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Second, gushing fountains of blood don't automatically mean Bleach is any better than the slightly more realistic fountains of blood scene in Naruto.
Third, if people actually read Naruto, they would find that it addresses much the same issues of politics gone awry, of hatred and all that good stuff as Bleach does. Now, of course FMA is the superior anime/manga. But just because FMA is better than both Bleach and Naruto doesn't make Bleach better.
Furthermore, comparing shoenen to seinen is often times like comparing apples to pears; they are both wonderful, but they are not the same and can be enjoyed and appreciated for different reasons.
Wouldn't work as a Seinen because Naruto was written for kids (young boys particularly). However, the story itself can be entertaining for everyone much like the style of "Yu Yu Hakusho" and "Dragon Ball".
Plus, it just works better as a weekly series versus a monthly. Bleach on the other hand is another story.
Well it's now over one year since last post. I want to see if anyone else wants to share or modify their prior opinion.
As for me, if we take world events and growing use of the internet in the 2000s, I'm quite convinced Naruto could've been amongst the best comic series--if not works of modern literature--ever. It's got a great mix of fantasy elements and real world similarities to make a lasting impact. To quote an earlier post:
More specifically to this thread: if part one stayed as is, I think part two would've been better off as a monthly seinen release.
Not only Orochimaru and Danzou, but Sasuke, Kakashi, and Itachi would have benefited immensely in a seinen setting. So would Jiraiya and Naruto, and Naruto's character likely wouldn't have regressed just to entertain the masses.
I agree with OP. I think any manga, including Naruto, would be better as a seinen, just because it wouldn't be censored in any way. I think some shounen really struggle with being considered childish because of censorship.
I think Naruto is perfectly fine as a shounen, but the series is rife with potential for darker, more complex subject matter. If it had been conceived of as a seinen series, or I don't know, if Kishimoto had changed directions and taken it to the pages of Ultra Jump or something, I imagine that would have been pretty interesting.
As others have mentioned, Naruto stays pretty much in line with Weekly Shounen Jump norms and ascribes to the WSJ motto of friendship, ambition, and achievement. He also developed the series with assistance from his editor, who no doubt influenced the content and tone of the manga; most of Kishimoto's previous attempts had been considered too complex or mature for a shounen magazine.
If you look at the tradition of ninja fiction in Japan, it's typically much darker and more brutal than Naruto. And Naruto actually started out with a lot of those themes: clan rivalry, warfare, hunters and renegades, torture, interrogation, spies, assassination, etc. Even the doujutsu and kekkei genkai can be traced back to the works of Futaro Yamada, where they had considerably darker undertones involving selective breeding, deformities, and incest.
A version of Naruto more focused on the characters like Danzou and the ANBU, Ibuki and the torture/interrogation squad, Kisame, or the Hyuga and other kekkei genkai clans, would potentially have been far more interesting and, also, much more ninja-like. Those are some of the most ninja-like characters in the series.
I'd love a seinen spinoff set during the Era of Warring Clans or maybe the 1st Great Ninja War, which would have been about when the ANBU was established. A series told from the perspective of Tobirama Senju could be incredible.
Last edited by Suzaku; October 22, 2013 at 11:25 AM.