Summary Key Points:
Recap of the original series, starting from Naruto’s childhood, to the point where he becomes a Genin and leaves with Kakashi, Sasuke and Sakura on his first real mission.
And there you have it! By popular vote, Anime Evo is now officially covering Naruto Shippuuden! With the series about to head into a major arc, the Fourth Great Ninja War, this week starts us off with a brand new spanking OP/ED set, and some recap filler content to prepare us for the big events ahead.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, Naruto and fillers? GOD LET ME OUT OF HERE NOW BEFORE I….. Ahem! Yes Naruto is notoriously famous for having some of the worst filler episodes ever…period. I myself lost interest in the anime, and even the franchise as a whole, when we got those two years of fillers in the original series. I followed the manga for a while, upto the part where Naruto began mastering his control of the Kyubi (Nine Tails) on the Turtle Island.
Having recently gotten back into Naruto, I have to say, I think I’ve been a bit too hard on the series. Following just the canon manga plot, which I have done until now, Its easy to like Naruto Shippuuden. I think the animated version really does the story some serious favors, as parts like the meeting with Minato/The Fourth and Naruto’s mom were both exceptionally well done in the Anime, almost more so than in the manga (In my humble opionion).
All of that said and done, this week was, indeed a filler recap episode of sorts, taking us back to the veeeery start of the story, from when Naruto was a kid to when he became Genin. Having not read the manga lately for a while, I’m assuming this is all filler. Also, please keep manga spoilers totally out of the comments for these posts, we also cover the Naruto manga for you manga readers out there!
I personally didn’t find this episode to be that bad, if only because I haven’t been rewatching the original series, nor have I gotten to play the latest Naruto Generations game, so It was actually pretty nice to see where we started from. Itt was also pretty nostalgic to hear some classic Naruto OST background music playing throughout the episode.
There were some new tidbits of information as well, as well as the classic Naruto story “Naruto and Sasuke are different sides of the same coin”. I really do like this idea throughout the series, and how different both Naruto and Sasuke are, and how different they turned out to be.
For many, Sasuke was the hope of Konoha Village. He was always a talented Shinobi, and often out classed most if not all his peers. Added to that, the guy was determined and very focused, listening to orders and getting things done. Meanwhile, Naruto was the obvious polar opposite, always getting into trouble, not being very good at the stuff he was supposed to be good at, and often trailing behind everyone, let alone Sasuke.
Yet, as is hammered on time and time again, both characters lost their parents and families at a young age. I think Naruto’s reaction to everything was a lot more healthy, as he clearly just strived for attention wherever he could get it, trying to be included and being in open defiance of the fate that life had given him. Sasuke on the otherhand, witnessed the death of his parents first hand, and is in many ways, the advent of how serial killers are born. Not being to able to ever shut the images out of his mind, Sasuke ended up obsessing over his life altering event and dedicating his entire existence to revenge. Unlike Naruto, who desperately tried to fit into the world and who craved attention, Sasuke hated the world and everyone in it.
Its just so interesting to note that this was brewing from the very first events of the series, and in retrospect, it was kind of inevitable that we’d find Naruto and Sasuke where they are now. Sasuke, having killed his brother, now wants to lay ruin to everyone and everything in Konoha, despite whatever relation they actually have to his tragic past. Meanwhile, Naruto has grown up to be not only the pride and joy of Konoha village, but a man who is the hope for peace and can literally move his enemies toward good again.
It’ll be interesting to see how the two clash in the fourth Great ninja war, but for now, we’re treated to another rehash or retelling of their origin story. The one new thing that I got out of the whole series was the fact that the third visited and gave Naruto money for living expenses:
Now this is one thing I truly never understood. Given Naruto’s background, given what his parents sacrificed for the village of Konoha, why was Naruto not given better care? I mean, the Third Hokage could’ve taken the kid in, and IMO it would’ve been the right thing to do. Instead we have the guy coming over, once a month, and handing a KID living expenses. And on top of that, said kid lives alone and wonders why he doesn’t have parents?
Its a miracle of sorts that Naruto turned out the way he did, no thanks to the horrible parenting present in Konoha XD
In this first recap, we made it all the way till the part where Naruto, along with Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi went on their first mission. I’m sure we’ll go through all the major bells and whistles, hitting the memorable fight between Naruto and Sasuke that happened around episode 150 of the original series. Either way, I’ll be covering this series weekly, and on time from now on! XD
OP [Assault Rock] by CRO-MAGNONS: (B)
Two OPs ago, I’d have said that Naruto Shippuuden had an amazing OP Song. The last one New Song, was decent, if a little silly. The latest Assault Rock by CRo-Magnons is just… okay. Its not exactly horrible, but its not epicly amazing either. More so, the animation is a bit disappointing, as the OP opens up with several shots of Naruto just running and attacking. Given that the Foruth Great Shinobi war is almost upon us, I’d have expected something a lot more epic. Either way, okay stuff, just not too impressive.
ED [Cascade] by UNLIMITS: (A)
Now this is what I’m talking about! A pretty solid and well done ED theme, with some pretty nice animation of the two main girls as well as a Naruto and Sasuke fight sequence. Pretty good song too! Not too surprising, since the last Naruto ED song was pretty sweet as well.
We continue with our recap next week. See you all then!
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