Meh... Naruto started out as a great manga. The concept was good; the theme was good; the setting was good. Even the world that was being built and the history alluded to by it was good.... at the beginning.
I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but the moment Naruto (as a story) went down the drain was when it went from "hard work can overcome talent" to "child of prophecy." Once the "child of prophecy" idea was introduced, the story was written into a corner where there's only one way out and that's to make Naruto look like some superhero/savior that was destined to be regardless and everything started to get handed to him. Then the story went on to make him more and more relevant at the expense of everyone else (jounin, kage, his own friends, the ninja system in general) with a few forced exceptions (team 7).
The story itself started to make an attempt at delving into philosophical ideas like the nature of good & evil, peace & conflict, life & death with all the drama with the Senju and Uchiha, edo tensei, and the transmigrants & zetsu's influence. Introducing a tree and a forbidden fruit as an explanation for the origin of conflicts in the Naruto world was unnecessary and an absolute failure because it didn't even mean that conflict didn't exist before the forbidden fruit was consumed anyways.
To me, it seems like the author is trying to force one philosophy onto the story... where peace is always achieved through understanding and evil doesn't exist (moral relativist outlook). But in reality this isn't the case, which is why half of everything portrayed seems inconsistent, odd, or just plain laughable.
But seriously, the story was great before it started to go down that road.
All I have to say I never been so frustrated with Naruto until Kaguya came into the picture and after that, it was fricking revelations the day came where Naruto became thrash Smfh, I held on and on throughout this war arc and Kaguya coming into it simply gave me that push off the cliff.
But Naruto after Pein's defeat was the turning point with Senju v. Uchiha and the child of prophecy crap..Idk Kishimoto had a giant diamond that he started to chisel and cut at right towards completion he just starts to Jack up the diamond...
Kishi messed up so bad, I think Bleach as bad as that has become, seems to be back on top or juss has the better jacked up stpry
I completely agree with you Anduren! The moment the "child of prophecy" shit started is when it went downhill. The pain arc shouldn't had ended with Nagato being TnJ and bringing everyone back. Danzo using ALL of his sharingan against sasuke was ridiculous because Danzo knew that fucking Madara/Obito/Tobi was sitting in plain sight watching.. the list of dumb things after the pain arc goes on and on.
---------- Post added at 12:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:28 PM ----------
1)The child of prophecy
2)Edo tensei spam
3)Ridiculous size and the entire look of the Juubi + Kaguya lol
I agree with everyone, after the pain arc it started to get a little weird to be honest. Although, I had no problem with Sasuke attacking the Summit, I thought that was okay. I don't think Danzo should have went out like that though. Danzo was a really good character, he should not have been allowed to become fodder for sasuke, that was a huge mistake. Danzo should have continued to be the Hokage, and the fact that he had that one eye that could get people to do his bidding should not have been revealed so quickly. If Danzo was used properly, there would have been no need for all this nonsense with obito. After pain fight naruto returns not a hero, but like he was in the past right after the kyubbi's attack on the village. And the reason he would be received this way is due to Dazo's eye jutsu that has hypnotized everyone. But naruto and no one else really knows this. At the summit no one knows that Danzo has this power, and he is at the head of all the Kages. He suggests, that if naruto cant be controlled he must be killed, in order to save ourselves from what can come. The village iis in reconstruction, and sasuke appears to take revenge, only to find naruto fighting his way out of the village. Team Hawk helps him, and they escape. Naruto, knows he needs to control the kyuubi in him more than ever, but he cant do this alone, he needs help, as Madara is still around. Sasuke being himself always backstabs his help, and decides to use naruto to gain his aim, since naruto is now a enemy of kohana under danzo, being that they both are on his hit list now. Of course naurto doesnt want to destroy kohana, but sasuke still does.
