PDA

View Full Version : Shounen Naruto



juUnior
January 04, 2008, 01:15 PM
Ok, so I will give it a shot with Naruto ^^ I'm inspired by Mooncrow review of OP in his fanboy way, so I will do the same with my all-the-time favourite Naruto <bear in mind, that anyone can write review with his/her own review - the more-the better for newbies xD>


Title: Naruto
Genres: Shonen, Action, Adventure, Comedy/Drama, Fantasy
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Artist: Masashi Kishimoto and his team: Kazuhiro Takuhashi, Osamu Kazisa, Mikio Ikemoto, Takemi Kawahara.
Publication: Weekly Shonen Jump
Start Date: November 1999
End Date: On-going
Number of chapters at review: 491
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 491

General Overview: Uzumaki Naruto, a young boy who lives in the ninja village Konoha, wants to become one day a great, respectful Hokage. The plot starts from his early age at the academy, and move onwards as he becomes stronger and stronger, meets new friends and foes and try to change the world in his own ninja way.

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 8,5
The characters designs are detailed, because Kishimoto favors rather realistic style of art. The background is pure and simple, but bigger panels can have it amazingly detailed. Overall, series started with detailed art, and begun slowly to change to simple one, yet beatiful.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 8
Series is well written, and has its moments of glory, when people will scream from happiness; there are also sad moments, when there's probability to shred a tear or two; but one thing for sure - there is little of moments, when someone will say: it's a crap. Kishimoto is unexpected, even though he gives some mithodology/art/martial arts hints from other sources. The fights are unpredictable, besides the few one, which occure rather later on in the series.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 10
This is probably the ultimate moment of glory. Characters are well-written, ba!, they are superb written. Each character has his/her own history, background and special skills. A few characters made just to show off as the plain foes have no specific history, but you know from the first glance, if you like it or not. That's probably the one of the best things in 'Naruto' manga.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes: 7
Shonen title, so: 'friendship', 'working hard for your dreams', 'genius and hard-work', 'protect what's important to you', 'power and responsibility' xD and much more. All are well written, and divided in such a way, that it's not a nuisance, but a pleasure from within.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 10
I read many shonen title's, and 'Naruto' just seems to me the perfect shonen created up till now. I'm probably exageratting, but it's rather non-objective review. I think everything, from the beginning until now, is somewhat unique, and cool. Even if I read somewhat myths or other things, which seem quite correspond to Naruto, it's always done in the way by Kishimoto-sensei, that it shocks me - in positive way.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 10
It's a piece of art in shonen genre mangas. It's masterpiece. It's a title, which every single person should read, if it's hobby is manga, exclusively 'shonen' one. I will just say one more thing: just read it and see for yourself. If, for some reason, you didn't like it, just stop and write your own review <based on chapters you read>

<I tried, i tried to be objective :x>. That's right, I'm completely fan/maniac of 'Naruto' <3 <if I would nto attempt to force myself, everywhere would be 10/10 :p>


Want more discussion on Naruto? Go here:
Naruto Discussion Boards (http://mangahelpers.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=25)


http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample09.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample10.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample11.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k125/luckas04/Manga%20reviews%20images%20samples/Sample12.jpg

Mooncrow
January 04, 2008, 02:38 PM
Thanks for your work =)

And I guess Naruto deserves at least one fanboy review^^ though I would encourage more objectivity from future reviewers:D

I'm a little surprised at your theme score though; actually theme is one category I rate Naruto quite highly in. Kishimoto's exploration of "causality" is very well done through the various characters and situations.

All in all, if you weren't objective, at least you made your biases clear, and that's all I really ask, so thank you again for participating!

secretAZNman19
January 05, 2008, 04:39 PM
i would think that the characters would deserve a lower rating because i personally don't like the main. right now, i feel like reading naruto because im interested in the less important characters, shikamaru is my favorite.

Obxist
January 06, 2008, 10:31 AM
for me its also way to high...

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art : 6
its art so i am thinking about how hard or detail an art could be and naruto doesnt have much detail.. its simple and plain... but the mangaka draw the emotion pretty nice :D
so i could give it 6 out of 10


http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot : 6
yeah... Naruto got many anti climax... so sometimes its boring to read it...

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters : 8.5
Characthers is well developed... they got many characters and most of them got their own story..

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes : 6
well shonen like :D not much new theme in naruto

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality : 7
Okay ninja story is common... but i love the idea of how they describe ninja level, the test and others... so i gave it 7

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall : 8
you should read it.. its nice and good ... but i am not saying its a must...

freaky2
January 07, 2008, 02:54 PM
I can agree with Obxist's review more than the first one :P
Naruto starts really well, and it's original, but I think Kishimoto fails a bit in his long-term planning, sorry to say it.
Even so, I keep reading it, so it's by no means crappy^^

Leo Seta
January 07, 2008, 04:57 PM
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 6
What started out as a rather fun sketchy style has developed into something rather more boring and lacking in detail. The inking is very singular and lacks any depth. The art does its job of course but it is certainly not one of Naruto's strong points.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 7
Like the art, Naruto's plot began strong but has seemed to fail in the long run. Part 1 had a flow of strong arcs and interesting character development with some nice twists. Part 2 unfortunately has so far been much weaker than the first, lacking much character development, awkward twists and a general failing to carry the themes that had initially made it so strong.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 8
Whilst the cast has now become too large for all of them to get much attention, the characters that have been developed are strong, believable and likable.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes: 8.5
Naruto contains your staple Shonen theme's "friendship", "teamwork", "good overcomes evil" etc etc. It does however, have a few other themes that does make it stand out. In particular that of loneliness and acceptance. Best shown in the development of Naruto, Gaara and Sasuke and the relationships that the latter two have with the main character, this is partially what made Part 1 of Naruto a fan favorite.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 6
Pretty much your usual Shonen set up and execution... just with ninjas.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 7
Part 1 of Naruto was a very strong Shonen series that bred it an ARMY of fanboys, thus making Part 2 so incredibly popular despite it's weakness in comparison with other mangas of the moment. The series is still definitely worth a read and may well save itself before the end... but at the moment it's not really worth the credit it's given by the masses.

weixiaobao
January 07, 2008, 07:49 PM
I think theme and originality should switch.. since theme isn't suppose to confuse with originality .. if it is a good theme, and well written then theme should be 10 but if the theme is a bit overused then originality should go down...

anyway.. good review..

juUnior
January 08, 2008, 11:43 AM
People :p Maybe when Your adressing the first post revies of mine, you can also read Obxist and Leo Seta short reviews ^^ Don't just criticise that or that <I don't mind that at all> but if so, you can also write short points of category, give Your own note and vuala - we can create topics with reviews, not just comments. People searching for new series will read not one, but more reviews and will have they own opinion if to read, or not ^^ <actually information thingy should be in the first post, but later on I think we can ommit that and just go to Category Ratings :D <I'm not saying this, because you comment, but it's nice to see other points in category like in Obxist or Leo commentaries ^^>
btw. If you wish to comment, do it, but right now we have 3 reviews done by 3 people, so don't forget that :p

Dark-Kaomi
January 08, 2008, 06:19 PM
I've always enjoyed Naruto for it's originality and characters. The plot's a bit overdone but there isn't much to work with in a fighting series. I think Kishimoto did very well in that respect. Recently, though, his plots have felt off, almost forced. Kind of like he's run out of ideas. Something that I respect him for though is his ability to kill of characters, even well loved ones. Very few authors can do that and still have a strong fan base. Overall, I think this is a great series for anyone who likes fights, friends, and of course, ninjas.

Mooncrow
January 09, 2008, 02:13 AM
I have to agree with you there; no one does a death scene like Kishimoto. Definitely one of his strong points.

