We are making a big change today and I am introducing to you my first anime post, don’t worry I’ll continue writing my usual content. This is a one time occasion that I simply cannot miss and this might be only anime post ever! Anime fans enjoy, non anime fans, well come back when I have another post published 🙂
Today is a big day in the world of anime because one of the top three Shonen animes has already ended. Naruto is considered a classic among the anime community, many fans have been watching this anime for years and some began recently. I personally began watching it in 2005, so it’s been such a long ride for me because this is the only anime show I continued following. Now that it has ended, I will be saying goodbye to my anime days for good. Some people say that it’s silly to do that, but in my heart I love the old-school animes. For example, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, FullMetal Alchemist, Inuyasha and the list goes on and on. The newer anime shows I’ve checked out are not to my liking, old school anime holds a special place in my heart.
So as you can tell already this will be a very different post from my usual ones, this post is mainly geared towards the Naruto fandom. You can think of this as my tribute to this anime, so let’s begin!
I’ve been an anime watcher since I was 5 years old, the first anime I ever watched was called “Hana No Ko Lun Lun” also known as Lun Lun: The Flower Angel. That’s when I fell in love with anime and its art style, to me the anime art style seemed so graceful and pretty. Since then I have watched a lot of anime, but in 2008 I stopped because I was starting university. I wanted to focus on school and eventually I started to lose interest in watching anime, except for one and that is Naruto. I began watching Naruto at the beginning of 2005, I discovered it on a Canadian channel called YTV. YTV usually showed a lot of anime shows on Friday nights, so before it was time to watch my 10pm show, InuYasha, I would watch some of the other shows. That’s when I stumbled upon Naruto and I instantly liked it, being the hopeless romantic that I am, I started watching it because I wanted to see two characters as a couple. Later on, I began liking the other aspects of the show, for example the suspense, the interesting characters that were introduced and the action. I was slowly sucked into this story and I couldn’t stop watching it, however today the series has officially come to end. For those of you who are not familiar with the plot, here is a brief summary.
Naruto was released on September 21, 1999, it’s been a long ride for this series with a growing Japanese and international audience. The story begins in the Konoha (Leaf) village when one day it is attacked by a Nine-Tailed Fox. The Konoha village had many victims, in order to stop the beast, the Fourth Hokage sealed him into his newborn son, Naruto Uzumaki. In result of this the Fourth Hokage dies, after the beast was sealed, Naruto spend most of his childhood in isolation and ridicule by the Konoha community. Many of the villagers thought of Naruto as threat because he had the Nine-Tailed fox sealed in him. That made Naruto feel very lonely and depressed, so in order to be recognized at all, he began acting like a trouble maker. Naruto is not aware that he has a beast sealed inside of him because the Third Hokage forbids anyone of mentioning this to him. In the Naruto series the world is known as the shinobi world or also known as, ninja. Naruto attends a ninja school, later everyone in the school have to join a three member teams. Naruto joins a team with Sakura, Sasuke and Kakashi sensei (their teacher). From that point on the story begins to unfold slowly and so plot twists are introduced. If I had to pick favorite moments from the entire series, they would be this:
- The Chunin Exams.
- The Final Naruto and Sasuke Battle.
- The Search For Tsunade Arc.
Naruto fans may be surprised that I left out the Pain Arc, it was great, but these were my favorite ones. From this point on in this post I will be mentioning lots of spoilers, so if you have not watched the series and you are planning to watch it, then do not read any further!
When I read the “5 weeks left till the final chapter” I was quite shocked to suddenly have a deadline. I’ve watched the show for 10 years, when you keep up with a show for that long, you end up becoming attached to the story and the characters. We all knew that Naruto will end with the final Sasuke and Naruto fight, that was a given. There was no other way to end the series, the exciting aspect of this fight was to see how much their fighting skills improved. We’ve seen that during the Kaguya battle, but it’s a whole another story when they fight each other. In my opinion, they seemed like equals in this fight, so much that they even lost their arms while attacking one another. That moment when they woke up and Sasuke began to talk and show his emotions was a moment I’ve been waiting. He is by far my favorite character from the series and there have been many times when I’ve hated him. That specific time was when he left the village, because of that I stopped watching the show for two years. I was pissed off with his selfish decision, but the day he decide to come and help out during the war, felt great and I started following the series again. Back to the final fight though, I was thrilled to see him finally smile and talk about his feelings. He was living in the darkness for so long and now he is free, thanks to Naruto who never gave up on him.
The final two chapters of the series were icing on the cake for me, since the beginning of Naruto I was imagining the perfect ending to the series. Masashi Kishimoto delivered the ending I’ve always wanted, Sasuke and Sakura are finally together, the shinobi world is peaceful and Naruto is the Seventh Hokage. That’s precisely what I wanted, I’ve got to admit I almost gave up on Sasuke and Sakura being together, but part of me continued to hold on to the idea that it will happen. Another thing I was waiting for in this manga ever since Sasuke left the village was his apology to Sakura and he finally apologized. I’ve got to say this is the best character development I’ve seen in any animated series that I’ve watched. He took responsibility for his actions and words, Sakura was happy and Naruto was happy for both of them. I was also pleasantly surprised when Sasuke did the forehead tap on Sakura, that was emotional because this was what Itachi used to do and now he will too. There were things in the final chapter that did not surprise me, for example Kakashi becoming the Sixth Hokage and Sasuke leaving the village (this time not because of bad reasons). Sasuke leaving the village was to be expected, I imagine he would somehow try to make up for his wrong doings from the past. The question is how, I guess the final Naruto movie will answer our questions. Chapter 699 ended beautifully with Sasuke receiving his Konoha Leaf head protector, that was amazing and nostalgic. Sasuke’s monologue throughout the chapter was so moving, I am proud of this character.
Now moving on to chapter 700, we follow the story years later when the characters are adults with children. Apparently, Naruto and Hinata got together and had two children, same thing with Sasuke and Sakura. Wow, well that was so unexpected, first of all when did Naruto start loving Hinata? We all know he was crazy about Sakura, now that’s what I call a crazy plot twist. Naruto’s son is just like his father when his younger a little trouble maker trying to be noticed by his dad. Sasuke’s daughter reminds me of him a lot, but also of Sakura as well. She is portrayed as a little genius, Shikamaru’s son is an exact replica of him when he was younger. This entire chapter got me excited for the new generation and how it will surpass the old one. If you want to know more about that then you are in luck because a Part III mini series will be released in Spring 2015. So I guess Naruto’s story is not quite over, now the children will continue the rest of the story.
So with that it is time to say farewell to an anime show that made smile, cry, gave me comfort when I was going through hard times in my life. As cheesy as this might sound, Naruto holds a special place in my heart and I’ll miss it. However, all good things come to an end and it is time for this chapter to be closed. A lot of people ridicule anime and call it childish but I have to disagree with that statement. This show has a lot of tragedy and drama, but it also tries to teach its audience some powerful lessons:
- Believe in yourself.
- Chase your dreams no matter what people tell you.
- Work hard to achieve anything in life.
- Don’t give up and keep trying no matter how hard things become.
- True friends will always be there for you.
- Learn from the past and make a better future.
If Masashi Kishimoto finds this post and reads it, thank you for writing a story that was so captivating and powerful. Thank you for the amazing 10 years!
Now I will leave you with my favorite Naruto songs! Enjoy and I also want to add, wow this was my first anime post. Wooo 🙂
…and finally, one of my favorite openings!
See you soon with a photography post 🙂 Stay tuned.