I bet you all fell out of your seats when you saw today’s topic for an anime review! I know I know after many a week I’m reviewing an anime that isn’t a sports anime! However you also may recall that in my last two reviews on Ace of Diamond I couldn’t help but be reminded of Naruto.
The nostalgia was too strong and I felt compelled to begin rewatching the seasons. I’m actually really glad I did, it’s been such a long time since I’ve watched Naruto from the beginning. I’m happy to say it continues to hold up overtime.
Even though Naruto is a pretty popular anime I will be writing this review spoiler free. As crazy as it may seem there are definitely some people out there who have never watched Naruto before and may be considering giving this show a try. So in order to help facilitate that I do this review spoiler free… Well as free of spoilers as physically possible.
“The Village Hidden in the Leaves is home to the stealthiest ninja. But twelve years earlier, a fearsome Nine-tailed Fox terrorized the village before it was subdued and its spirit sealed within the body of a baby boy.” –Crunchyroll
For the record I am writing this review from the perspective of watching the subtitled version. I feel like this is important to note because in the past I have heard a lot of people complain about the (English) dubbed version and how annoying Naruto’s voice is in that. I personally don’t know. I’ve always watched the subtitled version and I have no intention of watching the dubbed version.
In my mind Naruto’s (and the rest of the characters) voices are what they are. I can’t switch to new voice actors! I’ve been with these voices for years so any voice besides theirs would be annoying to me. If you did find the English dub to be annoying I suggest you try the subtitled version. I have always loved Naruto’s voice casting choices in the subtitled version.
Season one of Naruto is so good. I remember the first time I watched this show it grabbed me immediately from the first episode. I really felt for Naruto who really wanted to be accepted but was shunned by the community for reasons he didn’t know or understand. Honestly he reminds me a lot of my younger self. I always tried really hard to belong because I felt like I didn’t.
What I like about Naruto is that even though he wants to be accepted by his community, he wants it on his terms, without compromising his beliefs. I wish I could have been that headstrong at that age! It took me forever to realize that being accepted for who you think other people want you to be isn’t really being accepted at all. Finding your own way and having people recognize you is so much better. Gotta love Naruto for its morale lessons.
Naruto’s main goal is to become the Hokage (leader of their village and most powerful ninja) because he knows nobody expects him to be anything more than a nuisance. He feels that if he can be the Hokage it will prove that the village needs him and that he is reliable and talented.
The problem with his plan though is he’s a bit of a hyperactive goofball. Hey, what do you expect? He’s only twelve years old after all! He has a lot of growing up to do and watching him meet his goals is really fun as a viewer.
The first season revolves mostly around Naruto becoming an entry-level ninja and hoping to hit the next level in rank, a Chunin. Through the first season we meet many characters that will help (or hinder) his goals like his teachers Iruka and Kakashi and some of his peers like Sasuke, Sakura, Gaara, and Rock Lee.
Those are just a small snippet of the characters that will come through this season. One thing the writer of Naruto is amazing at is building an entire world through this series. There are tons of characters each with their own stories and reasons for becoming a ninja. Their stories will all eventually help Naruto to create his own version of what he believes he should be as a ninja.
After all this time I still find Sakura as annoying as I always have. I think the thing that drives me crazy his that she (in my opinion) is such a follower! She dislikes Naruto even though she barely even knows him. He’s always trying to be nice to her but she hates him because everyone else dislikes him. On the other hand she likes Sasuke without getting to know him just because he is considered really popular. If everyone’s perception of Naruto and Sasuke’s image was reversed than she would like Naruto instead. That’s why Hinata will always be my favorite. She didn’t care what other people thought about Naruto. She still liked him because she could see he was always trying to be a good person.
Something to really look forward to though is the Haku/Zabuza story arch. Oh my goodness I forgot how much I loved this arch! Haku and Zabuza are amazing and together they help Naruto through his first lesson in the harshness of the Shinobi world. It’s through them that he is able to quickly realize that being a ninja isn’t as easy as it seems in school. It is full of tough decisions that effect the survival of not only yourself but also the people around you whether they’re your friend or your enemy.
The second thing to look forward to is of course the Chunin Exam. What is really nice about this is that as a viewer you are introduced to more of the world that Naruto lives in. Not only through a bunch of new characters but also being able to see how the world of shinobi works and whom is apart of if.
For warning though for anyone new to Naruto, the filler episodes are strong throughout this series. Luckily in season one the only filler episode you have to worry about is the very last episode, which is basically just a recap of what has gone on in Naruto and the various characters you have come across.
Of the types of filler episodes out there recap episodes are my least favorite. So I personally just skipped this episode altogether but a few of you might find it interesting to go back and summarize things. If you’re not a fan of recap episodes though you can just ignore the last episode and move straight on to season 2.
I love this series, I have always loved this series, and I will always love this series!
The first season kept me just as hooked as it did the first time and the second time for that matter (this is actually my third time rewatching this series). I particularly love the Haku/Zabuza arch and to this day I get misty eyed during it.
I may actually shed a tear or two. Gosh guys way to pry it out of me!
So what about you? Have you every watch Naruto before?
I do not own these images