A Parent's Guide to Anime
Parental Guidance Advised
Reviewed by Margaret K.:
The story of Naruto begins when a hidden leaf village is attacked by a nine-tailed demon fox, which cost many lives, and remained in the memories of the villagers. In order to stop further destruction, the 4th Hokage seals the spirit of the fox inside an orphaned infant, Uzumaki Naruto.
Fast forward a few years; Naruto has grown into a rambunctious 12 year old, fond of pranks, ninjutsu, and ramen. Growing up, he was always shunned by the people of his village, who couldn't forget the attack of the demon fox, and feared the child. In his quest for acceptance, young Naruto desires to become the village Hokage, the number one ninja.
Becoming a teenage ninja is not as easy as it first seemed, though. Although the headstrong hero can master some attacks (And even make up a few of his own), ninja-in-training must be set up with groups of two other students to carry out missions, and function as a team. So, as fate would have it, Naruto ends up in his group with his newfound arch-rival, Uchiha Sasuke, a stoic prodigy of a ninja, more interested in training than in people, and Haruno Sakura, a girl who he has a crush on, but who won't give him the time of day (Her affections are directed toward Sasuke.) The three interacting as a group sounds like a recipe for disaster, and as it begins, that's how it is. Teamed up with their tough, yet mysterious new sensei, Hatake Kakashi, they set out for their goals, and end up learning important lessons of friendship and teamwork.
Although the anime is not yet available in the U.S, except as fansubs, the manga has gained great popularity through it's publication in 'Shonen Jump'. To my knowledge, there are 75 episodes so far, and it's likely to be licensed soon.
Parent's Guide Rating:
yellow (parental guidance advised)
Not a lot of unnecessary language in the fansub. A few "D*mns" and occasionally "B*stard" if a situation gets really heated.
One of Naruto's personally made-up attacks, known as "The Seduction No Jutsu" involves him transforming himself briefly into an attractive nude girl to distract the opponent. The shots are very quick, and there is always a good amount of smoke to cover any objectionable parts, but it tends to give the male characters some pretty dramatic nosebleeds. Some references to adult novels, and a few peeping tom situations.
This is probably the most concerning area. Considering that Naruto is a kid's show, the amount of violence is quite surprising. As you would guess, it's about Ninjas, so there is use of martial arts left and right. There are lots of fights with sharp weapons, and a considerable amount of blood. It gets scary, and quite intense. Definitely not something for a very young audience. If you object to the violence in Rurouni Kenshin TV series, Naruto would be something to shy away from. Though, similar to Kenshin, Naruto also has many funny, lighthearted moments.
There are thematic situations to deal with as well. A young boy watches his father-figure being tied to a cross before a crowd of people and slain (This was punishment for trying to defy a corporation that was seeking to control his town). This situation as well as others might bring out a need for discussions.
Topics for discussion might include:
...to name a few.
- Corporate Corruption
- Using children to kill
- Pornography (In reference to the "adult books")
- Mercy killing...
Overall, I would reccomend this series, but exercise caution. Viewers under 12 probably shouldn't watch.