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Biggest Complaint: Naruto

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Here's the place to let the world know about something that doesn't work about this show, trope, or author. As the votes roll in, you'll be able to see if it is also a problem for other folks.

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Sasuke stealing the show.

The Uchiha clan's complete stranglehold on the plot. The main character solely concerns himself with Sasuke, an Uchiha, whose whole motivation as a character is defined solely in terms of Uchiha-related events. The Big Bad is an Uchiha. Everybody gets Sharingan eyes, which have New Powers as the Plot Demands and trump everything. The Senju, supposedly the great rival clan of the Uchiha, have but three known representatives in the present day, and two of them (Hashirama and Tobirama) are revived corpses bought back in the last arc of the series, and the other one (Tsunade) barely has any role in the story. Similarly, the Senju's signature ability, Wood Release, is only posessed by two characters, in contrast to the Sharingan.

The utter lack of characterization for almost every female character. Sakura is presented as the third most important character after Naruto and Sasuke, yet after 10 years of manga her one and only defining trait is her "love" for Sasuke - even after he tried to kill her (twice!). She has virtually no backstory (we know nothing about her family) and no other motivations for doing what she does. The same goes for Hinata who is only a step above Sakura - she exists to be a love interest for Naruto, but even then Kishimoto seems unwilling to give this subplot any closure, (such as the way her character was treated after her confession to Naruto in the Pein arc).

The offenses are across the board with characters like Kurenai, TENTEN, etc. The two closest aversions are arguably Ino and Tsunade, and even then it can be seen as disappointing at best.

Throughout the entire series, Naruto was built up to be the ultimate underdog who came from nothing and achieved his dreams because he worked hard and believed in himse— nope, just kidding. It turns out Naruto's been a CHILD OF DESTINY the whole time, and he had been prophesied to be great all along! Way to ruin the whole point of Part 1, Kishimoto.

The ending of the Pain Arc. Before the ending, the Pain Arc was seen as one of the most gripping and intense Arcs in the entirety of Naruto's history, thanks to a Complete Monster of a villian, the destruction of Konoha and, the many important character deaths. Then thanks to a single talk with Naruto, Pain immediately changes his nihilistic views that he formulated over his entire life and proceeds to invalidate the whole reason why the arc was so severe. Thanks, Kishimoto.

  • Also keep in mind that the question posed to Naruto was essentially "How will you bring about world peace?" was given an answer of "I don't know, but I'll find a way." Yeah... that's not a contrivance at all

    • No. That's just a part of his answer. The other part included, "You killed my teacher (Kakashi), you killed my master (Jiraiya), you destroyed my village. I want to take my revenge by killing you, but I have faith in my master's teachings. I will break the cycle of revenge by forgiving you." That is the real answer, and you will agree it is not an easy answer to give.

The overall writing style past the Time Skip is essentially written as if it were on the spot. Although there are some Crowning Momentof Awesome the plot lines seems to be one big contrivance. Villains and Characters are introduced without any given rhyme or reason and character motivations seem to make very little sense. Character dialog seems forced and many great and interesting characters are essentially Put on a Bus thus destroying any development or relevance that characters had previously, in favor of the Naruto and Sasuke Show.

Its focus on "uber-hyper-cool-awesome-powers of doom." I liked Naruto because of the first or second (can't remember) arc where the team goes up against Zabuza. Kakashi sees a rabbit, and realizes that it's the wrong color, so he is prepared for a fight? That was cool. Naruto's bluff to free Kakashi with a shuriken? Freakin' awesome. Bluf with an army of fake shadow clones? Nice thinking. Dirty tricks? Hurrah. Cheating exam? Hell yes! ONE-ON-ONE, straight up fights? For NINJAS?? Are you smoking something????? Gigantic toad summoning? Ok. Shadow clones using rasengan? Ugh. TOAD SAGE???? WTF????

Waaaaaaaay too many freaking flashbacks. This series is really overly reliant on them, and they often tell us things we already know. How many times can Kishimoto show Naruto as a little kid being an outcast and then being accepted, before he figures out that we got it?

It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and....

The fact that Naruto uses less and less strategy for fights and more "throw rasengans and fox-chakra at the problem until it goes away".

  • All shonen manga and anime are this way. At some point, usually about halfway through all the characters that matter have gotten so powerful that no amount of strategy means anything about the sheer power they are going to throw at you. I'm not saying this isn't a valid complaint, I'm just saying that's just how these shows work.

The fact that every villain needs some contrived backstory to make us forgive them. I mean, I'm all for villains with some depth instead of "I'm going to take over the world because I feel like it" generic bad guys, but not every villain needs to have been a nice kid before their family were murdered, or they grew up on the street, or their dog was raped by a psychopath. I wouldn't even mind it so much if it clearly wasn't just meant as a way for us to forgive them without making them go through actual character development. This is why Orochimaru remains one of my favourite villains - yeah, he had a pretty bad history, he used to be a cute little kid before eventually going bad, but we weren't expected to support him and automatically forgive him (Although I think I heard somewhere that we are now) Just because you want sympathetic villains with some depth doesn't mean they all have to secretly be good guys.

The endless fights and even more endless (redundancy alert!) fillers.

The padding is rarley done well, usually having it much to long before it gets anywhere

Part one was ruined by all the filler, and part 2 seems to completely forget these are NINJAS we're talking about. Also, Naruto's voice. It was slightly more tolerable in Part 1 because the voice sounded like the immature, rude kid he was. But it doesn't fit in Shippuden, where he has matured and is now one of the best "ninja" in the cast.

The animation can be downright atrocious. Especially in Part 2. (The four-six tailed Naruto, somewhere during the Pain fight, reused animation when Guy fought his clone, and too many more examples for me to list.)

The reveal in 599.

that epilogue

While after Pain's arc, and Itachi's death, it has jumped the sharked, the biggest offence is the war, and how insanely overpowered the villains (oh, sorry, they are just misunderstood) are now: We don't want another Aizen, we do want a threat, but stop giving them new powers, it's irritating... not helped by the pacing.

The central characters. They get too much screen time. I like Naruto and Sasuke, I like their relationship and their motivations, but really, there are also other people in this universe that I'm really fucking interested in! Where did Sakura come from? What's Kiri like? Will we ever see anyone do an actual mission? What were things like in Hashirama, Tobirama, Madara and Izumo's day? How long have the other hidden villages been about and why were they formed? Who are the Daiymo and why the fuck do they get to choose the Hokage? I want subtleties, subplots, subterfuge! Can a ninja be epic without freakin' whacked out abilities? Sometimes... the show seems a little bloody stupid!