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NARUTO #3 -- Retro Review

Scatological jutsu!

Weirdly enough, you don’t actually come across potty humor that much in anime. You’re far more likely to run into, say, a nosebleed joke; and that’s about another sort of private part, obviously. So, when you find an episode that largely revolves around Naruto making sacrifices at the porcelain altar, it’s notable.

I’ll leave it up to you decide what implications this has about the differences between Eastern and Western culture…

Looking at NARUTO from the outside, at conventions like AX, I always figured that one key to its popularity was that it was actually rather easy to cosplay. If you wanted to dress up as characters BLEACH, you’d have to actively search for a black kimono. Trying it for ONE PIECE requires a lengthy and random search through the thrift shop. NARUTO, though? Well, it’s not that hard to find cargo pants, camping vest and track suits, is it?

That sensibility seems to extend to the plotting of the show (at least in these early episodes). Sure, all these shows are aiming to make their heroes’ concerns relatable to the lives of their young viewers. That’s stating the very most obvious. However, what’s striking here is that this high school doesn’t seem really even seem fit to that well into the show’s fantasy world. Its inclusion is almost the biggest slight-of-hand jutsu going on.

Oh, and there’s something else that amusingly upholds shonen troops (and also demonstrates some key East/West storytelling differences)…

If this were an American cartoon, we’d very likely see a Sakura/Sasuke/Naruto love triangle getting set up here. Since it’s an anime, though, I’ll bet a no-prize on the will-they/won’t-they tension centering entirely on Sakura and Sasuke, while Nartuo will go through the entirety of this show without getting a love interest of his own. The kid already laughs exactly like Luffy. I’m sure he always thinks of food before girls, just like him, as well.

Watch "Sasuke and Sakura: Friends or Foes?" and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode.

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
Juubion March 26, 2014 at 11:12 a.m.

Yeah, for the first part of the manga, Sakura and Sasuke were almost official couple when I think about that. Then...that happened.

At this point, I think chances reached a level well near of zero, but the manga had become such an unpredictable thing that my use of reason and common sense had become useless.

Marshal Victoryon March 26, 2014 at 4:13 p.m.

Err it does have a love triangle of sorts tho not complete. He lovers her she love that guy but that guy doenst love. So it does have the three points of the triangle. But its not set up as Western entertainment would have for sure.

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