Naruto Season 1 Revisited: COME ON!

Oho!

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

naruto-s1

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.

Moving on…

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.

naruto-and-sasuke

Season one is also the beginning of the epic bromance that is Sasuke and Naruto

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.

naruto-haku-and-zabuza

I will always love this arch ❤

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Okay, okay….

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

26 thoughts on “Naruto Season 1 Revisited: COME ON!

  1. Great review. I have watched Naruto, and I liked it as well. For some reason though I stopped watching it, abd have never picked it up again. The sheer number of episodes at the moment, is the thing withholding me from it at the moment. I just simply don’t have the time for it. Has nothing to do with the series itself though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is INTENSE lol! I’m sure it will take me all year to review every season. Probably even longer since I’ll take breaks to watch other shows! It is a really good series though, it just takes so much dedication. One Piece is like that, which is why I have yet to watch it. I just haven’t been able to find the TIME lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review!

    For the record, I really think people over-exaggerate the hell out of the English dub. Sure, Naruto and other characters have annoying voices, but they match up quite well with their Japanese counterparts on their levels of annoyingness. I really think the intense hate on the dub is just an influx of purism (all English dubs=awful, especially when the show is really popular)

    Season one is and will always be my favorite arch. It’s a great introduction to Naruto, it has some nice moments as the team starts out and the Zabuza/Haku part is very well-written and incredibly sad (And stands as my favorite Naruto arc)

    Even taking Shippuuden into consideration, I am still no fan of Sakura. I hated her (and still hate her) in Naruto, because, as you said, she mostly just blindly follows Sasuke around like a baby duck, even though he obviously doesn’t have romantic feelings for her and even frequently insults her, and she treats Naruto like garbage even though he’s nothing but kind to her. From the very first episode she was grating my nerves. “What do you love and what do you hate?” “I love Sasuke-kun! .<" What the hell even warranted that?

    She does have her moments where she's alright, like when she's trying to protect people, but she's ultimately always saved by other people, and her biggest moment of the series is cutting her hair….I get the symbolism there, but it is insanely lame. She just can't and doesn't do much over the course of the entire series. She's smart, she has great chakra control and that's about the extent of her rarely used capabilities in the original series. Like I mentioned, she does get better in Shippuuden, but I've still never been too impressed with her or gotten to the point of liking her.

    I am so glad they didn't go down the predictable route of having him end up with Sakura. Hinata's a much better person for him. She's my favorite female character on Naruto, ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have often wondered if it is over-exaggerated. I feel like I can’t be a good judge because I started out with the sub so I really can’t picture any other voices for those characters! It’s why I hate when English voice actors are sometimes switched in anime (like in Saiyuki) I can’t even give the new voices a chance because I keep thinking about the old ones. I first watched Ouran Host Club in the dubbed version and I tried to watch the subtitled version and I couldn’t lol. I just couldn’t get used to the voices XD I bet the voice acting in the dub version is fine though, like you said there tends to be that purism bias. Zabuza/Haku is def one of my favorite arcs to this day. It actually might be my favorite… I can’t think of another one I love more off the top of my head.
      Sakura is the worst and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. She always says that Naruto is annoying to her but he’s always SUPER NICE. Throughout the show she is always doubting him and never giving him any credit for anything he does. I also could never ship her and Sasuke together. Even still I just don’t think that Sasuke could ever be with her. He’s a deep and brooding loner and even in the end Sakura is like a fawning little kid. Can you imagine what a conversation between the two of them would be like 0.0

      Liked by 1 person

      • When you said that stuff about the Naruto Dub, I was reminded of something from an excerpt on an old Anime Insider Magazine. Luckily and amazingly, I still had the right copy and found it quickly. Basically it was a regular Q&A segment between the staff and the AI fans and someone asked “Why won’t Cartoon Network show Naruto subtitled? I love the show so much, and I can’t stand to hear him sound like a whiny girl in the dub.”

        Summer Mullins, the associate editor of the magazine, replied “Let me rock your world; Naruto was voiced by a woman in Japanese. And the character of Naruto is whiny. So in the original Japanese, he sounds like a whiny girl. Thus the American dub is stunningly accurate, and in the opinion of the AI staff, pretty good too.”

        Obviously, people have to make their own judgements, but I just thought I’d share that since I was amazed I remembered that and was able to find it lol. Anyway, I’m fine with both versions in regards to Naruto, but I totally agree on Ouran High School Host Club, though in the reverse lol. I watched it first subbed and even though the dub has some great VAs in it, I just am so used to the original that I can’t watch it. Same goes for stuff like Death Note and Attack on Titan. It’s not so much the dubs are bad, it’s just that it feels ‘off’ when you start off watching one version and skew to another.

        I also never got on the SasukexSakura train. I mean, if you want to look at it from a storytelling point of view, it would probably be better for Sakura’s crush on Sasuke to be a learning experience for the two of them. Endlessly fawning over someone for shallow reasons is not a foundation of love. And, hell, it’s the polar opposite of the foundation of Hinata and Naruto’s relationship.

