Naruto. What is there to say about Naruto? What is there to truly say about one of the most ballin’ animes currently running? Well there’s a lot more to say than that it’s just balling. This show fulfills every young boys’ dream of becoming a ninja. And not just any ordinary ninja, but a true Shinobi with Ninjutsu and Thaijustsu for days. You got the Kunai and Shuriken, and the classic substitution technique. These young children Shinobi put legitimate ninjas to shame. They are unstoppable. And this show is infectious.
But there’s just one debate we have to deal with before we move on to the plot of Naruto. And that is: Naruto Dubbed vs
Naruto and the power of his Nine-Tailed Fox.
Naruto Subbed? There are those younger kids who would argue dubbed, due to an ability to watch a show (not read, though not a valid argument) and a lot of younger kids watched this on Cartoon Network. There are a handful of good voice actors in the show that make it worth watching it. But there’s the flipside of the coin. The subbed version, when it comes down to it, is better done. There’s swearing, and Rock Lee’s secret technique isn’t called Loopy Fist. That was a bit of a disappointment. For a more serious tone for the older fans of Naruto should watch the subbed version. But it all comes down to a preference of English vs Japanese. It’s the same show, just a different feel. It’s all up to you.
The starring team: Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto!
So, Naruto is a show about Naruto Uzumaki (Maile Flanagan). He is a ninja in training and hoping to become the leader of the village he lives in one day, known as The Village Hidden in the Leaves. The Third Hokage, leader of the village, sees much promise in Naruto and hopes that his sensei’s, Iruka Umino (Quinton Flynn) and Kakashi Hatake (Dave Wittenberg). With his teammates Sasuke Uchiha (Yuri Lowenthal), the cool calm-headed prodigy out to prove himself, and Sakura Haruno (Kate Higgins), the hot-headed and pretty much useless book smart girl, Naruto can’t fail in his mission to become the best. Believe it!
So many great characters in the world of Naruto!
There’s a lot of arcs and sections in this show. There’s the introduction of all the characters, the Chunin exams (the test that sees if you’re ready to become the next level ninja), and the battles between Orochimaru (Steven Blum) and his henchmen. With each trial for Naruto comes more responsibility and more powers. The show culminates in a huge twist and leaves more than 60 episodes of fillers that have nothing to do with the main plot. That’s not to say that there aren’t fillers throughout that aren’t cool and entertaining, I personally found a lot of the fillers to be funny and not so much a detraction from the show as an enhancer of the lesser characters. And how many cool characters there are.
There’s the 12 Ganin, 3 of which I’ve already mentioned. There’s Kiba Inuzuka (Kyle Hebert), the dog master of Akamaru and a master of, well, I’ll let you check everyone’s powers out. Shino Aburame (Derek Stephen Prince) is the master of bugs, and one of my favorite Shinobi in the show. Filling out Team 8 is Hinata Hyuga (Stephanie Sheh), the master of soft palm. She has a huge crush on Naruto but never
Team 10, led by the great Shikamaru.
reveals it in the original Naruto, an unfortunate thing.
Team 10 is made up of some real destructive masters as well. Choji Akimichi (Robbie Rist), the expanding fat kid with a penchant for lots and lots of niblets and chips. Shikamaru Nara (Tom Gibis) one of my favorite characters in the show and one of the only truly gifted in the series. His ability with shadows will leave you… breathless. And then there’s Ino Yamanaka (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), the useless girl who is more useless than Professor X. (You’ll see why.)
Look at Shino back there, bein’ all wiznerd and whatnot.
And then there’s Team Guy, the most masterful of all the masters. Led by Might Guy (Skip Stellrecht), his mastering of the physical Thaijustsu is just too legit to quit. Under Guy’s tutelage is Rock Lee (Brian Donovan), the only kid who will never quit and always fights to the end with his Flying Leaf Hurricane. Tenten (Danielle Judovits) is a weapons master and is always twirling and releasing weapons on everyone’s asses. And the semi-leader of the team is Neji Hyuga (Steve Staley) master of his cousin’s soft fist and intelligent as Hell.
All of these awesome characters flesh out a show about honor and friendship, being the best and doing everything in your power to prove your self worth. There’s self discipline, training montages, and
And Team Guy, they pack a whallup of a punch.
everything you wanna see in a shounen of this magnitude that needs to be seen by all young men out there that need a great role model in their lives, or just a great action cartoon/anime. Oh, and don’t forget the villains! I already mentioned Orochimaru, but there’s the best character and best voice actor that needs to be mentioned, nay, worshipped. Gaara (Liam O’Brien) is a disciple of the Village Hidden in the Sand, and a true beast of a fighter. With a gourd full of sand that does his every bidding, there’s more than meets the eye to this character. And he will completely slaughter you. Two words: SAND COFFIN.
And don’t ever forget Gaara. SAND COFFIN.
