On the whole, Naruto was a transcendent anime that helped introduce the genre to a great many people. It had a great story that had some excellent twists and turns to it. The character work was tremendous as well, some of the best you’ll see from a shounen series. The build to the climax of the series was incredibly well done as well.
Everything wasn’t perfect, however. While the build was good, there were some missteps along the way. Some were minor and one or two are still aggravating to think about today.
10 Disappointing: The War
The war itself was always a bit of a disappointment. It got viewers a few cool fights along the way, but most of those involved Madara or Kabuto in some form. The rest, particularly the start, felt slow and inconsequential.
It seemed like there was an opportunity to see a lot of the older generations of ninja square off against each other, but while they showed tastes of that, it never reached it’s potential. The lack of death hurt things as well. A war loses some of its luster if the good guys never take any losses.
9 Got Right: Kakashi Using Both Eyes
While Obito may have been a little hit or miss during the arc, the fact Kakashi not only got both of his eyes but had the opportunity to use them was awesome.
Kakashi’s always going to be one of the more beloved characters from the show and seeing him play such a vital role in the final series of fights was needed. Seeing him able to manifest Susanoo was such a hype moment in an otherwise lackluster fight against Kaguya.
8 Disappointing: Obito
Obito was a bit of a mixed bag during the finale. As Tobi he felt like a pretty great villain. Meanwhile, the reveal that he was Obito wasn’t awful, even if everyone could see it coming from a mile away.
The issue is what came after that. The reason he had for doing all of this made him seem incredibly childish, and his turn to the side of good, while not inherently bad, didn’t have the impact it should have. A big reason for that is how often Naruto had the major villain of an arc shift to the side of good.
7 Got Right: Naruto Meeting His Dad
Naruto getting to meet his father is a moment the series has needed since the very beginning, the imprint seen during the Pain arc not counting. Seeing the two of them fight with one another against Obito was the highlight of the battle against Ten-Tails Obito.
It showed how alike they were, strengthening a bond that they never got to have. Having Minato congratulate Naruto on ending the war and wishing him a happy birthday was the perfect way to wrap up.
6 Disappointing: Sasuke & Sakura
This is one of the big annoyances regarding the end of the war. By and large, the epilogue of what happened did everything it needed to, showing the future couples and setting up Boruto. The only exception to that is this couple, one that makes no sense in the least bit.
Sasuke has tried to kill Sakura. In what world is that someone you’d want to have a kid with? She’s never been a smart character, but you’d think she’d have an ounce of sense in her. The only positive to this is that she didn’t end up with Naruto.
5 Got Right: Naruto As Hokage
Hokage Naruto is great, something the entire series was building from the very start. His development as a protagonist was fantastic, going from the bratty little kid who couldn’t take anything seriously to the great man and hero he became by the end.
Seeing him grow more and more serious in his actions was one of the better parts of the whole series. Seeing him don the garb of Hokage in the epilogue felt like the most fitting way to end the series.
4 Disappointing: Madara Being Tossed Aside
This was an inexcusable decision by Kishimoto and one that still boggles the mind as far as why it was done. Madara had been built since the beginning of the series, built up as this god among ninjas, right along with the First Hokage.
When he gained the Ten-Tails it felt like the final conflict was at hand, the goal he’d long sought was finally at the tips of his fingers. At least fans got the epic clash with Might Guy before Black Zetsu up and tossed him in the trash to make way for Kaguya.
3 Got Right: Setting Up Boruto
Setting up for Boruto was the main goal of the epilogue of the story, introducing some of the main players from that series. It also set the stage for what the world would be like. That and feeding into a little fan service in regards to the couples.
What the ending did better than anything was already bringing in the conflict that Naruto was going to have with Boruto, a major plot point at the start of that series. The same could be said of Sarada dealing with Sasuke’s constant absence.
2 Disappointing: Kaguya
The way this character was handled was considered atrocious. She had almost no build-up at all, Madara mentioned her a few times during the war, and that was it. That’s not how you build a final villain, as they should never be a character that just shows up with no connection to the audience.
It didn’t help that she had absolutely no personality either. All in all, she was just a way to introduce the Ostutsuki and nothing more than that. She was a complete failure as an end boss.
1 Got Right: Naruto Vs Sasuke
Naruto and Sasuke’s rivalry is one that had its ups and downs through the series. At points, it got a little annoying at just how much it was being shoved down viewers’ throats. While the story behind it wasn’t always the best, their battles were always on point.
Their fight at the end of up part 1 was excellent and still one of the better ones in the series. It only made sense for the final battle to be between them, and it delivered. The scene above really drove home that Naruto was truly coming to an end.
Naruto ended in a fashion that was kind of divisive. It nailed certain aspects but totally whiffed on a handful of others.