Author has written 21 stories for Sailor Moon, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Ranma, Justice League, Tenchi Muyo, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Digimon, and High School DxD/ハイスクールD×D.
Hi HistorianoftheKais here,
I used to go by the pen name of Historian on Anime Addventure until I moved over to this site and adopted my current pen name.
These are some pairings that I like and why:
Ranma & Kasumi: I feel that, in a pure Ranma story, the most vaild marriage claim would have to be the Saotome/Tendo agreement. However I don't think that Ranma and Akane would work out as a married couple. Possibly as brother/sister, but not any closer. Of the two remaining Tendo sisters I think that Kasumi best complements Ranma and would make a good wife for him.
Ah, now we get into my favorite type of Ranma fanfiction. In my opinion, while pure Ranma fanfiction can be quite good, Ranma fanfiction stories need an injection of another series to really have the story become a great story. the carnival atmosphere of Ranma 1/2 is good but not the best for serious or long length stories. Of these my favorite pairings are:
Ranma/Usagi Tuskino: hey, they make a very cute couple. Both have generally good outlooks on life, both try their hardest in what motivates them, and they generally try to do the right thing. Those are just some of the reasons why I like this pairing. (Also, while I've only seen Anime Mamoru, I generally think negativly about him. Come on, a 20 year old man with a 14 year old girlfriend that he lets fight evil monsters while being a cheerleader?)
Ranma/Makoto: Once again, they make a cute couple and they have some common interests. A well used plot that I've seen to get this pair rolling is to have Ranma as Makoto's 'sempi'.
Ranma/Hotaru: this good couple allows one to show Ranma in a good 'knight in shining armor' light.
My personal favorite pairings are:
Naruto/Ino: they both are quite alike, but different enough to complement each other
Naruto/Temari: they respect each other as ninja and Temari can understand Naruto's burden while Naruto knows Temari can accept that he is the container, not the demon.
Conditional pairings I like:
Naruto/Sakura: These two characters show a great deal of development with each other and in their growth throughout the series. Supposedly a Red Herring pairing by the Series creator. Given the numerous retcons throughout the series I have massive trouble buying that it was always intended as a Red Herring pairing. Both characters in canon share a deep bond due to various events that have happened to them and that they have dealt with together. It is easy to see how a slight change at one time or another could lead to a deeper relationship which has happened in many good fanfics. I can also see them developing into a brother/sister bond which they did in Canon and in a number of other good fanfics out there.
Naruto/Hinata: While this might be the official pairing for the series, I actually prefer the pairing as presented in fanfics rather than as it is in series. There simply isn't enough interaction between the duo in Canon to make a strong case of pairing them in the series in my mind. Fanfics pairing these two have a good deal of development and more importantly, personal interaction between Naruto and Hinata. I can only think of three instances where they interact in the Manga: the preliminaries of the Chunin exams, Hinata helping Naruto briefly in his fight against Pein, and Hinata helping to boost Naruto's moral after Neji died. Important scenes yes, but very thin considering that there are 700 chapters in the Manga. You don't get points for things you don't add to a series because you didn't add them to the series.
My thoughts on Naruto ending-
All things have to end some time and the Naruto series, as much as I loved it, possibly should have ended a little sooner than it actually did. The fights with Tobi and the Juubi, then the real Madara, Then Kaguya, and then Sasuke just seem to drag things on for no reason other than to try and top what had already occurred a few panels again. After a point, this constant conflict sequence stops being dramatic and feels like the author is in a delaying action because he cannot figure out how the carry on the plot. Had there been rest points and this sequence been a series of battles with periods for everyone to decompress afterwards would have made things much better in my opinion.
Another thing that really bugged me was Sasuke Uchiha, his actions throughout Part II, other characters' interactions with him, and the complete lack of consequences he faces for them. I can understand filial piety as a driving factor in his character, but even that doesn't excuse his actions. This becomes far more true after he killed Itachi and learned that his parents were in fact dishonorable traitors. He attempted to kidnap a foreign dignitary (Killer B) for a criminal who wanted to kill said dignitary. He attacked an international meeting with the intention to kill government leaders (the Kages) and succeeds in killing one of them (Danzo). After the fight with Kaguya, which could be argued to redeem his previous crimes, he plots to again kill various government leaders (the kages) along with other people (Naruto, everyone he had a bond with, and the Biju). Why he wanted to do these acts or that he mostly failed to do his attempted crimes is meaningless. That he did them and attempted to commit these crimes is all that matters which must be answered for. Had he died of wounds from fighting Kaguya then I would have been wiling to consider his character redeemed. In such a scenario, he would have been a criminal that had a lot of crimes to answer for, but also someone who was able to get things done and helped to save the world. Hell, just having him not try to kill the Kages and become an eternal threat to "keep the peace" would have been alright in my books. In such a situation it would be easy to see case of the Kages saying "yes you committed a lot of heinous crimes; but, in recognition for services to mankind you are pardoned." As it is in canon he's a criminal who got a pass on his crimes, both before Kaguya and especially after Kaguya, as a personal favor to Naruto by the Kages and spends his time wandering around without showing gratitude or honoring his family duties.
