Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year, and that really got fans thinking about its extended roster of allies and foes introduced over the course of its tenure. As Naruto and the other members of Team 7 grew into much different shinobi at the end of the series than when it first began, the scope of the battles grew to reflect this. The Fourth Great Ninja War was a far cry than the first mission Naruto and the others first went on, which still remains one of the most memorable arcs of the entire series overall.
Naruto's very first mission to the Land of Waves through him directly into the intense and deadly world of shinobi, and it also served as fans' first introduction to how aggressive the world of the series was really going to be. It was because of this first arc that many fans were completely drawn into this series, and it would not have been as remotely as successful as it is now if it weren't for the core duo of Zabuza and Haku.
This duo were incredibly skilled and had a surprisingly emotional side to them, and this clash of aspects were captured perfectly by artist @gatz_cosplay's (who you can find on Instagram here) take on Zabuza and @kaminari_cosplay's (who you can find on Instagram here) take on Haku. It's a good argument for why the duo is such a big deal still! Check it out:
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The two of them served as a great entryway into the franchise as a whole because their fight was not only full of powerful skills and intense visuals, but the end of the fight provided a wild emotional catharsis that set a whole tone for the franchise going forward. It's a height the series never quite reached again, and it's probably why Kishimoto brought them back years later. But what do you think?
What did you think of Zabuza and Haku's time in the Naruto franchise? Did you enjoy seeing them return for a short time before the series was over thanks to the Reincarnation jutsu? How does this duo rank among the franchise's top foes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter!
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