Beginner's Guide to Naruto

Topic started by GodLen on May 30, 2010. Last post by Seancar2010 4 years, 3 months ago.
Post by GodLen (877 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Staff
Naruto, a majority of people have heard of it, some people really love it while others hate it. But there is in fact a third group, if you would believe it, people who don’t know anything about it. That is a shame because it is a long running anime and manga that has been a backbone of Shonen Jump since its first one-shot in 1997. 1997 was the year Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Hong Kong returned to China, and the first Harry Potter book was published--that was a long time ago! This guide is here to help those people who haven’t experienced Naruto, and maybe are interested, but afraid of what to expect. Don’t worry, we are here to help.

==

What You Need to Know

Naruto is created by 35 year old Masashi Kishimoto. His first break through manga was Naruto, which has more than 52 volumes in its name, while the anime has more than 381 episodes under its belt. A major source of influence was Dragon Ball, especially when it came to creating the main character, Naruto, who was influenced by Son Goku.

Most people don’t know this, but Kishimoto has a twin brother, Sheishi Kishimoto, who is also a manga artist. He created the manga series 666 Satan or O-Parts Hunter in the english release. They both share the same art style, causing fans to feud over who copied who. But in the end it comes down to both of them being influenced by the same thing, and growing up together.

The Story

For those of you out of the loop, Naruto is about ninjas. However, the ninjas featured in this story are not the ninjas you might remember from your youth. They are more or less a highly advance military force that fight with ninja-like weapons, and use ninja-like special abilities (aka magic) known as jutsu. They do attempt to act stealthy like ninjas, but then again don’t all armies have their hands in stealth as well? Either way they are called ninjas.

The story starts with a giant Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacking the city of Konoha. The most powerful ninja in Konoha--who also happens to be leader--sacrifices his life to seal the demon away. Unfortunately, they have to seal it away inside of a human, who happens to be the newly born Naruto. As Naruto grows up, he is ostracized by everyone around him because of this monster sealed inside.

Other than being hated by everyone around him, not growing up with a father figure, and being a general Dennis the Menace, Naruto had a normal childhood. Like most boys his age, he ends up attending ninja school, and becomes a ninja. He is placed in a three man team, consisting of an emotional bad ass, and his life-long crush. They are then given simple missions upon simple missions. Naruto hates it, and begs for something with a little bit more action, which ends up placing him and his team in the way of a psychopathic killer.

Despite the hatred Naruto received as a child, he still will do anything to save the ones he loves, and the people around him, even if they end up hating him in the end. He does all this because his dream is to become the greatest ninja of his country, the Hokage. Yet secret organizations want the monster sealed inside of him, and will do anything to obtain it. Can Naruto save himself, and save his friends at the same time?
 

What to Expect

   Shippuden 
Shippuden 
Like any Shonen Jump story, Naruto is told through story arcs; which will always conclude with some kind of battle. Naruto battles are sometimes one on one, and also fought as a team as well. Each character makes use of special jutsu within these fights, usually revealing a new special move at the end of the fight that they never revealed before. You will find that most of these powers are unique compared to other franchises, including such things as a person who can control killer bugs, people who fight with puppets, and a person who can fight with shadows.

Like Dragon Ball before it, Naruto’s anime is separated into two different series, Naruto, and Naruto: Shippuden. Shippuden takes place two and a half years after the end of Naruto, showcasing older characters with upgraded powers. All good shonen stories have time skips (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.)

When the anime follows the manga, it does a great job of doing it. Instead of copying the fight scenes panel for panel, they sometimes add extra tid-bits here and there; making them flow better and overall more entertaining. However, when the anime diverges from the manga, it can get down right horrible; especially the 83 episodes of hell at the end of the “Naruto” series. To be blunt, most Naruto fillers should be skipped at all costs, here is a list of what you should skip.  
 
Naruto Episodes:  26, 97, 101 (not so bad). 102-106, 136-219 

    

  
 
Naruto Shippuden Episodes: 57-70, 91, 93-111, 144-151


Characters

When it comes to characters, Naruto has no end to them; and great ones come in both protagonists, and antagonists. Naruto makes great friends while he is in his ninja school. Some appear often in the story, but others tend to not get much action at all. Regardless, here is a list of characters you should be excited to see when reading/watching this story. (In no particular order.)
 

1. Kakashi Hatake

Say hello to Naruto’s teacher, and leader of his three man team. You will never see his face, but you will get to meet his band of ninja dogs. But his greatest skill is the ability to copy any jitsu he witnesses.

2. Zabuza Momochi

Naruto’s first real opponent. He carries a giant sword, and can summon a water dragon, do I need to say more?

