When it comes to Naruto as a series, all we ever seem to do on NF lately, myself included, is bash it and lament its fall from grace. But I think it was really good in some respects. And overall, it was worth all its flaws. Because Kishi dared to leave his comfort zone and deliver us the best he could do. So, what is Kishi good at? He's good at the Part 1 themes. Kids growing up and proving themselves. Martial arts with a fantasy twist. Ninja gag humor. High-tension subplots. He succeeded gloriously. What did Kishi try to do? Part 2. He tried to weave complex plots with surprise conclusions. He tried to write a thesis on world governance, geopolitics, economics, and the question of peace. He tried to write about psychological traumas and post-traumatic behavior. He tried to make mindblowingly awesome combos out of his universe's fighting systems. He fleshed out romantic relationships. And he didn't really succeed. His complex plots seemed like bad retcons. His theoretical discussion on world governance mainly involved Naruto shouting about peace without an ounce of problem-solving. His Uchiha psychology didn't feel natural. His "ninja war" was a boring tangle of rehashed techniques and random spontaneous ones. But did Naruto suck? Nah. Many of the awesome elements of Part 1 made it to part 2. The Paths of Pain were an awesome character. The destruction of Konoha was intense. And even the new things he tried to do in Part 2 that didn't quite work were good fuel for thought and discussion. (Or parody. "It was because of Rin." That still gets me laughing lololol). All in all, Kishi was like Rock Lee. He tried has hard as he could for his way of the artist. What did you think about Naruto?