ANIME & MANGA - Review
16:00 - 8th February 2014, by NEO Staff

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 15

After the climactic events of last season, Naruto fans might experience a bit of narrative whiplash entering this latest box set, as we go from high stakes and epic clashes to 12 episodes of filler flashbacks while the village gets slowly rebuilt. In all fairness, though, there are some decent episodes here - so long as you have a fairly high tolerance for (very) light-hearted ninja escapades.

Some of the characters we haven't seen too much of lately get some much-needed time in the spotlight with Naruto during his antics - one of the highlights being a duel between Rock Lee and a boxing kangaroo.

While filler episodes can be a frustrating break in the plot, they do perhaps give the animation studio some free reign to get creative with the set-pieces and try things outside of the stricter task of adapting Kishimoto's manga to the screen - as evidenced by the super-slick stylised fight scene at the end of this box set's opening episode.
However, if you're just looking to find out what happens next in the story, you might well be disappointed with this set - when every episode is a flashback, it removes most, if not all, of the tension. Veteran viewers will also recognise many of the filler episodes' plots as being pretty familiar fare to what we've all seen before.

While there are some uncut gems, encompassed in certain masterful scenes, these episodes ultimately fall a little flat. If you simply cannot wait for the main storyline to resume next season - or if you're a DVD collection completionist - then you might find something to savour, but otherwise, there isn't too much to miss out on here.

Although there's certainly some frivolous fun to be had with this box set, it's more of a wet noodle than a hearty ramen bowl.
SCORE: 3/5
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