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However, as it seems only and only Saiyans will be able to transform at all (though all races can use Kaioken) and the only transformations available are SSj1,2 and 3.
SSj4 and SSj God are treated as seperate characters, which is pretty disappointing to me. It also begs the question how they will make up for the inability to transform further.
And fusions are also treated as seperate characters, which is really disappointing and a huge waste of potential in my opinion. Since they're already messing around with timelines and stuff they could've easily made up a few new fusions and give characters who otherwise can't transforms at least a fusion. There was one DBZ game were they actually did that.
Also there will be no playable giant characters, Oozarus will be boss fights only, which is also kind of lame.
What bothers me the most however is that the reason as to why these changes have been made seem to be that they would've been "too complicated", yet earlier games manages to have full character transformations.
Also your custom avatar characters, if s/he's a saiyan, will only be able to reach SSj2 max, which is kind of understandable from an in-story point of view and as to not let him/her overshadow the actual canon characters, especially the designated messiah Goku, but it still would've been really cool to take your custom character "all the way" from having an Oozaru transformation all the way to ascending to SSj Godhood, at least as some post-game possibility. (Though you could probably just dye your hair and eyes red and maybe use Kaioken for the red aura to cosplay as one... which just isn't the same.)
Oh well, maybe in Xenoverse 2 if it ever will be created...
But giving characters too much of a plot armor is a common downfall in many shows in my opinion and it can become absolutely ridiculous in some instances.
Like I said, I don't want or expect all shows to play out like the Walking Dead or Games of Thrones... but there has to be some sense of danger and some stakes... even if it's obvious the good guys will win at the end.
When Naruto fought Gaara and managed to connect to him and befriend him it felt statisfying because Naruto actually shared common ground with Gaara, he experienced a similar pain to his and found a better way to deal with it.
But when Naruto fought Nagato the same couldn't be said. Nagato brought up real issues like the scarcity if resources and how small countries suffer when caught in the crossfire of big countries war. And yet Naruto managed to make Nagato throw away all reason and arguments and adapt Narutos "feel good" ideology.
About the Bijuu having a good side... sure, I'm not against that, I'm a huge fan of redemption stories. But I guess I just don't like the way it was set up and written by Kishimoto. From the very start of the manga it was kind of inevitable that Naruto will master his Bijuu's power and it was probably by befriending the Kyuubi instead of subdue him... but to me the way it happened didn't feel statisfying at all and I didn't like the "sudden" shift in personality for Kurama.
"I-I just rather be under your control than under Madaras, baka! It's not like I like you or anything!" "Don't thank me! It's w-weird!"
Uchiha plot tumor: The Sharingan started out as a cool ability that people of a certain clan were born with, it was introduced as being able to copy ninjutsu and to cast genjutsus on its own and it even helped with taijutsu by giving great insight into the enemies movements. So it was an all around useful thing to have and a great edge for any ninja, that's cool enough.
But then it turns out the Sharingan can see through genjutsu, has microscopic vision that can pierce cells, can see chakra and can warp reality. The Sharingan also has a higher form that holds an ultimate ninjutsu, an ultimate armor and no less than three ultimate genjutsu (though some were restricted to one person only). Then we learned that it held an even greater form that negated all of the drawbacks the previous form had and boosted the perks even further. And then it turns out it had an even higher form that grants access to basically godlike abilities up to and including: turning your body into a machine, ripping out souls and even returning the dead to the living...
Also the Uchiha weren't just some cool clan, nooooo... they're one of THE two clans who shaped the whole destiny of the world and is super duper important...
Destiny stuff: This really ruined the manga for me, because I just hate this tired and tacky destiny BS. When we first learned about the history of the Naruto world from Tobi I was fascinated. In the era before ninja villaged there were only clans who fought for these lords. Being powerful meant being wealthy, having food, resources and luxury. The Uchiha and the Senju were the two most powerful clans there were, if your enemiy hires one the only response was to hire the other. Senju and Uchiha were eternal rivals because of that struggle to be the best, to be the one who got hired and paid, because it meant having food and survive and thrive. Hashirama and Madara were the leaders of both clans and basically gods walking the earth, so far above every other ninja, they were the trump cards of each clan and the only counter to each other. In such a power driven world it was only natural that Madara couldn't allow himself to become weak, which is why his potential blindness wasn't just a threat to him but to his whole clan. If Hashirama ever had the upper hand and beat Madara it could've been the end of the Uchiha.
It was a story about resources and reputation, it was fascinating.
