Masashi Kishimoto News

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From Anime Vice
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Welcome everyone to the Anime Vice's Naruto Manga Roundtable! Whoo, are you ready to hear some of our folks' thoughts on the manga series and its ending? Our speakers are ...

  • Dream - Battle Mod, Ani Crap Reviewer, and a fan who has seen over a hundred different anime series
  • Taichokage - Toriko Wiki Expert, Shonen Connoisseur of all sorts, and Hall of Famer
  • Katmic - Claymore, Magi, and Seven Deadly Sin Reviewer
  • UsaChanMan - Lover of Romance, Shonen, and Shoujo genre and a closet nerd writer/artist

Questions were written by me.

Which character is the most memorable?

UsaChanMan:
Of all the Naruto characters, Jiraiya was the most memorable character for me. I feel that he played such a big role in Naruto's life, and quite arguably, one can say that he was one of the key characters that made him into the ninja he is. From training Naruto to harness the Kyuubi's chakra, to teaching him the Rasengan and finally, inspiring him to become a sage - he truly was both Naruto's greatest teacher and the closest thing to a father figure he had.
Dream:

Nagato/ Pain in my case. Unlike many of the major Naruto villains who only got their back story told just as they were about to die, the series devoted time to focus on how his character came to be and what led him to be part of Akatsuki and desire to gather the Jinchuriki.

Taichokage:
Hard to say really. I guess for me it would be Orochimaru. He was the longest lasting villain in the series and the earliest major one.
Katmic:
Gaara- He has one of the most complete stories in the entire series alongside Neji; Neji's death was timed perfectly because his story had ended back in the first part of the series. Even after his impressive storyline in Part 1, Gaara remained rather prominent in the series and his battles against the former kages were among the more impressive.

Where did the manga series perform well?

Dream:
It's high point came during the middle of its run when Akatsuki became more active. Unlike Orochimaru who was the apparent villain before the title's timeskip, the Akatsuki were a more convincing threat since their plans affected many of the major characters and involved the many ninja countries. Their presence led to some major characters in the series to be killed off that offered a more serious edge to the story compared to its earlier chapters.
Taichokage:
Part one. I even liked the majority of part 2. Where it fell starkly for me was the early stage of the 4th Great Ninja War. I remember the last good arc and great fight to me was the Kisame Arc (if you can call it that). Love the villain and the final fight between he and Guy was amazing.
Katmic:

The first part was of Naruto was one of the best, which is why i am looking forward to the new series. Kishimoto clearly shines when it comes to working with kids. It's with the adult elements that he seems to falter. The first part of shippuden was pretty well paced in reintroducing the characters and all the changes they had gone through over the years even while giving a spotlight to lesser known characters like InoChikaCho, the Sand Siblings, Itachi and the rest of the Akatsuki and even Tsunade. This trend culminated in the Pain Arc, the best and most coherent arc to date.

The Second portion of Shippuden faltered, starting with the Five Kage Summit Arc on wards; certainly the series shined with the 'Taming the Nine Tails' mini arc, in between the Summit and War arcs, but other than that, the second part of Naruto Shippuden was Hit or Miss.

To my own surprise, I would Disagree with about the beginning of the Great Ninja war. A few months ago i would have downgraded it as one of the worst sections of the Naruto series; rewatching it, however, completely changed my perception, making me realize that what i thought failed to deliver, and what i was quick to complain about was the lack of action, at least to the level that i expected. And this is the advantage of watching the anime over the manga. Watching over a few weeks what manga readers would have read over a period of months to a year provides an understanding manga readers simply do not enjoy.

Certainly Madara rocked the second part of the war. But the first part of the war has a level of depth that most of the series hasn't seen in quite a while; from Gaara to Mifune to that sand shinobi no one remembers, the first part is actually the most memorable of the war, packing whole years worth of character development into a select few moments. Gaara vs the former kazakage could have been a storm of sandy battles, and i personally would have preferred that approach. But the action wasn't essential to achieving Kishimoto's purpose for unleashing Edo Tensei, which was to bring character plots and storylines to a solid and final close even while raising new questions.

It is easy to dismiss the Mifune vs Salamander clash as one of the worst clashes of the war, only to realize that it might not have provided the awesome samura/shinobi clash we wanted, but it was filled with fairly interesting back story and depth regarding human determination, the regrets that emerge from failing to reach one's ambitions and the strength they can eventually generate.

Admittedly Kishimoto squandered even this opportunity, choosing to ignore most of his undead shinobi; none the less the complaint has about the second part of the war, the unfortunate focus upon Naruto and Sasuke, he has to admit Kishimoto tries to deal with in the first part before the pair arrives on the battlefield, by basically spreading the action around. Again, this perspective comes from watching that entire portion of the war as a whole.

What are its flaws?

Dream:

The series started going downhill following Pein's defeat and never really recovered with the really lazy means employed to undo much of the drama that affected Konohagakure when Pein appeared in the village. It dragged really badly in the Great Shinobi War arc with Madara being a pretty overpowered character, power upgrades galore being milked and a poor attempt at introducing a "true" final villain in the form of Kaguya.

But I think the biggest criticism I have towards the series is that it got too focused on Naruto and Sasuke for later chapters. The other Konoha ninja we were introduced to at the start of the series got little focus as the plot progressed further after the timeskip and the series did a poor and unconvincing job at trying to make it seem like Sakura was as important to things in the series as Naruto and Sasuke when her character development grinded to a halt long before the Great Shinobi War arc started.

