When "Naruto" first came out, fans were coming out of the "Dragon Ball Z" trance of intense explosions and overzealous aliens screaming about their every action. After tuning in to 'Naruto', it was refreshing to see a new kind of anime that involved a great storyline and a different kind of fighting.
After all, who would've thought that ninjas would have taken over the anime scene that Super Saiyans so long mantled?
The storyline and precision of the original 'Naruto' series is what got fans so hooked. No longer was anime action about who had the highest power levels. The original 'Naruto' series was about strategy, precision and storyline development. Even supporting characters had their shine. Remember when Neji Hyuga squared off with the sound ninja Kimmimaro? What about Rock Lee's epic battle with Gaara?
The show concluded as it should have - in a super climactic way, leaving fans drooling for what was next.
Then "Naruto Shippuden" hit the scene and it started off very well actually. We saw action from all the supporting characters and the storyline seemed to be progressing as well as the first series.
But here are three reasons why the show never lived up to its potential, or the hype that the original series had created for it.
1. The show took a turn and focused entirely on the Uchiha Clan
No longer did we see struggles with other ninja villages. No longer did we hear about enemies outside of the Akatsuki. Everything was about the Uchiha clan and how evil they were and why they were eradicated. The original reason why war existed? The Uchiha. The original leader of the Akatsuki? An Uchiha.
We weren't learning about the other characters anymore, that by the way had just as much potential for story as the Uchiha.
2. The show was no longer strategic and precise
Fans will always remember how epic it was to see Kakashi defeat Zabuza the way he did. It showed that massive chakra was not the main way a ninja would become powerful in the Naruto world.
In Shippuden, Naruto seldom ever learned anything besides continuous upgrades to the Rasengan and Shadow clone jutsu. To worsen things, he spammed the Jutsu, aiming to create the biggest exploding effects he could. This was nothing like the original series and reminded one much more of Dragon Ball Z.
3. The characters (AKA. Just Naruto and Sasuke) became too overpowered
The two became so powerful in such a short amount of time that it was hard to be excited about challenges they would face because quite simply, it didn't exist. A super power from the past had to be revived to face them and even he was trolled out of the show for the sake of Naruto and Sasuke's triumph and glory.
Other characters were talked about being strong but we never saw them in real action. The development for other characters besides Naruto and Sasuke all but vanished.
This is the ultimate reason why Naruto Shippuden failed to live up to the paragon set by the original series. The ending plot was absolutely terrible. Besides the epic Pain saga, the entire idea of an Uchiha long past his prime masterminding the world into a fourth Ninja World War and the whole world uniting against an enemy that did not exist (Zetsu clones and reanimated ninja) was ludicrous.
To add to fans' horror, how about the way the show ended? It's a spoiler and a rant for another time, but seriously?
What do you guys think? Which of the two were better, the original Naruto series or Naruto Shippuden?