3. Neji Hyuuga

A natural born genius, he is a friend and rival to Naruto. What makes him great is his unique fighting style consisting of direct attacks to a person’s chakra pathway system. In a few seconds he can paralyze an enemy with 64 strikes using only his finger tips.

4. Kimimaro Kaguya

This man fights using his own bones, much like Wolverine. However, unlike Wolverine, he can rip out his own spine and use it like a sword. Kimimaru will do anything to stop Naruto.

5. Rock Lee

A Dragon Ball Z character trapped in Naruto. In a world of ninjas, this man fights with his fists. No one can stand this man’s hot blood and passion. But don’t worry, he is friends with Naruto and gang.

 

Should I Read the Manga, or Watch the Anime?

Like with most long running series, I always recommend reading the manga just because you do not have to sacrifice a couple years of your life to be caught up with the anime; plus you do not have to worry about fillers as well. However, the anime, especially in the first “Naruto” half, has some great animation and music. They change the music in Shippuden, taking away most of the magic from the first series; it’s a real shame, for the first series has some memorable tracks.  

Buyers Guide

Do you enjoy American comics, and haven’t watched much anime, but think Naruto might be cool?
- Buy the First Season of Naruto. You can listen to it in English or Japanese and decide where to go from there.  
Are you a hardcore Anime/Manga fan and know you will love this series?  
- Read Naruto Volume One, and go from there. You can always jump on the anime later.
Love fighting games, but unsure if you will like the story?   
- Get Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm for the Playstation 3. You won’t be disappointed.  
Hate Naruto with a passion, and wish Naruto would just make out with Sasuke already?  
Then watch Nabari no Ou, it’s a little more adult and a little more homosexual.  

In conclusion, Naruto is extremely popular here in the west. It just might be even more popular here than it is in Japan. You shouldn’t be scared getting started with this giant series, just jump right in and see where the current takes you. Remember, whatever people might tell you about Naruto, just remember this: Naruto has ninjas, and ninjas are always cool. Isn’t that what the Eighties has taught us?
Post by wwfunderaker (485 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Ive been asking myself if i should start Naruto, i took a chance with One Piece and Bleach, now i love them. I usually start watching an anime and then the manga, so its to be interesting to catch up.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,647 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator
I kind of liked the Naruto filler episode at the funeral. #186 Though, I mostly like that because Naruto reminded  me of how I was at my uncle's wedding.
It was sick how long those fillers lasted. It was about two years of straight filler. 
 
Though, it's sad to say that the only way in hell you are ever going to learn much of anything about Anko and Tenten is in fillers. The irony is that these are two of my favorites in the series. Seriously, what does Kishimoto have against Tenten? She is the most under developed character in the series.
 
This is something I never understood about the Anbu Squad. If these people are suppose to be your super secret stealth squad and should be able to blend in anywhere, why do they tattoo them?
 
I had fun in the beginning, but after the time skip is when things started to go down hill for me. I follow the manga, but I haven't watched the anime in years. I dropped out of the anime just after the events where Naruto first went into the four tailed form. It also doesn't help that it's VIZ running the official subs online.
 
I know on Comic Vine, Rock Lee has a pretty big fan.
Post by sickVisionz (4,309 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator
Ahh, the music in Shippuuden is way better than the first series.  If you're only reading the manga, I'd definitely suggest to at least watch the episodes with the big fights in the series like 
  • Sasuke vs Orochimaru
  • Rock Lee vs Gaara
  • Rock Lee vs Kimimaru
  • Sasuke vs Naruto
  • Sakura/Old Lady and Puppets vs Sasori and Puppets
  • Kyuubi vs Orochimaru
  • Sasuke vs Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Yamato
  • Kakashi & Shikamaru vs Hidan and Kakuzu
  • Sasuke vs Deidara
  • Sasuke vs Itachi
Naruto cranks up the animation quality for the high profile fights and skipping those is missing out on one of the best things about the series.
Post by dakidevil (17 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Naruto is a fun action-packed anime that got me going and loving the anime world.  I would highly recommend this anime to first time viewers of the anime world. 
Post by Arjuna (202 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Back in the day when you could more easily watch just about anything on youtube, I gave Naruto a try.  I am often wary about shows that are geared towards kids; because I'm not a kid.  But Naruto had me totally hooked.  I just steam-rolled through the series.  I wish I had a show like Naruto when I was a kid.  The cartoons from when I was a kid treated me like an idiot, incapable of grasping large plot-arcs.  He-Man:  fuck that show was dumb.
Post by UsachanMaN (4,610 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@sickVisionz said:
"Ahh, the music in Shippuuden is way better than the first series.  If you're only reading the manga, I'd definitely suggest to at least watch the episodes with the big fights in the series like 
  • Sasuke vs Orochimaru
  • Rock Lee vs Gaara
  • Rock Lee vs Kimimaru
  • Sasuke vs Naruto
  • Sakura/Old Lady and Puppets vs Sasori and Puppets
  • Kyuubi vs Orochimaru
  • Sasuke vs Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Yamato
  • Kakashi & Shikamaru vs Hidan and Kakuzu
  • Sasuke vs Deidara
  • Sasuke vs Itachi
Naruto cranks up the animation quality for the high profile fights and skipping those is missing out on one of the best things about the series. "

