My ideal Naruto ending would include something like the following:
The Ninja war is over (although I don’t really like that chapter anyway except the Tobi/Madara/Kaguya part because I find it boring seeing every beaten enemy rising again in old freshness. Kishimoto probably ran out of opponents.) But be that as it may, the war is over and we are looking to the future a year or so. It is time for a new Hokage but who? If you ask me I would go for either Shikamaru or Konohamaru. Shikamaru because he’s just the right type for the job and Konohamaru because I enjoy surprises and wouldn’t a very young Hokage be a surprise? Some of you may find this proposal rather strange and not much fitting, but just imagine “what if”. Sure, Naruto is canon for Kishimoto, but I think Konohamaru as Hokage would be exciting. He matured when his grandfather and uncle died and outgrew childhood a while ago. He is much stronger now and his values are those of a Hokage. Plus he strives to be the Hokage and to steadily improve. He is determined as hell. Why not giving him the chance? Why shall it only be Naruto? Let Konohamaru be a little clueless and goofy now and then, that’s OK, give him counsellors and friends to support him just like every Hokage has at least one. How about Ebisu? So far no Hokage has fallen from the sky. In real history some young folks aka children managed to fill out responsibly positions as well. In fact being Hokage looks more like organizing and doing paperwork, taking part in Kage meetings and making a few decisions. I have doubts as to Konohamaru precipitating Konoha into ruin. There are too many advisors, Konohamaru has his heart in the right place, common sense, a spirit of justice and knows the difference between right and wrong. And even as a Kage Konohamaru still can learn, the possibility is always given. It is not as if the Hokage is almighty, invincible and a superbrain. Is it really necessary that a Hokage has to master an Ultra-Mega-Giga technique, inherits an unbelievable amount of monstrous chakra and can transform into a super mode first to make people accept him as village leader? This is bollocks. Maybe some shinobi will never be stronger than others, no matter how hard they work. In many cases talent is innate. So is the post of Hokage an elitist one which only the best of the best are reserved to occupy? And everyone not going Sayajin power is supposed to piss off? But maybe Konohamaru IS a prodigy with his promising genes. The fact that he learned to use the Rasengan in a short amount of time speaks volumes and his superb bloodline is an undisputable fact. Unfortunately and ultimately Konohamaru merely became a teacher and coincidentally Bolt’s teacher. There are too many marked paths which are walked. Old schemes sold as new ones and it bugs me.
NOW for Naruto. He would’ve been best as Jiraiyas successor and a hermit. Think of him as the godlike person he is. He focuses on his powers, trying to keep all strength in the world balanced. With the help of his toad fellows and Kurama. He would be pretty important because he could intervene at any time if need be. He would watch Konoha village, visiting it every now and then. Maybe he would even train some hot-headed spring chicken.
Imagine him training under an enormous waterfall again, fighting in front of epic landscapes, mountains and forests. Even developing brand new techniques! And wouldn’t he just look damn cool in Ero Sennin style? Admit it. I think it would suit him well. Remember his Ninja ID picture? The one with the Kabuki make-up?
He would have his own priorities. Nothing precasted. I would really welcome it if he emulates such an important person in his life. The story would be more consistent and meaningful. Jiraiya wouldn’t have been forgotten so easily because nowadays nobody says anything about him. He is not mentioned anymore. What a pity. Naruto should make his former master proud and stand up to him. This would be awesome and Shonen at its best. Moreover Naruto’s abilities sadly are all given away with the post as Hokage who doesn’t deliver much physical performance. As if an athlete goes through years and years of training and hardship only to end up with an office job. Satisfied? Protecting the village you say? That’s his task? Well normally not only a one-man team protects the village if the village really is family. There are many defenders like the Anbu (if they still exist) or talented Shinobi of his generation plus some old hands. One would think times a Kage had to sacrifice himself for a village are long gone. Besides in my version Naruto and Sasuke would still be around to help out. There is nothing to lose. Especially because the Shinobi world seems to have maintained peace so what could go wrong? Konohamaru as Hokage could approach the challenges he faces step by step and Shikamaru anyway.
As far as I’m concerned Sasuke can stay a loner wandering around as usual, I wouldn’t want him any other way. It is alright. Maybe Kishimoto could give him back part of his duck butt hair, maybe not. But please without wife and child. They’re slowing him down, binding him what he obviously hates and forcing him into duties he does not feel up to and matters that are of no interest to him. Like pretty much his whole family. I wish Kishimoto had rather taken the Sannin theme into consideration. It would have given Sakura the final boost to being the great female champion. This would have made the three main protagonists Jesus. No pairings, but undistorted badass-ery. Instead Kishimoto let her run into the ground taking all coolness and independency away from her. Could he be a chauvinistic sexist?
A side character like Chouji looks good with a child. It would already be enough if only Chouji would be Dad so far especially because he was one of the least popular guys when it came to girls. This would really push him and make the father-thing special. And we don’t even need to know who the mother is. Keep it a secret and fans will be delighted to speculate. Make only one person a parent so the parent-thing doesn’t lose its charm and who know what the future brings. But a future not pictured and written down. Fans have fantasies and Kishimoto can finally relax and put the pencil aside.
Aside from the pairings the rest of the characters is more or less okay, Shino as teacher etc . But the whole Naruto Shippuuden and its ending should focus more on the Shonen thing, not suddenly switching to soap opera. The original Naruto series was so bloody cool. I can’t understand how it came to change in its very core. It’s not about frills and furbelows that doesn’t suit my book it is way more basic. Well except for Naruto actually being Hokage but we don’t know how exactly this came to happen. Instead of showing us Kishimoto does a time jump and we are presented with a fair accompli. OOC. Spare us the family stories and make the action main focus. Exactly what dyed-in-the-wool fans since the very beginning find interesting. Not only shippers. Is this Naruto or Fruits Basket? I am convinced the critics like myself all agree that the ending is not sufficient for the series we used to enjoy. Sorry, but f*** the girls who hunt down the guys with their overflowing feelings. Sakura, Hinata, Ino, everyone. This Manga is about ambitioned main characters with goals who should be allowed to do it THEIR way not acting according to other’s wishes. If this would be the case a Monkey D. Luffy would surely retire from becoming pirate king marrying Hancock on the spot. Sheesh. I dare to say that some of the points I mentioned would mean character development, but I don’t intend to put a spoke in a great artist’s wheel. Unfortunately I assume Kishimoto draws by far better than he writes.