- Created By Wakusei Aoshi
Kinda controversial post to make, ne? But I just feel this is an important thing to talk about when it comes to structuring manga. It is somewhat a critique. Mostly a comparison of Naruto to HunterxHunter. Sorry for that, but there are so many similarities that it's hard not to compare.
I am talking about Naruto before Shippuden because this was around the time that I stopped reading/watching Naruto just a bit after the time skip was introduced in the manga. This was before the filler episodes, although I did watch the filler episodes, I only did so half-heartedly (as background noise while I did something else).
The real reason I stopped reading/watching Naruto is probably because I had a friend who was a big fan and my brother watched it with me. This fueled an obsession with the series. Then I moved to the new school and the only kids who knew about Naruto were so different from my friends at my old school that I felt distant to a series that I grew up with. It was no longer my childhood, it was the childhood of other kids who saw it from a completely different perspective than I did. My brother stopped watching it with me, and then the filler episodes came.
So basically my only experience with the series is where we first catch a glimpse of Masashi Kishimoto's own originality and story-telling, instead of the HunterxHunter beginning.
Let me start off with the strengths of Naruto from what I had read of the series.
The lore and setting are probably what get readers most invested in the story. Masashi Kishimoto is very good at creating a believable world for us. HunterxHunter's world is more surprising, but it doesn't feel very grounded. I can't remember any of the place names (except, like, York Shin...but I can't really imagine the city so well in my head), while I can imagine myself walking the streets of Konoha.
The character designs are quite catchy. I think this what got me reading Naruto in the first place. Not only is the art fairly good, but the designs are fun. I like Naruto's jacket and Sakura's outfit which looks both useful and stylish. There weren't really any characters that wore over-the-top outfits and that made it a bit more believable and I could take a few moments more seriously.
The Zabuza/Haku Arc was a wonderful start to the series. It got us invested in the characters and wanting to see what the next mission they would be going on.
And then the Chuunin Exams. These were especially interesting because we got to see the other teams that we only had glimpses of at the beginning.
But this is where Kimishimoto begins to get...too inspired by HunterXHunter. I won't go into detail about how they are similar, because my point isn't really about how much Naruto is like HunterXHunter...XD
I'll just get to biggest reason why I stopped reading ('cause this is getting long).
Orochimaru is an awesome, fun character. He is a TON like Hisoka, except he's snake-like instead of like a joker. They both do the tongue thing, they both are quite playful and sadistic, and they are both incredibly powerful.
Apparently not in Naruto. Orochimaru is built up as a terrifying new villain. How could Naruto possibly defeat him? Then he joins the Akatsuki and his terrifying status is broken by the even stronger members.
Hisoka in HunterXHunter, even if he is not the strongest, you know he will figure out a way to get there. Even the scariest of villains are at least intimidated by him.
My point is that audiences (like me~) get attached to villains as much as they get attached to the main character. We look forward to seeing the villain get scarier and scarier, but when they get overpowered by some scarier guys and he's NOT out of the picture, then we feel a bit cheated.
For me, at least, I want to see the villain, with all their backstory, or just all the screen time... I want to see them succeed at least. Maybe just a little. So that I can be like 'HOLY CRAP! WHAT IS THE MAIN CHARACTER GOING TO DO NOW?!'
Of course, you can go and say that Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon and numerous other anime did the same thing. The difference here is that they destroy one major villain after another so we can't really compare their power to each other. Is Cell stronger than Buu? Who knows, that's up for debate. It's something the audience gets to think about. Is Itachi stronger than Orochimaru? Apparently. Do I not get to think for myself? It's okay if they are flawed a bit, but not so much that I no longer worry for the main character anymore. Then what is their purpose in the story?
I sound like some Orochimaru fangirl here! XD But I am more of a fan of terrifying main villains.
One of my favourites of all time is Berserk's Griffith. Not only is his beauty unmatched but his power is unfathomable. HOW IS GUTS EVER SUPPOSED TO DEFEAT HIM? And this is where the story gets interesting because we know there is going to be a resolution to this story, but how? (Okay, in Berserk's case maybe not, but I still want to hope for it! ;m; )
In conclusion, villains must maintain their intimidation as much as the main character must maintain the audience's interest. The villain should grow as much as the main character.