Honestly the child of prophesy thing could have still worked, it just needed to be managed better. Jiriaya had foreshadowed it somewhat, with all that talk about changing the ninja world, and thinkiing that everyone can understand each other, and how naurto, perhaps naruto is the student who will save the world. I think Kishi didnt know how to manage it after that point, because he didnt really have an answer to how to fix the world, he sort of took on more than he could, so he had to make a complicated story that was all over the place with little connect to the themes that carried the manga, and the back history. Hell he could have even kept Otibo in the story, if he had did something similar to what the old X-men cartoon did with Morph after he died, he even had a easy way for this to work, just black zetsu, i.e madara's will to be the consciousness moving Obiito, and while obito's consciousness was in a passive state. And link his need to use obito for his eye jutsu, make madara capable to see what sharigen powers a uchiha could form, and that he would need obito's phasing to achieve his aims. anything would have been better than obito just happening to fall into his lair LOL?? There was so much he could have DONE
As a fan of Maito Gai and Rock Lee I must say that Hachimon Tonkou - Shikai - Yagai did show that in fact hard work is amazing, it really took me back to Lee vs Gaara.
When I talk about the philosophical portrayal in this manga, this is just my personal impression of Naruto as a story. Taking into account the social and philosophical background of Kishimoto, I see him trying to influence the readers of Naruto (as an author) into thinking that fighting is bad and people should always talk things through and solve differences. Basically, the moral he's imparting to his story. That in itself is a great and noble motive. But the way he's gone about it is so.... unrealistic and impractical to the point that it makes a person question the whole basis kinda like trying to make a point and proving the opposite in the process.
For example, Raikage was one of the most pragmatic and practical characters in the story.... if a person walked up to you and got on their knees and begged you to forgive his friend for killing your brother, your reaction probably wouldn't be far from what the Raikage did to Naruto (maybe even worse). This is the reality of how people think. The way it's portrayed, Naruto's way of bringing about harmony has turned into a joke (affectionately referred to by many fans as "talk no jutsu"). Instead of dealing with this in a realistic way, the story turned the Raikage also into a joke... a person who just started believing in Naruto because... well, I guess because Tsunade and Bee said so.
Like TearsOfScarlet said, it was still possible to salvage the "child of prophecy" idea. But that was before "talk no jutsu" became an official plot device to move the story along.... which I guess was when Naruto and Nagato met in person.
I guess the pure philosophy that's driving the story right now, I don't really have much of an affinity to; mostly because I see it everywhere and know how faulty it is (which is why the story's turn of events don't seem to make much sense to a lot of people). If it was actually fleshed out in a realistic and thoughtful manner, even Kishimoto would probably realize it's inconsistencies. But it's just a manga so I'm not really invested in it.
kishimoto's writing is a good example of having a lot of "cool ideas" you want to implement while RUSHING to a finish. the real problem in this war arc stems from the fact that there is no "breather." there is so much action going on, lots of mindblown things, things we weren't really expecting, fan service, all to get to the sasuke vs naruto.
however, the fact that it's a war also prevents any breathing room and would put a sasuke vs naruto in a more awkward situation if it came much later after the war. in a sense, kishimoto did well considering he got the major points down while leading up to sasuke vs naruto.
After the storytelling of blackzetsu to naruto and sasuke that it was him who manipulated indra and then the entire shinobi world and then the uchiha clan as he pleased maybe sasuke now should have cleared answers of what began everything.he now knows that everyone from every generation have been fooled.Zetsu explained too that the most who were fooled by him were the uchiha clan since with their sharingan they could read a modified written tablet.he should have realized that people with less knowledge always can be manipulated by those with far more knowledge.Zetsu was the one who knows everything.he lured everyone to where he wanted in order to achieve his goal and he did it.he saw madara being stabbed in his back and being told the he was a simple puppet.in short terms he should have realized that zetsu was the one who increased hatred in the shinobi world and beacuse of that people tend to become more powerful with more powerful jutsus.Now him wanting to punish the kages and the bijuus for all of this is a little nonsense foolishness and still imature