*Heavy Spoilers for Naruto*
Even though the anime hasn’t ended, the manga has. So the story is indeed over … and it sucks. This one stings because Naruto was one of the first shows I fell in love with, and after all these years it is finally over for me. It wasn’t even bittersweet because I just hated how it ended.
Loose ends were left that way, characters were underused and the story went off the rails towards the end. The Naruto/Sasuke fight was predictable, but that’s not my issue with the ending. My issue is with everything that surrounded that fight. Not geographically of course, but the story that came before and after the fight was the problem.
Being the long running series that it was, you get invested in the characters. Not just Naruto and Sasuke … everyone. So when the secondary characters are treated with zero respect, it feels like the fans are treated with a lack of respect as well.
I never understood why the show built all of these amazing characters just to have them in the background. Why build up Neji and Lee’s rivalry relationship with no pay off? Even when Neji dies, we get no big reaction from anyone besides Naruto and Hinata.
And the funny thing is, Neji quietly became one of the most interesting characters with his death.
Naruto, who started out as a hardworking underdog, turned out to be a child of destiny, which is exactly why this s*** doesn’t add up. One flashback that doesn’t happen, is a flashback to what Neji said to Naruto about destiny. No matter how hard they could try, you can’t avoid a predetermined destiny that is handed to you at birth. Neji was wrong about Naruto’s destiny to be a failure for life, because unbeknownst to them, Naruto was destined for greatness. Literally the child of prophecy, Naruto’s path was set to become a legend. What kind of twisted message is that?
If you need a further explanation of Neji’s plight, here’s a video made by the King of Lightning.
Naruto started heading down a disappointing path ages ago. The show has so much to work with, but instead we were treated to tons of filler, and I’m not even talking about the filler episodes themselves. I stopped watching the show after realizing they were going to show flashbacks on a frequency that was over 9000. Yes, I know what happened to Itachi was tragic. Rin is dead, I get it. Flashbacks of flashbacks … flashbacks within flashbacks … ENOUGH FLASHBACKS!
But we are getting off track—lets talk about the ending itself.
Seeing Naruto as Hokage and everyone with kids was great, but forced. Characters with the smallest bit of connection got married with no explanation. Lee had a son with … someone (it is never explained), Shino became Robocop, and Sasuke even turned out to be a deadbeat dad.
During the final chapters, Orochimaru was just … there. Then when you expected him to finally do something, he just disappears. What villain just watches s*** go down and then does absolutely nothing about anything? Why are you here?! That basically sums up what everyone besides Sasuke and Naruto are doing … a whole lot of nothing.
The ending was rushed. Which is crazy because this series has been going on for what, ten years? I could careless if everything will be wrapped up/explained in the upcoming Naruto movie or spin-off … that was your ending to the story—you only get one ending.
Naruto as a show has so many problems. It started off great, but somewhere down the line, it lost its vision. Characters were ignored, the plot was ridiculously stretched out, and important themes were thrown out the door. It all culminated in the most disappointing ending I’ve ever seen in an anime/manga.