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  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Fans are delighted that it's getting an anime adaptation.
  • Broken Base: Naruto's increased appearances in the anime are a point of contention. Some dislike it, citing that Rock Lee is the main character of this anime and shouldn't have to be sharing the spotlight with Naruto. Others don't mind it, saying that it would be unrealistic for the namesake of the franchise not to have prominent screentime and pointing out that Naruto actually helps to add some humor to the series.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The ED, Twinkle*Twinkle.
    • Also, the OP (both versions[1], and the second ED for that matter[2]...
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Sasuke's status as this is lampshaded in the popularity contest (ranking #1) and the episode title where he finally gets the spotlight ("The Shinobi You've Been Waiting For!").
    • The whole reason for this show existing is because Lee was this in the main series.
    • The Akatsuki, so much so that fans were eagerly awaiting the day that their SD spin-off will get announced. Too bad they never showed up again...
  • Fandom Rivalry: A huge one with Bleach, given that Springtime of Youth replaced the Bleach anime after its cancellation.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: Some of the antics in the series may be harder to enjoy, considering what happens to some of the characters after the serious turn the main series took.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: While Neji correctly predicted that Naruto and Hinata would tie the knot in the future, what he didn't know was that he would end up being killed by Tobi two years before Naruto and Hinata got married.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The series has so many of these moments now that Naruto has ended that it's not a stretch to wonder if Kenji Taira was trying to subtly spoil it for the fanbase. The fact that he was an assistant to Kishimoto doesn't help, either.
    • In Episode 35-B, everyone gets codenames at one point. Kiba and Akamaru get Mittens and Boots, which are clearly cat-related names. When Tenten points that out to them, Kiba says "We don't discriminate in our home". At the end of the main series, Kiba is in a relationship with Tamaki, the cat-obsessed girl from the Uchiha Secret Hideout.
    • Every instance of Neji being overprotective towards Hinata.
    • Tenten telling Lee and Neji what she thinks girls look for in a guy, as by the end of the main series, she is one of the only members of the Konoha 12 (or 13 if you include Sai) who isn't romantically paired up with another character.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Played for Laughs when Sai asks whether Lee has a penis and Lee promptly answers that he does... and drops his pants.

Sai (stunned): "Th... This is indeed the beautiful blue beast of Konoha!"

    • When the Narrator reveals Lee's most embarrassing secrets in Episode 33-B, he mentions that the reason why Neji is a girl in a lot of Lee's skits is because Lee finds it to be cute. Make of that what you will.
    • Episode 25-A, when Team Guy notices that the middle character on Gaara's forehead has changed from "Love" to "Romance". Lee deduces that the person who Gaara has a crush on is... Neji, the former falling for him while he was once again Dragged Into Drag by Lee.
    • Episode 40-B takes it to new levels, where in order to see if he's suitable for Hinata, Neji trains Naruto by making Naruto take him on a date. And then Hinata recognizes him as a rival in love!
    • In an early episode, Lee, Neji and Tenten dress up as if they were a family. Neji and Tenten are the children, Lee is the mother. While Guy isn't present at this point, it's implied by their conversation that he's supposed to be the father.
    • Lee, in one episode, tries to kiss Gaara, and at the end of the episode says that he will "Wait for Gaara forever!".
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Even for the sake of comedy taken into note, Chapter 35's problem would have been easily resolved if Tsunade had just done a Shadow Clone Jutsu so she could "be in two places at one time". And even if she wanted someone to take her place, as her "lesson" with Sakura shows, Tenten was probably the worst person she could have chose to replace her.
    • Orochimaru gives up against Tenten after being hit with paper fans. And he had just pointed out that Tsunade not being in the village and everyone else being kept at bay by Tenten's orders would be the perfect time for him to strike.
  • Les Yay:
    • Tenten wins the "Mr. Leaf" contest despite being female. Even though Tsunade explains why (she protected Tsunade from the other contestants when they got a bit too Hot-Blooded), it's unavoidable. Tenten's Hero Worshipper tendencies regarding Tsunade don't help, either.
    • The Love Bugs drama in Episode 42-A, where Hinata plays a schoolgirl who has a romance with a boy that saves her from gangsters... and Tenten is the one who acts as the boy.
    • When the girls all visit an onsen together, dialogue from off-screen suggests that Tenten admires Hinata's breasts, while Ino at some point grabs Sakura's breasts.
  • Moe: Lee, Lee, LEE! His cuteness in chibi-form can induce Cuteness Proximity in ANYONE!
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Mild example. "Male Tenten" only shows up briefly in the second half of Episode 3, and yet has a good amount of fan art and fanfiction.
    • Any of the scenes where the boys are depicted crossdressing also have a lot of fan-art.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Between Neji and Hinata of all the characters, as it's clearly implied quite often that Neji has more than familial affection for Hinata. Although that was quite likely being intentionally Played for Laughs.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Many Bleach fans are mad that it replaced the anime. Ironically, Bleach was pulled because it was dwindling in popularity and the anime had caught up to the manga.
  • Spiritual Successor: The episode "A Full-Powered Wedding Gift!" from Naruto: Shippuden structurally plays out like a chapter/episode of Springtime of Youth. Even Neji's ghost makes an appearance!
  • Take That Scrappy: Sasuke gets one in Chapter 25. He's also the Final Boss of the anime, and is defeated without any redemption.
  • Tear Jerker: Chapter 33. It's more like a somewhat sad moment than a full-blown Tear Jerker, but due to some Easy Amnesia, the only thing that Sasuke and Itachi can recall is how they used to be good brothers before everything went to hell... and they promptly act like such. While hilarity still ensues, Lee notes that Sasuke and Itachi are genuinely having fun and Neji notes that maybe if things had been a little different, perhaps they could be like this all the time. Apparently, even a gag manga like this could not make light about such a tragic backstory, as there's just a shot of Tenten, Neji and Lee quietly looking on at what could have been.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Akatsuki two-parter doesn't feature Sasuke showing up.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Once again, the Akatsuki. They would've made for more interesting (and hilarious, yet highly dangerous) recurring antagonists.
    • An In-Universe example would have to be Captain Yamato. The poor guy rarely has any lines and is relegated to cameos in the background.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Akatsuki plotline from late into the Anime isn't resolved in the slightest, only ending on the implications that they'll return again in the future.

Notes

  1. There's also an English version without Hironobu Kageyama, and just Animetal USA.)
  2. "Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee, Rock Lee! Ninjutsu muri, demo shinobi!..."
  3. In Lee's body
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