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Etrurian emperor

The official Naruto thread

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I've been rewatching some Naruto lately and I've noticed several members of the forum are kinda into the series. So lets pretend this thread isn't over a decade too late and discuss some Naruto. Give us your spicy Shinobi hot takes, your likes, your dislikes, your opinions on aliens and more. Its still considered one of the ''big three'', its got a decent following on the forum and its got a sequel series so I think there's enough room for a topic about it.

I'll start out with some takes of my own. Some positives and some negatives

-The Naruto world is interesting in its own way and its clear many people want to get invested in it. Google for Naruto characters and you'll find all sorts of wacky original characters from all villages, in quantities that might even make the Sonic fanbase blush. Each village having its own elemental preference, own quirks and own ways of handling things does make for a very dynamic world. In theory at least. The ninja world is also really young, not even a full century  old which is actually kind of refreshing. 

-Which makes it a shame the writer seems so disinterested in his world. The fanbase might love the other villages but its clear the writer doesn't. They're barely present during 90% of the story and even when they get prominence its mostly as window dressing. Because as more of the plot gets revealed it becomes really noticeable that only the Hidden Leaf village or outer space have any impact on the setting and the lore. If something happened in Ninja history then its the Leaf village doing it. And if something happened in other villages its usually only happens because the leaf village or rogue ninjas hailing from the hidden leaf are forcing those events to happen.

-The battle system is very conventional but also very servicable. In things like My Hero or One Piece a fighter can be anything ranging from a cactus to a god, yet Naruto fighters stick to rigid rules. You've got three main combat styles and an elemental wheel of five elements. Perhaps there are some clan quirks thrown in but generally this is it. I kinda like that. It makes the battle system really easy to get a grip on and it incentives fights to focus more on tactics than sheer firepower. And it speaks well for the series that there are still some varied and unique fighting styles within these rules. 

-Naruto has a very varied rogue gallery of different villainous factions. Often when multiple villains are in a story this leads to them madly scrambling for screentime which ends up with them all being half baked, but Naruto pulls it off really well. The various villain factions are often connected and they influence each other. To some extend characters like Danzo and Orochimaru clearly get pushed aside to make room for the Uchiha but they also have a very strong effect on the series regardless. 

-The writer has a fascination with the Uchiha clan that I don't share and I find to be very off putting. It gets to the point that just about every single event in the story, the lore and the history of the world can be traced back to a single clan. Not only that but almost any important villain in the story either is an Uchiha, manipulated by the Uchiha, jealous of not being an Uchiha or at the very least intensely connected to the Uchiha. Naruto has all sort of themes and it speaks really poorly of it that it so blindly insists on focusing on the least interesting one of them. The supposedly destined struggle between the Uchiha and the Senju isn't very interesting. Destiny and insanity inducing targaryan genes are not as interesting as characters making rational choices. Naruto having to fight for his own ninja way against hardliners like the Raikage or the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the ninja world in Danzo is interesting, but all those topics get swept aside to focus on the Uchiha clan and their supposedly destined conflict. This to the point that some plot points like Danzo just get unceremoniously swept aside so they don't interfere with more Uchiha related stuff.

-The way Naruto writes female characters isn't very good....at all. Its not that there are overt sexist tropes but its more that female characters are just such a non factor in every situation. In the main trio the only female member is at best vastly inferior to her male counterparts and at worst a downright third wheel. And this sets a nasty precedent because the same goes for any female character involved in any organisation. As a rule they're always weaker, always less important to the story and always the junior one in status. The only prominent female teacher doesn't get a time in the spotlight like her male counterparts and instead gets completely exiled from the plot to make babies, the sister in the sand sibling is the least important, The Mizukage is less important to the story than her male peers, Akatsuki only has a single female member who's mostly there as an accessory of her male friend and so on. I think Tsunade is the only woman that consistently gets her due. They're also severely underutilized in fights.  If I recall correctly Sasori is one of the few fights where woman get the chance to shine and then almost the entire series needs to pass before Konan can kick ass only for the plot to then reveal a jutsu that literally erases all of Konan's achievements from reality. I guess Boruto kinda makes up for it by giving Sarada a consistent focus and highlighting that she's the equal to the boys. But all in all its a really bad look.

-Compared to Oda or Horikoshi I'd argue that Naruto's Kishimoto is arguably the weakest writer. He's really good at writing fights but when it comes to writing an overarching narrative he stumbles around more often than his peers.  Its really easy to spot plot points that clearly weren't planned and were only thought up later, and this often requires really obvious retcons. To be fair Kishi does manage to pull that off well enough. When new plot points get introduced that contradict what happened before he's usually able to pull an explanation of out his had to explain. But even so many events in the story can come off as really clumsy, even to extreme degrees when it comes to the alien invasion. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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I'm someone who saw Naruto for the first time last year; I binge-watched it within about two months (skipping most filler arcs and pausing just before the war arc to give my mind a break by watching something else: namely My Hero Academia). I can say I enjoy it while also pointing out that I have zero nostalgia for it. Overall, I think it is a very flawed story that nonetheless has a ton of good to it, with the good successfully carrying the series.

The characters overall are easily its biggest strength, which naturally matters a lot for a character-driven narrative: 

Naruto is a very compelling protagonist, largely thanks to his rather interesting struggle to overcome his loneliness, and the story overall does a good job exploring that struggle.

The mentors like Kakashi and Jiraiya aren't just mentors; they have a ton of personal struggle and story involvement that revolves around them and not who they are to the protagonist; it says a lot that two of the most tragic and heart-wrenching moments of the series is Kakashi vs Obito and Jiraiya vs Nagato. Normally, mentor vs friend-turned-evil or student-turned-evil can be rather dull because mentor characters are defined by their relation to the protagonist; but because Kakashi and Jiraiya are more important to the story as individual characters than as mentors, these moments manage to chine rather than feel cliché.

Hinata is a fantastic love interest; when I first saw her in episode 3, I thought she was just going to be another cliché shy blue-haired girl solely defined by her unrequited feelings for the protagonist, and I was pleasantly surprised when the chunin exams arc showed that that wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong; she is shy and her feelings for Naruto are a big part of her character, but a) her feelings are (subconsciously/eventually) requited, and b) she's more than those things. I like how she and Naruto both prove to be vital to the other's mental & emotional wellbeing; Naruto makes her want to be brave, while Hinata saves Naruto from despair, and her seeming death at the hands of Naruto is the only moment where Naruto gives in to despair. Plus, I like how the author decided to not just pair up Naruto with the lead female character and instead go for something more creative by pairing him up with a side character. Hinata is such a good character, and her dynamic with Naruto is so great (especially in The Last) that I just do not understand Naruto x Sakura shippers at all. Granted; part of that is that I don't ship at all; I prefer to see what the story does with the characters and then say what I think of the result afterwards, but another is that they're basically advocating for something wholesome, well-written and reflecting the themes of the series to be replaced with something that, based on the characters, would instead be toxic, contrived, and going against the themes of the series.

And then there are a ton of supporting characters and antagonists I could talk about. Honestly, it would be easier to list characters I didn't like. I'll demonstrate by doing just that:

  • Sasuke: Sasuke is definitely one of those divisive characters that you either like or hate. My brother is someone that really dislikes Sasuke and sees him as a terrible character, while @Ottservia is someone that really likes Sasuke and thinks he's a great character, and I honestly don't think either of them are wrong: I like what the writer was trying to do with Sasuke as a concept, but I really do not like the Sasuke character in execution. He's a great character in theory, but I think he fell short in practice. On the plus side, he is a great character in Boruto.
  • Sakura: what can I say about Sakura as a character that hasn't already been said? At least she's a great character in Boruto.
  • Madara: Another one of those "neat concept, poor in practice" characters. By the time he appears in the story, the story is already saturated with Uchiha villains, he's a bruiser that the story tries to present as a hidden mastermind even though we already have had plenty of hidden mastermind villains, and he honestly just doesn't really bring anything new to the table. I suppose it's neat to see an antagonist that was a co-founder of the first shinobi village, but he comes in at a time when we really didn't need Obito's position as main villain usurped (especially after Obito usurped Nagato's position as main villain; once is interesting, more than that, especially so close to the climax, just seems redundant), and he's a boring invincible villain; shrugging off everything the heroes throw at him while he himself doesn't do anything new or with any clever weaknesses.
  • Kaguya: I didn't dislike her; worse than that, I felt nothing when she showed up. Feeling nothing about the story's final antagonist (besides Sasuke) is really not a good sign, but it really just highlights that she wasn't even really an antagonist in her own right; she was just a plot device.

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10 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Madara: Another one of those "neat concept, poor in practice" characters. By the time he appears in the story, the story is already saturated with Uchiha villains, he's a bruiser that the story tries to present as a hidden mastermind even though we already have had plenty of hidden mastermind villains, and he honestly just doesn't really bring anything new to the table. I suppose it's neat to see an antagonist that was a co-founder of the first shinobi village, but he comes in at a time when we really didn't need Obito's position as main villain usurped (especially after Obito usurped Nagato's position as main villain; once is interesting, more than that, especially so close to the climax, just seems redundant), and he's a boring invincible villain; shrugging off everything the heroes throw at him while he himself doesn't do anything new or with any clever weaknesses.

Yeah I think boring invincible villain is a good phrase for him and its why I think the series took a big decline when Madara joined. There wasn't any tension because whatever happened you knew Madara would just counter, overpower or tank any attack thrown his way. He feels like a Dragonball character trapped into the Naruto world. Or akin to Frieza arriving on earth during the emperor Pilaf arc. 

 

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6 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Yeah I think boring invincible villain is a good phrase for him and its why I think the series took a big decline when Madara joined. There wasn't any tension because whatever happened you knew Madara would just counter, overpower or tank any attack thrown his way. He feels like a Dragonball character trapped into the Naruto world. Or akin to Frieza arriving on earth during the emperor Pilaf arc. 

Yeah. The antagonists before Madara were able to be imposing threats while still not being invincible; there were still ways to beat them that the characters would have to figure out. But with Madara, he would just shrug everything off; often in ways that broke pre-established rules. I can easily think of two examples off the top of my head:

  1. Susano'o can only be done if the wielder has mangekyo sharingan (or rinne-sharingan) for both eyes; Madara somehow used one to escape Gaara's pyramid seal at a time when he (Madara) had no eyes at all.
  2. He somehow uses the Hashirama Cells inside him to steal and absorb Hashirama's sage mode despite outright saying that he knows nothing of how sage mode works. It was established when Naruto learned sage mode that an untrained user just absorbing sage energy will turn into a statue; that was even a plot point as Naruto used that knowledge to turn one of the Pains into a statue.

 

Oh, by the way, when I said that I watched Naruto for the first time last year, I skipped most of the filler and all of the non-canon movies, but I did watch The Last: Naruto the Movie. Have you seen it?

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Naruto is my favorite manga of all time perhaps even fictional story of all time period. And excuse me for being blunt but reading the posts in this thread make me want to vomit for how blatantly all these takes completely misunderstood the story Kishimoto was trying to tell. 

On 11/24/2021 at 6:37 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

The writer has a fascination with the Uchiha clan that I don't share and I find to be very off putting. It gets to the point that just about every single event in the story, the lore and the history of the world can be traced back to a single clan. Not only that but almost any important villain in the story either is an Uchiha, manipulated by the Uchiha, jealous of not being an Uchiha or at the very least intensely connected to the Uchiha. Naruto has all sort of themes and it speaks really poorly of it that it so blindly insists on focusing on the least interesting one of them. The supposedly destined struggle between the Uchiha and the Senju isn't very interesting. Destiny and insanity inducing targaryan genes are not as interesting as characters making rational choices. Naruto having to fight for his own ninja way against hardliners like the Raikage or the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the ninja world in Danzo is interesting, but all those topics get swept aside to focus on the Uchiha clan and their supposedly destined conflict. This to the point that some plot points like Danzo just get unceremoniously swept aside so they don't interfere with more Uchiha related stuff.

Let’s start with this fucking stupid take. The Whole point of Naruto’s narrative rests in that destined fight between Uchiha and Senju. Naruto is a story about trying to find an end to the cycle of hatred which all started with Indra and Asura. The uchiha’s “curse of hatred” ties into that theme perfectly. And if you think otherwise, then I’m sorry you weren’t paying attention to the narrative at all. Like it’s literally outright explained that the uchiha’s power comes from losing love and discovering hate. The sharingan is said to ONLY AWAKEN in response to losing a loved one which then further evolves into the Mangekyo when that hatred grows even further. That’s the uchiha’s curse of hatred. We see this with Characters like Madara, Obito, and especially Sasuke. The sharingan itself is also symbolically linked to perception as whenever Sasuke’s view on the world shifts his sharingan evolves. This idea is further emphasized by how the mangekyo causes blindness. We see this with Sasuke during the five kage summit when his character is so far gone and consumed by his own darkness that he literally is unable to see the world for what it is anymore. Thematically it’s a literal representation of Sasuke losing himself and being consumed by hatred that he’s losing sight of the world around him. And that’s not even getting the thematic meaning in regards to how the Uchiha clan massacre is what drove so many of the story’s events into motion and how the after effects that event had on Sasuke’s character forces him to learn more about the shinobi world and how twisted and fucked up of a place it truly was. To say the uchiha don’t fit into the themes of this story is simply false. I could go on and on about all the thematic meanings and nuances of Naruto’s story but then we’d be here all day

 

On 11/24/2021 at 6:37 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

The way Naruto writes female characters isn't very good....at all. Its not that there are overt sexist tropes but its more that female characters are just such a non factor in every situation. In the main trio the only female member is at best vastly inferior to her male counterparts and at worst a downright third wheel. And this sets a nasty precedent because the same goes for any female character involved in any organisation. As a rule they're always weaker, always less important to the story and always the junior one in status. The only prominent female teacher doesn't get a time in the spotlight like her male counterparts and instead gets completely exiled from the plot to make babies, the sister in the sand sibling is the least important, The Mizukage is less important to the story than her male peers, Akatsuki only has a single female member who's mostly there as an accessory of her male friend and so on. I think Tsunade is the only woman that consistently gets her due. They're also severely underutilized in fights.  If I recall correctly Sasori is one of the few fights where woman get the chance to shine and then almost the entire series needs to pass before Konan can kick ass only for the plot to then reveal a jutsu that literally erases all of Konan's achievements from reality. I guess Boruto kinda makes up for it by giving Sarada a consistent focus and highlighting that she's the equal to the boys. But all in all its a really bad look.