Taichokage:
Kishimoto forgot or neglected far too many cornerstone characters for far too long. You could tell he was trying to force their relevance towards the end but it was too late. In some cases like Rock Lee I don't feel that Kishimoto even tried very much. Everyone was waiting for the 8th Gate to happen. I think Lee is one of the few prominent characters that did not scratch the surface of surpassing his master. It could have been Lee's chance to shine since part one had it been he that entered the 8th Gate not Might Guy. Lee is just a prominent example though. This applies to many formerly notable characters.

Even more than that however is Kishimoto's unreal failure to follow the logic that he established within his own story. The last year of Naruto had more plot holes than probably the prior 10 combined. I could make a whole blog on this but I don't wan't to hate on a series that I won't deny has some sentimental value for me.

The main issue with Naruto for me is that I think Kishimoto really was trying to cater to a younger audience from the get-go got a bit darker when he realized there was an older demographic that appreciated his work, then went full circle at the very end. An everyone lived happily ever after minus Neji Hyuga, all the dead aside from him forgotten, all the villains still alive are either forgiven (Sasuke) or not elaborated on (Orochimaru and Taka), and the romance is skipped completely and just cuts too the end results. Very childish in my opinion. However, it was not without it's pros. I would not have stuck with it for years had it been all faults. I have dropped series' before and Naruto is not among them. I caught up over 6 years ago and first saw it over 9 years ago. It was not for nothing that I saw it through to the end. I also think that a marathon of Naruto would be more enjoyable. The dragged out parts will not seem very dragged and the plot holes are easier to miss.

Katmic:

Manga readers are always quick to complain about the so called Talk no Jutsu as the series' primary failing; and i have always defended the series in this arena. This is mostly because even the most surprising villain transformations are never as 'out of the blue' as people make them out to be. There is no so called BS on the part of the plot because previous revelations and character developments always provide a rational explanation for the change.

Pain was never more than an Obito puppet, merely twisted by his own grief but never truly evil.

Obito was, well, crazy; listen to him speak long enough and you will realize that his monologues display some disturbing levels of denial. None the less, even explaining away some of these elements doesn't change the fact that Naruto has waaaay too much talking. I personally find the Jubito elements of Naruto's Talk no Jutsu to be the series' lowest point, a waste of a villain and an anti-climatic end to a very messy battle. Sometimes, even if it makes sense, a story works better when fists do the talking, like Naruto vs Sasuke part 1.

The unnecessary focus upon Naruto and Sasuke, basically the failure to capitalize on its large cast, is the only arena in which One Piece, at least in my eyes, supersedes Naruto. An interesting issue to note to though is the fact that, had Kishimoto made this war about all the rookies and peripheral shinobi, rather than just Naruto and Sasuke, it might have run longer than four years, albeit a more entertaining four years. Then again maybe not.

I would however dispute with other Naruto fans about the abundance of logical flaws; Kishimoto does ignore his own rules in some case, but these instances are very rare if one takes the entire Naruto series into consideration and what Kishimito stated or showed can and can't happen. Again, the insight of an anime viewer.

For Naruto, should it end early? Which arc?

Taichokage:
I felt it would have been fine even up to the the final arc. The issue is the Great War Arc took well over 4 years to wrap up. It could easily have been done in 2-3. I would have personally shaved about 18 months off. The pacing of 2013 and early 2014 in particular were nothing short of a snails pace. Unbelievable re-telling of events we already knew or had seen. It was the only period since I caught up to Naruto that I considered dropping it.
Dream:

They should have wrapped things up with the Great Shinobi War arc much earlier and then devoted time to properly wrap up ongoing developments with characters, the latter they didn't even bother addressing thanks to the lazy "what are they doing now"-style ending.

Katmic:
The First Naruto/Sasuke fight could have been a great enough place to end. Once it hit shippuden the series couldn't have ended early though. There were way too many loose plots to close and questions to answer. The War arc could have been shorter by a year. In utilizing his entire cast rather than stretching Naruto's presence, Kishimoto could have allowed for more memorable battles to emerge even while wrapping up most of his plots at a faster pace. This as opposed to focusing on a single large never ending battle. I wouldn't say that the last fights were dragged out, because they actually kept things fresh with each new chapter. Things were changing, new strategies were being tried. This wasn't just Ichigo throwing Getsuga tenshou over and over again. But i can see how some people might have found it tiresome.

How does Naruto distinguish from its fellow Shonen series?

Dream:
I wouldn't say it sticks out too greatly from other long-running shounen titles I've seen. It has a gimmick that appeals to its target audience and employs the typical cliches and character types used for it. Seemed to work well enough for it to be as popular as it was the past 15 years.
Katmic:

I am going to suggest something controversial and say that Naruto isn't as cheesy as One Piece and maybe those elements of depth in its Story lines have transcended through to new shonen series. Calling One Piece cheesy isn't negative in itself. The reason so many people compare One Piece to Fairy tail is because they share the spirit of adventure. However Fairy Tail takes those elements to the extreme and comes off as very cheesy with its nakama elements.

