There has been a lot of news coming out of the Naruto world ever since its finale was announced two or three months ago; a marketing ploy that has worked if only to keep the word ‘Naruto’ in the limelight.
With the manga finale behind us, there has been a lot of talk about the future of Naruto, a ton of rumors about what we might expect and a surprising amount of criticism about the series' continued run next year, most of which seems somewhat uninformed.
But before that:+The Naruto Finale
There are a lot of things that could be said about the Naruto manga Finale, but satisfying isn’t one of them. Even considering the positive elements of chapters 600 and 700, the final moments of the series were ridiculously rushed, with so many plots brushed under the rug and numerous characters and villains either forgotten or relegated to one or two panels near the end.
Which makes you wonder, why the rush? What about Shonen Jump’s plans had them determined to end the manga series at a perfect 700 chapters?
Complain as one might about the length of the final arc, Naruto as a series would have been better served had the final moments of its run, even the final villain been assigned to a short, separate 15-20 chapter arc, bringing the series to a close in a slow steady manner.
Are we really supposed to believe that Kishimoto was so tired of drawing his manga that he made the irrational decision to end the long awaited Sasuke/Naruto clash in five chapters? No, it doesn’t make sense, or maybe I am giving the mangaka too much credit.
Whatever the case, it happened, nothing can change that. And while the rush cannot be forgiven, we can show appreciation for a kickass final battle, specifically the hand to hand elements.
Giant and flashy attacks are fine and all, but there is something so much more visceral about two shinobi beating the holly hell out of one another with their fists.
There is every chance that, no matter how these events played out in the manga, the anime is going to make these final chapters the best we have seen in Shippuden.RATING: 5/10
, a massive Naruto fan I might be, but I wanted so much more out of this finale than Kishimoto actually gave us. That being said, there is a rationale to the way that final fight played out.
Considering the fact that the Fourth Great Ninja war Played out over a period of four days, and taking into account the enemies they have encountered in that time, could we really have expected the fight between these two young shinobi to last any longer?
More importantly one has to appreciate the poignant dialogue presented in the exchange between Naruto and Sasuke, Kishimoto using very few words to say so much.+The Future
It’s happening, we are getting more Naruto. And you are either going to rejoice at the idea or curse.
Either reaction makes sense. If you loved the original series, then the Bolt Story cannot come fast enough.
If Naruto irritated you to the core, then you cannot understand how anyone could waste so much time, money and effort on another 100 or so chapters or even episodes of the series. Otaku are divisive beings with diverse opinions. And to an extent it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.
Rather than wondering what the fandom (and haters) think, time would be better spent trying to understand the logic behind carving out a few more years of Naruto. A better question would be this:-Does Naruto Need/Deserve a Third Series?
The number of people all too ready to jump down Kishimoto’s throat at the mere idea of a third Naruto series is staggering, many of them choosing to hate on the manga before they even have the chance to read it.
Who cares if Kishimoto has spent the last 15 years writing Naruto and has shown, on numerous occasions, that he has what it takes to produce some great material? What does it matter that Naruto has managed to hold onto its position in the top 10 best selling manga of each year for 15 years where many of its rivals have risen and then fallen away?
Kishimoto is just a greedy bastard that cannot see further than his paycheck, after all, right?
Why all the hate for a story Kishimoto has even yet to write? The answer is pretty simple. Dragon Ball GT-Dragon Ball GT VS Naruto
Akira Toriyama was the first so called greedy bastard that so many comments on YouTube speak of, a talented mangaka that supposedly sold the soul of his greatest creation in an attempt to extend the already over-extended Dragon Ball franchise beyond its breaking point.
The obsession with Dragon Ball GT is baffling; it was bad, yes, but the idea that its existence somehow proves the folly of anime and manga continuing longer than they must is erroneous.
Why are so many people expecting the third and final Naruto series to suck? Because Dragon Ball GT sucked.
But let’s be clear here. The comparison between Naruto and Dragon Ball is ridiculous; they might share a few similarities but these two series are completely different from one another.
Yes, Dragon Ball GT sucked, but who didn’t see that coming? The fact that Dragon Ball Z managed to succeed is nothing short of a miracle. Akira’s entire concept has always been flawed, at least in the context of long running series.
When you base a story on fighting, when its core is heavily dependent on the creation of epic battles, there are only so many places you can go before running out of room. Every arc finale in Dragon Ball Z ended with Goku achieving a power-up of such weight that you knew the key to the success of Akira’s next arc lay, not in his ability to tell even more engrossing stories, but whether he could create an even more powerful villain, which would necessitate an even more powerful Goku to emerge.
Guren Lagan understood that once you began down this ‘Who is the most powerful?’ road, there would be no stopping; which is why it went all the way, creating galaxy and universe sized mechs within its 24 episode run.
