Another year of Naruto is upon us, the last year in the manga; though it is just as likely that we will be dealing with the anime for at least another year, if- not two. The Naruto franchise is of such fame that the powers that be aren’t likely to allow its brand to die anytime soon.
But enough of that; another year of the Naruto anime not only portends 12 new months of great material, but also more opportunity for filler. Which is the pit within which the anime is currently wandering. One might choose to take a positive approach on the topic, what with this filler arc being the best we have seen in…forever (and mostly because of Itachi).
Yet that would require ignoring the simple facts; the last few months of canon Naruto anime episodes have been some of the best we have ever encountered; this is Naruto as it should be, as it has always been, precluding the filler garbage, and in light of the current (albeit pleasant) desert of filler, I thought I would look back at the last season of canon Naruto material, truly magnificent outside of the filler element that still pepper even the best episodes.
Rather than simply touch on each and every episode, all the memorable elements that occurred within this massive span of episodes, I will instead make mention of those specific factors of the series that proved most crucial to my enjoyment as well as story and character progression:
I have never been Kabuto’s biggest fan; once a point of intrigue I will admit to getting relatively bored with his antics after he took over from Orochimaru. He simply seemed somewhat aimless and purposeless. It is a testament to Kishimoto’s foresight that all that madness had a purpose to play, not only within the Anime’s current timeline but the future of the manga.
Was I impressed by Kabuto Vs. Itachi and Sasuke? Well, not as much as I thought I would be, not that this particular battle had any downsides. In fact I would wager that this is one of the very few true shinobi fights we have seen in quite a while, which allowed the Uchiha brothers the opportunity to deploy all manner of wit to destroy what turned out to be an impressive foe.
It would be the rare individual that thought Kabuto stood an actual chance against his superior opponents; yet one cannot deny the efficacy of his progression in rationally transforming Kabuto into a threat worthy of Itachi’s attention, because I truly couldn’t fathom how Kishimoto would actually allow Kabuto to pose a credible threat.
I will show appreciation for the Kabuto flashback, truthfully of little importance with regards to developing the character, but none the less mildly interesting, especially the first part which showed us how Kabuto acquired his trademark glasses, harking back all the way to the Chunin exams, within the first few episodes of Naruto, when a mild mannered somewhat weak Kabuto nearly lost his marbles after that one soon to be Gaara fodder sound ninja cracked his lenses.
Admittedly touching as far as humanizing Kabuto (at least one part of it); but other than that, this was the one part of the last few months that was largely uninteresting in Naruto.
2. The Tailed Beasts-
Okay I will admit to enjoying the tailed beast song, a rather catchy tune on top of its implications to the story. I don’t know why a lot of fans expressed so many mixed emotions over the revelations regarding Kurama’s true name and the past that saw him transform into a demon, as if divesting him of his evil persona took something away from the series.
We have spent the better part of Naruto under a rather dark understanding of the nine tails fox and the other tailed beasts, entities around which the entire Naruto concept revolves; finally having some story development in this section cannot be a bad thing, understanding that these demonic representations of all evil, through which the various Jinchuriki harnessed such great power, actually possessed a conscious will for good as well as evil, could have been warped by the darkness of man kind and greed for power into the giant monsters they became.
I think the anime did a great job of humanizing these initially nameless characters; more than finally revealing Naruto Uzumaki’s transformative power at work, it also brought a new dimension to the series by basically casting humanity as the bane of their own existence, actions by even great shinobi like Hashirama and Minato, even in their most heroic element, only acting to stir the hate of the nine tails, turning it into the manifestation of chaos and hate it became.
The giant battle was awesome, Naruto and Killerbee teaming up against the 7 rinnegan wielding Jinchuriki considerable entertaining, especially as the fight escalated from conflict between overpowered undead shinobi to a clash between giant monsters.
Say what you want about Naruto, I love the way it will stray out of its comfort zone into all manner of territory, touching the dramatic elements, violence, comedy, sometimes even sneaking out of shonen into seinen realms.
And biju bombs all round.
3. Naruto Uzumaki
The man of the hour; take way Itachi, Minato, Hashirama and Madara-basically excluding shinobi godhood- and Naruto is hands down my favorite character of the series; it’s probably because I have spent HUNDREDS OF EPISOPDES waiting for him to finally shine that his current savior mentality doesn’t really phase me.
