Why Naruto should be over


After writing my article on why Haruhi should be over, I realized that I like telling people that their favorite series should take a dirt nap. I don't know why; it must have been something in those formative years.

Naruto may seem to be a strange choice because it's so mainstream; what's the point of criticizing a mass-market show meant for kids? However, I maintain that Naruto was once a good show- albeit one in the rather uninspired "I like to hit things and I want to get stronger so I can hit bigger things" genre- but it is a good show no longer. While the same thing has arguably happened to Bleach, I think in general that show has been on a more even keel, so Naruto is in much more dire need of ceasing to exist.

Freakin' Sasuke

There was going to be a joke here about my breaking this up into bullet points for the benefit of the attention-span-challenged Narutard, but to tell you the truth, anyone who is still watching Naruto at this point has far more patience than I. Frankly, anyone who has enough patience left to continue watching Naruto at this point deserves a goddamn medal.

1. We cannot handle any more Naruto characters

About once every twenty episodes, a dozen new characters are introduced. Typically, the latest group is uglier and less interesting than the one that came before it. The Konoha kids were cute (aside from Sasuke), the kids from the other villages that we met during the Chuunin exam were pretty cool, and after that it's been a steady downhill progression. Logically, if this show continues for much longer, we will eventually see character designs that are ugly to the point of being offensive to the eye. Logically, the characters will also get even more boring, but we've gone far beyond the point where I could tell the difference. 

2. All the good stuff happens off-screen anyway

Sakura went from an embarrassing little joke of a ninja to some kind of Dark Phoenix-level goddess of destruction, and when does this happen? All of her training took place during the time-skip,  a period of two years that the manga (and subsequently the anime) chose not to show us. For all that time I had to watch Sakura getting smacked around like a hackey-sak and doing nothing but bleating Sasuke and Naruto's names like a pathetic vocaloid sheep, I don't get to see one episode where she learns how to kick ass? For all those episodes in which I had to sit through Naruto learning yet another stupid technique (or even worse, further refinement of his existing techniques), I never get to see anyone else learn anything?

Instead of getting stronger, the Shippuden version of Sakura seems like a lookalike brought in from another show, a show where young ninjas are actually trained properly. We can't be happy for her that she's improved, because it's not even the same character, really. I know they look similar, but you can tell the replacement Sakura from the original because she's much uglier (see #1).

3. Kishimoto has totally run out of ideas for superpowers

Jiraiya was summoning the digestive system of a frog (not even kidding) to fight his battles even before the episode count of this show hit triple digits; we have now passed episode 350. What the hell kind of superpowers are we going to see now? More synchronized bug attacks? Tossing tropical fish like throwing stars? Summoning the gallbladder of a goat?

4. The end of Naruto would mean the end of Sasuke

I have never hated any anime character as much as I hate Sasuke, and I'm not even talking about that healthy hatred that you're supposed to harbor for villians; I mean, I hate the fact that he is on television.  I hate the fact that some poor animators have to draw his obnoxious face over and over again. I realize that his approach to dealing with adversity is supposed to be the mirror of Naruto's "I wuv everybody!" attitude, but in the process of filling that role in the story, he has become one of the most unlikable characters ever.

Yeah Sasuke, I'm sure your deceased parents would love the fact that you've been consumed by hatred for your brother, and you've dedicated your entire life to killing him.  I'm sure that's just what the family you supposedly cared so much about wanted for their little boy. Do you reckon they would take issue with the fact that you're fine with killing other people's families in the process of getting revenge on your brother? Nah, that's crazy talk.

If the show were to end with Sasuke waking up one day and soliloquizing "Oh my God, I have been the stupidest, worst person who has ever lived," and decapitating himself (and he could do it; he's quite skilled), then that would be awesome.  But since the show's probably not going to end the way it really should, just end it with something already.

5. If the characters get any more powerful, the world will be destroyed

If the characters keep leveling up at the current rate, one of these days someone is going to punch the earth off of its axis, and the whole show will become one of those post-apocalyptic dramas- with Naruto and Sakura as the new Adam and Eve, I suppose.

Crap, now I'm thinking of The End of Evangelion, and this show should be off the air just for having made me do that.

6. Naruto has already become the Kyuubi

I thought it was cool that the demon inside Naruto was such a scarce presence early in the show. Instead of giving him a demon transformation sequence to use in every episode, Kishimoto had to develop the character in less predictable ways (this is what I meant when I said "Naruto was once a good show.")  It was cool knowing that one day, the Kyuubi would be all like "enough of this shit", and all those arrogant, evil masterminds would be ground into a fine paste, preferably in mid-sentence.

Well, Naruto does have a demon transformation sequence now, and we've seen the Kyuubi so many times that no one cares anymore. There is nothing to look forward to.  None of the villains will ever get that  priceless look of shock and awe right before the Kyuubi eats their face, because they fucking EXPECT it now. I can't believe this show won't give children anything to wish for.

7. Naruto is strong enough to be the stupid Hokage already

Mostly for the reasons listed above, but partially because he has a one-track mind and isn't smart enough to do anything other than fight people anyway, it's pretty obvious Naruto can be Hokage someday, if not immediately. We're just marking time now until they put the little princess crown on his head, or whatever the hell it is that they do.

 8. Kakashi has nothing left to read

The only character who anybody really cares about on this damn show is Kakashi, who never gets to do anything interesting because we're supposed to be more interested in his neurotic asshole students.  Kakashi is so bored on this show (and who could blame him) that he's been dealing with his stultifying life by reading erotic novels, especially his favorite series Come Come Paradise. Well, the author of Come Come Paradise is no more, meaning Kakashi's spiritual sustenance is gone. Now, rather than sticking his nose in the latest CCP to give everyone the message that he doesn't care about their idiotic little lives and their idiotic little problems, Kakashi will have to stand there and listen to what the other characters on this show have to say. It is true that his character is somewhat shrouded in mystery, but I don't see what he could have possibly done in his past to make him deserve this.

In this situation, either he will commit ritual suicide (poor Kakasensei! *sniff), or he'll defect to another anime that actually features intelligent people, like Ghost in the Shell or something. Come to think of it, maybe that's where the current version of Sakura came from- everything makes so much more sense if you know that she's a cyborg. Now, that does complicate my ideas for a KakaXSaku sort of situation, but remember; everything that's actually interesting happens off-screen anyway.

So until Sasuke dies a horrible death or Kakashi gets some, and preferably both at the same time (and if expedient, those two events can be linked in any way, shape, manner or form and I'll still be totally fine with it), to me this show is over.

Kakashi reading

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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures


Filed under... #anime #Japanator Original #naruto



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