One piece maintains the perfect balance in its presentation of an action shonen series; yet, to an extent it is just an anime, mostly rooting its plots in basic action and entertainment. Naruto can get tiresome with all its talk about the will of fire and friendship (and Naruto's endless speeches about Sasuke). Yet the series has always presented a more philosophical message to its audience, with interactions between many of its characters providing a lot of insight into humanity as a species, the concept of death, sacrifice and grief. It was shonen at its heart, and yet Kishimoto would often speak with an adult, very grounded voice, with the shortest lines of dialogue often speaking mountains. Not to offend anyone, but when i think of One Piece, i see Luffy shouting or crying at the top of his lungs in an exaggerated manner, running after meat and fighting to become the strongest. Sure his spirit to explore makes One Piece a joy to watch.

Yet in watching Naruto fight, not to become the strongest, but to find an answer to world peace, an answer that three generations of shinobi had failed to locate and which simply came down to endurance and perseverance throughout the hardships of life, made Naruto a much more somber anime, one whose will i can see emerge in new shonen, many of which are placing less emphasis on fighting and more on plot progression. Hopefully they can find a better balance than Naruto, which sacrificed waaay too much of the action in favor of talking.

As one of the HST, do you believe Naruto affects upcoming Shonen manga series in the last decade? And how so?

Katmic:

Naruto, One Piece and Bleach didn't create their respective formulas; but they popularized them and breathed new life into the shonen genre. I can see how many upcoming shonen series might pick a leaf or two from Naruto, particularly in telling the same old thing better. We knew from the first page that Naruto would become the final and greatest hero of the series. Yet Kishimoto meandered and detoured so much along Naruto's story that readers were kept on the edge of their seats about how the final story story would play out and whether Naruto would really triumph.

After all, it was until 200+ chapters later that Naruto finally acquired the power to finally stand against the lowest members of Akatsuki and even then, all he had was a truly scary attack. It would take another 100+ chapters before he came into his own, at a point where heroes from previous manga were already giants of their series.

We knew that the fox would become Naruto's final weapon; yet the way Kishimoto cast it aside and had Naruto seek out alternative sources of strength kept the mystery of this dark power hidden long enough to have readers doubt the future of this plot. IN other words it has become a thing, for new shonen manga to do the same old think but in a new way, keeping readers interested with plots that some would consider overdone. One might impute some credit to manga like Naruto that, rather than being extremely original, focused upon simply telling a good story.

Which battles were your favorite? Your least favorite?

Taichokage:

  • Kisame Hoshigaki vs Might Guy
  • Naruto in 4 tailed Kyubi mode vs Orochimaru

I'm probably forgetting something though......

My least favorite was a toss up between Obito Uchiha vs the Shinobi alliance and Kaguya Ohtsustuki vs Team 7.

Katmic:
Faves
  • -The Pain Arc Battles were all great.
  • -Itachi vs Sasuke
  • -Naruto vs Sasuke (both battles, even if the final fight was a little rushed).
  • -Jiraiya vs. Pain.
  • -The masked man vs Minato.
  • -InoChikaCho and Kakashi Vs. Hidan and Kakuzu.
  • -Taka vs Killerbee
  • -Obito vs Konan

Least Favorite

The Jubi/Jubito battles simply got too big, with too many players on the field for the fight to make any sense. Kishimoto would have been better off splitting Madara and Obito, and having the pair face off against different enemies.

Same for Story Arcs

Katmic:

The Fourth Great Ninja War. It was hit and miss

Dream:

Favorite story arc was the Pein arc since it properly explored a clash of ideologies between Pain and Naruto based on their differing tragic pasts and got us quite the big major character death with Jiraiya.

Worst story arc for me was Great Shinobi War arc. Was really dragged out and Madara was a poor excuse of a villain for the arc with how overpowered and shallow he was in terms of character.

Taichokage:
Unfortunately my least favorite was the Final Arc, the 4th Great Ninja War Arc.

My favorite is is either the Sasuke Retrieval Arc or the Pain Invasion Arc. Probably the former if I had to choose.

How do you feel about the ending?

Rushed. Was there some Editor at Shonen Jump demanding that Kishimoto end his manga at 700. Because their was a clear obsession to end at 700. The final Naruto/Sasuke fight was alright, provided equal amounts of large scale battle and hand to hand combat (which is preferred). But it could have been so much more. The series needed an entire arc to close all its loose threads. However with a third series we just might get all the answers we need.
Taichokage:
Not bad but tremendously rushed. Many of the relationships is not most of them had no basis within the context of the story. Even the main character did not have any on-panel romance or bonding with his "to be".
Dream:
A big waste of time. The Great Shinobi War arc was already dragged out enough and they did a poor job incorporating Kaguya into the title's storyline. While Naruto and Sasuke's final battle was an expected development by many for Naruto's finale, the buildup to it was horrible and the whole "what are they doing now" style final chapter is something that has been done to death in long-running shounen titles like this.

Are you a shipper? Did your dreams come true in the ending?

UsaChanMan:

I’ll admit I can be a shipper at times; however, my dreams did not come true in the end. I found it a little unrealistic that most of the girls ended up with the guys they wanted… and I did not like how the match-ups seemed to be based off of very shallow romances. I definitely did not like the Sasuke and Sakura pairing whatsoever, and the fact that Sakura still has feelings for Sasuke still baffles me to this day. As stated by a lot of Naruto fans in various forums, the Naruto couples looked like they came right out of fanfiction stories.

Despite my disappointment, I won’t pass judgement just yet, seeing that the last Naruto movie still hasn’t been released and I have a feeling a lot of loose-ends will be tied up then.

