I basically maintain that what we got was editorial interference at its worst and a mangaka who basically lost control of his story and finally thew his hands in the air and said kitten it do what you want with the story I'm done.
For most of the story given the evidence I believe he worked pretty well hand in hand with his original editor to craft a good foundational story. Naruto hard working loser shinobi of the leaf with the 9 tailed demon inside him. Sakura his love interest and well intentioned but completely average kunoichi who showed remarkable potential as she began a slow arc away from her crush sasuke. and lastly Sasuke the friend and rival with a soul darkened by vengeance and tragedy that would be redeemed in the end by Naruto and the power of friendship as all shonen tend to do.
Shippuden hit and for the most part the story continued on this arc with Sakura showing that she had grown tremendously and Naruto as well. We also saw the hints and baby steps of their burgeoning relationship as Sakura says yes to a date and learns about his burdens making her feelings more real, and getting hints from outside characters that she really does love him.
We also see many Parallels between Naruto and Sakura confirmed and backed up by flashback parallels of Minato and Kushina.
We see Saskue falling further into Darkness as said characters are want to do and the leaf village destroyed by the god like Pein. we get the moe characters confession/sacrifice barely surviving thanks to Sakura. We also see the introduction of Taka and Karin as new team/family and Love interest respectively.
we see the war beginning and we see the slight stumble as Sakura and Narutos relationship advances in the Iron country arc.
and finally during the war we see all three characters make large strides in their respective stories before we hit the True ending chapter where we get Parallels between Sasuke and Karin and Naruto and Sakura.
all told up to that point we had a fairly solid if not spectacular Shonen story with a few twists to the basic formula.
Then the new editors came into play. they had a different goal for the story and it didn't include Naruto and Sakuras romance which began to rapidly fall by the way side so minor and irrelevant side character Hinata could be pushed. Suddenly her crush became this full blown OMG romantic love that was destined in the stars and was crowbarred in with a terrible movie that only made the whole situation worse with glaring plot holes, ridiculous fan fiction tropes and worse outright character assassination.
In the end I honestly believe Kishimoto Sensei just gave up the fight, it wasn't his story anymore and he let them take it with little resistance. HIs big middle finger and FU to them was in the True End chapter where he literaly says it in the title THIS IS HOW ITS SUPPOSED TO END.
My dear you deserve a great wizard, but im afraid you'll have to settle for services of a second rate pick pocket - Smendrick The Last Unicorn
Training with a sannin 2 1/2 years
new pair of gloves 20 ryou
the look on your best friend, and former sensei's face's when you cause a small earth quake. PrincelessCatsis Fan Fiction