Sasuke's treatment of his wife and daughter in Naruto Gaiden is quite disgusting in my opinion which further fuels my dislike for his canon character. He spends years away from Konoha and his family without stopping in for a visit. Hell, his daughter even questions if Sasuke and Sakura are really married in Naruto Gaidan because she never sees him. Kakashi and Naruto are respectively his bosses as the Hokages so it would be very easy for him to ask for some time off to spend with his family. They'd probably insist that he come home to report in person and then tell him to take some time to be with his family as an unasked for favor to Sakura. Hell, the only logical reason I can think of for Kakashi and Naruto to keep Sasuke wandering is if it was some sort of Uriah Gambit to off Sasuke which does not fit with their characters or personalities at all. The fact that no one brings Sasuke to task for his actions, especially his friends who should be the first people to do so, and instead offers excuses for his actions is also annoying to me.
The romance issue at the end of the series:
I have to say that Kishimoto dropped the ball in his execution of romance in the Naruto series ending. The canon pairings are fine in my mind as I discuss above in the conditional romance pairings I like both Naruto/Sakura and Naruto/Hinata fanfics. I'm slightly more in favor of Naruto/Sakura simply because I personally like more assertive feminine characters instead of the Yamato Nadeshiko type character. Probably this is simply a cultural bias and I'm fine with that. At the end of the day, it is just an enjoyable story and there are plenty of fanfics out there to satisfy any pairing interest. A red herring pairing is interesting if executed properly, its just that with the number of retcons seen throughout the series I find it very questionable that this was always the intention. My problem with the canon pairings in the Manga is where is the buildup and the personal interaction? I touched on this in my comments for Naruto/Hinata so I won't recap everything. In the Movie Naruto The Last they supposedly have the throwaway comment that Naruto and Hinata had been spending a great deal of time together off screen at the start of the film. I say supposedly because I haven't watched the film myself. That is a critical detail that should have been included throughout the series in the Manga. It shows a connection and development that is necessary for a healthy relationship. It could have easily been worked in by Naruto going to train with Team 8 or even him accidentally bumping into Hinata on the street and asking her how her last mission was. Saving the romance buildup for a movie and declaring that just that one movie actually happen in the actual story timeline is rather pathetic. If this had been the only Naruto movie then declaring it canon would have been easy for me to accept.
On that movie, I've heard that in Naruto The Last, Naruto is supposed to have claimed something to the effect that he never had a crush on Sakura and that it was all an attempt to one up Sasuke. If this is true, once again I haven't seen the film or the tie in material to it, it would turn Naruto's character from being a lovable idiot to being a stupid jerk. Outgrowing a crush is fine and perfectly understandable. People do things like that all the time. Trying to win a girl to one up someone else is just a jerk move. It's also illogical since given the time when this decision of Naruto is supposed to have happened, back at the Ninja Academy, Sasuke had a lot of admirers among the girls. I'm really supposed to believe that Naruto would pursue a crush on one girl among many for years in an attempt to beat a guy who at that point showed no interest in her? That would be the crowning moment of all idiot balls that Naruto has ever been accused of having. This leads me to the next canon pairing and how I feel Kishimoto messed up how he went about the romance of the pairing.
Sasuke/Sakura pairing has even more issues in terms of buildup and personal interaction with me then Naruto/Hinata has, especially when it comes to Sasuke's side of the equation. Sakura has her crush/love/arguably obsession for her side of the pairing, but what about Sasuke? The only caring moment he has with her with him showing concern in the Manga in Part I that I recall is when he asks her who attacked her during the exams while he was under the effects of the cursed seal. In Part II, we have less interaction between these two characters, let alone possible romantic interaction. There's the confrontation in Orochimaru's lair which mainly focuses on Naruto's and Sasuke's interaction, Sakura's confession/assassination attempt after the 5 Kage summit, and the final battle with Kaguya. The comment that the Uchiha's love deeper than others leading to the Curse of Hatred and the Sharingan is a blatant retcon as the battle at Wave clearly showed Sasuke getting his sharingan when his life was in danger as was stated as what awakened the Sharingan in the manga at that time. It seemed to me that this was a way to say that Sasuke could have romantic feelings for someone without having him express such interest. However, going by the bulk of the manga one could argue Karin as a viable choice or even someone else from Konoha besides Sakura. Is a few scenes of Sasuke remonstrating on the past with a picture of Team 7 as the background of a dialogue box or a mental flash back showing Sakura too much to ask? Such a frame involving Sakura could have had her arguing with Ino or someone else to muddle the waters while still showing buildup.
Kishimoto is a great manga artist with a fantastic ability to tell a story. His ability to tell his story week after week for 15 years with few breaks is extremely impressive. Many times he was able to pull off big reveals/retcons could be made believable, even if only until someone sat down and reread his series front to back. His fight scenes were great. However, he's supposed to have admitted that romance was an issue for him when it comes to manga and I'll willing to believe that from what I've seen. No one can be good at everything and lets face it, romance is at the bottom of the pile of reasons why most of the intended audience started reading Naruto. While the connections were paper thin in the canon pairings for many people and me, I'm just happy that there was some sort of connection in the manga in the first place.
Personally, if I had been in Kishimoto's shoes I would have either avoided the romance altogether by not having the distant finale, consulted with someone to help with the writing of the romance, or ended it while having the final pairing ambiguous. This final option would have been easy with having a distant future Hokage Naruto talking to a young daughter who looks like Kushina, but who also has a personality trait or an outfit queue that could be attributed to Sakura and one that could be attributed to Hinata. He actually missed a golden opportunity to be a trolling creator and yank all of the strong shippers chains by not doing the last option I mentioned.