Naruto, the franchise created by Masashi KishimotoIs recognized for having a good filler, diverse and endearing cast with their own dreams and motivations. As seen in the first part of the story when they prepare for the chuunin exam, each character that was introduced received special care from their author and their fans appreciated the growth of characters like Rock Lee, Gaara, Shikamaru, Hinata Hyuga , etc. However with the arrival of Naruto Shippuden, secondary characters began to be less relevant and did not receive as much attention from the authorwhat happened?
It’s no secret that as Kishimoto’s story progressed, the series began to focus more on the main characters, especially with Naruto and Sasuke, giving the supporting characters very little time in the spotlight. Seeing how a parallel developed between the Uchiha clan and the Uzumaki clan, not only as complementary parts of the same power, but as antagonists, it is obvious that alternate stories such as TenTen’s or Sakura Haruno’s own (which had been a primordial part in the first part), would go into the background.
On the other hand, only the Uchiha clan also received a lot of exposure as Obito Uchiha and even Madara Uchiha as fundamental parts of the past and growth of this antagonistic force. Meeting Sasuke’s family became the center of the plot, being directly linked to the Tsuki no Me Project. For his part, Naruto Uzumaki and his relatives Senju became the antagonistic force to the Uchiha, especially towards the end of the main story.
Although, Naruto Shippuden had interesting side stories like Sakura Haruno fighting Sasori, showing her true power as Tsunade’s successor or Team Guy going into action during the Kazekage Rescue Mission, and even Shikamaru and his team fighting Kakuzu and Hidan. , but these belonged only to the beginning of this second part of the franchise. Eventually, its importance would quickly diminish because it was unsustainable, with over 25 supporting characters in Konoha Village alone., it was not possible to maintain a continuity in history while the great Ninja War was approaching. For this reason, Kishimoto set out to show fans more about the growth of Naruto and Sasuke, and the fate of the Uchiha and Senju that brought them together.
Kishimoto had other priorities in Naruto
Kishimoto himself mentioned sometimes that Naruto and Sasuke are the two most important characters in their story like Yin and Yang. When one progresses, the other must too, so he had to prioritize them the same way. Of course, this had a profound effect on the story for both good and ill. On the one hand, Kishimoto’s approach gave his fans some of the moments of growth and plot tension they were looking for. On the other hand, Kishimoto’s other characters eventually began to lose their importance and the whole purpose they served was for this pair to grow.
For example, Hinata during the pain arc did absolutely nothing to defend the village, instead she was used as a means for Naruto to transform into the six-tailed fox state. For her part, Tenten wanted to be a Kunoichi like Tsunade Senju, but they almost never made contact in the whole story, contrary to the case of Sakura Haruno. Neji, a hard working genius character like Rock Lee or Sasuke, hardly did anything in Naruto Shippuden apart from throwing the kunai from Minato to Madara to help Guy in the Fourth Great Ninja War.
It’s safe to say that not everyone has the main characters as their favorites and seeing them not get the attention they deserve is certainly not fun. Naruto, in general, suffered quite a bit due to the supporting characters not getting the attention they deserved. And fulfill the story arcs that Kishimoto established. That is not to say that Naruto is not a great series, as his work will always be considered one of the best stories, however, like most stories, it has its obvious weaknesses..
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