And no one can claim that it isn’t deserved, that Naruto doesn’t provide considerably more pleasant and rational character development than anything you will find in Bleach; you watch him strike the battlefield like a nuke and contend with the might of Kabuto’s entire zombie army all on his own, and it becomes difficult to use words like overdone or overpowered, not when you consider the fact that the character spent nearly %70 of his own series in the lowest tier of shinobi, almost always playing second fiddle to Sasuke.
There is greater satisfaction watching Naruto stand up to Obito and decimate the landscape than following Sasuke’s battles with the likes of Orochimaru, mostly because everything you see the young orange ninja display he took what feels like an age to master.
The final cloak transformation was AWESOME; what was turning out to be the worst double episode in Naruto history, bogged down by endless flashbacks was transformed into greatness.
Not just the AMAZING biju battle that came before, displaying Naruto’s very imaginative use of his new chakra arms, not just his combination with Gai and Kakashi; Naruto Uzumaki’s final cloak is the best looking thing I have ever seen in Naruto; I don’t know if it is the colors, the black lines against golden flame, or the great CGI, but I could look at chakra cloak Naruto all day.
And that final clash with MADARA UCHIHA (the man’s name requires emphasizing) following an even more epic clash with Obito…how am I supposed to wait for so long to find out what happens next? Someone tell me if this clash with Madara lives up to the hype or whether I should really temper my excitement.
Episode 322 marks the very first time I ever saw Naruto look completely and utterly afraid, Madara proving himself that large of a threat mere minutes following his arrival.
Am I the only Naruto fan that thinks that Itachi can simply do no wrong? I mean, ever since Kishimoto flipped the switch, turning the second most famous Uchiha from psychopath to desperate hero, he hasn’t pulled any punches in portraying the disturbing extent to which Itachi went to protect the leaf village, basically inferring to the fact that no end could justified the genocide of an entire clan.
And you would think that that would darken Itachi’s shine; only he still comes out of his storyline as the hero, and I cannot figure out if that is Kishimoto’s fault, or Itachi is so damn likeable that he could slaughter an entire hospital of babies and still have you rooting for him.
Episdoe 339 has to be one of the best Naruto episodes I have ever seen, not only because it brought the Itachi plot line to its final and decisive end, but the insight it provided into the psyche of Itachi the genocidal psychopath. I don’t know what I always imagined about the night the Uchiha clan fell, but I am pretty sure my visuals were so much more violent than what we saw in 339,usually involving a cold eyed Itachi brutally maiming and murdering to his heart’s content.
True Itachi was anything but bloodthirsty; one need only look to the best scene of Ep 339, when Itachi accosted his parents, allowed us to understand that they not only saw their death coming but knew who did it, going so far as to attack Itachi’s soul with a weapon stronger than any sharingan Jutsu; basically forgiving him for what he was about to do, allowing him a moment to breakdown before he finally delivered the blow amidst a storm of tears.
I mean, look at that face; that is the face of an Uchiha who would rather not commit genocide, but will do what he must.
Deep stuff; the idea of so many people assigning Naruto to the stuff of children, meant to entertain those of less discerning tastes, baffles me, with scenes such as this and more.
It reminds me of Doctor Who’s Day of the Doctor episode, which, more than any other Doctor who episode I have ever seen, finally brought the message of the doctor’s sin home, by having Badwolf Rose remind the warrior doctor that in killing the vast number of murderous timelords on his home world, he would also be annihilating several innocent souls, of which the children numbered a massive two billion.
And that is why, even after several centuries travel, we find a doctor incapable of shirking the chains of his guilt, not because of the death of an entire galaxy, but the destruction he wrought upon 2 billion innocent children.
Equally you find EP 339 taking the series into dark territory by allowing us to understand the true sense of Itachi’s sin, murdering so many innocent men, women and children to crush a rebellion; far from justifiable, certainly not for a village as vile as Konoha…but we all still love Itachi.
It’s decided; Danzo is the most evil being to ever walk the Naruto world; I cannot be imagining the fact that almost every major moment of despair that has ever been suffered in modern Konoha times can be traced back to Danzo.
Not even in Orochimaru do you find a nature so dark, Danzo basically twisting and warping souls and lives left and right during the long duration of his existence , the ripple effects of his actions continuing to echo through out the lives of giants like Itachi and Kabuto and Pain, each of which would only serve to pass the hate Danzo created in them onto the world around them.
There is no forgiving Danzo; I cannot believe I actually felt sorry for him in his final moments, as he reminisced on all he had done for the supposed sake of his village, before his life was snuffed out. At least Madara has the decency to not mask his actions behind benevolent intentions; he wants to rule, end of story.
Danzo actually believes his crap of good guy doing the wrong thing for the right reason.
I will admit that I haven’t been the biggest fan of Sasuke for quite a while now; but I found that these episodes made a genuine attempt to cast him in a different light; especially when he first meets Itachi in Episode 329, another favorite of fine.
Firstly, I loved their interaction, with Itachi basically blowing his brother off, knowing what Naruto didn’t, that Sasuke was so far gone that no amount of talk would change him. Itachi did what Itachi does best, spew out masterful wisdom in some of the series’ best lines, basically admitting his hand in the chaos that became Sasuke’s childhood and that he could have done better by simply telling his brother the truth and trusting his judgment.
It was a poignant few moments, one compounded by the emotional expressions cast upon Sasuke’s face; for two or so episodes, what we got wasn’t the avenger or whatever he calls himself, but Sasuke the leaf shinobi, one that showed an extraordinary amount of control in falling behind his brother and taking his lead.
He basically became old Sasuke for a while, innocent and vulnerable; basically listened to what Itachi had to say and probably found himself in Naruto’s footsteps for once, now chasing after someone that wouldn’t associate him the time of day.
These episodes proved that Itachi was very wrong about Naruto being the one person that could save Sasuke.
I don’t know why he never considered the possibility that he alone possessed the power to control his brother, Itachi being the one person that Sasuke actually respects unconditionally. Like he had told him several times over, Naruto simply cannot understand what Sasuke went through, not like Itachi.
To an extent EP 339 managed to justify, at least in my eyes, Sasuke’s psychotic rage towards Kohonha, specifically with that flashback in the restaurant, where Sasuke had to sit back and listen to the very people his brother saved drag Itachi’s name through the mud. Maybe Sasuke isn’t the whiny baby I always envisioned him to be. Maybe he’s just been confused all this time, incapable of understanding why Itachi would even now continue to fight for a place like Konoha that only continues to reveal new levels of corruption.
7. The five Kage-
THIS FIGHT WAS EPIC. Even knowing the eventual outcome I was on the edge of my seat the whole time; having considerably underestimated the Kage following Madara’s introduction, these shinobi proved to me why they stand at the top of their respective villages.
Admittedly it is quite easy root for Kazekage and even Tsunade, but Tsuchikage? In the space of 10 episodes he became my favorite living Kage of the present time, a true legend in his own right, not only standing up to the mighty Madara but basically raising his head as the spirit and soul of the anti Madara team.
Gaara is always awesome. The combos were awesome, so were the speeches, especially in the face of the most powerful Jutsu I have ever seen. Simply put, the five Kages rock, even boring old Tsunade (the verbal abuse she took from Madara was certainly galling).
There is something to be said about Madara, that he didn’t only achieve victory but managed to strike fear into the hearts of the five strongest shinobi of their respective villages.
It is unlikely that I am alone in declaring Tobi as one of the greatest Akatsuki members we have seen; I don’t know what it is about the loony character that endears him to me so much; but if they had to discard him (which they did quite a while ago, to my disappointment) Obito would be the perfect replacement.
Fake Madara Tobi was kind of bland; Obito on the other hand is turning out to be one of the better villains of the series; yes, I was spoiled about the identity of the man behind the mask. No, that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of some of the best story progression we have seen in Naruto in a while.
And it isn’t just the execution-which was amazing, specifically that flashback episode, chronicling Obito’s life up until his supposed death, done in complete silence, yet conveying so much with mere expressions and gestures- but the emotions the story evokes.
Because, of course you are going to root for this young Naruto-esq fellow in this attempts to return to his friends despite his current predicament; of course you will sympathize with his plight in the face of the Kakashi/Rin revelation, even cheer him on as he looses it against those shinobi.
Then you start hating him; because he didn’t simply carry out Madara’s will in approaching Nagato; he obliterated the lives of Nagato, Yahiko and konana, destroyed the bright future of the first Akatsuki and its message of peace, basically crafted within Pain a hate and despair that would haunt him for all his life, eventually leading to Konoha’s destruction and Jiraiya’s death.
And that last battle, against Yahiko’s comrades; was it really necessary to kill them all, so brutally? From that one shinobi that stuck himself in cement to protect his comrades, to Yahiko’s fate to Nagato’s heart rending despair to the kakashi/Rin storyline; Naruto went pretty dark with the Obito story, and did more to transform the series than any other arc.
This is indeed Naruto at its best, leaving you wondering whether to sympathize with Obito, cheer for him even, or damn him to hell. Am I the only one that thinks Obito had more than a simple crush on Rin? Because he seemed downright obsessed so much so that I can believe him doing everything he has done up to this moment for her sake.
And who else thought they might have been watching a Seinin after Obito’s rampage? Because that was one bloody massacre.
KAKASHI KILLED RIN? WHAT? There has to be something I am missing here; because Naruto took a complete 180 degree turn after that scene; I always figured Rin died and Kakashi probably felt some guilt in failing to protect her but, to kill her himself; that would send anyone over the edge, and Obito was already in a bad place at that point.
And this is the point where they choose to leap into fillers, just when the series is at its most intense?
kakashi, Naruto and Gai vs. Obito is one of the most intense and action packed battles I have ever seen; every move, every punch, kick, biju bomb was so perfectly choreographed as to wring the last drop of tension out of that scene.
Naruto fights haven’t been this…shinobi-like in a long while; Kakashi hasn’t been this good in ages, and we haven’t seen Gai so skilled as he he proved to be against Obito’s sharingan. The entire set up of this battle was perfect, Naruto bringing the overwhelming power, kakashi doing his analytical thing in the face of Gai’s awesome nunchaku play.
This here fight is a must watch for any Naruto fan; rather than spoiling the fun, the slow motion scenes allow you a deeper understanding of just how close this fight was, how far towards the edge each side stood against the other’s might. The fact that it was brains and strategy rather than power than brought the conflict to an end is an added bonus.
MADARA UCHIHA IS AWESOME; you cannot watch this legendary villain in action without wanting to scream his name over and over again.
What is the one major similarity that is also a difference between Aizen from Bleach and Naruto’s Madara? A simple question with a simple answer; Aizen was so overpowered he quickly became tiresome with regards to Bleach’s dragging plot.
Madara is so overpowered IT’S AWESOME. You simply cannot resist that swag, the arrogance of this greatest of Uchihas as he basically goes about schooling the shinobi world in the basics of true power. And its like not matter how bad ass you think Madara is at any given point, each new episode somehow manages to top the Uchiha badassness.
First was that total ownage of the shinobi alliance, Madara basically tearing through a few hundred to thousand foot soldiers with pure Taijutsu. Then Onoki (tsuchikag), Gaara and Naruto rallied their forces to stop him. And what does he do? Well, just look at this.
YES, A FREAKIN METEORITE: and since when could Susanoo perform chakra seals?
The five Kage finally rally to bring Madara to a stop and…I never thought it possible that the combined force of the shinobi world’s top authorities would look so tame. Well, Madara sure wasn’t impressed, in fact losing interest and retreating from what he thought was a pointlessly boring battle, but not before doing this.
AND WHAT THE HECK IS THIS? THIS THING IS MASSIVE.
I am in awe of the greatness of Madara Uchiha.I cannot wait to see how he deals with the kyubi cloak. I find it difficult to believe that even Hashirama could have dealt with both Madara and the nine tails at once; that doesn’t seem rationally possible.
11. Ten Tails-
So the Ten tails is more demon god than chakra Beast? And it is sealed within the moon? Interesting.
Michael Jackson returns and he still want's Sasuke’s body.
Here’s the thing about these most recent episodes of Naruto; Kishimoto has been doing a heck of a job basically closing all the loop holes too many Naruto fans were to quick to nitpick at; and I for one cannot help but feel satisfaction at this level of story telling, the interweaving of plots and characters and plans, all leading to one hell of a series finale.
