Trying to be a hip artist I keep my ear to the ground for the day’s latest craze. While on one such a recent session, of putting my ear to the ground, a small teenage person down on there recommended Naruto to me, refering to the cartoon as “the best anime ever made”.
Following this small adolescent’s advice I rented Naruto in order to analyse and form my own opinion of it. The opinion that I came to was “people who believe Naruto is the best anime ever made are just wrong, dragonball z kicks Naruto’s ass.”
The story lines are shaped so that they will make you constantly anticipate an extraordinary happening (perhaps a big action scene or a new nemisis). They manage to do this constantly by never really letting this extraordinary happening happen. It will usually take the entire season before the action scene takes place, should they decide for the action scene to actually take place in the end. (Quick action scenes require a higher frame rate/ more drawings and are thus more expensive, and new characters require creativity. These things will be avoided at all cost so that they can make as much money as possible).
What the difference between why some are and should be more successful than others however is: how well they cater for their target audience, and what it is that they do show on the rare occasion that they do finally show the extraordinary happening- such as a fight etc.
As for why Dragonball z kicks Naruto’s ass, consider just the name “dragonball z” and the author pitching this to the network television provider “it’s an animation about a giant dragon who will grant your wish if you can find his balls”. Anyone willing to pitch this and is then able to pull it off has balls (though looking at the innuendo there, might be gay balls). This guy can pull off anything he wants to, and does. In dragonball z we see people losing their limbs, key characters regularly being killed off, and lay people and their planets being annihilated by the “good” giant gorillas and evil emperors of the universe fairly frequently.
Naruto depicts a prepubescent, hyperactive ninja kid failing at a desperate attempt to get attention and affection. In the cartoon, nobody really wants to be Naruto’s friend- they find him annoying and mock him, and needless to say he isn’t getting any. A kid with Naruto for a role model has VERY VERY low self esteem. As for the action scenes, that one would expect to be the reason de etre of a cartoon about a ninja: no one (including naruto unfortunately) gets their limbs torn off, the planet doesn’t get destroyed and you cannot expect a main character to die.
Michael Mathews, email me at:
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