Please please please tell me your thoughts on the ending for Naruto. I love reading your views on writing (whether it's dragon age or homestuck) and I'd really like to hear what you think about it.
ok, to be fair, as someone who grew up with naruto and used to OBSESS over it as a kid, the show itself has always been pretty badly written. the first seasons are like, nigh unfucking watchable, and shippuden is only barely better because the animation quality went way up and we started getting some honest to god character development (but naruto’s first couple of transformations were just … embarassingly bad).
so, like, as far as writing goes, i never expected much from the ending to begin with? i figured he’d be the kind of guy to make everything super heteronormative so that wasn’t really a surprise. but like, sasusaku just came out of nowhere man. sasuke absolutely has not earned anybody in that entire cast of characters as a romantic partner. he’s BARELY earned them as a friend. i used to ship sasunaru hardcore my guy but frankly sasuke is a self-absorbed asshole who has done some truly irredeemable shit to the people he supposedly cares about. sakura deserves WAY better - hell, even if it’s just a different boring husband, i’d rather her hook up with someone boring and simple in a stupid shoe-horned All Women Get Pregnant marriage than be stuck with the man who has seriously fucked up, controlled, and otherwise negatively impacted her entire adolescence and early adult life.
naruto and hinata is … okay? i mean, hinata is nice, and she did show some real support to naruto that i thought was sweet, but they just havent really been explored in dynamics outside of a combat situation. like, it really feels more like they were infatuated with each other because times were rough and hinata had a crush on naruto - it’s like naruto just gravitated to the first person who liked him and didn’t try to kill or maim him. we really didn’t get to explore them as an actual couple in a domestic setting, and that makes their marriage and inevitable Affirm Straightness babies really out of left. i really like the headcanon (that kishimoto totally accidentally made semi-canon with his continuity error about naruto’s markings) that naruto is trans, and either hinata is as well, or they got a donor. but i know in my heart that kishimoto isn’t that progressive of a writer, so in reality they’re probably meant to be a cishet couple, which is just boring.
the sheer amount of pairing off and baby making into perfect nuclear families is really disappointing, even if expected, yknow? i like that gaara isnt shown with a wife (as far as i know) and has an adopted kid, which is about as close to an implicitly gay character as i think we’re gonna get, and i’m glad he teased Kakashi and Gai maybe becoming a thing, since neither of them are married off with kids and they have a pretty significant relationship still, but that’s just digging for something that isn’t like a 1950s propaganda poster. all in all, the endgame direction for just about everybody was really terrible and sloppy.
griping about the marriage stuff aside, i could go on a whole tangent about how nonsensical the finale was. all i’m really gonna say is, never introduce your villain midway through the climax. obi and madara were enough of a ‘big bad’ for shippuden, and even they were kind of hamfisted in there. orochimaru was always the primary villain, the penultimate ‘bad guy’. everything after his defeat just felt … excessive? i feel like he should’ve been built into a bigger player and made the final boss, versus killing him off and then going “here’s the REAL puppetmaster, tobi, who is obito!! except, HE’S being puppeteered by madara!! gasp! EXCEPT, HE’S BEING PLAYED BY SOMEONE EVEN BIGGER!! and here’s a whole bunch of lore and prophecy shit you didnt hear about until like, just now, but is totally maybe vaguely hinted at in earlier seasons, if you reach for it?”
it honestly just felt like kishimoto had no idea where his story was going from the start, didn’t plan for the finale, kept it vague enough he could do whatever he wanted when he felt like it, and then shoved as many “tear jerking character climax moments” into it as possible - killing off neji, 5,000 speeches to naruto about how he’s jesus, sasuke having at LEAST 100 “he’s still sort of a decent guy, just tortured!” moments, etc. which is just lazy writing. instead of giving every single character ever made in the show a final resolution at the very end and dragging it on forever with a slew of new, last-minute villains to keep the conflict going, he should’ve utilized some of the literal hundreds of goddamn filler episodes he had to flesh out and wrap up side-characters earlier on, so when it came time to finish off the series, he could pinpoint and focus on who he wanted to really shine.
“every character is a main character”, “reverse matriyoshka villains in rapid succession in the last battle”, “convenience lore to make lazy writing seem less lazy”, and “a woman’s happiness is so pivoted on their ability to marry and have children that she should settle down with any man possible, even if he’s literally tried to murder her multiple times” are all just terrible principles of writing. and that’s just skimming the surface.