If you’re not watching Naruto right now, then I do not know what you’re up to; the only series that could possibly draw me away from Hunter X Hunter.
So this is more an entire event or group of events than a single moment, so don’t get confused.
Naruto has a way of testing my patience. If you have had any experience with Naruto, then you will know that I am referring to the never ending filler the series resorts to, to keep from catching up with the manga.
It can be excruciating, dealing with an entire season of god awful filler crap, just to get a few episodes of canon a few months at a time. This of course is a curse all long running anime face, but most like one piece manage to handle the long runs much better, without resorting to endless fillers.
Then again I can’t really use one piece as an example. Sure it has nearly a tenth of the filler that Naruto has. And that’s because one piece makes use of stretching mechanisms, where by it will drag out a 5 minute plot into one and a half episodes. Hell, while most Anime cover two to three chapters of there manga at a time, I would be surprised to see one piece covering just one, and with what I have experienced over the year and half that I have watched one piece, it can be as excruciating to watch as Naruto fillers.
But that aside, I have been tempted on many occasions to jump ship, not from Naruto as a whole of course; after all it is my favorite series; but to make the move from anime to manga.
Most times however, Naruto manages to make up for it, i.e, sure we might get several dozen wasteful filler material, but immediately after will come a story that will make the wait for canon material all worth it.
This is what happened with Naruto Shippuden episodes 245-249; we went from the fairly interesting five Kage summit to a season of filler that somehow managed to be worse that the god awful garbage that was aired after the pain invasion arc.
And just when I was at the end of my ropes (I couldn’t even bear to watch more than a few episodes), the announcement came; filler was over and what came after wasn’t merely worth the wait, but it left me so amazed and satisfied that I could have taken any amount of filler after, and I couldn’t have cared.
SO, before I get to explaining the epicness, first I shall explain the plot for anyone that might have no idea about what I am talking about.
Naruto arrives on the moving island, and attempts to talk Killer bee into helping him achieve mastery over the nine tails fox. Once Killer bee finally agrees, Naruto undergoes pre-training training where, before he can master the evil, hate and power of the nine tails, he must first master and defeat the darkness within his own soul.
After overcoming dark Naruto, the pair jinchuriki head to a sacred temple where Naruto uses the key that jiraiya received from the fourth and in turn gave to him to unleash the nine tails fox. According to Killer bee, he must contend with the kyubi and forcibly take its chakra in order to take full and unfettered control over it.
The battle commences the moment the seal falls, with the nine tails nearly destroying Naruto with a tailed beast ball, only for Killer bee to intervene for the first and last time.
Soon Naruto is going all out in an attempt to over come the kyubi’s over whelming power, with kunais, speed, strength, clones and rasengans all proving futile. Naruto eventually enters sage mode and takes the battle to the next level, though barely making much head way.
The one time he finally manages to force some kyubi chakra into his body, it overwhelms him; even though he defeated dark Naruto, he still has doubts and some darkness that makes it impossible for him to overcome the hate of the kyubi.
As the power overwhelms him, the kyubi nearly takes him out, but just then it’s movements are sealed as a red haired woman who turns out to be Kushina Uzumaki, Naruto’s mom, makes an appearance.
She tells him the story of his past, of the Uzumaki clan with their unique and powerful sealing jutsus and the land of the whirlpools, of their links to Konoha that thickened when the first hokage, Hashirama married Mito uzumaki, with whose help and teachings he was able to master and seal the tailed beasts; of the tragedy that befell the Uzumaki clan during the shinobi, how Kushina was brought to Konoha to become the second Jinchuriki of the nine tails after Mito and the hardships she suffered as a foreigner and Jinchurinki before meeting a Minato who saved her, literally and figuratively.
The tale brings Naruto the courage to over come his hate and defeat the Kyubi in an awe inspiring attack. Naruto takes the chakra and manifests his nine tails mode.
With that task done, Kushina fills Naruto in on the events that happened the day he was born, or how Madara attacked the sealed site of birth, kidnapped Kushina and extracted the nine tails before launching it into Konoha to execute that legendary attack, the battle between Minato and Madara and ensuing consequences.
This group of episodes ends with Naruto now wiser of who and what he is, his destined birth, the hopes that his parents held for him and the resolve he forms to bring peace.
I know that these were specifically five individual episodes, but as far as I am concerned, what I watched was a five part movie, because that is how I felt after watching all five episodes in one go, one after another.It was literally like nothing I had ever seen in naruto.
So first I will start off with the less important but none the less amazing factors that make these episodes so epic;
1. Animation: When I say that these episodes felt like one long movie, I am not exaggerating; that is literally how awesome this animation was. Words like brilliant, breath taking and pulchritudinous ( I learnt that word just for this description) don’t even begin to describe the kind of animation that was unleashed by Studio Periot in these five episodes. It was almost like they were using this chance to show off just what they could do if they ever took the gloves off, and I must say that I was impressed. These weren’t merely special animation and graphics that were saved for that one group of special naruto episodes, as is done with nearly every anime out there, where for one time or even twice, usually a first or last episodes (guilty crown’s opening episode was beautifully animated, even though the anime sucked), they will go the extra mile to animate a special story; in these five episodes Studio Periot was literally using movie level animation, as in if you were to look at some of the very best anime movies you have seen, Naruto’s graphics in these episodes, especially 248-249 would be right up with them, as good as or even better.
In fact I have seen movies that aren’t even animated half as good as this. Epic wise, I am thinking of that scene with the fourth and Kushina at the tip of a tree after he had saved her, the way every detail, from Minato’s jacket to her hair was beautifully animated; then there was that awesome tail beast ball at the start of the fight, the way it exploded forward while everything surrounding it was disintegrated; and of course Naruto’s kyubi mode took the cake. I have seen so many shows botch the whole 2D and CGI fusion, with the CGI elements usually looking so out of place. But that first look of the Naruto Kyubi mode, the golden flaming form, was simply…breath taking.
Most anime movies I have watched don’t get this kind of budget.
As far as ratings go, I would give the animation in these episodes an 8/5, and yes, that is beyond the scale. Someone said that if they took out all the filler in Naruto and kept this level of graphics, the Big three might shrink down by two, at least anime wise.
2. Art--- You would think that good animation would automatically mean good art. But that is not true. I have seen anime with acceptable animation, but with lousy art. I am thinking of the Jojo’s bizarre adventure series I saw last year. While the animation was fine, the characters were drawn in such a silly way. Thankfully these episodes avoided that pitfall because again, every thing was done perfectly. And not just the kyubi mode; in this case I am drawn immediately to the nine tails.
The scene, the story of what happened 16 years ago when the nine tails attacked has been such an iconic scene in Naruto and even with all the stories told by characters of what happened that night, fans have always wondered what happened and what it felt like.
We see that in these episodes, and personally I was afraid that they would mess things up, that after seeing so much of kyubi related flash backs and hearing what happened, there would be nothing new to see and all we would get would be some large red monster attacking in the background while they focused in on the events surrounding madara and the fourth.
This scene was more interesting than I anticipated. Firstly we got to see so many of our beloved characters at a much younger time in their lives and it was more nostalgic than informative. We got to see gai and kakashi being themselves. The long dead third hokage and his short yet awesome battle against the kyubi, then itachi and sasuke.
But the highlight of this event was the rather unique way in which they chose to display the attack, like the pages of a story book being opened; it made the entire scene all the more scary as it showed the kyubi as less of a magical creature and more of a monster. it just worked for me perfectly and it kept things new.
The art work here I would rate a perfect 5/5
And now for the more important aspects that made these moments so epic:
1. The action---AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, that was what my brain was doing the whole time I was watching the events of these episodes. The battles in these episodes were, and I will use a phrase that I vehemently dislike, off the chain. I was blown away several times over. First we had the battle with the nine tails and it was every bit the beast we expected it to be. Even with its chakra gone, it was more than ready and capable of annihilating Naruto. Once the battle was done, even if Naruto had triumphed, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he hadn’t beaten the fox. But his efforts were truly a sight to behold, especially the way he finished things; with a tonne of clones each armed with a giant rasengan that, from the fox’s point of view below, looked like they were tiny blue moons descending upon it.
This was the naruto we had been waiting to see every since the series began, a competent Naruto, loud mouthed but with the power to back it up. I would really like to see an all out battle between these two, one in which only one walks away from, because that would make it all the more serious.
