Spectrum Nexus

Anime Info

Creator: Kitou Mohiro
Genre: Drama, Horror
Length: 13 Episodes
Purchase: Here


+ Final episodes of the series are only things worth watching
– Character development is a joke
– Enormous waste of time


I would like to say I rather put salt in my eyes than watch Narutaru again, but the final episodes of Narutaru actually impressed me. Everything else was awful and seemed disconnected from the true motive of what was trying to be accomplished in this series.

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Score of 1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Shadow Star Narutaru Anime Review

Written by: James Lin on 1/1/2004


Shadow Star Narutaru, known simply as Narutaru in Japan, is one of the strangest and most realistic series I have encountered. Realistic in the fact that it deals with a somewhat serious topic. Brought to us by "Kid's Station", it is very deceiving in the fact that this series is definitely not for children. In fact, if anything, the target audience for this series is adults and preferably parents. This series is extremely strange where you don't know what the hell is going on half of the time, and the other half you are on the edge of your seat waiting with anticipation. I will sum up this review with my basic introduction, synopsis, negatives, and positives, which will be a little different from the norm. This series is very complex in that the entire first half of the series will be on the negative side, while the second half will be on the positive side. Sound strange? You'll see. Narutaru is definitely a roller coaster of emotions that is horribly bad at times, and then amazingly good at others.


The story could basically be split into two halves. The main story is about Tamai Shiina, who is an energetic middle-school teenage girl. She visits her grandparent's over the summer where she runs into a very strange creature. Shiina has had lots of strange dreams as of late and also when she was younger, and this strange creature is somewhat related to her visions. She names the small cuddly star-shaped creature, Hoshimaru. Little did she know that this cuddly creature is really part of herself. After her vacation, Shiina goes back to her home, living with her father. She runs into other children with similar creatures the following days. However, these children have developed their creatures, and they have complete control over them. They mostly use these creatures for their own destructive pleasure and not for good. There is a group of teenagers that all have these strange creatures, and they plan to basically conquer the world, creating a utopia of whatever they desire. Will they succeed? Will Shiina ever develop Hoshimaru?

With all the questions I asked you, the viewer, on the synopsis, it sounds pretty interesting, right? Unfortunately you really won't give a damn while watching it. I hate to say this, but the first half of this series is utterly the most boring, and horribly developed anime series that I will ever see. Yes, I'm making a very bold statement in saying, "ever see", but I really can't fathom anything worst then this. I love watching anime but it has to at least be entertaining. The first half of Narutaru was really not. I continue to say, "first-half", but really it was 3/4th of the anime series that was like this. It builds up a very awkward story with really no motive in sight. The animation is average at best, and none of the characters are really interesting. The opening theme is very child-like, but at least interesting. I have nothing really to say about the music in this series.

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The development in this story is amazingly bad. How amazing you ask? Narutaru introduces characters that seem important, but then just fade away. No real clue what the hell the creators of this series are trying to do. It was as if this series was meant to be 26 episodes, but just cut off midway and turned into 13. I have no interest in reading the manga, so I don't have a real answer of how much of this anime series was in the manga, and so forth. All you really need to know is that don't expect much out of the first half of Narutaru. There are some decent action moments, but then lots of loose ends. So add to the fact that you are bored as hell watching it, confused, and maybe nauseated, you also mine as well add to the list the "why-the-hell-didn't-they-do-this-happen" criteria. There are aftermath questions that I ask that I still can't figure out. These young children or teenagers see some horrible stuff like buildings blown up, dozens of people being killed before their very own eyes, and the next morning they really don't give a damn. Poorly written, poor characters, poor everything. Did I miss anything? Sadly that was just the first half of the series, and I will have to continue my road to arthritis in with the positives of Narutaru.

Quickly adding to the negative list: there are your typical anime depressed characters that you really want to just kill, but maybe that's just me talking. I can't stand them, but they do really make the series shine towards the last 1/4th of the series. The last half of the series does a complete 360. Everything wrong in the first half is basically erased for the most part during the second half. It's as if the makers of Narutaru realized the piece of shit they had created, and then decided to make something worth watching. Something that is surprisingly very good! If you have made it to the last fourth of the series (I continue to say fourth or half, but you probably get what I'm leaning to: "the latter half of the series") then you owe it to yourself to watch the final episodes. It is only 13 episodes so making it quick and as painless as possible is also a positive to Narutaru. I really can't say enough about the last half of the series because it really blew me away.

The final episodes are hardly even related to the previous 9-10 episodes. Yes, a story that doesn't connect to each other, very bad indeed, but at least it doesn't connect to the horrible first half! The friends of Shiina are finally given an opportunity to shine. In particular, there is a young classmate of Shiina, hardly in the first 10 episodes, that is basically the main character in the series! (Add an expletive before character as I intended to but edited out...) Without giving too much away, I will say that she also has one of those creatures, and that even her only friend, Shiina, won't be able to help her. The final episodes of the series are very disturbing, but are very meaningful as well. So meaningful in fact, that I would basically give the first half of the series a 0 score, while the latter half would at least be an 8 or 9! What is so great about the last half? Well you will have to watch it to find out.

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Narutaru is by all means not a very good anime series. Perhaps the manga is better, but after watching the anime series, I have no intention to see more. If you are very patient in seeing a series develop, well that will do nothing here because this series has no development. Characters basically fall out off the face of the Earth the way they are written out of the series. I can't imagine who planned this series, but if this was intentional, then duck and cover because lots of viewers have some business to handle! The sad part of this review is that I haven't even covered half of the stuff I wanted to say in the negative section. I will add the fact that the creators of Narutaru are very twisted. Narutaru I would consider myself somewhat intelligent, and the fact I didn't know what the hell was going on is saying something. I mean the motive, the purpose of the story, where... is it? (Add expletives around there as well...) The character development for no real reason whatsoever is 'hair-pulling-what-the-fuck-is-going-on" annoying! (There, expletive added!) I can go on and on about what is wrong with this series. Then the light that shines towards the end of the series finally makes sense of things. Yes, the previous 10 episodes were a complete waste of time, but I suppose there is some character development that is brought out from it. I mean, 10 episodes! There has to be some development... just knowing whom the character is, is development. I suppose wasting time and introducing useless characters was the motive of the first half of the series, then bravo. The latter half of the series impressed me a lot. If this series was to be made all over again, then that should have been the only focus to this series. Even though I love these final episodes, I simply can't avoid the fact that the first half of the series was horrible. Narutaru could have been something special, but instead I felt the overall series was a waste of time.

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