually become a bad guy, a psychotic ninja that wants to achieve immortality and a secret society dedicated to capturing the Tailed Beasts such as Naruto's Nine-Tailed Fox. Wanna guess which one was the real big baddie? NONE OF THEM! Sasuke? He becomes a good guy after a while. Orochimaru? Same thing. Pain, the leader of Akatsuki? Turns out he was a puppet after all. Tobi, the guy behind him? Same thing, a puppet as well. Madara? Not this one either. Black Zetsu, the guy that never had any spotlight? Nope, also a puppet! As it turns out (And here comes a big spoiler), the real big bad just so happened to be the entity that created the energy force they use in their battles? How, because she was somehow resurrected...
Overall, Naruto is a manga that does a fair job on the first part, but completely blows it near the end. If you wanna know if it's worth reading? Not really, unless you are planning to stop just before the timeskip begins
It's hard writing this review straight after finishing the manga but I wanted to do it when It's all fresh in my mind. Naruto is a story manga and anime fans over the world know, hate or love, It is easily the most detested manga of all time but yet one of the most popular. The story is about a young boy called Naruto Uzumaki, with his entire village despising and fearing him he is practically alone in the village and because of that he as a character values friendship more than the comman man and that leads to him going above
and beyond to bring his best friend Sasuke back. With many arcs and a monumental timeskip Naruto is a long story and not for people who don't have any patience, the land of waves arc, the chunin exams arc, the invasion of konoha arc, the search for tsunade arc and the sasuke retrieval arc comprised was part 1 and the flow of the arcs was great, it had practically no slow points and the emotion is high.
With the land of the waves being the arc that fans usually remember as the arc that hooked them to Naruto with the crazy techiques and really showed of what a ninja is. The chunin exams is a favorite to many and is my favorite arc with crazy battles and learning about many tragic past to characters it is easily the arc that develops more characters than any. The Invasion of konoha arc is something that could of waited till a certain part in the story was concluded but as it was it was an amazing part in the manga and it did bring tears and epic fighting, still could of been handled differently. The search for Tsunade arc is simply the calm before the storm arc, Naruto gets training from Jiraiya and learns the infamous Rasengan while looking for the next Hokage, the dynamics between Naruto, Jiraiya and Tsunade is very well done and the ending of the arc is a pinnacle point in the series. The final arc of part 1 is outstanding to say the least, the battles in this arc are probably the biggest in part 1 and in the series and the final fight is full of emotion which Kishi is well at, overall the arc changed the story but opened up the story for different possibilities.
Each arc focuses on something new and trhat's what I liked about part 1 and how it was starting to build upon the ninja world. Then in part 2 the focus of the story shifted a bit from being a boy who wants to become Hokage to a boy who wants to bring his friend back before he becomes Hokage. Now the idea of that seems great but it did bring allot of complications to the story. In part 2 the arcs were structured not as well but the character dynamic was excellent but did seem more slow at times. The kazekage rescue arc was a good opening as I expected te be fair but then it went downhill with the sai and sasuke arc which is easily the worst arc in the series, the only good thing about it really was Naruto Vs Orochimaru. Moving on the Kakuzu and Hidan arc was an arc which used different characters like ino, shikamaru and Choji, the depth and the meaning of that arc was very well written. The Itachi pursuit arc is possibly the arc with the most emotion, Kishimoto sensei may of changed the story to more character focused than story building focus but that didn't change him still being able to deliver and with 3 huge deaths, 2 massive ones this arc stands out very much so. The nest arc is the Invasion of pain arc which to me is one of the best. I would prefer for certain things to of changed but as Kishimoto sensei did it, I couldn't call it bad writing. The atmosphere in this arc is very dark, it's the most suspenseful in the story so far and the fear of death looms over every character and I like it and the ending was a real changing point in the series and very much developed Naruto's character.
Moving to the more recent arcs the Five Kage summit was something that was needed, we needed for the kages to interact and to show that the shinobi world wasn't perfect and the dynamic between them all proved that the world still needed to change. Events happened in the arc which led to a big change, something that would start a beggining of a new era, overall a great arc. The confining the jinchuriki arc was an interesting one which focused on characters we don't get to see much and going more in depth with them as well as learning more about the past. The 4th shinobi world war arc was slow and the fighting wasn't that good but the ending proved it not to be the worst in the story. The ten tails revival arc was much better as we learn a truth about a certain person and the stakes really are higher, this is one of the best arcs and especially when read in a sitting instead of once a week for 3 years like some. Next is the final arc which could be seen as the best arc in the series as it focused on a select number of characters and it had very shocking moments and overall it concluded the story well and I didn't know if Kishimoto sensei could do it but he did, he concluded it perfectly.