But then Kishimoto threw that all away and replaced it with "BECAUSE DESTINY!"... no longer were the Uchiha and Senju enemies because of their history, but because they were destined to be... and he went even further and explained how Senju and Uchiha actually shared a common ancestor and that the whole clan war started with two brothers. And to add insult to injury Kishi introduced the whole reincarnation concept and had Madara and Hashirama be enemies because they were reincarnations of Ashura and Indra which of course was also true for Naruto and Sasuke...
Plot shields: Almost nobody ever died... look, I don't demand Naruto be like the Walking Dead or Games of Throne... but at no point in the manga is there ever a real sense of danger. Yeah a few major good guys died, but by far not enough. The plot shields were always on and always really thick, up to the point that Kishi wrote himself into a corner (like Sasukes infamous Great Snake Escape...) and had to betray his own hype (like how opening 8 gates kills you for sure...). The worst part is that some characters were kept alive even though they had absolutely perfect and beautiful death scenes, only to be reduced to useless background filler later. There was a lot of missed potential here.
Just think about it for a minute... what if Chouji and Neji did actually die in the rescue Sasuke arc right before the timeskip? It would've changed so much... Shikamaru had to live with the fact that the first mission he led killed two other ninja, one of them his teammate... Asuma, Ino and Shikamaru would have to live with a broken team. Tsunade would have to live with the fact that the mission she okay'ed did cost two young ninja their lives. Hinata would maybe get her sh!t together earlier to honor Neji who died. Lee would've been without a rival and may have taken a different path. TenTen would've lost her potential crush. Naruto would have to live with the fact that the mission he was so eager to get on killed two of his friends.
And let's look at the ninja war... what if for example Shino or Kiba died from battlewounds and Sakura failed to save them in a scene that could mirror how Tsunade lost her boyfriend Dan... it would've given us much more insight inside the horror of war and appreciation to what both Tsunade and Sakura went through.
The stakes would just have been so much higher at every turn... in my opinion a few deaths here and there would've really added to the manga. And honestly it's not like Kishi did a lot with most characters, pretty much all Rookies became background filler.
Well this is getting wayyyyy too long.... let me stop rambling.
The main characters: All the main characters were, at least to me, absolutely unlikeable.
First... Sasuke... he's a complete Karma Houdini, he did horrible things, crossed the moral event horizon and got off pretty much free without any major consequence, just because he's a main character.
Sakura... she's an atrocious character. She has almost no personality, instead copying the personality of first Ino and then Tsunade. She tried to manipulate Naruto into giving up his quest for Sasuke, she loves someone who actively tried to murder her, she put others at great risk because of her stupid crush. She was constantly whining about how she's useless and how she wants to catch up to Naruto and Sasuke only to realize she can't times and times again. And... urgh I could just rant and rant about her.
Kakashi was a horrible teacher, I can only recommend King of Lightnings "Kakashi sucks" video which goes into a lot of details. But outside of being a horrible teacher Kakashi is also a very weak character who abdondoned what his lifelong experiences tought him to adapt Narutos idealism. Also Kishimoto was incredibly inconsistent with Kakashis level of power, having him pass out from chakra exhaustion in one arc and then having him spam endless amounts of chakra intensive jutsus the very next with no real training session in between.
And Naruto... god damn is Naruto a mary sue. He started out as a kind of cool underdog you could root for, but post-timeskip it turns out that Naruto completly betrayed everything he stood for.
At the start of the manga Naruto was an orphan, hated by the whole village, untalented in Ninjutsu and bad at school, he had a demon inside of him as a curse and he was poor. This is why Sasuke was his foil, Sasuke who was popular, had money, was a genius and had tons of fangirls.
But near the end of the manga... let me just make a list:
Son of a legendary Hokage, the "yellow lightning" one man army, hailed as a genius.
Son of the former Jinchuuriki of the strongest Bijuu.
Current Jinchuuriki of the strongest Bijuu.
Unparalleled genius who mastered the Rasengan in record time, did the "impossible" by completing said Jutsu. Also mastered Frog Senjutsu in record time.
Pupil of two legendary Shinobi.
Member of the Uzumaki Clan.
The chosen one of two prophecies.
Reincarnation of Ashura, the son of what basically amounts to a godlike being.
Has gotten help from both his parents from beyond the grave to help him master his Jinchuuriki powers.
"Hard working underdog" was a cute concept at the start at best.
