Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, Part I, Pros 

I will elaborate on what I view as the pros and cons of Naruto, starting with the pros.

++Naruto Pros++ 

1. Themes:

I enjoy several themes presented in Naruto–

  • love versus might
  • roads of peace and roads of vengeance
  • hard work versus natural talent
  • militant shinobi villages in lands that generally aren’t populated with them
  • philosophy of death
  • underdogs and perseverance
  • philosophies of pain
  • horrors of war and politics
  • proving and questioning one’s own existence
  • generational retention
  • following the rules and sticking by your comrades
  • bonds of love and friendship

2. Excellent opening and closing themes. My favorites:

Part I:

++Opening Themes++

  • E01: “Rise” by Jeremy Sweet and Ian Nickus (eps 1-52)
  • E02: “Haruka Kanata (遥か彼方)” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation (eps 53-77)
  • E03: “GO!!!” by FLOW (eps 78-103)
  • E04: “Seishun Kyosokyoku” by Sambomaster (eps 104-128)
  • E06: “Namikaze Satellite (波風サテライト)” by Snowkel (eps 154-178)

++Ending Themes++

  • #01: “Wind” by Akeboshi (eps 1-25)
  • #05: “Ima made Nando mo (今まで何度も)” by the Mass Missile (eps 78-89)
  • #06: “Ryusei (流星)” by Tia (eps 90-103)
  • #07: “Mountain A Go Go Too (マウンテン・ア・ゴーゴー・ツー)” by Captain Stridum (eps 104-115)
  • #09: “Nakushita Kotoba (失くした言葉)” by No Regret Life (eps 129-141)
  • #11: “Soba ni Iru Kara (そばにいるから)” by Amadori (eps 154-165)
  • #13: “Yellow Moon” by Akeboshi (eps 179-191)
  • #15: “Scenario” by SABOTEN (eps 203-220)

Part II:

++Opening Themes++

  • #01: “Hero’s Come Back!!” by nobodyknows+ (eps 1-30)
  • #02: “distance” by LONG SHOT PARTY (eps 31-53)
  • #03: “BLUE BIRD” by Ikimono-Gakari (eps 54-77)
  • #05: “Hotaru no Hikari” by Ikimono-Gakari (eps 103-128)
  • #06: “Sign” by FLOW (eps 129-)
  • #07: “Toumei Datta Sekai (透明だった世界) ” by Motohira Hata (eps 154-179)

++Ending Themes++

  • #01: “Nagare Boshi ~Shooting Star~” by HOME MADE Kazoku (eps 1-18)
  • #08: “BACCHIKOI!!!” by DEV PARADE (eps 91-102)
  • #09: “Shinkokyuu” by SUPER BEAVER (eps 103-115)
  • #12: “For You” by AZU (eps 142-152)
  • #13: “Jitensha” (自転車 Bicycle) by Oreskaband (eps 153-166)
  • #14: “Utakata Hanabi” by Supercell (eps 167-179)
  • #15: “U Can Do It” by Domino (eps 180-192)

3. Music by Toshio Masuda—too beautiful and well suited to the series! The music in Part II is mostly very militant and hometowny but I like some of it.

4. Good characters. My favorites are:

  • Rock Lee
  • Gaara
  • Might Guy
  • Anko
  • Lady Chiyo
  • Tsunade
  • Tenten
  • Hinata Hyuga
  • Shino Aburame
  • Naruto Uzumaki
  • Choji Akimichi
  • Shikamaru Nara
  • Zabuza Momochi+Haku
  • Neji Hyuga (*to Rock Lee* “Forget it!”)
  • Kankuro
  • Shizune
  • Pain

5. Character Foils–Naruto has good character foils. My few of my favorites:

  • Gaara++Naruto
  • Sasuke Uchiha++Itachi Uchiha
  • Iruka++Mizuki
  • Ino++Sakura
  • Might Guy++Kakashi Hatake (the best!, lol)
  • Rock Lee++Neji Hyuga

6. Shinobi battle arts and fighting techniques

7. Sensei and student relationships. My all time favorite is Rock Lee and Might Guy, followed by Hotaru and Utakata.

8. [SPOILER?] Last but definitely, definitely not least at all, the symmetry, the drama, and the poetic beauty of many of the relationships (in accompanied by Toshio Masuda’s music). Like when Sakura cut her hair or when Naruto and Sasuke fought at the end of Part I, and when Lady Chiyo sacrificed her life to bring Gaara back and left behind the legacy (though the potential symbolism behind her dying as one of the strongest female shinobi in the series is kind of troubling).

 See Also:

Anime, A Precursor

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One thought on “Kishimoto’s Naruto [the anime], Commentary Part I, Pros

  1. I like Naruto, but once Kishi started writing Naruto as some kind of messiah/savior, I practically gave up on the series. The whole point of part one was the importance of teamwork, but part two is all about letting Naruto do all the work because he’s the savior or whatever. I only keep reading/watching for the Sasuke bits. He seems to be the only person in the show that doesn’t care if Naruto is the savior.

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