After one of the weaker episodes in recent memory, can the show improve here?
What They Say:
The Leaf Shinobi succeed in bringing young lord Shu into custody, placing a disguised Naruto as his double. But Tatewaki soon uncovers Naruto’s identity and surrounds the intruder with his men.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Suffice to say, there were a lot of reasons to dislike the previous episode. While food aspects are common enough in the Naruto series overall, when it makes it a central focus of part of the story, that’s when I start to worry or just outright cringe. That episode was certainly cause for that as Naruto ends up in an eating contest in order to worm their way into the village a bit more and figure out what’s going on. But the show spent its time dealing with the Shu character that they’re there to help, which has lead them to bringing him out in secret so they can figure out more of what’s going on. Unfortunately, Shu is pretty much your standard clueless lordling that’s been kept in seclusion for the most part and all he wants to do is sightsee. Which just says enough about his age – and the Leaf fellows who allow it – and a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the situation even as Naruto is playing his double.
Of course, this is sustainable for only so long and the relaxed nature of those watching over Shu is a bit annoying since it’s just so casual. Of course, things go wonky when it comes to Naruto and his ability to handle the situation, which leads to things going a bit out of control, which is admittedly how he likes it most of the time as it lets him cut loose a bit. The episode does go big when the Akatsuki make their way in as they want to control the castle, but there are complications to it all, which is what puts Naruto and Tatewaki on the same side to do the right thing and protect the people. It’s all just so simple and by the numbers, even down to Shu being all concerned about Chiyo now and bullying the Hidden Leaf folks that were watching him into doing what he wants to do, which is to be thrust right into the heart of danger.
With so many good potential side stories to tell, in past and present, Naruto: Shippuden finishes off the Tatewaki story here with the majority of it taking place in the past. And that’s with the age-cast of the series that I really have no love or affection for. What we get here is more by the numbers stuff, at least without any awful food related material, that just plods along and doesn’t do anything that you haven’t seen both in this series before or in any number of other shows of a similar nature. It’s done technically well and competently at that level, but that’s about the best you can say about it. There’s little to really be enthused about here as it’s just more wheel spinning that doesn’t accomplish anything with established characters.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.