That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Naruto has finally aired on television in the US!
My kids and I have just finished watching the first episode, and so far, I have been *very* pleasantly surprised. The voice casting for the Hokage, the senseis and the other children in the show is solid, but the voice casting for Naruto himself is leaving me a tad cold. The voice really needs to have more power and strength to it. I’m not sure how this voice actress will do with the more poignant moments in the show when Naruto stares into the face of his enemy and says “I will never take back my words! That’s my way of the ninja!”
The bloody nose scenes have been dumbed down a bit, they have been replaced with some blue screens with outlines of blood pouring out of the character’s nose done in white. All in all though, that isn’t unfitting for the series.
The opening titles for the US version of Naruto are non-existant. They have taken caps from various points in the opening titles all across the series, and cobbled them together in a 30 second spot that isn’t exceptional, or memorable at all, but it does allow them to put more show on the air here, which I am grateful for. So far, I have yet to notice any missing scenes or lines.
As far as the translation work goes, its not at all comparable with the work of the venerable ANBU, but it’s not bad, it really translates over to the American market well, I’m very happy with it overall.
I’m being incredibly forgiving, do keep this in mind. If I had a choice on a DVD, I would not watch this dub, but when compared to other dubwork I’ve seen recently that’s come out of some of the larger US anime distribution houses… Naruto stands up at least as well as Saiyuki.