Naruto: How I Followed Him from Orphan to Hokage

***Spoilers be raining down like a shadow clone Uzumaki Barrage***
It’s as if the Naruto Gods have been closely following my journey through the summer of 2016. Twas a sunny Tuesday afternoon; a day that will forever live in Konoha infamy. I casually posted on Omar’s wall about finally watching this show he and the rest of the staff kept talking about: Naruto. Iiight. Bet. Seems like some regular regular. Little did I know, this would be the day I would embark on the daunting path to Binge-kage by promising my BNP fam that I was finally going to find out “what this Naruto was all about.” I had no fucking clue what I was getting into. Did I mention I promised the team that I’d be starting from the original series, where Naruto is a kid, and not the Shippuden series that is widely considered the insanely action-packed and more interesting half of the series? I ain’t give a damn. I was gonna do this shit and I was gonna do it right.

So I hit Netflix and binged the original series. All of it. Did I mention I promised to watch every single episode, fillers and all? I was wylin…cuz anyone who has watched this series knows that shit is damn near impossible. Anyway, I watched it all and it was beyoooooonnnddddd glorious! I’m talkin Kakarot vs. Vegeta showdown greatness. I’m talkin hyperbolic time chamber training next level shit. I’m talkin first time Charizard decided to bang with Ash level shit. I’m talkin first fusion dance you ever saw jaw-dropping type epic shit. First time Lion-O dropped that thunder..thunder..THUNDER type shit! This the level of greatness we talkin bout people.



YOOOOOOO WHERE DEY DO DAT AT?!?? How you take that original greatness then bump it up to a magnificent 10/10 from the Russian, Syrian, N. Korean, and German judges?!?

My dude. Dog. Homie. Son. Bruhhhhhh. They grew the fuck up and started doin quadruple corkscrew backflip somersaults of glory on the screen?! They got Kakashi Sensei tossin up behind-the-back, through-the-legs, no-look Sharingan passes to Naruto who’s rockin 720-windmill, rock-the-cradle, backboard-breaking Rasen Shuriken slamma jammas?!??! They got Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji hittin them Marvel vs. Capcom Level 3 power bar, tag-team hyper-combo finishing moves on ma’fuckas out in the streets?!?? They got Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto unleashing forbidden underground urban-legend unfathomable jutsu on cats after 3 years of training with the OGs?!?? That’s how they givin it up in Shippuden!


Sidebar: Do y’all ninjas know how hard it was to pick a title for this article? Here are a few of my rejected titles:
One Summer to Live? Binge Watch Naruto.
From the Ninja Academy to Ninja Legend
Naruto: The Most Trill Anime Series Since DBZ
How Naruto Shot Up my Top 10 List While Giving One Single Fuck

Fam. From the first encounter with Rogue Sasuke, to the introduction of the Akatsuki, Kabuto’s evolution, Jaraiya’s trip to the Hidden Rain, to Naruto’s mastery of Sage Mode, the introduction of Bee and 8-Tails, to Naruto’s infamous battle with Pain that I’m ranking as my #1 battle of the series, allllll up to the war and every RIP we had to drop along with those tears of pain and joy that also fell along the way.


Naruto is one animated show that dead ass stirred up emotions like no other cartoon/anime I’ve every watched. There’s one reason for this. Character development. You give a hunnit fucks about most characters in the story. Naruto’s great and all, but it’s saying something when you a grown ass man and are literally ready to shed a tear because a dude you been callin Sensei gets taken out by a piece of shit villain and you jump up ready to launch a kunai at the screen out of sadness and anger. But mostly sadness. Say I’m soft. Go head. You know I’m speakin that Bible.


What can I say? Naruto got the juice. He is by far the most inspiration fictional character I’ve ever seen. More than The OG Red Ranger. More than Optimus Prime. More than Yoda. More than Jon Snow. More than Master Splinter. He was that damned determined every single step of the way. Sure, he was an annoying little shit for most of his childhood, but the boy turned man never went back on a promise and kept his Nindo on 100 all day, every day.

This just in!! Along with the live action Naruto I’m waiting for, Boruto: The Next Generation is officially a go. It’s premiering in April 2017 and will follow the adventures of the next tri-squad of young bloods: Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki. Boruto is obviously the son of Naruto and Hinata. Sarada, the spawn of long shipped and fantasized Sakura and Sasuke. Mitsuki is the one shrouded in mystery, but eventually you learn he’s Orochimaru’s serpent seed…but who’s the mother?! Oh slithering sprinkles of drama already!


Oh, the Naruto Gods have been watching closely. They been sittin at the brunch table with Khaled expressing their approval of the beast mode binging.
Khaled: Naruto, how’s business?
Naruto: BOOMIN.
Khaled: Heh, I like that. Time to win more. They want you to stop while you’re ahead, but you know what we gone do?
Naruto: We gone roll up to Shonen Fest and drop that new gen announcement key…for the real fans only.


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  • Ja-Quan is a NYC teacher and artist holding a B.A. in Sociology and History from SUNY New Paltz. On his journey to become Hokage, the Lord of The Speed Force and Protector of the Recaps can be found North of The Wall, chopping it up on Twitter @OGquankinobi

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