Okay so I know I of all people may not be the best voice for this, because I rarely update this group at all, do anything extracurricular for the group, and a bunch of other stuff. But seeing as this is a "Pro NaruSaku" group and by extension a Naruto group I feel I should address something to you all in light of recent events.
As you may all already know the longrunning manga series "Naruto" has recently concluded with 700 chapters. The ending and what lead to said ending has been rather, well... it's divided people very much. Now I know that many quickly point to pairings/shippings as to the reason why the ending was bad but I don't think that's just it.
You see I love Naruto. I love the manga, the anime, I've been followed it for a good nine years. So you can imagine that because I love it so much that it sucks more that the series chooses to end the way it does. It's pretty sloppy. I mean the ending "war" we had was kind of a large mess, many characters are barely addressed, and what lead to certain things happening is rather baffling.
Mostly the ending feels incredibly rushed. We have no conclusion really with the war, none of the characters across the whole villages addressing said conclusion and where they go from there. Just a quick rush to Kakashi being Hokage, Sasuke leaving the village/suddenly being in love with Sakura, and everyone kinda forgiving Sasuke. I mean, well I don't know how else they would've handled the Sasuke situation but to me it's incredibly baffling that someone like Sasuke who for a long time switched from hero to villain get's to be treated greatly at the ending.
The final chapter though is kinda the biggest rush and the bigger dissapointment. We're flashed to some maybe twenty or so years later where several of the characters are paired off or have kids or doing other sutff. This wouldn't feel so bad or so rushed had we seen any of this coming or if any of these romances or conclusions were written better. I mean characters like Shino, Tenten, and Anko are given horrible conclusions with Anko who was actually a very strong character with a dark past turned into an obese women just for laughs. That's just very insulting. Shino isn't helped much either being given worst character Iruka's old job. Tenten for whatever reason is running a weapons shop and not really a fighter.
Worse is the pairings. Not that some weren't seen from a mile away but it's just that we don't get to see any of their developments. Sai and Ino, Shikamaru and Temari, those are pairings many could see being "hinted" but they're so light and short one couldn't say that they're automatically get married or have children in the future. Worse can be said for Naruto and Hinata and Sasuke and Sakura. Those pairings are... well they just don't make sense either.
Take out that I ship NaruSaku and just look at the pairings for what they are. Naruto and Hinata rarely got many scenes together and their romantic development-if one could call it that-was kinda barren. I mean if Naruto and Hinata had some kind of "beginning" romance moment, if they even talked or addressed past events, I would've been fine with the pairing. But no. We get a rush to years later, the two frick fracked, and have two little devils with them. Worse is Sakura's case in which all her character has been nuked turning her into Bella Swan and Sasuke her Edward Cullen as he suddenly likes her for no apparent reason.
Yeah... SasuSaku... that's really badly written. I mean why does Sasuke suddenly give her any time of day after being essentially a terrorist for a majority of the story? It really makes no sense at all. And it pisses one off that a character like Sakura who had evolved into such a strong, brave, fearless ninja was reduced back into a 12 year old crushing on her husbando. I just really get annoyed that Sakura who kinda wasn't that bad of a character had to get so much regression in her character because Kishimoto sucked at writing heroines and writing romance.
Now do I hate Kishimoto? No I don't. I'm dissapointed though. I dislike that the ending of the series had to be what it was. I hate that everything was so rushed and that the conclusion to a story I've followed for so long feels so empty. Like not even the good kind of empty-the "void" if you will-where you are in awe of how satisfying the end of the journey was. More so annoyed that the journey and the leading to the end of the journey was a wreck and that there is no real pay off for me.
But I will say it again, I do NOT hate Masashi Kishimoto. Though the ending wasn't what I wanted I cannot say that I wasn't entertained. I love many arcs in Naruto, certain ones more than others, some characters were pretty cool, and I honestly loved the lore of it. I loved getting deeper into how the world of Shinobi came to be and what led to each event. It was great to me. I'll always remember that. And I loved kinda being involved in the fandom and the fans of Naruto.
Back in the early days of me being a fan it was awesome to follow people like FioriParty who made awesome flash animations of Naruto or even reviewers like Sawyer7Mage who kept up with the manga till it's conclusion. There were many more elements of fan reactions and speculation that I loved to follow or be apart of. That's what Naruto was for me. I wont' say that I hate the entire anime or manga simply because of it's ending. I'll just say that the series as a whole isn't too good just structurally of how it was executed.
Will I watch "The Last: Naruto the Movie" now? Well no. I mean I would have had not the manga ending made it irrelevant. I know what happens and it feels irrelevant to watch basically NaruHina's development in a movie in which Kishimoto and the filmmakers rewrite the pairings history. Not that I hate NaruHina I just really dislike that it's supposed to be the main ship yet it's written rather poorly. The nail on the coffin is the fact that the anime glorifies it more like if Naruto has any interest in Hinata yet the manga barely even touches upon it. Kishimoto mentioned that he sucks at writing romance but it's no excuse to go George Lucas on his story and rewrite what was already written.
So in conclusion for the NaruSaku fans and fans of pairings I will say this: You are entitled to dislike the ending of Naruto. You are entitled to love your pairing. But... don't hate Kishimoto for it. You can be critical, you can criticize his writing up until the end, but please, please for the love of God leave the guy alone. He spend 15 years working on this manga to give many of you a series which you might not even pay for. You have no right to want to burn him at the stake or try to ban the manga in America, or even try to petition to rewrite the ending of Naruto.
Why is it that I, a NaruSaku fan, am telling you this? Because I'm a Naruto fan. And because... well I don't think you should get so worked up about it. I mean... I've gotten older and I do get into other movies, shows, anime, books, games, whatever. If I didn't like how one story happened to be in one medium of entertainment I simply move on. That's what I love about this day and age. I live in an age of CHOICE. I can CHOOSE to watch something else or play something else or read something else. If Naruto's ending wasn't good then find another manga to read. Find one with a better story or that appeals to you. Play a game. Watch a movie. WALK OUTSIDE. Because you might be PO'd, you might be annoyed, but I swear to you doing any of those things will make you feel better.
At the end of the day it's just a manga.