Katmic: Not a shipper. But Naruto and Hinata worked for me. It made the most sense. One is right to question Sakura's character and her obsession with Sasuke despite all that he did to her. Sasuke didn't actually do anything to Naruto. But, for lack of a better term, he was pretty mean to Sakura.
Dream: Was never big on shipping with this series. Romance was never Naruto's major focus and this was reflected in the lack of proper relationship developments between couples.
Taichokage: Unfortunately no. I was glad that a certain young man achieved his dream but otherwise no. I have never been a fan of major time skip endings or little ones running around at the end. That's why I dislike the manga ending of Full Metal Alchemist more than the 2003 anime version.

How do you feel about the upcoming movie?

Taichokage:
I look forward to it a good amount actually. To me it looks more promising that the manga ending and very refreshing in general.
Dream:
No different from how I feel about other movie tie-ins for long-running shounen titles. Judging from the trailer, the movie exists as both a final attempt at a cash grab for the series and to satisfy shippers of Naruto x Hinata, despite the little interaction Naruto has had with her throughout the whole series.
Katmic:
The Last in supposed to be a love story so i suppose it will be something different; considering that it will answer a number of important questions, i am looking forward to it. Specifically watching Naruto's growth. He doesn't even look like Naruto. A hair cut can't make that big of a difference.

Which was more enjoyable: anime or manga?

Taichokage:
I dropped the anime some years ago but I think perhaps the anime, filler content aside was more enjoyable. Naruto is not a dark series nor is the art it's forte so very little needed to be censored and the animation did not drop the quality of the manga art most of the time in my opinion.
Katmic:
If anyone has the option, i would advise that they simply stick with the anime. Ignoring the fillers, events do not drag as much in the anime, which covers numerous events at a go, where the manga will naturally struggle to provide as much material a week.

How did Naruto fail to become mainstream? Does Naruto represent the generation of anime and manga today?

Dream:

At least in the mainstream for America, the series came to the states just as the anime boom fizzled out thus it never got much traction to be able to attract a wider audience. Toonami in the 2000s was on its way out and this was rather obvious with its reduced lineup and attempting to kill off anime programming from the network. By the time Toonami in the 2000s folded, Naruto was at its lowest point for its first series with the large number of filler arcs that were aired following the Sasuke Retrieval arc.

But among anime/ manga fans, it still attracted a large fanbase as such where it is among one of the top 5 all-time selling manga titles to sell internationally as it has sold over 205 million issues (surpassed only by One Piece and Dragon Ball) and was one of Weekly Shounen Jump's top 3 best-selling titles. It is an easily identifiable series for many anime and manga fans of this current generation thanks to its large popularity and regardless of its quality, Naruto will likely be a remembered series for fans of this generation years from now.

Taichokage:
Naruto DID become mainstream. It was superseded by One Piece however. I personally don't think a repeat of Naruto would be as successful though. Just like I don't think a Dragonball copycat can beat Dragonball.
Katmic:
Naruto is Mainstream, to an extent. One Piece is the biggest manga in the world (no matter what people say about Attack on Titan's hype driven rise) but there are countries with anime fans that have never heard of One Piece but who cannot get enough of Naruto. Here in Africa, the only anime that is as well known as Naruto is Last Air bender/Korra, which is actually even more popular. After years of bad press (from some badly informed Anime fans) people here are only now jumping onto the One piece train (though those who loved it initially can see nothing beyond One piece). If we are talking globally, Naruto is the dragonball Z of today. It is the face of anime and manga. One piece's domination is still largely rooted in Asia.

Closing Remarks

UsaChanMan:

The Naruto franchise is very close to my heart. . It’s safe to say that Naruto was what reintroduced me to anime during my teenage years. The first manga I’ve ever read in my life was the first volume of Naruto, which I came across at my high school library. I remember being hooked instantly and marathoning Naruto episodes the night prior to my grade 10 math exam.

I definitely recommend the anime and manga, not only because of its popularity, but because of its underlying theme of never giving up on your dreams or your friends.

Taichokage:

I should close by saying.....

Thank you Kishimoto Sensei for 15 years of Naruto. I was there for most of the ride. At the end of the day, I'm glad Naruto was in my younger years up to the current time.

Katmic:

I agree with about Naruto struggling to find its identity. It is, in fact, similar to Doctor Who. Doctor who has what it takes to create some really dark and enjoyable arcs and seasons; except it always seems to catch itself halfway, remembers its young audience and chooses to gear its efforts towards pleasing the kids, which is where it fails.

Naruto could have been so much more if it had kept its trajectory of growth and transformed with its audience into something much more serious, with lasting consequences; instead Kishimoto chose to settle for something in between.

None the less it has been quite a few years of fun and excitement. There will never be anything quite like it. Even if better anime and manga emerge, they cannot replace the spirit of Kishimoto's story. We can only hope that the mangaka can learn from his mistakes and provide us a true masterpiece in his third manga series. Because that is what it is, a manga series set within the Naruto Universe. It won't be Naruto.

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So here we are 2014, not just another new year, but the final 12 months of Naruto, or so Kishimoto says; this wouldn’t the first time a manga ran a year or two beyond its expiry date.

The end of Naruto leaves me with a disturbed feeling; all series come to an end, and Naruto can only ran on for so long before entering Dragon Ball Z territory, yet i cannot deny that its exit will leave a massive hole in my Anime and Manga world.

