It's been a year since Naruto released its last manga chapter. For over 15 years, Naruto has inspired his fans and taught lessons that surely made a huge mark in their lives.
Naruto is one of the most iconic manga/anime characters in the world. With 700 manga chapters, 600+ episodes (both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden combined), and 11 films, not to mention all the fan art and fan fiction, it's impossible not to know who Naruto is.
Naruto debuted in 1997 with its manga release, followed by the anime release in 2002. And although Naruto has ended (in manga) last year, Naruto still inspires its fans. If you are a fan of Naruto, deep down you know that Naruto is a big part of your life and he will never ever disappear. You know him well enough to (1) use his and the other characters' quotes for an essay, (2) know who he'll better end up with and debate it with ships you are against and, (3) think of what he'll do if he were in your place in times of real life trouble. At some point in your life, you've probably adopted the anime theme song as your own personal theme song.
With all that said and with the nostalgic feeling setting in, here are the top 5 things that we will never EVER forget from the one and only knucklehead ninja, Uzumaki Naruto:
5. Friends are important. Cherish your bonds
Naruto gave so much importance to all his friends and loved ones. Given that he was an orphan since he was born, he has never experienced the love of a family. Growing up without parents and growing up being a jinchuuriki has always been tough. It was rare for him to meet people who aren't afraid, disgusted, or mad at him. Having friends and people who care about him is a big deal, and that's why he wouldn't let his bonds go, even for the world.
“When people are protecting something truly special to them, they truly can become... as strong as they can be.” - Naruto Uzumaki
Friendship has a different level of importance than family. When people try to make friends, they try to find something in common with strangers to see if they'll get along well. It isn't something shallow; you form a bond, and the number one ingredient in making bonds is giving your trust. In Naruto's case, trusting comrades is entrusting your entire life to them. It's that special.
4. Everyone deserves a second chance
Just look at how Naruto chased after Sasuke. It isn't just because of his promise to Sakura; Sasuke was Naruto's best friend. Given that bonds are important for Naruto, he knows what kind of person Sasuke is. For Naruto, Sasuke wasn't a traitor to the Hidden Leaf village, he knows he had his reason for leaving and he wanted to prove to everyone that Sasuke wasn't who everyone thought he was. He knows his own best friend. Regardless of the crimes he committed, all Naruto believed in was that his friend had lost his path, and he wanted to save him from it.
3. Stick to Your Word
"I'm not gonna run away and I never go back on my word, that is my nindō! My ninja way!" - Naruto Uzumaki
This is actually connected to the last two lessons. Without this, the whole thing would be meaningless. Never going back on his word is his ninja way; Naruto always sticks to his words and keeps his promises. Having a goal to accomplish is what motivates him to fight for it. Sticking to your word gives fulfillment, and that's how our hero came to be.
2. Believe in Yourself
Of course if you stick to your word, you have to be aware of the challenges that you may come across in achieving your goal. You have to believe in yourself; believe you can do it! Should you ever come to the point that you lose your self confidence, remember what you're doing it for. In Naruto's case, it wasn't just him who believed in himself; he had his comrades and the entire shinobi world. Having that much trust from a great number of people is what kept Naruto going. He drew his strength from everyone who believed in him.
1. NEVER GIVE UP
Naruto has got to be the first person that comes to everyone's minds (or at least to Naruto fans) when they hear the words, "never give up". If Naruto would've given up, then he wouldn't have been the hero of the shinobi world, or achieve his dream of being the Hokage. He's endured all kinds of pain: physical, mental, and emotional. He's been through so much worse than what you're probably going through right now, so what makes you think you should give up? The most difficult points in life are the climax of the story. It wouldn't be a happy ending if you just stopped, and you wouldn't know what might have been if you did push through.