»

Xenjin's Naruto Tv Review

Naruto

Naruto tv Review

Once, a nine-tailed demon fox attacked Konoha, the Hidden Village of the Leaf. Many brave ninjas lost their lives defending their home. Finally, the demon was sealed by the Fourth Hokage into the body of a human boy. Several years later, that boy, Naruto Uzumaki, struggles to gain the acceptance and acknowledgement of the villagers, many of whom still hate him because of the demon inside him. So, Naruto strives to become the Hokage, the strongest ninja in the village, so that the villagers will acknowledge him. Along the way, he gains many new friends, and faces many life-threatening situations.

Synopsis: destati

Story & Characters

There are many ninjutsu/martial arts oriented anime on the market, but none has captivated the imaginations of animé lovers like Naruto. Naruto is an underdog story. It's the story of how an underdog rises to the top, (and at the time of this writing, is still on the rise). It captures the many struggles, failures, joys, fears, tears, loves and successes of a lonely kid ninja with a magnificent gift he was created with. Everybody loves an underdog story, and this is what makes Naruto absolutely fabulous.

The story is based in the hidden leaf village of Konoha; one of many hidden villages in this realm where politics, trade, commerce and international relations are all decided by the skill of ninjas in each village. Each hidden village represents a particular element of nature. Each village has its own idiosyncrasies which make it different and special in its own way. Add to that a myriad of extremely fascinating characters, each with their own strengths, skills, weaknesses and motivations and you have a story so rich and full of culture and direction, that even after this series ends (if it ever actually ends) there will be loads of back elements in the story that will be exploited to no end by its massively growing fan base and an infinite number of spin offs.

What really makes Naruto great is its characters. Some good people go bad, and some bad people turn to the light. All of them are driven by very real human tenacities and emotions. All of them are driven by some kind of conflict. All the characters have a back story. No character is created on a whim. All characters have some driving force behind their actions. Nothing happens without a very good explanation. Everything that happens is explained to death by the many back trackings. Few anime series contain this level of depth and richness in content. As if the jutsu system wasn't deeply complex enough (giving a new twist to the Ninjutsu anime genre), Naruto offers a story that could quite possibly outdo even Dragon Ball Z as the next top Anime of all time in terms of fan base. Indeed, this is fast becoming the case. Start at the first episode, and you are guaranteed to be hooked right up to the current 10x+ episode.

The storyline in Naruto is THAT Good.

Rating: 10

Art

Naruto doesn't try hard to wow audiences with its artwork. For the most part, there is a great deal of anime clicheism infused in the many character depictions used here. The main character has your typical spiky japanimé blonde haired, blue-eyed countenance. All the other characters are likewise infused with the sometimes over-emphasized (and over simplified) animé japsploitation.

The really skilled ninjas are easy to pick out, because almost all of them have:

- Spiky hair with unnatural colours
- Eye patches, head-bands and or handkerchief wrappings around heads or limbs
- Scars on the face somewhere
- Trench-coat clothed
- Otherwise loosely dressed in what appears to be Japanese animators stereo typified impression of what a western bad boy appearance would look like

For the female characters, there is adequate:

- Revealing clothing, such as mesh vests/blouses/kickers, short skirts, close fitting, shape accentuating tights
- Your typical blonde/purple/blue/pink/[insert exotic colour here] hair colouring
- Some of the above mentioned bad-boy imaging proportionately appropriated for the female cast

However, either way, one cannot deny that the characters look ridiculously cute (in some cases, sexy) - sometimes too cute for believability - then again, the strong storyline makes one forget about that rather quickly.

The animation is not exactly top notch either. Just sufficient to get the idea across. Either way the artwork does add some new texture to the otherwise atypical ninja dress code, and it's a very nice touch, I must admit. At the end of the day however, I've seen some anime series with far superior artwork. So while Naruto's artwork is very different, it's not particularly special.

Rating: 6

Sound

Naruto has got what has to be the very best musical and vocal soundtrack accompaniment I have ever heard for any series. Period. There are a great number of selections of really good J-Pop/Rock and a beautiful fusion of traditional Japanese music with the more up beat sound of the grungy riffs of heavy metal guitars and upbeat pacing. The following tracks have by far really uplifted the Naruto musical experience:

Akeboshi - Wind: This is the only english-speaking track featured in the series and is arguably the very best ED music ever used. It is featured in the very first season of Naruto. This is a ballad by all descriptions, and is a beautiful fusion of J-Pop and traditional Japanese music, featuring some beautiful wind sequences by the ukulele.

