|Naruto, being crazy as always.|
To clarify once more, I like a lot of the content in Naruto. But the way the anime portrays it just ruins the entire concept for me. The sequel, Shippuden has improved over the original a lot yet still suffers from the lack of progress. It's a long running anime, with enough episodes to keep you busy for a long time. But I'd suggest reading the manga first instead, it doesn't walk into a lot of the pitfalls the show drops into.
Naruto is an orphan ninja trainee in Konoha, the hidden leaf ninja village. The story reveals how he progresses from an ostracized outsider, unable to make any friends or complete a simple task; into one of the strongest ninja in the village.
He begins as a lonely child acting out to get attention and always making dumb decisions. He has no family, and no friends. Other kids in the ninja school consider him a joke not only because he never thinks and always acts, and the adults all warn everyone to stay away from him. This is because the Kyuubi, an unstoppable monstrosity is sealed within him.
|The Kyuubi erupts from inside Naruto.|
A fundamental and very repetitive key to Naruto is he achieves his goals with sheer willpower. He beats impossible odds time and time again by trying harder than anyone else. He begins to make many friends and rivals due to the effort he puts forth, which is an admirable result of his actions. In this prequel to Shippuden, a lot of focus revolves around the bumbling Naruto and his relationship with the prodigy Sasuke.
The ninja aren't simply what you would see in the history books in feudal Japan. They can essentially use magic. Said magic is implemented in the form of 'Jutsu', or techniques. Said techniques can be performed by using a combination of hand signals followed by a phrase. The interesting part however, is that people inherit the ability to use certain attacks from their families. Training to learn a new powerful Jutsu can even take years of practice to perfect. This means when two ninja fight, the victor is usually determined by which user has the most effective Jutsu.
|Naruto often struggles with his inner demon just as much as he struggles to succeed.|
As such a long running program, Naruto has gathered a huge following that I'm probably pissing off considering my lack of love for this media. But I will say I do not despise it entirely, the more you delve into Naruto, the more it rewards you. After a hundred episodes, you will feel very invested in the franchise.
Sasuke and Naruto together are a formidable duo, almost unstoppable. Even though they hate eachother at first, after a little time they learn to work together. Naruto is jealous of Sasuke and his talent. Unknowingly, the flawless Sasuke is also jealous of Naruto and his ability to never give up, to keep on trying and persevere.
|Naruto and Sasuke, working together.|
The artwork is nothing special, but nice to look at nonetheless. The dub is horrendous as always, the sub being the lesser of two evils. Watching Naruto before the sequel, Shippuden is pretty necessary, but if you want to skip the majority of the boring part- go straight ahead to Naruto Shippuden. Overall I have to say this franchise is acceptable, due to the rich background you will learn about as you progress through the series. I just don't like the part where you watch 10 episodes and nothing interesting happens.
Finally, make sure you have too much time before attacking Naruto head on. You need enough space to watch large amounts of episodes or read chunks of the manga. Or, just don't waste your time. Either way, if you watch a dozen episodes you will discover whether you want to continue watching or not.