I know this has been a topic has been brought up before, but I really feel it would be great to discuss our perspective on this series, and get everyones viewpoints on when the story started to diminish in terms of quality in writing. Don't just say because the ending, because of pairings, because of sasuke, because of Hinata, etc. Leave a detailed description as to when and where it happened for you.
Here's mine for example:
I felt that the quality in Naruto's storytelling started dropping the ball in it's story telling was at the 5 Kage Summit Arc. The thing is all the characters especially Naruto the main character himself went through a lot during the Pain Arc so much so that he got to taste the sense of revenge in midst of his battle against Pain for what happened to Jiraiya. More importantly, Naruto himself actually felt like Hero and that was like the peak for him because he managed to achieve something he was seeking since the beginning of the series. Acknowledgement and respect from everyone in the village. Yes, he's not hokage by this point, but seeing where he was at that point was just stunning. That was the peak of where Naruto was a series in terms of characters and more importantly storytelling. The Five Kage Summit was a follow up so it had alot to live up when it comes to the story. Shifting to Sasuke wasn't really a big issue for me initially in fact part of saw it coming given his declaration at the end of The Pursuit Itachi Arc. You also have to consider that Kishi's writing style in Part 2 was structured like this the first arc was Naruto, and the second arc was Sasuke. This would become a pattern until we got the Confining Jinchuriki Arc which solely focused on Naruto. The point is why pick the 5 Kage Summit?
In terms of pacing I think the pacing of the story was fine, but again it's how the story was told. So one would figure what did the story have to tell for Naruto Uzumaki who at this point is established as The Hero of the Leaf. Things are only brought up, but they don't go to their fullest extent. Remember, Naruto specifically told Sakura and Kakashi he knows how Sasuke feels because of the revenge he felt. Yes it showcases growth in his character, but instead he uses that as an excuse to further his idealistic approach to saving Sasuke. Kakashi was the only one who was on point to him about his situation, but still nothing. Let's not forget at this point Naruto is a hero and what does he do? Beg to the Raikage's feet like a poor person what?? Telling Sakura during her confession that the promise didn't matter to him and he's doing the Sasuke thing for his own reasons, and also telling her that everything's a lie when it comes to the confession. Hyperventilates because he can't imagine a world without Sasuke.. Already you see a contrast between what he went through in Pain and what he went through in 5 Kage Summit is like night and day.
Sasuke at this point was becoming a full fledge antagonist, he went from being an anti-hero to straight up villain cause at first it's going after the elders, and then everyone in the village. What happens? All of those who knew Sasuke couldn't believe atleast Ino and Sakura.. Look being shocked is one thing crying on the side like your soul got crushed no that's just dumb. Also you got to consider the character inconsistencies like Yamato's expression when it comes Sakura confessing, He knows this back from the Sai and Sasuke Arc when it comes to Sakura. Why at this point is he so surprised? He knows this already? Sakura's case has been brought up time and time again, but I'll just say where Sai revealing that Naruto loves her, and her confession all leading to killing Sasuke out of her own love for him? Does she succeed? No she changes her mind cause "Love" I'm sorry that's stupid.. the least that could've happened is for her to go through with it, atleast she tried. No she doesn't even get that. Then you got the whole thing with Naruto and Sasuke's conversation... Sasuke went so far to declare bloodshed, and Naruto is still naive! My friend speech..ugh... man. See at first I found it extremely odd when I got to this point in the story, but the more I thought the more this arc I noticed the problems the series had I didn't pick up on the first time around. That's why I picked the 5 Kage Summit Arc for being the point in the story where I felt the storytelling started to fall for Naruto.
Don't worry you guys I'm not expecting a 3 paragraph explanation, just 1 simply paragraph you know 3 to 5 detailed sentences. Wow I sound like I'm giving you guys an assignment, but really I just thought it be worth sharing.