Alright, next up is Naruto, here goes...
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
To get started, I think that Naruto has a decent character diversity. We all know the coolest manga character ever, Kakashi, but there are also cool people like the Kages and Killer Bee. The spectrum of personalities is amazing, and it is coolseeing some of the constrasting ones interact. I like how many of them have interesting backstories, but there are some issues that I will explain later on.
The best thing that Naruto has going for it is the action. This is a straight-up, simple, battle manga that serves it genre well. There are countless great ideas here, from the Summoning Technique (one of my favorites, I like each character's animal theme) to the Tailed Beasts and many other technques (I like the Flying Thunder God Technique and the Dust Style techniques the most). The style of battle is intricate and highly varied, involving a near-perfect mix of melee and ninjutsu. The best example of this is the Naruto vs. Sasuke fight, where we saw several new forms and techniques, as well as one of the greatest smackdowns ever in my opinion.
The thing that bugs me the most about Naruto is the story. Like I said before, it is a simple-minded and straightforward battle manga, with nothing else to help it out. The plot is honestly kinda lame, and here is what I mean:
- Sasuke's lifelong dream was to kill Itachi, right? Well, as soon as he was dead, the author realized that the story would fall apart if sasuke had no motivation. Hence, the unsupported and random desire to destroy Konoha.
- Orochimaru was the greatest threat the series had seen all the up to the timeskip. Naruto and his friends almost die trying to get Sasuke away from him, and he kills the Third Lord without much lasting damage. Then he is killed almost immediately after the timeskip. Talk about anti-climatic.
- Practically everyone in Konoha risked their lives to kill most of the Akatsuki, and some died from it. In addition, there are really long scenes mourning someone who has died. Then they get brought back to life. Why kill them if they are going to be revived again?
- Naruto considers Sasuke his best friend, right? Why? They hated each other as "rivals" right up until they were in a team, and even then they were still competing and not liking each other. Then Sasuke practically murders Naruto! How is that friendship?
These kind of ruined the story for me. I guess that's why One Piece is the third-best, because no one appreciates a good plot.
Another big annoyance is character backgrounds. Has anyone noticed that half of the people in the Naruto world seem to be exactly like Naruto (orphaned, shunned by villagers, no friends, etc.). Is it really possible for this many people who are such major characters to exist? And they are all people Naruto needs help from or needs to beat? Hmmm....
Lastly, I hate the repitition throughout the series. Better to show examples than tell, so here:
- Naruto's power-up schedule: Learn something new or gain a new form. Then get a new type of Rasengan. Finally, arrive in the nick of time to defeat a villian who is somehow weak against the new Rasengan or form.
- Naruto talking to Sasuke: 1.You should come back. 2.No. 3.I'll beat you if you don't. 4.Monologue about useless stuff 5.Brief Clash 6.Fight interuppted/postponed to different time, pissing us all off.
- The aforementioned character backgrounds.
Seriously, how many times have we seen this?
These cons are what really brought down the score to what it is. In fact, the only reason it is this good is because of the action. I still read Naruto as one of my top few manga, so I tried not to be biased. For further info, the Naruto wiki is at http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Narutopedia.
Well, that is about it. If you want me to critique a manga, then ask, but next time I will probably do Fairy Tail while I finish reading Bleach.
Thank you for reading.