Naruto review

Apr 09, 2021
Naruto's prototype is very barren but still quite enjoyable. It's a stand-alone work with no credence to the actual narrative of Naruto but it's a fun way to see what could have been. What if Naruto was more modern? What if not everyone was a ninja? What if demons and humans lived together? There's definitely some tropes here that could have gone into detail that aren't primarily used in Naruto's standard narrative, and that's okay. This work is it's own body, and it's actually pretty decent.

The pacing of each page and the paneling of everything is pretty solid, but the narrative itself is just a simple mystery story that doesn't get into very much detail. There isn't anything big about the end 'surprise,' and the characters themselves are just enough to help do the job needed. 'Sufficient' is a great word to describe how this prototype functions. It did its job in giving the mangaka somewhere to start, and I'd argue that this is a really great start.

I'm a sucker for hand-drawn work, and as a one-shot prototype, this looks pretty great. I was impressed by some of the landscape panels and disappointed when the manga become mostly indoors. I understand it takes a lot of time to draw out certain aspects of a world and setting, but it doesn't mean it can't be done. Some panels don't even have backgrounds, reserving themselves to cross-hatched shading. There are a lot of manga that forsake backgrounds to certain panels but when things are indoors, I don't see why a simple table and chair in the background couldn't have been implemented.

The characters look pretty good and their expressions look believable. There isn't any uncanny valley junk going on, but you can tell there wasn't much done when it came to editing. Some lines looked a little off here and there and it made some scenes look bulbous for a few characters, to say the least.

I think I mentioned this briefly in the story section but I'll say it again: The characters are the bare minimum. They do their job, and I felt they did it well. I was connected in so far as I needed to be to get the point across, and I think that made things pretty fun. It's very short so that in itself meant it had to do just enough to make it worth your time, and I feel it did just that.

Actually, really quite enjoyable. I didn't realize I was at the end when I got to the last page. Not out of surprise, but because time went by so fast. I was pretty focused on the story as it were, and that made things go by very swiftly. I also find it super fun to see where a mangaka was when things first started out. I'm a huge fan of the cutting-room floor, and seeing what gets in and gets out when a work is complete is very exciting to me. It's like opening a time-capsule for a story except this capsule is from an alternate, unfinished dimension. Pretty neat.

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Autor Kishimoto, Masashi