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NARUTO #4 -- Retro Review

Kakashi is one hilarious dude. Got it?

As far as sitcom set-up’s go, the premise of a drowsy, twenty-something ninja master reluctantly having teach a bunch of over-eager kids is pretty rich. I can immediately see why Kakashi is such a popular cosplay choice. Yeah, his outfit’s easy to duplicate (as previously noted), but you know what’s more important? How entertaining it is, just watching him run through these deadly arts of ninjitsu while half-asleep.

Comedy’s all about rubbing foils on each-other, right? Well, what better personality to play off the go-go-go enthusiasm of Naruto than a dude who’s pretty much just your stoned, semi-employed martial arts instructor? You know - - dude’s all muscle memory. He sure looks like he’s out of it, but try to sneak up on him (like our pal does), and he’s going to twist you around faster than even he realizes it.

Now, getting back to our ongoing examination of the shonen serial…

It seems like these HST shows' M.O. is to stomp to 60MPH for the pilot, then ease back to maybe about 10MPH for the next batch of episodes. Seriously, these little woodland summer camp exercises are so far from the dire drama Naruto went through at the beginning, they feel like they’re happening in a totally different show. Like, there's not even much of a concrete plot connection.

I mean, the stakes are so low here, there really isn’t much to even comment on. All we’re doing is getting to know the characters better and - - knowing how JUMP editors have refined this all to a science - - I know by now that that’s exactly the intention.

Watch "Pass or Fail Survival Test" and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Marshal Victoryon April 1, 2014 at 2:22 p.m.

Kakashi is like the Wolverine in this series. Hes popular because hes cool an hes not cool at times. Hes got a trajic back story that they seem to have wormed a whole flashback season out of no less. Thats why i compare him to wolverine hes used .. alot.

One thing this shone series does is the ever expanding character list. Much like Detective Conan. It has that ever widening ciricle of characters that criss cross. Its a slower development to something i wish Magi had done in either season.

Juubion April 1, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

Kakashi...is a okay guy in my vision. He was always sort of dispensable(Obi-Wan syndrome, you know), but for some reason he keeps itself alive. Maybe it had to with being involved with a plot point that it took 12 years to be completely explored.

As a teacher.....Well, he isn't a complete failure, but it's clear as water that the other rookies were better trained.

Dig Deeper into Naruto

A young boy, Naruto, with a demon sealed inside him wants to become the best ninja in his village and become the next Hokage. Thus Naruto, joined by his team mates and leader, begins his journey to become Hokage of Konoha.

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