Yes, i have been following Naruto for that long, since the very beginning of my life as an Otaku; this will be nothing less than the end of an era in the otaku realm. Besides merely re-confirming what we already knew, several elements struck me about Kishimoto’s 2014 interview, particularly two in fact, which i thought i would make a comment about.

--First, Kishimoto- he comes off as a rather interesting character, more humble than i presumed; i don’t think i have ever given Kishimoto the person much thought, but i always imagined the life of a mangaka as no different from that of a Hollywood super star.

Part of me expected to see his and those names of more famous mangaka littering architecture of major cities where i to ever visit Japan, thousands whispering his name as he made his regular rounds to the store.

Sections of this interview however present Kishimoto’s life as a relatively simple one, quiet; which makes sense i guess, because as a mangaka, you are likely to spend more time drawing than partying.

But then again Kishimoto did admit to spending 36 hours of his week drawing, little more than 3 days, which allows him four days of downtime; subtract one or two days for idea generation and story structuring, and you still have a few days of down time each week.

Two days that probably find Kishimoto holed away in his house, if he is indeed so isolated as to, as he says, not realise just how popular his manga is; its an interesting admission, because on the one hand it shows that Kishimoto should take a leaf out of Kubo’s book and do a little travelling, engage with his fans in the different manga and comic conventions out there; something he clearly does not do, not often anyway.

But maybe it’s a matter of a humble outlook on life; or, more than that, simple dedication to his craft, drawing his manga not for the fame or money but for the satisfaction of creating something of considerable brilliance; it makes sense he would struggle with the itch to draw even on his off days.

And that probably goes to the advice he gave about dedication and success in the manga business; because unless you’re ready to give 200% to your art, success is likely to remain ever elusive. Here’s to hoping that, for his honey moon, Kishimoto chooses a location close by, because that is one individual i would be interested in meeting.

Because even after all those interviews, i still cannot envision him as a person; despite having seen numerous pictures, as i am reading his voice in his numerous interviews, it is always that character, Ando from heroes, that jumps to my head. Strange. Anyway.

--Secondly Naruto- something in this interview struck me, the comment Kishimoto made about his editors, that got me wondering if we as fans are always a little too quick to jump down the throats of Mangaka for shoddy manga chapters.

Because we know (or so Bakuman tells me) that the editor, especially of a powerful brand like Shonen Jump, will wield some power with regards to the content produced by the mangaka on a weekly or monthly basis.

I mean, would it be too irrational to consider the possibility that editors do contribute to bad chapters and plot lines as well as good ones? One needs to ask just how much power the editor has in commanding his charge to kill off a character, save another, turn a two chapter shinobi battle into a ten chapter brawl between super powered beings.

It’s an interesting consideration in a field as competitive as manga-and as a Fairy tail fan with a lot of complaints to launch at Hiro, i have to wonder how much control Mashima-sensei has over who lives and dies.

I have to wonder what Kishimoto might have been referring to when he made that remark about remembering to reference upon ideas at an earlier stage before expanding upon them in the future. Can’t say i have come across any concepts in the series whose introductions i found to be unsatisfactory in terms of pacing and explanations.

I really can’t say that i care about seeing Kakashi’s face and would prefer it remained a mystery.

-With March approaching fast, the year is still fairly young; which means there are many more months of Naruto still to come, more months for me to locate a worthy replacement for his juggernaut of a series.

As Naruto fans all we can do is cross out fingers and hope that Kishimoto gives us one heck of a finale, worthy of the legacy of Naruto; i was struck by Kishimoto’s words about the end that he would finish the series conclusively; clearly he has no intention of leaving Shonen Jump or anyone else with room to expand the series into Dragon Ball GT style chaos.

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Discovering this one shot yesterday left me kind of shocked, or maybe surprised would be a more accurate word. I didn’t believe that it existed; even after hearing about it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86YI11-73T8&list=UUkkcUZJ-vrt3HomsacbTNLg&index=2, not until i actually went and checked it out for myself and even then i didn’t believe it; because there is no way what i was reading could actually be Kishimoto’s work. It is hard to believe. The way i heard it was that this was Kishimoto’s first one shot before Naruto and apparently either Kishimoto himself shelved it in favor of Naruto, according to one source, or, according to a more reliable source, shonen jump wouldn’t accept the manga because it was too bloody and violent;so they sent him back to the drawing board and Naruto came out at the end.

THE PLOT> I really can’t say much about this 51 page plot without ruining it. Just know the story resolves around a young half Sicilian half Japanese man named Mario, a hit man in Italy for the Mafia,Yakuza and any other criminal organization that might call upon him to do its dirty work. And he does it well, with little to no remorse; then one day he is introduced to a new partner with a dark past and that changes everything. I will leave it at that.

MY REVIEW:> I will say this right now, if Mario had been serialized instead of naruto, it would have been a wildly more popular series than naruto. That isn’t the excitement talking over reading the one shot. And i am excited, because this manga shows me a new side of Kishimoto. It gives me hope than even when Naruto ends, Kishimoto won’t necessary just retire and go into seclusion; he could still continue this new work and create a whole new franchise. But seriously, this one shot shocked me, because it was as opposite to Kishimoto as you would expect,not just because it is a seinen, but because of how brutal and bloody it is. Just think about this; Kubo’s first one shot was called zombie powder and it was pretty much in the same vein and genre as bleach, supernatural, with zombies and ghosts and all that. Mario is un Naruto, if that makes sense.