Asian Kungfu Generation - Haruka Kanata:
If you love rock music, this Jap-rock adaptation will probably blow your mind. Many jap-culture purists argue that this has got to be one of the very best rock/alternative pieces ever created outside of the US. This second season OP really put the series into high gear.

Orange Range - Viva Rock:
Yet another top contender for best rock/alternative accompaniment to an animated series. Personally I prefer Orange Range over AKG, as their music employs more humor and melodic rock riffs. This is my personal second favourite rock track from the series. Perhaps one of the best ED tracks ever used.

Little by Little - Kanashimi wo yasashisa ni:
This is my favourite Naruto OP track and my all time favourite Anime track ever. This song actually motivated me to take my japanese to the next level (I loved it that much). It's a wickedly melodic alternative track with a powerful bass line and lots of great accompaniment. Some dislike the track because of it's kid-like vocals - but this is hardly a reason to not give it a good listen.

Rythem - Harmonia:
I loved this track because of it's beautiful harmonizing vocals. It also accompanies what has to be the best closing sequence for the Naruto series ever. A cute chibi Sakura and Ino lip-sync the vocals to this ballad in a rather extremely cute closing sequence. This track is definitely a keeper.

Tia - Ryuusei:
Yet another great J-Pop track featuring some fantastic female vocals, and what has to arguably be, next to 'Harmonia' and 'Wind' one of the best closing tracks featured in the series.

As if the music wasn't fantastic enough, the voice acting and sound effects are absolutely fabulous. I didn't have any difficulty buying into the emotional straits the seiyuus took their audience throughout the series. I had a hard time believing that the seiyuu for Naruto was actually a woman - Interesting, especially since the voice actor for Bart Simpson is also a woman. This is just to attest to the true brilliance of the voice acting. Very well done.

Rating: 10

Presentation

Naruto is definitely one of the most fascinating anime series to come out in a loooong time. As I had said before, it provides a fresh new take on the ninjutsu genre of anime. We have long been bombarded with Samurai / Ninja anime series/movies with the same recurrent themes of revenge and reluctant heroes. Naruto completely redefines this genre in a way that would make it suitable for many kinds of entertainment adaptations. The reasons for this are because of its originality. However, some entertainment elements draw too close a similarity to another epic anime series such as Dragon Ball Z. Consider the pros and cons of the elements of this anime to get a better understanding of this point of view:

PROs:
- These ninjas apparently do not use swords (and defy many of the known conventions of ninjutsu as well)
- There is heavy emphasis on a multiplicity of ways to channel the inner force (chakra)
- There are a multiplicity of techniques with detailed strengths, weaknesses, applications & side-effects
- Bloodline limits are used wantonly, but even the most powerful users are not invincible, very good balance.
- The depth of the story elements is utterly mind-boggling - every micro fragment has a detailed back-story
- Truly great gut-busting humor (when it happens)

CONs:
- Many of the "ninjas" here are more like wizards than martial arts experts - like the Hokages & Jounins
- If there were no martial arts elements to the story, it'd make a good Japanese Harry Potter Spinoff
- Many of the battles are dragged out mercilessly, sometimes for up to 5 and 6 episodes at a time
- Some episodes contain only "pointless" banter about what the characters intend to do during a fight
- Some back stories are so long and deep, one forgets where the starting point actually was.
- There are points in the series where things lag significantly, to the point where boredom sometimes sets in

But when there is a climactic battle, it usually blows the mind in ways the audience least expects. Naruto employs a LOT of buildup during battles - painfully lengthy buildups. However, watching the series a second time is always ten times more fun than watching it the first time. This is because the first time around you are held at the edge of your seat for what seems like forever. The second time around, you appreciate the buildup, because you know exactly what's about to happen.

That's part of what makes Naruto so fantastic to watch many times over and over again. It's great replay value. However, anime lovers coming out of the DBZ universe many easily tire of some of the elements of this series - even though they stick around for the long haul anyway because of its irresistibility.

Naruto is a truly great anime. Definitely one of the top 5 out there right now.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.67 (very good)

Reviewed by Xenjin, Oct 20, 2004

Comments

  1. Ilona Oct 20, 2004

    That's a pretty well-written anime review really detailed and all,.

    OK even with a so enthousiastic review, I still don't understand its popularity... but the most surprising part for me is that you enjoy watching it again... It seems like the flash-backs and the resumes or maybe more exactly the parts the creators think it is wise to show again in case of the watchers haven't seen the last minutes of the preceding episodes or have forgotten them... well all these haven't detered you. They certainly did it to me or at least that's what the 15 eps or so did. Naruto is without any doubt the anime that used too much these cheap tricks.

