What They Say:
Neji’s cousin Hinata is trying to get some training in, but it’s not easy with Lee getting in the way. And Guy, Kiba, Akamaru, Shino… Hinata’s one weak point is her tendency to faint around her beloved Naruto, so Lee and several others don some familiar orange outfits to help her fix the problem.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the characters in the main series that won me over as time went on was Hinata. While she has strength and a real position within things, a lot of the time early on she was the more meek and traditional Japanese girl in a lot of ways. She was focused and intent, but when it came to Naruto, she got all girly and shy in a way that was certainly familiar but that you didn’t begrudge her for. Seeing her introduced into this series certainly will give her a chance to be more comedy oriented and it’s something that the character can certainly use. She’s a fun girl in the end and getting a chance to cut loose here with Rock and the others is a big positive.
Hinata’s introduction gives us a chance to check out her home life with the family and her relation to Neiji, being his cousin and all. She’s also a character that you can feel fits in well with Rock because of her lack of ability that she overcomes by constant training. She’s a skilled warrior and one that has really earned her position, though she didn’t go down the same comical path as Rock. Amusingly, Neiji comments that Rock and Hinata have almost the same hairstyle which is priceless. Hinata gets to show off her skills a heck of a lot here and she really does shine in a good way. But we also see the big weakness she has in that she practically falls apart when Naruto is in the picture, which makes her an easy target in certain situations.
While the first half does some fun in showing off her skills and getting us acquainted with her, it also made her weakness a key point. Which makes the second half all the more fun as Rock is intent on having everyone help him help her overcome it. Especially since they know he has a similar weakness when it comes to Sakura. They do a lot of fun stuff to try and get her used to it, but the real fun is the whole daydream aspect that Neiji goes through as he describes what a date between Hinata and Naruto would be like. And all the while, Naruto is just blissfully unaware of all of this. Hinata’s struggles really made me smile a lot here because she’s such a cute and fun character, not one to really get all moe over, but one that you can get behind because you can understand her interest and why she is like she is, and because she doesn’t lose who she really is in her interest in him.
Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals does a bit more cast building here in its own way now that Hinata has joined the crew. While we’re familiar with these characters from the ongoing series, it’s good that they do a bit of minor introductions here without going into their real stories. What we get is their personalities, distilled down a bit, and played with for a good time. Hinata’s a favorite of mine so I’m really glad to see her here and the way they play with her infatuation with Naruto at this stage and how everyone does what they can to try and help her through her weakness. The humor is spot on, especially Neiji’s vision, but it’s Hinata that wins me over the most and makes for a very fun time here.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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