This confession is probably not going to win me too many fans, but I hate Naruto. This post was originally going to be a rant about how much I dislike it, but as I was thinking it over and I came unto a conclusion: I feel really sorry for Masashi Kishimoto.
Why’s that, you ask? Kishimoto has been working on Naruto for 10 straight years now and says that while he has the ending planned, it’s going to take awhile to get there.
Similarly, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, who has been working on the series for more than 12 years, is also way behind on getting to the end. Asahi Shimbun quoted him as saying that he’d planned to end the series in five years, but is really only half way through the series at this point. (Here’s an ANN post about it in English)
All three of these men haven’t been able to publish any other work during this period of time. (Not including Oda’s Dragon Ball x One Piece Cross Epoch collab with Akira Toriyama since that’s still One Piece-related work.)
I feel sorry for these men (Akira Toriyama included since he quit making Dragon Ball due to exhaustion after 11 years working on that series and other short works) because they’re stuck with these series for goodness knows how long.
Sure, they have extremely successful manga, probably 20 assistants each and are rolling in dough, but it must be such a drag to have to focus one behemoth creation constantly. It seems like Oda and Kishimoto have let their stories get ahead of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kubo is in the same boat. It must be more than a little frustrating to be completely devoted to one work for so long. I mean, at least J.K. Rowling has been able to finish the Harry Potter series.
Of course, they aren’t the only mangaka to have long-running series, nor do any of them have the longest running serialized comics ever. I feel sorry for whoever does and as well as anyone who has been making one comic for anywhere near as long as these men have. It’s tough work.
So even though I still don’t like the series (or its fans,) I can appreciate the work Kishimoto’s put into it for this long. (and Oda’s and Kubo’s and Toriyama’s and you get the picture.) It must take incredible effort to think up a series that can run so long. The money they must be making and the endless love of their fans is probably the only consolations they have for being a bit caged in with their respective works. In the end, those aren’t bad consolations at all.
I hope Oda, Kubo and Kishimoto get to finish their series and take some well-deserved breaks (or at least get to work on something new) soon.