12 Days of Animanga Day 10: Naruto War arc was an awful climax (spoilers)

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I shouldn’t feel as apathetic as I do now towards something that’s been a part of my life for a decade. But here we are.

I loved Naruto during most of it’s run. It had a few bumps here and there but was a fairly solid series up until the crappy Dragon Ball-inspired conclusion of the Pain arc. Nagato’s mass revival didn’t just undo the whole arc it got rid of the best villain and the one most qualified to be the final one. Afterwards, we got Obito who was handled poorly, and Madara, a guy who had no business being relevant to the current main plot. And it just kept getting worse

I wasn’t particularly a fan of the actual set-up to the war. The Edo-tensei technique used for the mass-revival of most of the major villains and heroes who passed on earlier in the series was a terrible idea. It was a horribly unbalanced plot-device that read like a bastardized version of human transmutation from the FMA franchise. Not only did feel cheap and shoehorned, the very idea of these revivals ruins whatever tragedy the deaths of certain characters carry in the 1st place. What makes killing off a character sad is the lack of closure for said character, as in the things he’ll never get to do say or experience. Bringing them back ruins all that by allowing them another chance to leave on their own terms. The main problem with the earlier stages of the war arc sucked. A few were decent like Mifune vs Hanzo, but we also got crap like the battle with Ginkak and Kinkaku (something felt like it was whipped together for some filler episodes) and the disappointment that was Madara’s “fight” with the Five Kages (and by “fight” I mean a completely one-sided beatdown to which we didn’t even the conclusion of). Probably the worse part of the pre “everyone fights Obito and Madara” portion of the war was the bloody Izanami chapter. You remember the Izanami right? That horrendously convoluted and cheap technique that literally appeared out of nowhere during the Uchiha brothers’ showdown with Kabuto? The same one that came with with a ridiculously long explanation of how it works and its background? Yep, that’s the one, fuck it.

Of course, as the title of the post suggests, things didn’t get any better. I don’t even know where to begin with the rest of this disaster. The actual battle with the ten tails was bloated as fuck. Seeing a bunch of extras chuck attacks at at lumbering beast while forming strategies that ultimately won’t matter is boring as hell. As if that wasn’t enough, the series couldn’t be bothered to wrap things up with the defeat of Obito and Madara. Apparently, those two were only pawns in an even grander, more convoluted scheme to revive Kaguya, the mother of the Sage of Six paths. The handling of this twist in particular was bullshit because there was absolutely no point in building on this conflict further. I don’t think Madara and Obito were particularly good final bosses, but the answer to this problem wasn’t to chuck another awful antagonist as suddenly (and with about as much personality of) Cloud of Darkness from Final Fantasy III was not going to make things better. Not only is it pointless, but it also makes the villains built up to this point look like a pair of goons by comparison. Not only that, we just went from a couple of guys that could take on multiple villages all at once to a villain that got bodied Team Seven in a few chapters. Major fucking downgrade. Toss in all the charisma of a coconut and no attempt at giving the character depth or motivation (strange, because Naruto normally tries really hard in this aspect) and you one of the lamest villains I’ve seen in a shounen manga. There was also an attempt to salvage reader interest by making Sasuke a broody villain again, but by now I did give a fuck about anything the series had to offer. However, I do find it funny how accurately FoxADHD predicted the events of Naruto and Sasuke’s final battle. They didn’t quite get the end part right, but let’s face it, the last pages of chapter 698 were a bit homoerotic right?

So that’s Naruto I guess. I don’t really have any thing to say about that Harry Potteresque epilogue since I’m not much for shipping. The fun that was the earlier arcs was nice while it lasted I suppose. *sigh*

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