Hello and Happy August! Is it just me or has Summer flown by? It’s so hard to believe we only have one month of summer left and then school starts! Fells weird not being a student anymore, but I substitute during the school year, so I still, “go back to school,” lol!
The past year, I was introduced to a show that I really enjoyed, called Naruto, with a second part called Naruto: Shippuden. They were translated into English from Japanese, but the culture and style remains. I loved it. As with any show, there were elements we didn’t like and would skip, but as a whole, it was a powerful story that I really enjoyed. So much so that I am now reading the series! At the time I am writing this, I have read 51/72 volumes (they are quick reads, lol!).
If you do not enjoy anime or manga, that is totally fine! But I don’t want you to leave! This post isn’t about getting you to read or watch Japanese cartoons, but rather, my thoughts on a series I loved and why, as an author, I want to go back through and analyze the author’s writing and style! There’s always something to be learned from media, even if it’s just what not to do!
So today, I’m going to give five reasons, some author inspired, so consumer fangirling, on why I enjoyed Naruto!
I am obsessed with how beautiful the artwork is for this series! The national architecture, the food, the clothes (Well, not all of the clothes XD), every little detail is so vivid and alive! As a writer, I want my story settings to jump off the page the way these images do, and it really gave me lots of idea of how to do that, even if I’m a writer, not an artist!
The Story is Compelling
Please note that this is a fantasy series, so it’s not realistic, haha! These are “Ninjas,” that are born with abilities that help them fight. Some would compare it to magic systems, but that’s not what it’s meant to represent, it’s normal in their societies. But because of this, a warrior culture is born. There is a boy, Naruto, who is an outcast because of things he cannot control. All he wants is to be accepted and have a family.
Through the story, he finds his people, and fiercely defends and fights to bring his closest friend back to the right path. Sasuke’s story is a whole ‘nother post in itself, so I won’t dig into it, but for once, a sympathetic villain gets an appropriate redemption arc that doesn’t just let him off the hook for the bad things he’s done. And it shows that no matter how far a friend goes, they are never beyond coming back from the darkness. And this is just one of the many sweet story lines in this very intense story!
The Deep Relationships
As stated above, the relationship between characters is heartwarming. Shikamaru is one of my favorites and his relationship with his friends is impeccable! He encourages his, “pleasantly plump,” friend not to listen to their other friend who is constantly putting emphasis on weight and worth. He befriends Naruto when others are avoiding him. He is willing to risk everything to protect his friends and help Naruto rescue Sasuke. Sakura loves her friends enough that when Sasuke is labeled an outlaw, she is willing to take on the burden of killing him so they don’t have to (she doesn’t and the reasons why she was going to are too long to go in this post, but it makes sense, I promise XD). And Naruto is always willing to listen and talk to anyone who needs it. I could go on and on about this aspect (Hinata, Neji, *sobs*) but I’ll just say this is the kind of friendships I want to write about and experience in my life. Which I feel blessed to say that I do have these relationships <3
The Way Grief is Portrayed
Okay, just so you know, this series in very emotional. You will cry XD But the way each person deals with grief is so different and so realistic. Some are encouraged to become even stronger to protect their friends. Some go into depression. Some go hog wild and are bent on revenge. Some are a combination. Some have to quit one chapter of their life and start a new one. And some find healing. It’s beautiful, heart wrenching and so accurate. As a writer, if I can bring that to the table and help someone, it would be so worth it!
It's a Warrior Culture
This one is purely fangirling, because y’all, I love me a good warrior story. And there are so many good arcs that just make my heart so happy, lol! Nothing like a good verses evil show down and seeing the right get battered and beaten but ultimately winning in the end. And it doesn’t come cheap. Love how they make that so clear!
So anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post even if Anime isn’t your thing!
Question of the Day: What’s a story you’ve read that encouraged you to be a better writer or a better person?
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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