Inflation of Power: At the beginning of the show Jutsus were special, they were tactical tools to give you an edge in battle. We had Jutsus to create clones of yourself, to transform your body, to trap opponents in water bubbles, etc. etc. Jutsus were used to complement Taijutsu battle. They were chakra intensive and time consuming and pretty much small scale only. Near the end of the pre-timeskip we had battles like Orochimaru vs. Hiruzen and Tsunade/Jiraya vs. Orochimaru, and these battles should've been the absolute pinnacle of power. Post-timeskip we got bigger and badder jutsus times and times again until we reached a point where nameless background filler could literally use village-busting jutsus. The inflation of power is ridiculous.
Fade of the Ninja theme: Closely connected to my previous point... at the start of the manga characters often behaved like Ninjas. They tried to outsmart their opponent, used tricks and tactics to win and find weaknesses to exploit and Jutsus were tactical tools to give you an edge. But while the Waveland arc was dark and gritty the very next arc tried to be more whimsical and fantasy based and from there on out we had a shift from ninjas doing ninja stuff to battle wizards who were ninja themed.
What I hated in no particular order:
Fillers and bad pacing/padding: I guess this is the most obvious one and was already mentioned in the article above. The Naruto anime has way too much filler and had horrible pacing with ridiculous amount of padding, it was DBZ level. We had a million react shots to everything, have the camera swoosh around the battlefield from different angles, characters took forever to move or stand up, smoke lingered around for minutes... it was just pathethic. And especially in the early arcs of shippuden you could feel how they had stretched single chapters into whole episodes... which was especially frustrating since they already took a whole year of filler to let the manga get ahead.
And some filler even contradicted or hurt the actual canon, like the whole Sora arc for example.
Really stupid twists: Naruto is full of these... especially near the end it became ridiculous and approached really bad fanfiction niveau. When Akatsuki first revealed its plan based on economy and trying to get a monopoly on war by basically being a group of mercenaries with a lot of funds to undercut the villages... that was fascinating! But then it turned out they actually wanted the Bijuu for a superweapon... but then it turned out they wanted to use a super genujutsu on the whole word... but then it turned out they additionally wanted to resurrect the Juubi.
Oh yes the Juubi... wtf was that all about? It came out of the blue, it was NEVER hinted at or was mentioned. It's almost childish... it's like... that's what a child make up on the playground! "I'm the Kyuubi the strongest Bijuu!" - "Nu uh! Then I'm the Juubi! I have the power of all the tailed beasts and I'm the strongest!"... you know how in that anime episode of South Park Cartman had to constantly one-up Kyle? That's exactly what the Juubi is!
Anyway... look at the Akatsuki leadership chain for example... at first we had a mysterious shrouded figure who everyone assumed was Minato because of the hairstyle, but as it turns out the mystery was always unsolveable because it's a completly new character anyway, Pain... turns out Pain was just a puppet of Nagato... but then it turns out Nagato was the servant of Madara, who turned out to be Obito, who turned out to serve the actual Madara, who was manipulated by Black Zetsu, who was serving Kaygua, a bunny-space-alien... who was kind of a mindless women lead by Zetsu...
But enough about that.
Betraying its own messages: Pre-time skip Naruto introduced a few core messages. Let's talk about four of them! One of the first was that Teamwork is super important and super cereal... yet post-time skip almost all major battles were fought 1 on 1... then Lees whole idea of "Hard works beats natural ability/geniuses"... well no, post-time skip you had to have access to Sharingans, Rinnegans, Senju DNA or have some other haxxed ability that you probably didn't learn by yourself in order to compete with the top-tier. So how about Nejis ideology of "There are born winners and born loosers and nothing can change this fate" versus Narutos "Everybody makes their own fate" they even fought and Naruto won, proving to Neji how he was wrong and a "born looser" like Naruto can beat a "born winner" like Neji! But Neji was right all along with Naruto always destined to be great. So what about the whole "The new Generation will overshadow the old ones?" Well... not exactly, with a few exceptions the ninjas of the olden days have been proven to be vastly more impressive and powerful than the younger generation.
But enough about that.
I guess overall I can mostly relate to Twilight and Fluttershy but to a certain extent also Rarity and even Rainbow Dash and Luna ... plus Cranky Doodle, Spike and maybe Lyra, going with her fan-given personality. (and yeah Doodle and Spike aren't ponies)
Twilight is easy, I love to read and learn about stuff I'm interested in. I love being organized, checklists are an invalueable tool and I want to understand things and have reason and logic on my side. And if there was such a thing like magic in our world I would probably study that non-stop. (and before anyone says "science/technology is this worlds magic"... I'm already enthusiastic about them.)