Feel free to debate me in the comments~ But please be aware of my ignorance of certain areas of Naruto that I can't go look up on Naruto wikia. Although I think my point is more about shounen as a whole, it's just a major fault I found in Naruto that isn't just with Orochimaru, but since I know more about Orochimaru I care more about what happened to him.
Now for WAHAHAHA part (if this post wasn't long enough)
I just realized I get to create new characters for meh webcomic~! The one with Seiichi and Tadao and all those peeps. Already looks like a lot of characters, right? But then I realized I need a lot more minor characters to fill in the gaps~!! YUUSSSSSS!! I GET TO DO MORE CHARACTER DESIGNS~! :D I felt a bit sad about finishing most of the mainies' designs...And inspired by HunterXHunter which has a HUGE cast of characters I have concluded that I need way more characters than I have~
Speaking of which and going back to my point above...I-I don't think I have a villain...O.o; Actually...none of my stories have villains..Is this a good or bad thing? I mean, I have minor villains, but nobody big major scary...Like I try to make my stories so grey that everyone ends up being a good guy from a different perspective...;orz Maybe this is a bad thinggg...;m;
Okiedokie! Sorry if I offended anyone for the above! ;3;
I just beat Ocarina of Time on a 3 heart run~! It took me about 5 days of around 5 hour play. I got about 28 gold skulltulas (not trying to 100% this...XD) and I died 27 times. But my brother had all the hearts with protection from the great fairy and he died 21 times and had even less skulltulas than I did. Therefore....
This isn't the 3DS version, by the way...XD I just had it lying around so I decided to see how long it'd take me to beat it.
In otha newsss....
I created a main character for the story I talked about last post that's been swimming around in my head.
Ermm...yeahhh....his outfit...ermmm...Well, I've never really done any designs for fantasy characters so I didn't really know what I was doing/what I wanted. Definitely not his final outfit! XD
I wanted a character with really dark skin because I am planning on the society that he lives in to prefer people with darker skin. The darker the more beautiful. This is because the world they live in is really dry and hot. People with lighter skin have a smaller chance of surviving (due to sun poisoning, skin cancer, etc.) and those with more melanin have a slightly smaller chance of dying (SLIGHTLY smaller. Guys, put on sunscreen. Also use parasols or wear a jacket so you don't burn your skin when you go outside. Sun tanning is skin burning). The darker your skin the longer you will live (they people in this society think) thus it is more attractive to find a partner who will not die on you.
With that thinkinggg...I wanted to make him very good looking so I gave him typical bishounen features and dark skin.
He has blonde hair 'cause sun bleaches hair colours~ (Not what history or biology has told us, but whatevs, I thought he'd look more interesting with blonder hair)
He is a prince who enjoys studying~! People in his kingdom refer to him as the 'golden prince' for his golden hair (looks more brown here, not really that golden but compared to the other people in his kingdom it is pretteh golden) and because he likes to wear a lot of gold.
He has an interest in history and the past and reads a lot in his free time. He also likes elements of science and engineering/wizardry because his dad is a wizard (wizards usually hold the highest positions in this society). He lives his life comfortably, but isn't a jerk about it, just an adventurous little kid. He gets to play outside a lot so he is not prone to causing trouble inside the castle.
I drew more pics of him here along with the other main character:
She is a fairy~ :D I'm not sure if I like her skin colour...I don't really like giving characters unnatural skin colours so I am still trying to adjust her design. I want to make her as boyish as possible...so much so that I am wondering if I should just make her a boy! XD But I already have another manga for bromance (wiff Seiichi and Tadao~ D'aww, I wubbs dem).
And then here's a scene of the beginning of the story that I am thinking up:
They are trying to escape the castle because Miss Fairy did something she wasn't supposed to do...which will leave her to be the most wanted creature in the kingdom...which will lead to the immense grief of Mr. Gold Prince-y Boy up thereeeee.....Can you guess what it is? I think you know what it is. Yep, you got it. Congratulations~ Here's a cookie! (Who am I talking to?)
I have gotten the story to be about world with 3 main creatures that have been made in the image of the gods of the blue star: Humans, Fairies, and Golems. Humans encompass much of the world currently, but fairies seem to be fairing better than the humans in this strange climate. The golems are thought to be long gone, but there are still a few small societies hidden across the planet. The 2 largest groups, fairies and humans, are at war for survival.
