Naruto is one of the shows that defined a generation. It came out at a time where the anime world needed its next big thing, it jumped on to the scene and filled the hole that every young kid had after DBZ ended. From 2002 to 2017, Naruto and Naruto Shippuden became a staple among millions of fans across the world. It impressed us with the series’ deep story, vivid characters, and captivating battle scenes. It paved the way for a generation of readers to be indoctrinated into the world of manga and anime. Almost two decades later, it remains an early influence for many young people, as well as a series that lives on in the hearts of adults. It has God-level fights, great character development, and a subpar story and gets you in your feelings.
In other Shōnen shows, it took characters maybe two episodes to power up and get ready to fight the villain. In Naruto, you better come correct the first time because there won’t be a second time. The villains don’t give you a chance to get to your max power you have to be ready to throw hands at any given second. Every fight scene in Naruto beats any other anime’s fight scene from sheer quality alone, it’s fast-paced ninja violence at its finest. It also holds what’s possibly the greatest fight in anime history, Kasiha vs Obito. I know you just got a real mad reading and probably thinking “what about Goku vs. Freiza” what about it? That fight had the typical DBZ fan service and is ionic because Goku goes Super Saiyan, but this fight….this had nothing but hands. There was no talking, no power-ups, no holding back just two people who wanted nothing but smoke. The animation was God tier with it flawlessly flashing from the past to the present, not missing a single beat.
Not since Spike vs Vicious have we seen such greatness
One of Naruto’s most appreciated qualities was its diverse cast of characters. From Shino to Killer Bee, each character was unique and had their own fighting styles. Every character had their own motives, aspirations, and techniques that made them relevant and useful throughout the entire series. It also changed the narrative of the typical fan service anime female character by giving us some of the dopest fights. Say what you want about Sakura but she does have some lit fight scenes.
And so do many of the other female characters like.
Hinata vs Neji
Tsunade Vs Orochimaru
And don’t forget how Temari embarrassed Tenten.
Now Naruto’s story started off great and just like every other show its ending was pretty lackluster, but I’m not going to go into too much detail about it. I’ll just cover a few key things and how Nauro separates itself from other Shōnens. For the most part, it keeps the story moving forward and doesn’t make any arc last longer than it needs to. Although it has hundreds of boring and irrelevant filler episodes, the series gets straight to the action from the moment the first episode begins. Once Naruto gets assigned to Team 7, he immediately travels to the Land of Waves to battle Zabuza and Haku. Immediately after that fight Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura participate in the Chunin Exams, which is then followed by the Sound Ninja attack which leads to Tusanda becoming Hokage and Sasuke leaving the village. That pretty much sums up the entire first show and we move on into Shippuden where again we have a shit ton of fillers, yes, but the story never stays in one place for too long. The point I’m trying to make is unlike some shows (One Piece) Naruto does force the story to be longer, an arc ends when it should and a new one begins. Within those episodes, we get some of the best character development, where no one character has the same or even similar backstory.
Each one is carefully thought out and brings depth to the character development. It gives you a better understanding of the character and it makes you grow an attachment to them. Naruto has one of the best supporting cast out there, I’m not the best at remembering names. Hell, I’ve been reading Demon Sayer super heavy and whenever a name comes up I have to look that person up so I can see their face. But even after years of me seriously watching Naruto I’m pretty confident I could name you almost every person like they were a Pokemon. Naruto has such great characters that they have the power to bring grown adults to tears. You can’t tell me every time you saw Naruto on that damn swing you didn’t burst into tears
Or when you found out Itachi was a good guy and they showed his last moments with his parents.
Fans of the show got the chance to see Naruto get stronger and put his hard work to the test against enemies that were much stronger than him. Without this show, who’s to say if my interest in anime would’ve continued, it definitely got me interested in other things like Death Note, Samurai Champloo, and Paranoia Agent. When I have kids you know I’m gonna set their asses down and make them watch one of the most influential shows in anime, believe it.