What Naruto Means to Me

I decided to start this pontification with that because it is a great representation of one of shonen anime's biggest milestones of the 21st century.

Recently I've been hearing the buzz about "Boruto: Next Generations" and the newest episode (65) and how incredible it was, and I've also wanted to do something like this for a long time now.
So now that I have some free time I wanted to really expound upon this for a moment.

I remember when I was around 7 years old, I was in 2nd grade at a really big Catholic School, and there was this new show called "Naruto" that was coming on. This was back when old "Toonami" was on and me and my 3 or 4 friends who were into anime before we really knew what it was were really excited for it.

The week after the first episode aired was all we could talk about and I was enthralled.
I kept up with the series as much as I could. I ended up moving away the year afterward and I only had access to cable TV on the weekends when I would stay at my aunt's for the weekend.
I probably had one friend in my new school and that was one of the things we always talked about.

The Land of Waves Mission
The Chunin Exam Arc
Naruto learning how to control the Nine-Tails
Naruto vs Sasuke

All of these parts of Naruto had a lasting impact on so many people, and I'm one of them. It greatly shaped an entire generation of anime fans, but it also did something that few other series can do.

It actually grew up with us.
It was rather intricate to be a young anime fan in the early 2000s, and well, for me, it didn't get easier.
Let's just say that I moved around a whole lot. It was hard to find anyone who had the same interests as me in each school I went to--and then when 5th and 6th grade rolled around it became one of the reasons why I got bullied.

It wasn't popular, it wasn't really well-known.
People would go beyond just calling you a nerd or something like that, it got rough. Kids are freakin' cruel.

Around 6 or 7th grade, I got into my teenage years, and that's when Naruto: Shippuden came about.
I hadn't been as excited and the avenues that I had to watch it had become thinner. I occasionally watched it on TV and even though I had internet access, streaming sites weren't really a big then.

Well--in 7th grade I completely lost all of my access to stuff like that, so I had been dropped off of the series for a very long time.
Still, I would itch to know things like the Pain Arc, the Akatsuki, Sasuke vs Itachi, all of that stuff.

It was around this time that Naruto: Shippuden, the series, became this really gritty, edgy, and really hardcore story that had greater implications than before.
And in many parts of life that I had to go through, dealing with bullying and constantly having to move, and just being an angsty, pubescent, confused teenager it sort of reflected the things I used to consume.

Beyond anime I became obsessed with a lot of heavy metal, hard rock, and anything that was "emo" as they called it at the time. I wasn't really a deviant or anything, I was always a good kid and I did well in school and stuff like that, but especially because of my upbringing leading me to have problems socially, I guess it sort of drove me into a massive need for consumption.

I just had a breakdown about this (when I say "breakdown" I mean I was pondering it for a very long time, not like a mental breakdown) a while ago when I was losing my mind over the last episode of FLCL: Progressive that I am a consumer of A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS!
Off of the top of my head I know a lot about almost way too many different anime series, video-games, music and artists, movies...Part of me was wondering if it is a bad thing, but I have yet to really come to terms with that.

For a very long time I felt lonely, I felt completely disconnected from the world, and part of me wants to say that "everybody does" but I don't know how true that really is.
When I came to this site I tried to delve into some aspect of my creative abilities but I wasn't really good with technology so I didn't know how.

All the while, this one series has grown up with me.
Despite it being something completely fictitious and barely relatable to real-life, it was crazy to see the story of a troubled boy growing into a more mature person who still had childlike tendencies.

It was crazy to see the parallels of Naruto and Sasuke, two boys who felt abandoned and lonely but ended up doing completely different things to get through their demons, both literal and metaphorical.

It was crazy to see war-torn orphans like Pain and Nagato descend into a manic mindset that makes them have a raging god-complex.

It was crazy to uncover the origins of the Sharingan and all of the complex and twisted things that the Uchiha Clan had to go through.

All-in-all when I look back at it, it reminds me of the stages of life and the perseverance needed to come out on top of it all.

Now at 20 years old an entire generation spawns from something that nurtured my childhood imagination and it was a gateway into other anime that kept me entertained.

I could be overly critical about how Shippuden jacked things up and there were so many filler episodes that made no sense and how confusing the lore was or how there were some characters that either died for stupid reasons or characters that I felt didn't get enough shine, but this isn't a review or a criticism, this is just my musings of nostalgia talking.

As a result I'm really critical of the "Boruto: The Next Generation" series considering there is now a new generation of anime fans. I don't think it will ever compare or have the same impact due to technology and how accessible it is now--I think there is some allure to waiting until every Saturday at 9:30 or 10:00 to watch a show, although if you miss it you get mad as hell--but that sort of sport is eliminated by streaming services where you could watch it anywhere, anytime.

I am interested in seeing where the anime goes and hopefully it can keep the lore or characters somewhat interesting. I don't really care about the series as much, but I kinda want to.

Nevertheless, this has been my Feat of Fandom for the week.
I've been trying to do some more of these since I have recently had an abundance of free-time, but lately because I've been working out non-stop I got really tired. This was actually supposed to go up yesterday but I was way too tired.

Hopefully I can do another one soon because I've had a lot of cool ideas and things I wanted to write about, I have one really big project that I can hopefully get to really soon.
Still not good with videos or editing, so all you're gonna get from me are shitty scripts with no voice, but as much as I would like to, I'm no SuperEyepatchWolf, I'm no Gigguk, I'm no GRArkada...So I'll just do what I can.

See ya.