A human Prince and a rouge Fairy unite to try and figure out why these 3 races would exist if they cause each other so much pain.
Yapppp~ I feel like it'll be difficult to figure out exactly what I want from the setting, but I also feel that it will be quite easy figuring out the plot because for some reason this idea of the two characters searching for answers in a war-torn world sounds really fun to make stories about.
Okiedoke, I've ranted enough...
I copied a page from Berserk~! It was very educational! See them side by side! *3*
I will probably do the next page...I want to do something else, though 'cause this is super challenging! XD But that'd be wimpy and I learned so much just from this page, I will probably learn even more from the next one! This one didn't have any SFX in it, but the next page does.
It was mainly figuring out hatching and toning techniques.
In other newssss~
Another manga idea~! :D I need to stop...really...;orz But I've realized if I prepare a lot of comic ideas and the right contest comes by for it then I can enter it in there and maybe it will end up being something more serious than a doujin?
My other idea is kinda similar to past ideas I've had...but I am really stuck on it. I am not sure if I should make it a sci-fi with fantasy elements, or just a fantasy.
I want it to be a medieval fantasy sort of setting, but if I make it a sci-fi I feel like I could be more creative with the setting.
My idea is basically that there are people with water instead of blood that exist in the same world as humans who need water to survive. They fight for their lives in a barren land, one side struggling to stay hydrated.
I was thinking of making the people with water for blood either androids, aliens, or faeries...but I can't figure it out which one works better. I make too many androids...but androids...;m; I was also thinking of making them some sort of man-made organism that doesn't need to consume water to survive, but instead eats earth in order to stay solid or something. That would bring in question the reason why they were made. Were they made to quench the thirst of the red blooded humans who would inevitably be in need of resources, or to make a type of human to continue the line of humanity.
Of course, I could still use that and make it feel like a fantasy-like setting, with sci-fi realities...??? I dunno, but I like the idea as some sort of metaphor...for something...either it's war or just the circle of life...but I like the imagery I am seeing.
And with thattt....
I didn't enter this year because I didn't realize they were starting up again until a few weeks before the deadline (:|). But I really love looking at the winners~!
They are in so many different styles and beautifully written. Although they are mostly amateur, there is a lot to learn from any sort of artist~!
I hope to enter next year~! ;D
I came back! And my mind is blown!
Lemme start at the sort of beginning....
You see, I went to an art camp at my college because I received e-mail information about it from my art professor for next term. It sounded fun because ZOMG figure drawing for 6 hours a day....from LIFE! HOLY CRAP! SOUNDS SO FREAKING EXCITING!
And it was! But I looked around at all the other artists around me, not only were they much older than me (okay, to be honest a lot of them looked like they were in their 20s, but there were older artists there too) but their art was AMAZING! I felt so intimidated so I didn't talk to very many people, even though I tried to. It's hard to talk to people who are that extremely skillful...it's like...I can't speak my lowly words of an unskillful person....
But at some point I did 'cause I was super frustrated with an oil painting portrait I was doing. So I complained to a man next to me that was doing a charcoal sketch. He said to 'paint shapes' which I will forever remember now and helped me improve SO MUCH. By the day afterwards I made a face that was just a glob of paint on a board into an actual face (which was ruined later today when I was on my way back 'cause it was still wet..;orz).
Here it is (if ya wanna see):
(It looks like it was probably a good painting...and it wasss!! ;3; The nose was meh fave parrtttt)
My art professor kept introducing me to all these people who I had no clue about 'cause I thought the art camp was just a bunch of art students from other classes or schools...
Welp I was totes wrong. The person I was talking to who helped me bunches (even painted a 10 sec portrait on my tabouree to illustrate a point he was making which was superb despite himself saying it looked terrible, it wasn't, twas totes helpful) painted things like this:
I-I didn't know he was actually famous...;m;
To be honest I don't really know anything about the artist community of America...I probably should but...mehhh I feel like the majority of it is just paintings from life. I consider those 'studies' not actual paintings...Which is probably very wrong in many people's opinions...but still. I mean, if that's all it is, why not just take a picture? Because the brush strokes are beautiful? Or the arrangement? It just feels like interesting techniques or ways to take a creative photo...but not the art I'm looking for. I'm looking for creative stuff that doesn't exist in reality!
