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 Post subject: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-07 10:36pm
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I know, I know.

Far from being an otaku, I've experienced maybe half a dozen manga/anime over the years. But this series has long been a guilty pleasure of mine, and I say that as someone unashamed by his enjoyment of the Posleen and Honorverse books.

There's just something about a hyper orange hero with the power to multiply himself. Or the vast and varied cast of secondary characters. I do like how the themes are accessible, without beating you over the head. Usually. The themes themselves are something I support wholeheartedly, never give up, effort and determination mattering more than natural skill, revenge vs. forgiveness, even the recent navel-gazing about war and peace that never went anywhere. There'd better be a hell of a payoff for that.

People say it's derivative, the recycled plot of a dozen better manga. I can't really say one way or the other. Does it have every little thing that drives me nuts, from every minor character having an episode long flashback telling their life's story to "secret ultimate attacks" that are objectively less useful than just stabbing someone? You bet.

Still, I like it. This is something of a theme with me lately.


Not literally. But I can enjoy a flawed story, even a seriously flawed one, without denying it's faults.



That said, this seems like an auspicious time to start a thread. If you read the manga there's a real sense that things are finally moving towards endgame. If you follow the show, you can believe that this is the beginning of the end. The nations (though since they're led by Daimyos, perhaps Baronies would be more appropriate) of the world have forged an alliance to resist the Akatsuki, and even the assembled armies of the world are outnumbered and outgunned as the remaining members pull out ever more absurd powers, including Kabuto who resurrects every dead Kage, jinchuuriki, former Akatsuki member, or famous ninja to fight on his side.

Also:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Orochimaru is back from the dead, and not as one of Kabuto's puppets. Naruto has made peace with the Kyuubi, while Sasuke obtains even more ridiculous eye-related power upgrades.


And a lot of the series' mysteries have been cleared up, which I won't get into in a first post, even with spoiler tags.

So does anyone else care one whit about this?



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-07 10:48pm
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It's not as good a series as it once was, but it still has its moments. The most recent one being
[Reveal] Spoiler: manga spoilers
Tobi phasing into his you-can't-hurt-me pocket dimension... and finding one of Naruto's shadow clones waiting for him, rasengan in hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-07 11:03pm
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That was good.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Not as good as Naruto turning into the Kyuubi for the first time, or having a meet and greet with the most powerful beings in the world.


Also, when they unmasked Tobi I could hear a million fanboys and writers of terrible fanfics leap up and scream "we told you so!"



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-07 11:40pm
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I gave Shippuden a season. That was about all I could stand, and there's really much better animu out there. This is coming from a Yu Yu Hakusho/G Gundam fanboy.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-07 11:51pm
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General Zod wrote:
I gave Shippuden a season. That was about all I could stand, and there's really much better animu out there. This is coming from a Yu Yu Hakusho/G Gundam fanboy.


Well, there's a LOT of filler episodes in Shippuden... Latest episodes have had pretty good animation and nice art.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-08 12:02am
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Or you could just watch animu that isn't as awful and needlessly prolonged. I had enough of that with DBZ in the 90s.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-08 12:15am
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Honestly, it's better to NEVER, EVER watch a shoenen anime based on a manga that's a long runner unless that manga has already concluded. Especially these days, the filler will be utterly intolerable. Hell, even olds school DBZ had its filler which I remember quite distinctly.

Cutting away for countless reaction shots, the Garlic Jr. Arc. . . the constant, long screaming. God, Kai was a damn nice thing to do. Made me truly realize how much filler/slowed down pacing they did.

That said, I've found myself following it again now that it's wrapping up. I skipped HUGE chunks and I still have a good idea what's going on.

Man, the post-timeskip stuff has been rather draggy.

Still, at least it's ending on a big concluding part rather than some other recent shoenen anime I could mention. *cough*Bleach*cough*



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-08 12:58am
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My friends from my college were bigger fans than I am. I'm mostly a casual Naruto fan.

Still, the revelations regarding what really happened the night Kyubi attacked the village re-captured my interest and I agree it seems to be heading towards its endgame.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-08 01:11am
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I like Naruto (for a shonen series, I'm starting to like Seinen vastly more like Fate/Zero or Madoka Magicka) a lot, the mangaka knows what he's doing and generally thought out his world and its "system" their ninja-wizards use to enough detail that there aren't any noticeable asspulls. Naruto is likeable as a protagonist and has a decent drama-plot to humor ratio with alright themes for a shonen/kid's manga.