        He never showed any affection for Sakura (and I’m really not going to get into him saving her life on several occasions as evidence of that. That doesn’t show romantic love, it just shows that he actually cares about human life.) and it just never seemed to build well.

        Sasuke could learn more of the love and caring of another person through her, albeit misled, affection and she could learn the basis of true love by learning to let go of him. Not sure who either should end up with, but not each other. Even if Sasuke does seem to legitimately care for Sakura, I always felt that was kinda like a sibling love at most. Them ending up together…I just can’t picture very well. Conversations would be weird enough, but them kissing? And….other things *nudge nudge* I can’t even form the mental image.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really hilarious to me that they said Naruto sounds like, “an annoying girl” since he’s played by women in both versions! It’s kind of part of his characters development to sound and be annoying in the beginning. I love what his voice actor has done throughout the series as he matures and grows into his roll as a leader. I haven’t seen a character that I could pictures Sasuke with yet to be honest. I feel like he still has to discover what love is and Sakura can’t help him with that. I agree 100% her love seems the exact opposite of Hinata’s. Sasuke needs to find the Hinata in his life… Which at the moment is just Naruto lol but that won’t work because I need Hinata and Naruto to be together! As for Sakura… She can go be with Shino. That way when she’s annoying he can just attack her with bugs. Perfect. Omg and and thinking of Sasuke and Sakura and “other things” I can’t! there is just no way lol. It can’t be mentally formulated.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So this is why you kept referring Daiya to it, you were stealthily watching it 😹😹😹😹

    PS. You wrote “that drives me crazy HIS that she”
    HAKU ZABUZA IS THE ONLY REASON I WATCHED THE FIRST 20 EPISODES OF NARUTO OR SO, I LOVE THEM SOBS .😭😭😭✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I swear I didn’t start watching Naruto until after I was completely done with Daiya XP Eijun reminds me of Naruto so much I had to watch Naruto to ease the pain of not having anymore Daiya. Haku/Zabuza are STILL everything. Seriously it’s worth watching every episode just to see them again when they get resurrected through a ninja jutsu. ❤

      Like

      • LIEEEES
        I believe you, but only just barely because I feel you about easing the pain of not having Daiya by watching Haikyuu and YowaPeda heh
        They get resurrected?! In all their flamboyant, androgynous glory?! Dang

        Liked by 1 person

      • DO IT, it’s really addicting and fun, it isn’t as known because the guys aren’t bishounens, the art style is pretty unique, but I really love it. I watched the two first seasons in a week, I couldn’t stop. The start is a bit slow, first 6 episodes or so, but then it goes by so quick aaah.
        There’s two movies summarizing the first two seasons, tho I haven’t seen them since I saw the seasons, but I might watch once there’s more seasons and I don’t remember as well :’D

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m def putting it on my to watch list! I actually started two other sports anime the other day lol. I swear I might as well declare Wednesdays “Sport Anime Review Day” bc that’s all I’ve been watching lately!

        Like

      • OHOHOHOHO. YES YOU HAVE FALLEN WOO /pumps fist into air
        /coughs into hand
        I mean, you sure should! Tho…there isn’t as many good sports anime as I would like.
        Which ones did you start?
        I’m eyeing battery, all out and days to check out, but haven’t felt like it yet, I did finish Haikyuu s3 yesterday tho yay 🔥

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually All Out is one of them! The other is Knight in the Area. Next week I’m going to be having some Naruto stuff and but I think the week after is All Out and Knight in the Area… I can’t remember which order I’m posting them though lol.

        Like

      • Oh man, knight in the area made me cry at the beginning stages and then it tapered off and I ended up never finishing it :’D
        Fucking soccer always disappoints me, aside Whistle manga, smh
        Ooh, I’ll be looking forward to those then 👌👌👌🔥
        More Naruto? I see a trend now Kat, sports then naruto, sports, naruto….! 😹

        Liked by 1 person

      • NO KAT, NO, SAY NO TO THAT FUCKBOI BASTARD INUYASHA
        I get so mad when Kikyo comes back and his dick springs up and follows her, LIKE HOW DARE YOU DO THAT, DITCH HIM FOR SESS KAGOME
        /spits and sizzles
        I never watched it, I read some of the manga, but those parts really infuriated me 😹😹😹
        Naruto phase is better than inuyasha phase, never thought I’d say that /shudders

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bahaha I do remember getting really mad at him lol and Kikyo for that matter but I remember loving that priest guy and Songo. I must go back to see how I feel about it years later lol.

        Like

      • Don’t remind me, I need to finish S1 but I just…don’t feel compelled to because it isn’t addicting or captivating like other sports anime I’m into ORZ
        The struggle is real 😿

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Naruto Season 2 Revisited: Society – grimmgirldotcom

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