Yes because as we all know the ONLY way a female character can have worth in a story is if they can fight. If they can’t fight then they’re worthless and should stay in the kitchen. I am so tired of hearing this take 

 

On 11/24/2021 at 7:40 PM, vanguard333 said:

Sasuke: Sasuke is definitely one of those divisive characters that you either like or hate. My brother is someone that really dislikes Sasuke and sees him as a terrible character, while @Ottservia is someone that really likes Sasuke and thinks he's a great character, and I honestly don't think either of them are wrong: I like what the writer was trying to do with Sasuke as a concept, but I really do not like the Sasuke character in execution. He's a great character in theory, but I think he fell short in practice. On the plus side, he is a great character in Boruto.

Honestly I have yet to hear a good argument as to what makes Sasuke “poorly executed” because 90% of the time the argument boils down to “Sasuke too mean and edgy therefore I don’t like him therefore he is a bad character” when that’s not what makes a bad character. 
 

 

On 11/24/2021 at 7:40 PM, vanguard333 said:

Sakura: what can I say about Sakura as a character that hasn't already been said? At least she's a great character in Boruto.

Sakura was always an amazing character the hell are you talking about?

 

On 11/24/2021 at 7:40 PM, vanguard333 said:

Kaguya: I didn't dislike her; worse than that, I felt nothing when she showed up. Feeling nothing about the story's final antagonist (besides Sasuke) is really not a good sign, but it really just highlights that she wasn't even really an antagonist in her own right; she was just a plot device.

Kaguya is probably one of the best representation of the story’s themes besides Sasuke and Naruto themselves because she essentially represents that idea of shinobi as tools taken to a faraway extreme.

 

On 11/25/2021 at 12:40 PM, vanguard333 said:

Susano'o can only be done if the wielder has mangekyo sharingan (or rinne-sharingan) for both eyes; Madara somehow used one to escape Gaara's pyramid seal at a time when he (Madara) had no eyes at all.

Itachi was able to use his susano while he was near blind and with neither of his sharingan active. Also if you want to use filler Shisui was able to use his after Danzo took one of his sharingan. So it’s not difficult to imagine that the ability sticks with you regardless of if you have your sharingan or not so long as you have already unlocked it. I mean Nagato wasn’t able to use Susano even though those rinnegan were Madara’s. 

 

On 11/25/2021 at 12:40 PM, vanguard333 said:
  1. He somehow uses the Hashirama Cells inside him to steal and absorb Hashirama's sage mode despite outright saying that he knows nothing of how sage mode works. It was established when Naruto learned sage mode that an untrained user just absorbing sage energy will turn into a statue; that was even a plot point as Naruto used that knowledge to turn one of the Pains into a statue.

 

It isn’t a hige stretch to assume Madara understands how Sage mode works. He fought Hashirama countless times after all and after so many clashes with the same guy you would probably grasp on how all their abilities work. And besides Madara does his research. You think he was just bumming around in that cave nothing? No he was gathering intelligence so again it’s not so much of a stretch to assume he knows how it all works. 

Edited by Ottservia

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2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

It isn’t a huge stretch to assume Madara understands how Sage mode works. He fought Hashirama countless times after all and after so many clashes with the same guy you would probably grasp on how all their abilities work. And besides Madara does his research. You think he was just bumming around in that cave nothing? No he was gathering intelligence so again it’s not so much of a stretch to assume he knows how it all works. 

If I recall the scene correctly, he basically outright says that he has no idea how it works.

 

2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Itachi was able to use his susano while he was near blind and with neither of his sharingan active. Also if you want to use filler Shisui was able to use his after Danzo took one of his sharingan. So it’s not difficult to imagine that the ability sticks with you regardless of if you have your sharingan or not so long as you have already unlocked it. I mean Nagato wasn’t able to use Susano even though those rinnegan were Madara’s. 

Itachi still had his eyes though, and as you said, the Shisui moment is filler. it's a mangekyo sharingan ability that requires having both eyes. When Obito temporarily gave Kakashi the power of both of his eyes, Kakashi could use sussano'o, but neither of them could use it when only having one mangekyo each.

 

2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Kaguya is probably one of the best representation of the story’s themes besides Sasuke and Naruto themselves because she essentially represents that idea of shinobi as tools taken to a faraway extreme.

Thematically, sure, but outside of that, all she is, is a plot device that appeared without sufficient buildup and at a time where there's already been too many, "Surprise! I'm the real main villain" twists and the story is dragging its feet in a desperation to end. In the manga, she gets almost no characterization (the anime added episodes of backstory for her and her sons) and she ultimately contributes nothing to the plot outside of killing Madara and Obito. She's ultimately just a plot device that does little for the actual plot.

Theme isn't everything. These stories are primarily character journeys; hence character-driven narrative. Theme is supplementary to that.

 

2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Sakura was always an amazing character the hell are you talking about?

I just said that I didn't like her character and for reasons that largely have already been discussed to death; I wasn't saying she's a bad character.

 

3 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Honestly I have yet to hear a good argument as to what makes Sasuke “poorly executed” because 90% of the time the argument boils down to “Sasuke too mean and edgy therefore I don’t like him therefore he is a bad character” when that’s not what makes a bad character. 

Have you looked for one, or have you only been looking for the bad arguments? We've had discussions where you've said "I have yet to hear a good argument [about this topic]" before, and it has often come across as just sounding like you've been avoiding or misunderstanding the good arguments.

 

3 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Let’s start with this fucking stupid take. The Whole point of Naruto’s narrative rests in that destined fight between Uchiha and Senju. Naruto is a story about trying to find an end to the cycle of hatred which all started with Indra and Asura. The uchiha’s “curse of hatred” ties into that theme perfectly. And if you think otherwise, then I’m sorry you weren’t paying attention to the narrative at all. Like it’s literally outright explained that the uchiha’s power comes from losing love and discovering hate. The sharingan is said to ONLY AWAKEN in response to losing a loved one which then further evolves into the Mangekyo when that hatred grows even further. That’s the uchiha’s curse of hatred. We see this with Characters like Madara, Obito, and especially Sasuke. The sharingan itself is also symbolically linked to perception as whenever Sasuke’s view on the world shifts his sharingan evolves. This idea is further emphasized by how the mangekyo causes blindness. We see this with Sasuke during the five kage summit when his character is so far gone and consumed by his own darkness that he literally is unable to see the world for what it is anymore. Thematically it’s a literal representation of Sasuke losing himself and being consumed by hatred that he’s losing sight of the world around him. And that’s not even getting the thematic meaning in regards to how the Uchiha clan massacre is what drove so many of the story’s events into motion and how the after effects that event had on Sasuke’s character forces him to learn more about the shinobi world and how twisted and fucked up of a place it truly was. To say the uchiha don’t fit into the themes of this story is simply false. I could go on and on about all the thematic meanings and nuances of Naruto’s story but then we’d be here all day

Okay... how is this in any way a counter to the argument that the story became overstuffed with Uchiha? Don't get me wrong; I don't necessarily agree with the argument that the story became overstuffed with Uchiha, but this doesn't really counter that argument at all.