But of course it was the fourth that stole the show, the way he saved baby Naruto from the explosion, his short but unbelievable fight against the kyubi and of course the final show down with Madara. This fight was short, yet it was also the best fight in the entire Naruto series by far. We had heard of the great shinobi Minato, but now, with these episodes, we go to see it, the truth of his legend and why he might be the greatest shinobi to ever live, besides Hashirama at least.
Even the combined actions of Konoha to take the fox down were an impressive sight to watch.
I would rate the action in these episodes with a 10/5, again, breaking the scale.
Now while it was the individual and combined efforts of all these factors that made these five episodes so epic, one stood out among them all,
4. The story---Let me just say this, it might be misconstrued that I think these episodes are the best ever in Naruto. That would be a wrong assumption; I think these episodes are some of the best I have ever seen in all of anime, and I am speaking both as a Naruto fan, as well as a regular viewer of anime.
And most of that is as a result of the story told in these episodes, which was both beautiful and heart wrenching. First we got a glimpse into Naruto’s world. We and he realized that he hadn’t always been alone, that there had been others out there, numbering in the thousands, with his blood, his heritage, and his name; basically his own people; and this knowledge came with the fact that they were gone, all of them and that, besides Nagato, he would never meet another Uzumaki.
I liked how the knowledge gave Naruto a sense of belonging, and I actually hope to one day see another uzumaki. The Uzumaki clan has such a nice ring to it.
The bigger revelation was Naruto’s mother. It was hilarious that the first time he saw her, he accused her of being the nine tails in disguise, allowing Kushina to show that brush side of her that Naruto is so well known for. It was a touching scene, as I don’t think he had ever given her much thought; it was always about his father, the legendary fourth hokage, that he idolized so much. Neither us the fans nor Uzumaki ever really gave much thought to Naruto’s parents in the first part of the series, and even when it came to light, Kushina didn’t really receive much attention.
It was a really touching moment, that instance when he realized who she was. It was touching later on when he knew she had to go on now that she had fulfilled her mission; poor Naruto, after only having met her.
Minato is the coolest character in Naruto, but it as a surprise to see that Kushina was every bit as prominent and interesting to watch as he was, with the tortures she faced as a child from a foreign land and the fact that she had a monster inside of her. Personally was impressed and tickled by the very distinct way she dealt with those that bullied her, in contrast to how her son Naruto dealt with the same thing.
With Naruto, it was all about playing pranks, being funny and taking the insults with a stride. Kushina didn’t give a crap, she would beat the hell out of anyone that would dare try to look down upon and bully her.I was especially tickled by the scene in the forest where Kushina wallops an irritating classmate, he ran’s off and calls his bigger genin of a brother and she beats the hell out of him as well.
I laughed at that for ages. But it was also touching to watch that scene with Minato, when she confronted him about how he had always coldly looked down at her, choosing to ignore her every time she looked at him for help during the moments that her classmates would bully her, and he replied that the reason he never made a move to help her was because he knew she was strong and that she didn’t need his help…Minato oozing coolness here.
The story is tragic of course. Minato has to sacrifice his wife to save Naruto. And then after he saves the village, he and Kushina make the ultimate sacrifice to save naruto when the kyubi makes a go for him.
It was truly heartening to watch how far these two great shinobi went to protect their son, and it would be an odd fan that didn’t hate madara/tobi in that instance for what he had done to what was a truly great shinobi family.
Outstanding moments: That scene when Kushina tells Minato that she was pregnant was hilarious (MInato: I am going to be a dad. Kushina: I am going to be a mom, don’t you know, MInato: I am going to be a dad. Kushina: I am going to be a mom, don’t you know…)
-That moment when the kyubi impales both Kushina and Minato, those last words they gave to Naruto before they both finally died…difficult to watch up to this day. From what I have read, Kishimoto chose to write this flash back because he had just become a father and he felt it necessary to tell this story about Naruto’s origins.
I wondered where Jiraiya was and why he made no attempt to help during this crisis. Then I remembered that during his own flash back, he was off writing his novel while all this happened. But how about Orochimaru and Tsunade?
I rate this story with a 15/5, again beyond anything I could have hoped for. This was an origin story to end all origin stories; it was quintessential Naruto.