I didn’t know that Kishimoto had this sort of story telling in him; and from what i have heard, this was his plan A, the story that he had been working on for the longest and which he dreamed of doing. So that makes Naruto his plan B and look how great that turned out. Genius. It makes you wonder how good this could be if serialized; and it still can be. Sure it was rejected 15 years ago, but Kishimoto is a superstar now; who is going to tell him he can’t do this story, even if it was rejected before? Chances are once Naruto ends, they will be begging him to write some more, after all he is a cash cow.

But seriously, i am amazed at how good this as, and the ending was nothing like you expected , and the art is superb.. Maybe this is why one piece is good, because when Oda first came to them with the absurd idea of one piece, shonen jump let him run with it, no matter how wild it was.

I recommend this one shot to everyone, both naruto fans and basic manga fans. Trust me, it is worth your five minutes of time.

RATING:> 7/5, BLEW MY EXPECTATIONS OUT OF THE WATER.

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The publisher VIZ Media announces a release date for the fifty-eighth volume of the NARUTO series and their cover image.

Naruto Vol. 58 US (Sep 2012)
Naruto Vol. 58 US (Sep 2012)

This volume covers the ever ongoing Shinobi World War Arc of Masashi Kishimoto's NARUTO. Itachi Uchiha returns to the world of the living and Naruto has to stop both him and Nagato together, The release date is set for September 4, 2012, and is currently available on Amazon.com for preorder.

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ AnimeVicers/ @ FoxxFireArt

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The Lost and the Generic Part 3:

There is a word; you need to know.  It is a simple word. It is Japanese for Animation.

No, it is not called Anime.

In this part of the series “The Lost and The Generic, the answer will be known.

First, something that I have to get off my chest.

I do not read manga like the rest of you on this site and in the community at large.

I just don’t.

I read two manga on an exclusive basis.

That would be anything drawn and or written by Osamu Tezuka. ANYTHING. It does not matter how long or alternatively, short it is.

The other is Berserk, done by Dr. Kentaro Miura.

That’s it. You can’t force me to read shojo or shohen etc. It just will not work.

There is a reason I say this.

I am an animation fan first.

I am a comic book fan first.

I grew up with both of these works. I understand there concepts and their ideals. I understand there joy and their sorrow.

I got into manga because of Tezuka. His legend is greatly known. Miura is the only man ever even CLOSE to Tezuka. Oda is nowhere close; Kishimoto is not there and may never get there, and Kubo will always be in Miura’s shadow. There is a reason why Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z got popular and why Toriyama is respected even though I may never read another work from him.

The reason is being that many manga is translated into anime and I don’t really have the time nor the cash to go through 20 volumes of work.

In addition, even if I wanted to – they all fall into the same trap and Anime has entered that trap.

It is the same trap that other parts of art world, are going through.

It is censorship, with artistic diversion. These two aspects are killing the genre.

If you have read my other works from the “Lost and Generic” series, you would know that I stated many American parents (and those that do not have kids, but the majority of them do) are again – overworked, underpaid (it seems more like that these days), as well as overstretched. The culture of the American family ideology (I say it this way because it has become one and it is not about raising children right at least not anymore) felt they have lost economic and cultural influence and power over the last 30 -35 years. There is a hidden, psychological racial element (some of it warranted) plus gender issues (shown at the Oscars quite blatantly).

But this is about anime and manga, what that got to do with anything that that is happening in this world?

You already are seeing it in Canada, Australia, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. Now it is spreading to this country.  The new word of the day coming down is “Fascistic Genericism” or better called Neo-Prussian Socialism. (If you do not know what Prussia was, go look at Wiki or better yet Britannica (on your college or school database) and read up, and start to weep).

Every time there has been an economic or conflict situation in the western world, Art is the first victim. Now, in this decade unlike any other decade, Art is being used to promote “punishment” of “weird acts”, “subversive works” and to scare other into submission – to jail and maybe to be killed even if the person have never hurt or would even hurt anyone.  Don’t be fooled however, I am a conservative and I believe in the rule of law. Nevertheless, let make one thing clear. I mean REALLY Crystal Clear.

If someone HURTS a child in any way in that sexual manner so evil – it does not matter if it is a parent or somebody the child knows or a stranger and that is proven BEYOND a reasonable doubt – that person MUST die. Period, end of STORY. I can understand age of consent; I can understand the five-year rule. I even understand in Principle having those dark images can and should send a person to jail. Nevertheless, as SO LONG and I mean AS SO LONG as the drawings or animations are NOT REAL or do not depict a child doing those dark acts (and by their definition cannot be), that person cannot go to jail and should not be in jail. He or she is a political prisoner to fill the coffers of the Judges so they can be shown to be tough on crime, and the politicians who continue to throw not only just America over board but the rest of the world into their own abyss.

However, the Governments all over are using the genre as a political toy, calling it the “scary work” with the “scary people”. Hollywood, sensing it cannot control and win over the fanbase, is trying the split the fanbase into two with their “Live Action –Anime.” They want the money. They do not care how they get it. The day they saw a man named Al Kahn make money hand over fist with Pokemon was the day they set out to destroy him, his company (using the leaders of Arlong to get along Park with Crunchyrool and the Subbing Pirates) and if they could not succeed using anime to take over the rest of the animation industry (remember, the Huluwood Executives hate them UNION’s!) they now were going to discredit you and you fans FELL for it ass first!