Not only that, but @Etrurian emperor prefaced their argument with, "The writer has a fascination with the Uchiha clan that I don't share", meaning this is just them sharing their opinion on which aspects of the story they personally preferred.

 

3 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Yes because as we all know the ONLY way a female character can have worth in a story is if they can fight. If they can’t fight then they’re worthless and should stay in the kitchen. I am so tired of hearing this take 

Um... @Etrurian emperor didn't say that at all; he just said that they were underutilized in fights, and that was just one sentence in a paragraph that otherwise had almost nothing to do with that. There were a number of things in that paragraph you could've picked and torn apart (to demonstrate, I will do so after finishing responding to you), and you chose to do both a strawman and a false dichotomy simultaneously?

 

Anyway, @Etrurian emperor, I told @Ottservia that I would respond to some of what you said in your paragraph about the female characters, so I will do so now:

On 11/24/2021 at 3:37 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

-The way Naruto writes female characters isn't very good....at all. Its not that there are overt sexist tropes but its more that female characters are just such a non factor in every situation. In the main trio the only female member is at best vastly inferior to her male counterparts and at worst a downright third wheel. And this sets a nasty precedent because the same goes for any female character involved in any organisation. As a rule they're always weaker, always less important to the story and always the junior one in status. The only prominent female teacher doesn't get a time in the spotlight like her male counterparts and instead gets completely exiled from the plot to make babies, the sister in the sand sibling is the least important, The Mizukage is less important to the story than her male peers, Akatsuki only has a single female member who's mostly there as an accessory of her male friend and so on. I think Tsunade is the only woman that consistently gets her due. They're also severely underutilized in fights.  If I recall correctly Sasori is one of the few fights where woman get the chance to shine and then almost the entire series needs to pass before Konan can kick ass only for the plot to then reveal a jutsu that literally erases all of Konan's achievements from reality. I guess Boruto kinda makes up for it by giving Sarada a consistent focus and highlighting that she's the equal to the boys. But all in all its a really bad look.

1. I admit that this one is more an exception than the rule, but Hinata was vastly more important than Kiba and Shino.

2. The only time one of the non-Kakashi teachers had time in the spotlight, it was to be killed off in order to propel Shikamaru's character development.

3. I'd honestly say that Kankuro (the puppet guy) was overall less important than Temari.

4. Hinata vs Pain is a fight between Sasori vs Sakura and Konan vs Tobito where a female character gets to shine.

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

If I recall the scene correctly, he basically outright says that he has no idea how it works.

 

His exact words were and I quote “so that’s all there is to it, this will be easy to control” which could have a couple of implications but the primary one being that he figured it out pretty quickly when he absorbed it which makes sense because:

1. Sage mode doesn’t immediately take you over that fact depends on how much natural chakra you possess and this is Madara we’re talking about

2. he has Hashirama cells already so obviously those cells would react to his sage chakra in a natural way and not take over madara. It makes perfect sense

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Thematically, sure, but outside of that, all she is, is a plot device that appeared without sufficient buildup and at a time where there's already been too many, "Surprise! I'm the real main villain" twists and the story is dragging its feet in a desperation to end. In the manga, she gets almost no characterization (the anime added episodes of backstory for her and her sons) and she ultimately contributes nothing to the plot outside of killing Madara and Obito. She's ultimately just a plot device that does little for the actual plot.

Theme isn't everything. These stories are primarily character journeys; hence character-driven narrative. Theme is supplementary to that.

You see it’s this kind of criticism that I despise for a couple of reasons

1. Yeah Kaguya is a plot device but so is literally everything else in a story so that criticism is moot cause you can apply it to literally everything 

2. So fucking what if it’s another one of those situations?! There’s no rule in writing to say that you can’t or shouldn’t do that. If you found it annoying that’s fine that’s your opinion which you’re free to have but that’s not an objective narrative flaw of the story. It’s your personal taste which isn’t critisiscm

3. She contributes everything to the plot and themes of the story. If you think otherwise, then I’m sorry you have to go rewatch it because you clearly did not pay attention to what was happening. You failed to understand what Kaguya is supposed to represent and what she adds to this story. To say she adds nothing is false because she does add something. You either aren’t seeing it or simply don’t like what she adds. Like I said she basically is an extreme  representation of Madara’s ideals as well as those of the shinobi world as a whole. Madara wanted to become a god that rose above the contradictory world of shinobi. What is Kaguya? A god that exists above the contradictory world of shinobi. The parallel is blatantly obvious. Come on this shit ain’t rocket science.

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Itachi still had his eyes though, and as you said, the Shisui moment is filler. it's a mangekyo sharingan ability that requires having both eyes. When Obito temporarily gave Kakashi the power of both of his eyes, Kakashi could use sussano'o, but neither of them could use it when only having one mangekyo each.

Itachi was also practically blind by that point should weaken his Susano but he was still able to use it and to a pretty advanced stage too. And the Shisui thing I believe is also in the light novels which are canon I believe or at least they were approved by Kishimoto himself. In regards to Kakashi and Obito, the story states you need both eyes to unlock it not use it and yes there is a difference.

2 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Have you looked for one, or have you only been looking for the bad arguments? We've had discussions where you've said "I have yet to hear a good argument [about this topic]" before, and it has often come across as just sounding like you've been avoiding or misunderstanding the good arguments.

Hey if you can present an argument that doesn’t essentially boil down to “Sasuke too mean/edgy therefore bad character” or “Sasuke should’ve protected the leaf after learning the truth of Itachi. It makes no sense why he’d want to destroy it therefore he’s a bad character.” Like 90% of all Sasuke criticisms I’ve heard I’m all ears but otherwise I can write multiple paragraphs to prove both of those statements wrong because I’ve heard them a million times by now.  

 

2 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Okay... how is this in any way a counter to the argument that the story became overstuffed with Uchiha? Don't get me wrong; I don't necessarily agree with the argument that the story became overstuffed with Uchiha, but this doesn't really counter that argument at all.

Not only that, but @Etrurian emperor prefaced their argument with, "The writer has a fascination with the Uchiha clan that I don't share", meaning this is just them sharing their opinion on which aspects of the story they personally preferred.

Because he kept acting as if it was objective narrative flaw of the story when it wasn’t and that’s what pissed me off. The Uchiha clan are an extremely important part of the story and the fact this guy can’t realize that is simply stupid.

 

2 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Um... @Etrurian emperor didn't say that at all; he just said that they were underutilized in fights, and that was just one sentence in a paragraph that otherwise had almost nothing to do with that. There were a number of things in that paragraph you could've picked and torn apart (to demonstrate, I will do so after finishing responding to you), and you chose to do both a strawman and a false dichotomy simultaneously?

I will admit I got a little heated with that one. I apologize but I’m still sick of hearing this shit because I can hear that take every other week.