And then there was another artist I found really intriguing because he really just painted in shapes which somehow turned into the human body. Like...h-how did you know those colours would work with eye to get that look? And he was so intricate about it, too...;3;
Anyway...he does this stuff:
Wut? WUT? THAT'S WHO HE WAS?! I-I can't believe I was standing next to these people and didn't realize how amazing their art was...;3; I mean, I can totes see that from their paintings in front of me, but like....I didn't realize what they were known for...guhh Now I feel bad.
The first day we had to wear a name tags...and...Guys when I talk to people I either look at the ground or at their faces, not their chests. I don't read people's shirts unless I am in a certain mood. So I had know clue who anybody was...;orz
I think I was the only current student there (besides that models...who I knew...which was slightly awkward)...There were students who had graduated from Centre there, but it was mainly art professors...So lotsa help~! :D And intimidation. Imagine an art class where you are the only student and there's like 20 other people who are your professors...;3;
Besides the intimidation it was really fun~! :D I enjoyed working for so long and the time just flew by (sadly...;3;) I learned a ton of stuff and I would really like to do this next year!
HOWEVER! What wasn't so great for me was that I got a single dorm room....not roommate...wut? I wanted a roommate! That's why I paid for dorm (and it was cheaper). It was pretty nasty too. Bugs everywhere in the bathroom at night (and in the morning).
My friends were there. My friends who I had been dying to see all summer (even though I spammed the crap outta them on skype, it's nicer to talk in person). We had loads of fun on Saturday 'cause my other friend was there visiting. Then sunday was sad 'cause she left. Sunday and Monday I was hoping to hang out with my friends so I wouldn't have to stay in that lonely creepy dorm room all night. However, they decided to play some board game with their other friends and wouldn't invite me because it's 'too nerdy' or 'really long'...
Saturday was nice, but even then they did stuff without me. Like, I mean, this wasn't really unfair since I was busy. But they went out to eat brunch at a restaurant and invited me, but I couldn't go because I had to go back to do mah art thang. Then they invited me (actually my other friend who was visiting invited me) to play a tabletop RPG which was extremely fun (I like me some RPGs) but they started without me so I had to choose a character they had already made up and didn't let me make up my own character (it'd take too long)...
Honestly, if they knew me at all they'd know that me creating a character would take less than 5 minutes 'cause I have a thousand characters under my belt! >3> Plus I usually give my characters stats ('cause why not? It makes sense)....fehh
So I was quite depressed most of the time when I wasn't in the art building. I cried to sleep most nights 'cause I felt so lonely and far away from comforts and happy things...I've never felt so lonely before in my life.
I feel awkward around them now...I mean, I don't think they meant to make me feel that way, they probably didn't realize it...but I am tired of being the 'third party friend'...that's how I've been all my life. I want some friends to stick to. Friends that I can do anything with and count on them to be there for me, but my only friends like that are far away right now (or will be) in other countries...
You see, I move around a lot and so I am always coming into 'friend groups' as the 'new person'. I think in high school I was for kinda the person people stuck to, but I think that's just my friends were younger than me and might've looked up to me? I dunno. But I was always the outsider. Now that I have friends that I respect and admire extremely, I feel like they are doing the same thing to me that everyone does.
Then that makes me thing 'what is the point in socializing?'
Guhh...I am trying to get bad thoughts out of my head but they keep coming back...I already wasn't feeling so happy when I went to the camp and now I am feeling even worse (not 'cause of the camp, heck no, that was great). I want to run to someone or run somewhere that is in my comfort and the only thing I can find is the internet. But that isn't a place, that isn't a human being, it doesn't satisfy me. I can't steal the internet's glasses, I can't make the internet feel awkward (lulz, that reaction's hilarious, I like making my friends feel awkward). I can't go to the internet as a comfy place to sleep and hide from bugs.
My comfort zone is a clean room with beige walls, shiny pale wood flooring, and a window bringing in the bright sunshine. But I don't know where that exists, so I feel I can never feel comfortable.
Welp, this got long...Sorry for the rant...Honestly I dunno why I ranted since it didn't let off any steam and I feel pretty much the same. But maybe some of you guys feel the same way and I can have a moment of understanding~! :D