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NARUTO #5 -- Retro Review

Kancho is the scariest threat of all!

Oh, boy… kancho.

Back in high school, there were a number of exchange students from Korea who loved to play their country’s version of that prank. The teachers had to pull them aside and quickly explain how running around and forcibly goosing peers simply wasn’t as acceptable in America. It was one of the more amusing instances of culture clash I ever witnessed. I always wondered if noogies or wedgies could be as… transgressive in other parts of the world.

Focusing on playground pranks is probably appropriate, because this episode is where the show’s ‘recess rumble’ really hits a nice stride. Not only did Kakashi’s slacker-y approach to ninja wisdom continue to tickle me so, I also found his lecture to these kids about teamwork and breaking rules to be rather sage.

It gave me the warm and fuzzy feels, all right?

Putting on the more serious-minded “Genre Evaluator” hat, I ought to say that shape-shifting is really one of the more ‘dangerous’ abilities to play with if you’re watching out for ‘power creep’ in an ongoing serial. It causes a lot of issues with X-MEN, in particular. When any given scene can potentially not be about whom appears to be about - - and especially after the ol’ “switcheroo fake-out” has been pulled too many times already - - it sort-of stretches the problem of the “It was only Dream” ending over the entire story. Quite quickly, you can’t feel much suspense over any plot twist, because you know they writer’s probably just pulling your leg.

After five episodes, I’m done with my NARUTO sampler pass, so I won’t find out, for sure. However, I’ve got a hunch that this probably becomes more of an issue as the series gets hire into the triple digits. Could one of you more learned NARUTO fans square that for me?

Watch "You Failed! Kakashi's Final Decision" 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 - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Marshal Victoryon April 2, 2014 at 7:23 a.m.

Dont think their is much filller till 20ish int he 1st series.Ya would prabaly enjoy it til the 1st filler at least.Naruto has a fair amount of one thing becomes another type stories.But over all the slow growth of the characters for me was its main apeal.Also people died an death flags get thrown an picked up by the ref so your not sure whoes dead an whoes dead dead.

Thousand years of pain attack rears its um head later on to . Also that log tied to sceen will be flashbacked alot... i mean alot.

zaldaron April 2, 2014 at 7:39 a.m.

No...the greatest threat of all is that you are still doing these silly pointless shonen shows in watch and learn rather than better more interesting shows where people might actually learn something....

Marshal Victoryon April 2, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.

@zaldar: Now now shonen is not pointless. Its a difrent gene thats abused but not pointless. Think this was the last of the retro reviews of the big shonen shows?

takashichea moderator on April 2, 2014 at 1:37 p.m.

Pretty Kakashi and the supporting characters are the reason I watch the show. I did dropped the series multiple times, but I always got back watching it because the anime was showing certain arcs that had my favorite characters in it. I don't miss much when I skipped parts because Naruto is notorious for putting so much flashbacks as padding. It's more than One Piece. I can't really skip One Piece well since I missed the part with Laboon and the Giants, Ebaf or something. I skipped the arcs between Skypiea and Water Seven.

Naruto still serves as gateway anime series for the younger audiences just like any other Shonen series.


It's not pointless. Not every anime is going to be covered on the front page. Tom and his crew are outmanned. It's up to us as a community to engage in the #Anime Vice Discussion Threads for the other series.

zaldaron April 2, 2014 at 3:06 p.m.

Tom's watch and learn was what brought me to the site seeing it go downhill is sad....and yes shonen is pointless after you are no longer 12.

Destinyheroknighton April 2, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.


Oh thanks for insulting a lot of people, if someone find enjoyment out of watching those shows then it not pointless. It doing its job by entertaining them. I watch/read Shonen because I love the comedy, characters and action, also I learn some history (because the creators does put meaning in their character designs). I 28 years old and I find Shonen to be enjoyable and I don't find it pointless. Also if this is bugging you, you should PM Tom and suggest shows for him to cover. This is for people who grow up with these Shonen shows and wish to see how they stand up. Tom is trying to bring other people to the site, Shonen is a gateway to Anime for a lot of people. If Tom can bring more people in, he can show them different kind of Anime then Shonen. Tom's watch and Learn isn't just for you (also, you didn't like Tom's watch and learn for Kill La Kill?)

Anyway, Kakashi was one of the reasons I was draw to Naruto. I found him to be very interesting

zaldaron April 2, 2014 at 5:46 p.m.

@Destinyheroknight: eh I have a problem with the general laziness and un-intellectualism of American culture so yes I find shonen pointless and I think a LOT of anime fans need to grow up significantly. But that said, true entertainment is a purpose of these things. I just wish they had a higher purpose also. Haven't been able to watch kill la kill recently as been to busy with law school so can't comment much on tom's reviews other than to say I disagree that the show didn't have a larger point. Certainly his watch and learn stuff isn't just for me and he does have to think about bringing people to the site as this is his job....I just with he put more focus on the learn part. I make no bones about my elitist intellectual roots though...

Destinyheroknighton April 2, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.


Shonen isn't lazy, the creators spend a lot of time to create the world and the story and art. And it does make people think, it not mindless entertainment (it not Tom and Jerry hit each other with frying pans). And for the American culture, their always will be people who make thoughtful stuff. But the masses will enjoy simple things more because they are more enjoyable. So you think I not grow up because I watch Shonen? That is stereotyping, some Anime fan might be like that but not all of us. I work a eight hour job, I don't spend all day watching Anime or playing video games. I read books, watch documentaries and movies (when I have the time for it). I like watching or reading thoughtful things, I just don't do it all the time. I'm not the brightest tool in the shed, but I do enjoy learning new things. I believe in treating others with respect, and I also believe that all things have meaning to someone

There always be thoughtful books, anime or movie. That will never go away, just have to look for them

hitsusatsu11on April 3, 2014 at 12:11 a.m.

Battle shonen done right is extremely entertaining.

Juubion April 7, 2014 at 7:49 a.m.

Transformation jutsu was completely forgotten much time ago, especially now that "devastated landscape" became the standard battle arena, where transformation jutsu is completely ineffective. It says something when UNS 2 and UNS 3 had almost identical stages for the final battle. Or maybe because Naruto turned in the anime version of Mortal Kombat, where almost everyone is a clone character of the main trio with some little exceptions?

Naruto used this on a critical battle, though.

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