My Top Five Naruto Characters!

My Top Five Naruto Characters!

Greetings,

Since COVID still has things slowed down, I need to dig into my bag of ideas.  Since I’m still on a Naruto kick, I figured now’s the time for my five favorite Naruto characters.  This isn’t ranked by power, but instead only the ones I liked.

Itachi
This image of Itachi was taken from FanPop.

#5) Itachi: Honestly, this is one of the best characters to study to begin with. Itachi has a fantastic arc. His story is heartbreakingly beautiful. He’s amazingly powerful. I like his personality. That personality really matches his story to. He’s figured things out, and he’s acting on those realizations. The only time he acts on hope is when he’s thinking about his brother, and even in that case, he’s planned for the worst.

#4) Shikamaru: For the same reason I like Itachi, I like Shikamaru more. He’s hilarious in that he can do anything, but he’d prefer to do nothing. I’ve already told you how much I loved his role in the Asuma arc.  I like characters who are thoughtful. I love watching them to see how everything will inevitably come into fruition. I spent every arc watching him and thinking, “somehow, this is a part of his plan.” It usually was.

Naruto
I vectored this image.

#3) Naruto: I don’t think I’ve ever had a title character as my favorite. But Naruto is pretty close for me. He’s everything I want a character to be. He’s sympathetic and proactive. His numbskull antics get him into trouble and it sort of makes him comedic relief when he’s not supposed to be so. Still, he is a brilliant title character who always makes me cheer for him.

#2 Gaara: I LOVE a redemption arc. Honestly Gaara would be my favorite if I did this tomorrow, but he might fall to number three next week. That’s why I’m doing the top five: because they are all my favorite at one point or another. I just love that Gaara was as low as one could be and then became one of the most loved characters in the show. His sand power is what initially caught my interest. I just thought it was cool. He’s also got that cool-but-passionate personality.

Rock
This image of Rock was taken from MyAnimeList.

#1 Rock Lee: Yeah, that’s right. Look, it’s pretty simple why I love him most. I see a lot of myself in him. He’s probably in the worst position to be a ninja, but he’s earned his right to be there because of that hard work and determination. Honestly, anyone who wants to know me better, just watch Rock. His single-minded determination is pretty much how I’ve worked for as long as I can remember, and the pain he feels when his dreams are put at risk or the people he loves are in danger resonate with me as well. Don’t even get me started on drunken fist and his love for his mentor!

So that’s my list. Do you have a top five you’d like to share? Why?

Thanks for reading,

Matt

My Top 5 Naruto Arcs

My Top 5 Naruto Arcs

Greetings all,

A slow news week on the writing front allows me to play a bit for my Saturday post. I’m watching Naruto with my sons, which is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. That got me to thinking, “What were my five favorite arcs?”

By arc, I mean a storyline from beginning to end. Maybe one day I’ll do “episodes” or “fights,” but since we just recently finished my number one, I wanted to do this list.

SPOILER ALERT!  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

This spans the entire Naruto Saga, both Shippuden and the original. You might be shocked by some I leave out. How did I make the list. I just sat there for a few minutes and wondered which five would come to mind. The first five that came up won. That doesn’t mean there weren’t great arcs, but these arcs jumped out at me.

Number 5: The Quest to Save Gaara: I don’t know about you all, but I cry every time Gaara wakes up and sees all those people surrounding him. I have a soft spot for redemption stories, and to see how far Gaara had come was just a great way to really kick off the Shippuden ark. Sure, there was a lot of waiting and way more exposition than I wanted, but we also get Kakashi’s magekyo and the cool puppet fight. It falls short because of the exposition, but it’s definitely worthy of the top five for me.

 

 

Number 4:  The Chunin Exams:  The first reason I love this arc is the sheer number of great fights. If you consider the exams to be from the test of confidence to the end of the Gaara fight, you have a lot of action to go with. I’d rank this in the top five alone just for Gaara, but his fight with Rock Lee and the saga with the third is more emotional to me than I suppose others. The action of each fight and Gaara’s story puts this in the top five, but the lag (how long did that monkey hold that stupid sword for?) it doesn’t get any farther than number four. This is the saga where you learn about the rookie nine and Guy’s team. We meet Lee, who I love. We see Naruto grow and Sasuke’s arc truly begin.

 

 

Number 3: The Naruto Bridge:  I don’t know if anyone else would put this on their top five, but I don’t think I fall in love with this show if I don’t watch that arc. This is the story where we first see the power of the fox. This is where Naruto chooses his ninja way. This is where Sasuke and Naruto begin their rivalry and start to grow together. I also have a soft spot for mentors and students or adopted father roles. As far as a true introduction to the show, I really thought this was a nice launching point for the series. I put this above the Chunin Exams because those exams made us wait an awful long time for the cool stuff. Sure, it was cool when things happened, but man I we every bit as frustrated with the lag of the backstories and that third fight. The Naruto Bridge story was complete and concise, and I give it higher marks for that.

 

 

Number 2: The Asuma Ark: The Rasenshuriken alone would have been enough to get on the list, but man, Shikamaru shines! The way he plotted out that whole fight before even leaving the village is just masterful! The fights are great. Asuma’s death was so tragic (though not the most tragic). Seeing all this come together made for such a rewarding end and a beautiful set up for future arcs.

 

 

Number 1: The Pain Arc: Now, I consider this to be from Jiraiya’s entrance to the hidden rain to Nagato’s Rebirth, you have what I feel is unquestionably the saddest death, the greatest hero moment (Naruto’s return), the best fight amid a host of cool fights, and Konohamaru uses the Rasengan! I haven’t even stopped to talk about Minato’s appearance and reveal. Most fans had this theory pegged, but that didn’t make it any less satisfying.

 

 

I’m sure there are at least two arcs you all feel should go on this list that aren’t here, and I’m not saying they were bad. They’d definitely be on a top ten list, but these always pop right into my head when I think about Naruto. But feel free to give me your list.

Thanks for watching,

Matt