5 most loved Naruto arcs (and 5 that are hated)

Naruto in Sage Mode (Image via Pierrot)
Naruto in Sage Mode (Image via Pierrot)

To many anime and manga fans, Naruto is one of the all-time great shonen. The lengthy series has many arcs. Despite the overall critical acclaim that the series received, there were both high and low points in the story.

This article takes into consideration community input from Naruto fans on their most liked and most disliked story arcs.

5 most loved arcs in Naruto

1) Pain's Assault

As soon as they learned of Pain's attack, the toads at Mount Myoboku prepared for battle. While the Shinra Tensei laid waste to Konoha, Shima was told to reverse summon Naruto, Fukasaku, Gamabunta, Gamaken, Gamahiro, and Gamakichi to Konoha.

Easily the most popular arc in Naruto includes his legendary fight against Pain. This iconic battle not only delivers awesome fight sequences, it's also a turning point for Naruto. His victory over Pain earned him the recognition from his fellow villagers that he always craved. The arc gets bonus points for Hinata finally telling Naruto her true feelings.

2) Fated Battle Between Brothers

Sasuke arrived at the Uchiha Hideout to confront his older brother, Itachi. The two engaged in a heated discussion amidst a mind-bending genjutsu battle. The elder brother revealed the twisted truth about the Mangekyō Sharingan and made an attempt to rip out his younger sibling's eyes. The battle climaxed as the two set aside their genjutsu to fight for real. After an electric battle sequence, Itachi imparted a final sentiment on Sasuke before collapsing.

The younger Uchiha brother later awoke to find Tobi before him. He revealed himself to be Madara and told the young Uchiha the shocking truth about his older brother's mission and life choices, then implanted his eyes into Sasuke.

3) Akatsuki Suppression Mission

A common fan-favorite, this arc featured incredible battles between Konoha shinobi and Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuzu. The two parties first faced off outside a bounty collection office. Hidan withstood seemingly-fatal attacks from Asuma's team before taking down Asuma himself.

In an emotional goodbye, Team 10 listened to the dying words of their sensei. Shikamaru and his teammates returned to Konoha. While everyone attended the funeral, Shikamaru plotted a strategy to avenge Asuma.

Kakashi took Team 10 under his wing to track down Hidan and Kakuzu. Backed up by Naruto, Sakura, Yamato, and Sai, the squad engaged in a fast-paced and explosive battle. Shikamaru put his brilliance on display with his strategic takedown of the "immortal" Hidan.

4) The Chapter of Naruto and Sasuke

The climactic end to the series featured the fallout after taking down Kaguya. The two best friends and rivals duked it out with all the strength that they had left. This arc had some of the must stunning animation and fight sequences of the entire series.

5) Chūnin Exams

Many of the series' key figures were introduced in this arc. It was also the first time that fans saw the members of Team 7 operate without Kakashi's guidance. The stakes were set high from the start when all the participants had to acknowledge that death was a possible outcome. The variety of skills showcased throughout this early arc was an exciting way to get the plot moving for many chapters to come.

5 most hated arcs in Naruto

1) Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission

Widely regarded as one of the least entertaining arcs, these chapters introduced Sai, Sasuke's replacement on Team 7. Not only was the edgy bad boy swapped out, but so was Kakashi. Yamamoto is a fine ninja, but he's nowhere near as cool as their original team leader. Aside from a fight with Orochimaru, fans feel that this arc lacked substance.

2) Five Kage Summit

This arc garners disdain due to the odd emotional storylines that it tells. Fans feel that Sakura and Sai both acted very uncharacteristically. Additionally, fans of the series were not thrilled with the number of pages and amount of screen time that was dedicated to explaining the process of kage diplomacy.

3) Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown

The main sentiment about this arc was that it took time to pick up pace. Laying the groundwork for a storyline that will span multiple arcs is very important. However, that doesn't mean that it's exciting. Unfortunately, this was far from the best part of the war arc.

4) Kazekage Rescue Mission

Naruto fans felt that this arc moved far too slowly. Despite an epic showdown featuring Sakura and Granny Chiyo versus Sasori, the pacing was not ideal. Naruto and Kakashi's fight against Deidara felt anticlimactic, and just as fans were starting to like Granny Chiyo, she had to be killed off to save Gaara.

5) Non-canon arcs

Fans were loud and clear about what they could not stand in a series: filler. Among the least appreciated arcs, many were side stories that had no relevance to the current plot. Non-canon arcs are often used in anime to beef up the number of episodes that a studio can release per season. Although they can sometimes be amusing, fans generally don't appreciate the filler content.

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