Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

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A manga serialized in Shonen Jump, the series revolves around an orphaned boy who wishes to become the strongest ninja in the village so that the villagers acknowledge him. The anime series recently aired its last episode, ending a 15 year run on television and breaking the hearts of fans around the world. One of the important themes of the show that made it so popular is the element of friendships and how they manifest differently between people but in the end unite everyone behind a common cause. A perfect example is the tumultuous friendship between two of the main characters, Naruto and Sasuke. As small children, they didn’t get along despite sharing many similarities such as both of their families were dead which caused them to be ostracized from the other children, they shared the same loneliness and worked toward a single goal their whole life – though their goals are initially different, by the end of the series they are aligned. As they grow from children to young adults, Naruto pushes his friendship more and more onto Sasuke because he understands that Sasuke’s ability to love and empathize was lost when his family was slaughtered.

 

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Though the more forceful Naruto is in making Sasuke accept that not all bonds bring pain, this only serves to push Sasuke further away until a climatic final battle.

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