Dragon Ball kept riding this train for more than 300 hundred episodes; and the result was GT.
Because when you think Dragon Ball, the only question you can ask about any upcoming movie/series/story is: who are they going to fight next?
And like Bleach, whether or not GT succeeded came down to how well Akira could answer this question; once you have fought mercenaries, you have to move on to aliens, androids, super saiyans, and now gods. And once he defeats the gods and becomes the greatest of them all, then what?
The flaw in dragon ball is clear; there is an obstacle that Akira cannot hope to keep overcoming.NARUTO ISN’T DRAGON BALL
. It has never been about Naruto Uzumaki becoming the strongest there is. Nor have any of the arcs ever focused upon creating the most powerful villains the series has ever seen.
Naruto has what DB GT never had, a story and great characters. And every jutsu created, kunai thrown and action scene drawn was only ever purposed to tell Naruto Uzumaki’s story, not his rise to power per say, but his attempts at finding peace in the ninja world, and saving his friend.
Kishimoto has every advantage going for him that Akira Toriyama never had with Dragon Ball GT.
And there is one important factor that so many people seem to forget:-Bolt
It would be difficult to accuse Kishimoto of pushing the Naruto series past its expiration date when the Naruto Manga we are expect to see next spring won’t even be Naruto.
We all need to understand this: Naruto ended this year, 2014, on chapter 699 (with chapter 700 playing out as more of an epilogue). Excited as some of us might be about the return of Naruto in a few Months time, the next time Kishimoto’s work hits the internet, it won’t be Naruto.
Instead the focus will shift upon Bolt (Boruto), Naruto’s son, and a whole new generation of shinobi. Even with Naruto and group making an appearance every once in a while, the Naruto story is over. 2015 is bringing us a whole new story, one that Kishimoto can be trusted to succeed with if you consider the skill with which he authored Naruto Part 1. And with a whole new cast and an ENTIRE WORLD to explore, the comparisons with Dragon Ball GT more or less lose weight.-So Does Naruto deserve another series?
Well, let us consider what the future of Naruto has in store for fans. Kishimito intends to tell a minimum of four stories revolving around characters like Kakashi, Shikamaru and Gaara; there is every reason to expect these side stories to entertain, especially with regards to further expanding the Naruto universe and plugging a few holes and gaps in the series.
The anime is expected to continue past chapter 700, under the direction of the same writer and director that developed Naruto: Blood Prison.
Which allows for a sense of optimism. Blood Prison was a decent animated movie, very grounded in the Naruto universe.
Beyond merely adapting the novels to screen, we can probably expect to catch up on Naruto’s life between chapters 699 and 700, at least for a few months, allowing Kishimoto enough time to finish the third installment of Naruto
, which, according to interviews, is expected to be a mini series and will not run for more than 24-30 chapters.
There has been no indication of a closing date for the Naruto anime, which means it could continue even past the Bolt mini series.
Whether or not this is a good thing is difficult to tell; at the rate at which the anime is progressing (taking into consideration the upcoming filler), Shippuden should reach chapter 700 by the time the first chapter of Bolt’s story hits the internet, which makes one cringe at the thought of the amount of bad filler we might have to endure.
Yet, there is only one thing you can take away from this; Naruto isn’t a one trick pony. There is clearly more to the story than Madara and giant chakra beasts. The victory against Kaguya was just that: a bad guy was beaten.
Does that mean the shinobi world stopped moving? Is their peace the world over? Clearly not. You wouldn’t suggest that the defeat of Hitler somehow brought the hard times to an end, and that the world has been enjoying peace ever since.
Of course not. There is still turmoil and drama and chaos.
IN a similar manner, Kaguya was one person. Life continues. Naruto has spent the majority of its run within the confines of the hidden villages. What do we even know about the real world in the Naruto Universe?
Nothing, that’s what. There is still so much story left to tell; it just won’t be a story about Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura.+EXPECTATIONS
The anime has a lot of potential, specifically when it comes to closing all the holes in the Naruto story and providing us a glimpse of events yet to be explained, starting with the filler in January which, if the internet is to be believed, will chronicle how the Konoha 11 became Chunin and Jonin, basically covering the gap between Naruto part 1 and 2.
A recent interview with Kishimoto also further unraveled the mysteries of the upcoming third series. And if the translations are to be believed, Orochimaru and Kabuto are going to be the final villains of the mini series, essentially capping off the remnants of old Naruto stories and putting the previous two series to a final rest.
If Kishimoto can provide fans all the answers he promised and failed to deliver in the final arc, then the new era of Naruto seems set for greatness.
It is worth keeping in mind that, for us anime only fans, Naruto hasn’t yet ended. We are still marching forward with the final War arc; so maybe this question of Naruto’s future is fairly irrelevant to us until we actually wrap up with the Naruto story