Diehard Naruto fans are forever divided over which part is best, the Original Naruto or part two, Shippuden. The truth is that both sides of the divide have equal claim to being the better of the two parts.
Neither of the two parts is flawless, and personal taste is what will sway you to one side or the other. However, there are clear instances where Naruto scored over Shippuden and beat part two hands down.
From the opening scene, fans are drawn into the world of Naruto. The story immediately grabs the audience’s attention and gives them something to look forward to. The suspense and expectation for Naruto to fulfill his destiny are ever-present. One cannot help but feel anxious for Naruto's sake, given the situation he finds himself in.
Although his father did what he thought was right at the time by sealing the Nine-tailed fox into Naruto’s body, he could not have foreseen the trouble it would inflict on him on his way of becoming a ninja and the eventual Hokage.
Naruto has less filler content
When it comes to manga and anime, one can expect quite a bit of filler content, but that is not the case with Naruto. Every episode and arc is filled with relevant content which gives part one a particular flow.
One almost feels that missing an episode is going to throw you off track, especially in the beginning. During part two, Naruto filler list increase and distract from the flow of the plot. It becomes like watching a show with never-ending adverts strewn throughout.
Naruto is much more consistent
Naruto is as consistent as the rising of the tide, whereas Shippuden has several inconsistencies. With each arc, the drama and suspense intensify and one can expect something of a climax every time. As the story progresses and the arcs intertwine, the viewer is drawn into the Naruto universe even further.
The thing that the writer of Naruto got right in part one is the ending. From the onset of episode one, everything builds up to a massive finale that blows you away. Shippuden often lets the viewer down in terms of suspense, building up to something great but fizzles in execution.
Naruto uses side characters better
Naruto has some of the most interesting characters in the anime world, but when it comes to utilizing the side characters, there is a stark contrast between part one and part two. During part one, Masashi Kishimoto built much of the intrigue on the backs of the side characters. They were the ones who helped Naruto on his quest and helped form his character.
Part two, on the other hand, is much too focussed on Naruto and Sasuke alone. Although these two characters form the central part of the conflict of part two, it lacks in-depth and color due to the ineffective use of the side characters. Their impact on the story as a whole is minimal and disappointing, to say the least.
Naruto’s ending is superior
Although it is a contestable debate, the ending of Naruto is probably the winner. The viewer is kept on a knife’s edge, hoping for their hero to emerge victoriously, but alas, Sasuke bests Naruto and sets in motion the mechanics that would drive part two.
Inevitably, part two’s ending feels slightly forced and predictable. Naruto emerges as the victor and the townsfolk praise him for his heroics, while Sasuke is seen wandering off into exile. It all seems to end well for Naruto with no surprises, what a pity.