I genuinely care for the story and the characters, I feel there's a lot done to make me appreciate this series on its merits as literature and not just as a fun saturday morning cartoon. Contrast with Bleach where the story is meh, the characters generally just look cool and any and all potential has been squandered by Kubo's inability to think of interesting things to do with his characters so he invents a random batch of 2d20+Character Level new characters and writes the next arc around it.

Here's my criticisms though; obvious caveats aside that being a serialized manga there's pacing constraints on the mangaka but considering other shonens like Soul Eater seem to manage just fine its not an excuse.

Firstly and foremost and to what extent I blame Japanese social mores on this I just don't know but Naruto doesn't do a very good job at developing its female characters, of whom there's at least six that are major and yet have about as much screen time as any other minor or side character, including Sakura. Naruto does a okay job overall, its not misogynistic but god damn it hurts a lot when other perfectly good concepts are just sorta forgotten or seemingly gone out of its way to ignore.

Like Hinata and the Hyouga who sort just received a double whammy because of being a girl and being a part of a clan that the writer just wants to ignore in favor of the Uchiha.

Sure I like the Uchiha but I feel that maybe we could've gotten more enjoyable plot from it if a) the Uchiha weren't completely wiped out, b) if the eyes weren't overpowered, and c) more emphasis on the whole ninja thing where they try to steal corpses to learn secrets.

On first glance, Amaretsu, Sussano, and so on were cool but it might've been better if they were unique to each eye and that taking eyes to unlock the EMS might've been also to megaman up on all the other abilities, Tobi and Who Know Who could still be a threat, and maybe Sasuke and The Goddman Batman could still through plot contrivances get them all or most of them, but the clan as a whole wouldn't seem so overpowered that they needed to be wiped out to make it easier to write.

Not much else to really criticize so I'll just emphasize that the mangaka I really wish wouldn't just keep forgetting plot threads. Like what is the significance of the Akatsuki rings? How come we haven't seen more of the whole elemental rock paper scissors in combat? Since we also see a lot of abandoned cityscapes lying around is there going to be any elaboration on whether the Narutoverse is post apocalypse Earth? Plus the power creep inconsistencies such as the Orochimaru fight versus the Third who was supposed to have been one of the Strongest Ninja's Ever and then there's all these other ninja who can rearrange the landscape virtually at will.

I can't believe how many years its been since I first starting following Naruto, oh my, its like Harry Potter where it just kinda grows on you, y'know?

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-08 01:35am
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I really enjoy it, although it's had some annoying stretches. The unmasking Tobi . . . I think I owe somebody at Narutofan forums an apology for mocking that theory years ago. I don't really care for it that much, to be honest.

Blayne wrote:
Not much else to really criticize so I'll just emphasize that the mangaka I really wish wouldn't just keep forgetting plot threads. Like what is the significance of the Akatsuki rings? How come we haven't seen more of the whole elemental rock paper scissors in combat? Since we also see a lot of abandoned cityscapes lying around is there going to be any elaboration on whether the Narutoverse is post apocalypse Earth? Plus the power creep inconsistencies such as the Orochimaru fight versus the Third who was supposed to have been one of the Strongest Ninja's Ever and then there's all these other ninja who can rearrange the landscape virtually at will.


The setting is pretty inconsistent. It's a random mix of all kinds of modern technology and feudal stuff. I like it mostly for the characters and the storylines.

Even after all its issues, it's still better than Bleach.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-08 02:44am
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Blayne wrote:
Firstly and foremost and to what extent I blame Japanese social mores on this I just don't know but Naruto doesn't do a very good job at developing its female characters, of whom there's at least six that are major and yet have about as much screen time as any other minor or side character, including Sakura. Naruto does a okay job overall, its not misogynistic but god damn it hurts a lot when other perfectly good concepts are just sorta forgotten or seemingly gone out of its way to ignore.
I think that's because Kishimoto just can't write female characters. I seem to vaguely remember him admitting as much, but as I don't have a source for that don't take my word for it.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-20 09:36pm
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JME2 wrote:
My friends from my college were bigger fans than I am. I'm mostly a casual Naruto fan.

Still, the revelations regarding what really happened the night Kyubi attacked the village re-captured my interest and I agree it seems to be heading towards its endgame.


Just for shits and giggles, rewatch/read "the Fourth Hokage's Secret Death Match" with the understanding that the masked man is Minato's student. He really seems far more of an asshole.

General Zod wrote:
Or you could just watch animu that isn't as awful and needlessly prolonged. I had enough of that with DBZ in the 90s.


