As referenced in my Quizilla! farewell post, Naruto was gonna end soon. Except it came much sooner than I had anticipated.
November 6, 2014. IT WAS A NIGHT OF COMPLETE DESTRUCTION. Y'all shoulda been on my Twitter. I went on a Naruto rampage for five hours straight, and cried nearly just as long. It was a very, very emotional end, but it was also very, very conclusive and very satisfying. The final chapter was set some years in the future, with Naruto and co. now adults, with their own children and next generation. THEIR OWN CHILDREN!!!!!! It was so overwhelming.
Coming across the finale was totally unexpected because I was expecting it to show up on November 10, only to find out that was for the actual publication, so the chapters were already leaked/released elsewhere. I already started bawling the moment Sasuke apologized in chapter 699, and the tears never stopped after that.
Even thinking about it now is making me teary-eyed. I never knew I could cry so much in a span of 24 hours... though admittedly that got cut short because my fever relapsed (I've been sick the past week -- as of this post I'm still recuperating and honestly prolly should't even be on the computer, heh). My friend and I concluded my body was grieving for me. I suppose it was all for the best because I am just way too tired to cry that much now, and as I'm still recovering, grieving might just aggravate my condition. (Also, I may or may not have cried so much that I can't cry anymore. This has never happened.) (EDIT 101014: OK I LIED I CHECKED THE FINALE AGAIN AND I'M STILL CRYING APPARENTLY I WILL NEVER BE DONE GRIEVING)
But I can't believe it's over. (Naruto, in the distance, screams: "BELIEVE IT!") I got into Naruto around 2007 -- pretty late, as that was already halfway into the Naruto franchise timeline. Still, I fangirl very strongly and I get so emotionally attached to fictional characters. My grieving got as bad as when Harry Potter ended, but this one feels a little worse, if only because I actually have the time and space to grieve on my own.
I kid you not when I tell you there was a lot of ugly sobbing in my room for a while. I am so, so proud of Naruto Uzumaki, the character. He defied all odds and achieved his dream, and is such a good example of really believing in yourself. Self-belief in your self-worth, even when everyone around you thinks you're worthless.
And then showing him with his son... UGH THE EXTREME FEELS. It was like taking Naruto's maturity to a whole new level. But the sole fact that he finally, finally made it to Hokage status -- now that really broke me in the best way possible. How could you not be proud of this little boy who was shunned by everyone? BRB CRYING TO MY DEATH
There have been many losses along the way -- I wish Neji could've been there with the rest of the gang, and for Asuma to see his kid grow up. It was also so darling so have some consistencies amongst the characters being carried over to the next gen, or at least in this present timeline. Like how Naruto still wears orange, or how there's now a new generation of InoShikaChou, or how Boruto is exactly like his father. I HAVE SO MANY FIC PROMPTS! SO MANY QUESTIONS! Who is Lee's baby momma? What's his kid's name? What's the name of Kurenai's kid? WHY DAFUQ WOULD YOU NAME YOUR DAUGHTER SALAD?!?!?!??!!!!!!??????
I have so much closure though, so thank you, Kishimoto-sensei (also, full-colored finale!!!) for all your hard work. You deserve the break! You've given me so much feelings in the past couple of years, and I'm devastated that this chapter of my life -- something that launched in the latter half of my high school life and ultimately fortified some friendships along the way -- has come to a close. I know it had to end eventually, especially after FIFTEEN YEARS, but even then I knew I was going to cry heaps.
That was such a great way to end something as massive as Naruto. Now THAT is how you deliver a manga finale. BELIEVE IT!
(Now I've got the upcoming mini-series to look forward to next year, featuring the new generation of ninja kids. How exciting!)