Best Naruto Cosplay Photos

In celebration of the end of Naruto, here’s some of the great Naruto cosplay we’ve captured over the years.

Photos by Dave Lacey and Anna Levine

Farewell to Naruto: My Favorite Show That I Hated Watching

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I love Naruto. I really do, it’s one of those shows that hit me deep in the feels long ago and I can’t help but still feel it. It’s one of those shows that at times was brilliant, beautiful and truly awesome. It has characters I adore, some of my favorite fight scenes ever, and a deeper psychological world than your average battle anime; and though I say all of this with sincerity and love, I also kind of hate Naruto.
 
Now when I say I hate it, I don’t mean the character, in fact Naruto Uzumaki might be my favorite character of all time period. The most underdog of underdogs, hated by his village for existing. driven for power not for revenge, but for acceptance, Naruto is a perfect role model for people in general, because he perseveres in a very dark and unfair world. He never gives up, lives by his own principles (his ninja way!) and protects the weak and innocent no matter how much the odds are stacked against him. On top of that, everyone seems to be trying to kill him, like all the time. He stands up against the powers that be in his own village if it’s the right thing to do and he can laugh even though he’s had a lot of pain in his life.
 
His positivity motivates me to be a better person, he’s not full of rage like Eren Yeager or selfish like Goku, he’s not one-sided like Luffy or kind of a prick like Soma, he’s happy, sad, joyful, lonely, tough, stupid, and smart. The more and more I think of Naruto, I feel like he’s not only more human than most anime heroes, he’s what all humans should try to be like.
 
All that being said, this show has filled me with more fury and spite than most shows for the pure reason that even though I can gush for hours about it, I can’t recommend it to anyone because it’s the king of filler episode shows. Unlike DBZ, that stretches fights and power-ups for several episodes, Naruto has tight, exciting action scenes, and when it’s sticking to the manga storyline, really enjoyable plots. However when it’s time to waste time, they are remarkably vigilant in making people watch YEARS WORTH OF FILLER EPISODES! The first series, Naruto, has 100 filler episodes tacked onto the end (just stop watching after Sasuke leaves the village and start Shippuden), and the 2nd series, Naruto: Shippuden, has various long stretches of filler episodes. It’s exhaustively frustrating.
 
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It’s like being in love with someone who lives across the country, sure when you’re together it’s great, but you can’t help but wonder if it would just be better to find someone closer to home. I can’t imagine starting Naruto from ep. 1 and watching through to the final 500th episode of Naruto Shippuden, it’s just too much (both series are a combined 770 eps!). I will definitely watch some of my favorite moments again, The Chūnin Exams, Naruto training with Jiraiya, Madara taking out an entire army by himself, and maybe the best thing ever, drunken Rock Lee! The Naruto/Pain fight is one of my favorite TV moments of all time. But if I watch one more episode starring a grumpy ostrich or Naruto’s clones pulling a mutiny I’m going to flip out.
 
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This article is clearly not a review of the final episode, because frankly we stopped watching a while ago. After going episode by episode with almost nothing going on, I just decided to stop until it was over, which at that point seemed like never. It’s funny when I was younger I always wanted my favorite tv shows to just go on forever, they’re always going to be good, right? No! Things need to end, stories need to be told and then shelved. I’m a fan of DBZ ending in the 90’s and eventually continuing again after almost 20 years had passed (I’m not counting GT, F that show). Naruto, however, is so stupid popular that they  already have a sequel series about to start, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, that’s going to continue the story, but star everyone’s kids. Now that Naruto: Shippuden is ending we’ll start back up where we left off, not so sure, however, if we’ll end up watching Boruto.
 
Anyway, I really do love Naruto, and I understand that a lot of anime catch up with their manga and often stretch plots out, they want to make all that sweet $$$ on the weekly shows, but I think it degrades the legacy of a show when you do that. Attack on Titan will be re-watchable for future generations because they take breaks in between seasons, but for shows like Naruto, all these filler episodes really kill them.
 
All this being said, Naruto will always be one of my favorite shows, and when it was on the canon storyline, it was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. If you only watched some of the series and never plan on finishing it, I recommend checking out The Last: Naruto The Movie, it’s a film  that takes place after the events of Shippuden and it’s a really rewarding send off for the character.
 
I would say I’m sad Naruto is over, but I’m not, and really, this thing is never going to be over. I guess it’s just their ninja way.
 
 
– David Lacey (Geek World, former host of Anime Vice)
 
p.s.
 
When we finally finish Shippuden , we’ll do another video or article on what filler episodes to skip. You can watch this older video we did about which eps to skip below (we say some of the names wrong, we never watched the dub and some of the names were hard to decipher, get over it).

This Week’s Show: Imaginary Friends!

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AnnaMay got to see an early preview of ABC’s newest comedy Imaginary Mary, so this week’s show will be a review of that, and a discussion of imaginary friends in movies and TV. We’ll also talk about a possible Matrix reboot and we’ll discuss our first impressions of Horizon: Zero Dawn.

We know there have been some tech difficulties with Indie 100 and The Point lately, so just tune in Tuesdays at 9PM on El Ave Radio.

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Click icon for live broadcast Thursday and Friday @Noon (PST)
If the show isn’t playing properly CLICK HERE INSTEAD!

Don’t forget to go to YouTube.com/GeekWorldRadio to see all of the latest videos we’ve posted and shared, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE!

This Show is DOPE: Taboo

TABOO -- "Episode 8" (Airs Tuesday, February 28, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney. CR: FX
GTA: 1814 (Grand Theft Horse and Buggy?)

 

I don’t watch a lot of period pieces. If there’s not at least a little of bit fantasy involved (Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful) it’s kind of a no fly zone. I decided to watch Taboo however for 2 reasons, Tom Hardy is the man (I expect nothing less from a Picard clone!) and a really strong advertising campaign. Now that the first season is over I’ve decided one thing, Taboo is a Dope show!

Taking place in 1814 London, Hardy plays James Delaney, a mysterious, truculent character, presumed long dead by his friends and family, only to return from Africa after a 12 year absence to attend his fathers funeral. To say the people of London don’t like Delaney is an understatement, especially when it’s revealed James inherited a special plot of land from his father, a piece of land that the Crown, America and the most powerful corporation in the world, The East India Company, all want. To top that off, Delany has a long list of rumored crimes and abhorrences working against him (I’m not going to give them away, but let’s just say Taboo is a fitting title for the show). Delany, armed only with frightful grit and a sack of African diamonds, sets on an impressive path of empire building in a brutal city where everyone wants him dead.

Whether it’s the Post Apocalypse or 1814, Tom Hardy always has dope hair

As I’ve said, the show takes place in 1814, thus the tail end of America’s Revolution, and seeing that time period play out from the side of a super fascinating/repellent old England was a true joy. Most of the time when you see something taking place in England in the 1800’s, it’s usually the 1890’s. This makes the setting of the show seem even more special, and the makeup and set design of the show are super impressive (one of the creators, Steven Knight, made the popular period piece Peaky Blinders) and the cinematography/directing is stunning. The show felt both immersive, and luckily, like a time far far away.

 

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You know he’s serious, it took like 10 minutes to load this gun.

Seeing Tom Hardy rip up 1814’s England made me quite pleased. It’s a grossly macabre place, sexy and disturbing, funny and horrifying. One of the more off putting and especially engaging settings in the show is the opulent offices of the East India Company. Seeing (the excellent) Johnathan Pryce’s Sir Stuart Strange, Chairman of the uber powerful company, and his smug AF minions going to barbarous lengths of stop Delany from acquiring his fathers land was a real thrill. There are many points while watching Taboo that feel like watching a ye olde version of Mr. Robot.

This guy is the worst

There’s also a bit of a Scarface/Breaking Bad thing going on, as Delaney builds a team of thugs, prostitutes, and even a debaucherous chemist to fight for his mysterious goals. I really like characters like Tony Montana and Walter White, and James Delaney played by the always fantastic Tom Hardy is a really magnificent character. He’s a really terrible dude, if you knew even a little bit about the guy you would run the other way, you would never want to be part of his crew or his friend. However he’s the kind of ill tempered dangerous dude you can see going against the most powerful organizations in the world. He’s like a pre The Usual Suspects Keyser Söze, running all over England drinking, slashing, doing crazy voodoo stuff. He’s truly a scary guy, but he’s our scary guy, since every character in this show pretty much sucks. Hardy’s made a great career in playing interesting leading men, often as mad as they are masculine (Bronson, the Kray twins, Mad Max) and since he co-created the character with his dad, Chips Hardy, James Delaney is literally custom made for the intense thespian.

Before Google Maps people used Stephen Graham’s head.

