animefringe june 2003 / web showcase
Animefringe's Web Showcase:
Naruto Guide

Welcome back to this month's Animefringe Web Showcase, written by, who else, Danielle. This month the Showcase will be looking at the mysterious world of Naruto as we delve into the Naruto Guide which will inform us regular Joes about everything and anything ninja.

First impression...
Hey everybody! Look! It's Mount Naruto-more! I believe the title image of this website was the first thing that gravitated me towards giving the site a thorough investigation. The layout is simple with a left side menu bar, a funny title image and effective manga images placed beside the updates. These updates vary from new site features to Naruto news in general to opinions on the anime's progression. For a little background information, what I was able to gather is that Naruto is a manga about every teenage boy's favorite topic. That's right -- Ninjas. Unfortunately this page isn't for newcomers to the series such as myself, but I was able to scour through a few pages without having the whole plot spoiled. This site keeps itself clean as an information site with a practical encyclopedia on the manga and the new anime series.

Let's get down to business...
The reason I wanted to feature this website as the showcase was the attention to detail done with the information provided by this group of webmasters. There aren't many other series-specific sites dedicated to Naruto, and none were as complete as Naruto Guide. The ones that came close seemed to thank this site in some way and all signs pointed to Naruto Guide as being the know-it-all Naruto page on the web. When I checked out the content it dealt with, I knew why. The last update of this site is November 2002, and the anime version of Naruto in Japan was a mere October 2002, yet this site already had a page with the voice actor guide, screenshots (which sadly, are down) and the music from the show. These webbies had their stuff together. And that is nothing compared to the extensive and intricately detailed battle guide, the death list and biographies that were temptation enough for somebody new to the series myself. I hadn't even read one chapter yet and I had almost spoiled myself into knowing how dozens of people had died! There are explanations about the world that Naruto exists in, the creators of Naruto, an Encyclopedia of terms, official factoids and even a lexicon! Phew. NOT TO MENTION guides to the manga, the ninjas and a list of techniques used. What they make up in information they do lack in humor or fandom though. They have wallpapers and AIM icons but their galleries are all made up of broken links, so those wanting to scour for the PERFECT image to use in a picture are left hanging.

In the end...
Naruto Guide definitely made a mark in the Naruto internet fandom world, but they haven't updated the site since November of 2002, almost 7 months ago. The anime series has had a full season run and if they began updating again, they could continue to be the informational leaders. The site has more facts than one could ever need to know and is a boon to people making character specific sites but is sub-par when you realize their extensive image gallery is still inaccessible. The size of their gallery is shadowed only by the disappointment one will experience when they realize all the pictures are broken. This is an example of a breakthrough site that just needs a few little repairs to stay a leader in its series specific genre, but the real question is, will the webmasters return? I hope they do.

Think you know a website that deserves some publicity? Read on.
This is a shout-out for anybody who believes they know a site that deserves to be the next Animefringe Web Showcase. If you think you know, or have a website that could be the next one, email Danielle and include the website's name and url. Who knows? Maybe it'll be next months feature site.