What They Say:
Before Naruto and Sasuke can attempt to seal Kaguya away, she transports Sasuke into a different Time-Space. Obito realizes that Kaguya’s ability to travel through Time-Space is similar to Kakashi’s and his own Visual Prowess. Obito and Sakura team up and begin the search for Sasuke.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After an episode that took us back to some childhood time for the core of Team 7 the last time around, which followed a couple months of uninteresting episodes focusing on events from the past with Hagoromo and Kaguya and all that came from that, Naruto: Shippuden returns to the present day storyline. But even that has fans wondering just how soon we might see some resolution here since we got the news that a number of the epilogue novels are going to be adapted into anime form. The plan for the series feels very up in the air and it’s hard to get all that enthused about it after feeling like we’ve been trolled with subpar productions for months, or years in some cases, with this property. The hope for something that feels final continues to seem slim.
With the next few episodes featuring titles that seem to tie into the manga chapter titles a bit, there’s definitely some hope that’s mixed into things but we’re certainly wary. Part of this is just what happens relatively early on here in the fight against Kaguya as we end up with her throwing Sasuke into another time-space location as you can imagine there being plenty of filler to mess with this. What this situation presents is an opportunity for Obito to continue to try and redeem himself by helping retrieve Sasuke, which is something that Sakura joins in on since Naruto and Kakashi have to hold the fort, so to speak, against Kaguya while this happens. Sasuke’s critical to Kaguya’s defeat and they need every piece of the puzzle in order to bring her to an end. The problem, as always with shows like this, is that there’s so much dialogue and moments of calm when there shouldn’t be that you can practically hear the director saying, “pad it out more here, even if they just stand around doing nothing.”
So what we get for a good chunk of this is the usual standoff kinds of attacks and back and forth combined with a lot more dialogue than you’d get in any actual battle. There are some nice moments to be sure as Kaguya shows a bit more of what she’s capable of, which makes for a challenging fight for Naruto, but it’s something that you know won’t have any long lasting impact as it’s all just a holding motion at the moment. The main focus is on what Naruto is doing with his clones and occupying Kaguya and it’s balanced a bit by having Obito and Sakura’s mission, but most of what we get here, even if it is canon, is just so ploddingly paced overall that it doesn’t do much. The sad fact is that we’ve had so much filler and anime original material that dragged on that everything feels like a slog now.
While I’m glad the show is back to adapting the material from the manga, the producers and their choices for the past couple of years have simply worn me down. I’m in it for the inertia at this point and just to see this brought to a conclusion, though I suspect that we’ll get anything but that in the long run as they’ll find ways to pad it out. The fight against Kaguya is simply a holding action here while Sasuke is out of the picture and that means some decent action sequences mixed with far more dialogue than is needed. Obito and Sakura’s mission is a subplot here so it gets far less time and is just moving along to get us to the interesting point in the next episode or two. We’ve got progress but I have no faith in this production to do anything right.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll