Young Yamato. What the world needed.
What They Say:
Orochimaru is forced to flee the Hidden Leaf after Third Hokage Hiruzen exposes his illegal experiments. Danzo, fearing that Orochimaru’s capture would lead to the exposure of his own involvement in the experiments, sends out one of his men to help the rogue ninja.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I do have to admit that while I was largely burned out on Orochimaru through his heavy use earlier in the series, I’ve enjoyed the small nods to him since things went south for him. Getting him in flashbacks through a lot of it has helped to flesh him out more, but I’m still kind of feeling an affection towards him after the whole Rock Lee spinoff series. With him coming back into play in the previous episode when it came to Danzo, it once more painted us the larger picture of what kinds of bad things that he was involved in and the kind of behind the scenes layering that has been revealed. I’m still not feeling certain at times that it was all part of a master plan that we’re just getting reveals for as some of it feels forced at times, but there’s still plenty to like in seeing the two dealing with each other in secret.
Though it doesn’t take up a lot of time, this episode has a really good sequence early on with a brief fight between Kakashi and Orochimaru where Orochimaru really makes it clear that Kakashi is beneath his level and not even really worth dealing with. Even going so far as to cite him as a fake of sorts because of what he can do. That’s a difficult thing for Kakashi to deal with, especially having his mask sliced in half at first, and returning to his position in the Black ANBU is unsettling in a way knowing he was that close but unable to do what was needed, even as they set themselves towards capturing him. Even more comical in a way is watching Danzo watching on with all of this as the Hokage talks about what must be done.
Where the show actually provides something interesting and unexpected is that it gives us some time with a young Tenzo Yamato as he tries to understand his place in the world. Seeing him with Yukimi is certainly interesting as she’s placing the name of her lost brother onto him, which shows us how he became to be known as we know him now. She’s convinced that he’s really Tenzo and has returned from Orochimaru’s care and you can see how he doesn’t want to disappoint her. It’s definitely an interesting piece to show us this point in the past as it explores more of Yamato than I can remember being talked about before and what feels like may be the first time we’ve really seen him this younger in his formative years.
We get a mix of material here overall but it’s mostly just pushing things along in a small way. The Orochimaru and Kakashi material is definitely worthwhile and it has the right kind of menace about it, as well as superiority, that really makes for a fun bit of time to have between the two. But I also really liked that we got some of Yamato’s past, and how his name really came to stick, since it’s not a character that has felt like he’s really been explored all that much. But then again, we’re well over five hundred episodes of this series so far and I can’t remember most of it at this point because it feels like it’s so much. It’s a decent episode and it has good points, but it’ll mostly be forgettable in the long run.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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.