Dan, thanks for submitting us this article !
It seems cool that 2 of the biggest Shonen properties involve Ninjas and Pirates. Today we will review one of them – NINJAS! If you have not heard of Naruto, then sit back because we will introduce you to this great series. If you have heard, well, still stick around as it will be entertaining for you anyway.
I will start off noting that this is not your ‘normal’ ninja series. Naruto is an orange haired boy (what is up with orange hair and lead characters, ref: Bleach) who has the unlucky pleasure of having a demon sealed in his body. Not just any demon, but the Nine-Tailed Fox that almost destroyed his village. To add tragedy to this, both his parents died during that fight to protect the Leaf Village. Poor kid has no parents and is feared / hated by the majority villagers for what is inside him. You would think this would destroy him, but as you will see, this is the foundation of who and what he will become.
Though this series does revolve around Naruto and the Nine-Tailed Fox, we are introduced to other characters that he interacts with. Because of this, there is an extreme amount of character introductions in the beginning which can get confusing. As the series progress however, they dwindle and are re-introduced from time to time. One character, Sasuke, will be his ‘nemesis’ during the series as they have a love/hate relationship. This boils over to a full blown rivalry and battle between the two to see who the best is. You also get introduced to several different Villages, the people who live there and the differences each possesses.
They use normal ninja weapons, but can also use their chakra and hand signs as well. Chakra is your spirit energy that we all posses and they use it to manifest powers for battle. They can also use this for healing as well which you will see later. The wide range of styles (Jutsu, Genjutsu, Taijutsu and Kekkei Genkei) is just stunning and really makes the show. Naruto uses a Shadow Clone Jutsu that is his favorite. I like the Elemental Jutsu’s (Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Sand and Lightning) as they add some cool flavor to the fighting scenes. Each Village also has its own style which does spice up the battles. I think the best one is the Summoning Jutsu – wish I could call for a larger than life animal buddy to help me in battle.
As the series develops, so does Naruto. He goes from a troublesome kid, to someone that is actually using his brain and brawn the right way. This is of course, a ‘Coming of Age’ series. Naruto not only develops emotionally, mentally and physically, but we see him conquer is inner demon (literally). He becomes someone that everyone looks up to and admires which is great seeing where he started. No matter the obstacle, Naruto keeps moving forward to ‘Become the next Hokage’, as he always says.
If you don’t read Manga or watch Anime, this should be on your list. If you want merchandise for this series, you will have an immense pick of just about anything you can imagine (video game, toys, trading cards, jewelry, tote bags, plushies, CD’s . . .).
If you have been to a convention, you would of seen someone, if not a group, cosplaying as these characters. They have such a variety of characters that it will be hard to nail down one to do. I don’t cosplay (yet), but would love to do a Father/Son combo. I would cosplay Minato Namikaze, while my son would be Naruto (of course).
Let us know your thoughts on the series. If you want to cosplay, check out Mic Costumes for a great selection of characters from the series. You will get an immediate satisfaction of being transformed into your favorite character.
Next post will be about PIRATES!!
Dan from 2old4anime contributed this article.