What They Say:
Danzo’s uncanny jutsu prevents Sasuke from landing a clean hit on his enemy. As Karin attempts to analyze Danzo’s jutsu, Madara recognizes it as Izanagi.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Considering the slow build and escalation of the overall storyline, it’s to be expected that times the characters you want to see will be off screen for awhile. Naruto himself has had a few moments here and there recently, but he’s been largely relegated to small snippets and background material in favor of other storylines. That all the storylines do connect is obviously an important saving grace, but for fans of the other characters, and the way the stories are coming together, it’s definitely a welcome series of events as you don’t want everything to be hinged on what Naruto says and does. There have to be other shakers and movers in this world for it to feel more fully realized.
The shift to showing us what’s going on with Danzo is a good one as he gets involved in a fight with Sasuke that kicked off in the previous episode which had some very neat little moments to it. While Danzo was key at the start of the most recent arc after Pain’s defeat, with his becoming the Kage and going to the Five Kage meeting, he ended up in the shadows and out of the picture for a bit while he pushed forward with his own plans. That all came to a crawl when Sasuke came up against him and had to start going full out as Sasuke is fully intent on ending him. It has a great visual sense about it as Madara watches on, and as Karin tries to understand what it is that Danzo is doing and what his jutsu is, but the main focus itself is on the two men and the battle that they’re having.
While the episode does focus heavily on these two and their fight against each other, it is a fight that is a slow build at times and has quite a few of those panning moments where exposition is laid out, either by Madara as he understands what it is that Danzo is doing or ends up admiring just how far Sasuke has come. The power both of these guys wield is certainly impressive, and having these kinds of standoff moments is useful in really getting it across as they struggle against each other and deal with the wounds from each attack. The visuals kind of take it down a notch, as I’ve not been a fan of the visualized creatures that they get such as Susano or the new one with Baku, but the mixture of using those and actual physical actions against each other allows it to work fairly well and builds up the overall level of intensity of the fight that they have. It’s not just a flat out fist to fist kind of fight, but one that has them calling on the varied and powerful styles they have in their repertoire, which provides for some very good payoff.
Naruto: Shippuden lets a couple of power players really go at it here, but it’s not a full out twenty-minute battle between them. It takes the whole episode, but there are enough quiet moments to allow for the exposition that’s needed to flesh out what it is that they’re doing. Watching as they go at it, you see the ebb and flow of the battle with each of them gaining the upper hand, albeit briefly, at different times throughout it. The observations made by Madara are probably the most interesting, as is watching how Karin tries to break everything down which does reinforce her overall value, but the big moments when Danzo and Sasuke do get up close and personal is when I found it the most interesting to watch. Expositions on jutsus and the like are all well and good, but that’s not what gets me here. What I want is to see Danzo cut loose, to see Sasuke do the same, and we get a whole lot of that here, especially in the final quarter. Definitely a very engaging episode overall.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll
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