Amatersu
January 11, 2008, 12:32 AM
I think the first arc was the best one. That's what hooked me onto the series. To say why would constitute spoilers it, but the fights in it differ greatly from the later ones which is what appealed to me.

Inkovic
January 12, 2008, 12:15 PM
I love Naruto, I do. But I wouldn't give it a 10. an 8 at the most mainly with some plot issues as well as the nindo theme done to death during Part I.

kingsenol
January 27, 2008, 04:09 PM
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 7.5
the art s pretty basic but still looks decent enough and sometimes actually pretty damn good. there are pieces of art in the manga that are worth a 9 or even higher and some low as a 6. overall kishi really delivers in the fight moments and choreography, which is what most people actually suck at. also, he uses very unusual camera points (placing of characters and the way they are viewed during the fitghts that really makes their movements come alive), maiking actions seem almost as lively as the ones in blade of the immortal (my personal favorite manga of all time).

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 8
plot is somewhat basic but the characters and the fact that its actually pretty decent for a shonen make me it a 8. there are no shonen with better storys IMO, unless you look for mangas meant for an older audience like berserk, vagabond or blade of the immortal (or non fighters like akira and monster to name a few). if i reviewed it as a non shonen it wouldn't get more than a 6.5 or 7 at the most.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 9
yes the guy before me made the right comment about the characters. never have a met a shonen with characters this great. though kishi did suffer from rare moments of stupidity (sai?), generally his characters are pretty unique and have something that sets them apart from the others. most of the good guys/girls look pretty decent design wise and im really happy that at least this manga hasn't gone all popculture like all these new mangas and animes with people wearing those cliché gay ass tight latex suits or things in those direction. (what ever happened to those glorious days of the mid 90's when designs where mostly top notch). especially most fan favorites look too damn good, characters like itachi, orochimaru, the kages, the rest of the akas, even some of the konoha punks (i mean nins) look pretty damn decent to actually good. the characters are the best in a shonen ever, rivaling those of DBZ in pure brilliance.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes: 5
its all about hard work, friendships and bonds you create with people. while its not a bad thing, the main character(s) are too damn bonded that it makes the theme a little boring and frustrating even. though, even though they are the main themes of the manga (and that hard work WILL surpass genius), which are pretty boring actually, the characters living the themes sometimes make up for it. though its time the stupid main character starts making up for his stupidity and his main theme of trying to bring sasuke back.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 10
yes a 10. in all actuality, i was really waiting for another one of those samurai/ninja mangas to come out again, and i mean quality ones like blade of the immortal and ninja scroll. what do i get? i kiddy manga with ninjas in it. then my little brothers started reading it and watching the anime actually getting hooked on it. didn't understand why. till i started watching the anime, first 10 eps where pretty boring IMO, though after the first 20 or so i was also pretty hooked. well the anime got worse and worse, becoming a piece of shit now after the fillers. the good point about it? well i started reading the manga at the same time i started to watch the anime (when it was still before its 20th eps), and damn. i got hooked. the manga has still never let me down (well some small points did harm it a little, some characters getting stupid and just dying of out of stupidity, like kakuzu and jiraiya, not seeing how jiraiya actually was able to nail one of pains bodies while they seemed unkillable, yeah, wtf). the sheer amount of characters and potential of this manga made kishi a very wealthy man, its not hard to see why. just read it and find out for yourself.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 8
i will never give another shonen manga a point of this magnitude. there are things in the manga that will keep reminding us that it is a shonen and that its actually meant for kids (though adults like myself like it too it seems), yet even though of these facts it still remains to impress me most of the time. and the characters keep me returning to see what will happen to them. kishi has made them really likable and interesting. some shonens have the art, some the story, some the characters, naruto is basically the shonen that has all of it, and then some. best shonen ever created, period.

hope y'all liked it.

LoktarOgar
January 27, 2008, 11:29 PM
Now how can you write such an accurate review of BotI and then claim stuff like "best shonen ever created" about Naruto? >_>;

kingsenol
January 28, 2008, 12:33 AM
Now how can you write such an accurate review of BotI and then claim stuff like "best shonen ever created" about Naruto? >_>;

because it is a shonen. tell me how many shonens you know that can rival naruto? none. mention the best ones, HxH, 666, DBZ, jojo, yuyuhakusho and all that other shit? yeah, HXH was pretty good, but looking at the rest, name me a shonen that can hold its own against naruto the manga? thanx. FMA, ok if this is a shonen it can, but besides this one? and don't you dare say bleach or anything as corny as that, cause its all shonen and not of narutos quality.

p.s. i rated it as a shonen. meaning a story that was originally for kids (this rate it softer). on its own naruto is still worth a 6 overall at the very least. maybe even a 7. don't go comparing it to stuff like berserk or blade of the immortal. these mangas are in a different league, like how one wouldn't compare akira to bleach. just my 2 cents. besides i don't think you wanna make some kid cry by saying naruto isn't as good as that. -_-.

Luckas
January 28, 2008, 03:58 PM
because it is a shonen. tell me how many shonens you know that can rival naruto?
One Piece :) and Bleach until the end of Soul Society was only slightly inferior to Naruto.

Mooncrow
January 28, 2008, 04:09 PM
Honestly, there are a lot of shonen series that can rival Naruto. While in the beginning Naruto held a great deal of potential, it has mostly been squandered. It's still a good series, and I'll put it in the top 10 shonen, but it never really reached the greatness that it's early chapters hinted at =/

If you are looking for stuff to read that's similar, you can check out One Piece, HSD Kenichi, Fairy Tail, ES21, Hajime no Ippo, etc

juUnior
January 30, 2008, 11:44 AM
kingsenol great points You have in Your review. While I was reading it, it came out to me, that you actually was writing all the thing, which I would write myself, if I would try to be ..hmm.. more objective <3
I really liked how You mentioned in Art thingy the way Kishi draws some things better and some worse ^^" How You actually said, that you give points for Plot in shonen category <yeah, shonen xD I don't like comparing not compatible genre style, just like you> How You gave characters 9 and said how they are well written <and in good proportion actually xD> About mentioned Sai - maybe it's a waste of time, but I think on the longer thing, he actually is also unique from all the characters, and people can start talking how they like it or not <and just the way Naruto is better than anything else in shonen category if it means for characters: there are likeable characters, non-likeable, those who you hate of detest, those who you love, and so on xD> And originality.. hmm looking on 10 seemed to me non realistic, when I read the parts before, but actually I must say, that people can only give in originality 10, if They know anything about myth stuff from Japan, China, real fighting styles, and know, how Kishi handles it.
I think it's fair to say 8 for overall in shonen category, is someone is objective.
Good review!

Shinichiro
January 30, 2008, 04:53 PM
Before we get onto the whole review business, let me first say that this is a nifty new forum section; although I have been using the site for over a year, this new development inspired me to finally register. Now, onto Naruto.

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 8.5 (Sufficient)
While Naruto's art doesn't leap off the page in epic glory, it's definitely sufficient for conveying pretty much everything that occurs, and its style fits the manga well. Although I've rated this a 8.5, I'm going to declare the artwork "perfectly fine". I'm not really sure how it could be improved on, but it's not eye-bogglingly splendiferous...and it doesn't have to be.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 6
Naruto started with a nifty interpretation of a rather old plot. There's your classic outcast boy with some special, hidden power that isolates him from just about everyone; in this particular work, Kishimoto chose ninja as his theme, and it worked surprisingly well. He managed to deliver interesting (if not particularly brilliant or original) storylines that showcased his characters and their development. True, it wasn't a masterpiece and it didn't feature a deep, intricate storyline, but it really didn't have to. It was the growth of the characters, both as people and ninja, that was so interesting. Every time a member of team 7 unlocked a particularly power, we were all right there, absolutely thrilled. However, as manga are particularly wont to do, the writer couldn't pace himself and ran out of room, both in terms of plot and character growth. Soon enough, these powers stopped becoming cool and became overrated, gimmicky, cheap tricks. That's right, the show developed a DBZ complex with characters getting regular obscene power boosts in a manner that made it all seem ridiculous and left us feeling robbed and let down. Any characters who didn't have their own little super-saiyan mode are left behind as useless baggage, a blatant mockery to the crucial, jaw-droppingly awesome roles they once fulfilled.

