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Naruto Retrospective (part 2)

Naruto's departure: part 2 Last time I gushed about the greatest thing ever, Naruto. Let's talk about how it is an amazing series, and why it merits gushing over. 1) the animation is beautiful. The forests and skies look like photographs. The fight scenes are incredible, which I'll get to later. The scope, the diverse landscapes, the symbolic imagery. It's like candy to your eyes, but it's also smart and healthy for you. 2) the music is phenomenal. Every main character's themes are great. Naruto's range from somber to hopeful to inspiring. The Hokage's death is sad. Literally, it's called "Sadness and Sorrow". Sasuke's has a western loner theme. Orochimaru is evil and creepy, taking pieces from Bach's Tocatta de Fugue. Pein's is godlike and menacing, with choruses chanting. The opening songs are amazing when they're not super forgettable. "Fighting Dreamers" is like Naruto's version of the Pokémon theme. There are a lot more, but I think that one's the most notable. The sound design is great too. I noticed they repurposed a couple sound effects from Star Wars, namely the blaster sound for the Shadow Possession Jutsu, and the lightsaber hum for other lightning weapons. The sounds they give to all the Jutsus, the clopping of sandals, the clashing of weapons, is all top-notch. 3) the voice acting. Eh... pass. I'm not gonna go through the whole "Subs vs Dubs" argument, but I've watched Naruto in Dubs and Shippuden in Subs. Don't get me wrong, I like Naruto's raspy voice and a lot of others, but some don't really do it for me. Some examples: Kabuto, Sakura, Kurama, Obito, Kankuro...etc. A lot of these aren't awful; they're just not right for me. And I'm sure the Dubbed voices have a larger list, but that's why I wanted to pass on this one. 4) the characters. Something I've noticed is that the large majority of the characters in Naruto is that they are all shadows of Naruto if you slid down one trait and amplified a different trait. For example: Sasuke is Naruto's compliment, Kiba is Naruto + full of himself, - likability. Shikamaru is Naruto + talent, - drive. Gaara is an alternate path Naruto could have taken. Lee is Naruto – ability, + dedication. I'd go on, 'cause doing these comparisons is kinda fun, but you get the idea. I think now's a good stopping point. In part 3, we're going to talk about the bad stuff. And get prepared to learn a new "F"-word…

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