Naruto 700 was out sometime a month or so ago. While I did read it then (and jumped up and down like my Christmas gift came one month earlier because my Naruto OTP is friggin' CANON!!!), I really did not have time to sit down and type away.
I have now, a bit, so I will post something here.
First things first.
Hontou ni arigatou gozaimasu.
I complained and whined a lot on many things about Naruto, but I kept reading because regardless of my many rants, Naruto was a good story. I looked forward to reading new releases every week. When pushed came to shove, I gave up keeping up with One Piece but kept going with Naruto. Not because One Piece is bad or Naruto is better, it was because Naruto and Sasuke's friendship is one of my favorites in all manga and fiction. That, throughout the series is what kept me. As well as one of my OTPs, ShikaTema of course. So above everything I want to thank you of (as if you'll read this, haha!), I thank you for Naruto and Sasuke's friendship, and the love of Shikamaru and Temari.
[HA! You people! SHIKATEMA IS CANON!!! WE WIN!!! ]
Thank you for Konoha Eleven (Twelve if plus Sasuke). Thank you for the Legendary Sannin and their apprentices. Thank you for the White Fang and his son. Thank you for Kushina and Minato, for their love and for their son, for their sacrifice and their courage. Thank you for Hinata and Neji, my favorite cousins. Thank you for the Sand Siblings. Thank you for Itachi and Sasuke, and their brotherhood. Thank you for the friendship of Kakashi and Guy, the most hilarious friendly competition in all Hidden Villages. Thank you for ShikaInoChou, their friendship and their teamwork. Thank you for Jiraiya and Naruto, Asuma and Shikamaru, the teacher-student relationships that inspired and broke our hearts. Thank you for Iruka, who understood before anybody else did.
Thank you for Naruto and Sasuke, whose friendship and struggles made me cry, roll my eyes, had me frustrated, annoyed, happy, sad and proud. Thank you for Shikamaru and Temari, for their bickering, smart-ass rivalry and for their love. Thank you for Gaara and Naruto, for the inspiration and example of forgiveness and growing up. Thank you for Itachi and Kankurou, whose love for their younger brothers is boundless and real and made me wish to have a nii-san too. Thank you for the bad-ass power couple that was Kushina and Minato, whose backstory made me smile and cry and flail like the fangirl that I am. Thank you for Jiraiya, whose death was the first character death (in this manga) to truly break my heart. Thank you for Kakashi, my first sensei crush. Thank you for Orochimaru and Madara, iconic villains and long-haired men.
Thank you for Akatsuki and the colorful characters that wore the ever-cool black-and-red-clouds cloak. Thank you for Sasori (my favorite namesake) and his bad-ass puppets. Thank you for Deidara and his entertaining mouth(s). Thank you for Kakuzu and Hidan, who made ShikaInoChou grow up. Thank you for Konan and Nagato, the friendship and their story. Thank you for Itachi, one of the most touching back story ever.
Thank you for the clans and the Hidden Villages. Thank you for the hand seals and the idea of Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. Thank you for the history and Japanese folklore lessons. Thank you for the doujutsu(s) especially my favorite, the Byakugan. Thank you for the life lessons (haha!) and the growing up quotes that told me I can't stay a kid forever. Thank you for awesome lines that were Facebook status worthy. Thank you for the many stories of friendships and brotherhoods in this manga that touched my heart because I'm an insufferable sap.
Thank you for Tobi and Orochimaru, the best villains of Naruto. The bitch-slap of the century that was 'Tobi is not Madara' moment. Unforgettable. Orochimaru and his snakes. I still shiver of the thought of him. But Orochimaru is my favorite villain in Naruto. He really scared me sh*t. Maybe that's because I was younger when Orochimaru was the main villain.
Thank you for fifteen years of really bad-ass taijutsu, amazing doujutsu and of course the ninjutsu that made us want to be ninja(s). And ramen, thank you for the ramen.
Lastly, thank you for the friendships I found (in the real and virtual world) because of your manga.
With sincere gratitude and respect,
To my fellow Naruto fans,
Thank you as well.
Thank you to all the people who translated manga releases every week for fifteen years, which allowed the world access to the manga that was Naruto. Not all of us can read Japanese. Though perhaps the love of anime and manga had us learning Nihonggo. (Thank you as well to the people who subbed the anime.) Thank you for sharing your knowledge, for your efforts and your dedication.
Thank you to fanfiction writers and to artists for their fanarts. Thank you for making fantasies for our favorite ships come to life when Kishimoto-sensei deprived us of it. Haha! (Remember the time he said, in an interview, that he have NO plans of writing romance for Shikamaru, even after heavily hinting of ShikaTema? Thank Kami-sama he changed his mind.) Thank you for making the experience of Naruto even more colorful and amazing. Thank you for your stories that often goes where the manga does not. Thank you for fanarts that depict other sides of our favorite characters and ships. Thank you for sharing your talents.