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6 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

His exact words were and I quote “so that’s all there is to it, this will be easy to control” which could have a couple of implications but the primary one being that he figured it out pretty quickly when he absorbed it which makes sense because:

1. Sage mode doesn’t immediately take you over that fact depends on how much natural chakra you possess and this is Madara we’re talking about

2. he has Hashirama cells already so obviously those cells would react to his sage chakra in a natural way and not take over madara. It makes perfect sense

So, as I said, he didn't know how it worked until he began absorbing it.

1. Yeah, it doesn't immediately take over you, but the training is still extremely intensive for a reason. As for "depending on how much natural chakra you possess", that doesn't really explain how he took to it instantly when Naruto: an Uzumaki (who, as a result, has more natural chakra than almost anyone else to the point where his level of chakra is considered "inhuman" even when most of it was going towards sealing Kurama) had to train a ton over a period of time, struggled immensely, and one of his shadow clones did almost turn into a statue during training.

2. So, you're suggesting that, as long as you have the DNA of someone that mastered Sage Mode, you don't have to master it? I suppose that would explain Kashin Koji having sage mode... but that doesn't make much sense to me; it's not a kekkai genkai, it's a very dangerous learned skill.

 

18 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

You see it’s this kind of criticism that I despise for a couple of reasons

1. Yeah Kaguya is a plot device but so is literally everything else in a story so that criticism is moot cause you can apply it to literally everything 

2. So fucking what if it’s another one of those situations?! There’s no rule in writing to say that you can’t or shouldn’t do that. If you found it annoying that’s fine that’s your opinion which you’re free to have but that’s not an objective narrative flaw of the story. It’s your personal taste which isn’t critisiscm

3. She contributes everything to the plot and themes of the story. If you think otherwise, then I’m sorry you have to go rewatch it because you clearly did not pay attention to what was happening. You failed to understand what Kaguya is supposed to represent and what she adds to this story. To say she adds nothing is false because she does add something. You either aren’t seeing it or simply don’t like what she adds. Like I said she basically is an extreme  representation of Madara’s ideals as well as those of the shinobi world as a whole. Madara wanted to become a god that rose above the contradictory world of shinobi. What is Kaguya? A god that exists above the contradictory world of shinobi. The parallel is blatantly obvious. Come on this shit ain’t rocket science.

I happen to know that you used to agree about Kaguya, so you can at least understand the perspective of those that dislike the character, right?

 

21 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Itachi was also practically blind by that point should weaken his Susano but he was still able to use it and to a pretty advanced stage too. And the Shisui thing I believe is also in the light novels which are canon I believe or at least they were approved by Kishimoto himself. In regards to Kakashi and Obito, the story states you need both eyes to unlock it not use it and yes there is a difference.

When was it ever established that impaired regular vision impaired the sharingan's abilities? Obito constantly needed eye drops and goggles and he still had effective sharingan, and Sarada needs glasses due to a childhood illness having damaged her vision and yet her sharingan function just fine.

 

25 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Hey if you can present an argument that doesn’t essentially boil down to “Sasuke too mean/edgy therefore bad character” or “Sasuke should’ve protected the leaf after learning the truth of Itachi. It makes no sense why he’d want to destroy it therefore he’s a bad character.” Like 90% of all Sasuke criticisms I’ve heard I’m all ears but otherwise I can write multiple paragraphs to prove both of those statements wrong because I’ve heard them a million times by now.  

Maybe tomorrow; I'm really tired right now.

 

26 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Because he kept acting as if it was objective narrative flaw of the story when it wasn’t and that’s what pissed me off. The Uchiha clan are an extremely important part of the story and the fact this guy can’t realize that is simply stupid.

 

I will admit I got a little heated with that one. I apologize but I’m still sick of hearing this shit because I can hear that take every other week.

I don't think he did that, but okay.

 

I see.

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7 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

So, you're suggesting that, as long as you have the DNA of someone that mastered Sage Mode, you don't have to master it? I suppose that would explain Kashin Koji having sage mode... but that doesn't make much sense to me; it's not a kekkai genkai, it's a very dangerous learned skill.

No I’m saying Madara stole that chakra from Hashirama himself. He has Hashirama’s cells therefore those cells would naturally react to Hashirama’s chakra. Remember sage mode is a mixture of physical, spiritual, and natural energy. Madara wasn’t just absorbing nature energy from Hashirama. He was absorbing all of Hashirama’s chakra which the cells in his body reacted to appropriately.

 

10 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

When was it ever established that impaired regular vision impaired the sharingan's abilities? Obito constantly needed eye drops and goggles and he still had effective sharingan, and Sarada needs glasses due to a childhood illness having damaged her vision and yet her sharingan function just fine.

Why else did you think Itachi said he needed to steal Sasuke’s eyes. Blindness caused by overusing the Mangekyo can hinder its abilities. Itachi outright explains this to Sasuke when they fought.

 

12 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

I happen to know that you used to agree about Kaguya, so you can at least understand the perspective of those that dislike the character, right?

Yes I can to an extent but the fact that you don’t like it doesn’t make it a narrative flaw. That’s just a matter of personal preference

 

13 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Maybe tomorrow; I'm really tired right now.

Cool in the meantime I’m just gonna leave this video here

 

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10 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Naruto is my favorite manga of all time perhaps even fictional story of all time period. And excuse me for being blunt but reading the posts in this thread make me want to vomit for how blatantly all these takes completely misunderstood the story Kishimoto was trying to tell. 

Then I suggest you first take a deep breath and check if you're arguments are up to snuff because you'd be looking a bit silly otherwise. 

10 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Yes because as we all know the ONLY way a female character can have worth in a story is if they can fight. If they can’t fight then they’re worthless and should stay in the kitchen. I am so tired of hearing this take 

Yeah like this. Because it wasn't just about the fights. It was also about them always being the junior player in general. The characters with the least screentime, the least importance and yeah also the least fights. Take Mei for example. Onoki is the old master deeply connected to ninja history and he's the Kage with the biggest character arc. The Raikage is a former rival of Naruto's dad and arguably the one most important to Naruto and Sasuke themselves, and Gaara is Naruto's buddy. In contrast to this Mei is ''just'' the Mizukage. Or how Kuranai's explicitly stated to be the junior among the teachers, is the only one who doesn't get much spotlight and gets swiftly exiled from the story. 

Also you got to keep in mind that at the end of the day Naruto IS a shonen and fights ARE a big part of its identity. Its also where the series tend to shine so a large part of the cast simply not being allowed on the playground is not a good look.

Quote

I will admit I got a little heated with that one. I apologize but I’m still sick of hearing this shit because I can hear that take every other week.

Yeah. You were. Unduly as it turned out. Because what you thought you read and what you actually read wasn't the same thing. 

10 hours ago, Ottservia said:

To say the uchiha don’t fit into the themes of this story is simply false. I could go on and on about all the thematic meanings and nuances of Naruto’s story but then we’d be here all day

Or that. If you say a take wants you to vomit you'd better make sure you argue about a take that's actually stated or else you'd look silly. Seriously. Deep breaths. 

Because I didn't say it didn't fit into the themes. Of course it does. Its the clan of the deuteragonist not some wacky alien. I said its the least interesting theme, and that it pushes more interesting themes out of the spotlight. Pain being extremely misanthropic due to his experiences is more interesting than Tobi being destined to be crazy, Danzo embodying the darkness of the ninja world and being an opposing force because of it is more interesting than Sasuke being destined to be crazy, and the more murky path of ''pragmatism'' over ideals of Tobirama and Onoki are more interesting than Madara being destined to be crazy. Even Orochimaru being thoroughly evil because he wants to be is more interesting than destiny driving him to villainy. 

And even if Sasuke is the deuteragonist I'd find it hard to argue that his clan being either directly or indirectly responsible for every single event in ninja history isn't far too much spotlight for one group. 

Quite frankly I think its ''fucking stupid'' if you don't see how Danzo would be the perfect foil for Naruto and how a chance has been missed here. 

6 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

2. The only time one of the non-Kakashi teachers had time in the spotlight, it was to be killed off in order to propel Shikamaru's character development.

I was actually more thinking of Gai when I wrote that. He occasionally gets to join Naruto, has his personal ''rival'' in Akatsuki and gets fairly big in the war arc. But Asuma works too. But that leads us to the situation where Kakashi and his replacement in team 7 get spotlight, Asuma of team 10 gets spotlight, Gai gets spotlight and Kurenai being the only one who doesn't get it. 

6 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

4. Hinata vs Pain is a fight between Sasori vs Sakura and Konan vs Tobito where a female character gets to shine.

Hinata vs pain was an important plot development but not much of an extended fight I think. Konan did really shine but that fight also made me really annoyed about the writing. The villain vastly underestimates Konan and gets to eat dirt. Maybe a nice subversion over both Tobi and the audience being trained not to expect much of Konan? But then the villain simply goes ''Lol I've got an attack that just erases my defeat from reality and now its time for you to exit the plot forever'' 

It have been more impact if Tobi received lasting wounds from his fights or even had to lose his MS eye to get his hands on the rinnegan. As much as Konan shined she's just an impressive roadblock who could have been written as being one shotted without it having changed a single thing. I actually think kinda worse of it because the fight seems to be a subversion of the usual treatment of woman before making Konan completely inconsequential. 

Quote

I'd honestly say that Kankuro (the puppet guy) was overall less important than Temari.

I'm not sure actually because outside marrying Shikamaru I don't recall her doing much. Kankuro has a fight with Shino during the invasion while I recall Temari's skirmish with Sasuke was just filler. And Kankuro chases after Sasori while Temari doesn't which leads to a small plotpoint of Kankuro becoming his successor which in turn reveals the weakness of the zombie apocalypse jutsu later on. 

 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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4 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Because I didn't say it didn't fit into the themes. Of course it does. Its the clan of the deuteragonist not some wacky alien. I said its the least interesting theme, and that it pushes more interesting themes out of the spotlight. Pain being extremely misanthropic due to his experiences is more interesting than Tobi being destined to be crazy, Danzo embodying the darkness of the ninja world and being an opposing force because of it is more interesting than Sasuke being destined to be crazy, and the more murky path of ''pragmatism'' over ideals of Tobirama and Onoki are more interesting than Madara being destined to be crazy. Even Orochimaru being thoroughly evil because he wants to be is more interesting than destiny driving him to villainy. 

If you thought that’s all their characters amounted to then I’m sorry you need go watch the series again cause you clearly were not paying attention. To start, Obito is the perfect foil to Naruto who were both idealistic and naive young boys that wanted to change the world. Obito witnessed the worst possible thing he could’ve when he exited that cave and because of that lost all hope in the world. He realized this world was nothing more than a living hell. A world where something like that should happen at all shouldn’t be allowed to exist. It was the shinobi system that allowed for these circumstances. Obito gave up on the world not because he was destined to for being an Uchiha no he chose to abandon the world. That is a very clear point made when Naruto and Kakashi confront him despite him saying otherwise. He said he had no choice but to fall but he did have a choice and the outcome of it was standing before him in Naruto. And even despite everything, he never lost hope and it was Naruto that made him realize that and allowed him to reclaim himself.

the same goes for Madara. Think about it a lot of what Madara said would happen could be interpreted as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If he had simply stayed and compromised with Hashirama things would not have turned out the way they did. Madara realized that true peace was impossible due to the dualistic and paradoxical nature of humanity and so strove to become a god that could rise above that paradox and guide the world toward peace by finding a cure to the human paradox. That cure being the infinite tsukuyomi. Kaguya is the god Madara only strove to be like. He could never become a god because he was only human with human flaws. Kaguya is different she isn’t human. She is a god that exists outside the dualistic paradoxical world of shinobi. She views shinobi as nothing more than tools to her ends much like how the shinobi system itself views shinobi as nothing more than tools for their nation. In not respecting his own humanity Madara fell into the same flaws as Obito in being manipulated as a tool by something far greater than he ever could’ve imagined. Symbolized perfectly by black zetsu stabbing him in the back which was his one weakness because he let that shield down again like with Hashirama. In the end Madara could not even trust himself to watch his own back. 
 

and Sasuke well I think this video does the topic justice better than I ever could 

 

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12 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

If you thought that’s all their characters amounted to then......

Maybe not respond like that after already kinda having egg on your face. It makes one less willing to respond. I'm not entirely sure that after your kinda rude and unduly aggressive entrance that you have much room for large sweeping statements like that. You're one of the most vocal Naruto fans on here so of course you can post here but you simply must cool it down lest this get really annoying really fast. 

Yeah yeah they have their own quirks and beliefs. But ultimately the plot and those Uchiha's themselves make it clear that the will of fire and the curse of hatred were always destined to clash, that its a conflict dating back centuries and that its all going to come to blows at the end. 

Because of the strong focus on destiny, curses and 'loving too strongly'' the Uchiha's path to villainy does inherently have at least some reduced agency of those involved. And some people find that less interesting than other motives for villainy. 

But that wasn't even the main thing. My point wasn't just that the Uchiha's destiny wasn't less interesting but also omnipresent throughout almost any aspect of the storyline and that it pushes the rare plot points not about them away. And that's great for Uchiha fans but if you're not a fan of the Uchiha.....

 

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

But that wasn't even the main thing. My point wasn't just that the Uchiha's destiny wasn't less interesting but also omnipresent throughout almost any aspect of the storyline and that it pushes the rare plot points not about them away. And that's great for Uchiha fans but if you're not a fan of the Uchiha.....

Then the story isn’t for you just simply don’t read/watch it. It really is that simple. Because this is the story Kishimoto wanted to tell. This is his story not yours so you don’t get to decide what’s important or how it should’ve ended. So stop acting like personal preference is an inherent narrative flaw and move on. Don’t like it don’t read it. 
 

Quote

Because of the strong focus on destiny, curses and 'loving too strongly'' the Uchiha's path to villainy does inherently have at least some reduced agency of those involved. And some people find that less interesting than other motives for villainy. 

You’re the type to say Neji was right aren’t you?

Edited by Ottservia

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13 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Then the story isn’t for you just simply don’t read/watch it. It really is that simple. Because this is the story Kishimoto wanted to tell. This is his story not yours so you don’t get to decide what’s important or how it should’ve ended. So stop acting like personal preference is an inherent narrative flaw and move on. Don’t like it don’t read it. 

By that logic no one should ever voice their preference ever. The Uchiha only overtook the series a good deal into Shippuden too so I'm not sure its fair to dismiss people who didn't exactly welcome that development. 

