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Naruto: Shippuden Episode #336 Anime Review

4 min read

Naruto Shippuden Episode 336
Naruto Shippuden Episode 336
A deeper look into Kabuto’s dark past.

What They Say:
Kabuto’s past is finally revealed. As child, a woman named Nonou raised Kabuto at an orphanage in the Leaf Village. One day, Danzo and Orochimaru visit the orphanage to provide financial aid under the condition that Nonou work as their spy.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The back story material here continues on as we get to see what Kabuto was like as a little kid after he was brought in by Mother, given a home and taken care of. It is actually interesting to see what he was like as a kid, the kinds of experiences he had and the surroundings that helped shape what he thinks and feels towards others. With his ability to heal also there, he’s able to do some good for the shinobi of the village in times of need by healing them, which gives him one of his earliest encounters with Orochimaru, back when he was a Hidden Leaf shinobi himself. Though some of this feels like it should have been covered an age ago, and it’s slowing down the momentum of events in the present, I will admit some mild interest in all of this considering how long Kabuto has been around.

With Kabuto feeling drawn to being a shinobi himself with the kind of nudging that goes on with Orochimaru, it’s a quick spurt of growth for him as we see him just a few years later and he’s excelling at what he’s doing, though still facing plenty of challenges along the way. He certainly has skill and puts it to good use, but there’s also a more violent and brutal streak to how he reacts, which ends up thrusting him into a very difficult situation while on a mission that has him unknowingly taking down the one that had cared for him in his childhood. It’s a nicely done emotional moment with some real struggles for him since the woman doesn’t recognize him in the slightest and his mind is just messing with him. What makes it worse though is that in the mental anguish of it all, this is when Orochimaru practically slithers out of the river and invites him to come with him to learn the truth of, well, everything.

The more Kabuto is drawn in by Orochimaru, the more difficult it becomes for him to cope with it all. Especially when he realizes that everything he’s worked towards, finding out who he is, is being manipulated and distorted by those from the Foundation that have toyed with him for years. His violent outburst is fantastic and it definitely allows him to see the truth behind Orochimaru, which would certainly be disturbing for anyone that hadn’t been mired in it for some time. It moves forward in a really engaging way here, providing more and more info that in some ways I wish it was actually given more time, as we see a darker side of the Naruto world that’s often just seen through Naruto’s eyes rather than this kind of approach.

In Summary:
While part of me dreads aspects of subplots like this that dominate because of the way it impacts the larger dynamic of the ongoing storyline, there’s a lot to like here. I’ve never been a huge Kabuto fan and this aren’t isn’t really changing that, but getting this additional background on his life is certainly useful and interesting. The younger days aren’t all that interesting, but it sets the foundation that makes it work better once he gets older and has more capability of understanding the world and what’s going on, from how he’s been manipulated to what Orochimaru is offering him. It’s dark, twisted and sad at the same time, which makes Kabuto a lot more interesting and opens up the way for him to potentially be redeemed depending on how things going.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.