The worst of Naruto

June 22nd, 2008 by Author

I saw this at Don’s old server, which he promised to take down, but did not, thank goodness.

The other day G asked if he could watch Naruto, because his best friend J likes it. … So D and I watched an episode with him. It was *all* violence — the entire show was about a one-on-one battle in which one combatant essentially beats another practically to the point of death (that was unresolved at the end), in a training match with teachers observing. Lots of dramatic shots of blood dripping out of the corners of mouths. The nod to character development consisted of some flashbacks in which the loser thought about *other* training battles, and the observers’ reactions (including admiration for the loser’s perseverence mixed with criticism for her lack of ability). D and I couldn’t help but make a lot of snide comments about how this all would work in real life. At one point, when the winner chided the loser about her inability to hold up her family honor, D explained this was Japanese trash-talking. Even G seemed pretty ill by the end of it, after spending the first half strenuously (and then by degrees less strenuously) insisting that this must be a fluke, after all, J likes the show…

If I remember right, this is ep.43. It is just as terrible as they describe it, although at the time of the posting I was unhappy with Don for the “swiftboating” of Naruto (swiftboating means bringing up inconvenient truth about a political candidate). I pondering posting a reply, but the problem is, you cannot argue with the truth.

I mentioned it briefly before, but I started watching from ep.31 or so, where Lee unleashes his ultimate move to protect Sakura. I think I’m just weak against this protection business, it’s too cute. Also, it was a dynamic battle. The following episodes were also great, with Sakura’s self-administered Dramatic Haircut (if I may borrow the expression from the dumb wiki). I got lucky with the starting point.

You’d think I would be desensitized to what Don’s friends experienced, but I am not. I still hate those parts of Naruto.

UPDATE: The quote is preserved at Don’s new server [link].