Thursday, October 9, 2014

Naruto is a Japanese manga series that tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all. The series is written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto after his one-shot manga was published in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump (now Shonen Jump). With more than 10 years of watching and reading about Naruto's life, 5 7 weeks from now (the official notice did not appear until issue 694 and then they released the final 2 chapters at the same time) it will come to an end. A sad, but inevitable day!

With any great franchise there is a market for content and "stuff". There are so many video games, cell phone accessories, fan sites, etc, Naruto started out as a One-Shot and became an enterprise. The Manga has currently released its 692nd Manga (released this week) and will end at 697 700. Like all popular Manga's, it turned into a animation. Naruto first aired in Japan on October 3, 2002 and ended February 8, 2007 with 220 episodes, 4 OVA's and 3 movies. The North American version aired on September 10, 2005 and ended December 6, 2009. Within the Manga there is a 3 year time jump that starts out with Naruto as a teenager. Enter the next series Naruto Shippuden that started February 15, 2007 in Japan and December 28, 2009 in North America. The series is currently ongoing and has 382 episodes, 7 OVA's and 7 movies to date.

Kishimoto's original One-Shot was told differently than his now famous series. The One-Shot told the story about a surviving offspring of the famous Nine-Tailed Fox that had attacked the village of the Leaf and was killed. Naruto, being taken in by The Hokage, uses a jutsu to look like a human child. He is a brat/bully who has no friends. The Hokage gives him a task to make at least one friend and by the end of the one-shot he does. Within the Manga series it is told differently. The story of Naruto, who as a human child, is orphaned on the day of his birth because of a battle that took place to save the village from a Nine-Tailed Fox beast. The story starts out in his young child days of being a brat as well, but this is due to a secret within him (that he is unaware of, yet) and everyone in the village was told to stay away from him because of it.

I personally would have enjoyed the original version of a fox trying to be human since the life of Naruto growing up as an outsider would have made more sense and would have related more to his growing popularity. However, the version of Naruto as an actual Human has had many plot twists because of it. I won't go into anymore detail about the story. My love for Naruto began back when American TV started airing an English dubbed version. The annoyance of waiting week by week for more and also the hatred of hearing "Believe it" constantly, led me to the Japanese animated English sub titled version of the show. From here my addiction grew more due to finding other shows from Japan. I was finally getting my fix watching back to back episodes of this great show. I couldn't stop watching and finally I caught up to the point where now the episodes where being released week by week. UGHHHHH! So another search later led me to the fact that this was originally a Japanese Manga. I thought the animations were great, but the Manga is better. The roller coaster of this show was repetitive, but I think that is what made it addicting. How was Naruto and company going to handle their next challenge, how was Naruto going to defeat his next opponent, will Naruto ever beat Sasuke? Again, I read so much that I was stuck on waiting for the Japanese Manga to be released weekly with fans doing Scanlations (scanning, removing the Japanese text, cleaning up the scan, and adding English translations). The final question seems like it will be answered since it has been officially announced that Naruto will end in 5 weeks from this weeks release.

Throughout the years, Naruto has overcome every obstacle in front of him, but it always required help in some form or another. I personally think this show will end, like others related, with both Naurto and Sasuke in a mutual understanding, that they are equally matched and together they can make the Ninja world better. I would like to see a show where the protagonist of these duelling characters is the actual winner. Unfortunately with the popularity of both characters it will not happen. There are many rumors that Naruto may be ending, but we could see a new series debut with the cast much older and with new abilities. It's just rumors, but for me I hope it is true.

Don't forget, Geek Out With Your Tech Out Ninja's!

LeRoy a.ka. The Geekmeleon


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