That is really cool. Crazy to see the whole story laid out in a clear way. Say what you will about the quality or story or whatever, but it has been a very, very epic journey (and I don't use that word often).
Really crazy/nostalgic seeing this. First manga I started reading waaayyy back right before we transistioned from the Sanin arc into the Sound 4 stuff. Still remember the very first Naruto vs. Sasuke fight (still the best one in the series imo...) and Kakashi stopping them before the first Chidori vs. Ransengan. Sasuke ripping his arm out of the water tank with his smirk, then Kakashi showing Sasuke what Naruto's Ransengan did to the other one.
Only now do I understand just how much I loved the Sound 4 arc. Literally the first Shouen manga arc I read chapter by chapter week by week. I still think it's the best Shouen arc written up till the horrible Naruto vs. Sasuke rematch (though that fight animated was incredible. It was the start of manga readers getting crappy versions of epic anime fights...). Back then we all thought Chouji and Neji were dead....and that the manga was going to be a lot darker then other typical Shouen stuff. There were going to be real consequences with these characters, and you weren't sure who'd make it to the end of the series.
Of course they didn't die...and then... the post time-skip era...and the great debating between the big 3 on Narutomania was born...
I'll be sad when it's finally done...but...it needs to be done. I'm glad it's sooner then later...
Seeing the highlight pages of each year really took me back, I started reading in 04 and caught up to the most recent chapter that year in literally 2 days. That was back when websites like mangapanda and mangastream were pretty much in their infancy.(god I miss onemanga) I had to download the chapters individually one by one from zip files.
It's been an great ride, even despite the drop in quality. And unless you are blind fanatic living in your parents basement surrounded by posters and volumes of manga, chafing at the nether regions from excessive masturbation over this mangaka or that mangaka....that almost always happens the longer a manga goes on. It's not so much a narrative or artistic deficiency, but a struggle against the perils of longevity.
Holy sexy jesus...pain arc was in 2009 :O
I started reading my senior year of high school (2002-2003) back in the American shounen jump. Yeah, that quality has dropped off but it has been quite the journey.
2002-10-03 after I watched the first episode subbed. I remember it clearly. What an amazing manga it was.. part 2 pretty much messed up the whole story for me.
I think I started reading in 2002, crazy! That was cool to see.
I dont think the quality has dropped...it is ,IMO, more like it did not improve as expected...
Naruto came back as the same idiot,with the same amount of skill....even now he did not improve much when it comes to skill...pretty much like kiba.Sakura in that sense had a greater change...but that is mostly because she had nothingto begin with...Sasuke improved and got new skills...but sadly they vanished after susano.The whole set up agains itachi was very interesting....
Neji didnt get any screentime,Hinata got some skill which was never reallly explained..tho it looks good....anyway...thats the problem for me,they did not improve...had kishi take na different route he could've made the akatsuki much more interesting by having,for example,Sasori control a small army of people and having ninjas fight them like the sound five,,then we could have Sakura finish him off like "she"did no problem...Kakuzu could've escaped at first,killed some people and be back later..which would make his name more worthy...paim should've not revived everyone...Itachi was good...Kisame could be in an undersea lair...Oro could still have the sound village and plot stuff from the shadows......oh well..you get what I mean.
that haku/zabuza arc was what hooked me
Quite honestly I was hooked from the beginning. It had everything a fun battle shounen should have. The Haku arc only confirmed how good it was and that Kishi could write good arcs.. and then part 2 began.
Naruto will always be the manga of wasted potential for me. I don't think Part 2 was all bad - Sasori / Deidara was a bit of a slow start to be sure, but the Hidan / Kakuzu especially gave us some really memorable parts (and panels). First big dumb decision to me was reviving everyone after Pain nuked the country. Second one was the happy-go-lucky kage council. I saw some politics, which was enjoyable, but I really wanted to see the countries fight, the alliance to fracture, and a real ninja war to begin. Instead they all get warm and fuzzy and team up against Tobi / Madara.
Then it just kindof slides from there. We all knew Tobi was Obito, but it was too dumb for us to accept it as truth so we were waiting for something from Kishi to finally destroy it. Many, many reasons why it shouldn't (and even couldn't) have been, but in the end it was.
Then we have skipped fights (like Kakashi vs the zombie swordsmen), BUT I REALLY LOVED YOU (Gaara), Madara's fights going quickly... lack of a big fight like Orochimaru vs the third, etc. Kaguya coming out of nowhere at least tied up the Byakugan thing, but she was a really weak villain.
I feel like something happened at the end of the Pain fight with him - either the editors reigned him in, he went total softie, or something else entirely - and the manga just sort of stumbled to the end. There were several things he could have done with it, but in the end he chose a big bad to be defeated by everyone so it can resolve peacefully the end instead of anything resembling what he had done thus far.
Didn't Kishi already say in an interview that what changed was when his child was born and his experience as a father? He pretty much admitted that after that, he wanted to turn the story into an inspirational message to his child.
Guess he went total softie.
Nostalgia Wave hit like a Tsunami. Boy what a wonderful time of my life, like many others said above "What a ride". It should be around 2005 when I get a copy of two dvd containing first 50 episodes devouring them like a zombie set upon someone. Also it was my first Anime, go figure how my jaw dropping to floor. After that I went through episodes like a lightning and then I hit the wall when I realize I caught up to latest episode, and I started to investigate schedules etc and there was this "japanese comic book" thing called manga and Naruto was actually one My gateway to this world is Naruto. Thanks kishi. When I realize they were gonna make filler I started reading Naruto manga that took me on a ride where eventually I met you guys. Thanks for this wonderful place of gathering, discussing, expanding our imagination.