A semi-coherent rant about bad storytelling, Naruto and legos
You ever fabricate an epic story in your head while you were playing with legos as a kid? You know, you pick the one lego dude, put some hair on him, add a cape, put something vaguely sword-like in his hand and a legendary adventure begins!
Yeah, that guy.
You never actually planned those stories. They just sort of evolved as you continued to play. All the powers and abilities you gave to your character were utterly spontaneous and made no sense other than how they fit whatever situation you threw him into. I had a character like that when I was a kid. He was some kind of cross between a Jedi and a Super-Saiyaan, because he wore a cape and wielded a beam sword, but he kept getting stronger after every fight (which nearly always ended up with him near death). And naturally his powers were ludicrous, like he could regrow severed limbs or fart earthquakes something.
Yeah. Those were fun stories we made up. When we were 10.
So I’m not sure if I’m pleased, amused or just plain disappointed to realize that the newest Naruto chapters are strongly reminiscent of these epic fantasies I played out with my legos as a kid. If somebody told me right now that Kishimoto had a 10-year-old child that liked to play with legos, I could guarantee that that’s how he’s coming up with his latest installments. It’s that eerily similar.
That Madara and the First Hokage have been fused into one all-powerful, thoroughly disturbing, and highly confusing entity is just one example of the kind of epic nonsense I might have concocted with my overactive imagination when I was 16, I mean 10.
Or the fact that the Tsuchikage seems to guzzle up flashbacks like motor fuel for his 5,000 year-old trusty moped. “Never give up!” says the unidentified disembodied voice to my 1-inch tall plastic hero of the cosmos: “Remember everything your nameless, undeveloped mentor taught you!” One can only suspend their disbelief for so long.
Really, I loved going on insane quests with my legos as a kid, so maybe I can salvage some level of enjoyment from the final chapters of this manga through the sheer force of nostalgia. But honestly, I just hope Kishimoto gets his shit together and starts writing a quality manga again. The first half of the manga is proof to me that he is capable of writing a well thought out story with interesting characters. Whatever he has to tap into to get to that point again, he should do it quick. There’s only so much manga left in this one.