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1 minute ago, Etrurian emperor said:

By that logic no one should ever voice their preference ever. The Uchiha only overtook the series a good deal into Shippuden too so I'm not sure its fair to dismiss people who didn't exactly welcome that development. 

I’m not dismissing those people. What I am saying though is that if the story is not doing what you want it to do then it’s not an objective narrative flaw but rather personal preference. And if that’s the case just stop reading. You clearly are not enjoying the story which means the story just isn’t to your taste and that’s fine. It’s fine to express that opinion but it’s not the story’s fault for not conforming to your personal preferences and I think it’s rather pretentious and entitled to think that the story should conform to your personal preferences. Like I said this isn’t your story. This is Kishimoto’s story. A story has zero obligation to pander to you. Don’t like it don’t read it. It’s that simple

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2 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

 

Geeh. Could have fooled me.

Ah yes because those two lines out of context without any of the elaboration totally makes my statement invalid

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7 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I was actually more thinking of Gai when I wrote that. He occasionally gets to join Naruto, has his personal ''rival'' in Akatsuki and gets fairly big in the war arc. But Asuma works too. But that leads us to the situation where Kakashi and his replacement in team 7 get spotlight, Asuma of team 10 gets spotlight, Gai gets spotlight and Kurenai being the only one who doesn't get it. 

Hinata vs pain was an important plot development but not much of an extended fight I think. Konan did really shine but that fight also made me really annoyed about the writing. The villain vastly underestimates Konan and gets to eat dirt. Maybe a nice subversion over both Tobi and the audience being trained not to expect much of Konan? But then the villain simply goes ''Lol I've got an attack that just erases my defeat from reality and now its time for you to exit the plot forever'' 

It have been more impact if Tobi received lasting wounds from his fights or even had to lose his MS eye to get his hands on the rinnegan. As much as Konan shined she's just an impressive roadblock who could have been written as being one shotted without it having changed a single thing. I actually think kinda worse of it because the fight seems to be a subversion of the usual treatment of woman before making Konan completely inconsequential. 

I'm not sure actually because outside marrying Shikamaru I don't recall her doing much. Kankuro has a fight with Shino during the invasion while I recall Temari's skirmish with Sasuke was just filler. And Kankuro chases after Sasori while Temari doesn't which leads to a small plotpoint of Kankuro becoming his successor which in turn reveals the weakness of the zombie apocalypse jutsu later on. 

Oh, right; Might Guy. I don't know why I forgot about him when I responded. I will just point out that Guy's time in the spotlight is mainly because of his role as Kakashi's rival and foil (and, in the backstory, the only thing keeping Kakashi sane for the longest time); his involvement in the story as a team mentor is about as much as Asuma and Kurenai's.

Yeah; admittedly the Hinata vs Pain fight is over very quickly in the manga, and it was the anime that made it more of a proper fight. One thing I liked about it (the anime version at least) is that Pain doesn't underestimate Hinata at all.

Temari fights Shikamaru in the chunin exams and then basically acts as the sand village shinobi that's always visiting/in contact with the leaf village. If I recall correctly (someone correct me if I'm wrong). but she's basically the reason the leaf village is able to show up so quickly after Gaara gets captured. You're definitely right about Kankuro getting all of that stuff that you mentioned. So I guess it comes down to which you consider more significant: Kankuro getting badly beaten twice before inheriting Sasori's puppets, or Temari narrowly losing once and then being the leaf and sand village's go-between for an arc.

 

Oh, and I haven't caught up with the argument that's going on between you and @Ottservia, but to both of you, I ask: can we please be civil? This was supposed to be for discussing Naruto; not for accusing each other of strawmanning.

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Just now, vanguard333 said:

Oh, and I haven't caught up with the argument that's going on between you and @Ottservia, but to both of you, I ask: can we please be civil? This was supposed to be for discussing Naruto; not for accusing each other of strawmanning.

If someone is gonna say stupid shit about Naruto I’m gonna call them out on it. I simply despise when people act like they know the story better than the author and demand that the story conform to their personal preferences. The only reason I’m being so abrasive is because I’ve heard these arguments a million times before and I’m starting to get sick of it. I’ve already tried being nice that didn’t work so excuse me for taking the more blunt approach.

what did you think about the video I linked btw?

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1 minute ago, Ottservia said:

If someone is gonna say stupid shit about Naruto I’m gonna call them out on it. I simply despise when people act like they know the story better than the author and demand that the story conform to their personal preferences. The only reason I’m being so abrasive is because I’ve heard these arguments a million times before and I’m starting to get sick of it. I’ve already tried being nice that didn’t work so excuse me for taking the more blunt approach.

what did you think about the video I linked btw?

Okay; it just that, the last time you got this abrasive, your topic got locked. And when did he suggest that he knew better than the author?

I honestly haven't watched it yet.

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1 minute ago, vanguard333 said:

Okay; it just that, the last time you got this abrasive, your topic got locked. And when did he suggest that he knew better than the author?

Yeah that also happened when I tried to be nice. Both roads in regards will lead to unfavorable outcomes. Might as well stop pretending to be nice just to have it thrown in my face later.

He’s been implying it the entire time and it’s making me sick. If you want an example just look at the last paragraph of his first post. Saying Kishimoto isn’t a good writer. That’s a pretentious statement if I’ve ever heard one.

4 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

I honestly haven't watched it yet.

You should it’s a really good video

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1 minute ago, Ottservia said:

Ah yes because those two lines out of context without any of the elaboration totally makes my statement invalid

Its more that its not very useful and as such sounds dismissive. ''The writer wills it'' is neither very constructive or helpful. How could it be when its only purpose is to shut down any discussion? Because the core message is that there shouldn't even be one. 

I'm sure Kiba has fans. Just shutting them down when they voice their preference for more Kiba with ''but the author wanted there to be less Kiba'' doesn't change anything. It just shuts them down without even considering a single argument they're making. 

The Uchiha being behind everything in the plot and ninja history indeed does make the world seem super small. And just going '''But that's what the writer wanted'' doesn't change any of that. And one can find it odd that the resident Joseph Mengele gets off scot free, but arguing that he's needed should the wacky aliens ever come back and that making such a decission makes Naruto a more nuanced leader is way more interesting then just saying ''but the writer wanted Orochimaru to get off easy''

40 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

 

Oh, and I haven't caught up with the argument that's going on between you and @Ottservia, but to both of you, I ask: can we please be civil? This was supposed to be for discussing Naruto; not for accusing each other of strawmanning.

I asked it of him(or her) first and it doesn't seem to have helped much. I'm always willing to be civil, its just that the one I'm talking to has to return the favor. 

 

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I completely forgot I named my username after a Naruto character for a moment.

