The past has more reveled as friends must fight.
What They Say:
Madara and Hashirama eventually become the leaders of their respective clans. As the fighting rages on between the Senju and Uchiha, Hashirama approaches Madara about an alliance.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The flashback storyline giving us the details of what went on years ago between Madara and Hashirama that ended up causing significant issues as they got older continues to be explored. There’s some interesting things coming from all of this to be sure and a part of me really does like the complex clan relations and politics that runs the Leaf village. But the downside to all of this is that it’s being thrown in closer to the end of the larger series storyline and there’s been so much back story over the last six hundred or so episodes of the Naruto franchise that it’s even more complex and convoluted than it needs to be. Which is what happens when you basically start off with a simple premise and expand from there to tell a larger tale that comes into focus. Things just get a bit out of hand in some ways.
With that as the backdrop here, following more of the two clans as they go on and try and settle things in their own way leads to some of the usual things. The first half has the two sides fighting it out along the river where there’s an attempt by Hashirama to really try and figure things out as he intends to really follow through on their being peace and friendship between the two sides. Unfortunately for him, Madara has ended up doing what he believes he has to do for the clan, especially now that his eyes have changed, and that really does make a difference. The moment that Hashirama sees the Sharingan eyes on him, coupled with the statement that they’ll end up meeting on the battlefield next, just makes it clear the fate they must face. And we get many instances of that taking place, all while drawing in pieces of their past along the way to highlight the difficult things that they do amid all the dead bodies.
Not surprisingly, as all of this progresses, we get something just beyond a montage sequence as we see so many battles occurring and the lead up to the actual fight between the two men that goes to a level that feels as big as what’s going on in the present. There’s still that bit of humanity and friendship that you can see within them, but the stakes are so high that they must fight and must win. There’s some good moments that go big here, especially when Madara is wounded and the two have their conversation about what kind of fall that the Uchiha clan has had and what it all means, but it’s all ancient history by current standards. It’s good to see it play out, but again, I find myself wishing this was its own spinoff series to give it the time it deserves to really flesh out the characters and tell an engaging story.
This arc and the origins of the village finally comes to a close with this episode and while it has a lot of interesting bits, it’s sadly compressed, skips over what could be intriguing storylines and just presents us with something that either die-hards already knew and the casual fans likely aren’t all that interested in. It does bring us full circle in a way with the threat in the present representing an end to what was built then and involving people from then, but overall it’s just another familiar aspect of how this series works where it’ll delight some and bore others. I’m not unhappy with it, but it could have been more and could have been better.
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.