Monday, 25 June 2012

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 5
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 292 Mins
Audio: English and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date: Out Now
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

Team Kakashi has come to the end of its mission and it has not been the success they had hoped. Captain Yamato has discovered how powerful Sasuke Uchiha has become since  his former training with Kakashi and his further training with his arch-nemesis to the Hidden Leaf Village, Lord Orochimaru. They knew they were no match for his new found power and had to go back to the village with nothing more than to tell Lady Tsunade that the mission was a complete failure.

For the moment this series of episodes is the end of the chase for Sasuke - for now anyway, as the three ninjas of Team Kakashi, plus their new team member, Sai, are sent onto their next mission, and lots of new characters as viewers will see in the new opening animation sequence in the second episode. Kakashi has trouble training Naruto by himself, as he is such an impatient soul who seems to want to learn new things in a split second without giving his sensei a chance to explain. And, as the viewers will find out, he has a lot to learn as well as keeping his inner nine-tailed spirit in check. Viewers might also think that Kakashi feels guilty for wanting to take time out to train Sasuke earlier, and now that he realizes it was a waste of time, he concentrates his efforts on Naruto as he has stayed faithful to the village despite his inner beast rearing once in a while.

The episodes that follow concentrate on Sai getting to know the members of Team Kakashi, and Inue, Shikamaru and Choji, though Sai makes a few humorous mistakes along the way.

Sasuke understands his own power's limits - he can't defeat Itachi, his brother as he is now, so he has offered himself to Orochimaru as his apprentice for training to fulfill that dream. It is interesting to see who might be being used in this case, as Sasuke only wants to become strong enough to reach his goal of killing Itachi.

Sasuke has accepted the fact Lord Orochimaru may take his body eventually, but Naruto, due to his special bond of friendship with him can't let that happen and doesn't understand why he wants revenge so much when he had so many friends including him in their original team back in Konoha. Now that Sasuke has managed to escape the clutches of Captain Yamato, there could be the feeling that the next series of episodes could be rather disappointing, as it could be seen as nothing more than filler before the viewers get to see Sasuke again.

It is obvious that Captain Yamato's team were at a disadvantage as Sasuke after two years of training already has proved to be too much of a deadly opponent to all of them.

As many fans of the series know, the music matches the emotional state of the episodes, and the first one has the ability to reach the individual with its intense levels of emotion as Naruto experiences the feelings of loss and despair once again, but he has his friends Sakura and Sai to keep him company. Sai fits into his new team well enough, while also keeping up the facade of being under Lord Danzo, though he knows full well who he has sided with.

Even though their mission failed, the first few episodes see the bond of team Kakashi stronger than ever. And despite Sasuke being absent, Sai fills the void he left long ago. Naruto learns more about his rasengan's chakra nature. His goal is to develop another justsu before the Akatsuko come looking for him. He has to be strong enough to take them head on, as well as being able to protect himself from being taken by them at all costs due to his having the nine-tailed beast within.

Bonus Material: Production Art Gallery of the characters and Trailers, plus extras of four minute comedy sketches after every episode that are funnier than ever and tell the viewer more about the Hidden Leaf Villages rich characters.

Verdict: Naruto Shippuden has the characters, the action and the superb drama - it's unmissable!

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