The founding of the village changes (almost) everything.
What They Say:
The Senju and Uchiha clans join together to build a shinobi village and fulfill their dreams.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Back stor ymaterial showing the formation of the village and the peace between the clans has been a big part of the last few episodes. For me, world building like this is vastly entertaining, but it’s given the short form approach here as we spent most of our time with the problems between the two clans and a kid of quick look at it all before the main resolution was settled. So much so that the prologue to this episode catches us up on things easily with a handshake, a smile and the start of the growth and founding of the Hidden Leaf village as we see the forest turn to buildings and the expansion of it all under the watchful eyes of Madara and Hashirama. It’s good in its own way, but it left me craving a full story to explore it all.
There’s a lot of positive energy as the episode gets going as we see people enjoying life there and a whole lot of smiles from Madara and Hashirama after peace had been put through their clans through them. Looking back at where they stood years ago to where they are now in this arc definitely shows some great growth, enough so that Hashirama is able to look at the Uchiha clan members as brothers of his now. But Madara still has his own issues eating away at him, even as he enjoys the fruits of their labors and all that they’ve accomplished. His losses all those years ago have left a stain on him that’s hard to get past, especially with the way it impacted so many things between the two clans for so long. The optimism that does permeate the first half of this episode is nice, but when you also know some of how things are going to go, it’s hard to get too caught up in it all.
With a nod towards the present as we see the revived Hashirama talking about how things went south, we get that in the past as well as he serves as the first Hokage and starts to understand what Madara is going through as he starts to turn to the dark side of things. It’s good to see Hashirama doing his best to get Madara to explain it to him because he trusts him so much and values him, but Madara has gone so far already that you can simply see just evil intent there in his eyes and nothing more. Getting the mix of material that covers a few different areas of time over the years in this episode, there’s a lot to take in and some of it is rished because of it to be sure, while also touching on more recent events. The positives are definitely there, especially as Hashirama talks about how the village has changed so many lives for the better, but there’s still a serious fight that’s in the offing that is put on display here as well.
With a rich and expansive history that is ripe for a lot of coverage, Naruto: Shippuden provides a few details here and expands a bit more on the relationship between Madara and Hashirama that spans the decades. Bringing all that past to the present is certainly interesting and adds a lot more context to things, but I’m still in the camp that this all needed to be laid out better, earlier, so that the focus now could be on the third act kind of approach to events, especially with Naruto. Anyone remember him at this point? I’m enjoying what’s being presented here, wishing it was more (and its own series) but still frustrated by the sidestories that we keep stepping into.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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