Naruto isn't a bad manga; rather, its characters outgrew themselves too fast, leaving them nowhere left to go. There are very few manga that can thrive after its protagonists turn into big-shot-powerhouses, especially when they're big-shot-powerhouses-of-cheapness, and this is not one of them. And with the characters dragging, so too does the storyline, leaving us with a slow-as-molasses plot with disappointing progressions. Right now, the manga is still coasting off of all the momentum it accumulated in its glory days, but it can't continue as such for long before it simply becomes tiresome and runs the glory-bank dry.


http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 5
Naruto is filled with the best, most likable one-dimensional characters I have ever seen. Each character seems to have been assigned a unique fighting style, a quirk, and the physical appearance to match. In the beginning, it seemed that the fascinating characters had intentionally been portrayed so as to only scratch the surface, implying there was even more to back up an already strong character. Now that we're about 400 chapters in, it seems that, in fact, there is only surface to each and every character, and they, like the plot, are getting tiresome and drawn out. At this point, now that he has introduced so many dozens of characters, each working exclusively with their own group, it seems doubtful that Kishimoto could focus on developing a few characters further, even if he wanted to. But let's face it, it's a lot easier to reveal the "omg uber uber" abilities than it is to actually work any character into his characters, and as long as people keep buying so they can see the exploits of the characters they feel loyal too, why should he change?

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes: 5
Though very simplistic, the themes present in the naruto series have been well-executed and easy to agree with... So, while the emotions the series evokes are present, Kishimoto seems to take the easy way out of virtually everything. Themes are...well done, but neither unique nor ambitious.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 2/10
I really had to divide this category up; the first ranking refers to originality in plot, characters, themes, and everything you'd expect in a manga. Even I, a longtime fan of the series, must admit that Kishimoto does absolutely nothing new. I know it may be difficult to find anything new to do, since there are so many bodies of literature and so many graphic novels out there, but even relative to what possibilities he could have taken, Kishimoto consistantly takes the easy way, and that's no fault. It just doesn't get him originality points. Characters are extremely archetypal and the plot...well it's about as classic as you can get at every turn. Kishi does rather well what everyone else has done before.

Now, for the SECOND category: this rating refers to the world which Kishimoto has created. The Naruto universe is...simply incredible. The author provides enough details for us to have a fairly solid idea of what's going on, but leaves just enough open to the imagination that it's not rigid and contrived. The idea of the hidden villages, the three major types of jutsu, the presence of bloodlines (though I differ with their execution...), the ninja ranking and training systems...everything about it is fantastically done. It is this aspect that has me hooked on the series, and it is for this that I would advise any prospective readers to pick up at least the first few volumes. I feel that this is what people refer to when they say: "Naruto had such promise, but it took a wrong turn." The initial setup, how Kishimoto has set up the board...it's all extremely well done. With a setup like that, virtually any story can succeed.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 7
A manga with high initial aspirations, this series promises but doesn't deliver; although many parts of this series are drab, dry, and rehashed, Kishimoto uses his splendid universe like a crutch to carry his story through, regardless of how many flaws drag it down. Definitely read at least first few volumes, the ones that lead us to hope, though be forewarned...you may fall in love with the world Kishimoto has set up and continue reading, even when deep inside you'll wish you'd stopped while the going was good.

abu_89
February 19, 2008, 06:21 PM
Naruto has potential... but we're stuck in a pretty bad slump right now. The story focuses too much on Sasuke now, after building up so much excitement about Naruto...

They should just rename the series Sasuke: The Uchiha Chronicles... :S

Nantalith
February 22, 2008, 07:39 AM
One of the things I enjoy about Naruto is the simplicity of the story, the way it does hint at darker things but you have to imagine them yourself. The artwork does have good moments and bad moments but I would say they hinder the manga in any way. The clans, systems and ranks are enjoyable; the humour can be silly at times. I like that some characters may not be strong but are clever (sometimes both); also that not everyone has some badass jutsu. They are good at what they do, even if they are 'weak'.

I am a bit biased as I enjoy ninja the most. So for me, all the jutsu elements are great.

Mooncrow
February 22, 2008, 06:46 PM
I've said it before, but I'll spell it out a little more this time; I really think a lot of the reviews are missing the boat here when it comes to the theme category. One of the excellent things about Naruto is that it's main theme is actually quite subtle, yet it remains central to every character and encounter in the entire series. Things like "friendship" and "protecting those important to you" are secondary themes at best. The main theme is "causality". What makes a person behave the way they do? What actions can change the course of a person's life? If you read the series with that in mind, you can see the skillful way Kishimoto weaves that theme into practically everything.

Just something to keep in mind.

OhDearMoshe
February 24, 2008, 06:43 PM
I've said it before, but I'll spell it out a little more this time; I really think a lot of the reviews are missing the boat here when it comes to the theme category. One of the excellent things about Naruto is that it's main theme is actually quite subtle, yet it remains central to every character and encounter in the entire series. Things like "friendship" and "protecting those important to you" are secondary themes at best. The main theme is "causality". What makes a person behave the way they do? What actions can change the course of a person's life? If you read the series with that in mind, you can see the skillful way Kishimoto weaves that theme into practically everything.

Just something to keep in mind.

I sort of picked up on that as well. I'm a sucker for stuff with hidden philosophy woven in which I think is why I enjoy Naruto. Naruto has quite a number of themes listing through it. Not all are boisterous like you mentioned.

Jammin
March 05, 2008, 05:52 PM
None of the current reviews really reflect my views so I'll add my own.:D

Title:Naruto
Genres:Shonen
Author:Masashi Kishimoto
Artist:Masashi Kishimoto
Publication:Shonen Jump
Start Date:November 1999
End Date:ongoing
Number of chapters at review:391
Number of chapters read by reviewer:391

General Overview: A story about the life and adventures of a loud and fiery young ninja named Uzumaki Naruto.

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art:9
Naruto is a manga in which allows you to truly watch Masashi Kishimoto evolve as an artist. In the first chapters the art is average at best but he steadily improves as the series goes on. In the more recent chapters he even incorporates some more classical art styles for things like fire almost giving you the feeling that your looking at classical Japanese art. Throughout this manga the characters are expressive and his backgrounds are as creative as they are vibrant and alive. Subtracting one point for the early artwork hurts me, but its unavoidable.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot:8
You just never can tell where the story will go next. Twists and turns litter Naruto's life. You also never get the feeling that the characters in Naruto are drifting along, there is always a goal that they are rushing toward with everything they have. If i had to pick a flaw it would be that the rules of the world seem to stretch sometimes to provide a happy ending to events.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters:10
I give Naruto a full ten here because i can't think of another cast of characters that is as fascinating as the ones in Naruto. Every character you meet, friend or enemy, is deep and compelling. Which almost becomes a problem because so many of them are so interesting that they feel like they deserve their own manga.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes:8
So many; the will to never give up, vengeance, loyalty, friendship, loneliness, betrayal, bravery, guilt, and greed to name just a few. Every character seems to have their own underlying theme and thats part of what makes them so great. This manga uses the way in which all these different characters, each representing their own theme, interact with each other as the primary theme. For example Naruto represents "Friendship and the desire to protect friends" while Sasuke represents "Revenge and the inability to heal old emotional scars". It falls short of ten because a few of the themes are a bit simplistic.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality:10
I've certainly never read anything quite like it. Kishimoto created an incredible world with its own rules and history all of which is so well done it almost feels real. It's almost comparable to Harry Potter in terms of world depth and originality. I can't score it below a 10 in this area.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall:9.5
I've read more manga than i like to admit, but Naruto is in a class all it's own. The characters are deep and the art is beautiful. Both of which come together in intricately woven story. If you are going to read one manga make it Naruto. You'll be glad you did.

wrstljr
July 02, 2008, 02:34 AM
There are a couple things I'd like to say about the Naruto reviews so I'm going to get them off my chest haha..

