So.... Naruto. I don't really know why I'm writing this review as my first review, there are plenty already, and I don't particularly care about the series... I guess it's one of those whims. Let's move on to the review then, I'll try to keep it short. And btw, I'm writing the review for the whole Naruto series, including Shippuden and the rest.
Naruto is without any shred of doubt, the most popular anime outside Japan today. Completely surpassed any high Pokemon, Dragon Ball or Yu-gi-oh ever achieved, the whole world all of a sudden just can't have enough ninjas. These are all for a
good reason, the anime completely blew most American cartoon in term of maturity, art quality, story and bgm, yet somehow keep it simple enough for kids to love. It didn't deliberately dumb itself down as if mocking 12+ years old kids brain size, yet not twisted enough to ruin an 8 years old fantasies and innocence. Suddenly kids are treated to a cartoon that not only gets you laughing but also complex and heart rending.
Now the question is, why did I only gave the anime a 6 if it is that good? Because ultimately, this anime is a kids stories disguised as something mature. And as a mid-20s seasoned anime enthusiast (read: otaku), it's just hard for me to find this engaging. Here's the complete breakdown:
Plot (5) - Debatable: Why debatable? Because maybe for younger audience, this was a masterpiece, who knows? But for me, the protracted episodes length, the out of place fillers that keeps contradicting the canon, the almost stale twists in every corner of the plot only to be replaced by yet another twists. 5 is generous.
Art (5): Completely mediocre, barely average (thus the 5). Understandable since the anime is made to be long running, but it doesn't erase the fact that the art quality is lacking compared to other shorter series from the same time.
Sound (7.5): As with other popular JUMP's anime such as One Piece, Bleach, Beelzebub, etc. the op and ed were typically beautiful, picked from various famous contemporary j-pop/rock. The in-anime BGM was nothing special.
Chara (6) - Debatable: Nothing special, typical of shonen series. Sasuke's breakthrough as one of the most likeable antagonist is pretty notable, as his duality existence with Naruto had been the driving force of this series since the time skip.
Enjoyment/Overall (6) - Debatable: It was pretty enjoyable at first, especially back at the time when I still don't mind watching anime with more than 50 episodes. But after 100+ episodes, with each episodes so protracted, with not much happening, I decided to drop the anime and just read the manga. This is not isolated to only Naruto, but I always find that anime adaptation of the manga tend to move really slowly and less enjoyable than the manga, especially if it's JUMP's.
So that's my review and I just want to leave a few words, for all of you so called 'Narutards', Naruto is not the best anime ever, it was not even close and never will be. It was good, and that's it. For trolls and haters, No, the anime is not as bad as you make it to be.