I've done all the apologizing I ever plan to for liking this. There truly is no accounting for taste.

Quote:
Since we also see a lot of abandoned cityscapes lying around is there going to be any elaboration on whether the Narutoverse is post apocalypse Earth?


I've heard that theory a lot in fanfics. If it's true, the apocalypse happened long enough ago that it doesn't really affect people much anymore.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-20 11:00pm
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I consider the criticism of "needlessly prolonged" to frankly be dubious considering the genre and medium of distribution; the Naruto/DBZ comparison is like trying to compare 1930's Disney war propaganda to Up! at least as a matter of technical perspective, DBZ had virtually every possible teething issue early shounen could have while Naruto doesn't do anything wrong. It has a consistent pacing, tone, themes and style and while there's issues they don't significantly "harm" the manga, its just stuff that's "missing" we'ld have liked to have seen but couldn't.

The majority of 'Hate' I see from ('Murican) Naruto fans seems to be entirely aimed at Sasuke and anything at all remotely related to Sasuke and the console commands eye h4x the Uchiha are entirely and shallowly based around.

Though people like Itachi and Obito, but that's because they're basically Narutoverse's Batman and Robin.

Though again, disclaimer I am probably one of the few that tends to like Sasuke and the Uchiha but I concede they could have been better done.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 05:49am
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Blayne wrote:
I consider the criticism of "needlessly prolonged" to frankly be dubious considering the genre and medium of distribution; the Naruto/DBZ comparison is like trying to compare 1930's Disney war propaganda to Up! at least as a matter of technical perspective, DBZ had virtually every possible teething issue early shounen could have while Naruto doesn't do anything wrong. It has a consistent pacing, tone, themes and style and while there's issues they don't significantly "harm" the manga, its just stuff that's "missing" we'ld have liked to have seen but couldn't.


Well, no. They have exactly the same core problem as adaptations. And they all do it. All the shonen nonsense. Catch up to the manga, have shitloads of filler to let it get back ahead.

IIRC Naruto once had more than a hundred straight episodes of pure filler.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 11:27am
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I was following the series when it went through that. It was painful, although there were some hilarious one-episode stories in there (like the episode with the Ninja Postmen, where Naruto finishes the manuscript of a Make-Out Tactics book for Jiraiya and mails it off).

[Reveal] Spoiler: "Most recent manga chapter"
It looks like we're now getting into the back-story of how Obito Became A Bad Guy. The chapter actually wasn't bad, considering that it completely interrupted the flow of the battle sequence. I loved Obito's "God, I just know this is going to be long" reaction once Madara started his spiel.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 12:35pm
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Vendetta wrote:
Well, no. They have exactly the same core problem as adaptations. And they all do it. All the shonen nonsense. Catch up to the manga, have shitloads of filler to let it get back ahead.

IIRC Naruto once had more than a hundred straight episodes of pure filler.


Actually it was a couple episodes short of ninety fillers in a row. Still agony, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 12:49pm
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Eframepilot wrote:

Actually it was a couple episodes short of ninety fillers in a row. Still agony, though.

Is there a series aside from... maybe One Piece which manages to make anything but utter crap for fillers? (And even then I'd say One Piece is batting a .250 there, three crap filler arcs for every one good arc.)




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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 12:53pm
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Mr Bean wrote:
Eframepilot wrote:

Actually it was a couple episodes short of ninety fillers in a row. Still agony, though.

Is there a series aside from... maybe One Piece which manages to make anything but utter crap for fillers? (And even then I'd say One Piece is batting a .250 there, three crap filler arcs for every one good arc.)


The Bount Arc filler episodes in Bleach weren't too bad. It had an interesting idea, some interesting characters (particularly the former Soul Reaper serving the leader of the Bounts), and an unfortunately so-so ending. It still made the filler episodes pass much faster.



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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 01:25pm
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Guardsman Bass wrote:
The Bount Arc filler episodes in Bleach weren't too bad. It had an interesting idea, some interesting characters (particularly the former Soul Reaper serving the leader of the Bounts), and an unfortunately so-so ending. It still made the filler episodes pass much faster.

The Bount Arc did start well but it did fall apart just like the later Zanpaktou rebellion arc which despite the really lacking in scare factor main bad guy gave us a brief glimpse of something great when said main bad guy "frees" Ichigo's sword only for the Hollow to take over and start wrecking things but it gets resolved that episode and after that the rest of the arc is a total wash.