If you are a naruto fan and haven’t watched these episodes, you need to do so. If you are a Naruto fan that gave up on the anime, you need to watch these episodes. If you are not a Naruto fan, watch these episodes a simply great anime.
If you read the manga, you might wonder why you should bother since you read the story. I have heard from Naruto manga fans that watched these episodes and said that the animated version took the event to a whole new level that the manga didn’t reach. SO, don’t worry about being bored just because you read it, watch these episodes.
WATCH THESE EPISODES….
Hey everyone! This is a quick glimpse of this week's episode since the Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals anime discussion thread is unfortunately dead. This means that weekly reports are going to be posted instead.
Gaara's on his way to the Leaf Village again, and Team Guy is scrambling to make sure he feels welcome. The girls beg Guy to train them, but their reason is not what it seems.
With a lot of ninjas getting injured do to carelessness, Lady Tsunade sets out to teach her charges the importance of safety. Lady Tsunade puts Lee and the gang in charge of the village Halloween celebration, but Deidara and Tobi are on hand to show them what real terror is all about.
Thank you guys for reading this report. The two episodes are good with some humorous moments.
This volume covers the ever ongoing Shinobi World War Arc of Masashi Kishimoto's NARUTO. Questions to the identity of Madara Uchiha are raised as the Naruto faces the Akatsuki leader, and the five Kages combine their efforts against one terrible foe from the past. The release date is set for November 6, 2012, and is currently available on Amazon.com for preorder.
With some of the back story explored a little bit in the previous episode in regards to what happened between Pain and Naruto awhile back that Konan was involved with, the arrival of Madara to deal with her in the present and what she did after Pain's death has them going at it pretty hard. While Konan has had interesting moments earlier in this series run, she has gotten quite a notch up in the visual realm this time around with her Sacred Paper jutsu as it's very impressive in its design and expression here as the two go toe to toe with Madara even admitting that things were close to getting really nasty between them. But as intense as she is, she'sfighting with passion and is blinded to things, going more for belief in what happened than the truth with what happened in the fight. And that turns deadly for her.
The fight between the two is definitely impressive overall as it goes on, giving it the right kind of scale and intensity that shows both of them just how much they can accomplish. But there are some wonderful quiet moments in between that deals with Madara more specifically as he deals with the things from his own past and what happened to them. It's a certain kind of quiet beauty to it as he deals with the bodies of the dead as they lay surrounded by the white flowers, and it's almost something that you don't quite expect of Madara. So much of what we've seen of him has either been skulking around as he works his various plans or more direct action. Giving him the chance to show some slivers of emotion like this that you wouldn't quite expect humanizes him in an interesting way.
Unfortunately, while it may be cute and fun in its own way, the flashback material that goes back to when Konan was younger and undergoing training with a few other shinobi just feels very out of place. It's not a surprise to get some story elements thrown in that deals with her past now that thing are going towards the end game for her, but it's the kind of method that's used almost awkwardly here since it has all of them dressed up in frog suits to make the point. You can get it as it was done and why, both in the past and why to bring it in now, but it really felt like it through of the dynamic here. It's good to see her when she was working in her training with Jiraiya along with Nagato and Yahiko, and to have some lightness to it, but it's like they took it to a more than comical length than it needed to be.
Naruto has some good material here as it deals with one of the background stories that has been going on for awhile with it focusing on Madara. Often you don't get subplots like this or background material showing up on its own without the leads of the series being involved, such as the usual villain going on about how awesome they are. Shippuden knows it has to spend time letting the other side tell its tale so that they're less cardboard constructs and more real players in the game and episodes like this works it well. Konan was a character that I only really got to know during the attacked on the Hidden Leaf Village with Nagato so getting to see more of her here, seeing her fleshed out more as well, really went a long way to not only make this arc a good one but also to enhance my view of what has come before. Good stuff and definitely solid building for more of what's to come.
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion
First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.
Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53
Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.
Beginner's Guide to FLCL
Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.
Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!
Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs
Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!
Anime Vice Transforms
One epic arc concludes, and another begins.
Welcome to Anime Vice - Level 2!
Vicers of the world -- GIVE ME YOUR POWER!!!
AKIRA - What's the Difference?
Tom teamed up with CineFix to break this classic adaptation down.