First and foremost!

If I was evaluating Naruto on a weekly basis I would give it a 5/10...there just isnt much going on every week and it takes a long time to get any payoff. However, Naruto is simply an amazing read when you can dive into it about 30-40 chapters at a time. It's one of the few shonen where every chapter is meticulously plotted out as part of the whole rather than a week by week cliffhanger.

For comparisons sake, Naruto and One Piece are both terrific if you have the time and can sit down and read an arc...there is almost always emotional payoff and great fight scenes. On the other hand...many other popular shonen titles will leave you feeling empty after important arcs, and wondering what the hell did I just get all excited for over the last few weeks (Bleach is the absolute champion of this).

Secondly, the series would definitely benefit from only Naruto being the protagonist. There is always a drop off in quality when the story shifts to Sasuke for long periods of time, and no character development occurs. It feels very similar to how Dragonball got worse because Toriyama stopped writing the way he wanted to and started to cater to peoples interests.

If i had to rate Naruto i'd give it a

9/10

Not One Piece, but its still very good

zelllogan
July 09, 2008, 02:51 PM
Naruto. A massive 10/10 before the time skip. A 5/10 after it. Naruto was by far the greatest shounen but the potential was simply ruined. I really don't think that early fans of naruto still enjoy it as much now. I said it many times but the magic is gone. Naruto had that little something but lost it. But it's almost always the case with shounens: at some point, imagination is gone and there we go through the "cosmic power boost" for some characters while neglecting completely early characters (even for bad guys, how kishi could treat oro like that and itachi actually a good guy ... give me a break). I'm not expecting anything anymore from that manga but I still enjoy saying bad things about it :D. It's not even funny or classy anymore (for that, we have bleach).

Kishi lost it. It was a great story about a weak boy struggling to become hokage and now we have some B-scenario about a destined boy, son of hokage struggling to have another jutsu than the rasengan ...

One piece was weaker in the beginning but now ... it should be a crime to put One piece and Naruto at the same level.

I'm harsh but I'm disappointed.

Added spoiler tags, the review section aims to be spoiler free.
[hr]
i always forget about spoilers. sorry, unintentionnal

:)

redcometfm
July 11, 2008, 03:44 AM
Lol Id actually put Naruto above One Piece.

Jammin
July 11, 2008, 09:02 AM
I really think Naruto is one of the most unfairly judged manga's out there. It's a weekly manga but it has artwork and writing of the quality typically only found only in monthly mangas. It also has an rate of production that makes those monthly mangas look pathetically slow. If Naruto was released in a monthly fashion it would be somewhere in the area of 80-90 pages! Considering the quality of the artwork, i find that just stunning.:o

One of the great things about the review template here on mangahelpers is that it makes you justify and explain your rating. I think too many people are judging Naruto not on it's merits as a manga but on plot points they personally don't like.

Granted a lot of people may think my rating was a bit high:p, but i don't. I tried to judge it as fairly and unbiased as i could on each merit and 9.5 is what i came up with(as i said in my full review on the previous forum page). If you did the same and you came up with a lower rating then that's fine. Just please try and make sure you aren't letting one judgment area, like plot, color your whole review.:)

Luckas
July 11, 2008, 12:14 PM
One of the problem when talking about Naruto I think it is the big difference between Part 1 and Part 2 and also the lenght of the manga.

zelllogan
July 11, 2008, 01:37 PM
part 1 and part 2 are not destined to the same public at all.

And I don't think you can judge this manga fairly. Everyone will have a reaction reading the manga because of the change between part 1 and part 2.

Part 2 is exactly like DBZ. I'm just hoping for the manga that we're not going to have a GT finish.

IMO, Part 2 is much more spectacular than Part 1 ... BUT to make that possible, we have cheap tricks ... and even worse, complete plot holes.

Jammin
July 11, 2008, 03:36 PM
One of the problem when talking about Naruto I think it is the big difference between Part 1 and Part 2 and also the lenght of the manga.Yeah, you're right about that. I guess what is bothering me is that for all the negative things people state about part 2, they never list the positive traits along side them which is in no way fair to the manga.:notrust

I have no problems with part 2 at all, in fact i think it has been a huge improvement overall. Art, Characters, Originality, and Plot all get a boost in my opinion. Even if Themes take a bit of a hit.:amuse


Part 2 is exactly like DBZ. I'm just hoping for the manga that we're not going to have a GT finishI would love the hear your reasoning for how you think part 2 is like DBZ but i guess it would be impossible for you to explain in detail in a spoiler free thread.:darn

He could use a very big spoiler :) and clearly explaining it will spoil half of the manga :eyeroll

zelllogan
July 11, 2008, 04:53 PM
DBZ - Naruto part 2:
- out of proportion power boost
- early characters almost completely abandonned
- Less talk , les strategy, more action (in fight)

The difference between DB & DBZ is kind of like the difference between part1 and part2.
I stop here because I could really make an awfully long list of everything I didn't like in the second part. :D

edit: I don't see any real spoiler in this post but if you want it ...

Jammin
July 11, 2008, 06:11 PM
@zelllogan
Please spoiler tag or delete the top of your post.

edit:Thanks. This thread is geared towards those who have never read the manga, so you can't be too careful. I restrict myself to comments only about very very very general traits of the manga and the reviews in these review threads. Which is why i can't discuss it here.

I would very much like to hear your views but lets shift to a non-spoiler free area. *HERE* (http://mangahelpers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28042&page=30&highlight=part+1+part+2)(warning link is to area containing spoilers) would be appropriate i think. If you want to continue this discussion that is.

redcometfm
July 20, 2008, 06:31 PM
Naruto's art seems a bit flat to me. When Kishi stopped shading like he used to, the art just wasnt as impressive. The only time the art really pops at out me is when Tobi is in the frame (because Kishi makes it so obvious through his art that he loves this character).

GGpX
July 28, 2008, 11:17 PM
Sorry, but those of you who rated Naruto's art higher than a 6 (And even then, that's high for very plain art) need to get your eyes checked. If Naruto is a an 8.5 then what is Berserk? A 17 out of 10? Get real. A manga with such little detail and with such poorly drawn fighting scenes--Fighting scenes that are extremely hard to understand--does not deserve such a high note.

Naruto could potentially get a 10 in originallity if you judged it on the first 2 volumes & a half. After that, though, it morphed into a typical power-up shounen. Pouring with originality indeed.

As for the characters, I give Sasuke a 9 and everyone else a 5. Sasuke is the only character in all of Naruto that's even remotely interesting. Everybody else is vanilla flavored in and out.

"Best shounen ever..." Heh. That's a ludicrous statement if ever I read one.

