Team W8- A Liveblog from a Fan's Perspective
This was a well-written and interesting liveblog of the first chapter. I find it a bit annoying how Naruto's orange is often complained about in fanfics. He's merely the worst case of a Highly Visible Ninja in the series, and a lot of other characters' outfits are not exactly subtle, especially with some of their fighting styles (Choji's expansion techniques are all about raw power and brute force, including one that turns him into a giant). You have a good point about ninjas dressing to fit in with others; Sakura and Ino's kunoichi teacher said that they would have to pass themselves off as ordinary women on their missions. As for the "samurai-like code of honor," the ninjas are essentially mercenaries, earning money for their village. In the Hidden Star Village filler arc (one of the better ones, in my opinion), one problem that comes up later on is that Akahoshi, the Arc Villain, is also their client, so it might look bad for the village if they opposed him. The ninja do seem to have more standards than most mercenaries, but it could be considered mere professionalism. Naruto seemed to get along reasonably well with the Academy students; they didn't acknowledge his potential at first, but at worst, they seemed to only see him as someone who got on their nerves (which is understandable), rather than hating him as they would the Nine-Tailed Fox. As superficial as Sakura's understanding of him is at first (which is one reason why I think Hinata, who understood Naruto all along, is a better match for him), she doesn't hate him. And while Sasuke initially viewed Naruto with the same cold indifference as everyone else, he also objected to Sakura claiming that she knew what Naruto went through as an orphan. It was a nice touch, however, that this fic had Kurenai ask Naruto if he wanted to protect all of the village, "Including the people that glare at (him) and treat (him) like a criminal today", something that came up when he encountered Dark Naruto late in the manga, the embodiment of his resenting how the villagers went from treating him as a pariah to worshipping him as a hero (although the process was relatively gradual). Hiashi's official assessment of Hinata's inferiority was that she was "of less worth than her sister, five years her junior" and that it wasn't a problem for the clan if anything happened to her. It is unclear, however, whether he only means that, in his mind, that Hinata is weaker than Hanabi at the same age/stage in her ninja training, or that Hinata is currently weaker than a seven year old. This statement is also before Hinata Took a Level in Badass, and Hiashi later refers to Hinata as someone who, like Neji, fights to prove that destiny is not set in stone. He's not a very good or loving parent at first, but he does get better over time, and it's somewhat disappointing that his Team 8 incarnation won't follow suit. In short, good job, and I'm looking forward to more.