Man the cast is great, along with Hardy and Pryce, Game of Thrones’ Oona Chaplin is great as James’ straight laced/dysfunctional sister, Stephen Graham, Franke Potente, Tom Hollander, Jason Watkins and Jessie Buckley all give key provocative performances as well as all the great actors who play EIC cronies. Also, let’s not forget the great Mark Gatiss as the Prince Regent, wearing what I can only assume was his Mycroft fat suit from that 1800’s ep. of Sherlock. Everyone is freaking great ok!

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Ultimately what I love about this show is how unapologetic it is. James Delaney is terrible, he has almost no sense of morality and  has a truly twisted psyche, but seriously fuck this place! This early 1800’s England is the worst, it’s no different from the worst parts of today’s society, a bunch of assholes with $ and power using all of their influence to try and control everything. Hardy’s Delaney is almost like a folk hero (albeit the kind that they leave out all the really unseemly stuff about when they tell the tale), he becomes sort of heroic because of who his enemies are and how he fights them. With a impressive use of strategy, physical viciousness, and palpable insanity, you feel like Delaney has a chance against, well, pretty much all of England.  It makes for a thrilling watch and a truly enjoyable show.

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This isn’t even close to the weirdest thing in this show

I guess I have to say this show isn’t for everyone, and certainly not for kids. Even though it’s on FX it might as well be on HBO. There’s F-bombs everywhere, sex scenes, disembowelment, it’s pretty hardcore. I really had a great time watching it! By the end of the first season, all I could think was, “Damn this is like watching an Assassins Creed movie, but like, a really good one!” Check out Taboo wherever you watch stuff.

 

 – David Lacey

This Weeks Show! Random Stuff!

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We talk about random things on this week’s show, between Tom Hardy’s dark period drama Taboo to classic video gaming, we’re going to be all over the place!

We know there have been some tech difficulties with Indie 100 and The Point lately, so just tune in Tuesdays at 9PM on El Ave Radio.

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Click icon for live broadcast Thursday and Friday @Noon (PST)
If the show isn’t playing properly CLICK HERE INSTEAD!

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This Show Is DOPE – Blue Exorcist

In the endless abyss of possible TV shows to watch, it’s hard not to find something you kinda like. Kinda like is fine, but don’t we deserve more? This series of articles tells you what I think is worth watching. All of these shows might not score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes or win an Emmy, but who cares?

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Blue Exorcist

Anime can be tricky. If you love it, there are thousands of shows to pick from, and everyone has an opinion of what’s a must see, and conversely, what’s just trash Weebo bait (if you don’t know what that means… well you’re probably better off). Most of us have seen a Miyazaki film, but outside of DBZ or Pokémon, most people have little to no interest in Anime, and if they’re not laissez-faire about the whole thing, then they might just think it’s weirdo pervy trash.

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Teachers like these make my high school seem really lame

But I love Anime, some of my top 10 favorite shows are anime, and I think there’s at least one true love anime out there for everyone. Blue Exorcist is not in my top 10, but I think this show is super dope and worth the watch. Let’s get into it.

First off, this show is all about Heaven, Hell, Demons, The Devil, and Exorcism. If you’re into that stuff, congrats! There’s a lot of goodness there, the battles are awesome, the occult stuff is fun and interesting, and the world is well thought out.

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This guy is one of the nicer demons in this show

It’s not as heavy and melodramatic as a show like Full Metal Alchemist, but what I like about this show is that it’s a complexly built supernatural world with a deep history and a lot of danger, yet it’s also a funny and uplifting coming of age story.

I know, I know, those of you who have seen just a handful of anime know a “funny and uplifting coming of age story” is about as trite as you can get. Most super popular manga and anime take place in high school and star teens, since well, that’s the target demo. On paper Blue Exorcist seems pretty par for the course, let me write a synopsis –

“15-year-old Rin is just a normal highschool boy, until all of a sudden his world turns upside down when he finds out he’s the son of the SATAN! If that isn’t bad enough, his dad and his twin brother are part of a secret order of exorcists dedicated to one mission, defeating Satan and his minions! Can Rin survive his family, Satan’s Army and High School? Find out on the new anime Blue-Naruto-Bleach-Soul Eater-Full Metal-Harry Potter-Every Shonen Anime Ever Exorcist!”

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So there it is, it’s not a super shockingly different anime, it’s not Attack on Titan, Death Note or Death Parade, but what I found really interesting about this anime isn’t the Naruto-esque character of Rin, or the cool Full Metal Alchemist/Fate like occult battles. What I really love about the show is the relationship between RIn and his twin brother Yukio.

