Naruto Review

Posted: January 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Synopsis
Set in a world filled with ninja villages, Naruto finds himself alone and rejected, cast aside from society. Wanting to be acknowledged by those in the village he decides that he will one day become hokage.

Story
The story follows Naruto, a young, cheerful and hyperactive child who dreams of becoming hokage. Cast away from his village he seeks to be acknowledged by those reject him. This story is a bit of a cliche if you ask me, boy is outcast, boy wishes to be acknowledged by those who reject him, boy becomes strong. For face value its not exciting but once you delve into the deepened plots it becomes an exciting anime to watch. Naruto does story well when it does decide to deepen the story, having a somewhat childish trait it surprises me how well the story is able to get ideas and emotions to the viewer. I found myself at times feeling for the characters and their issues. The main concern and problem that everyone has; myself included is that there is so much filler that doesn’t need to be there. No matter how well the story arcs are done you can never forget the filler especially when its concentrated in the last 80 episodes of the anime. I mean seriously 80 episodes of filler straight, that’s enough to turn anyone off Naruto for good but still I found myself trailing through hoping to find more story that wasn’t there. It’s almost as if they didn’t have any story and they decided to lie to the viewer by having Jiraiya tell Naruto that he will come back for him to do training. Aside from the filler the pacing of the anime was done rather well but I found myself wanting the fights to hurry up especially when they had 4-5 fights going on at the same time. I found myself becoming tired of the fights, if they concentrated less fights into each episode then it would have paced better. Overall I give the story 6/10

Characters
The characters in Naruto are well done to a sense. The building and development of the characters is where Naruto shines in terms of characters, the overall personality of the characters themselves can easily be described by referring them to Yu-Gi-Oh characters. Sasuke is most like Seto Kaiba, Naruto is most like Joey and Sakura is most like Tea but aside from the unoriginal characters they are entertaining to watch. Naruto is very immature at an age of 12 and you can tell that very easily just by one glance, yet its this immaturity that we like to see as then we can see the character develop dramatically as time goes on. Unfortunately we don’t really see this change in Naruto, sure towards the end he has become more mature in a sense but he also has a long way to go. In terms of character development Naruto does a brilliant job, sure as a prequel we don’t get all the character development we would like but we get a fair bit from a few characters. These developments can end up being entire characters now having a different personality instead of the usual slow and steady increments. Most characters get there fair share of back story which is something I always like to see. We get to learn about the many bonds that are shared between characters and how those bonds came to be. There are heart wrenching scenes between characters that make you well up and others which make you despise another character. The character designs are actually done well, unlike many other anime which make one character and then make a few characters that look like the original character. There wasn’t really any characters that looked really similar or the same for that fact. Overall I give the characters 8/10

Art and Animation
The art and animation in Naruto aren’t exactly the prized jewel in the anime. The art was ok and didn’t really capture my attention as being “wow”, to be fair this was originally aired in 2002 but I’m not saying the art was bad either. There are definitely some scenes and arcs that have very nice art work such as the forest of death yet nothing really makes me go “wow”. The animation is similar to what I said about the art; there really wasn’t anything special about it. The animation was smooth and never really lacked; it was obvious when they did their special 40 minute episodes that they put the budget up as the animation always had something different about it that the regular episodes never had. The 3D animation though was appalling. During the Chuunin exams when they had the qualifiers, the two hands in the back that were 3D modeled looked terrible and never fit in anywhere throughout that entire batch of episodes. The fights scenes where choreographed well as it never felt that I was lost in the midst of things, in fact the fight scenes where one of the best parts of the anime, sure there was the obvious replacement justu here and there but there were some fight scenes that made me go “wow” such as the Sasuke vs. Naruto fights, both of them were stunning and I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. I do admit that towards of the shows life the art and animation did get a lot better which made it nice to see. Overall I give the art and animation 5/10

Sound and Music
The soundtrack in Naruto is very memorable, maybe it’s because it’s used through out 220 episodes but in my opinion a memorable soundtrack is a good soundtrack. With the songs fitting the different moods the anime goes through, the selection of music is normally spot on. Never did I think “Geez, this song doesn’t belong here.” When listening to the soundtrack you are reminded of important scenes that are linked to the song, this makes it easier for the listener to relive the same scenes over and over again in their head. With a total of 109 songs there is more than enough to listen to and entertain you with. The sound effects of the anime like the music where never off. Along these lines the sound effects ever made it off putting to listen to either, they never overpowered any dialogue that was being played. The voice acting in Naruto was a plus for me, the voice acting often being realistic and allowed you to actually feel the emotions that were being conveyed by the character. One example that I feel is great for this is during the Chuunin exams qualifiers where Hinata and Neji are paired up to fight one another. This scene conveys a lot of emotion to the viewer and it pulls it off successfully. Overall I give the sound and music 8/10

Final Thoughts
Naruto does everything it sets itself out to do as a prequel. It lays down the foundation of the story for the sequel to follow from, it builds each character up and it gives the viewer a reason to watch the sequel, aside from the 80 episodes of filler at the end. I feel that if the last 80 episodes of pointless filler were removed there would have been a more enjoyable air around it at the end of its life. One thing that can “justify” the filler would be the reason to allow more bonds to be built between Naruto and the other Genin of Konoha. Overall Naruto earns itself a score of 6.75/10. I recommend that you watch Naruto not because of the score or what I may have said but because Naruto can be considered as an anime that everyone must watch at least once just for the sake of watching it.

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