Jammin
July 29, 2008, 12:06 AM
Berserk is not a weekly manga therefor they should not be judged in the same category. Berserks art is drawn at a snails pace compared to Naruto's

Though i like Naruto's art better anyway. Berserk, though hyper detailed, also has very cluttered looking panels and doesn't often change scenery. If you've seen one dark stone castle and dark creepy forest you've seen them all.

Maxy Barnard
July 29, 2008, 09:18 AM
Then I"S, Rookies, Muhyo, Neuro, some works of Obata and many more all materialise as examples of how a weekly series (weekly jump no less) can turn around and have captivating and detailed art with a unique swing. Something that naruto arguably does not, approaching more of the plain faced unadventurous stylings as more action or story driven series.

But then that's based on my personal tastes in art direction, which tends to fluctuate as i see fit *sweats profusely*

GGpX
July 29, 2008, 11:10 AM
Berserk is not a weekly manga therefor they should not be judged in the same category. Berserks art is drawn at a snails pace compared to Naruto's

Okay, since you put it that way, Death Note & Air Gear were (AG is still on-going) both drawn in weekly magazines. They ended up looking pretty good last I checked. Again, if Naruto is an 8/10 in art, what are these? 15/10?


Though i like Naruto's art better

I stopped after you said liked Naruto's art better. The rest of your post is not worth replying to.

Jammin
July 29, 2008, 11:17 AM
Well, art can be a matter of taste. There are widely varying manga styles and everyone has their own preference.:p

I personally find that the later volumes of Naruto has just the right level of detail for the series. He draws vibrant, original, and widely varied environments. I'm also a huge fan of his tendency to adopt a more classical Japanese scroll painting look and using that to improve the look of both his environments and characters. Using all this kishimoto makes it so every time you see something new it really looks like something you've never seen before. In some cases never even imagined before.:D

As for your examples of better detail in a weekly series. I looked through some of the more recent chapters of all of them with the exception of Neuro, that one i couldn't find. I figured you can't mean "Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro", that one has low detail especaily the character's noses for some reason. I's and Rookies both had much better use of shadows than Naruto which fits in with their more realistic style, but in terms of character and environment detail i didn't see anything all that special. All had good art in their own way.:)

Edit: I suppose i only looked over a few panels of Neuro so maybe i'm not giving it as much credit as it deserves. I'll have to give it another look later.

@GGpx
Airgear has high character detail and super low background detail(some of them are even absent). I would give it a 7, which i think is pretty generous.

Deathnote is a realistic manga and very well drawn i would give it a 9-10 just like Naruto. I wouldn't rate the art as better or worse than Naruto just different.

Maxy Barnard
July 29, 2008, 01:44 PM
I do mean majin tantei nogami neuro. whilst the characters faces do tend to come off quite weakly, the details in their kinetic energy, or even at any point extravagant moments come in, or the true nature of the murderers are revealed, the sheer range of the art can be shown off to an amazing capacity. Something that Naruto can't really do. What you see all the time is generally what you get with the art. not really a bad thing, just really not that interesting

dedal_x
August 05, 2008, 12:38 PM
Somehow, with the flow of the plot, Naruto is going a downwards spiral. In particular - the "bad guys" point. Since Part 2 started, things were going like "This here is the ultimate bad guy ... no wait, he's bad, but not bad enough - that guy over there is the 'main boss' ... on the third thought he's not suffering internally enough to be boss, we need to create some other one, which noone saw coming .." and so on... I'd say some major plotholes and obviously artificial plot modifications were completely unnessesary here.

So, I'd give 3 for Plot.

Art ... well, nothing to be fazed about. It's really low detail, though it successfully manages to deceive the reader into thinking that it's actually high detail. Typical in shounen.

Art - 6.5

Characters... Somehow they are okay. Not too easy to design so many different characters, I think. 7 for those.

Themes... Revenge. Friendship. Responcibility. Not all so original, but meh, who cares? I'd give 7, but in the late chapters I felt that some themes were thrown in artificially, like pregnancy of a background character. So, 6 for themes.

nat
February 07, 2009, 06:27 PM
I guess Naruto is one of the stone marks in manga, it did manage to attract so many *addicts* (for a lack of a better word). I confess I am a Naruto fan as well, only one other manga got me so hooked up. And I have been reading manga since the days of DBZ.( and no, it wasn't the DB fanchise that got me hooked up).

Part of its magic is the characters, and whoever rated them as 5 or 6 is missing the point in the story. The attraction is mainly attributed to the interaction of the (wide array) of characters in the story and to say they are one dimensional means that the person who reviewed did in fact read some parts, and then stopped after being repulsed for some reason.

While the themes are generic but they way they have been built actually makes sense. Though Part two is becoming more of a cliche', part one started stronger on human scale emotions and psychological needs.

Naruto started something with the online community when it came out, and it was something massive.

redcometfm
February 16, 2009, 12:04 AM
I actually think part 1 was pretty awful. Brilliant first chapter, got strong emotion out of me. The rest was just okay, and worsened through Kishi's style of melodrama and driving the point home/in your face over and over and OVER again with lots of characters talking so much, repeated the same thing more than once in different phrasing. It was just annoying...at least for my age (I could see how itd pass with the younger, less cultured crowd). I bought the first part cheap online and I gave up after 5 volumes.

Luckily I watched the series. Because Part 2 (reading the manga) has been pretty good. I feel like this is Kishi showing his real self and not pandering to his fans...except for the long Sasuke segment (nowhere near as bad as Part 1 and looking back isnt as bad as it once used to be). The art is better but still missing something (the shading he used to do) and Kishi knows how to keep it going pace-wise as well as the plot twists and epicness. Hell, the characters' development seems even more justified in this segment. I prefer this mature segment of the saga. ( Ill selling my first part on ebay, for anyone interested).

weehoo107
September 10, 2009, 08:08 PM
ok, I'm gonna take a swing at it....

Title: Naruto
Genres: Shonen, Action, Adventure, Comedy/Drama, Fantasy
Publication: WSJ - Weekly Shonen Jump

Summary: Twelve years before the events at the focus of the series, the nine-tailed demon fox attacked Konohagakure. It was a powerful demon indeed; a single swing of one of its nine tails would raise tsunamis and flatten mountains. It raised chaos and slaughtered many people, until the leader of the Leaf Village - the Fourth Hokage - defeated it by sacrificing his own life to seal the demon inside a newly-born child, whose origins are as yet unknown. That child's name was Naruto Uzumaki.

Category Ratings: 1-10 scale



X

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 8
At the beginning of the series, the art takes on a very Shonen type of look, cartoonish, but still attractive in it's own way. As the Manga proceeds through part 1, you can see Kishimoto's art improve and become more detailed, also becoming less cluttered. Kishimoto is very good at making each panel neat and tidy, but detailed all at once. Kishimoto has always wanted to make his art look at realistic as possible. By Part 2, the artwork was very simple, yet elegant, unique in it's own way. If you like simple and detailed art, you'll like Naruto's style.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
My rating: 7.5
The plot of Naruto is very unique and different than all the other Shonen Manga. At first, comedy is very apparent, especially showing in Part 1, but as the series progresses the plot takes a more serious turn. As Naruto grows up, so does the story-line, and by Part 2 the plot is so thick with twists and turns you can't help but wonder how Kishimoto will end the series. At times the story seems to drag and hold out, but after a while it picks up again and something else is thrown at you out of nowhere. Fights, deaths, love, hate, revenge, destiny, it's all there.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
My rating: 8
The characters in Naruto are so many that sometimes it seems as if Kishimoto can't keep up with them. But the main characters and most of the side-characters backgrounds are so well thought out it makes you wonder how Kishimoto came up with their histories. I would have given this rating a 8.5 but there are too many characters in Naruto and Kishimoto sometime leaves one in the dust or creates a very strange personality. Not to mention some fodder characters. All in all, the characters are very well thought out and written, and you can't help falling in love with them or hating their guts.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
My rating:7.6
One of the words that you keep hearing throughout the whole Manga is the word "Brothers."
Kishimoto has many themes in his Manga: "Friendship" - "Never give up" - "Rivalry" - "Protect your friends", etc etc, but in the entire series the plot and the theme always seem to turn back to the word "brothers." One thing about kishimoto: he knows how to demonstrate the affection/rivalry between siblings. The reoccurring theme pops up in the story-line everywhere.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
My rating: 7.8
Naruto is greatly influenced by DBZ (Dragon Ball Z) and while I've never read that manga myself, I can tell that some things Kishimoto put into Naruto were clearly influenced by that particular series. Naruto's Jump-suit for example.
But other then that, Naruto's story is very original and intriguing and (though at times it may lag) all in all is a very good read.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
My rating: 9.5
All in all, Naruto is a Shonen masterpiece, a one of a kind Manga. The story will always be remembered in Shonen history, whether people like it or not, because of it's popularity and the plot itself. I'm not saying that this is a must-read - everyone has their own opinions on every aspect - but it certainly is worth picking up and I would recommend it to anyone.

