The problem with long-running shounens is that creators have to create as many episodes as possible (in order to earn as much money as possible). And while there are many ways to do so, Naruto is guilty of a lot more than simple capitalism.
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While all popular children"s shounen shows like Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach and One Piece get a lot of hate because they prioritized money over proper character development and motivations, a solid narrative, and a consistent animation style, this article will focus on only the unforgivable aspects of the Naruto series.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with flashbacks themselves, because when they’re done correctly, they can add a lot of missing context to the narrative (like why Uchiha and the Senja clans hate each other).
However, the middle of an intense battle is the absolute worst time to go into flashback mode, and Naruto is guilty of exactly this behavior on numerous occasions.
If it’s one thing every long running shounen is guilty of, it is how they treat their female characters as either love interests, maternal figures, best friend or sister and sometimes a side character who’s secretly in love with the protagonist. God forbid these girls have a personality of their own, or worse, the ability to actually be useful in a series.
It’s the same problem in Naruto, especially since women are shown to be disproportionately dumb/useless and always in need of saving by a man. A lot of smaller characters like Tsunade were also left underutilized. There was nothing special about her, and without her the story would have continued on without any problems, which goes on to illustrate even further how terribly written Naruto’s female characters are
As is the case with flashbacks, fillers too become a necessary evil when churning out one episode after the other. However, roughly 40% of Naruto, or an easy 200+ episodes are nothing but filler content. They add absolutely nothing of value to the anime, its plot, its narratives or its characters. It exists because it has to.
There’s no denying certain fillers were extremely funny, while others were rightly emotional. However, fillers like Jiraiya’s Ninja Scroll arc are exactly why new anime fans shy away from series like Naruto. Giving the filler episodes a pass instead of acknowledging that they’re a massive deterrent, is one of the biggest problem with the Naruto fanbase.
7 Neji’s Death Having Absolutely No Meaning To It Whatsoever
Neji basically died so that fans could fast forward through the romantic development between Hinata and Naruto. Which would have been fine, if he wasn"t a totally OP character who was impossible to kill.
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So how exactly do you kill such a strong character? Through plot convenience, of course. Also because you just naturally assume your audience isn’t smart enough to notice such a shameless move. Killing off a beloved character for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and then fans pretending that this isn’t a massive problem with the Naruto narrative, is just sad.
While it’s understandable that shows like Naruto are meant for children and as such can’t have questionable content, it still doesn’t explain why the characters in this series would forgive those who have committed irredeemable acts.
Not only did Naruto forgive terrible people like Orochimaru, Madara, Kabuto, Sasuke and Obito (mass murderers, baby killers, killers of the 3rd Hokage, and people who experimented on humans), these people escaped their crimes with little to no punishment. This is positive toxicity at its best.
5 The Anime Became Too Big For Its Own Good
Naruto used to be a runt who dreamed of becoming a Hokage, a little boy whose journey was encapsulated well in the original series. However, with the passage of time he became less of a person and more of a God.
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The more battles he fought, the more invincible he became. This resulted in bigger and bigger battles and after one point, you can easily tell that the writers had run out of material and fights (quite nonsensical ones, at that) were being fought just to prove how great a fighter Naruto is.
Treating a young boy as an outcast because of the actions of his father seems to be a reasonable reaction in the Naruto-verse, because this is exactly what the Leaf Village people did to Naruto. He was treated like a monster, which would have made even a little sense of his father was evil.
The thing is, his father Minato was considered a hero by the villagers because he saved their lives. So then why was Naruto hated? For the sake of being hated (and also to create a sympathetic back story for him, obviously).
3 Danzo Being Loved As A Character
Danzo was a terrible, terrible person whose actions (much like those of the other characters in this series) made no logical sense whatsoever. He was never a hero because he never tried to protect the Leaf Village. His intentions were selfish at best, and nonsensical at worst.
If anything, he was an extremist who used the “for the good of the village” line to do whatever he pleased, even if it meant harming those who resided in that village.
It’s always the same villains with the same motivations, the same reactions of the good guys and the same drawn out fights and battles between good and evil sides, where good always ends up winning.
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with an old wine in a new bottle, but the problem with this series as that even the bottle was as old as the wine itself! This is saddening, especially when fans realize that a lot of character development on the manga (like that of Gaara) was given up so that the series could have more nonsensical fights.
1 Itachi’s Reverse Character "Development"
Itachi is an extremely popular character from the Naruto series, and rightfully so. Not only does he have amazingly unbeatable powers, he’s a good guy who was blessed with a fantastic character design as well. His complexity was his USP, but with the passage of time it was pushed further and further into the background.
Not only is he reduced to a foil who keeps losing fights with Naruto in order to make him (Naruto) appear stronger and better, some of his decisions made zero sense (like killing his own clan or raising a brother who’s a pure ball of hatred).
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Sonal is a full time freelance writer from India, who"s been writing and editing for over a decade now. If there"s a genre out there (that doesn"t require her to be a rocket scientist), then she"s written on it! And les-grizzlys-catalans.org happens to be one of her favorite projects, as she"s paid to write about two things she loves - manga and anime.