Aaanyway. After thinking back on it I found the OG Naruto a bit better then the Shippuden. Mostly because I found it consistently good and the smaller power scale gave it a unique vibe. It wasn't flawless, but I still found it a very solid and straightforward way to move the story and world along
1. The Zabuza arc gives a good insight into the ninja life and the new genin being thrown in it
2. The chuunin exam expands the cast greatly and introduced the first main bad guy
3. The before Sasuke retrieval arc introduces Akatsuki and afterwards gives somewhat breezier story in the search for Tsunade
4. And the Sasuke retrieval arc gives the B cast a good time to shine. Giving them good fights and developments

Its that last part where I think Shippuden struggles with. Naruto introduced a lot of interesting characters, but the series struggle to give the younger leaf members things to do. Team Guy fights some clones and team 8 gets a REALLY small escorting job. Team 10 of course is the exception getting their very good time to shine against Kakuzu...and then getting several moments after that too. The war arc gave the non team 10 some scenes, but I still did't feel they got a lot of focus.

On the whole I think Shippuden has a lot of good moments. The Sasori fight, team 10 vs Kakuzu and Hiden, Pain and his (at that point) unique and exotic powers. Introducing the rest of the kage and other village ninja's. But while there where a lot of good moments I also found myself uninvested a lot more often. I know its a subjective take, but I did't feel much sympathy for Shippuden Sasuke and that did impact how I viewed his chapters and the story of the Uchiha as a whole.

Unlike OG Naruto Shippuden also ended up dissapointing me from time to time. The zombie apocalypse gave me some Sasuke retrieval vibes. A chance for the less important cast members to show what they where made off and it did start out doing just that. Still the 'everyone is here' aprouch backfired for me because when you tease a Chiyo or a Kimimaru, then I expect them to have a role.

Edited by Sasori

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@Ottservia He does have a point; authorial intent is one thing, while the end product is another thing entirely.

And besides, outside of interviews and such, there really isn't much way to determine what was an author's intent, and it's easy to overreach and assume all kinds of things were an author's intent when they weren't. For one example, the movie Citizen Kane has been analyzed a ton, with a lot of people saying that all kinds of things were the purpose of a scene where a cockatoo randomly appears and screeches. Except Orson Wells outright said at one point that the only purpose of the cockatoo was to wake up the audience; that's it.

 

2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

He’s been implying it the entire time and it’s making me sick. If you want an example just look at the last paragraph of his first post. Saying Kishimoto isn’t a good writer. That’s a pretentious statement if I’ve ever heard one.

He didn't say that though; he just said that he felt that, compared to Oda and Horikoshi, he felt that Kishimoto is weaker than them at writing an overarching narrative. That's not the same as saying Kishimoto's a bad writer or that he could've done a better job than Kishimoto.

Something I learned in a critical thinking course is that responding to a statement is a two-step process: the first step is to interpret the statement in the most charitable reasonable light (I believe this is commonly referred to as "giving benefit of the doubt"), and the second step is to give no quarter in criticizing the argument. Skipping steps and giving no quarter in the interpretation results in the strawman fallacy. This is important to remember.

 

2 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I asked it of him(or her) first and it doesn't seem to have helped much. I'm always willing to be civil, its just that the one I'm talking to has to return the favor. 

You could just say "they" instead of "he (or she)". Anyway, I understand.

Edited by vanguard333

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

 He does have a point; authorial intent is one thing, while the end product is another thing entirely.

And besides, outside of interviews and such, there really isn't much way to determine what was an author's intent, and it's easy to overreach and assume all kinds of things were an author's intent when they weren't. For one example, the movie Citizen Kane has been analyzed a ton, with a lot of people saying that all kinds of things were the purpose of a scene where a cockatoo randomly appears and screeches. Except Orson Wells outright said at one point that the only purpose of the cockatoo was to wake up the audience; that's it.

 

1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Its more that its not very useful and as such sounds dismissive. ''The writer wills it'' is neither very constructive or helpful. How could it be when its only purpose is to shut down any discussion? Because the core message is that there shouldn't even be one. 

I'm sure Kiba has fans. Just shutting them down when they voice their preference for more Kiba with ''but the author wanted there to be less Kiba'' doesn't change anything. It just shuts them down without even considering a single argument they're making. 

The Uchiha being behind everything in the plot and ninja history indeed does make the world seem super small. And just going '''But that's what the writer wanted'' doesn't change any of that. And one can find it odd that the resident Joseph Mengele gets off scot free, but arguing that he's needed should the wacky aliens ever come back and that making such a decission makes Naruto a more nuanced leader is way more interesting then just saying ''but the writer wanted Orochimaru to get off easy''

Can I just say I despise this argument as well for a number of ones:

1. The themes of a story are not subjective. It’s not like shrodinger’s cat. The context and ideas behind certain plot elements or narrative decisions don’t just randomly change every time you read it. No that’s not how that works. What’s written is written and the meaning and context of those words don’t change once the story is finished.

2. Sure it’s a lot of interpretation but the important thing here is evidence. I’m not gonna say Naruto was ever a story about hard work vs talent because there’s no evidence within the text to support that claim at all. Yeah sure it could just interpretation to say Naruto is a story about overcoming the cycle of hate but the difference between this and the hard work claim is that it has far more evidence in the story to support it making it the stronger claim and if you disagree then the burden of proof lies with you to debunk it.

3. And this is more specifically a manga thing but these series are being published in a weekly magazine. Mangaka are under serious pressure to create interesting stories each week under threat of their series being canceled. Not everything is gonna be planned out ahead of time or go smoothly. You also have to acknowledge that once a chapter is published the mangaka cannot go back and redo it. Once it’s published it’s a part of their story whether they like it or not. This is especially important to consider when you realize that stories evolve over time. These artists aren’t stagnant. They’re constantly improving their craft and sometimes the story ends up going in a direction that was completely from what was built up. It’s just how the industry works. If they come up with a cool new idea for their story that would require them to change things from the chapter that was just published well tough luck. They have to work that idea in some other way. It’s just the way the industry is.

4. And this is kind of an extension to the second point but if Kishimoto truly wanted to give Kiba more screentime he very easily could have. There were plenty of opportunities like during the war or against pain. But he doesn’t probably because he didn’t view Kiba as an important enough character to develop at this point in the story. Developing Kiba’s character wouldn’t have added anything to the story he was trying to tell so he simply didn’t bother. Does it suck for fans of that character? Sure it does but it’s not an objective flaw of the story because at the end of the day it is Kishimoto’s story and he can do whatever he wants with it. If he didn’t want to further develop Kiba’s character then he shouldn’t have to.

5. a writer never does anything without reason. Nothing in a story is meaningless. Everything in a story has meaning and analysis is all about finding that meaning. Don’t dismiss things as not mattering when you could instead aim to find out why they do. You say Kaguya adds nothing to the story? How does she add nothing? Prove that to me. I’ve already proven what she adds to this story as in she acts as a physical manifestation of the flaws of the shinobi system. Yeah themes aren’t everything but she does add those things which isn’t nothing meaning the claim that she adds nothing is false. Once again the burden of proof lies with you.

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Something I learned in a critical thinking course is that responding to a statement is a two-step process: the first step is to interpret the statement in the most charitable reasonable light (I believe this is commonly referred to as "giving benefit of the doubt"), and the second step is to give no quarter in criticizing the argument. Skipping steps and giving no quarter in the interpretation results in the strawman fallacy. This is important to remember.

Yeah this is good and I would do the same if he actually bothered to give that same courtesy to Kishimoto but he doesn’t and that’s the problem here. He’s not giving Kishimoto the benefit of the doubt and spouting nonsense about his story without providing substantial proof for his claims

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