Start here!!! (http://www.onemanga.com/naruto/)

X


:)

nawni
September 29, 2009, 12:56 AM
For me naruto is a 10 even if they all die and little bunny rabbits with narutoverse characteristics infest the planet and sniff ass and eat grass ....period its definately an opinion issue issue and I won't say that the ink is the greatest ever nor the plot or other aspect I just feel for me and my likes this is the perfect manga.....as well as vinland saga I give props to all who love a manga and can admit it I don't like one piece but I'll never talk it down sorry for the speech GREAT REVIEW sparked a lot of conversation and reply good work

Raido-Senpai
February 08, 2010, 09:58 PM
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 9,5
Very detailed characters, backgrounds are often detailed too, a lot of stunning panels which I just like to look at for several seconds...
In my opinion the series got better and better when it comes to art.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 9
The Story is deep, it's not only about Naruto becoming Hokage or Sasuke's revenge, it's about the curse of the Uchiha and Naruto trying to stop the circuit of revenge, it's about the sage of the six paths, etc...

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 10
The best thing about the characters in Naruto is that they act realistic, not many characters are way over the top. And the main character is likable, he won a lot of fights only with his willpower and trains very hard but is not some godly, impossible to beat character, he even faints when things are getting too much...
And it also has my 2 favorite characters of all Manga, Shikamaru and Kakashi.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes: 7
Well, I don't think much about the themes of a manga, but the themes in Naruto are all very well written.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 10
No Manga ever created such a believable world in my opinion, with all the rules like chakra system or chakra nature transformations, or the long history of the world, the relationships between the different people and clans, etc...

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 10
My favorite Shonen Manga along with Death Note (which is better but too short) and Fullmetal Alchemist. In my opinion no Manga has better fights then Naruto and no Manga is that good for so many chapters...

benelori
April 16, 2010, 09:25 AM
Title: Naruto
Genres: Shonen, Action, Adventure, Comedy/Drama, Fantasy
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Artist: Masashi Kishimoto
Publication: Weekly Shonen Jump
Start Date: November 1999
End Date: On-going
Number of chapters at review: 491
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 491
General Overview:
The Hidden Leaf Village is under attack by a very powerful demon:The Nine-Tailed Fox. The village leader, the Fourth Hokage sacrifices himself and manages to seal the demon into a new born infant:Uzumaki Naruto.
The manga follows the adventures of Uzumaki Naruto in his quest in becoming Hokage, but many difficulties lie along the road, so becoming Hokage is more complicated than he ever thought.

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art:8/10

The art is one of the strong points of this manga.
The most interesting thing is the evolution of the art, since the first chapters. While in the beginning the art can be considered average, in terms of realistic panels, Kishimoto developed his style, transforming his manga in one of the best mangas from art point of view.
Of course one's taste of art is subjective, but it cannot be denied that Kishimoto tends to draw in a realistic fashion.
The complexity of the art is something that's changing over periods of time. While certain panoramic, doublespread panels are very detailed, we can find simple scenes as well, each making the reader to be able to sink into the shinobi world.
While the background's complexity and style changed over the years, the details regarding facial expressions are something solid. Even though we can spot style changes here, too, Kishimoto's tendency of detailing his characters is obvious, since it increases the depth of character development.
The reason why it's not a full 10, is because my subjectivity kicks in and it has to do with the style.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 8/10
The strong point of the plot is the complexity of it, which can be thanked to the detailed character developments, and the various themes that are employed in the manga.
While themes with more focus tend to shape the main story line, the underlying motives create original characters and thus secondary stories, which are incorporated in a whole in a great manner.
The variety of villains, their motives influence the plot a lot, each time setting a new direction.
The weak points of the plot are certain unexplained elements, or the lack of concentration on certain secondary plot lines, which could contribute greatly to the main story.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters:9/10

Obviously the most powerful argument to start reading the manga or keep reading it.
The characters are very well written, and at first the evolution of certain characters might be obvious, in the background complicated interactions and emotions can be noticed.
There's a huge amount of continuity and similarities between the characters in different generations. So there's a feeling in the beginning that original character traits cannot be found, when observing character pairs, such as teacher-student, or good guy-traitor, but the plot makes the characters evolve in such a way, that subtle, differences can be spotted.
The emotional world of the characters is the most impressive, hardly found in other shounen mangas. The complexity of this emotional background can be thanked to the great number of characters, each bringing a new theme, a different interpretation of classic shounen themes, thus a character's development is influenced heavily by other characters.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Theme: 7/10
The themes employed in the manga are the typical shounen themes that can be found everywhere:friendship, sacrifice, bonds, hard-working, chosen one, worlds peace, revenge.
What's impressive that these themes are interpreted in slightly different ways by the characters, presenting these themes in nuanced versions, thus increasing the number of possibilities regarding character and plot development.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 8/10

Setting aside the shounen cliches which are necessary in a work like this, the originality of this manga lies in the wonderful universe which was created, and combining the different aspects of Japanese culture(shinobi-samurai ideology, combined with mythological elements).


http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 9/10
I thought about how to rate the manga overall, and I was pending in giving a standard average of all the marks, or weighted average.
And I decided on weighted average, since every category's mark has a slight subjective shade. For me the most important things are the plot and the characters, though the other categories cannot be neglected, either.

Shinichiro
April 19, 2010, 04:45 PM
Hmmmm, a lot of these reviews are very interesting. What many of you praise as Naruto's greatest strengths...I find to be its worst weaknesses. So let's do an informalish review--really more a response to the reviews here. First things first, I grade kind of harshly and can't fathom giving even my favorite series 10s. After all, these people are professionals. They make their LIVING off of this stuff. There's no point in being nice or giving something an 8/10 for being pretty good or average. If they've reached the publication level, an 8/10 means something is absolutely fantastic. A 10 means it's groundbreaking and a 5 is average, banal, mundane, for me at least. When reviewing, it's best to tap our literary snob side.

Everyone knows this story, I've read all the chapters, and we really need no summary, so let's get started.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art:9/10

I'd have to agree with most of what's been said here. Naruto's art is EXTREMELY detailed and very clean, exactly what you'd expect of a highly successful mainstream manga. Personally, I think the art is a bit "too good", in its own way. It feels...very...soul-less. Mechanical. Precise, but lacking distinctive style. Like it could have been done by a computer. While this certainly does the job well enough, it feels very empty. A top class artist, one who gets a 10, inserts his or her own style while still making the action easy to follow and detailed. So overall, this art is extremely good, but lacking a certain something to push it towards the one-of-a-kind masterpiece or perfection level.

