Friday, 22 January 2016


Naruto Shippuden Box Set 23
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 15
Running Time: 300 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 8/2/2016
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes 

As we are into the Fourth Great Ninja War, Kabuto’s reanimated clones of famous and infamous shinobi still come at the united shinobi forces. Kakashi and Lee have to make sure Sai's sealing jutsu works against the enemy. As Sai remembers he has to suppress the emotions for the jutsu to fully work, and even now he isn't sure he can.

Though he's a previously underused character, in these episodes we get to see into his thoughts, how he feels about using a jutsu he hasn't mastered and recalls his tutorials with the former Lord Danzo in the past. It is hard to think of Sai as a dangerous type with a great deal of pent-up emotions inside him, but he is. There is the possibility he has not recovered from having to fight against his reanimated brother. 

As if we hadn't noticed Naruto's amazing development, Lord Raikage asks Tsunade why she thinks so much of Naruto which leads into a fun flashback story showing the extent of Tsunade's gambling habit as well as her capacity for having a good time. This second episode does mingle with another part to the arc. A man from the Hidden Cloud Village needs the help of a skilled herbalist to save a man's life. Tsunade refuses as she wonders why an enemy would want her help. Thinking back no one can scare her into doing anything she doesn't want to do. After all, the Hidden Cloud tried to steal the Hyuga Byakugan from them in the past. What follows is both unexpected and gives us an idea of how much the villagers have betrayed the Hidden Leaf.

This series is all about individuals who all have hidden strengths that go beyond the weaknesses they all suffer. Things you Can't Get Back, One Worth Betting On and Danger: Jinpachi and Kushimaru are all episodes where the enduring aspect of comradeship overrides the despair felt during the heat of battle, watching their comrades and friends die on the battlefield at the hands of unrelenting enemies. Tsunade's blood phobia leaves Shizune tending to the infected and dying cloud ninja, which Lord Raikage finds unacceptable as he asked her to do the surgery. Tsunade believes in Shizune and sees that he should too. When Jinpachi and Kushimaru show up, Kakashi is on his own and it's one situation he should never have left himself in, but someone he doesn't expect shows up to help, which encourages a flashback Kakashi has about him, Guy and Rin after Obito had died and Kakashi shared Obito's views on friends, comrades and how to be the sort of shinobi who others can look up to.

Some of the episodes concentrate on the bad guy of the week while others come in several parts like Naruto Shippuden: Power. The transition from the Naruto series being of the shinobi forces fighting against each other has gone, now it is of the united shinobi forces against the evil of Madara's might twinned with Kabuto's reanimated shinobi. Kakashi, Guy, Tsunade and all the other hokages will need to remember what they mean to each other in this latest two disc series that pulls no punches and has a clear account of the horrors of war. 

Notable moments include a hyped-up Kabuto taking on the Leaf Shinobi with his host of reanimated pawns, a newly reanimated and very naked Hidan fighting Sai, Sakura and Captain Yamato. I wondered why they didn't notice this, and carried on regardless. The story, for me is getting much stronger and the characters have to get used to the harshness of the war as it grows around them and their enemies grow nearer. 

Bonus Material: Clean Opening and Closing Animations and Trailers for other anime series.

Summary: Naruto Shippuden is the anime that has its viewers watch how well their shinobi have grown and the enemy forces they now face - don't miss it!