So there we go, number of Naruto fillers to recommend 0
Number of Bleach Fillers to recommend Bount and Zanpaktou but only the start of each arc.
Number of One Piece Fillers to recommend, the G-8 and Rainbow Mist both of which despite being filler arcs are highly enjoyable.




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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 02:39pm
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DBZ filler is literally a waste of your time, just people yelling and charging up their power and so on.

Naruto and Bleach filler is just non canonical stories or essentially official fanfiction at worst, that's a massive difference. People enjoy Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality right?

Naruto pre-Shippudden was maybe the worse offender in recent history (never seen OP and Fairy Tale), it has a long extended what? 100 episodes of non story progression filler because they wanted Shippudden to settle in first? But was it bad? I don't think so, a lot of people got to have roughly a dozen episodes in which their favourite combination of side characters did stuff and bounced off each other.

And unlike Bleach we actually saw some new abilities thrown around, such as with Hinata, I like Hinata and the Hyouga so getting to see more of them doing actiony things was all right for me.

Then we have Shippudden filler which exists so they don't catch up too fast and I feel they nailed it, Naruto filler merges rather seamlessly with the main story arc, you had canon stuff happening sometimes at the same time as the non canon stuff.

Like two converging and diverging sine-cosine functions.

Bleach filler I feel is narratively better done because they tend to be self contained story arcs that at least attempt to do something novel and interesting; and they do the clever thing of having events within the filler remain relevant in the canonical portions; example, the Bount arc saw the doll trio thingies carry over and helped out Renji.

Obviously whether these arcs were enjoyable YMMV but I feel there is an objective and significant improvement Naruto and Bleach are over DBZ any day of the week.

Now if you want shounen without any filler check out Soul Eater, it's only 50 episodes as it had to end when it overcame the manga (the manga is on going). There might be some others (Hunter x Hunter maybe the remake?) but I've been mostly a manga reader and seinen/josei/shoujou watcher so it's been a while.

Oh, I remember now, Blue Exorcist, same thing as Soul Eater, 24 something episodes only because it overcame the manga.

And then there's Light Novels turned Anime/Manga adaptions, like Accel World and Sword Art Online, although I'm pretty sure they're seinen.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 05:57pm
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Regardless of the overall quality of the story now, 'tell the summoner that they're called forbidden techniques for a reason' is the sickest burn imaginable.



What is Project Zohar?

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-21 07:39pm
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Blayne wrote:
And unlike Bleach we actually saw some new abilities thrown around, such as with Hinata, I like Hinata and the Hyouga so getting to see more of them doing actiony things was all right for me.


Everyone loves Hinata, especially the anime staff. Hell, they actually improved upon her attempt to save Naruto by having her actually accomplish something rather than just being curb stomped for drama. That was one of the best uses of filler I've seen from that series. Expanding on what was already there and turning one brief scene into a full episode.

Mostly because of Flashbacks, sadly. Naruto abuses flashbacks.

Quote:
Regardless of the overall quality of the story now, 'tell the summoner that they're called forbidden techniques for a reason' is the sickest burn imaginable.


I don't watch regularly, when did that happen? Even without context, it's a great line to use.



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Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-22 05:02am
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Majin Gojira wrote:
I don't watch regularly, when did that happen? Even without context, it's a great line to use.


It's from chapter 590 or so. When, and this is a pretty big deal so careful about reading it:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Uchiha Madara releases himself from being bound by Edo Tensei.



What is Project Zohar?

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-22 12:36pm
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Blayne wrote:
I consider the criticism of "needlessly prolonged" to frankly be dubious considering the genre and medium of distribution


When people complain about "needlessly prolonged" shonen anime it's chiefly about needlessly prolonging fight scenes in such a way that you question the competency of everyone in the fight...or having an entire episode (Or more!) of needless flashback in the middle of it. If it looks like the antagonist is going way out of his way to not kill the protagonist(s), or the viewer wants to drop the whole thing out of boredom, you're doing it wrong.

Sometimes filler is good enough that you don't even realize it if you don't have any prior knowledge, and sometimes it is actually better than the main story. For the most part I don't think anyone really gives a shit about the odd filler arc here and there, unless it's actually like a back to back hundred episodes, really terrible, plopped into the middle of a story arc, or a combination.

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 Post subject: Re: Naruto PostPosted: 2012-09-23 07:10pm
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All fight scenes in everything ever having to do with either magic or swords when you realize 90% of it is flynning.

Fate/Zero averts this with guns :V

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