Naruto’s upto its 500th chapter. Geez…that’s a long time. So before I get all nostalgic about Naruto and how far its come in the last 10 or so years, I’d like to take a look at chapter 500 and why it was good.
This chapter, like the last few previous to it, is set within Naruto’s inner self. For some reason, Naruto’s inner self is just a blank white area, which isn’t very visually appealing. Similarly, the chapter is very discourse heavy and unfortunately doesn’t give the art enough room to really show off. This means that the art is very dependent on Kishimoto’s composition of frames and he does this by focusing on Naruto and Kushina’s faces.
I particularly like the way he draws Kushina’s face, showing a range of emotion throughout this chapter. He makes you care about a character that’s only been around for 3 chapters and you get a real sense of her personality in this chapter.
But why is Naruto good again? Because its getting back to characters we care about. The characters of Naruto have always been its strength. Over the last few arcs, the series has introduced too many new characters and ignoring the plethora of characters that we grew to love pre-time skip. Even though we’ve know very little about Kushina and Minato, they’re so ingrained into what Naruto is and it just works. And now Kishimoto’s taking it back to the start, back to the Nine-Tails and hopefully answering more questions than he raises.