One thing I really DO like about Naruto is that the characters are very uniquely drawn. This is a huge part of art that's often overlooked. While reading some series like Air Gear or Claymore (especially when it's a weekly series that I'm caught up on and haven't read in the last few days), I have to stop and think about exactly who I'm looking at. Pretty much never have that problem with Naruto.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 3/10

Chock-full of deus ex machina, tedious plot turns, and extreme plot derailment. Kishimoto is a good artist with a great creative mind. He is NOT a writer. A good author does need increasingly ridiculous plot turns and shark jumps to keep the audience engaged. These are gimmicks. And Naruto is EXTREMELY reliant on its gimmicks.

I sometimes suspect that Kishimoto had a vague inkling how his story would turn out, but didn't think his story would get so big and successful and perhaps...didn't bother fleshing out the details until far later. This lack of planning definitely hurts the story and sometimes leaves the audience wonder why on EARTH he's making some of his storyline decisions, which just seem silly and wasteful from a storyline perspective.

A major example of this tendency: the elemental system. It happens what, around Chapter 300? Kishimoto out of nowhere decides to introduce a pokemon-style rock-paper-scissors system of elements. Out of NOWHERE. It becomes a major aspect of the manga and the focus of all the combat. And after a few dozen chapters it's completely dropped again, to fade away like it'd never been there. This is extremely indicative of how Kishimoto plans and lays out his manga. It's very half-hazard and poorly done. A lot of people praise Naruto's story, but I can't imagine that's really an objective analysis. It can be easy to get wrapped up in something and then love every aspect of it. It's much harder to acknowledge the major flaws in something you like.

Oh yeah, and pacing is kind of an issue at times. Not a constant huge problem dragging the series in the dirt, like with Bleach, but definitely a factor.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters:5/10

Naruto has the best cast of two-dimensional characters I've ever seen. Every significant character has been assigned an appearance, an exaggerated personality quirk, and a fighting theme. The bigger ones get semi-tragic/moving pasts. And then, nothing really happens. Nobody REALLY changes. They're all just oversimplified caricatures and cliches. It should be noted that the score does not mean the characters are poorly conceived or not entertaining. More that they're a lot of wasted potential. LOTS of points for the initial setup, but terrible terrible follow up. Thus the 5/10.

Also, Kishimoto allowed the cast to grow far too large earlier, though he seems to be dealing with that much better of late. Still, though, that spread him very thin with character development and also slowed down the plot.

Another unfortunate tendency I find in Shonen, which are often guy-centric and written by, well...men, is that the women have pretty much no independent character. Their driving motivations, personality, decisions, etc...are all in relation to the men they're enamored of. Or the female character's defining traits and characteristics have to do with her being female. Far less diversity than with the men. Naruto, while it has some exceptions and is better than some, definitely follows this trend. Take Sakura, Ino, or Hinata, for example. Their entire purpose in the story is to be irrationally in love with some dude and that dictates all of their subsequent actions. Hell, Tsunade has her moments. It's really pathetic.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Theme: 5/10

If I had to find a positive theme in this manga, I'd choose something like struggling against fate. A lot of characters have had their lives manipulated or are wrestling with vast forces out of their control at the social, political, economic, and magical levels. Perhaps this is one reason the series has such an emphasis on individuals, perhaps to the detriment of plot development.

When people consider a manga's themes, they usually say things like friendship, strength of will, or hope. That sort of stuff. And this manga certainly has that stuff. BUT, and this is a huge but...

Why on EARTH does everyone always leave out the bad themes? Things like this:

You can't really make a difference unless you're a genius. Without some ultra-great super-special genes, you'll never succeed at life and the world is shaped by an oligarchy of these people, collections of ultra-special people that matter. This is a message in virtually all shonen and it's stronger in Naruto than in almost any I've read in a pretty bad way.

Another bad theme, though this one is a bit more minor: obsession. Sakura with Sasuke, Hinata with Naruto, Naruto with Sasuke, all these fixations...people determine their life's path from strange arbitrary fixations. It's really unhealthy. And this manga frames these preoccupations as admirable.

Oh yeah, and then there's the whole gender role thing. Which is pretty bad.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 10/10 (UNIVERSE) and 2/10 (what he's done with the universe)

Now, this is the REALLY interesting category for this series. Naruto is clearly the work of a very imaginative artist. He just isn't a terribly great author.

Kishimoto has managed to set up this AMAZING world. All the jutsu styles, techniques, ways to rise up, the clan structures, buildings, political relations between the major countries, economies, etc... It's all just marvelous! Forget the story, I'd be content to just read about this masterful universe for 500ish chapters.

And here's the bad part. The story WITHIN this wonderful, artistic universe is just...well, it doesn't stand up. Best world ever, most tired, tried, cliche, dull story ever. The two combine to make a decent manga. So top marks for originality of the universe, no marks for originality in what he's done with this universe.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 6.5/10

Kishimoto is a good artist relying entirely on his creative vision and coasting off of the success of the universe he's created. What he's DONE within his universe is very very flawed. I'd love to see what a real author could do with the setup he has. And hell, I'd love to see some more works set in the naruto universe, perhaps from the perspective of an average genin trying to rise through the ranks, not somebody with ridiculous inflated superpowers who learns so fast that he skips over the interesting stuff and breaks the power structure of his universe.

Overall, I'd say this manga really illustrates the differences between comic books and graphic novels. Naruto is, without a doubt, a comic book. Plot and character development, etc...they're not really priorities in the same way. Instead, the series goes for cheap gratification time and time again. And for some people, that's just great. I'm more of a graphic novel man myself--I'm engaged by material with a bit more depth and craftsmanship, even if it has less pizazz.

benelori
April 20, 2010, 08:28 AM
^^It was a very interesting read...
Of course that looking at the marks I have to disagree with some of them...:D
First of all, the art...this is just a little thing, not an actual disagreement, but Kishi changed his art style over time...in part 1 there were some original silhouttes, and the panels themselves more simplistic...but if we consider the characters, I don't particularly find them empty...after that he tended to change towards realistic drawing, which ended up in "empty" characters, but sometimes, incredibly detailed panels(e.g. panoramas)...but even so, emptiness is used when they are unable to transmit the necessary emotions or message right?Especially the sad moments, I don't find those empty
The plot...while obviously it's not the carefully constructed like One Piece, it still deserves more than 3/10 IMO. Judged as a whole or in parts, the plot is really complicated even if it revolves around 1 or 2 characters...the circumstances of their character development, are essential part of the plot, and together with the world which is presented, I think a passing grade could've been given at least.
Characters, plot and originality are key elements for the manga, and one influences the other, so if the originality scores 10/10, then that hsould at least drag the other categories up a bit, since discussing them completely separately is a mistake IMO...
I understand deus ex machinas(though it seems like an excuse of not understanding the manga most of the times when it's used, so I object it as hard as I can), but the tediousness of the plot turns are a matter of taste...I agree with a small amount of plot derailments as well, caused mostly by the great number of characters introduced at the beginning and their slow withdrawal from the plot.
Regarding the characters love is very important:

It is the foundation of the "Will of fire"...we can speak of Naruto's love towards Sakura, or Lee's towards Sakura...in the end I'm not sure of Lee, but the actions they took were in the spirit of the teaching in Konoha:protect UR loved ones.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, that all actions in this manga are a product of the relationship with the loved ones

Pardon my ranting, but some categories are really downgraded IMO

Black God
June 20, 2010, 02:45 PM
Love it or hate it if your posting about it then it must fascinate you whether your just reading to see how it ends your still fascinated. What's the point of comparing it to manga's you think are perfect if you thought it was awful. Just admit it as bad as you think the character's, story, art and creator are you like it.

hajix91
June 21, 2010, 11:56 PM
good one I think...It is like everybody loves this manga....but now, it is a bit slow i think, many flashback but then, there are so many things that people dont expect to happen came out...It still amaze me...:)

kristy
November 03, 2010, 02:18 AM
Yup! that's a great review about my favorite anime/ manga show Naruto. I m currently enjoyed latest Naruto shippuden spoiler chapter, which are just awesome. and i m sure, in present time Naruto is one highly rated anime show among all anime fans.

candratoptop
January 05, 2011, 11:34 PM
I think theme and originality should switch.. since theme isn't suppose to confuse with originality .. if it is a good theme, and well written then theme should be 10 but if the theme is a bit overused then originality should go down...

anyway.. good review..

blackjack612
March 24, 2011, 04:27 PM
http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 9
The characters are well designed and the backgrounds range from simplistic to lavishly detailed. The action is generally well executed, but the real artistic achievement is Kishimoto's cinematic sense of style. It should be noted that his art style is initially uneven; although, it steadily improves throughout the series.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 8
The writing is good in general and the dialogue is often inspired. However, the emotional beats can come across as maudlin and there are minor plot holes here and there. Overall, the plot is engaging, with plenty of twists, and consisting of many shorter story arcs that build towards a larger mythology arc, which is one of the strongest part of the manga. Elements of the history of Naruto's world are gradually introduced in bits and pieces and offhanded pieces of information figure into the larger design of the story later on. The tone of the manga darts between comedy and tragedy. The fights themselves are well orchestrated and often end surprisingly.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 10
Almost all of the characters in Naruto are well designed. Each has his own ability set and backstory and grow in different ways as the series progresses. The villains are fresh and unique, most of them containing tragic pasts that explain their motivations. The main character, Naruto, starts out as an outcast prankster but reveals himself to be surprisingly serious and wise as he grows.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes: 8
Some of the themes the manga explores are typical of the genre: friendship, talent, hard work, responsibility. Where Naruto shines thematically is in its exploration of war and human nature. By having many of the characters live or grow up during violent times, Kishimoto uses his characters to represent different philosophical arguments on the various facets of war and revenge.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality: 10
Some of the characters and plot points are loose adaptations to Japanese history and mythology, but these allusions are transformed so that the result is a mythology unique to Naruto. Even the sprawling cast of characters is varied enough so that the many of the abilities displayed differ from one another.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall: 10
As a series, Naruto transcends the genre to become an exemplar of how to build up a mythology in a work of fiction. Moreover, the manga excels in creating memorable characters that are both charming and tragic.

jorped
July 02, 2011, 12:44 PM
http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/art.jpg
Art: 8
Never had any kinda of problems with the art, i always managed to understand what Kishi was trying to show us so i have nothing to point to the art. I like it and i don't think that no one can really point the art as an excuse for the lack of interest on Naruto, though it could be obviously a lot better. But for the style of the story i think it suits very well.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/plot.jpg
Plot: 9
I simply love Kishi's writing. Naruto plot's is an extremely complex one, with useful information about everything. The characters are very well explained and he gives to them a "depth" that is incredibly difficult to found in a lot of other series. The story might have plot holes, but they are nothing more than minor and don't affect the story coherency and at the same time the love that i have for it. I praise definitely Kishi for the fact that he during all time, i can't remember seeing him dragging the story. Every chapters is useful and we can find everything on them, starting on comedy and ending with drama.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/characters.jpg
Characters: 10
I give nothing less to the characters. If i could i would even give a 11 :p
Kishi IMO is a genius dealing with characters. Kishi explained to us very well each character, something that is quite difficult to found in other series, and he makes me able of completely understand their decisions. The characters don't look "plain" and that is awesome. Naruto cast is IMO one of the best ever created. There is a bunch of characters that are nothing less than epic, though there are others that are not that interesting :p

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/theme.jpg
Themes:9
I give to the theme this high rating, though most of the other shounens out there also deal with these stuff.
But what i love about Naruto is the fact that i feel the boldness of Kishi, and i feel that he is trying to take this already very "studied" themes to a completely other dimension. Most people might see this as one of Naruto greatest weakness but for me that is quite the opposite. Kishi explained everything so well, that this themes are been analysed to the fullest and it doesn't end sounding a bit cliché or weird at all.

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/originality.jpg
Originality:10
The story is completely unique, never saw anything like it, and the world that Kishi managed to create is nothing else than amazing. The different Villages, plus the different ranks of the Shinobis, the missions, the jutsus, ... are just some examples that prove my point.
And don't even make me start talking about the battles. There isn't a shounen that can compare to Naruto on this category. Naruto battles are much more than raw power but manly about strategies and intelligence. Simply beautiful :zomg

http://mangahelpers.com/images/reviews/overall.jpg
Overall:10
One of the best shounens out there, with a bunch of characters that are forever going to remain in my mind and that at the same time kinda inspire me. Naruto popularity is definitely well deserve cuz this story has everything. For me what makes Naruto really this special is the story in itself, that is nothing else than simply beautiful. It's not quite normal to see shounens creating a story with this kinda of depth and i totally thank Kishi for his work. Naruto has something that makes my heart completely astonished. Naruto is a masterpiece for me :)

benelori
July 02, 2011, 02:53 PM
^^When speaking about the arc...what do you mean that Kishi could do it obviously a lot better? I mean his art evolves throughout the years, so it's hard to pinpoint an exact style, and say that it is bad or good, or that it could be better or worse...

jorped
July 02, 2011, 03:07 PM
When i say it could be better i am being a little unfair, cuz i was thinking on the awesome art that some monthly mangas like Vinland Saga have. But those mangas are monthly and Naruto is weekly and the different between the story of these two mangas it's too big.
I was manly comparing the difference between shounen's and seinen's art, but there isn't really a comparison possible, cuz what we see in one is completely different of what is expected to see on the other.
It was a mistake of my part, but i only said that something like this, so people don't think that i am that subjective, when talking about Naruto.The art is great the way it is and i don't really have any problem with it. I love the design of which character so i don't have really anything bad to point to the manga.

benelori
July 02, 2011, 03:14 PM
When i say it could be better i am being a little unfair, cuz i was thinking on the awesome art that some monthly mangas like Vinland Saga have. But those mangas are monthly and Naruto is weekly and the different between the story of these two mangas it's too big.
I was manly comparing the difference between shounen's and seinen's art, but there isn't really a comparison possible, cuz what we see in one is completely different of what is expected to see on the other.
It was a mistake of my part, but i only said that something like this, so people don't think that i am that subjective, when talking about Naruto.The art is great the way it is and i don't really have any problem with it. I love the design of which character so i don't have really anything bad to point to the manga.

Please don't misunderstand, I wasn't implying that UR mistaken or anything...I was just curious what does better art mean? But I see you are mentioning Vinland Saga...that manga is a monthly that's true, but it started out as shounen, so...anyways I think U mean realistic and detailed panels right?

jorped
July 02, 2011, 03:19 PM
Please don't misunderstand, I wasn't implying that UR mistaken or anything...I was just curious what does better art mean? But I see you are mentioning Vinland Saga...that manga is a monthly that's true, but it started out as shounen, so...anyways I think U mean realistic and detailed panels right?

Yeah, i was thinking about those stuff that really make of the art, one great bonus to the manga in itself. I mean the art in Naruto is great, but it isn't like it is because of it that i have or don't have more motivation the read the manga. It suits well and of course there are always panels that i love but that's manly because of the story that is behind of it, not because of the fact that the art in itself is stunning.
When i read to Vinland Saga, i feel that the art makes the manga much better.