    Well in the other hand I still like the manga that I find really better even if the last chapters were quite disappointing.

  2. Xenjin Oct 21, 2004

    Thanks for your commentary.

    First of all you're absolutely right. The backtracking can really kick some serious nerve. If you're a Dragon Ball Z veteran, it will most certainly annoy you to tears...

    HOWEVER...

    A lot of the things that happen in Epic anime (i.e., any anime with not predestinated end, like DBZ) can quickly be lost to memory if it is over 26 episodes long. Naruto has currently surpassed the 100 episode mark, and is not even stopping for a coffee break. When it goes back to little snippets of previous activity, it serves two purposes:

    1. Those who are new to the series who didn't start from ep1 will have an idea what happened
    2. Those who have the memory span of a housefly will be reminded of the context of the happenings

    What really annoys most people more than anything is the backstories that crop up in really heated battles. It is extremely anticlimatic, and kills the flow of the battle. Furthermore, when you're left hanging at the end of one episode, and expecting a wicked ass-kicker in the subsequent episode, only to come up on an episode that is entirely about the backstory of one of the combatants, it really annoys beyond tears. BUT, after the backstory, it really helps you understand the motivation of the combatant after the battle. The following battles have such annoying sequences:

    1. Naruto, Sasuke & Kakashi vs. Zabusa & Haku (Lengthy backstory on Haku)
    2. Naruto, Sasuke & Sakura vs. Sound Nin in the forbidden forest, chuunin exam (backstories on 2 sound nins)
    3. Gaara vs. Rock Lee in auditorium (lengthy backstory on Rock Lee before, during and after the fight)
    4. Shikamaru vs. Temari (Backstory on Shikamaru)
    5. Sarutobi vs. Orochimaru (lengthy backstory on both fighters in earlier days of Konoha)
    6. Tsunade vs. Orochimaru (lengthy backstory on on Tsunade on how she lost two close malefactors)

    There are many many more, but there's no point in listing them out here. Thing is, once you've survived the Haku vs. Kakashi & cru backstories, you're set for the rest of Naruto.

    It would have been in better taste to do a backstory before or after the battle, not during it.

  3. SpiralX Nov 03, 2004

    this anime songs not very good...
    cant give so high mark...
    story not bad....his art also normal only.

  4. Xenjin Nov 06, 2004

    With regards to the music, it's really a matter of personal taste. I've met only very few people who don't like the soundtrack - but VERY few. If one likes J-pop or J-rock at all, it's bound to appeal to them.

  5. Icarus Nov 08, 2004

    Very good anime (the story is sometimes too long), charater design and animation are not bad.I think the music is for something in the success of this anime (Toshiro Masuda: Naruto, Jubei Chan...)

  6. Sugasuga Nov 19, 2004

    Naruto is, in my opinion, the best animanga. it has a great story and awesome music. it has the coolest characters. i see absolutely nothing wrong with this show, it is number 1!

  7. puu2003 Nov 30, 2004

    I like this series, but it's far from being the best anime I've ever seen. It's got its ups and downs. And lately it seems like it has more downs than ups, especially the latest "special" (ep 110-111). It was a real disappointment for me, too much talk and not enough action.

  8. MasterRan Dec 08, 2004

    My favorite Naruto song is Harumonia.
    Alas, almost everyone thinks this song sux...

  9. Drakonshie Dec 24, 2004

    Naruto seems overhyped.

    Some of the characters are cliche. The storylines drag out -too- long sometimes and the 'flashbacks' are way overdone. It is really annoying when they do an unecessary flashback of something that 's already happened in the episode.

    Animation is definately not top notch. The animation is very inconsistant. For instance, if you have been watching the recent episodes, some eyes (as in size and style of eye design) are very different from the earlier episodes (and the forehead metal is smaller) etc. Also, it has these 'unecessary fillers' that really don't advance the plot .

    Naruto does have some interesting intros and outro music/animation. I'm not really into some of the music. Though I give it dibs on the variety. The voice acting is good. I happen to like the some of the character clothing and setting design. I think that the advanced bloodlines is creative, and Naruto does seem to have a new twist to the ninja genre. The humor is amusing as well.

    I would have rated the storyline lower than a 10, and I probably would have given Naruto an overall rating of an 8. These are just my opinions. I commend you for writing this review. I like how you backed up your ideas with explanations. It is well thought out. I disagree with some ideas, though I also agree on others (which I may have reiterated here).

    Note: wow i feel like a complete hypocrite and contradictory towards myself because my gallery has -hoards- of naruto stuff.

  10. SpookyFish Feb 04, 2005

    I love this review of Naruto. It's very pleasing to see the PROs and CONs listed. Best of all, the points are very valid. I absolutely love the music too. Sometimes I just find myself watching the intro/ending themes over and over again. lol

    The main thing that hooked me into Naruto is how we learn about various characters' backgrounds. It isn't vital, but it definately helps develop the character and their personality more.

  11. jingson Apr 20, 2005

    naruto is my fav anime ever!!!! the only thing i don't like that much has to be the flash backs but if you watch dragon ball Z they talk for hours before punchin each other. .. then talk for another hour. .. lolol
    The OST is top class!!! the instrumentals are so well done!! (saddness & sarrow)
    i think if the story didn't drag-long you wouldn't feel love for the characters

    10/10 from me :D

  12. moonaki May 01, 2005

    I've been watching naruto lately. I've watched all the way where Tsundae wants or not want to be the hokage. I think naruto is funny and interesting to keep watch of to know what will happen next. What you did is very impressive to me because i don't do that stuff like you so i thought of it that way. Bye!...

  13. shinigami2 May 21, 2005

    I still wish they had less flashbacks. A little here & there is one thing but if one episiode is nothing but flashbacks thats way to much. its still the coolest show I've ever seen.(it does help much that I'm a ninja fanatic) ^_^'

  14. ryo88 Jun 28, 2005

    though the fights aren't as good as dbz(shikamaru as well as other ninja barely fight using hand to hand combat or weaponry,but rather ninjustu,or ninja arts,speaking of which can be very odd at times like choji's art of expansion).though, some fights are much better than others mainly from primary characters like naruto,sasuke,kakashi,tsunade,etc. also some fights end way to quickly (like kakashi vs kabuto), or without a lot of serious physical combat unlike cowboy bebop, or dragonball .the art is crisp and realistic,plus the story has interesting plot twists. naruto seems to have the reoccuring theme of being alone (haku,sasuke,gaara,naruto,iruka,etc.) but all in all this is a great manga/anime. nice review in some areas. :)

  15. pervertfox Jul 05, 2005

    wow.. your such a pro in telling these stuff..
    you made importance to every detail.. YOUR GOOD!!!

    the jutsus are one of the special touch in naruto having three types of attack, mainly taijutsu(physical), genjutsu(illusions), and the most typical ninjutsu(ninja tech) so basically its balance to me that most ninja shown is using techniques more than physical combat... ^_^

    example would be neji uses byakugan but most of his attack physical attack with a blend of chakra... gai, lee and tenten are some too...

  16. MARKAS91 Nov 02, 2005

    excellent review

  17. emac7 Nov 04, 2005

    This is a Great review for its detail and the amount of effort that was put into it, but I think that you might of over analysed this anime. I say that becuase I honestly beleive this anime to be atleast an (A) so you might of taken away from it somewhere a bit too much, like in the Art which I happen to like alot; I think a (D) is not fair. Thanks for your hard work.

  18. rurutia Nov 24, 2005

    I agree with you on all of those points except for the characters. In my opinion only a handful of characters have any real depth to them. Kakashi, Gaara, Itachi, and anyone in the Hyuuga Clan are all characters that i can really enjoy watchig because they have dark pasts and their emotions really come through and get to me in the show.

    What really ruins this show for me, and im sorry if this sound ignorant, is sasuke. I don't find him to be dark or deep, or special or all that he is cracked up to be and im tired of having to constantly hear about sasuke. Its never good when a show revolves entirely around one character and all of naruto is about one person, sasuke. He was unfortunate, that is true, but he is not dark or deep, he is nothing more than an arrogant ass.

    I give it a B- almost a C. In order for me to get back into this show its going to need some major improvement in terms of plot.

  19. shoimi Jan 17, 2006

    this has to be the best show on cartoon network.

  20. beryl0402 Mar 15, 2009

    cartoon network's naruto is dubbed! subbed is infinitely better!

    merged: 03-15-2009 ~ 09:27am
    i enjoyed your review.

  21. Sanisa Sep 21, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  22. nainoi Sep 27, 2009

    I love naruto.

  23. Sanisa Feb 24, 2010

    Thanks for the review! Nice ^__^

  24. back07 Sep 24, 2012

    thanks for the nice review
    :)

page 1 of 2 1 2 Next » 27 total items

Only members can post replies, please register.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more.