Seemed like it was about time to go ahead and watch these first episodes for myself. My first thought…?
It’s patently ridiculous that there was any kind of backlash against the ROCK LEE show for being too silly. Aside from the rendering being super-deformed, it’s… pretty much right in tone with this stuff. They’re equally light and frivolous. In fact, the tone of this is so far away from the quite dour SHIPPUDEN opener I watched a while back, it’s quite clear that this major part of the Shonen formula. You lure a younger audience in with a gentler show, then steadily replace it with a grimmer one that appeals to an older audience. ==TEASER ==
Sure, that isn’t rocket science - - but it’s a kind of a science, all the same. When people point to HARRY POTTER and say it grew up with its audience, it at least seems like that was more due to J.K. Rowling looking at her own mythos differently as the years went by. Put this in sequence in with BLEACH, ONE PIECE and the mold-maker, DRAGON BALL, and it's clear that there was a long ball storytelling plan from the beginning.
I’ll never get over how ONE PIECE had the crew chasing a poodle around for a whole episode early on, and eventually got to graphic depictions of drug addiction. Naruto and Luffy fit pretty much the same character profile - - they even laugh the same way - - so I can only imagine what dark corners this show will venture into since it starts with a team-up with the ninja clan version of Captain Underpants.
What’s also striking here is the way that Episode #2 doesn’t exactly flow directly from Episode #1. Again, I feel like a lot of relevant backstory’s been skipped over for the sake of getting to the more fun and interesting stuff (there’s always room for that later, no?). Naruto went through a life-changing, dramatic ordeal last time and learnt some terrible things about his past. Yet here he is, goofing off like it’s just another Saturday? That's probably part of the formula, too.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|