Naruto made his debut decades ago, and to this day, the ninja remains an icon within the fandom. Despite his knuckle-headed ways, the hero has inspired fans around the world to fight for their dreams, and many grew up with Naruto at hand. In fact, his transformation in Naruto Shippuden pushed the hero to new heights, and fans are now warring over which series did it best.
The whole conversation popped up on Reddit courtesy of the user guccihoss. It was there netizens were encouraged to share their opinions on why Naruto or Naruto Shippuden is the best series in the anime. And as you can imagine, fans had a lot of opinions to share.
As you can see below, fans were quick to point out the highs and lows of both series. At a glance, the fandom tends to hold Naruto Shippuden in higher regard overall, but the original show holds its ground with certain arcs. Of course, the Sasuke Retrieval arc is a must-watch and stands amongst the best arcs in either show. And when it comes to filler arcs, well – Naruto fans agree neither show did a great job.
If you want to join the conversation, you can always give Naruto and Naruto Shippuden a quick glance. Crunchyroll has both series in its catalog, so it has never been easier to steam the series. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is also streaming with new episodes released weekly, so feel free to give the sequel a shot while you're at it.
So, where do you land on this debate? Do you hold Naruto or Naruto Shippuden in higher regard? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.
Can't Beat the OG
"I liked shippuden better but once you re-watch the original Naruto, you would start to understand how brilliant the story was. Initially, I liked shippuden better than the first series because of the better animation. The chunin exams arc, the Sasuke retrieval arc and orochimaru as an end villain for the first series, all of them give me chills even after so many rewatches." – Chaffyvenusprevnext
Nothing Gained, Nothing Lost
"I like each for different reasons.
I loved how the og gave agency and legit fights to all of the rookie 9 plus team guy(except ten ten really lol). And i loved the exploration in ninjutsu/genjutsu/taijutsu variety and various methods of fighting that was introduced in part I and expanded on in part II. I also really love the part I aesthetic and color palette. It was built for a show that involves fighting/slashing/stabbing/killing/etc. Everything was scarier/more ominous in part I as well. Gaara, orochimaru, etc. Even going back to rewatch now im like damn this shit was something else.
As for part II i love how they started filling in gaps and questions, like kakashi's backstory, finally meeting naruto's parents. Naruto finally befriending kurama, and essentially everything about the akatsuki as a villain organization. They are easily one of if not my favorite villain groups in anime. I am also on the team of not really minding the power creep. I love the giant chakra monster smackdowns just as much as i love the intricate hand to hand kakashi vs obito esque fights. Its all awesome imo." – Kolack6prevnext
Raising the Bar
"As a teen I always thought shippuden was better because of their power ups, new designs, and bigger battles. Now looking back (I'm in my mid 20s now), OG Naruto's story felt more cohesive. Side characters were given proper highlights, there were no spamming sharingan, rinnegan, rasengan, chidori and other S class justus. It seemed like the series was more grounded and that the stakes felt much higher. People were dying in the chuunin exams ffs". – DarkRepulsor09prevnext
Forget the Competition
"Original Naruto is better imo because the average quality of arcs is better. The War arc took up an enormous chunk of Shippuden and was a straight up bad arc. I'd also say that the Kazekage Rescue arc isn't great. The original has The Land of Waves, Chuunin Exams, Sasuke Retrieval... No competition IMO." – Pescharlieprevnext
A Sequel Shoutout
"Shippuuden for sure. By a landslide. Naruto was ok. Its what drew me in. But after the first fight with Deidara and gaara,, and then Sakura and chiyo vs sasori, I was just wowed. And then it was just stepping it up consistently until the war arc in terms of writing and strategy and suspense. Although I think I was the only one who knew who Tobi was the whole time.
Its funny to me how all these comments reference the anime. I think I don't think about it because it was a long time before I ever watched it so i think of the manga when I talk about Naruto." – slainludlowprevnext
Good? Or Bad?
"I like the animation and music of OG Naruto way more than Shippuden and Boruto. Also I don't think there are any "bad" episodes of OG Naruto. Most of the filler arcs are really good actually. Also, if you want to skip the filler, it's really simple, just stop watching at the end of season 5 and you're all good. Whereas with Shippuden it's hard to keep track of what you should watch and what is safe to skip, you have to follow a guide to see what's what. It's more difficult for people to follow along with on their first viewing. Which makes it hard to recommend the show to friends, especially people that aren't already anime fans.
That being said though, I definitely like Shippuden more. The first 175-ish episodes of Shippuden (all the Akatsuki stuff) is by far my favorite section of the entire Naruto story." – newmillenniumcyanideprevnext
Point to the First0comments
"OG Naruto, without a doubt.
Shippuden thrives on a lot of buildup that was done by OG Naruto and dives headfirst into the main story, this is why a lot of people prefers Shippuden, but OG Naruto introduced the amazing ninja world, build it up, was a ninja show the most, amazing characterisations, even side characters got time to shine with promises for more in the future, Naruto and Sasuke's rivalry was on point, and most of all, was grounded, with great rules. One of Kisshimoto's greatest qualities in his writing is making believable excuses for why a character can win, this quality was greatly visible in OG Naruto, which declined in Shippuden, making almost every OG Naruto fight greater than all the Shippuden battles, except Naruto vs Pain of course." – Small-Interview-2800prev