Ninja enthusiasts need no other anime series aside from Naruto.
With the Inu Yasha anime over for now, I've been looking for new titles to get into. One of them is Naruto, which can probably be described as the definitive ninja anime. Set in a world where ninja and their skills are commonplace and large towns or even villages populated entirely of ninja exist, Naruto combines cool animation, long and complex battles, interesting characters and the ninja mystique to form one of the most popular anime out there right now.
In the Hidden Leaf Village of ninja, young Uzumaki Naruto is an outcast; many years ago, a powerful and dangerous fox spirit was sealed into the boy's body. Being a prison for a demon has not made life easy at all for the orphan, but despite it all, Naruto grew up as a good-natured and fun-loving youth, if a bit loud-mouthed and brash. His goal is to one day become the Hokage- the greatest ninja in the village. Naruto's closest comrades include Sasuke, a taciturn young genius who immediately becomes his closest rival, and Sakura, a lovely ninja girl whom Naruto has a crush on. Complicating matters is the fact that Sakura has eyes only for Sasuke, and has an opinion that Naruto is a good-for-nothing windbag.
Naruto's animation is pretty good, and places a big emphasis on the characters' use of jutse, or ninja magic. Along with these powerful special techniques, Naruto and company's battles with enemy ninja are fought with shuriken and kunai- more traditional ninja weapons.
So far, I've watched almost twenty episodes of the series, and I have to say that it's a very leisurely-paced series. A story arc- with Naruto and his friends going on their first serious job- lasts more than 13 episodes, with one major battle between the heroes and two enemy ninja lasting over 8 episodes! The episodes, as it turns out, are pretty short at just a little over twenty minutes each, and often the first several minutes are devoted to flashbacks or scenes from the previous chapter.
Despite this, the series is pretty addictive and cool to watch- and with over a hundred episodes already out, that's a LOT of ninja fighting action to check out. Well, I guess I'm hooked, ninja fan that I am. Fans of ninja action and cool comedy and action would do well to check Naruto out.