What They Say:
Back at the Fifth Company’s camp, Kurotsuchi attempts to negotiate with the captive Deidara to find out Kabuto’s location, but is quickly rebuffed.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the scale of the war at hand, I certainly don’t mind side stories that work well as they can add to the larger narrative in a very positive way. Provided it does tie back into things some. What’s been hurting Naruto: Shippuden though is the way that, once again, it takes the lead character and keeps him largely out of the picture for far too long. I kind of like the guy. And I do like other members of the cast. I like them working together. And I know they need to operate separately from time to time. But as this arc goes on, with its big implications and it being war and all, it hasn’t managed to work the tension level right with most of the characters. Even the mildly decent episode the last time around with the White Zetsu didn’t capitalize on things well.
For this episode, things shift to the group that has captured Deidara as they try to get information out of him about what’s going on so they can figure their next phase of attack. Of course, things aren’t going well for them with this since they can get only so much out of Deidara. It’s all just biding time until Deidara can get out though since he’s too valuable to be left captive. And using more of the White Zetsu provides an opportunity for some easy kills along the way since, like the helmeted Allied Forces characters, they’re nameless and faceless so they can provide the body count while the name characters survive and struggle.
As it goes along and the chase gets underway, part of what helps to salvage things a bit is that Sasuke gets involved after being off screen like Naruto for quite a long time. Deidara’s a little cracked at this point after everything that has happened so his talking to and railing against Sasuke is amusing to watch unfold, since there’s a bit of a trick to it all that serves to make him even more off balance. It’s a decent little chase sequence that occupies most of the episode since it plays to his mentality and ego on one side while providing for a bit of action and trickery along the other. The goal of getting information is the main point of it all, and while it’s not dragged out all that much, it just feels like it’s a bit slow overall.
Focusing on Deidara and using him to gather intel is a smart move overall, providing you can trust him in the slightest, but it’s something that occupies the whole episode rather than just part of it. With the various events that should be going on in general, the series really feels like it needs to spread its stories more throughout each episode rather than this near standalone style that makes it feel more like filler than anything else. The premise is one with merit but it’s execution is mediocre at best. What salvages it is that just watching Deidara at times is simply fun and this is no exception, it’s just drawn out more than it needs to be.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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