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ROCK LEE & HIS NINJA PALS #2 - - Special Review

Brain-fortifying entertainment, right here.

I don’t have too many guilty pleasures. Oh, I’m into plenty of things that the dismissive and the snooty typically look down on, sure - - I’ve just never felt especially embarrassed, nor “guilty,” for enjoying what I enjoy. That said, I’m well aware of the potential ridiculousness of a guy my age enjoying what’s essentially the kiddy version of a series that’s already rather kiddy in its own right. Still, any hesitation about returning to this most carefree escapism for episode #2 didn’t last long.

See, I’m not going to invest space here into trying to prop this show above the unabashedly juvenile diversion it actually is. If you find the humor too sophomoric to stomach, I won’t even try to persuade you otherwise. Put it this way, I was able to call Naruto and Lee tearing up each other’s love letters and them snooping for Sakura’s panties in her purse from pretty much the second the intro finished rolling. This show plots twists that are about as unpredictable as the solutions to mazes on the back of cereal boxes.

However, much like how you just can’t stop scooping Fruit Loops after you’ve had a spoonful, this show’s still effortlessly divertible, and that kind of “easy watchable” isn’t something every anime can claim - - even the sophisticated ones. So, here am I, watching and enjoying (if not necessarily learning from) Lee’s silly attempts at day game with ninjutsu tricks and curry bowls as his props. I’m a little embarrassed to like it, but certainly not ashamed.

Also, a head’s up for all you lunatics…

As this latest round of series in Watch & Learn wraps up, I’m aiming to cover more “straight over the ocean” titles like ROCK LEE & HIS NINJA PALS. Stay tuned. We’ll see how we do when the show’s sub-titles are still cooling (so to speak.)

Watch this episode, "Love Is a Part of the Springtime of Youth/Love Makes Both Sides Crazy" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Daniel_Newton moderator on April 25, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.

As this latest round of series in Watch & Learn wraps up, I’m aiming to cover more “straight over the ocean” titles like ROCK LEE & HIS NINJA PALS. Stay tuned. We’ll see how we do when the show’s sub-titles are still cooling (so to speak.)

That's fantastic news, especially with us mods not posting directly to the home page right now. Your Watch & Learn articles are great, but it's good to hear more current anime will be covered (which naturally, more of us are watching). It's something I think has been missing from this site.

It's good to hear you're enjoying Rock Lee so much too.

Eyzon April 26, 2012 at 3:24 a.m.

So, they finally made that spinoff?

FoxxFireArt moderator on April 26, 2012 at 3:35 a.m.
So far, this series seems dedicated at putting. Neji in drag every episode. What I love about this show is the level of attention it gives to TenTen. She gets almost none in the original manta. Her reaction to Lee accidentally slapping Sakura was hilarious.
Lurkeroon April 26, 2012 at 5:30 a.m.

I am completely surprised by you enjoying this series, Tom. I might end up skimming through some episodes as the backlog builds up, but I don't think I will watch it on a weekly basis.

takashichea moderator on April 26, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.

I love this episode, and Neji seems to be a fine cross dresser. He looks just like a girl, and Tenten is the Tsukkomi in the show.

zaldaron April 27, 2012 at 12:14 a.m.

I would say that sophistication and watchability are at odds pretty much by definition. I mean being able to watch something without using any brain power is pretty much the definition of watchability is it not?

DCypheron April 29, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.

No to wax intellectual.

I think this a great example of why well known characters are great and what idiocy it is to not recognise that. Stretching the use of formats, stories, places and characters we already know to make new plots and events is a great way to expand the idea of storytelling generally.

Now I'ma go watch it, right after this peach slice. Nom.

takashichea moderator on April 29, 2012 at 1:29 p.m.

Are you going to continue covering Rock Lee and His Ninja pals? If so, I'm going to stop covering the episodes since I got to focus on school and other wiki projects. Thank you.

Dig Deeper into NARUTO Spin-Off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals

This is a spinoff series of the Naruto franchise that revolves around Rock Lee and his friends.

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