Fluttershy is also pretty easy, we're both pretty introvert and are only really comfortable around people we know and trust and it can cost a lot of effort and energy to engage and maintain social interaction. Though her level of social anxiety is beyond anything I experience. Still in the end I like to believe there's a kind heart in both of us, even if that's kind of shameless self-praise.
Rarity is a bit more difficult, I can't relate to her love for fashion, but I do relate to her generorisity because I too have gone days and nights without sleep, bending over and trying to do everything I can to do someone a favor or something I promised, even if that person may not have been deserving of that effort. Also I kind of get that dream of hers to someday be part of "high society", it's a fun dream, though I doubt it is actually worth it in both worlds, something Rarity has experienced a lot so far and something that is pretty obvious in our world.
Rainbow Dash is difficult similar to Rarity. I can't at all relate to her love for sports, her worship of a particular group and her short attention span and inability to really comprehend situations. However, what I can relate to is her need to be validated and aknowledged, certainly not to the same degree as her though. But we both share the same inner insecurities and try to be one of the best at what we do and to hopefully hear about it, not because we want to be worshipped or celebrated, but because we feel leftover and useless otherwise.
As for Luna... well... I can relate to people misunderstanding your intentions, expressing too much seriousness and people being afraid/intimidated, which can be isolating. And I can really relate to living in the shadows of a sibling and seeing your hard work go by unnoticed.
As for Cranky Doodle, I know he's no pony, but I can relate to his no-nonsense attitude and prefering peace and quiet and to be left alone for the most part. I'm also a bit jaded, because I also went through some sh!t in my life and I even once had a person who was kind of similar to Pinkie Pie come into my life, uninvited, and try to "bring me out of my shell", which was unimaginably annoying and awkward.
With Spike, again no Pony yes, I can relate to being the reliable background friend who's a bit forgotten most of the time and to having a crush on someone and going probably way too far in pursuit of her when it's obvious that it will never happen.
Lastly Lyra... in her fangiven personality she's often obsesses with humans, somethings other Ponies can't relate to at all, yet she's very enthusiastic about it and I can totally relate to that. I also have a few hobbies that people would give me funny looks for... though sadly this world isn't as accepting as Equestria.
They did try to keep the lyrics close to the original, which isn't always easy. Especially "Battle of the Bands" has quite some changed lyrics with different meanings and some odd choices in words, though the overall intention and message of the song is kept. "Under Our Spell" also seems to struggle a tiny bit with keeping the syllables in sync with the melody and tempo of the song while still keeping the meaning.
Other songs also changed around some lyrics, but they managed to keep the message pretty much the same. For example "Awesome as I wanna be" could be re-translated into "I'm your superstar", but it still sends the same message of RD praising herself like crazy.
Translation is tricky sometimes and there's always a compromise between translating the words and the meaning, but overall the movie did an okay job.
The opening song was pretty okay in my opinion, though I have to admit I also think the english original isn't really a strong song.
"Better than Ever" was a lot better than I expected it to be and was pretty okay as well.
"Battle of the Bands"... well I really didn't like this one to be honest. Adagio sounds kind of old and the translation took quite a few liberties with the lyrics and just don't quite match the awesomeness of the original english version. Plus the crowd cannot be heard.
"Shake your tail" was pretty good again, much better than expected and the only thing I could really criticize is how Rarities voice doesn't change when she was pulled away from the mic unlike in the original. But I guess stuff like that is just a common problem in dubs, it often feels like the voices come out of the "off" instead of from the characters themselves.
"Under our Spell"... well the "uwoah uwoah" at the beginning sounds pretty bad and it seems the lyrics struggle a bit to keep the same count of syllables to go with the melody and speed of the song. I dunno, I'm no sound or music expert but it just sounds "wrong" to me. (Edit: On second hearing it isn't as bad)
"Awesome as I wanna be" was really good actually.
"Welcome to the show" has like four stages I guess. When the sirens start the song it doesn't really sound that great, though I still enjoyed it which is more of a testament of how strong the song is regardless of language. After that the song gets stronger though. When the Mane6 start it's pretty good and the second part of the sirens after Adagio declares how they will battle sounds actually kind of awesome. And when Sunset joins in the song finds a pretty statisfying conclusion. I would say it's a pretty worthy translation in that sense.
The other more minor songs... eh.
So overall... yeah... it was okay, could've been and expected it to be a lot worse.