The Naruto and Sasuke Relationship
Its no secret that Part 2/ Shippuden gets a lot of its bashing as a result of its insistence on focusing on Naruto and Sasuke's relationship, but I just want to ask you guys what your thoughts are on the legitimacy of their "friendship"
Sure, there was some sort of mutual acceptance between the two by the end of part 1, but that was really it. We can see the two refer to each other at the VOtE as "best friends" but honestly I don't see why this is the case.
Yes, they did work together in a year's worth of missions, partake in the Chunin Exams and foght off elite Sand and Sound Ninja together, and you could say that through those experiences the two of them could have possibly formed a strong bond, but given the canon material we have to work with, that didn't happen. Notice that while the two had some awesome moments together, they were very few and far between. Look again at the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke, their meeting three years later, and then the multitude of flashbacks during the Kage Summit Arc. It's always the same moments that they look back on, and its only a handful:
.Their kiss (optional )
.Tree Climbing Training
.Sasuke saving Naruto from Haku
.Naruto saving Sasuke from Orochimaru
.Naruto and Sasuke's rivalry, the "I wanna fight you too" Moment
.Sasuke's "I don't ever wanna see my trusted comrades fall right in front of me" speech
A few select, admittedly awesome, moments between the two characters simply isn't enough to solidify them as best friends. I think in retrospect, Kishimoto probably should have made part 1 a little longer, and to attribute a little more time to their relationship through one or two more arcs.
The anime did this very well through the 'Land Of Tea' arc (I'd say it was probably the best filler of part 1, right up there with the Kakashi's Mask episode ) in which we got exposition of the lesser character Ibiki, a mediocre but still entertaining overarching plot and at the same time subtle hints of Sasuke and Naruto's friendship, along with a more natural progression of Sasuke's growing uselessness and jealousy (every moment he has in episodes 104 and 105 is just pure torture for him).
If Kishi truly felt he had no where else to go with his story, we can't really fault him since there wasn't much else he felt he could do with the story with such weak characters. It just seems as though he sprung the Sasuke Retrival Arc on us a little too early and the 'best friend' subplot was a sudden idea of Kishi's, that carried over way too long into part 2.
So, would you guys call these two 'best friends' or am I missing something here? Sorry for the long post but I just thought I'd give my two cents.