Naruto: If you’re into shonen and general action shows, then you will definitely enjoy this story. Naruto offers you an adventure in which the main protagonists will learn how to deal with each other when facing questions of morality. There’s friendship, funny scenes, drama and lots and lots of fighting.
*This sho-file covers both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden.
In A Nutshell
In a world ruled by ninjas, Uzumaki Naruto is a 12 year old mischievous boy whose only dream is to become Hokage, a title given to the leader of the village. Naruto is an orphan and lives alone which make him pull pranks and annoy other people in a desperate seek of attention. Along with his friends Sasuke and Sakura and his sensei Kakashi, they will live an adventure full of surprises.
Meet the Characters
Naruto is the main character (duh). As every other shonen anime, he’s impulsive and reckless. Even though he wants to be a great ninja, he struggles to even complete the easiest tasks. He hates Sasuke and he’s in love with Sakura. Oh, and he loves ramen.
Despite being an orphan and being always moody, Sasuke is incredibly popular, especially with the girls. He’s a very good ninja, one of the most skilled in the class. He tends to be serious and is focused in just one goal that has to do with his older brother.
Sakura is in the same class as Naruto and Sasuke. She’s deeply in love with Sasuke and tends to get annoyed by Naruto and his pranks. She’s seen as having a double personality, always having a strange inner Sakura that shows her true emotions. She tries to be a great ninja to impress Sasuke.
Kakashi is Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura’s sensei in Team 7. Despite being very strong and feared, he generally has a relaxed attitude, often being late to places and saying “he got lost on the path of life”. He’s always reading erotic novels and giggling to himself. His face is a mystery to everyone as it’s always covered.
A Brief History of Naruto: the When, Where and How
Naruto is based on a manga created by Masashi Kishimotowhich started being serialised in 1997. The manga was incredibly popular and right now has over 200 million copies sold, making it the third-best selling manga of all time (the first being One Pieceand second Dragon Ball). The anime series started being broadcast in 2002. After a time-skip from the manga, a second different anime was released as a continuation: Naruto Shippuden (2007).
Naruto is clearly one of the most successful shonen animangas of the last decade, forming “the big trio” next to One Piece and Bleach. Apart from a long number of OVA, TV specials and movies, Naruto also has a large collection of merchandise. With the end of the manga back in November, a canon movie called Naruto: The Last was released in Japan last December.
Why It’s Awesome
I’m gonna be honest here. When I first started watching Naruto I thought that it was a stupid children’s show. Of course I haven’t watched a lot of anime by then. But I still decided to give it a shot and, even though I wasn’t particularly excited with the first few episodes, I was really hooked when the Chunin exams saga came (pretty soon in the story). This is a show with a lot of characters, and at first it’s hard to keep track of all of them. However, with time you get used to them, start learning more about each of them and end up caring a lot about them. This is a show where friendship and love are the most important thing, especially for our main character who spent all his childhood alone.
This is one of the best animes you can watch if you’re looking for fights and action scenes. Since they are ninjas, there are plenty of different fighting techniques. Each clan is specialised in a different style of fighting which gives us plenty of rich and diverse combats. There are three different types of techniques, called “jutsus”: Genjutsu (based on creating illusions and fooling your enemy), Ninjutsu (any technique that allows you to do anything you wouldn’t be able to do without chakra) and Taijutsu (involving martial arts and performance of the body). To perform these techniques, they need to use ‘chakra’ and perform a series of hand seals.
There is also plenty of comedy in this show. Actually, critics of the story have mentioned the balance between comedy and fight as the strongest quality of this anime. Even though some of the comedy starts dying during Naruto Shippuden, you’ll still laugh a lot. The comedy in it is also perfectly balanced with the drama. And oh, there is A LOT of drama and tragedy in this story. More than I expected.
The drama is accompanied with some of the best music I’ve heard for an anime, both in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden (although many prefer Naruto‘s original theme). Animation is also… good, at times. Basically what you can expect from a long series like this. Of course there are still bizarre fight scenes such as *spoiler* at the end of the first series. The show is known for having many animation fails, but it’s still pretty solid for most of the episodes.
Last but not least, the fandom. Even though it’s always good to have other fans with whom you can share your passion for a show, in this case, Naruto‘s fandom is known as one of the most problematic fandoms in the anime world. Since there is a lot of romance in this show, there’s also a lot of shippers and shipping wars. But it’s a nice place if you manage to stay away from the wank.