The hype is gone, people are more ashamed to admit they liked Naruto than proud of being a fan… exactly the right time for me to dig into this manga. Since it’s a long and easy to read shounen, I’ve decited to marathon through this manga. Having started yesterday morning, I think I’m doing a pretty good job (read 177 chapters yesterday) as of now.
The most important thing: my opinion. Well, first of all, I can understand why this manga is liked by many people, because it’s a solid action-manga with nice charcters who have unique powers, although those powers tend to be creepy sometimes… It’s not an outstanding manga so far, but it’s solid and well made for this genre. The character I probably like the least is Sasuke. Yeah, he had a tragic past, but seriously? This guy needs prefessional help, he’s got a few loose screws. His superior complex is beyond good and evil what leads him into the arms of the enemy. Stupid child. Talking about tragic pasts: there are quite a lot in this manga. The thing is: there is hardly anyone who had it as hard as Naruto himself and he’s always laughing it off and tried to accomplish his goal, while the others are all whining or want revenge on someone. I can’t feel andy kind of sympathy for these characters, because Naruto is so much stronger than every single one of them in this matter. Except Gaara, he’s got it even harder than Naruto.
The introduction of Orochimaru was one of the most underwhelming things I’ve ever read in a manga so far. Probably, because I knew he’ll be the big bad guy, so I had high expections that he’ll recieve the treatment he deserves as the utimate evil, but that was just… underwhelming.
The next thing is the Chuunin-exam. Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura have been doing one hard/messed up mission and a few smaller ones. Apparently that’s enough for them to become a lot stronger than before and now they’re ready to take the next exam after less than a year. What the fuck? Where’s the training? What made them this strong all of a sudden? Well, forget about it, we’re taking the exam! Sure… the first real training was between the prelims for round 3 and the actual round 3.
The first fight that caught my interest was when Sasuke was on his way to Orochimaru and Naruto was trying to stop him. This fight was cool and interesting, it was very important and the characters were both fighting very emotional. For me, the best part was when Naruto said that he was wondering if his relationship with Sasuke was the same he would have with a brother.
Then comes the timeskip. I liked it that they showed Kakashi’s past and how he got his left eye, because I was seriously interested in knowing that. Narutos return to leaf village was (again) underwhelming. It’s probably because I’m doing a marathon here, so it didn’t took me long to get past Kakashi’s chapters and I already reached the point again where Naruto returns, but the way it’s being played out… not that impressive. Take Fullmetal Alchemist for example, when Edward was absent for a while because of a dangerous injury (there was also a short timeskip). When he came back, you first saw his feet, then his back, part of his face (mouth) and you knew he’ll kick the poor guys ass who called him small, but you still didn’t see him, you had to wait even longer, got to see his automail and THEN he makes his kickass reapperance. This was just incredibly cool, this is how you do stuff like this.
My favorite character so far is probaby Hinata, she has to appear a bit more often, but I like her a lot. Sakura climbed up the ranks when she began to acknowledge Naruto slowly and learned how to kick ass from our lovely 5th Hokage-lady, but she’s still nowhere near the top. My second favorite is most likely Naruto himself and after him comes Kakashi. I also love Rock Lee and his Master, those two are awesome and always funny, but Rock Lee is also very serious about his goal and he works very hard, I really like that. Shikamaru is also one of my favorits, because he’s pretty strong, very intelligent, but super-lazy. I can realte to being super-lazy, because I am lazy as well. xD Temari is pretty cool as well, she destroys an entire forst with her oversized fan. She doesn’t have to lean how to kick ass – she already can. Way to go girl.
And last but not least: the coolest thing about this entire series so far are the frogs. Especially the badass boss-frog is awesome, I want to see him more often and the small frogs are always used for some comedy.
So much about that.