Cartoons are cartoons everywhere. People who are not familiar with anime and Japanese culture in general might say that. However, many anime projects are very different from Disney or other cartoons. For example, Naruto is a work that has gained popularity all over the world. Despite some formulaic moments, it is unique in its own way. But is it worth watching “Naruto” if you are not an anime fan?
Briefly About the Naruto Anime
The plot of the anime “Naruto” is based on the manga of the same name. It refers to the genre of shonen, intended primarily for teenage boys. The first season lasted from 2002.10.03 to 2007.02.08. The second (“Naruto: The Uragan Chronicles”) lasted from 2007.02.15 to 2017.03.23. The first has 220 episodes, the second has 500. The total turns out to be 720 episodes. Plus 11 full-length anime films and 8 OVAs have been released. There are video games based on this anime and several novels have been written about its characters.
The anime tells the story of a fictional world where power is concentrated in the hands of 5 Great Countries. The military forces are represented mainly by ninjas living with their families in hidden villages. This is something like a closed military town. Only these ninjas are unusual: thanks to all sorts of chakra techniques, they are not much different from wizards.
In one of such villages – Konoha (the Village of the Hidden Leaf) lives the main character: Uzumaki Naruto. He is an orphan with a demon fox with nine tails sealed in his body. The boy has no friends, because most children’s parents forbid them to play with what they consider to be a dangerous child. As a result, he attracts the attention of others with all sorts of hooliganism. His main dream is to become the coolest Hokage ever (the head of the village). He also has a crush on a girl.
When Naruto becomes a member of Team 7 and begins his first missions, he finally makes friends: Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi-sensei. Adventures, disagreements, new comrades, fantastic battles and even a war involving zombies await them.
- Naruto’s name was taken by his father from a book by his teacher. He also came up with it while eating ramen: naruto, a roll of minced fish, is often added to this dish.
- Naruto is voiced by a woman: actress Takeuchi Junko.
- The anime has many references to Japanese mythology.
- In 2003, according to Animage magazine, Naruto was one of the ten best anime.
- Juken, one of the techniques featured in the anime, is based on the Chinese martial art Baguazhang (translated as “palm of eight trigrams”). It consists of different movements of the palms of one’s hands as one moves in a circle.
- Naruto translates as “whirlpool” and the teacher’s name, Hatake Kakashi, means “garden scarecrow”.
- Naruto is especially popular with cosplayers (people who reincarnate as their favorite characters).
Is it Worth Watching Naruto?
More than one review has been written on the Naruto anime. Of the merits, critics note the following:
- the dynamism of the plot;
- organic intertwining of fights, training and scenes of peaceful life;
- original humor;
- a well-thought-out strategy of fights;
- unpredictability of ways to achieve a sort of formulaic “last-minute victory”;
- character evolution.
For the younger generation, anime is useful in that it teaches empathy for others and appreciation of family and friendship ties. The way the characters overcome difficulties, and helps young viewers do not give up if something does not work at first attempt.
There are many funny moments in Naruto: Sakura, Naruto’s unrequited love, almost gets depressed when she finds out that she has the same shampoo as Kakashi-sensei the dog. Naruto is also the one to knock out the veteran warriors with the sexy jutsu he invented: he transforms himself into a sexy naked blonde. A particularly killer technique is the harem, when there are so many hotties.
Attractiveness of Characters
Naruto has a lot of interesting characters besides the main character:
- Kakashi-sensei is the ideal mentor. He teaches his charges how to work as a team, rejoices over their successes, helps with advice in difficult situations, believes in them and is willing to give his life for each.
- Shikamaru is a lazy genius and a great strategist. In just 10 minutes he learned the rules of shogi (Japanese chess) and immediately defeated his sensei.
- Orochimaru is a charismatic villain. He has a bit of a short temper, but has a bit of a short temper. He has a particular fondness for snakes.
- Desert Gaara is at first a hopeful maniac. However, his encounter with Naruto – a battle with him and the words that stuck in his heart – left a lasting impression on the boy. As a result he becomes the head of his village.
- Itachi – Sasuke’s older brother, who slaughtered his entire clan on the orders of the village authorities. Joined the ANBU (a type of special forces) at age 11. One of the most shrewd and unpredictable heroes.
Who May not Like Naruto Anime?
Among the Naruto fans there are a lot of mature people, as well as girls and young women who also write fanfics – fan stories about their favorite characters. But the target audience consists of young people under 18. Those who have not dreamed of becoming a ninja as a child may not like it.
Some people are repulsed by the sheer number of episodes and the drawn-out nature of the plot. If a person is not ready for months of video marathons, then acquaintance with the Japanese animation is better to start with something shorter.
Not everyone likes action, and there are plenty of battle scenes and fights in “Naruto”. Some critics do not like Naruto himself – too stubborn and, in their opinion, stupid. The repulsion can be numerous repetitions of what has happened before, too long fights and memories of the past.
The repetitions, however, are easy to rewind. In the main, the plot seems drawn out because of the fillers – additional episodes to extend the duration of the anime. On the Internet you can find a list of them and safely skip, because they are not related to the main – much more interesting – plot.
Is It Worth Watching Naruto for Those Who are Far From Anime Culture?
Many people become really interested in anime culture after seeing this series. They say that before, they didn’t understand what others find in anime. They are attracted not only to the adventures and cool fights, but also to the unusual philosophy.
One of the main themes raised in the work is the cycle of hatred: one takes revenge on the other, the latter on a relative of the former, and so on up to the destruction of an entire clan or even a country. In Hollywood blockbusters about vigilantes, the protagonist usually doesn’t rest until he’s killed all his opponents. Naruto also has a character obsessed with revenge, Uchiha Sasuke. Naruto, on the other hand, takes a different path and, refusing to take revenge for the death of someone dear to him, achieves peace and saves his best friend from self-destruction.
Naruto has a lot of advantages, but there are also disadvantages, which for some viewers may become a stumbling block. To decide whether to watch or not, you can watch the clips with a summary or the first few episodes. After all, someone else’s opinion remains someone else’s. It is always better to draw your own conclusions.