Now, when I finished the final and kinda disappointing chapter of Naruto was all read and done, I noticed the whole “But next Spring..!” thing and you know what? I was somewhat relieved. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t excited either, given how horribly dragged out the series got, to the point where, half way through the war they were fighting a giant sand man with oil and shiz, and I was literally reading it to see it end.
But I was relieved because I saw this new series as a chance for Masashi Kishimoto to go back to the series’ roots of badassery and humour, and perhaps give us a better-told and better-thought-out storyline this time around.
The main prblem with the original series of Naruto was it lacked any semblence of good pacing from roughly halfway through. Since it was published weekly, I feel Masashi couldn’t give himself time to think over the entire plot properly and ended up thinking on his feet the whole way through to the point where he was just keeping the story afloat for until the next chapter was released.
Anyway, as this is a (probably going to be long-running) manga we’re talking about with new characters to get used to, I couldn’t really write this any sooner than after a good few chapters had been released. And, to sum up my thoughts on this, I would probably say that it’s warming up on me.
So let’s get the worst part fo the series so far out the way first. Choji’s daughter is annpying. She’s pretty stupid and is basically the ditsy comic relief character at this point, because other than that she’s pretty pointless. Masashi could probably use a better way to come up with comedy. I say this because the moments she’s in are pretty much unfunny and, storywise, her character’s part in everything so far is pretty dispensible. Not only that, but her character just isn’t all that likeable. All in all, she really just isn’t needed, because given the points I just made, she just isn’t giving anything to the series. HAVING SAID THAT, we’re still only four chapters in, so perhaps she’s going to play a more significant role later on.
Again, I haven’t really warmed up to the new characters, but I’m sure they’ll get a proper introduction in due time. I honestly thought I couldn’t warm up to them when they were first introduced but I’m already warming up to Sasuke’s daughter, Sarada, which leads me onto the good points of the story so far.
I’ll be honest, the series has only finally started to pick up at chapter four. Sarada’s story was presented pretty nicely, Naruto makes a proper reintroduction for himself as Chief Bossman of the Konoha village, and him and Sarada have a nice little chat about Sasuke and what he used to be like. I honestly think Masashi has done well with the character of Sarada here, as we start to see her as more than an angsty teen with dad issues but an actual character, which could have been an easy out but would have ruined the mood of the series a bit.
The series started with a pretty serious tone. Most of the characters have sort have been shown, but not formally introduced, which kind of irritates me because all that really happens is they pop up for a panel or two, say something quirky and then it changes scene. I’m not the sort of person that dislikes new characters, per say, but they irritate me when they get short no real introduction then rock up and make a short and insignificant appearance, because they aren’t doing anything for the story in particular and I want to see the story set up rather than all the random characters that may or may not have a significance later on.
Having said that, Masashi hasn’t wasted much time on insignificant character introductions. In fact things are already starting to pick up the pace, and Masashi is wasting no time getting this story moving, which is awesome!
All in all, I’m feeling hopeful that this series will actually be decent. Hopefully Masashi Kishimoto will return to the roots of what Naruto should be like and improve the story so it doesn’t flop halfway through or pretty much run itself into the ground. Since he took a long break, I’m guessing he laid out some kind of plot outline for his story to follow, and, as a kinda-let-down fan of Naruto from how the original series because of how sort of lost track there at the end, I hope he does a better job at pacing his manga this time around.
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