So watch this show for sure. The production value gets better as the show goes along, and for those that like dubbed anime, it’s not the worst in the world. And that brings up an issue. Maile Flanagan ruins this show. She may have a similar voice that can mirror the tone that Naruto Japanese version can do, but that’s just a bit of a stretch. Maile Flanagan’s whiney voice and childish lines leave a lot to be desired from a leading role. Oh, and, well, it’s just gross. Sorry there, Flannie old pal, but it’s probably for the best the dubbed version was cut off in the middle of Naruto Shippuden. But, for overall story and deliverance, Naruto as a whole, for all it’s worth, deserves a 8.8 out of 10. Definitely top 10 anime of all time to watch before you die. (You can skip the fillers.)
I would like to start off with a special thanks to my girlfriend’s sister Dana for making me aware of this wonderful show simply titled Misfits. I know she’s just paying me back for telling her about Foxy Shazam, and so it’s all good now. I would also like to thank Hulu for showing this in the U.S. for free. It is not small wonder this is one of the most watched shows that you have in your archive.
Hailing from the wonderful little island of Britain, Misfits is a series about, well, a group of misfits. Being as vague as I can about the series, I’m not going to tell you what they did or just exactly what happens, but I will tell you one thing. Freak electrical storm. These five Misfits gain bizarre superpowers that get them into some pretty strange situations (and sometimes gets them out of them). With a culture different from our American teenagers, a whole new kind of token characters are created.
A great cast of heroes has been assembled here.
And what a wildly awesome bunch they are. It’s not to say they are completely different from us, but, I swear, if MTV tires to touch this show I will burn their headquarters to the ground. This is a show that, in its context, can only be done amazingly by those who originally did it. Any bastardizing of this show will be seen as blasphemy. Anyways, back to the characters. There’s Simon (Iwan Rheon). He’s the quiet outcast of the group that never really had any friends, and, at first, it appears to be plausible. We gain an emotionally connected insight into his life as the series progresses and, if you don’t like him as much as I think everyone should/does, then you might wanna stop watching. Being one of the key characters, it’s sad to see that he’s leaving after Series 3.
This is why she's hot.
Next is Alisha (Antonia Thomas). This smokin’ hot and fiery young black woman is beautiful and knows it. She uses every man she can for what she wants (usually sex) and then throws them to the gutter. As with almost all the characters, she doesn’t give a shit what people think of her. Typical of a delinquent. After Alisha comes Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), the athlete gone bad on that one mistake. With his track days over, Curtis has given up on life and wishes anything to have things back to the way they used to be. It does my heart good to see more than one minority in a “superhero show” like this and Curtis and Alisha are good representations.
You better recognize.
Next is Kelly (Lauren Socha), the spitfire “slag” of the group. Representing the “lower class of Britain” in this show, she jumps on everyone’s case with her unique way of speaking. As one of my favorite characters, I love that she’s always the one dishing out the hits on all the guys. And not flirting. And then we come to Nathan (Robert Sheehan). I recognized him from Cage’s Season of the Witch and was surprised that HE IS ONE OF THE BEST ACTORS IN THIS SHOW. I was constantly laughing and believing that the young choir boy I saw from Cage’s disaster was a completely different person. In looking forward to watching everything this kid ever does, Sheehan does an amazing representation of the smartass class clown.
True. And funny.
So there we have all the characters. In the first episode, you begin to discover just who they are and how their powers relate to their lives. Seen as punishments that accurately fit the crime, these five must deal with a series of horrific events and the consequences of their actions. Set in an imagined suburb of London named Wertham, this is one of the best British shows I’ve ever watched, and I’ve seen all of The Mighty Boosh and Little Britain. (Just roll Nathan into both those shows and he’s just as funny.)
I can’t reveal too much about the plot because its just too good to discover what happens. The series is fantastic and I really can’t say more than that. I encourage any superhero/anti-superhero, nerdy, British loving, dramatically inclined, film lovers to check out this show on Hulu. At least watch the first series. All the characters develop into these amazing people that you wish were your friends and you care deeply for them and the relationships they form with each other. (And there are some steamy relationships you won’t see coming.) Coming from a guy who’s not that into the gossip/Skins style focus on love and sex, it was a bit over the top for me in this show, but it gave an adult quality to the 20 year olds acting on screen. Focused solely around their time in their community service building, a lot more is going on than meets the eye.
Discover all the mystery. And what's going on here.
I can’t say enough how wonderful this show is. If you watch it/are currently watching it, there will be an update for how good Series 2 is in comparison. (I don’t know about Series 3, Nathan has left…) So keep up on it and discover all you need to know about Misfits. And I’m going to post the show opening song because of how perfectly it fits and how catchy it is. Get some of these Misfits, they’re 10 out of 10.
I also forgot how amazing the score to the show is. Enjoy!