Naruto – A Call Back To Childhood

Whenever people think of shonen anime, this is usually the type of show that comes to mind. In that, it focuses on the hero’s journey as an underdog with latent powers he didn’t know he had and trains to hone his abilities as he fights stronger opponents along the way. If you liked “Dragon Ball” but wished it had ninjas, then this is up your alley. 

It’s obvious that creator Masashi Kishimoto was heavily influenced by “Dragon Ball.” You can tell since both series share similar character archetypes as well as humor. Some of the visual cues are obvious as well, with Naruto loosely resembling Super Saiyan Goku’s appearance and Sasuke resembling Vegeta. Both characters even share a similar frenetic rivalry that plays a major role throughout the series.

It does get off to a really slow start; the first two episodes are a slog, and the first arc doesn’t get good until Zabuza shows up. Before that, we’re treated to fine but not exceptional character introductions, lots of exposition, and really awkward humor.

But when the story of this series is good, it is really good! The Chunin Exam arc is an incredibly intense game of cat and mouse, perfectly introducing one of the creepiest villains in all of anime, Orochimaru, and treating us to some of the most intense fights in the series. The Fifth Hokage arc is a perfect blend of training arc and character study with Tsunade, as well as a great introduction to the other primary antagonistic force in the Akatsuki.

And of course, the rescue Sasuke arc is a perfect capper for this chunk of the story, featuring an intense chase, great character growth, and the best fight in all of Naruto to cap it all off. Unfortunately, as good as all that stuff is, it is broken up by a tedious amount of filler. This is a problem that only gets worse the longer the series goes on. Early on, it wasn’t so bad. But by the end, the filler arcs grow to insufferable lengths.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *