Thursday, July 18, 2013

Story Arc Review: Chunin Exam

CHUNIN EXAM: Back when Naruto was still a good show...

The Chunin exam arc is one of the earlier arcs of the series. It continues Team 7’s undertakings after the Land of Waves arc. It introduces many characters in the series, including one of the major villains, Orochimaru, and establishes the main plot of Naruto Part 1.

            The arc is generally about -- you guessed it -- the qualification exam to being a Chunin. As a personal opinion, this is actually one of the best story arcs in all of Shounen anime. It is of excellent quality in terms of plot and character development -- and these two are the most important factors that make any story, anime or not, a gripping one.

What makes this story arc’s plot really amazing is that it significantly expands the ninja world. It has major and minor details that make the Naruto universe more established and believable; they make the overall experience of the fictional world much richer. It also sets up the major conflicts in the overall story, which makes it a very vital portion of the series.

            Aside from that, the story it is trying to tell -- the qualification exam -- is not something to be overlooked as well. The details in the tests are also connected to the overall scheme of things -- not to mention that they are very intriguing in their own right. It also has a significant amount of twists and turns. Things that I thought would turn out a certain way ends up in to something opposite. There’s just no way of knowing what would happen next. And this unpredictable story becomes more fun because of how the characters are drawn into them.

            Speaking of the characters, I must admit that they have become more believable because of this story arc. Their beliefs, motives, and generally everything that makes up their personality, are portrayed and expanded. What makes these traits more interesting is when they clash from one another. The viewer will realize that even the secondary characters are not paper cutouts; they are not there just to move the story forward mindlessly; they actually react to the situation -- for better or worse. And this makes the arc very intense, for it actually incorporates emotion into the story.

            It is also important to note the significant amount of character development in the characters. They have surpassed many trials and have had realizations that come to change their overall personality. This has a cathartic effect on the viewer. And, I feel the need to add, Haruno Sakura’s change of heart in this arc is one of the most well made developments I have seen in Shounen anime.

            This arc has also introduced a huge amount of new characters into the series. This instant introduction of many characters at the same time could be problematic, for some of them could end up being overshadowed by the others that they would appear flat. However, this is not the case for this story arc. It has introduced new characters effectively. What makes it more amazing is the fact that these characters actually have real depth into them. And the prime example of that is Gaara.

I must admit that I enjoyed every minute of this story arc -- and I’m not exaggerating. It has opened up to new possibilities. The overall story has branched out to multiple directions that I couldn’t help but continue watching and discover these branches on my own. The new characters are also interesting enough to sustain my curiosity in their roles in the overall story. Definitely, this is one of the most enjoyable story arcs for me.

Perhaps this arc is one of the reasons why I am disappointed to the current direction of the overall story of Naruto. The show simply has ceased to inspire me. The story is not as gripping, the new characters introduced are not as compelling, and the character development is not as impactful, compared to this story arc, which, I think, is now but a ghost of a show that used to be so amazing.

Related posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment