Welcome back to the tenth day of the challenge!
Favorite Fighter Anime
Sorry, I really cannot forget this song whenever I think about the show!
Finally it’s about time for me to talk about one of the older shows that forever made my childhood experience of anime a proud one.
Naturally, this includes parts of Shippuden.
Yes, it’s over-hyped (by its fanbase) as hell!
Yes, it’s actually cliche in almost every way possible for a battle shounen show.
Yes, Sasuke is a freaking Edgelord™.
I don’t care about any of that. Sometimes it is worth reading some praise for the show since there are obviously some aspects fully deserving credits, right?
Well, I guess you have come to the right place because I will be talking about my positive impressions of the franchise, right here, right now!
Regardless to the massive ride Naruto has taken itself through, when looking back to as far as when it began, I have that undeniable sense of acknowledgment for the show. If it is possible to forget about most of the characters’ personalities and just look at how each and every one of them perform in their survival game, Naruto is undoubtedly a true fighter anime in every sense, exceeding even its main source of inspiration, Dragon Ball Z, in the ‘fighting’ department.
This is making me feel guiltier the more I praise it, because we can agree that Shippuden didn’t destroy but rather, slowly degraded what the show was originally praised for, right?
I am just going to remind you that I want to talk about ‘fighting anime’, not shows with story bullshits and anything else that make fights lack impact thus feeling tasteless. (Original) Naruto, in my rightful opinion, still stands to test the time of battle shounen today because it contains some of the things that make fights truly worth your time, just like those quick and random knock-outs you see in Worldstar.
The choreography in fights are clearly inspired from great classics. Ninjas are better known for being undetectable but here in Naruto, the show is showing us ninja fights through a ninja’s eyes.
Agility is usually considered one of the essentials for a character in fighting anime; in any given show, there has to be that one guy/girl who’s lightning fast. Then there are shows where everybody is freaking agile. Characters being able to slap each other so fast we cannot see is not all that glorious, so even Naruto avoided that gimmick and uses the much needed Sakuga to make fighters look very much alive (before they are killed lol) in an expense of lower detailed terrain and background art. Don’t pretend that Naruto vs. Pain never happened. After that fight was the point at which I quit following Shippuden.
Brawny fights need to have massive impact; Naruto has that part covered as well!
Moving onto Naruto: Shippuden
Admittedly, there have been hits and misses in quality fights for the filler-heavy series. Though, I am not here to bitch about how many wrongs they’ve done; I want to just share my favorites that caught my attention even after I’d left the series from Pain’s fight.
When talking about Naruto and fights, never will anyone who has actually watched the show fully NOT refer you to the famous one man army Madara. I’m your proof; I have stopped watching it but people still talk about it to me today.
Having taken many fans to a ride through hair-raising, blood-boiling fights and ‘executions’ (apparently Madara vs Guy was more than a fight), Shippuden started tracing its roots as fights near the end of the series managed to come back to giving ferocious, limb-twisting sights of the original Naruto. The fights put more characters (not literally) into them. Sure, Worldstar brawls are fun and all but I’d like to think that Naruto makes it even more enjoyable because here I am watching fights where the fighters know about their opponent, right from deep, personal connections to tactical strategies and attributes the opponent may have. This is not some Mayweather bullshit where we know that every time, his one big strategy is to outlast his opponents with stamina and defense-endurance.
The final fight of the series pretty much perfectly paid homage to the original series while at the same time demonstrated the massive change Shippuden has taken; it became the gradual growth in both fighting skills and abilities for Naruto and Sasuke, all on display as if this final instance of battle was a graduation exam.
Well, it actually was because their lives were literally on the line.
In this fight, both Naruto and Sasuke were practically top dogs claiming the throne. The first five minutes of the fight was as raw as ninja brawling could be, with absolutely no background music–just balls kicking, wind punching and jaw snapping sound effects. The proof of growth in Sasuke’s fighting skill was instantly on display; he was able to figure out Naruto’s nature and combat style as soon as (or even before) the fight had started.
Because Naruto’s signature move is the Shadow Clone, Sasuke fights to the best of his physical ability, preventing Naruto from performing the jutsu FOUR TIMES before the latter succeeds.
When I mean it showcased the change with Shippuden, the bigger middle part of the fight involved spectacular light works, summoning gimmicks and explosions–something Dragon Ball Z heavily inspired the show to become. But the last ten or so minutes of the fight went back to raw-brawl to show me how horribly soul-draining a fight can be. From there the background music disappeared again as I was treated with more gut-wrenching and blood-spilling sound effects while the boys struggled to move, letting out their desperation war cry.
Hell, a tooth even came out. Trust me, this is in most ways better than an a random Worldstar fight.
It was the one fight worth losing an arm for.
Even today, I’d still say that you can legitimately just watch a few episodes of Naruto to just grasp the tiny amount of story and then watch every fights in the show for pure adrenaline. At least that was how I rolled, and that had me giving out an impression as to why the series still managed to stay my favorite fighter anime of all time.
The tenth challenge is over. Thank you for reading and I will see you tomorrow! 🙂