Agreed! the animated fight scenes are much better than the manga fights.
Post by Acer (5,676 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Haku looks awesome in that above image,
 
It's a great series but has alot of bad moments.
 
I expect to see a guide to One Piece next :D
Post by Landon (17 posts) See mini bio Level 3
Wow. Really wish I had this last year. I went on a HUGE Naruto watching marathon. I watched about 50 episodes in about 3 or 4 days. When I stopped, I never watched it again. You guys should do one for Bleach next.
Post by ethan (887 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Staff
@Landon said:
"You guys should do one for Bleach next. "
Here you go!   http://www.animevice.com/news/beginners-guide-to-bleach/4466/
Post by sickVisionz (4,309 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator
@Landon: Me and a friend did something like that.  We were big into the show on Cartoon Network and someone from work gave us like 4 DVD-Rs full of episodes.  Rather than spread it out we compressed it to one weekend of drinking, smoking, delivery pizza and watching from episode like seventy something to 150 something. 
 
I don't think I'd ever do that again for a variety of reasons, but I remember it fondly.  The highlight being the pizza guy coming, smelling the smoke in the air and being like, "damn is that Naruto?  It looks like y'all got the perfect plan goin."  Good times.
Post by BobCat (95 posts) See mini bio Level 9
And nothing was mentioned about Hinata.    A Shinobu Maehara clone with ninja powers.  
Post by sora_thekey (1,097 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Moderator
Where was this guide a year ago!?!?
I actually started reading the manga a year ago (didn't get to far along it since I am in vol 7 or 8) and watched the anime... (episode 56 which is actually the same ep on where the manga I was reading ends)... I am not an avid reader/watcher since Naruto is one of those shows where you just have to want to watch!
Post by PenguinDust (1,008 posts) See mini bio Level 13
I don't usually skip stuff (I even watched the Lurichiyo stuff from Bleach) but unless you really just want to spend time with the characters even though they don't actually develop during that time, anyone can skip episodes 142 to 216.  I say stop at 142 rather than the suggested 136 because of the end of the episode "Sakura's Determination!"  By the end of the episode she makes a change which sets her course for the rest of the series and through Shippuden although we really don't see any of that until Shippuden begins.
 
Post by Halberdierv2 (1,296 posts) See mini bio Level 17
what I'd like to know is how Neji is considered a genius ahead of Shikamaru.
Post by Mabui (4 posts) See mini bio Level 2
I enjoyed the original Naruto and was looking forward to a grown up - mature Naruto in Shippuden.  Though, what I ended up with was something that felt both darker and slower paced then the original -  Shippuden has that 'drag things out' feeling of the original Dragon Ball Z release.
Post by PenguinDust (1,008 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@Halberdierv2:   I believe that when the Japanese talk about people being "geniuses" they aren't merely talking about intelligence but also inherit talents, skill levels, social status, family name and birthright.  The same is also true in reverse so a reject might not stupid but instead born far below the station of a "genius".  Of course, I could be wrong on this and I hope someone will come along and correct me if I am.
Post by cowdrunk (39 posts) See mini bio Level 7
sorry to nickpick but, Wolverine  does'nt fight with his bones.  mettle claws yatayata the guys at comic vine can tell it better than me.-->   http://www.comicvine.com/wolverine/29-1440/    
4. Kimimaro Kaguya

This man fights using his own bones, much like Wolverine. However, unlike Wolverine, he can rip out his own spine and use it like a sword. Kimimaru will do anything to stop Naruto.

    
PS  
What I've watched the anime first 180 epsodes is pritty great
Post by Gasero (167 posts) See mini bio Level 9
The only thing you really need to know about Naruto is the same with Bleach and One Piece...watch the fight scenes.
Post by gla55jAw (109 posts) See mini bio Level 13
  This is how brutal Naruto can be. (sorry no audio)
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