ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 13th March 2015, by David West

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 20

Some killer, some filler makes up this latest batch of Naruto’s adventures. When it’s good, it’s great – the opening arc sees Naruto confronting the Nine-Tails in a bid to control the fox demon’s power. Best of all is an appearance from Naruto’s mother, Kushina, a tremendously likeable character and obviously the source of Naruto’s headstrong nature. Kushina’s story provides plenty of drama and tragedy, then a sequence of Guy Sensei throwing down against the Akatsuki’s shark-man Kisame ups the action quota. It’s classic Guy material – he’s kicking major butt one moment, before messing up the next. Finally in the plus column is a look at the early days of the Akatsuki when the founding members were Jiraiya Sensei’s students.
The latter half of this collection is noticeably weaker. There’s some very lame comedy with Naruto and some funny animals that smacks of filling time. Then, after a tantalising set up for the impending outbreak of the Fourth Great Ninja War, the series flashes all the way back to Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura training with Kakashi as children. Fans have seen all this stuff before; it’s old news and frustrating when it’s keeping a huge event like the Ninja War off the screen. On the production front, the animation quality is high; this is clearly a hit show with a good budget, although the English dub voice for the Nine-Tails is a bit underwhelming.

Despite some clunker episodes, the tension mounts as the shadow of war looms large over Naruto.
SCORE: 4/5
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