80% of Best Buy’s anime selection will be gone by the Middle of Lent (March 21) with only the top selling anime left, and when it’s just Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and any works from the Sci-Fi Channel’s airings, along with Pokemon/Bakugan, that whole genre will suffer the same fate action animation and then TV animation has suffered over the last five years.

Now everybody wants it fast and cheap. It was not like this. I highlighted a book called Manga Zombie – and the Gekgia movement. That movement made its way to the manga we all read. However, even Japan has gone away from it. Even they GOT scared of what it told.

Novelle Manga, Neo-Shojo and Next Gen Shohen (which a majority of manga has become) are not working. Outside of Claymore – Shohen lost the boyhood dream. Outside of Berserk, Senin; should have been the hardest of the hardcore (without being porn) and the protector of the Gekgia movement has become a perverted Shojo. Neo-Shojo became too screwed up to be readable at the same while the Old lady of Manga who pretty much ended the Gekiga movement, only had one good manga in her whole career while Josei is excessively conservative to the point of boredom.

How can Novelle Manga is the hope of a stagnating Industry over there? It is putting even more French influence (not that I hate the French way of doing art) on work that was already influenced by Bandee Dessanee, and not to mention it still sucks and the only time it worked in a Japanese context was in the Metal Gear Solid retellings of One and Two.

You fans are being RAILROADED into a corner. On one side, you’re so called HOPES for a better manga and anime future are leading into a ghetto which the Governments of the world will label you, stamp you and take some into the jails and hellholes of the Jail system.

All of this, to protect the kids.

From what?

Parents already KNOW their job. Moreover, if they do know and run to a political entity in order to HELP their kids(Not nessaraily the government that’s a bit different but even that is loaded), they do not deserve to be parents in my honest opinion.

Cant them, for the first time in the history of their life’s work WITH the kid not as a friend of all these liberal causes, smoking weed at the park or what not, nor as a heavy duty, military style – Fake as all get out Christian Fundamentalist…

But as a boy or as a girl child living in a country that gives them the freedom with responsibility to make choices for themselves!

It is this very simple, wise and holistic approach to life NOBODY will teach or even tell you.

We do not nerssarlly need censorship when people are allowed to be responsible for their actions. It is because of MORE Government meddling we are in this mess. ONLY in a police state (which the U.K. is fast becoming) you would have a 13-year-old boy having a child. NO MANGA told this kid to go and have intercourse with that 15-year-old girl. Not even the U.K. media plotted this. Nevertheless, they will use it as a CRUX to promote more Generisism.

Only in state still recovering from dictatorship – they would use anime as crux for censorship (granted, it’s almost a Muslim state but that’s for another day)

Only in a state where they still do not know if Quebec should be free or not and as of several months back, do not protect the rights of Christians (or Muslims unless politically pushed) that they would use a Unjust and inherently stupid law to send a man too weird even for yuppies to take, as a “political prisoner” (if he did have real dark pictures however, then he deserves to go to jail).

And now, here in this country in a similar case. They will make an example of those that they feel not fit for the America they so wish to protect.

And for the most of you, the profile is fitting like a glove.

The Gekgia movement was the basis of most great anime works. You cannot separate it from that genesis. When they do that – you get bad work, you get moe and harem. You get all these generic anime. You get the lackadaisical feelings and the cheapness of this particular fanbase. You get 4Chan and CrunchyRoll and Arlong to Get Along park. You do not have leaders that wish to work with the rest of the animation community but what you do have are those who will lead to your ruin.

Anime should not be used as the catch all phrase for Japanese animation. We should call it as it should have been called LONG before us in the west (with the rare exception of many in the Black Community) tried to name this particular part of animation as a racial modifier.

It is the word, Doga. Moreover, that word should be used for any animation from Japan that is not dubbed or subbed using Japanese honorifics. You can only call it anime and should call it anime – when it’s dubbed or subbed in English with no Japanese honorifics. This is because of how popular it was in France and Italy and how many French/Canadian/Japanese productions there were in the 1970’s. If those folks want it as Japanese as possible then that “pirate” or Crunchyfail must call it Doga. It cannot be called Anime. It does not even make sense to call it Anime.

As for that Genre and well as Manga – It needs a wakeup call. The world right now is heading for something far, far more impressive than it ever was in the 1960’s. But in that era Gekgia filled that need in Japan in the 1960’s and 70’s. Metal Hurlant and its American Counterpart; Heavy Metal filled that need in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The UK has AD 2000 and it still going strong. (One wonders however, about its future with that UK law barreling down the pipe at break neck speed. The Italians have their own countercultural art world. Now in this era even in Japan, the artists (even the BIG 3) are being drowned out. The original idea for Naruto, as modern day Berserk? SCRAPED. One Piece? Overrated. Bleach? Tries too hard to beat even Claymore.

Do you know what is going on in the world?

The 2008 civil unrest in Greece started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros Grigoropoulos (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος), a 15-year-old student, was fatally shot by Epaminondas Korkoneas, a policeman. The shooting occurred after an altercation between a police patrol and a small group of youths in the Exarcheia district of central Athens.[1]

The death of Grigoropoulos resulted in large demonstrations, which escalated to widespread rioting, with hundreds of rioters damaging property and engaging riot police with Molotov cocktails, stones and other objects. Demonstrations and rioting soon spread to several other cities, including Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city. Outside Greece, solidarity demonstrations, riots and, in some cases, clashes with local police also took place in a number of European cities including Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, Berlin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, The Hague, Copenhagen, Bordeaux, Seville as well as Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, and the western Cypriot city of Paphos.

