Naruto Season 1
As mentioned earlier, Naruto is part of a team of other rookie ninjas. They are;
Sasuke - A quite young man and the most proficient rookie ninja from the village. Naruto views Sasuke as his greatest rival both in terms of talent and for the affection of...
Sakura - Is the female of the group and is the smartest ninja in her year. What she lacks in talent she makes up in her knowledge of the art of the ninja. She is in love with Sasuke.
These three pupils are under the watchful eye of Kakashi, one of the most powerful ninjas in their village.
These four form the foundation for the series and are the main characters that the audience gets to watch grow. However there are a Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
The first season of Naruto is merely setting the stage for subsequent episodes. The nature of the ninja art is quite complex in areas so a large portion of the first series relies on exploring these areas in more detail. For example a couple of episodes focus on using the power that ninjas rely on (known as chakra) and the methods by which ninjas learn to control this power. Whilst these episodes are not the most interesting they are necessary in order to explain and understand the impressive battles. Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
The battles in Naruto on the whole are well constructed and genuinely imaginative. They also provide an opportunity for the three rookies to put their lessons to practical use. Like many anime series though, the battles are often long drawn out affairs with some of them lasting four or five episodes before being resolved. The reason
Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
Naruto does have a good balance of action and comedy (accompanied by a sprinkling of melodrama in all the right places). In fact if it wasn't for the slow pace and overuse of flashbacks then Naruto would be an exceptional series. Very few series can capture the three elements of comedy, action and drama as convincingly as Naruto does. This is accomplished due to the well rounded and interesting characters. Even the main antagonists show humanity and the audience is able to find out about their histories and the reasons they are in their current positions. There is a strong emphasis on history throughout the series. Every character has an interesting back story Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
The animation throughout the series is of a reasonably high standard, but the animation noticeably improves as the series continues as the animation becomes more fluid and some nice 3D effects are implemented in the last couple of episodes. The colours are always vibrant and Naruto has a fairly unique art style at times.
The music is infectious and I can guarantee that you will be humming the theme tune after the first couple of episodes. The music during the episodes is also catchy with a reoccurring percussion piece throughout the series. The sound effects and voice acting for the most part is spot on and further reinforces the overall quality of the series.
Naruto is a very good series. Its deep and well rounded characters provide an interesting focal point whilst the concepts behind the ninja art and the impressive balance between drama, comedy and action make this potentially one of the great animes. The over reliance on flashbacks and slow nature to the storytelling is a hindrance though, and whilst it does not ruin the series it does stop it from becoming a classic. I look forward to getting my hands on season 2.
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