I'll say some points about the art, characters, my enjoyment and why I gave the manga a 9/10 overall. Well the art I rate an 8/10, for a weekly manga it is rare to find one with superb art every chapter and the Naruto series has allot of great art but then it can be very shabby as well. Characters I would rate them as 9/10, in part 1 it would be 10/10 but because of shippuden and less characters got development I think a 9 is suitable becuase still characters like Naruto, Gaara, Sasuke, Itachi and Shikamaru etc have great development. My enjoyment wise a 10/10, no less, I love Naruto the series, It's my favorite manga and i can look pass the not so good bits because it has everything I look for in a shounen manga. Overall I give it a 9/10, in reality it's something between an 8.5-9/10 but I think I will just give it a 9 instead of an 8. The story is really an amazing jouney and I always wanted my first review to be Naruto when it finished and here it is ... the story of a boy and his dream!
I know there is many other people here on this site that have reviewed this Manga before, but i felt that i wanted to give my says about it since it now have ended.
For 3 years ago, i didn't like Naruto at all because it was so popular and so mainstream at that time. Other reasons is bacause i was afraid of going away from my other interestes in favor for Naruto. Oh man, i was wrong xD.
One day, i was sick and pretty bored, so i decided to watch an Episode of Naruto. I was pretty neutral there.
Afterwards i read af few chapters of the Manga, and it got more interesting. Then i saw the battle between Naruto VS Kyubi, and that's the true beggining of my Naruto-hype xD.
Now for the Review itself.
Story - 9/10
The story builted up on a slow pace just as many other manga, but the part 2 aka Shippuden is clearly my favorite part of Naruto. All the battles, the wars and especially when the Akatsuki appears where they are after the Tailed Beasts so they could reach their goal is definitely one of my favorite part of Naruto. My top favorite part is where Madara and Hashirama meets Again, especially when Madara shouts "HASHIRAMA" like an little fangirl. I felt of my couch laughting like an insane XD.
Overall, the manga ended pretty good in my opinion, there is few things to come after that.
Art - 10/10
I think the art is amazing. I didn't really looked deeper to the quality of the artwork since i'm more into the story. But still, i like the artwork.
Characters - 10/10
There are really, really many characters introduced in Naruto, but there are some that are my top favorites.
Madara - His backstory is what is the most interesting thing about him, but i do also like his personality. He i also always first for battle xD. Madara is especially epic where he eradicates the Shinobi Allies wíth meteors and takes them out like bugs, while keeping his Poker Face xD.
Minato - His personality and his kindness to people is where he gets my thumps up. I do also like his way of fighting. Also the fact that he created the Rasengan is the reason he is one of my favorite characters from Naruto.
Tobirama - Like Madara, his backstory is what i like about him, and also because he is the man behind Rebirth Nun Jutsu. He's also a big racist against the Uchihas for many reasons, because of the first war for example.
Enjoyment - 9/10
I did enjoy Naruto from start to finish. It was a great journey xD.
Overall - 10/10
I can say i will read Naruto again some time in the future. I can definitly recommend it to anyone interested in a long manga.
It's done! The end of Naruto marks the end of an 15-year period, about half of which I spent waiting for weekly updates for the manga that was my very first.
Was it worth it? Maybe. I have a gut feeling that Naruto is going to be one of those manga that took great benefit from having a long-ass run time, and that a lot of the attraction towards Naruto was the fact that, well, "everyone else was reading it too." Reading Naruto was as much of a social exercise as it was a reading one, since it's mega popularity ensured that there would always
be one or two people that you know that would be following it as well.
As far as the actual writing is concerned, I'd have to liken it to Harry Potter: ultimately flawed, but relatable. The themes of believing in yourself and the Power of Friendship™ have been explored numerous times before (and in a much better fashion by other manga/anime), and Naruto itself is a manga that I'm pretty sure could have been written in 200-300 chapters as opposed to the monstrous 700 that have presented over its 15 year run. Many, many, many characters are introduced, given their time in the limelight, and then thrown away because ultimately, it's all about Naruto. Kishimoto doesn't understand how to use scale to properly create climactic moments, and by the end, Naruto's supreme dominance over any of the other characters makes their attempts to seem relevant laughable and almost pitiable. The fact of the matter is, there are so many "oh, but this isn't my final form!" moments in the manga that reading the damn thing became a chore near the end due to the fact that Kishimoto isn't a very creative writer.
So why did I read all 700 chapters of what seems to be a quite mediocre effort? Well, Naruto was my first manga. Arguably, this fact combined with its existence as a social phenomenon made Naruto quite enjoyable to read (see my enjoyment score) despite its glaring flaws. It was fun to discuss the manga's weekly happenings with other people through its ups and downs--the experience was similar to that of following a sports team with other fans.
So, should you read Naruto? Probably not, unless you really, really like shounen's. It's a stunningly middle-of-the-road affair with little original thematic content that was made enjoyable to read due to the fact that it was mega-popular.
Story 4, Art 5, Character 2, Enjoyment 8, Overall: 5 (4.75).