When it comes to anime, most people around my age were introduced to it by Naruto.
It has been a wild ride, but everything must come to an end. On Thursday the 23rd of March, 2017, it was the end of an era. The Naruto anime series ended.
I started watching the series in my second year of Highschool, which also had a lot of the manga in the library. Like many teens, I related to Naruto and his isolation. It was inspiring to see him defeat his enemies and grow over the years. Another reason I related to him was because he was treated differently by the village due to the fox demon sealed inside him, and I felt that I was shunned by my peers due to my autism.
Not to mention that this series, along with Death Note and Shaman King, where my introduction to the weird and wonderful world of anime. So Naruto will always have a special place in my heart.
Admittedly, I stopped watching the series a while ago, but once I heard that the series was ending, I decided to watch the wedding arc.
Oh god, the waterworks.
I felt like a proud mother watching her son get married. I couldn’t stop the tears of joy rolling down my face.
To see a character that I grew up with, who faced adversity head on and overcame hate and fear, as well as a horrid childhood, find love and happiness with someone who will love and support him is a beautiful thing. I know how sappy that sounded, but it was a fantastic way to end the show.
Mild spoilers for the seven-part arc, but it is so sweet to see just how far his friends go to get the perfect gift for the wedding. It shows the impact he has made on so many people and how they have learned from each other.
I am glad the show ended on such a positive and heartwarming note. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a happy ending, but I feel like this was the right way to end the series. It tied up loose ends and gave us plenty of sweet fan fulfilment.
While we make jokes about the filler episodes and the ridiculous elements of the series, we can’t deny the impact this series has made. Like I said earlier, for many this was the first anime they saw or the first manga they read. After all, over 220 million copies worldwide is not a number to sneeze at.
Thank you, Naruto, for pulling me into the madhouse also known as the anime community. Thank you for the years of entertainment, and thank you for motivating me through the hell that was Highschool.
Oh, and thanks for the heads up about ramen, that stuff is heaven in a bowl!