Rin is the ultimate hackneyed anime hero, a teenage, street smart, tough, loyal, misunderstood good-guy-with-an-attitude altruistic underdog, standing up for the weak and teaching people lessons in between ninja magic battles (he’s practically doing his best not to run around yelling “someday I’ll be Hokage”). His brother Yukio is his polar opposite, he’s cold, calculating and a clear prodigy, being both a student and instructor at True Cross Academy, a cram school for Exorcists. Yukio might be Rin’s twin brother, but he didn’t inherit Satan’s power like Rin (along with all kinds of strength and agility Rin gets deadly and stylish Blue Flames that cloak his body, and a dope magic sword that lets him slice demons into bits), thus Yukio is not implicitly hated and misunderstood like Rin is.

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When you trying to leave class early, but your nerdy little brother is the teacher

So at this point, if you have any experience watching anime, you’ve rolled your eyes into the back of your skull. You know this sounds even more hackneyed, oh it’s Naruto and Sauske, or Sakuragi and Rukawa. Been there done that.

The difference is in Blue Exorcist the relationship between the brothers is not so simple. Both see each other the way they were before Rin’s demonic powers are awakened. Rin finds out he’s the Son of the Devil while at the same time realizing his brother Yukio and their adopted father are themselves extremely powerful exorcists. Even after this new reality comes to pass, Rin continues to try and protect his badass demon killing brother, still seeing him as the meek little brother he defended when they were children. Yukio on the other hand is trying to maintain authority as a full fledged exorcist/instructor while also trying to protect his brother from a school full of people that want to exterminate him out of fear and an army of demons constantly in the shadows.

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man, the kid versions of anime characters always get me like awwwwww
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never mind, this show isn’t at all like Supernatural

There’s a lot of shifts going on in this relationship and many episodes end with you liking one brother over the other at any given time. Their relationship is the stuff of great TV, it’s contentious, warm, spiteful, violent, cruel, and funny. You get a lot feels at times when you least expect them and more than a few twists and turns along the way. It’s what centers the narrative of the show and offers a kind of verisimilitude to the animated world we’re witnessing.

I originally wanted to entitle this article, “If you love Supernatural, watch Blue Exorcist!”. because there are obvious parallels between the 2 shows. 2 brothers fighting against supernatural forces in the real world, one has mystical powers and rages against their father, while the other is the loyal son who works hard to inherit the family legacy. They are very similar, though I feel like Supernatural is a much more cynical nihilistic show (a statement that seems completely unfair considering Blue Exorcist has had one full season and Supernatural is now in it’s mind boggling 12th season).

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when your Dad is a dope AF exorcist, but you realize he’s got Charles Manson’s V.1 forehead tattoo

Blue Exorcist isn’t the best anime out there (there’s only one full season, with the 2nd season finally starting after a 6 year gap), and there are a lot of other anime I love more, but I wanted to write about this show specifically because it accomplished something a lot of other shows haven’t, it completely hooked me. I was never planning on watching more than the first episode. It was too Shonen, too trite, but it lured me in with a strangely unique and fulfilling story about family. Rin and Yukio, how they interact in this deadly world, how they fight against and for each other, their relationship with their adopted father, it propels the story beyond the norm and this, in part, alters the more commonplace themes of the show and makes it all in all a really enjoyable watch.

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When you got blue flames but refuse to go blue steel

You guys might love it, you might hate it, but I really really enjoyed Season 1 of Blue Exorcist, and since it’s only 25 episodes it’s an easy watch, unlike something like seemingly insurmountable like One-Piece or Naruto.

Was this helpful? Stupid? Great? Let us Know!

— David Lacey (Geek World/ Former Contributor for Anime Vice)

This Week’s Radio Show: X-Men!

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Logan is the newest hit of the X-Men movie franchise which got us thinking about all the movies so far and where we think they’ll go from here. So this episode of the radio show is all about X-Men.

We know there have been some tech difficulties with Indie 100 and The Point lately, so just tune in Tuesdays at 9PM on El Ave Radio.

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Click icon for live broadcast Thursday and Friday @Noon (PST)
If the show isn’t playing properly CLICK HERE INSTEAD!

Don’t forget to go to YouTube.com/GeekWorldRadio to see all of the latest videos we’ve posted and shared, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE!