I freely admit that I have not read every manga or even shonen series out there, but of the ones I have seen, Naruto is far from the worst. It has many flaws *coughSASUKEcoughcough* and its quality takes a noticable decline post-skip. The early idea that hard work will always prevail is eventually discarded altogether[Sorry, Lee, I was rooting for you :(]. Many of the secondary characters really don't get the attention they deserve and many things that you think should have happened didn't work out quite the way you expected. Naruto vs Neji was an odd fight. You'd think that with his xray vision Neji could have seen the tunnel Naruto had dug there at the end. Choji. Your victory over Jirobo was badass but you ate the red pill. Why didn't you die like they said you would? Not that I'm complaining, your one of my favorites. ;) Kimimaro. So you attacked and died. That's fine, I guess. But the attack should have still gone through. It's not like you dying would completely rob the attack of its momentum. WTF, mate? Pain. You're one of the best ninjas in the world. You've spent the rest of the arc killing people left and right. You're standing literally right over the girl. You've got no reason to spare her and every reason to kill her. Why's she still alive, man? The all-powerful Akatsuki really got the short-end of the stick. Super-powerful ninjas. S rank. The best of the best of the best. Most of them are dead now, victims of plot. A few of their deaths could be accepted, as they were somewhat well done, Hidan for example, was defeated by wit and strategy. But Kakuzu really got it bad when he was defeated by a simple bait and switch move. For all that it is still a good read(or watch if you prefer the anime). Of the main character, the titular Naruto, I can only say that he is, perhaps, not the greatest character to ever come along but is still charming and likable to those who can overlook his flaws. His exchanges with his friends and rivals are often quite amusing and his dedication to them is unquestionable. The music is catchy and if nothing else, it's a great way to kill time.
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