As an anime fan , I started with my otaku journey with several animes that now that I look back on them were not particularly good.By that I mean anime like Pokémon, Zatch Bell and Inuyasha. Naruto is not one of them.If you have seen the title and your IQ is above 80.You can deduce this is a positive review of the anime serie Naruto Shippuden. If you don't know Naruto Shippuden is a sequel of the first serie which was based of the first part of the manga by Masashi Kishimoto.This review will be broken down in two aspects the characters and the story development.
THE CHARACTERSFirst off Naruto does a pretty good job at character development. If you have watched the first serie or read the mange since the beggining you can see the characters of Naruto ,Sasuke and Sakura have developped and matured.Naruto goes from being this underdog and this pariah to the hero of Konoha who has affected everybody's life. Sakura goes from being this character who was
quite simply a "Sasuke fangirl" to a more serious character that at least tries to be useful.You can see that overall the characters in the series have matured even Naruto which I use to see as your typical shounen hero as grown to the point where the character seems too different from the "eat allot,act like a goof,power-up constantly and fight for your nakama". However although ,I like the character I have to add that Kishimoto made the character way too emotionally dependant on Sasuke... I mean hyperventilating rly?.
Although it is nice to see focus between the bonds of two characters rather then the simple "FIGHT FOR YOUR FRIENDS!!!" as you can see the author make parallels between the two characters ,Kishimoto as also used this tactic during the Gaara retrieval arc also think this makes Naruto a likable character and explains why he and Sasuke rank among the most liked characters(Naruto is number 1 and Sasuke number 2 ).As for Sasuke , I think he has developed in a good manner as it was hinted since his first appearance that he wanted revenge and over the course of the first series his motives are explained and during part 2 your can see him becoming more and more heartless in his quest for revenge. Many people seem to dislike Sasuke for turning his back on the village, I will simply ask those peoples about the vilains they and ask to explain to me how those are any better then the Konoha rogue.
Now aside from the main cast , you can also see a certain level of development such has Gaara changing into a somewhat normal character due to his experience with Naruto ,Hinata being less shy ,Sai developing emotions and Shikamaru becoming a less lazy and more professional shinobi.
Now I am disapointed in some aspects, like Rock Lee not getting enough screen and not being developed and Kakashi being the same as the time -skip progresses. But overrall the characters in Naruto are exploited better then in most shounen anime.
THE PLOT AND STORY DEVELOPMENT
I would say that it has it's good and bad points.First the fighting feels like it is actually here to advance the story.I could not say that about Dragon Ball and Bleach for example(no offence to fans of those series) where the story is only a pretext for fighting.Another nice thing about the fights is that they seem to rely much more on strategy then in other animes of the same genre. I like the fact that the story becomes overall more adult in shippuden.As I said , the characters However , they are aspects of the show that just shouldn't be there like the fillers and flashbacks.I think the flashbacks are good as they do help you sympathize with the characters but I think you should limit your flashbacks to one every 10 or 15 episodes(the team 7 flashbacks). As for the Naruto/Sasuke I do not personally mind it,I actually think it is ,as I said above, much more interresting to focus on two characters then on the friendships in a group. I also like the fact that the anime made me genuinely sad at times due to it's deaths (Jiraiya , Danzo,Sarutobi,Nagato,Itachi,etc.).It is nice to see a shounen anime which is actually fine with killing off characters that are relevant to the story. I also liked the usage of Chekhov's gun in the anime with the Akatsuki not being a very important group in part one but being very important in part 2 , Yondaime not being important at all in part 1 but being very important to the plot of part 2.Chekhov's gun seems to be very used in the fights as well , you have characters doing minor things in fights that you think are just another cool move and then you find out they were all part of a big master plan for them to win.
Overall Naruto Shippuden is one of the better animes of the shounen genre and a very good anime that I was pleasantly surprised with.It is possible to watch this anime without part 1 due to the constant flashbacks although I don't think it is the best decision as you wouldn't get as much of a feel of the characters.I think it is aside from maybe Beelzebub the only popular shoune I like at the moment(I have not seen one piece and yu yu hakusho).