Thank you for the ship wars. (ShikaTema IS CANON! Sorry everybody else. Shikamaru gets the Temari and vice versa. Eat that! ... That is the first time I ever did that. Hahaha! I feel so childish. But then again, it's basically safe now because my OTP is CANON!). I'm sure we all got annoyed and angry of each other, but in the end we were all fans of the same amazing manga. It still tied us together even if it divided us as well, didn't it? Besides, if there were no ships to beat, having your OTP be canon is not half as fun, right? Hahahaha!
But really, thank you, for random ideas and really weird things and theories we Naruto fans came up with through the years. It feels nice, hilarious, sometimes appalling but mostly fun to belong to this fandom.
Thank you for the made up ninjutsu(s) because we are awesome like that. Thank you for the many names we've all came up with for our ships' kids' names. Thank you for crack pairs too (since a Naruto crack pair is one of my guilty pleasure), however we came up with them. Thank you for sharing the ride that was Naruto. That was 15 years of our lives.
With this then, I thank my fellow supporters of the following ships:
ShikaTema (One word: YOSH!!!),
SasuHina (Oh well, we all knew it's never going to happen anywhere other than our fanfics and fanarts),
ChoIno (We all hoped. But so long as they are happy. I suppose it was necessary that they didn't end up together so the ShikaChoIno team will continue to the next generation),
familial NejiHina (our Neji died for NaruHina, so let's be happy for Hinata, besides Neji is now official part of NaruHina anyway),
MinaKushi (well, we all are fans of MinaKushi aren't we? Even Naruto himself was a fan. Hahaha! He's the first shipper. No, I think Jiraiya and Tsunade are the first shippers.)
I seriously hope I didn't forget any of my ships…
Finally, thank you to the online friends I found through shared love of Naruto and to my real-life friends who shared the Naruto journey with me.
Thank you to my first college crush who let me borrow his Naruto CDs (because there were no DVDs back then. The last episode to that was Sasuke and Naruto's battle in the Valley of the End).
Then I go to the fangirl moment.
MY SHIKATEMA IS CANON!!!!!!!!!!
I haven't checked Ffnet and Deviantart but I could just imagine the flood of fanfictions and fanarts. And we have Shikadai!!! I'm still truly giddy happy that ShikaTema is canon! As one of my friends remarked, it's lovely to love when your ship is canon! Her OTP is canon too. SasuSaku. Which meant my beloved crack pair, SasuHina, is shattered. Hahaha! Yeah, I know, there never was a hope for that one. That's why it's called crack pair anyway.
My favorite of the third generation Naruto kids (because the first generation Naruto kids for me is Minato's generation, which makes Naruto's generation the second) is without question Shikadai. The son of my OTP. Of course. Heh!
I liked Salad, Sasuke and Sakura's child. But. What kind of name is Salad?! Salad Uchiha. What the heck. I thought both Sasuke and Sakura have brains? Haha! I'm kidding! I like her though. Seeing the Uchiha smirk in a female? Cool!
Salad and Bolt's soon to be love story (Naruto and Hinata's first born) will be the realization of the NaruSasu, NaruSaku and SasuHina ships. And SakuHina if that exists. I'm tempted to write a fic for Salad and Bolt as a matter of fact. Mostly to write about Naruto and Sasuke's "horror "at finding their kids involve romantically. But as it was, fanfic writers, especially those in NaruHina and SasuSaku ships, have already been writing of Naruto and Sasuke's kids' love stories even before Salad and Bolt came about.
Ino and Sai! I never saw that coming! I was riding the ChouIno ship. But since both Chouji and Ino are happy with their respective spouses, I am happy too. Chouji ended up with the red head from Kumo. Akamaru is old now which touched my heart because I really like dogs. Though it was my family's guinea pigs that I named after Naruto characters.
The one thing that made me sad? Neji's grave. Neji really died. I know. I know he died. It is still my prerogative not to accept it. But Hinata bringing her daughter to lay flowers in Neji's grave denied me of that prerogative. It said, "Hyuuga Neji" in the grave.
I'm thinking of what manga panels to put in this post, fully aware that I want to put the entire chapter here. Hahahaha! I'm thinking of rummaging deviantart to put fanarts here, especially of the new generation Naruto kids. Maybe next year. Haha! I'll settle with the actual manga panels of Naruto 700.
Here we go!
There you go! That is Shikamaru's kid. Guess who he called 'mom. :)) WE ARE FRIGGIN' CANON!!!
Temari's jade eyes with Shikamaru's scowl. The Uchiha smirk in a female character! Well, Bolt is his father's son...
Anko gained weight didn't she? Oh well. There's the Neji Hyuuga grave. *cries*
My Chouji-Ino ship sank. Oh well.
Asuma and Kurenai's kid.
Well, there goes my SasuHina ship... Not that I expected it will ever come to life anyway. But Sasuke, Sakura, explain to me why you named your child Salad. Really?
Of course, the favorite son got a WHOLE panel for himself.
The new Kages.
And Naruto ends...
Sayonarra Naruto. Arigatou gozaimasu.