Riots are breaking out in factories in Dongguan as bankruptcies and layoffs throw thousands out of work with wages owing. South China, "the world's factory," is in chaos, faltering. After the mid-autumn festival, enormous numbers of workers simply stayed home in the provinces, rather than returning to work in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Dongguan.

This AP story talks about a riot in the factory where Nerf toys were manufactured for Hasbro -- and no, they didn't fight with Nerf bats.

 

Tempers began flaring Tuesday when the plant's Hong Kong owner, Kader Holdings Company Ltd., prepared to lay off 216 migrant workers at the factory that employs 6,500. About 80 senior workers claimed they were getting shortchanged on their severance pay, and they mobilized a mob of 500 — mostly other unemployed workers and friends, Guo said.

The workers battled security guards, turned over a police car, smashed the headlights of police motorcycles and forced their way through the factory's front gate, Guo said. They went on a rampage in the plant's offices, damaging 10 computers, the company said.

Riots broke out once again in the Baltic states on Friday, this time in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, where a group of 7,000 gathered to protest planned economic austerity measures. A smaller group began throwing eggs and stones through the windows of government buildings until the police moved in, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

The episode was nearly identical to one on Tuesday in Latvia, when a peaceful protest of 10,000 people erupted into violence. And on Wednesday, a gathering of 2,000 in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, began throwing stones and snowballs at the Parliament building, calling for the nation's leaders to resign.

In all three countries, years of steady economic growth have come to a jarring halt, and citizens are facing layoffs and cuts in wages. In each case, the authorities were left wondering whether they were facing organized activism or just the anger of people whose expectations have been disappointed. "I think this is just the beginning," said Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "We should expect this to happen in many places."

You’re telling me at a time of great changes in Humanity, the best huluwood can do is Miss Cyrus?

There not speaking for us, and the longer Viz Media and all these wannabe major players want to act like them – they are going to lose to these socialistic bastards over at Crunchyroll and Arlong to Get along Park. They are going to be backslapped and made nothing but a toothless tiger by Governments trying to protect from a subversion that in the real sense does not even exist but in the actual sense all of this trying to protect their lobbyists in Foggy Bottom in the animation industry. They do not want to compete because they know that they will lose without good writers and story boarders, and they always feel they have to compete where there is NO REASON that that moment.

Japan will figure itself out. It has a history all its own. I will bet (and I am going to be right on this) whenever this economic issue ends, there will be a brand new appreciation for the work of the Gekgia Movement. They will realize that being generic and obfuscating a man or woman’s work will never get anywhere. They stop being anti-human (read as anti-female or anti-female attributes) and finally be free from the sins of their past.

We here, however are going to have to go to maybe even physical blows – not with ourselves but with a generation, to get any sense back of our humanity, our place in the world and our understanding of our individuality, our sovereignty. If we don’t have or see art or pro sport (read as wrestling or mma) that doesn’t have that spark that we saw in the ECW years, those years of great animation from all over the world and in our country and other such things, we must treat it as it is; trash from a Generation that owns the world and may have destroyed our future. You saw it in the Oscars on Sunday. That Generation only cares for what it has done and does not care for the broken down men or women they have BECOME! In addition, if we do not create work or supports work that makes them see this fact even if it is for the first TIME, we will have failed has men (gay or straight) and women (lesbian, bi or straight) and they will through their unconscious fascism, psychological neo liberal racism and class and universal degrading of our minds via the mediocre work they have produced since the end of the 1988 WGA strike, will break this country into a million pieces and the world will lose hope that America will be a shining city on a hill. And they wouldn’t care.

Because THEY GOT THERES.

But their envious nature will make sure we will be poor, destitute and wishing we were slumdog millionaires, in the streets our forefathers fought and died in as the world cheered for FREEDOM! when we won.

That is the rebellion Gekgia and all anime represents. Take that away and you have nothing but porn.

The Writer of Manga Zombie, Udagawa Takeo stated it best:

The best manga are always the worst manga. And vice versa. Manga should never be 'healthy' or 'educational' or 'good for kids'…

Burn manga. Especially Eighties manga on.

Burn these pre-programmed comics that have been churned out ever since manga turned into a business. Burn these bastard things conceived in boardrooms and born as products.

For example, love stories that go on...and oon... and ooon...and oooon.

Burn them. Stories about heroes beating the odds through sheer grit and friendship. Burn them.

'Interactive' stories swinging any way the reader surveys tell them:

Burn. Them. All.

Come out of the grave, manga!

Screaming and streaming blood and sweat, pages spattered with artist's crazed flesh, manga that grab and throw you deep into the warped and fucked-up pit of the artist's mind itself. And leave you there.

To live it. And manga, staggering on their very last legs, drawn so the artists could eat one more day.

Come back. All is forgiven.

The Translator, John Gallagher followed:

                I'd have to go with Ugagawa-san on this one. Manga should rot the brain.

I add this. Not to rot the brain. However, to save it from being:

Generic and listless.

The final part of The Lost and the Generic will be on Cartoon Electro by Wednesday, the epilogue of that will be back here as episode seven of Virtuous Queen.

To read more about Manga Zombie please go to http://comipress.com/special/manga-zombie and read more about the Gekgia Movement. I will talk more about it in the future.

Until Next Time.

NovidAnon.

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